Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quail & Kale

The Quail:

6 quail,  ½ onion, 1 cup heavy cream, ½ cup white wine,
olive oil, 1-2 T flour, garlic, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper

Season quail with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning:

Cook quail in olive oil until done, turning several times to brown all sides:

My husband thought this was hilarious: quail spa!

Evacuate quail. You should now have some "stuff" in the bottom of the pan:

Add the onions and saute:

Deglaze with white wine, use a metal whisk to scrape all the "stuff" off the bottom of the pan.

Add cream, garlic, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper.

Cook and reduce sauce until thick and bubbly.

(And I missed getting  a picture of the finished sauce!)

The Kale:

Kale,  olive oil, ½ onion, ½ cup chicken stock, garlic, salt, pepper

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken stock and kale.

Cook, tossing frequently, until kale is slightly wilted:

Finished product:

Quail & Kale!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cooking: Greek-a-licious

This is one of my "go-to" meals because I usually keep most of the stuff stocked in my kitchen. It's not "authentic", more along the lines of "Greek inspired", but it's easy and tasty!

Main Ingredients: 1 pound ground lamb, orzo, 1/2 cucumber,
1/2 red onion, grape tomatoes, Greek yogurt, olive oil, feta,
lemon juice, kalamata olives (pitted)

Herbs & Spices: Dill weed, garlic powder, coriander,
cardamom, nutmeg, salt, pepper, garlic, mint.

Tzatziki sauce:

  • ~2 cups Greek yogurt (drain in a cheesecloth if desired)
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled & shredded
  • lemon juice
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • dill weed
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
(I just do it "to-taste", so I don't have any measurements.).

Shred the cucumber early, so you can drain some of the water out of it.

Brown the lamb meat until about half way done. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are soft and meat is fully browned.

While the meat is browning, cook the ozro according to package directions.

The plate: Ozro, lamb meat, tzatziki sauce, halved grape tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives, feta cheese crumbles, and torn mint leaves.

This was enough for 2 meals!
I took leftovers for my work-lunch the next day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cooking: Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Gruyere Cheese

2 acorn squash, ½ onion, 1½ cups almonds (or bread crumbs),
1 pound sage-flavored pork sausage, 4 cups spinach,
¼ cup sherry, 1 cup shredded Gruyere (or swiss) cheese,
olive oil, spinach, salt

Slice each squash in half horizontally; scoop out the seeds. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half to allow the squash to sit flat.

Drizzle squash flesh with oil; sprinkle with salt. Place squash halfs on a baking sheet, flesh side down.

Roast squash in a  425° oven 15 minutes. Flip squash and roast 10 minutes more. Remove squash from oven.

If using almonds, put them in a food processor until they have turned almost into a powder:

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage to skillet. Brown sausage about 8-10 minutes. Add onion to sausage in skillet; cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

Deglaze skillet with sherry; simmer mixture until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach to skillet; stir and toss until spinach leaves are wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat; stir in almonds (or bread crumbs) and ¾ cup of the Gruyere.

Scoop 1 cup of the sausage mixture into each squash half. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere over sausage mixture.

Return stuffed squash to the baking sheet. Heat broiler to high and place an over rack 2 inches below broiler. Place squash under the broiler until Gruyere melts, 2-3 minutes.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.

And don't forgot about the squash seeds! Make some Roasted Squash Seeds.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cooking: Portabella Pizzas

Another Pinterest find, portabella pizzas!

4 portabella mushrooms, 4 roma tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 leek,
1 lemon (juice), garlic, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese,
olive oil, salt

Chop and saute the onion in olive oil

Chop the leek and roma tomatoes, mince the garlic, add to the pan with the onion.

Saute until soft. Then add basil and lemon juice.

Split the mixture between the 4 mushrooms. Top with fresh-grated parmesan.

Bake for 12 minutes at 400°.

Top with parsley before serving.
These were excellent! And I never would have thought to use leeks on pizza! You have to eat them with a fork though, they aren't easily picked up.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cooking: Chicken Enchilada Soup

I wasn't quite sold on any of the chicken enchilada soups I found recipes for, so I made my own recipe!

  • 1 package boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 package boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar and pepper jack)
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • chipotle chile powder
  • ancho chile powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Part 1: Chick N Veg

Chicken (I used a mix of thighs and breasts), onion,
can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, can of diced green chiles,
red bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, salt & pepper.
Chop the onion and fresh peppers. Put all ingredients into the crock pot for 3-4 hrs on high (or 6-8 hours on low).

Into the crock pot

After cooking for allotted time

Remove the chicken and use 2 forks to shred it

Part 2: Let's get cheesy!

Heavy cream (2 cups), butter (1/2 stick),  flour (2-3 T),
shredded cheddar & pepper jack (4 cups),
enchilada sauce (2 cups, not pictured)
Melt better in a pot over medium heat. Then stir in flour.

Slowly whisk in cream. Keep whisking until all cream has been added and the mixture has thickened.

Add cheese, melting it in as you go. It will be very thick at this point.

Add the the enchilada sauce, vegetables (including liquid) from the crock pot, and the shredded chicken. If the soup is still too thick, add a little bit of chicken stock until it's the desired consistency.

Part 3: Spice it up!

I used 2 different chile powders (ancho & chipotle) to add depth.
I also added garlic and pepper. Add spices to your taste.

I froze this soup to take to Day-After-Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. It froze and thawed very well!

Ready to freeze
Reheated and ready to eat!

Things to do different next time:
  • Add a can of black beans. (I actually meant to do this, but forgot!)
  • Add another jalapeno and some cayenne pepper (I was making this mild because some of my family members don't do spicy food.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cooking: Spicy Peppered Jerky

This is my husband's recipe!
And the first "Husband Feature" on my blog, keep your eyes out for more in the future!

Ingredients: Beef eye of round, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce,
Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, granulated garlic,
onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper
salt, pepper 

Trim all the fat off the beef.

Our dogs love this part, they get the scraps :)

This is what it should look like when you're done:

Slice the meat into ¼ inch slices.

Mix together the can of chipotle adobo peppers (diced), 2 teaspoons granulated garlic, 2 teaspoons onion power, 4 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Marinate the meat in this mixture overnight in the fridge.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels (else you'll have wet clumps of spices on your finished product).

Put meat in food dehydrator and pat with fresh ground pepper.

Dry for 8 hours in the food dehydrator. Don't dry it for too long, else it will be too dry and brittle, it should have a slight chewiness to it.

Finished product: