Monday, September 1, 2014

Chinese Take-Out's Cashew Chicken

This was such a tasty dinner, and like all the recipes in Chinese Take Out, super easy, taking only about 30 minutes to complete.  The boys and I gave this a perfect 10, and Aaron gave this a 9 because although he loved the flavor and the cashews, he said he wanted more flavor.  I used chicken thighs in this, and I love how great the flavor is with thighs.  Without rice, each serving is 225 calories, when you divide it into six.

1 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 t cornstarch
1 lb chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces

2 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 T oyster sauce
2 t sesame chili oil

2 T vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c salted, roasted cashews

Marinate the chicken in the first three ingredients.  Set the chicken aside for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, oyster sauce and sesame chili oil, and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil and swirl.  Add the garlic and stir fry about 20 seconds.  Add in the chicken, cook about 2 minutes, then add in the onions and jalapeno.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the sauce and stir to coat the chicken.  Allow the sauce to warm and thicken, then add in the cashews and serve.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Cajun Shrimp and Guacamole

This is such a simple recipe, but we really enjoyed it.  Everyone gave it a 9, and we will have it again, because it is so quick to come together.  Each serving was only 240 calories the way I made it with the guacamole, so this is fast and low calorie, bonus :).  Absolutely Avocado came up with the recipe, but I just made my own guacamole, make it the way you like.  Here's what I did for the shrimp:

2 T butter
1 T Cajun seasoning
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Mix the Cajun seasoning and the shrimp together.  Melt the butter in a large pan, then cook the shrimp, about 2 minutes per side.  Season with salt to taste.

Dip in the guacamole of your choice, and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Border Cookbook's Rancho Cheese, Onion and Olive Enchiladas

I grew up eating enchiladas made with flour tortillas, and the first time I made them that way in Mexico, everyone was surprised.  They said they were fine, but weird :).  After that, I tried making enchiladas with corn tortillas, and I was hooked.  They work out so much better that way.  Well, in the Border Cookbook, they have this recipe for cheese enchiladas made with flour tortillas, so we revisited that idea.  It wasn't entirely successful.  The enchiladas were just a little smooshy and unappetizing, prompting Aaron to give this a 7, but the rest of us gave them a 9, Noah felt like they were too oniony, and Owen didn't like the flavor of the enchilada sauce as well as my other recipes.  You can make your own enchilada sauce or use canned, your choice, I won't be featuring the sauce on the blog.  Each enchilada, and we made 10 of them, was 407 calories, not surprising considering the cheese and flour tortillas.  Another plus about corn tortillas?  They are lower in calories :).  Here's what to do:

3 T olive oil
2 onions, diced
10 flour tortillas
3 c enchilada sauce
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 c chopped black olives

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan, and set aside.
Warm the olive oil over medium low heat, and then cook the onions for 30 minutes, stirring often.
Dip the tortillas in the enchilada sauce, then fill them with cheese, onions and olives.  Roll them, place them in the prepared baking dish, and then cover with the rest of the cheese and toppings.  Bake for 20 minutes, then serve.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Michael Symon's Steak with Garlic and Bacon

So, I wasn't going to post this, because it seemed to be such a simple recipe, but these steaks were amazing!  We decided we had to share them, and everyone gave them a perfect 10.  Michael Symon's second cookbook, Carnivore, is full of such great recipes, we love his food, and this recipe for steak was no exception.

No pretty plate, but disregard the picture and make this, it's so worth it.  Each half of a steak was 488 calories, so an 8 ounce steak approximately.  Having the well-seasoned steak with the bacon and the garlic spread just was overwhelmingly great.  Michael Symon always has us season the beef the night before, and this was so great that way.  I don't have a grill pan, so I just used a regular pan I can put under a broiler.  Anyway, Michael Symon came through for us again.

2 T-Bone steaks
4 strips bacon
Roasted Garlic with Parsley and Lemon spread

Season the steaks, then refrigerate them overnight.
Remove the steaks from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the broiler, then cook the bacon in the pan on the stove top, leaving some of the grease in the pan.  Remove the bacon to cool slightly, then cook the steaks under the broiler, about 4 minutes per side.  Smear the steaks with the roasted garlic, and then top with crumbled bacon.  Serve.

