The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Turkey Pot Pie November 29, 2008

Filed under: Chicken,Turkey — xigumdrops @ 3:34 pm
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What to do with all of the leftover turkey?!?  I found a recommendation on WC for Chicken Pot Pie IX from All Recipes. The recipe includes cooking the chicken but I used turkey leftovers; you could use a rotisserie chicken as well.  I changed up the original quite a bit so click here to See the original recipe. This was delicious and I definitely will be making it again.

1 cup cooked turkey, shredded or cubed

1 cup frozen sliced carrots

1 cup frozen green peas

2 russet potatoes, scrubbed, skin removed, and cut into 4 pieces each

1/3 cup butter

½ Tbs. garlic, minced

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. milk

1 Tbs. heavy cream

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Egg white

 

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray 8×8 or 9×9 pie pan with nonstick spray.

2.  Add potatoes to medium saucepan and add cold water to cover; bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Potatoes should not be fork tender but rather slightly translucent around edges.  Drain and dice when cool enough to handle.

3.  In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions, celery, and garlic in butter until soft and translucent. Add carrots and peas. Stir in flour, salt, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth, milk, and cream. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.  Add cooked turkey and diced potatoes and reduce heat to low; simmer until step 5.

4.  Place piecrust in prepared baking pan; edges of crust should hang over pie pan slightly.  Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes.  

5.  Place the chicken mixture in bottom piecrust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.  I cut the top crust into squares and placed them all over the top.  Brush crust with egg whites.

6.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro November 28, 2008

Filed under: Quinoa,Salad,Side dish,Vegetarian — xigumdrops @ 5:28 pm
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quinoa

I bought a bag of Quinoa at Dean & DeLuca a few weeks ago and have been looking for a recipe to catch my eye.  I found this one from Liz’s Cooking Blog originally from Bon Appetit.  I really liked the texture of the quinoa and I liked it much better than couscous.  I didn’t find the recipe spicy at all and actually think it would be better with diced jalapenos or some chipotle powder.  

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups chopped white onions

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup water

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional) (I used sharp cheddar)

 

1.  Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes.

2.  Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.

 

Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

stuffed-chicken

This is an easy to-prepare dish that looks and takes fabulous.  The original recipe calls to grill the chicken but I prefer to bake it so I’ve included the baking instructions here.  To save on cutting time and costs, I used a 3 cheese Italian blend which is also much easier to work with than fresh mozzarella.  I served the chicken with fried okra but it would be great with a caesar salad or maybe a light pasta side?     

Adapted from:  Fine Cooking

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 large basil leaves

1/4 Lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (I used 3 cheese Italian blend, pre-shredded)

4 thin slices prosciutto (should be long enough to wrap all the way around the chicken breasts)

1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 375.

2.  Cut through each chicken breast horizontally almost all the way through and open it like a book. Sprinkle the chicken all over with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper (total for 1.5 pounds chicken).  Layer the basil and mozzarella evenly on half of each breast and then fold it closed.  Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each breast to hold it closed and then brush lightly on both sides with the olive oil.

3.  Bake on foil lined sheet for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

 

Platinum Chef Challenge #10 Results! November 27, 2008

When Lisa from Lime in the Coconut chose my entry as the winner for Platinum Chef Challenge #9 I was honored and so excited!  But then I had the daunting task of choosing the next ingredients.  I couldn’t find a site that listed all previous 9 challenge ingredients so I did my best to choose ingredients that most likely had not been picked yet.  I thought I might have chosen ingredients that were too difficult when I only had one entry at the original deadline.  Now I’m glad I added the extension because I received a total of 5 fabulous recipes!  In no particular oder (well actually, it is the order I received the entries), here are the recipes:

Cara, from Cara’s Cravings, the Platinum Chef Challenge creator:

Cara decided to adapt a recipe from Cooking Light to make Lentil-Goat Cheese burgers.  Personally, I love this idea!.  She served it with some baby spinach and a lemon vinaigrette adapted from a Orange Tarragon dressing recipe in her Moosewood Low-fat Favorites Cookbook.

 

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Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup dried lentils

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon olive oi

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 ounces goat cheese

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 large egg white, lightly beaten 

1.  Place first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Discard bay leaf. Place lentils in a large bowl; partially mash with a fork. Cool slightly. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly. Add onion mixture, cheese, and remaining ingredients to lentils; stir well to combine. Cover and chill 45 minutes. 

2.  Divide mixture into 3-4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook patties 5 minutes on each side or until done.

 

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Roasted Garlic & Lemon Vinaigrette

1 whole head of roasted garlic (squeeze the cloves out of the skins)

1/4 cup lemon juice

salt & pepper

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp minced fresh tarragon

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1.  Combine garlic cloves and remaining ingredients in a blender, process until smooth and creamy. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.


Kate, from Paved with Good Intentions

Kate took a delicious classic take on the ingredients:  soup and salad.  But boy did she ever jazz up a classic minestrone by adding sausage.  What a delicious sounding soup!

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Sausage and Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

5 links hot italian sausage

7 oz ham, shredded

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp thyme

8 cups chicken broth

1 can whole tomatoes

1/2 lb dried lentils

1 bunch spinach leaves, chopped

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add sausage links and cook until done. Remove sausages from pot, cool, and slice sausages.

2.  Add ham, onions, and green pepper to the pot. Cover and cook 15 minutes.

3.  Add garlic, cumin, and thyme. Cover and cook 5 more minutes.

4.  Add chicken broth, sausage, tomatoes, and lentils. Lower heat, cover, and cook two hours.

5.  Remove from heat, add spinach, and let stand 2 more minutes.

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Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/6 cup olive oil

2 belgian endives

1 bunch spinach

1/2 granny smith apple, sliced into 8 slices

2 oz goat cheese, sliced into 2 rounds

chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat broil. Combine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake to blend.

2.  Add oil and shake again.

3.  Place endive leaves and spinach on plate.

4.  Place slices of apples on broiler pan into two fans. Place round of goat cheese on top of each fan of apples. Broil 5 minutes.

5.  Use spatula to place apples and goat cheese in center of salad. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.


Ms. Feather Flower, from Ms. Feather Flower’s Kitchen:

Ms. Feather is a new blogger and I’m so happy that she joined our challenge!  Her blog focuses on gardening with a section to highlight fresh vegetable recipes.  Hope to see more from her!  She created a spicy baked side or suggests that it could be served over rice for a vegetarian main.  I think it would be a great topping for flatbread or pizza.

 

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Tangy Spinach with Lentils and Goat Cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper

10 oz regular spinach – rinsed, stems removed and cut into 1/2 inch slices (or 1-10 oz bagged baby spinach)

2 cups cooked lentils drained

1 small fresh tomato, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 oz goat cheese 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish.

2. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover and mix in the lentils, tomato, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted, about 4 more minutes.

3. Transfer the spinach to the baking dish and dot with goat cheese, pushing it down into the dish.

4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the goat cheese is lightly browned.

 

Next we have Lisa’s entry from Lime in the Coconut:

Lisa put a Mediterranean twist on the challenge ingredients.  Or at least I like to think so because lentil spreads remind me of delicious hummus and babaganush dips.  You’ll have to check out her blog for detail pictures which will help tremendously when you make her dish.  The roasted garlic head looks amazing!

pccbrus

Goat Cheese and Lentil Bruschetta Topped with Fresh Baby Spinach

1 cup lentils

2 sprigs rosemary

2 small bay leaves

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 head of roasted garlic (to roast the garlic cut off the top, brush it with olive oil and place it in a baking dish. Pour water into the dish so it goes about 1/2 way up the head of garlic. Cover with foil. Preheat your oven to 425 and put in the garlic for about an hour or until soft. Remove, let cool and then squeeze out your soft cloves

juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

1 bag of baby spinach leaves

1 loaf of French baguette

16 oz of spreadable herbed goat cheese (or any variety of goat cheese you like)

 

1.  To make the lentil spread, combine your dry lentils, rosemary, bay leaves, chicken stock and water in a pot and place the lid cocked over top to let steam escape. Turn the burner to medium heat and allow the liquid to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until lentils are tender.

2.  Once lentils are cooked, drain them, remove the bay leaves and the rosemary stems (many of the rosemary leaves will have come off the stems, this is fine it will all get pureed in the food processor. You just have to remove any woody stems.) Place the lentils in a food processor, add your lemon juice, garlic and vinegar and process. Stream in the olive oil as the processor is running until you have a creamy spread-like consistency. Add in salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

3.  Preheat your oven to 350. Slice your baguette in half longways, as if you’re going to make a sandwich with the entire baguette. Once you’ve done that then slice it into 4 in pieces. Drizzle olive oil over each piece, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in your oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until bread is toasted. If it’s warm out you can grill your bread, or if you have an indoor grill you can grill your bread. It was cold outside and I didn’t feel like pulling out my indoor grill pan so I toasted it in the oven. Worked just fine.

4.  Once the bread is toasty, pull it out and spread a layer of goat cheese on each piece.

5.  Then spread a thick layer of lentil spread on each piece.

6.  Finally, top with a handful of baby spinach leaves.

7.  You can place the bruschetta back in the oven for about 3 minutes to wilt the spinach just a bit and warm the spreads.


Finally we have Cookie from Workout then Cook:

In the past month, Cookie has added some great sounding fall seasonal recipes on her blog which everyone should checkout.  For the challenge, Cookie stuffed a pork chop with a delicious sounding goat cheese spinach mixture and served with a light lemon lentil salad.  The pork chop looks fantastic as I love the stuffing idea.  


ppcporkchops

Pork Chops stuffed with Goat Cheese and Spinach

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

2 oz goat cheese, softened

½ tsp grated lemon rind

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 boneless pork chops

 

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.  In medium bowl, mix cheese, mustard, lemon rind and spinach until well blended.

3.  Using a sharp knife, slice pockets into chops by slicing horizontally into the side, and almost through to the other side. Season the outside with salt and pepper. Stuff chops with spinach mixture, allowing stuffing to overflow out of pockets.

4.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops and sear on 1 side until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip chops and cook another 4 minutes until done.

 

Lentil Salad with Lemon Dressing

½ c dried brown lentils

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1.  Cook lentils in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Place in large bowl. Mix in tomatoes.

2.  Whisk together olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Add goat cheese. Transfer salad to serving bowl or platter.

 

So after three days of thinking I’ve finally picked a winner.  And the winner is…Kate from Paved with Good Intentions!  I loved her soup idea and it really fits with the fall season.  She creatively used all of the ingredients in a classic dish.  I really would love to make this soup.  Congratulations!  Be sure to check out her blog and the continuation of the Platinum Chef Challenge.

 

Land Inspired Thai Fried Rice November 23, 2008

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Quick dinners,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 6:42 pm
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thai-fried-rice

I was feeling fried rice and was inspired by my old favorite New York thai restaurant, Land.  Fresh cucumbers and golden raisins and a hint of heat.  Keep the cucumbers sliced very thin or they will overpower the dish. I left the raisins out on my husband’s serving but I love them!  You can make it as spicy as you wish with the chili sauce.  It would be great with a few diced plum tomatoes or pineapple as well.

 

2 tbs. oil (I used olive oil but you could really use any kind)

1/2 tbs. garlic, minced

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 cups cooked white rice

1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch x 1/4 inch pieces

1/4 large red onion, diced

Soy sauce

Serrano chili sauce

1/2 tsp. sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 eggs (I used egg substitute), scrambled (I prefer to scramble the egg in a separate pan and add later)

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 cucumber, sliced thin

 

1.  Add 2 tbs. oil and garlic to pan over medium-high heat, cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  

2.  Add bell pepper and onion and cook until softened.  Increase heat to high and add “two turns around the pan” of the soy sauce and “one turn around the pan” of the chili sauce.  Please excuse the Rachel Ray reference but I forgot to measure while I was making this!  Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  

3.  Fold in rice and eggs and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until well incorporated and rice is slightly browned. Stir in raisins and serve with sliced cucumbers.

 

Smashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives November 19, 2008

Filed under: Side dish,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 8:49 am
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smashed-potatoes

A good quick recipe for hearty mashed potatoes.  I added some butter to boost the flavor.  I subbed the Yukon Gold with Russet and cut out half of the skin to make up for the change in skin texture.  Changes in green.

Source:  Ellie Krieger The Food You Crave

1 1/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 4 medium), left unpeeled (4 medium Russet potatoes, skin half peeled)

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, warmed

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbs. butter

 

1.  Place the potatoes in a steamer basket fitted over a large pot of boiling water.  Cover and steam until the potatoes are knife-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  Hmm I have never thought to steaming potatoes!  Unfortunately, I did not try it to get a review.  I covered potatoes with water and then boiled and cooked potatoes until knifer-tender.

2.  Drain the potatoes and return them to their pot.  Add the warm broth and coarsely mash.  Stir in the sour cream, butter and chives, season with salt and pepper.

 

Tuscan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Filed under: Chicken,Holiday,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 8:47 am
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roasted-chicken

The chicken and vegetables tasted great even with my thyme substitution for the rosemary.  It was really easy to make because there is not too much chopping involved.  Changes in green.

Source:  Ellie Krieger The Food You Crave

6 Roma tomatoes 

3 medium zucchini 

1 bulb fennel (omitted)

2 carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil (4 Tbs.)

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds), skin removed

4 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 4 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (1 tablespoon fresh thyme)

 

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and remove the seeds.  Trim the zucchini and cut it in half crosswise.  Then cut each piece in half lengthwise twice if the piece is thin and three times if it is thicker, so that the pieces are relatively uniform.  Cut carrots into similar size chunks as the zucchini.

3.  Remove the outermost layer of the fennel bulb and discard.  Cut the bulb in half so that each half retains part of the stem end.  Cut each half into 8 think wedges so each wedge is held together by a little piece of stem. (omitted)

4.  Put the vegetables in a large baking dish.  Toss them with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt (and the thyme).  Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan with the vegetables.

5.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 (2) tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, the garlic, and lemon zest and juice.  Rub mixture into the chicken in the pan.  Season with a few turns of pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes, then give the vegetables a stir and add the rosemary (omitted).  Return to oven and roast until the chicken is just cooked all the way through and the vegetables are tender and are beginning to brown.  20 to 30 minutes more.