Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Seafood Stuffed Peppers June 28, 2012

Filed under: Fish,Leftovers,Quick and Easy,Seafood — hmills96 @ 6:48 pm

It is 106 degrees today in Indy. 106!!!! The next 7 days are supposed to be over 100 degrees. This is craziness. I’m starting to think someone switched my Hoosier State with Arizona. It’s so dry–I’m not sure I have ever experienced a dry heat like this. It usually gets pretty hot in August, but we have storms every other day to balance things out. I couldn’t tell you the last time it rained here. The grass looks like straw, and the rumor is that the 4th of July fireworks are going to be cancelled.

So of course, what do I do when it’s hot? Turn on the stove and the oven. Yeah…great plan Haley. But, today was really stressful, and that means it was kitchen playtime. I had sauteed an extra bass filet the other night and it needed to be eaten, and my bell pepper was begging to be roasted. This was really great, much more my style than rice stuffed peppers. You could use anchovies in this, if that’s your style, or salmon. Really any seafood. These quite spicy enough for me, I’ll maybe add sriracha or cayenne to it next time.

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Seafood Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Cooks.com

1 bell pepper, cored and seeded
Olive Oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Cooked fish of any kind
Your choice of herbs, minced (I used basil and dill)
Red Pepper flakes
1/2-1 cup breadcrumbs (I used crackers)
1 egg, beaten with 2 TBSP warm water
1 cup cheese (I used Italian Blend, again, use what you like)

Preheat broiler.

Sautee garlic in oil. Add flaked fish, herbs, and crumbs. Cook for two minutes.

Stir in beaten egg. Add cheese, and more water if needed to make a soft mixture.

Stuff peppers with egg mixture.

Place back in pan, and roast under broiler until peppers are starting to blacken.

Remove and enjoy!

You could definitely roast these in a baking pan if you were doing multiples. Or make the filling ahead of time, freeze, and then stuff and roast the peppers as you want them. Or these would be great on a grill! Gotta love flexible recipes!

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Crockpot Lean Pork Roast July 11, 2011

I have some big plans for my future. I can’t tell you what they are yet, only that I could use some prayers, thoughts, etc for the next several months. I’ll let you guys in to my secret as soon as I know what’s going to happen!

Part of this new plan is to lose weight. I need to lose 10 pounds at first, but want to lose 20 altogether. I started this plan Tuesday, and I’ve already lost 5 pounds!

I’m doing the Slimfast 123 plan, which is working really well. I’m doing a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, a slimfast shake at lunch, and some kind of meal in the evening. I usually stick a slimfast bar in there somewhere as a snack.

My biggest struggle with this diet is the variety. It’s a LOT of sweets during the day, and I’ve never been a HUGE sweets person. Occasionally yes, but I much prefer more savory foods. By the time I get home at night, I crave real protein. So yesterday I decided to braise a lean pork shoulder so that I could have some good things in the evening. This recipe is more of a how-to than anything. there isn’t much to the marinade–just a few things to tenderize the meat and bring out the flavor of the pork. I’ll use the meat to make tacos, pulled pork sandwiches (on lowfat bread and with a vinegar based sauce instead of a heavier one), etc etc.

Crockpot Lean Pork Roast
Original Recipe

1 lean pork shoulder
1 can light beer
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp mustard
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 large onion, quartered
Dry rub of your choice
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock

Trim most of the fat off of the shoulder. It’s ok to leave some, it will keep the meat moist. But mine came with a good 1/2″ of fat on one side…that’s too much!

In a large plastic bag, combine all ingredients, excepting the pork and onions. Add the pork and marinate overnight (or at least 4 hours).

Remove pork from marinade and pat dry with a papertowel. Rub on all sides with your favorite dry rub. Brown on all sides in a medium skillet over medium high heat.

Place in crockpot with onions, wine and chicken stock, and turn crockpot on medium low (mine is the 8 hour setting. Cover, and let it do it’s thing for 6-8 hours.

The meat should be fall off the bone tender when it is done. Literally. The shoulder bone was completely separated when the pork was done cooking. Use two forks to pull the pork apart. Use for anything!

 

Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken December 6, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,comfort food,Leftovers — hmills96 @ 8:18 pm

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times:  I LOVE ROAST CHICKEN! You’ll never find a juicier way to eat poultry than roasting the whole bird. And the skin. OOOOOOOOOOH the skin.