Roasted Garlic with Parsley and Lemon

1 head garlic
1 T olive oil
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
.25 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T chopped fresh oregano
.5 t salt

Preheat the oven to 350. 
Slice the head of garlic in half crosswise.  Drizzle both sides with the olive oil, and cover with aluminum foil.  Roast for about 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven to let cool slightly.  Squeeze the cloves out of the skins and mash the garlic.  Add in the lemon juice and zest, the oregano, parsley, and salt.  Spread over your steaks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Perfect Scoop's Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

So this was a calorie bomb treat, but it was sooo worth it!  The boys picked this Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop cookbook, and it was great.  We had it in a sundae, per the author's suggestion, with blondies and hot fudge, and the ice cream with the sundae was fabulous.  The ice cream is a custard base, with brown sugar for the butterscotch, and buttered pecans added in, and I added a little brown sugar to the buttered pecans to give it a little sweeter flavor.  I'll just feature the ice cream, and the other elements you can make on your own, or mix things up.  Each serving, about .5 cup of ice cream, is 293 calories, and we gave this a perfect 10, it is so delicious.  I'll be using decimals rather than fractions today, and maybe for a while, because somehow our keyboard was changed to a Spanish keyboard, and I can't find the slashes.  Somehow my baby is smarter than me, sigh...

5 T salted butter
.75 c packed brown sugar
.5 t salt
2 c heavy cream
.75 c whole milk
6 large egg yolks
.5 t vanilla
1 recipe buttered pecans

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the brown sugar and salt until well moistened.  Whisk in 1 cup of the cream and the milk, and keep warm.
Pour the remaining cream into a large bowl and place a fine mesh sieve over the top.
Whisk together the egg yolks, then temper the yolks.  Return the mixture to the pan, and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens.  Pour the custard through the sieve, and mix in with the cream.  Then add in the vanilla.  Cool, and churn and freeze in your ice cream maker.  At the end, fold in the buttered pecans.  Freeze before serving.

Buttered Pecans

1.5 T butter
1.5 c pecan halves
.25 t coarse salt
1 T brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350.
Melt the butter in a skillet, remove it from the heat, and stir in the pecans, brown sugar, and salt.  Bake for 12 minutes in the oven and cool completely.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Absolutely Avocado's Cowboy Caviar Couscous Salad

This was a really good salad!  Absolutely Avocado came up with another winner for us, this was fast and easy, and everyone liked it.  I used homemade salsa, like always :), and used more corn than the recipe called for.  We had 10 servings out of this, and ate ours with cheese crisps for a complete meal.  Each serving was 183 calories the way I made it, and Aaron and the boys gave this an 8 and I gave it a 9.  Great summer meal idea, definitely give this a try!

1/2 c couscous
2 c chicken stock
2 avocados
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 14.5 oz canned black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
4 ears fresh corn kernels cut off the cob
1/2 c diced red onion
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c salsa
3 scallions, chopped
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
some red pepper flakes and salt

Cook the couscous with the chicken broth until the liquid is absorbed.  Set aside to cool.  Mix everything together, then season to taste.  Serve.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Flour's Intense Chocolate Brownies

As with all Flour's recipes, these brownies are delicious.  I know it seems like I have featured tons of Joanne Chang's recipes on this site, but there are so many I haven't featured, this cookbook is worth every penny because everything in it is delicious.  So buy it :)  These are the perfect texture for brownies, and they have just the right chocolatey taste for me.  The boys liked these so much, as did I.  Aaron and I gave them a perfect 10, and the boys said they gave them a 9.5 :).  Each brownie was 220 calories, and these are mostly chocolate, hence the intense in the name.  Try these out, they are delicious and easy!! 

5.5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2.5 (I used just a little more) oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
14 T unsalted butter
5 eggs
2 c sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Heat the oven to 325.  Grease and flour a 9x13 pan and set it aside.  Melt together the chocolates and butter in the microwave, stirring frequently and don't let the chocolate burn.  Set aside when smooth to cool slightly.
Place the eggs in a stand mixer, and whisk them on low speed, slowly adding in the sugar, then mixing for about 1 minute.  With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate mixture.  
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add those to the chocolate egg mixture.  Fold in the flour.  Spread in the prepare pan, then bake for about 30 minutes.  Start checking at 20 minutes, these should still have moist crumbs when testing for doneness.  Cool completely and then serve, I cut mine into 24 brownies.