Monday, February 28, 2011

Fresh-Mex Salsa

Julie’s Fresh-Mex Salsa


Ingredients:
All of these quantities are approximate!

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (although cherry or romas would be fine, too)
  • 1 lg handful mixed red and green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lg handful red onion, chopped
  • 2 lg jalepeno peppers, rough chopped WITH seeds (Serranos good)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • handful fresh cilantro, rough chopped or scissor cut
  • 2 juice from large limes, slightly warmed in the microwave first to make them juicier
  • to taste salt
Method:
this is the 5 minute version!!
Put all of it in the food processor and let’r rip until smooth!  Adjust any of the tastes to your liking.

Makes 2 cups of fresh salsa.   This is a favorite of Nicholas and Brady's in the summer.

Tip -
For a different taste, but longer prep... try roasting the tomatoes in the oven first.   

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa
All of these quantities are a guess… because I didn’t measure. Imagine that!

Ingredients:

1 jar chopped mangos from the jar
¼ red bell pepper, finely chopped¼ green bell pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup red onion
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp salt to taste
1 large jalepeno pepper
1 juice from large lime
handful fresh cilantro

Really great with spicy grilled shrimp tacos!

Mahogany Glazed Chicken


My kids ask for this one when they want to cook something special for someone.  It's super easy and has big bold flavors.  Aren't we always looking for something new to do with chicken?

There are lots of ways for you to get this awesome recipe!  You can click on the embedded video below without leaving the page, or click HERE to open the video in YouTube. 


You can also Click Here for a Printable Recipe that you can take to the grocery store with you!

Ingredients:
  • chicken breasts (or breasts and thighs - whatever combination you prefer)
  • 5-6 Tbsp Apricot preserves
  • 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1- 1 1/2  tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1-2 mandarin orange "fruit cups"




Step-by-step:
Preheat oven to 450oF. If using bone-on chicken, place chicken pieces bone side down in pan.  Otherwise, arrange in a baking dish.

In small bowl, stir preserves, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and Dijon until blended.

The glaze "players":
5-6 Tbsp apricot preserves, 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2-3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 tsp ginger, 4 tsp Dijon mustard
To grate the ginger, the edge of a spoon works great!  Afterwards, place the ginger in a zip top bag and toss in the freezer.
Grate the ginger
1  1/2 tsp ginger
The glaze - you just HAVE to taste this!
Pour broth around chicken in the pan.
1 cup chicken broth
Brush one–third of glaze over chicken pieces.
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast chicken pieces 10 minutes, then brush with half of remaining glaze. Repeat every 10 minutes glazing pieces until thermometer inserted into meat (without touching bone) reaches 165oF.
Remove chicken pieces to a plate and let stand at least 5 minutes so juices can redistribute.
While chicken is resting, stir pan drippings over stove to thicken and reduce.  You can add a little cornstarch to cold water and add to drippings if they are not thickening.

When sauce is consistency that you want, add about 2 handfuls of oranges (optional). Pour over chicken and serve.
1 - 2 mandarin orange "fruit cups"
 


Food Notes:  If you prefer, you can also use 2/3 of a navel orange, peeled and white pith removed, coarsely chopped.  The mandarin orange snack pack is less time, less prep, and less cleanup.
For this version, I minced the ginger small rather than grating.
If you prefer bone-on chicken, the cooking time will be extended a bit, and the glaze on the chicken will be a little more caramelized.  Totally up to the preferences of your family.

Different cooking versions..
This is the skin on, bone-in version.
  • The rice that I used here was the perfect accompaniment to this dish.  
    • It was a box of rice pilaf, with the addition of:  
      • about 1/3 cup chopped pineapple
      • 1 Tbsp grated/chopped fresh ginger
      • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
      • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
      • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can).
All the ingredients were added in the beginning when I added the rice, so that they would cook along with it.  The only "pre-cooking" was to put the chopped onions in a small dish in the microwave for one minute ahead of time.  Everything else was added raw.
This is a very flavorful and healthy meal that really satisfies.  There are exotic tastes of the Orient and down home comfort tastes of home all at the same time.

 
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!  There are lots more where this came from!  Why don't you hop on over to my Recipe Index and see what else I have up my sleeve!  And if you are new to my blog, you can Click Here to Subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing!

Now, as usual, here are some "bonus recipes" for you.  Just click the links to go there.





Method:
Preheat oven to 450oF.  If using bone-on chicken, place chicken pieces bone side down in pan.  Otherwise, arrange in a baking dish.  
In small bowl, stir preserves, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and Dijon until blended.   Pour broth around chicken in the pan.  Brush one–third of glaze over chicken pieces.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.   Roast chicken pieces 10 minutes, then brush with half of remaining glaze. Repeat every 10 minutes glazing pieces until thermometer inserted into meat (without touching bone) reaches 165oF.