Anytime I find a new roast chicken recipe, I have to pull it. I liked the look of Thomas Keller’s because it was so simple. This recipe was made to bring out the flavor of the chicken. No frills. It’s a great recipe to use if this is your first time doing a whole chicken.

Unfortunately, the chicken I got was not that great. It was small, and just not the best quality. Plus, I had bought it before Thanksgiving, and realized I wasn’t going to have time to cook it, so I had to freeze it. There just was not as much flavor in it as there should of been. I’ll probably try this recipe again but I’ll go back to buying the chicken I usually get.

Thomas Keller’s Simple Roast Chicken
Adapted from Sticky, Gooey, Chewy, Creamy

Whole chicken
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 sprigs of thyme, minced
Butter

Preheat oven to 450.

Rinse the chicken, then dry it really well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the cavity, and if needed, truss the bird (some already come tied). Make sure to tuck the wings underneath.

Salt the whole chicken, making sure to get a uniform coating. Sprinkle with pepper.

Place the chicken in your roasting pan. Do not baste the chicken while it’s cooking. Just leave it alone for about 1 hour, then add the thyme. Continue roasting until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165.

Just before carving, slather the meat with butter. This part’s optional, but it was a good idea for my low quality bird. You can also turn the pan drippings into gravy!

*****If you have a lot of leftovers, like I did, don’t throw them out! I chopped them up into bite-sized “cubes” and stored them in freezer bags (1 cup in each bag). I now have 3 cups of frozen chicken for the next time I want to make buffalo chicken dip (or chicken soup or chicken salad or whatever YOU do with already cooked chicken)!

 

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken October 3, 2010

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, well, you’re probably thinking, OK HALEY ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

You also know that I’ve been SUPER productive this weekend. I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy. Operation Take Back My House. The mess had literally taken over and it had gotten to the point where I had just given up. I started cleaning yesterday around 9 and did not stop until about 4 pm today. I still have a little bit to do before my mom will be allowed in the house, but the MAJOR stuff is done, the hard stuff.

While I was working on the kitchen yesterday, I also decided that I would make a pot of stock. My stash had run out and I was using the boxed stuff, so a batch was way overdue. (I also made a jar of homemade BBQ sauce, but that really has nothing to do with this post, other than it was one more thing that I did haha!)

I had planned on making a huge pot of chili to freeze in smaller batches. Since I’m only feeding myself now, most nights I don’t feel like cooking a huge meal. I want to have easy meals on hand so I can just make something quick. But, since I had a bunch of fresh stock, I changed my plan and made a pot of this soup instead. It was good, but a little bland. Next time I’ll add more than just thyme, and maybe some Worcestershire.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
Adapted From Cooking Light October 2010

4 cups chicken broth
1 package quick-cooking wild rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup carrots, matchstick-cut
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp butter
2 packages shiitake mushrooms
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil 1 1/3 cup broth in medium sauce pan. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over med high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and thyme; saute 3 minutes. Stir in butter and mushrooms, saute 3 more minutes.

Add remaining broth, rice, chicken, salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes more.

 

Udon Noodle Soup September 25, 2010

Oh my GOD you guys. The soup I am eating right now. I couldn’t even wait until I finished eating to write about it. My bowl sits in front of me, half finished. I pause every few sentences to slurp down another noodle. Make this recipe. Lunch, dinner. Hell, I had made it at 10 am in the morning.

Yes, I made Udon soup for breakfast. I have been seriously craving Asian food in the mornings lately. I don’t know if it’s watching Anthony Bourdain gulp down bowls of Pho in the early hours or reading of the savory broths Asian cultures often serve for the first meal, but cereal has lost it’s appeal. Unfortunately, in Indiana, it’s not so easy to find hot and sour soup at 7 am.

I’m not alone either. The Kitchn just featured an article this week about having Miso soup for breakfast. When I read that yesterday, I knew I could resist no longer. So this morning, when I woke up with that craving, I had to create something. Luckily, I had made homemade ramen a few weeks ago, so I still had some (albeit, a little frozen from being stuck in the back of my crisper) Chinese cabbage and ginger. I also had some Udon noodles! I EVEN had one more container of my homemade chicken stock, just waiting for soup from scratch.

Guys, this is seriously good. My version may not be the most traditional. It should be made with dashi stock, and I’d love to have some mushrooms and eggs (of which I was unfortunately out). But, this may have been the best breakfast I’ve ever had. And anyone who knows me knows that I do NOT eat breakfast. I will be doing this again. I might make it ahead of time to keep in the fridge.

