Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spicy Chicken Fried Rice with Peanuts

Here's a tasty, quick, and figure friendly dinner. This Chicken Fried Rice has a tad bit of a kick to it, but it really isn't that spicy. The spice factor can be adjusted by putting more or less of the red pepper into the dish.

I found the recipe in a Cooking Light article, but it was created by guest contributor Ellie Krieger. I've heard a ton of great things about Ellie Krieger's low-cal foods, but this is the first time I've made one of her recipes. The dish turned out really delicious and I'm so glad I tried it.

The recipe calls for red peppers and would probably make the dish look twice as nice. However, we had two green peppers from the farmers market that I needed to use up, so in they went! Tasted fantastic. We'll make this again and again!

Spicy Chicken Fried Rice with Peanuts
(by Ellie Krieger)

1/4 cup less-sodium soy suace
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cup diced red bell pepper (about 2)
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
5 cups cold cooked brown rice
2 cups diced cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stir well with a whisk.

2. Heat canola oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, diced onion, and 2 Tbsp. green onions to pan; stir-fry for 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute. Add rice, chicken, and water chestnuts; stir-fry for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring gently. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons green onions and peanuts.

Makes 5 servings (each serving is about 1 and 3/4 cups rice mixture, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons green onions, and 1 Tbsp. peanuts).

Calories/serving: 482, Fat: 14.8g (sat 2.1g), Protein: 26.3g, Carbs: 61.8g, Fiber: 6.9g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Iron: 2.8mg, Sodium: 479mg, Calcium: 59mg

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cowboy Calzones

I found this recipe in my fabulous The Pioneer Woman Cooks book, which Denny bought me back at Christmas. And is it just me, or is The Pioneer Woman taking over the world? I remember reading her blog back when no one really knew who she was, and now you can't turn on the TV without seeing her somewhere and everyone knows who she is... not to mention she's totally making lots of moolah. And man, can she cook!

I've made homemade calzones just once before trying this recipe. I'm not sure why I don't make them more often, because they're much easier than you'd think. I liked this recipe because it uses both ground beef and sausage (Denny's favorite) and lots of cheese. They're so yummy! And you can make the dough ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two, so when it comes time for dinner, you don't have much to do. I'm pretty certain you'll like these! Very delicious!

Cowboy Calzones
(from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond)

For the dough:
1 tsp. or 1/2 packet of active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups warm water in a bowl and sprinkle in yeast.

2. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in olive oil until just incorporated.

3. In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture. Drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball. (You can also mix by hand until the dough comes together.)

4. Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For the calzone:

1/2 pound hot breakfast sausage
1 pound ground beef
1/2 diced onion
8 oz. can tomatoes and chilies (such as Rotel)
8 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil for brushing

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large skillet combine the ground beef, sausage and onion. Brown over medium heat. Drain excess grease. Pour in the tomatoes and chilies. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and egg. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

3. Add the cooled meat mixture to the cheese mixture and stir gently to combine.

4. Divide the pizza dough into 8 equal-size balls. With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch circle.

5. Place one-eighth of the meat/cheese mixture in the middle of each circle. Fold half of the circle over the other half, gently pressing to slightly spread and flatten the filling inside. Press a fork along the edge to seal closed, then transfer the calzone to a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Brush the calzone with olive oil.

8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the calzone to a basket or wrap individually in foil.

Makes 8 calzones, calories too high to warrant counting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD: Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

So I'm a day late and a dollar short... or something like that. The Tuesdays with Dorie group made the Burnt Sugar Ice Cream last week. I had some technical difficulties with my ice cream maker so I didn't have it made in time to post last week. Turned out the freezer bowl to the ice cream maker wasn't cold enough to churn the batter into ice cream. So the batter sat in my fridge for a few days while I made the freezer colder and allowed the bowl a full two days to freeze. Then, it came out magnificently!

I continue to be surprised at the ease of Dorie's recipes. Besides my own issues with operating my ice cream maker that I've had for years and you'd think I'd know how to use correctly, I had no other problems! The ice cream tasted like caramel and was really very good!

I was, of course, impatient to eat it, so I didn't allow it to harden in the freezer very long after it churned. Therefore, my photo looks like ice cream mush. Tasty ice cream mush, though!

For the recipe, visit Becky at Project Domestication. She was kind enough to choose this recipe for us and has a gorgeous blog!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Salisbury Steak

How come the thought of Salisbury Steak makes me think of the high school cafeteria? I guess it's probably the only time I've ever had salisbury steak... many, MANY years ago now. I wasn't even really sure what it was, or how to make it. But I saw a recipe at Mommy's Kitchen (have I stolen enough of her recipes, or what?) and I was interested.

They looked like little meatloafs, but with gravy. Since Denny really can't get enough of meatloaf (is this a guy thing? Or just a Denny thing?) I figured I should give it a try. And oh my, it's yummy! Very easy to make and really delicious. I used the recipe exactly except substituted bread crumbs for the cracker crumbs and left out the mushrooms (I've never been a mushroom fan). And we loved it with mashed potatoes. We'll make this again for sure!

Salisbury Steak
(adapted from Mommy's Kitchen)

2 pounds ground beef
1 package Lipton’s French Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 packets (0.75 oz) brown gravy mix, prepared
1 cup sour cream
1 small can mushroom stems, optional

1. Make hamburger patties using ground beef, bread crumbs, egg and soup mix. Fry or grill until patties are browned on both sides.

2. While the hamburgers are cooking mix together the brown gravy and sour cream. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and lay cooked patties in the pan. Cover the patties with the sour cream and gravy mixture. Bake at 350 degrees covered for about 40 minutes, turning patties halfway through. Serve with egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

Makes about 6 steaks, but don't be surprised if someone wants more than one!