Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swiss Chard, Chicken, and Leek Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

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If you've got a big pile of Swiss chard available (please note I could have written 'to use up' but opted against it because chard in this dish is something wonderful, not something to use up) read on.

Bonus if you've got some leeks.

If you prefer not to eat chicken, try Lauren at Gourmet Veggie Mama's Chard Enchilada recipe or Michael at Herbivoracious' gorgeous Chard Enchilada recipe (where I was inspired to throw cilantro and red onion on top of my finished dish).

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

This recipe turned a big bag of Swiss chard and two fat leeks from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, plus some leftover roasted chicken--hanging out like a bored teen in the summer--into a cheesy and satisfying summer supper.

Swiss chard, chicken, and leeks fill these summer enchiladas, flavored with green chiles and slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce.

It all started with this enchilada sauce recipe from Andrea of Recipes for Divine Living.  I figured I'd use some put-up slow-roasted tomatoes in place of canned, and I made a whole mess of sauce.  Half go it went into Confetti Turkey Enchiladas and the other half went into a quart jar in the freezer.  When Lauren mentioned her chard enchiladas the same day we got our CSA pick up my mind started considering my options.  I thawed the jar overnight in the fridge and corralled my bored teen to help chop, and we had a great dinner.

For more recipes using leeks, please see my Recipes Using Leeks collection. For more recipes using Swiss chard, please see my Swiss Chard Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Chinese Cabbage and Chicken Roll Ups

Ground chicken, Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms with hoisin sauce, rolled up Mu Shu style. This recipe can be served to vegetarians and omnivores alike because the meat is cooked separately from the vegetable filling.

Ground chicken, Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms with hoisin sauce, rolled up Mu Shu style. This recipe can be served to vegetarians and omnivores alike because the meat is cooked separately from the vegetable filling.

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This is a good meal to fix if you're serving non-meat eaters as well as meat eaters, as the chicken is cooked separately and could even be left out altogether.

I could call this a faux Mu Shu style dish but I really don't want the Mu Shu Police on my case, so let's just go with this title.  I had a lovely Chinese cabbage, carrots, and onions from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.  Ground chicken was marked down, and I'd made a trip to the CAM International market because was sled hockey season.

Ground chicken, Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms with hoisin sauce, rolled up Mu Shu style. This recipe can be served to vegetarians and omnivores alike because the meat is cooked separately from the vegetable filling.

When you have nearly all the ingredients for a Mu Shu, why not make something close to it?  To make this Fast from the Farm Share I opted to have 2 skillets going, but if you'd prefer to do fewer dishes and have more time to spend making dinner, have at it.

Ground chicken, Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms with hoisin sauce, rolled up Mu Shu style. This recipe can be served to vegetarians and omnivores alike because the meat is cooked separately from the vegetable filling.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option)

A comforting soup of simply celery and rice, flexible for multiple eating styles and cooking styles

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Want to add more vegetables to your daily life? Do you think celery is underutilized in your kitchen? If so, read on for an easy soup--including a slow cooker option if you'd like to use that. This can be a vegetarian or omnivore soup--I've made it with vegetable stock as well as chicken stock--and appeals to my kids in a way that ants on a log never did. [Um, that's our term for a celery stick spread with peanut butter and dotted with raisins, just in case you were thinking I'm feeding my kids ants deliberately. Accidental ants I'm not responsible for.]

I'm not a huge fan of celery, so when my regrown celery resulted in an overabundance in the garden plot [shown below with one of my garden assistants, Simon] I scrambled around looking for ways to enjoy it.  Sure, I'm happy to stretch meat by adding chopped celery (and onions, carrots, peppers, or shredded squash) into my recipes for tacos, burgers, or meatloaf.  But I wanted to try some other ideas.  After all, celery from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--or in this case from my garden--actually has a delicious CELERY flavor that I've never really tasted with store bought celery.  Who knew? While scanning the cookbook shelves at the library I saw a recipe for celery rice soup.  I didn't have any of the ingredients, other than celery and rice, so I didn't take note of the cookbook name, I re-shelved and moved on, but the recipe idea stuck with me.