Remove chicken pieces to a plate and let stand at least 5 minutes so juices can redistribute.   While chicken is resting, stir pan drippings over stove to thicken and reduce.  You can add a little cornstarch to cold water and add to drippings if they are not thickening.  When sauce is consistency that you want, add about 2 handfuls of oranges (optional). Pour over chicken and serve.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Shrimp & Corn Soup

This recipe originally came from "Connie" the lady down in Cocodrie, LA.
Makes 8-10 cups.


1. Saute:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2. Add
- 2 cans creamed corn
- 1 can diced rotel tomatoes
- 2 pounds shrimp (60-70 size)
* Place on medium heat and bring to boil until shrimp are cooked (8-10 min)

3. Add
- 1 pt half and half
- 1 pt whipping cream
* Heat on low until hot.

4. Add
- 1 lb Velveeta cheese
* Stir and heat until cheese is melted.

5. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
* If soup is too watery at this point, bring up to a boil for a few minutes to thicken.
* Add a can of whole kernel corn to soup for extra “corn” texture.


6. Garnish
- Chopped green onions or parley.

Julie Vining Smith

Looking for more great recipes?
Please visit my Recipe Index for more awesome recipes to cook with/for your family.  Here are a few to get you thinking... 




Making Homemade Ravioli - Fried with Marinara


I got the notion to make homemade ravioli .... totally from scratch, on New Year's Eve. 


HOMEMADE PASTA

Ingredients:
2 1/3 cup  flour
1/2 tsp      salt
2 beaten    eggs
1/2 c.        water
1 tsp.        extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
In mixing bowl stir together 2 cups flour and salt. Make a well in center.  Combine eggs, water and olive oil. Add to flour. Mix well.  Sprinkle kneading surface with flour. Knead until dough is smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. 

For step-by-step photo directions of making the pasta dough, click on my Making Fresh Pasta link.

Then separate the dough (into three or four pieces) and run it through a pasta machine starting on the widest setting.  Run it through each setting once or twice until it's silky, then continually change the settings.  You many need to cut the dough again with scissors if it gets too long.  The thinnest setting I use is the second to smallest one... if it's TOO thin, it won't hold up for a filling.

I filled the ravioli with about a teaspoon of filling, which consisted of:  ricotta cheese, Parmigiano reggiano cheese, spinach (squeeze ALL the liquid out), an egg, salt and pepper and a tiny bit of grated nutmeg.  Using a pastry brush, wet the edges of the pasta before adding the second layer so that it will stick together.  You MUST press out all the air in the ravioli - or they may burst during the cooking.
Freshly filled ravioli


The ravioli can be cooked immediately or frozen in a zip-top bag until needed.  They only need to boil 3 - 4 minutes (they will float) because there are no preservatives in them.

They are great in a brown butter sauce with toasted walnuts, or also breaded (egg wash, then Italian breadcrumbs), fried, and served with marinara sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese and a little basil.  Yumm!   Click on this link to make Homemade Marinara.
Fried with Marinara
 And of course, the rest of the ravioli can be used in so many ways.  Here is another thing I did with them.
Sauteed with a brown butter sauce, roasted tomatoes and toasted walnuts

Please visit my Recipe Index for more soups and lots of different ideas to cook with/for your family!   Here are a few different things:




Chicken Piccata with Sundried Tomatoes



Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth (Swanson’s low sodium chicken broth)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup white wine, chilled  (a medium to dry wine – not sweet)
2 Tbsp capers, drained

2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp cold butter (for sauce)
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped (optional for garnish)
1 fresh lemon for garnish
½ - 1 cup heavy whipping cream
variable flour
to taste salt and pepper
linguini pasta

Method:

Slice chicken breasts diagonally into medallions (~ 3-4 each). Pound medallions between plastic wrap until very thin and even thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Saute chicken in butter and olive oil on med-high to high heat 2-3 minutes on each side till light brown. They cook pretty fast since they are so thin. Remove and keep warm. (You don’t want to crowd the pan, so it takes a few pans full to get it all done.)

[At this point, you can start heating your water for the linguini. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions, about 10 - 11 min.]

On med-high heat, add wine (deglaze) to pan that the chicken was cooked in and reduce. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, capers, and sundried tomatoes. Reduce by ½ and thicken with cold butter and whipping cream. Adjust seasonings and add chicken back to sauce. Plate the chicken over boiled and drained linguini with sauce, parsley, and thinly cut lemon slices for garnish.

Comments:
• Pairs nicely with Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (New Zealand). Excellent with roasted asparagus as a side dish!

For a Step-by-Step photo tutorial of making this, visit my newer post of this Creamy Chicken Piccata.  
Looking for more great recipes?
Please visit my Recipe Index for more awesome recipes to cook with/for your family.  Here are a few to get you thinking... 




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