Thursday, October 29, 2009

Everest Chicken

Since Denver looks like the top of Mount Everest today, I decided to honor the mountain by making Chicken Everest. Chicken Everest is a slow roasted, Indian spiced chicken served over Basmati rice.

Here are the ingredients I will be using:

Salt & Pepper
Fresh Garlic
Fresh Ginger
Curry powder
Garam masala
Corriander (fresh is best)
Fresh Cilantro
Lemon juice
Curry leaves (optional)
Olive Oil

A follow up of the full recipe and how it tasted will follow later this evening!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh SO tasty Chicken Sausage Stroganoff!

I am back! I lost my inspiration and went into hibernation for a bit. But last night, before yoga, I went to the market with my husband and he picked up some jalapeno chipotle chicken sausage. I was inspired all over again!

I decided to make chicken sausage stroganoff. Super flavorful, easy and fun to make.

Here is what I did:

Spray a large cooking pan with Pam cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and olive oil.

Remove chicken sausage from the casing and place in pan (I used 3 links). Salt slightly to taste.

Chop one onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Put in pan and let cook with the chicken.

Next I threw in a cup to a cup and a half of sliced mushrooms.

I let everything cook for about 10 minutes and then poured in a 12 oz can of chicken broth. While the broth was simmering I stirred 6 ounces of reduced fat sour cream together with 2 tablespoons of flour and about 4 -5 ounces of whole milk.

I added the mixture to the pan and stirred. While the gravy was cooking I stirred in paprika (about 1 tablespoon), thyme and sage (about a half tablespoon of each). I also added fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. (Because the sauce was pretty salty I did not add much salt. It all depends on how you like it and how much salt is in the sausage.)

I let the gravy simmer about 20 minutes to thicken. I ended up whisking in a couple more tablespoons of flour at the end while I turned up the heat and then let it simmer about 5 more minutes.

While the sauce was thickening I added egg noodles to my boiling water and let them cook about 8 minutes. Strained them and plated them.

On top of the noodles I ladled a generous helping of the stroganoff. Served with a fresh green salad and sat down to enjoy the flavorful, creamy deliciousness! And on the side - we watched the new episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. It was a perfect dinner and a comedy - at home with my favorite person!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

OMG!!! Guacamole

My husband reminded me this morning of the drawer full of avacados that I needed to use before our weekend trip to New Mexico.

So, what did I do? I called my sister-in-law and said "let's make veggie tacos!" I decided that I would make quacamole the center of the dish.

Here is how it went...

The key players: Avocados (6), Red Pepper (1), Garlic (4 large cloves) and my beloved food processor.

Here is what I did:

First I scooped out the avocados into the food processor bowl.
Second I added the red pepper (sliced into pieces).
Next I added the garlic.

Once the key players were settled into the bowl I added salt to taste, cayenne pepper to taste (not too spicy but enough to add some heat), the juice of one lime, and about a tablespoon of cumin.

Then I pushed ON and let the magic happen.

Too simple, I thought. I need another element. Something more., I tasted the creamy creation. What did it needed? Not one thing! Nothing!

To make myself feel better I added a little more lime juice for some extra added zing...but that is optional.

I used the guacamole as the base ingredient in a soft taco, but it was delicious as just a dip with tortilla chips.

Easy, Versatile, Tasty!

Girls' Book Club Brunch

Every month a group of girls and I meet on a Sunday for book club brunch. This month the meeting was at my house.

The Book: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister

The Menu: Pancetta, Asparagus & Fontina Fritatta, Red Pepper Pesto Penne, Parmesan Biscuits & Mexican Chocolate Biscotti

The result: A deliciously, light read and a flavorful, whimsical brunch.

For the fritatta I used 9 eggs. To those eggs I added about 4 tablespoons of heavy cream. I whipped the eggs and the cream together and added salt and black pepper to taste. To spice up the egg mixture I added sage, rosemary and thyme. I was generous with the spices so they would stand out amongst the cream, eggs and pancetta.

Next, I chopped the pancetta into pieces and cooked it on medium heat in a large, non-stick pan. When the pancetta began to crisp I added the asparagus and 3 chopped roma tomatoes. I sauteed the vegetables until the asparagus softened a bit. Then I poured the egg mixture on top.

I cooked the fritatta until the only liquid that remained was on top. I then added the fontina cheese to the top of the fritatta and put in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. When the eggs cooked through I set the oven to broil and browned the top of the dish.

The fritatta was indulgent and delicious!

Coming soon...Red Pepper Pesto. You're gonna love it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. - Sen. Edward Kennedy

I woke up at 2:30 this morning and saw that I had a text message from my husband who was working late. His message said that Teddy Kennedy passed away in the night. I sat there with my foggy brain and tried to absorb the news.

Teddy Kennedy was a symbol of hope, a staunch crusader for what he believed in, a tried and true Democrat, and the loyal leader of his family until the very end. He is my reference point when people ask what kind of Democrat I am. Liberal, moderate or conservative they ask...I say, "I am a Teddy Kennedy kind of Democrat."

Sen. Kennedy had his fair share and more of failures and dark hours. He made grave mistakes that laid embarrassment upon his family name. He was sought out by his opponents, who made every attempt to ruin him. And through it all, he recognized his failures, overcame the obstacles put before him and he persevered.

In the end he was a man who fought tirelessly for his causes, his country and his party. He represented his beloved state for more than 40 years in the US Senate. And, most importantly, he was a man who never failed to be there for his family. After the death of his beloved brothers, he took on the responsibility to be a supportive father figure to not only his own children, but also his nieces and nephews. While he was not perfect, he was an example of duty and honor to those you love and what you believe in.

The loss of the Lion of the Liberals and the Senate, I believe, will be felt by many in this country...Democrat, Republican, Independent and Abstainers. In our sadness, we must remember the words Teddy Kennedy spoke to us just one year ago...."The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."

No matter which side of the aisle you are on...never forget to continue working for the betterment of you, your family and what you believe in. It is when we stop working and let go of hope that things fall apart. Progress is made not only through hard work , but also by keeping your dreams in close sight.

Thank you Senator Kennedy for the inspiration you have given us through the years and your undying service to this country.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life Interrupted...

The plan for tonight was to eat dinner with my aunt, uncle, grandparents, husband and Steve (yeah...I don't know him either). Instead, I am at home watching HBO, doing laundry and thinking up recipes while Kamal is helping his dad replace their water heater....the one that decided to flood the basement this morning.

So, there will be no fresh crab enchiladas for us tonight, but there will be left overs tomorrow and after that I am thinking I will make fish tacos with green chile and avocado cream sauce. In fact, I think it is going to a be a south of the border kind of week....maybe a NY strip with chimichurri and mexican chocolate cupcakes. I feel a theme coming on! I better check out this week's sales at the market and see what inspires me.

Sometimes life is interrupted, some weeks more than others...but, hey, it makes us who we are, sometimes it even makes us better.

West Coast Crab Enchiladas

My grandmother will be the cook tonight. She is making the crab enchiladas my aunt begged for all day yesterday. The crab is crab my grandparents caught when they were in Washington. It is SO good! It is the same crab I grew up catching with my grandpa in the summers. It always makes me nostalgic when I eat this dish. I have never made it and I am not sure what all goes in it because by the time I come around it is always in the oven. Tonight is the night for me to learn...I will bring back details.

My contribution is going to be a batch of spicy green chili.