Oh, and if you would rather eat a strawberry poptart every morning with a Diet Coke (hehe, you know who you are. I love you.), all the power to you. But make this for lunch at least.

Udon Noodle Soup
Adapted from The Kitchn

2-3 cups chicken stock
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp diced ginger
1 package udon noodles
1 cup bok choy or Chinese cabbage
1 small shallot, diced
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha sauce, optional

In medium pot, simmer stock. Add cinnamon and ginger and simmer for 1 minute.

Add noodles and cabbage, cook for 2 minutes.

Add rest of ingredients, cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.

**Note–If you want to add an egg or two, add to stock just before it comes to a simmer, cook for two minutes before adding noodles and cabbage. Be gentle when adding the other ingredients so you do not break the eggs.

 

Crockpot Comfort November 5, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,crockpot,Freezer Meals,Leftovers,NaBloWriMo,soup — hmills96 @ 1:11 am

What a long, horrible day. I am a chronic migraine sufferer and have been since middle school. After they put me in the emergency room this year, I finally made an appointment with a great neurologist who specializes in migraines and he put me on some preventative medication that has helped tremendously. And I had to give up caffeine, which was devastating to this coffee addict! I’ve also been seeing a chiropractor once a week to help with the stress on my neck and shoulders–a lot of my migraines start with the tension in that area.

Still, a few times a month I still get migraines, I don’t think you can ever truly be rid of them. Things like stress or weather are my main triggers. Today one hit me sooo hard. It was a miserable day. I couldn’t concentrate, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. Unfortunately, I had to keep working, I’m not one to call in sick.
Not only that, I knew I would have to do a blog post tonight, and I needed a recipe. Which meant I had to make something for dinner. So on my lunch break, I ran home, and threw this in the crockpot. Whoever invented that wonderful appliance deserves a throne. Seriously. Some days there is just nothing better than a crockpot.
I followed the directions on this one. It’s nothing fancy, just comfy, warm soup. It’s not spicy as is, but you could turn up the heat by adding jalepenos instead of red peppers, or using a spicier enchilada sauce than I did. I’ve also seen versions of this with nacho cheese condensed soup instead of cream of chicken, and it’s wonderful like that.
Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted but I don’t think it made a difference here)
1 10 oz package frozen corn
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup milk (Ours was spoiled, ugh, but I had 3/4 pint of heavy cream so I used that instead)
2 whole chicken breasts
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
In Crockpot, combine all ingredients. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 on low.
Remove chicken and shred. Put back in soup.
Serve with cheese on top.
Also good with sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips.
Note: This makes a ton–I kept some in the fridge for the next few lunches, and then packed the rest in individual freezer containers. Who needs Stouffer’s when you can make your own microwaveable meal?
 

Leftovers for Lunch! October 3, 2009

Filed under: Chicken,Fruit,Herbs,Leftovers,My Recipes,Salad — hmills96 @ 12:00 am

I recently fell in love with French cooking. Or rather, the idea of French cooking. More specifically, Julia Child’s French cooking. I read Julie & Julia, then My Life in France. I just fell in love with Julia’s world, most of all, the food. I’ve been dying to move into our house and get my kitchen situated so I could learn to cook like her. I’m going to ask for her book for my birthday, and a Le Creuset French Oven for Christmas.

I don’t think I’m going to try her aspics though. *shudder* Sorry Julia.
I came across this crockpot recipe and I was so excited! I knew it wasn’t EXACTLY coq au vin, but I thought it would be pretty close, and something that I could let simmer all day while I was at work.
However, I was impatient and didn’t take the skins off the chicken, so the broth was suuuuuper greasy, and full of slimy skin. Ooooops! Not exactly appetizing. The dish was kind of bland, it needed more veggies, maybe some carrots and carrots. Something to give it texture.
Because it wasn’t exactly a hit, we had a ton of chicken leftover. I hated to throw it away, so I pulled the larger chunks of chicken out and put it in the fridge for the night. The next afternoon I made a rockin’ chicken salad with the ingredients of my fridge.
Fruity Chicken Salad
2-3 Cups shredded chicken breast
1 cup halved red grapes
1 diced apple (I like Honeycrisp)
1/2 -1cup Mayo (I don’t like much, just enough to hold everything together)
Sundried Tomato Spice Blend
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Salt
Handful Fresh Dill and Parsley, torn