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

Later in the week we were feeling run down, and celery rice soup seemed like a comforting idea.  It was good enough that I made it again a week later.  I've tried this with both yellow onions and leeks.  I bet it would also be good with shallots, so any alliums you've got on hand--use them.  We preferred this with chicken stock and chopped cooked chicken, but I could see taking it in a different direction--soy chorizo for vegetarians?  It's fairly . . . I won't say bland, but I will say it's not crazy seasoned like Ma Po Tofu [I got a jar of Ma Po Tofu sauce in my Christmas stocking and I'm looking forward to trying it--with celery].  This soup is just nice, basic, easy, and no frills--good for warming your belly on a cold day. And good for using up an abundance of celery.  Speaking of abundance . . . here's what I was dealing with when I made it:

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

For other ways to use celery, please see my Celery Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For ways to Use This Blog, please click here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza

Do you love cheesy, gooey, spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip?  Yeah, we do here, too--so I created a Friday Night Pizza Night/Game Day Snack mashup for this week's pizza

Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Thank my son for this creation.  His favorite game day snack is Buffalo chicken dip.  When I made my first Buffalo Chicken Pizza, I was more interested in getting the flavor of Buffalo chicken and still creating a somewhat . . . well, not an over-the-top decadent cheese-fest like this pizza is. (I try and stay away from subjective adjectives like "healthy" but this pizza is definitely not healthy.)

You may notice that this this pizza is on a green crust.  Don't be fooled into thinking that I'm sharing a new crust in addition to this gooey topping.  I'm not.  Been there, done that with the Buttermilk Pesto Pizza Crust.
The pizza crust shown, spinach wheat, is not yet ready for prime time.  I recommend using any of the crusts listed in my Visual Pizza Recipe Index or buying a ball of pizza dough or a Boboli® or other pre-baked shell.  Whatever works for you.
But do add the chopped celery after baking--the cool crunch is a wonderful contrast to the gooey, cheesy, topping.  I nearly forgot (good thing I'd chopped the celery when I did the veggies for the other pizza--so the celery was sitting on the cutting board saying "hello!" like a wee wiener dog wanting attention).

Buffalo Chicken Dip Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts
Oliver, on the left, with Simon and Christmas squeaky toys
Fresh Mozzarella Note:  I have a habit of buying fresh mozzarella logs at the fancy cheese counter when I see the magical markdown stickers.  While fontina remains my favorite pizza cheese, fresh mozzarella is my second choice.  I hoard cheese, a little bit, and freeze my extra booty.  If you are also a fresh mozzarella hoarder and will use previously frozen mozzarella for your pizza, it will weep some water in the oven while it melts.  To counteract this, as soon as the crust is done (about 8 minutes usually for me) I move the pizza up under the broiler and broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly.  This usually evaporates the extra liquid.  Using shredded (not fresh) mozzarella avoids this, though the end result is less gooey.  And I wanted serious gooeyness on this pizza.

For other recipes using celery, please see my Celery Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've got more pizza recipes on my Visual Pizza Recipe Index. Want to know How to Use This Blog? Click here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chicken Spaghetti Pizza

Shredded, cooked chicken and chunky spaghetti sauce topped with fresh mozzarella

Chicken Spaghetti Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

I've been reading about comfort foods recently.   Jen's round up at Savory Simple  and Julie's round up at Texan New Yorker have me drooling and plotting what to make with and without my Strategic Winter Squash Reserve.  The weather is cold, it's icy out (the wiener dogs are ALL BUSINESS on walks, whereas Simon the Lab mix is prone to frolicking) and it just feels good to cocoon at home.  Who am I kidding?  I always like to cocoon at home!

It's funny, when I reflect back on the foods I liked growing up, how many of what were 'frugal' meals (we called them 'cheap night' dinners), are the ones I remember fondly.  In fact, a dish of sautéed beet greens is my version of mom's Swiss chard side dish.  We probably ate it because we grew Swiss chard in the garden and therefore it was less expensive (and more delicious, and nutritious) than buying vegetables in the store--but to me it's pure comfort food.

One of those memorable meals is Chicken Spaghetti.  I haven't made it in years--but Mom emailed me the recipe . . . um, twice (I'm a bit distracted) . . . and I will.  Before I do, though, I can share this pizza.  I was looking through the fridge for something to top our Friday Night Pizza Night when I realized we had both leftover chicken and leftover spaghetti sauce.
My friend Miho once said I had a fridge like Aunt Dorothy--you could find such a variety of leftovers.  Although I'd never met Aunt Dorothy, I do have an astonishing variety of leftovers almost all the time.  I even sent a full--leftover--Thanksgiving meal to folks who unexpectedly ended up in the hospital during a vacation in our city.  In April.  No, the leftovers were not 6 months old, nor was I blogging and shooting photos ahead of time.  I'd fixed a Thanksgiving meal for the spouse after a deployment.
Back to pizza.  Why not a Chicken Spaghetti Pizza?  It's a comfort food that tastes wonderful and uses up leftovers as well.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy

