Thursday, August 6, 2020

Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta

I love this salad in the summer because it’s easy, fast and a great side dish with any meat dish. Serves 4-6 Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

3 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1” pieces 
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, diced 
1 bottle of Italian dressing or make enough vinegar oil dressing with Italian seasoning to cover vegetables 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
I added a dash or two each of basil, parsley and oregano, optional 
Garnish with feta, to taste 

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients except feta which is added when served. Best chilled for at least an hour. Refrigerate covered. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Crockpot Mexican Street Corn Chowder

I love summer corn, don’t you? So when it’s in season I make this Crockpot Mexican Street Corn Chowder. Serves 6 Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

10 ears fresh corn (about 5-1/2 cups) 
1-1/4 to 2 cups water 6 bacon strips, chopped 
2 small onions, chopped 
2 small green pepper, chopped 
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper 
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 medium lime, zested and juiced 
Garnish: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sliced jalapeno, chopped bell pepper and crumbled cotija cheese, optional 

Directions:  

Cut corn off cob. Rub the edge of a knife over each cob to "milk" it; add enough water to cob juice to equal 2 cups. Add corn and liquid to a 5-quart slow cooker. In a large skillet, saute bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes. Reserve crisp bacon pieces; discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Add the onion, green pepper and jalapeno to skillet; cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add seasonings and cook 1 minute more; transfer to crockpot. Cook on low until corn is tender and mixture has thickened slightly, 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Stir in the cream and lime zest and juice. Puree mixture with an immersion blender to desired consistency. Garnish with reserved bacon, and lime wedges, cilantro, jalapeno, bell pepper and cojita cheese, if desired.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Greek Turkey Burger

A creamy tzatziki adds a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, Kalamata olives and spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber. Total Time: 25 minutes Makes: 4 Burgers

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey
1⁄3 cup kalamata olive, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pita bread
8 lettuce leaves (Romaine, Green leaf or Red leaf)
1 tomatoes, sliced thin into rounds
1⁄2 red onion, sliced thin into rounds

TZATZIKI Ingredients:

8 ounces Greek yogurt
1⁄4 English cucumber, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons chopped dill 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste  

Directions:

To make the Tzatziki: In a medium bowl, stir to combine all ingredients. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to thin sauce if needed.

For the burgers: In a large bowl, mix to combine ground turkey, olives, parsley, dried oregano, garlic, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, salt and pepper. Divide into 4 portions and shape into burger patties. Warm olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then fry turkey patties until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. To assemble turkey burgers, layer lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices onto open pita and top with burger. Garnish with remaining crumbled feta cheese and a dollop of tzatziki.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Grilled Steak with Greek Corn Salad

This Grilled Steak and Greek Corn Salad is a lite gluten free meal with an inexpensive piece of meat that is tasty and satisfying. Serves 4 Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano and/or mint 
1 teaspoon honey 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped 
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 
1 small red onion, diced 
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces) 
1/3 cup pitted green olives, sliced 
2 ears of corn, shucked 
1 1/4 pounds cube steaks 

Directions:

Preheat a grill to high. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, herbs, honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to a large bowl; set aside. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta and olives to the bowl with the remaining vinaigrette; toss to coat. 

Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 8 minutes; remove to a cutting board. Meanwhile, season the steaks with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, grill the steaks until the edges start browning, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with the reserved vinaigrette; toss to coat. Cut off the corn kernels and add to the salad. Serve the steak with the corn salad. 

Note:  Cube steak is an inexpensive cut of beef that has been tenderized by machine. If you can't find it, pound a top round steak with a meat mallet.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Sausage Gravy Breakfast Pizza


My granddaughter sent me this recipe to make this weekend. Both my granddaughters loved it. With this crust you can substitute or add ingredients to make this breakfast pizza your own. This Sausage Gravy Breakfast Pizza reminds me of biscuits and gravy, but supreme. If you know what I mean. Serves 4-6 Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 packages crescent rolls 
1 package cooked sausage crumbles 
1 envelope country gravy mix 
6 eggs 
2 tablespoons milk 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
1 tablespoon butter 
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese 
4 oz shredded pepper Jack cheese 

Directions: 

Heat oven to 375. Separate crescent dough into 16 triangles and place on a greased, round pizza pan with points toward the center. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of pan to form a crust; seal seams. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare gravy according to package directions in a medium saucepan. Stir sausage crumbles into thickened gravy; set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add egg mixture; cook and stir until almost set. Spread sausage gravy mixture over the crust. Top with eggs and cheeses. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. Yum Yum!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Chicken Biryani


What is the Indian Dish Biryani? A world-renowned Indian dish, biryani takes time and practice to make but is worth every bit of the effort. Long-grained rice (like basmati) flavored with exotic spices, such as saffron, is layered with lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables, and a thick gravy. With this recipe we are going to use chicken. Serves 4-6 

Ingredients: 

Onion Raita and Chicken 
1 lemon 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt, divided 
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
1 red onion 
1 4" piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced 
 2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled 
 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon 
1 1/2 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (4–6 thighs) or 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts 
2 dried bay leaves 

Rice and Assembly 
3/4 cup kosher salt 
2 cups aged basmati rice (such as Daawat) 
1 red onion, thinly sliced 
3/4 cup melted ghee or neutral oil 
1/2 cup mixed coarsely chopped nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, and/or walnuts 
1 Tablespoon sugar 
3/4 cup mixed dried fruit, such as prunes, apricots, pineapple, and/or cranberries 

Directions: 

Onion Raita and Chicken: Finely grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest into a small bowl. Squeeze in juice from one half of the lemon. Add sugar, 1 cup yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Finely chop one-quarter of the onion and stir into raita. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour or chill up to overnight. Purée ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, juice of remaining lemon half, and remaining three-quarters of onion, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. 

