Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bacon Mushroom Pasta

Pioneer Woman read my mind when she posted this recipe on Monday.  I had a variation of the ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry, and decided to cook this up.  All inspired by Ree, but with the portions scaled down, and some differences in ingredients because I didn't feel like going to the store.  It was delicious paired with a steak, but next time, I'll make it a meal!

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10oz) package mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. thin spaghetti

Cook pasta according to directions on package.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat and add bacon pieces until browned.  Remove and set aside on a paper towel.
Without cleaning the pan, add the garlic and mushrooms and stir over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden brown. 
Pour in the chicken broth and stir, scraping any bits off the bottom of the skillet.  Cook on medium high for several minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce the heat and pour in the half and half.  Stir and let thicken for a few minutes.
Add parsely and stir, cooking for one more minute. 
Finally, add Parmesan and stir, letting the cheese melt into the sauce, and turn off the heat.
Drain the pasta and toss with half of the mushroom sauce, using tongs.
Top each serving with the rest of the sauce and some Parmesan cheese.

My review:  This was delicious and easy, and many of my favorite flavors all together.  Make it now.  It would be great with chicken added to the sauce as well.  Very good!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Italian Stromboli

Pizza Dough (I buy mine at the grocery store, from the bakery.  You can also get it at some Italian restaurants, or you can even use the Pillsbury kind.  Or make your own, too)
Olive Oil
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced (optional)
1/2 lb ground beef or italian sausage, browned (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 slices Cooked Deli Ham
6 slices Hard Salami
About 20 pepperonis
6 slices Provolone Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzerella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.  Saute your mushrooms, onions, and garlic.  If you were using ground beef or sausage, you could cook it with the mushrooms and onions.
Flatten out your pizza dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet with some olive oil to keep it from being sticky.
Start by layering your ham on the bottom, leaving room on the edges to fold up.  Then, place 3 slices of Provolone.  Top with your hard salami and pepperonis.  Then, top with the remaining Provolone.  Spoon your mushrooms and onions (and ground beef or sausage) on top.  Then, top with Mozzerella.  Fold up the sides.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with Pizza sauce for dipping.

My review:  My mom makes homemade stromboli all the time, and I love it.  It's one of the things I usually request when I'm visiting, or for my birthday.  Most people don't realize that it's a simple, quick, and fairly cheap meal to prepare at home for yourself.  And most importantly, it's delicious!

Valentine's Day Dinner

I was gone for way too long.  I apologize.  But the stupid stomach virus got me, and then it was one of my favorite holidays:  Valentine's Day!!!  And for Valentine's Day, I cooked one of the best meals I have ever cooked:  Ranch Chicken and Potatoes.  I can't take any credit for this recipe, and I can't give you any better instructions on how to cook it, and basically, I'm too lazy to share step by step, so I will refer here for the printable and here to check out Cooking Ventures, the blog, where Vince cooks up all kinds of amazing things.  This recipe was boyfriend approved, me approved, and absolutely darn delicious, and incredibly easy to prepare!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Amazing Chicken Fajitas! (and a great marinade too!)

adapted from recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe

1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (this is found near the steak sauce and worcestershire sauce)
salt and pepper

3 large chicken breasts (about 1-1.5 pounds)
1 yellow or red onion, cut in thin strips
1 red pepper, cut in thin strips
1/2 pound (8 oz) mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a ziploc bag and shake.  Add chicken breasts and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight if possible.
Discard the marinade and grill or broil the chicken until cooked through.  Under the broiler, it takes about 6 minutes on each side.
In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, mushrooms, and pepper, stirring and cooking until crisp tender (about 3 minutes).
Add soy sauce, water, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Cook for another few minutes and stir frequently.
Slice chicken on the diagonal and toss in with the veggies.
Serve on tortillas, topped with your favorite toppings, like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  

My review:  I LOVED THIS.  I plan to use this marinade for me than just fajitas, but I think this will become a favorite recipe.  It would also be good for quesadillas or chicken taco salad.  You have to try this!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baked Strips of Fire


 1/2 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
1 packet Shake N Bake Extra Crispy coating mix
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add pepper and coating mix to shaker bag included with Shake N Bake.
Dip each chicken strip into the hot sauce, and then shake into coating mix until coated.
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, and place chicken strips in a single layer.
Bake 25 minutes and serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrot sticks.  They would also be good served on top of a salad or in a wrap.

My review:  These were amazing!  I loved them.  It was a nice healthier substitute for boneless buffalo wings.  They would be great for a Superbowl party!


Pioneer Woman's Sesame Noodles

So I've been saving this recipe up in my file for a long time, and decided to finally make it this week.  This is another recipe from the amazing Pioneer Woman, and if you would like her step by step instructions, you can find those here.  Her measurements are a bit loose, so I'm including the ones that I used.

12 ounces thin noodles (angel hair, spaghetti, asian style)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp pure sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chile oil (this can be substituted by vegetable oil, with a pinch of cayenne pepper)
4 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp hot water
3-4 green onions, sliced thin

Cook noodles as directed on package.
Whisk all other ingredients except green onions together in a bowl.
Taste and adjust if needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

My review:  I actually have to be honest and say that this wasn't my favorite.  It was good, but the flavors were a little too strong for me.  Try it!