Cranberries, sage, and red onion flavor ground chicken in meatballs served with cranberry gravy

Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy | Farm Fresh Feasts

My spouse used to buy CDs and books based on the covers (you know, in the days pre-online shopping, when you'd physically scan the shelves and pick up what caught your eye).  He discovered Willy Porter's Dog Eared Dream (Amazon affiliate link) that way (cute dog on the cover).  He also found a cooking with fruit cookbook (which, sadly, has been lost in the many moves).  I always intended to use that book to add more fruit to savory dishes, but it never really caught on with me.

I have a taste memory of a wonderful chicken schnitzel melba (chicken, peaches, brown gravy) from Restaurant Paltzer in Spangdahlem, Germany that is my Gold Standard for a savory, fruit-and-meat entree.  I'm still working on the recipe for that (though my German coworker is helping!), but since it's getting on to cranberry season and I'm all about eating with the seasons (or putting up produce while it is in season to eat later) I'll share these cranberry chicken meatballs.

Even though I tend to stock a lot of local ground beef in my freezer, I am not immune to a good deal on ground chicken at the grocery store.  I had chopped cranberries (from these muffins) and some red onions and sage from the farm share.  The family was pretty pleased at the thought of chicken and noodles for dinner.  Perhaps they were happy about a pink meal that didn't contain beets. Even though I had 2 burners and the oven going, this meal wasn't that much plate-spinning effort.  I threw the meatballs together and chucked them into the oven, freeing up my hands to make the gravy while the noodles and meatballs were doing their own thing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust

Chicken, leeks, and herbed cream cheese on a tender sweet potato pizza crust.

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Changing it up again--recipe first, words later, because I'd like to share below how I store some crops from the garden and the CSA farm share.  One long term storage crop is sweet potatoes.  I've made pizza crusts from (links to my other recipes) shredded butternut squash, roasted or shredded beets, steamed spinach and steamed kale.  Why not sweet potato?  Just like the addition of sweet potato to biscuits results in a tender crumb, adding it to pizza crust results in a tender, flavorful crust.  I made a triple batch of dough and will share have shared my creations throughout this fall--including 2 delicious FFF-a-boli rolled pizzas, one for vegetarians and one for omnivores--created using ingredients that will be leftover after Thanksgiving. Everything is up on the Visual Pizza Recipe Index.
First up, a white chicken leek pizza (with a fresh tomato pesto & fontina option for vegetarians, photo below), since I got both sweet potatoes and leeks in last week's CSA farm share.

Fresh Tomato Pesto  on Sweet Potato Pizza Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicken Cider Stew (from Kitchen Parade): My Personal Fall In A Bowl!

Kristy of Gastronomical Sovereignty is on vacation in Merrye Olde Englande, so I'm sharing with her readers how I get two 'storage amounts' of my favorite cook's crops--garlic and basil--out of one garden plot over the course of a year.  The time to start this endeavor is now, and if you like to cook with garlic and pesto, you need to check it out!  You can read all about it here.
I'm doing this whole "I've got a guest post up, go see" thing completely wrong. Instead of just directing you to Kristy's blog today and calling it good, in fact I'm sharing the second installment (but first post) of my Food Bloggers Change My Life series.  Confusing?  Yes, sorry--I shared Rebecca at Foodie With Family's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala previously, but I started the series because of Alanna of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture.  She is my friend and Food Blogging Mentor (and I'm so grateful last year that she didn't laugh at my email of 'I'm thinking of starting a food blog').

Chicken Cider Stew is a savory stovetop dish that comes together quickly and uses the great stuff I'm getting from my CSA and my garden right now:  sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and apples.

We like this served with a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese.

Every time I read a food blog, I get inspired to try all sorts of new flavor combinations, and sometimes I actually follow through with my ideas.  Rarely, though, does a recipe--exactly as written--become part of my regular menu rotation.
I'll digress at this point and say by 'menu rotation' that would imply that I actually have a menu plan.  Ha!  During the CSA farm share season (mid-May to Thanksgiving-ish for me) I never know what I'm going to get in the farm share crate.  And other than the cow in the freezer I never know what protein I'll have on hand.  So I just kind of wing it on a daily/weekly basis.  However, there are some meals that, when the right elements collide, I already know what I'm making for supper.
This recipe is one of those.  I read it when Alanna put it up on Kitchen Parade in 2007, had almost all the ingredients--still don't have savory--and made it.  Loved it.  The following Fall when it cooled off and my thoughts turned to stew, my farm share box had sweet potatoes, apple cider appeared in the farmer's market and the stores, I craved it again.  The next year, again.