Transfer to a medium bowl. Using your hands, pull skin off chicken thighs and discard. (Don’t worry about any straggly bits of skin and fat; they will render out during cooking.) Transfer thighs or breasts to the bowl with ginger mixture, add bay leaves, and toss to combine. Cover with a plate and let marinate at room temperature at least 2 hours or preferably chill up to overnight. 

Rice and Assembly: Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°. Bring salt and 3 qt. water to a rapid boil in a large pot over high heat. 

Meanwhile, place rice in a medium bowl. Cover with cool tap water, use your hand to gently agitate the grains, and drain. Repeat at least 2 more times until water runs clear enough to see your hand through it. Add drained rice all at once to boiling salted water. Initially the water will stop boiling and the rice will sink to the bottom. Stir a few times with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking, then stop stirring. 

After a couple of minutes, the water will return to a simmer and a few grains will begin appearing near the surface. The rice is ready to drain when the grains have nearly doubled in size, the water returns to a boil, and most of the rice rapidly bubbles to the surface. When you bite into a grain, you want to see a hard white core; just like pasta cooked al dente, the grains should remain firm. Depending on the quality of your rice, this can take anywhere from 3–7 minutes, so begin tasting the grains early. Drain rice and rinse with water until cool. Set aside. 

 Cook onion and ghee in a 4–6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until onions are golden and crisp, 8–10 minutes. The sides and bottom of pot may brown and even develop some char. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low and toast nuts in ghee in same pot, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and darkened in color, 2–3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer nuts to another plate; set aside for serving. 

Transfer half of ghee in pot to a small bowl; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high and sprinkle sugar over remaining ghee in pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar forms deeply caramelized clumps, 3–5 minutes. Add chicken, scraping in marinade, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and arrange chicken and marinade in an even layer. Sprinkle with dried fruit and one-third of fried onions. Top with rice. Poke 5–7 holes into rice with the back of a wooden spoon until you reach the chicken. Drizzle reserved ghee over and top with another third of fried onions. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and return to medium heat. Cook until you can hear the chicken gurgling in the pot and wisps of steam just begin to escape from lid, about 5 minutes. Do not open the lid at any point! If you peek, you will risk losing too much steam, preventing the rice from properly cooking through.

Transfer pot to oven and bake, covered, 45 minutes. Let rest at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before uncovering. Using a large spoon or small plate, gently scoop rice off chicken and transfer to a platter. Carefully spoon chicken and any sauce over rice. Top with reserved fried nuts and remaining onions. Serve alongside onion raita while ghee is still hot and rice is steamy. Yum Yum! 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Balsamic Oven-Baked Asparagus & Tomatoes

I love pairing this balsamic roasted asparagus with loads of recipes. This vegetarian side is versatile and can work for dinner parties, as well as family weeknight dinners. 

Some of my chicken go-to recipes to pair with this oven roasted asparagus recipe are: 

Easy Peanut-Crusted Baked Chicken: For the meat lovers! This fancy chicken dish is perfect for a date night in and pairs wonderfully with this roasted asparagus. 

Oven-Baked Sticken Chicken: This sweet chicken option with this savory side is a great combination. 

Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken: A summer grill must-have! this tasty grilled chicken a great main dish to pair with this asparagus recipe. 

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup: Gordon Ramsay favorite soup that is a lighter option to pair with this side and works for lunch or dinner. 

BBQ Chicken Salad: A hearty summer salad that goes great with a side of this healthy roasted asparagus and tomatoes. I hope you and your family love this Balsamic Oven Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes. This dish is always a favorite side to any dinner recipe. Serves 6 Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Bunch Asparagus 
1/3 Cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese or Parmesan, Grated 
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes or 2 tomatoes, diced
 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
3 Cloves Garlic, minced 
Garnish: Fresh Basil Leaves, Balsamic Glaze & Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Directions:

Snap or cut the bottom 1-2 inches off each piece of asparagus. When you bend the asparagus it will snap naturally about an inch from the bottom. Next, slice the cherry tomatoes in half, or dice the tomatoes. Place the asparagus and sliced tomatoes on a large cookie sheet then top with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Toss everything together and make sure the veggies are evenly coated. Finally, top the asparagus with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Place veggies on the center rack in a 400F preheated oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus is bright green and the tomatoes are soft. Once cooked, remove the veggies from the tray with tongs and place on a serving dish and top with freshly grated Parmesan, fresh basil and balsamic glaze, if using. Yum Yum!

Notes: Got Leftover? To store oven roasted asparagus place cooked asparagus in a airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Balsamic Roasted Asparagus is best right after it is cooked, but will work for meal prep. To re-warm the asparagus, place in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds or until warm. Alternatively, place in the oven and heat at 325 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until warm.