Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chicken Tamale Pie

Oh.  Yum.  I will definitely be making this again.  I left out the cayenne, hoping to keep things mild for the gingersnaps, but it was still too spicy for their taste.  So my husband and I ate our servings, then theirs!  The tamale "crust" is soft and sorta mushy, but firmed up as it sat, so let the dish rest for a few minutes before serving and I think the "slices" will hold together better.

Update: I made this again, making sure to get mild enchilada sauce and mild diced chilies.  I left out the cayenne again and the kids were able to eat it.  Although my husband and I liked it much better with more of the spice.  

1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (I left this out for the kids)
1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce 
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded white cheese
cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.  I used my pie plate, but it wasn't big enough to hold everything without spilling over (see photo above!).  My round casserole dish is deeper and would have been a better choice.

Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Malt Cookie Bars

Jessie raved about these, so I had to give them a try.  I wasn't entirely sure what "malted milk powder" was and ended up coming home with Ovaltine chocolate malt.  It did the job.  And the bars were delicious!  Think chocolate-chip cookie meets a whopper-flavored brownie (as in, the candy - not the burger!).  YUM!

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup malted milk powder
2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Beat butter, brown sugar, malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, and vanilla for 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and stir to combine.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper (I just coated an 8x8 with cooking spray). Press the cookie dough into the dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes. They will still seem gooey in the centers so let them cool completely before cutting into them.

Jessie suggested I keep them in the fridge and serve cold.  We ate them too fast to try it them that way, but that just means I'll have to make another pan!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Bites

These were yummy and a bit addicting.  I made a few changes from the original based on what I had on hand.  I expected the bites to be more dry and firm, but mine came out fairly wet after 20 minutes of baking time.  I might have put too much mixture in each muffin cup and probably could have baked them longer, but we just used forks instead of fingers and still enjoyed them!

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 large eggs
2 carrots, shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Add quinoa and broth to a medium saucepan.  Bring liquid to boil.  Cover and turn heat down to simmer.  Cook 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together, mixing until thoroughly combined.
Using a melon baller or a tablespoon, place rounded drops of the mixture into each cup of the muffin pan, pressing each one down lightly with your fingers to make sure that they are firmly packed.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.  
Bake until lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Soba Noodles and Mushroom Soup

I love mushrooms, so I ended up using a couple different kinds from the produce section, plus a package of dried shitakes (that you need to soak a good thirty minutes ahead of time), which was more than the recipe called for.  I'd suggest you go easy on the salt and start with just two or three Tablespoons of soy sauce.  Our soup ended up being on the salty side.  But we still enjoyed it.  My husband said it tasted like fancy Ramen!    

About 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 medium leeks, trimmed and cut into matchsticks, washed and well drained
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 red Fresno chili pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt and black pepper
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
4 to 6 tablespoons Tamari or Soy sauce, to taste 
1 package soba noodles
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Chopped scallion greens, for garnish

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add mushrooms. Brown mushrooms until nutty and fragrant then add vegetable matchsticks, ginger, garlic and chili; season lightly with salt and liberally with black pepper. Stir-fry a minute or 2 then add stock and bring soup to a boil. Season with 4-6 tablespoons of Tamari. Add soba or spaghetti and cook to just tender.

Using tongs, fill bowls with noodles, mushrooms and vegetables. Ladle broth over top and garnish. Serve with chopsticks and a large spoon for slurping.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork

This was every bit as good as I hoped it would be!  A crock pot home run.

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

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