And so it goes.  Reading that recipe six years ago made a permanent change in my Fall menu rotation. See, food bloggers are making a difference!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

What's the most comforting bowl of soup you've ever had?

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

Many years ago my employer sent me on a long, all-expense-paid, trip to an exotic foreign locale just before a major holiday.  My friend drove me down to the airport, we said our goodbyes, I put my gun in the armory and settled down in anticipation of an early call for the next day's flight.

I woke to an ice storm instead.

After a day or so of 'will the weekly flight go late or just be cancelled' my friend came back, picked me and my gear up, and brought me back home.  Where I wasn't supposed to be.  I'd already celebrated the holiday, emptied my fridge, given away my houseplants and sent my dog ahead to my spouse.  It was a weird few days, of being there when I wasn't supposed to have been there, my brain straddling what was happening with what should have been happening.

My friends invited me to many meals during that time, and it was during one post-holiday gathering that I had the most comforting bowl of chicken soup.  It was chicken and rice, and I know my friend's mom added some food coloring to make it more visually appealing, but no matter.  A mom made me chicken soup when I needed some nurturing and it was good.  A few days later I left on my deployment without any weather-related or other drama, but the memory of what a good bowl of chicken soup can do for you stayed with me.

As you can see from the title, this is not your run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup.  It's got a Thai twist because I had opened jars of Thai ingredients in the fridge, and the wonderful food bloggers I turned to for advice suggested I use them up in soup.  My recipe is an adaptation of both Kalyn's Thai Chicken Soup recipe and  Winnie's Thai-inspired Chicken Noodle soup.  I used what was on hand in my pantry, and I like my substitutions enough to write up the recipe on its own.  We ate this soup as chicken noodle soup for dinner, using a large handful of rice noodles.  The next day, since soup is better the next day, I brought this plus my rice cooker to serve chicken and rice soup for lunch at work.  If you need a little nurturing, and can access Thai ingredients (see NOTE below), keep this soup in mind.  Use coconut milk, not cream, if you like, or chicken breasts, not ground chicken, add sliced Bok Choy if you've got it in your CSA farm share--but do add the peanuts, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for garnish.  It's very tasty.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Buffalo Chicken on Buttermilk Pesto Pizza

Ever want to let someone else make the pizza for a change?  Yeah, me too.  Sure, there are times when I lay awake plotting what to put on a pizza.  But there are also times that I just don't feel like making the effort.  I happened upon a Buffalo Chicken Pizza at the grocery store (marked down!) during one of those times, and the flavor was a big hit with the males of the family.  Well, the intact males--Simon the pup and Quartz the composting guinea pig did not sample the pizza.  TMI?

One of the reasons I'm delighted that my son enjoys Buffalo Chicken is that he consumes celery when he eats it.  Since I'm like the simple dog about my regrown celery ("Look!  I made FOOD!") I planned to scatter freshly chopped celery leaves over top of any Buffalo chicken pizza I'd ever make.  I knew the leaves would a) look pretty and b) use some of the celery taking over the garden make the taste more authentic.

When I decided to make Wheatier Buttermilk Pesto Pizza dough after my success with plain buttermilk dough I was thinking that it would be a good base for Buffalo chicken topping--after all, buttermilk + herbs is close to ranch dressing, amIright?  I got a little frou frou with the post production of this pizza (that would be after I pulled it out of the oven, not in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Nothing).  My dribbling skills have improved ever so slightly, and I was please not only with the taste but also with the look of this pizza.

Even if you're not The Little Red Hen who grows her own celery and can pop out to harvest the leaves, try this one at home.  When you feel up to it, that is.  It's delicious.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip

Would it be awful to suggest you make Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos just to have the leftover meat to make this appetizer?  Oh, and make Avocado Feta Dip (my variations are below) too, because that's what provides the foundation for this delicious appetizer.  If you don't eat chicken, scroll down and see the photo I took yesterday of something I think would go great instead, marinated chick peas, or skip it and just use the rest--still utterly delicious, but you'll have to call it a Four Layer Dip.

When I think of appetizers, I tend to return to my favorites time and again.  After all, they are favorites for a reason!  You can find them over there -----> in my Recipe Index By Category.  In the Appetizer category.  That was probably redundant.

I always like to try new things, however, so this recipe came about as a combination of wanting to try something new, wanting a familiar appetizer, and the desire to use what I've already got in my fridge.  Voila!  Taking a page from the many Mexican layer dips I've enjoyed over the years, I present to you Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip.  Thank you to Linda for help with the name.  I can develop the recipes, grow the celery, prepare the food, take a few photos, write the post . . . but dreaming up recipe names is HARD! (Yes, I'll take some feta with that whine.)

About five minutes after I took the first photo, this was all that was left.  I know we were hungry, but holy cow!  This appetizer is delicious.  We ate it with pita chips and carrots, but home re-grown celery, snow peas, zucchini or yellow squash slices would all be great delivery vehicles for this stuff.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos

If you've been enjoying some early summer salads and are looking for a change of pace, try this dish.  It's a great as salad, and as an appetizer, and works year round as an easy supper.  Since this is a year round dish, it's been in the queue for a while waiting to be published.
Last week I was participating in a G+ Food Bloggers Community Education event with +Chef Dennis Littley  and +Larry Deane, and Larry said "give your readers what they want".  That struck home with me, so since I've gotten requests for this recipe, it's bumped some fresh-from-the-CSA recipes to come out today.  How did folks know to request this?  They saw the photo on my FB page, that's how.

I intended to title this post Greek Artichoke Lemon Olive Chicken in a Slow Cooker, in the interests of being as descriptive as possible.  Then I thought about how we actually ate the resulting chicken, asked folks on FB for suggestions, and decided that Slow Cooker Greek Chicken "Taco" Meat is really a more apt title.  This dish is cooked in my crock pot, and does contain the artichoke, lemon, and olives I originally mentioned, but we use it like we use taco meat:  stretched on tortillasover grains, or in a salad.  And the leftovers?  They make the best Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had.  Possibly the only Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had, too.  Try this in the summer when it's too hot to cook, or during football season for a delicious dinner/appetizer that's just familiar enough not to be weird and a delicious twist on a classic.

I may have alluded to my cold kitchen over the winter months.  Either the reference to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the cold (down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit!) corner of my breakfast nook, or the photos of the frost on the inside of my kitchen window, seen in my Gardening Photos album on my FB page, would get the point across.
As cold as my kitchen is in the winter, it is correspondingly hot in the summer.  I do what I can, covering the East-facing windows with heat-blocking drapes in the morning and using the oven less.  I intend to get my grill on this summer, but there is another way to cook your food without heating the kitchen--a slow cooker.
This dish started with my desire to use my slow cooker to do the cooking while I was at work, and turned into a game to see how many complimentary layers of flavor I could add to the dish.  I was inspired by these other Greek Chicken Slow Cooker dishes, seen here and here, but since I had tortillas but no pitas, I went in a taco direction.  Then I read about Avocado Feta dip, and it was a great accompaniment to the chicken.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Berry Crust Pizza with Cranberry, Chicken, Red Onion and Mozzarella (Pizza Night!)
Yes, there are also strawberries in this photo.  They go into muffins, too.
Guess what we're eating from our backyard right now?  Berries!  How cool is that?  Last year our plants were young, and we ate a handful of raspberries from them but never managed to get a strawberry.  This year we're eating handfuls daily, and I've even put up some strawberries in the freezer.  If we don't grow enough raspberries to put up,  I'll find a pick your own or some good deals and put up a mess of berries like I usually do.  Berries are so easy to freeze (on a metal tray for several hours before transferring to a zip top bag), and they keep in an operational freezer until I'm ready to use them, like in these muffins. Please note my use of the phrase 'operational freezer'. did not start out with the intention of making a blueberry/raspberry crust so I could make a red, white, and blue pizza.  However, I am the sort of person who blooms where she is planted--and this pizza is the logical result of that trait.
I love my daughter, really I do--you're sensing a "but" here? Good.
It all started when she was hosting her social studies castle-building group.  It was fun to see the girls working together all over the main floor of our house.  The table in the living room was the main job site and the breakfast nook table was the glue gun station.  After each construction session my daughter would unplug the glue gun, and whoever needed the microwave next would plug it back in.  Things worked well for the first few sessions, but the third--really, how long does it take to build a castle out of cardboard?  Somehow, the microwave remained plugged in, and my little fruit and vegetable freezer aka microwave stand was unplugged instead.  No one noticed for a day.  Luckily the freezer was due for a defrost before summer "putting up" season got going, and much was still frozen or able to be salvaged.  I'm in good company--when Alyssa's freezer died, she made maple dijon chicken.
I also chose to get creative,  took the bags of thawed blueberries and raspberries, dumped them into my food processor, and made a puree.  We had a bunch of smoothies, and I used a cup of it in this crust--thinking I'd make a patriotic pizza.
I had leftover cooked chicken in the fridge, and excavated a bag of cranberries during the Big Defrost, so this pizza was predestined.  If your grill master is deployed, or you're just not that into the usual red, white, and blue stuff this year--try this.  In this pizza, chicken is optional.  With the creamy fresh mozzarella, tart cranberries, and red onion you can have a meatless, yet still patriotic, pizza.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chicken/Blueberry/Hummus vs Pepper/Peppadew Pizza (Pizza Night)

Last Friday Night Pizza Night, I shared with you a poem I wrote to my pizza stone.

You probably thought I was a bit addled.  Correct!

In the interest of adding value to the post, I also shared my Roasted Garlic and Herb pizza dough, a dough that I think is not a copycat but better than Trader Joes Garlic Herb Pizza dough.

I promised this week that I'd share what I'd done with that dough, and I provided you with a teaser photo:

The pizza on the left has hummus, chicken, blueberries, goat cheese and red onion.  The pizza on the right has colorful bell peppers and Peppadew peppers.  Totally not clear to me if I need to put a ® or ™ symbol with that, so there they are if necessary.

I thought I would choose one to share today.

I try to balance meat-including pizzas with suitable-for-vegetarian pizzas, but to be perfectly frank, I've been kinda distracted lately.  My spouse is embarking on his Asian/Greater Middle East adventure du jour  d'année, my kids each had a concert to perform, and we were fortunate to have both grandmas and my dad in attendance which means I've had company for 4+ days.  So instead of writing up all about a pizza, with links all around, I've just realized that Friday's blog post should go live in 6 hours and I've not written spit!  This is not my usual M.O.. (should there be a 2 punctuation marks there?) Normally I write it all out in longhand, research where I want to link to, type it up, and days/weeks/months later, the night before it goes live, I double check everything and hit publish.  And I'm drinking tea while I write, not hard cider while I type.

Imagine my surprise when I realize that I don't have a pre-written pizza post at 8 pm on Thursday night!  I do, however, have great kids--one's walking the dog, the other is cleaning up from dinner, so I can grab my photos and dump out the contents of my brain so that you've got a pizza inspiration. Some day I'll share about the lovely man at the fancy cheese counter who gave me a sample of Peppadew peppers, thereby inspiring me to actually purchase some Peppadew peppers to have on hand for this pizza. Another time I'll share about the inspiration for this pizza, Heather's Strange But Good flatbread.  But after I finish typing this, since I've been up visiting until midnight for several nights in a row, stick a fork in me--I'm done.

If you have a hankering for pizza and do eat meat, grab some blueberries, hummus, goat cheese, chicken and red onion and make the pizza on the right.  If you're not into meat (these days), grab some bell peppers and Peppadews (Peppadews?  is that even a word?) and make the one on the left.  As always, please check out my Pizza Primer for really well-thought out not off-the-cuff-hard-cider-influenced pizza making instructions. Guess what? My folks' flight is now delayed, they are heading back here to spend the night, so perhaps Mom will proofread--she's great at that--and this post will be better tomorrow after an update.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mexican Chicken Lentil Rice Bake (Salad?)

Most home cooks, and even the professionals down the road at Dorothy Lane Market, know the value of turning to a Kitchen Sink type recipe when faced with a fridge full of dinner building blocks.  I'm pretty sure a lot of classic Hot Dish combinations came about because a cook looked to his or her fridge/freezer/pantry for a substitution instead of trekking to the store.  Even though my local store is only a 1 mile (Map My) walk away, complete with a water dish for the waiting Simon, I'd rather use what I've got on hand.  Sometimes, the result is good enough to be written up and appear here.
I was mulling over what to call this dish while working a Hunger Study 2014 survey site.  My fellow volunteer, Bob, kept offering title ideas that were more general.  I kept coming up with very specific titles.  This was our compromise--it's got the Mexican Chicken Bake part from Bob and the Chicken Lentil Rice part from me.  You know, in case I do a Mexican Chicken Bake using garbanzo beans, Maui onions, zucchini, butternut squash, and orzo next. Or something.  Who knows?

Because I only used 2 large chicken thighs to feed 6-8 servings, I'd say this qualifies as a meat-stretching meal.  The chicken flavors the lentils, which add fiber and more protein to the dish.  Using leeks, corn, and salsa verde all put up from my seasonal CSA farm share pumps up the vegetable content, the rice binds it together, and the cheeses make it all tasty.  We ate this the first time a bit like we eat Taco Farro:  with tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, and lettuce.  Leftovers went into thermoses for school, onto salads for lunch, and scooped up as a pre-dinner snack by a tortilla-chip-weilding hungry spouse.

Keep this Kitchen Sink idea in mind if you want to create a "less meat, more fiber" flavorful meal for your family.  It appealed to all of us, and I hope it appeals to you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Salad By The Ounce

I love roasting a chicken.  I get multiple meals from a single cooking session, and I can toss the chicken carcass in a bag in the freezer next to my Soup Packs if it's not a good time to make stock.  I had some leftover chicken meat after these Mu Shu Chicken Burritos, and a chicken salad sounded like a nice lunch for my daughter.  Me,  too!
The pigs have heard the peeler, and are ready for a snack.
Before my girl was due home for lunch, I was playing around in the kitchen and had my scale out.  I knew I wanted a carrot in the salad, so after I peeled the carrot (peels, top and tip to the composting pigs who start wheeking when they hear the sound of the peeler) I tossed it on the scale for grins and giggles.  It was exactly one ounce.  I grabbed the red onion and sliced off what I thought would be a good amount.  It too was exactly one ounce.
At this point, I resisted the temptation to get on the scale and see if I, too, weighed exactly one ounce.  Best not to press my luck?
You know I had to measure out exactly one ounce of celery.  Ditto the sunflower seeds.  The chicken? Eight ounces.  Since I had it out already, I figured I'd chop everything with the food processor.  I'd previously chopped dates for these muffins, and I estimate there was about one tablespoon of chopped dates left in the bowl.  I ate this over chopped romaine with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and my daughter turned hers into a sandwich.  I'm just glad I grabbed the camera and got one photo before we dug in!
This chicken salad has plenty of crunch from the carrots, celery, and sunflower seeds, plus a hint of sweetness from the dates.  It's delicious as lunch, on a cracker or pita round for snack, or even for a warm weather supper. I like all sorts of chicken salads, and I'm happy to add this version to my repertoire.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mu Shu -ish (Leftover) Chicken Burritos (Quick Take)

When I was a little kid, I used to hate Chinese food.  Luckily, my parents' desire to expose us to new foods was undeterred.  My mom would bring a chicken sandwich along in a baggie when we'd go out to a Chinese restaurant.
I wasn't so nice the first time we brought our kids to an Ethiopian restaurant.  I figured they could find something to eat, and they did:  they subsisted on injera and copious amounts of water from their constantly replenished water glasses.  I had no idea how much water they were drinking until we had multiple potty emergencies during the subway ride home.
Eventually I learned to like Chinese food, and my favorite dish was Mu Shu Pork.  I'm not sure if I liked assembling and rolling my dinner or the flavor of the hoisin sauce best, but it was my favorite thing to order.  Now my favorite dish is Ma Po tofu from the Great Wall Szechuan House near Logan Circle in Washington, DC, and when my brother returns from overseas I bet he will pack some in a cooler, hop on a plane, and we'll enjoy some together.

You wouldn't think from the title of this recipe that this is a 'kitchen sink' dish, but it is.  I had leftover roasted chicken, half a savoy cabbage, some mushrooms that were on their last stems, and we needed dinner.  This came together quickly, tasted great, and was a big flavor difference from the original chicken meal--my favorite way to cook once and eat twice.  This is not true a true Mu Shu--the mushrooms are all wrong and there's no egg for starters, hence the addition of -ish to the title.  Consider this if you've got a roast chicken and want to change it up a bit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fried Rice with Greens and Chicken [Cooking with Teens: Episode One]
Yes, two rice dishes in a row.  I've broken a food blogging rule, but you only become a teenager once.
After a call to action to help fight hunger in my last post, I'd like to share something hopeful:  kids are being taught to cook with Bok Choy in school.  Is that a stretch on the hopefulness scale?
I don't think so--I sure didn't learn about Bok Choy until I was an adult. When I hear about folks who desire to improve their health by including more vegetables on their plates, part of the stumbling block is just plain not knowing about different kinds of veggies.  And, if you get a CSA farm share box, chances are excellent that it will contain items you've never seen before much less know how to incorporate into your meals (sorrel, I'm talking 'bout you).  So yeah, kids being taught about Bok Choy is a hopeful sign to me.
I am now the mom of two teenagers, so in honor of that momentous occasion I made slave-drove encouraged assisted my newest teen while she fixed supper.  In school, she'd made Chicken and Bok Choy Fried Rice, and she was forced planned to duplicate that for the family.  We only had cabbage, however, so there's the first lesson in cooking:
Use what you've got.
My girlie couldn't remember the exact specifics of the recipe, so we turned to technology--specifically the How To Cook Everything iPad app by Mark Bittman.  If you're interested in encouraging kids to cook, I recommend this app--it's $10 and I don't see a dime of that--because it's very thorough, easy to use, with clear illustrations, and has that cool techno-thing going for it that all the kids like these days.  Writing that made me feel older than being the mom of two teenagers already makes me feel, so I'll just leave it as "easy to use".

One of my goals for this summer (hey, helps to have something to look forward to) is that both kids pick up at least a meal a week, and in addition to cookbooks from the library and food blogs, the Bittman apps (we also have How To Cook Everything Vegetarian) are part of my strategy.  Guess what else, kids?  Lawn care!  You're beyond old enough and have had 2 summers w/ Dad doing the work for you.  Time to step up.

If you have Bok Choy, Chinese Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Plain Old Ordinary Green Cabbage*, or what my farm shares term "Asian Greens", try this recipe.  Save the kale, mustard, collard, beet or turnip greens for other uses (see my visual Recipe Index by Ingredient for ideas).

*I have a fear of radicchio after attempting to make grilled radicchio, so you'll not see it on this blog.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Acorn Squash, Chick Pea and Chicken Faux-roccan Stew

Do you get new posts from this blog via email?**

I subscribe to a variety of food blogs and recipe aggregation sites which flood my inbox multiple times a day with ideas.

As if I wasn't constantly thinking about food anyway.  Even in the shower!

This stew was inspired by one such email, from either DailyRecipe or Better Homes & Gardens I think.  The photo in my inbox looked good enough for me to click on the link and investigate further.  I pulled the seasoning combo (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) but turned to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook for the bulk of the stew.  I'm also trying to use less meat overall--meat as a condiment not as the Main Event--so I added a can of chick peas to stretch the protein even further.  That worked well, and I've used that technique in other dishes.

The seasoning combo (cinnamon, chili powder, and cumin) is billed as Moroccan.  I've eaten tasty food prepared by a Moroccan friend, but I cannot say I've really studied Moroccan food, so in good conscience I cannot call this a Moroccan stew.  Instead, I'll call it Faux-roccan.  Sorry about the cute name.  Regardless of the name, however, I found it a tasty change of pace from my standard winter stew.  Try it!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Chicken Saltimbocca Stuffed With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

I am not the type of person who needs a shower upon waking in order to get my day started.  In fact, it would have been tough when I worked on a dairy farm and rolled out of bed, pulled on my boots, and was in the barn before achieving full consciousness.  This means that I shower at weird times.  (Why am I talking about my shower habits on a food blog?)  Lemme 'splain.

I think pretty well in the shower.  The idea for this recipe came during a late weekend afternoon shower.  I'd already cooked the sweet potatoes for the hash and decided to shower while they were cooling.  I was pondering the rest of the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve.  It came to me--in between the first and second time I washed my face--why not shred a butternut squash?  Why not stick that shredded squash onto a thin piece of chicken, roll it up, and cover it with a sauce?  (I think I ended up washing my face twice because I was distracted debating between grapes and band fundraiser oranges for the sauce).

Then I got out of the shower, dried off etc, and got on my computer.  First, I found this, followed by this.  Then I found this.  Then this.  And finally this.

After mulling all of those over for a while, this is what I ended up making:

Thanks to a comment from Annemarie of Real Food Real Deals, I decided to try rice noodles with this dish.  Depending on the type of chicken broth you use, this recipe could be gluten free.  Despite my utter inability to make it look as easy as in the videos, it was pretty quick to assemble, cooked fast, and tasted great.  I think it would work well for both an impressive Valentine's day meal or a tasty family supper.

And then stay tuned, because I've been busy stuffing shredded butternut squash into muffins and pizza!
I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.