Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eat - Kraftwork

Sidecar has a new baby sister. Kraftwork, up in the far-away Fishtown is owner, Adam Ritter's newest pride and joy. And he has every right to be proud and joyful. It opened up on Friday. We skipped the opening since we figured it would be crazy (and from what I hear it was!). We showed up at opening (they had to unlock the door for us) on Saturday and within 45 minutes there was a wait for tables. The bar is absolutely gorgeous and features 25 beers on tap with 8 oz pub pours, 10.5 oz goblets and 16 oz pints available. As well as growlers. $10 for the growler and then fills ranging from $10-$17 (cheapest we have found so far). The decor is part architecture, part art gallery with metal-work and hops inspired wall art, hanging art and seating (family style 6-tops so be ready to meet other patrons). And of course, the most important part, the food! It is very ballsy for a brand new eatery featuring things like rabbit, chicken liver mousse and pork crispy treats (think rice krispy treats, but replace the rice krispies with pork rinds, and top them with bacon and chocolate sauce - no I am not kidding). So we started with ricotta dumplings (with wilted Swiss chard and red pepper Harissa sauce). Of them Matty said - "If I am ever in the hospital and my doctor says it doesn't look good I need you to run up here and get me some of these as my last meal." Yeah. I think he liked them. They were so tasty! I don't know how they got that much flavor into ricotta (Claudio's)! The chard was wilted perfectly. And the sauce. You could put that sauce on anything and I would probably eat it. Next we split the beer can chicken sandwich (with sharp provolone, fried long hot peppers and caramelized onions served with red cabbage and apple slaw) and garlic and herb fries with a Yard's porter mustard aioli. The chicken was shockingly tender, the provolone delightfully sharp and the peppers and onions . . . perfection. Everything should be served with fried long hots. And on that brioche-style roll. And with the Yard's mustard. Really. I will dream about that mustard. The fries were great and the portion was huge! For dessert we had . . . yup, you guessed it, the pork crispy treat. Matty described it perfectly - "An eating disorder in food form." Topped with bacon and chocolate. It was so decadently delicious. The salty porkiness with the sweet marshmallow. The bacon with the chocolate. My God. I should never tell anyone we ate it (oops) but we did and I would recommend it to anyone (any omnivore at least). At least once. We drank - Doc's Apple Cider, Hitachino Ginger Ale, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Bier, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager and Elysian The Wise. We will be back, all the way to Girard and Montgomery we will go.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cook - Chicken Enchiladas and Roasted Corn and Radish Salad

Last night we had Chicken Enchiladas and Roasted Corn and Radish Salad with Avocado-Herb Dressing. Both are Cooking Light recipes. And both would be made again. We went to Lowe's to pick up our gardening supplies for the season so we made the enchiladas the night before and then heated them up last night.

Chicken Enchiladas

This dish offers make-ahead options: You can assemble the enchiladas up to two days ahead, cover, refrigerate, and bake them before serving. And if your family eats in shifts, just make individual servings, as we did in the photo on the left. (We did the make-ahead option. I took them out of the fridge to get to room temp before we left and then threw them in the oven when we got home) Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas) (We got 10 enchiladas out of this recipe so 5 servings [2 enchiladas is a perfect serving size]) Cost per Serving: $2.46 (I have no idea if this is accurate or not) Cooking Light, MAY 2010

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (I used boneless skinless thighs)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese mixed with salsa [leftovers from tortilla wraps])
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used Trader Joe's Organic Fire-Roasted Diced tomatoes with green chiles)
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas, divided (I used 11)
Cooking spray
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced (I totally forgot about these but would use them next time)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side. Place skillet in oven; bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; shred. Discard bones. Place chicken in a medium bowl; stir in cream cheese, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove 3 tablespoons onion mixture; add to chicken. Add chili powder, red pepper, and cumin to remaining onion mixture in pan; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 3/4 cup water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Tear 1 tortilla into small pieces; add to tomato mixture. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Carefully pour tomato mixture into a blender, and process until smooth. (Because Matty hates cleaning the food processor I skipped this and left if chunky, it was very tasty but next time I will blend it)

4. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Warm remaining 8 tortillas according to package directions. (I skipped this but they did crack and again used 10 here) Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in prepared dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over filled tortillas. (I did up until here the night before then let them cool and put them in the fridge. The next day I took them out to get to room temp and then continued) Sprinkle filled tortillas with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. (About 35 minutes) Sprinkle with green onions. (Totally missed this!)

CALORIES 496 ; FAT 23.4g (sat 7.3g,mono 10.5g,poly 3.7g); CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 221mg; CARBOHYDRATE 42g; SODIUM 711mg; PROTEIN 30.9g; FIBER 6.4g; IRON 2.8mg

The salad was really good and went together really well. I did a modified half-batch of the dressing so we wouldn't have as much leftover (wasn't sure how well it would keep up and I forgot to check on it this morning but I will try to remember to let you know). The dressing was a little salty, but it may have been due to my modifications (see below). I think it would be really good as a veggie dip. We used frozen Roasted Corn from Trader Joes to save time and it worked really well, we just heated it up in the microwave with a little water for about 2 minutes and then added it to the salad. We also skipped the lettuce cup thing and just put all the lettuce in the salad. We aren't fancy like that.

Roasted Corn and Radish Salad with Avocado-Herb Dressing

Every summer, fresh ears of corn pile on roadside stands along the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware. Riki Senn uses this abundance of local produce to bring bright sweetness to this recipe. The cool creaminess of a Hass avocado is the perfect addition to temper the spicy bite from the radishes and add extra flavor and texture. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 lettuce leaf, 1 cup salad, and 2 tablespoons dressing) (We got 2 dinner sides plus a lunch out of it)

Cooking Light, MAY 2010

1/2 ripe peeled avocado, sliced (we used 3/4 avocado because I made a half-batch of the dressing)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 ears yellow corn with husks (as mentioned, we used frozen corn)
2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup Avocado-Herb Dressing (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 450°. (we skipped this)

2. Combine sliced avocado and juice in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate. Trim both ends of corn cobs, leaving husks from corn intact. Place the corn on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool. Remove husks from corn; scrub silks from corn. Cut kernels from ears of corn; discard cobs. (we skipped this)

3. Reserve 4 whole lettuce leaves. Chop remaining lettuce to measure 4 cups. Combine chopped lettuce, avocado mixture, corn, and radishes. Spoon lettuce mixture into lettuce leaves. (we skipped the lettuce cup thing) Serve with Avocado-Herb Dressing.

CALORIES 151 ; FAT 7.7g (sat 1.3g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.6g); CHOLESTEROL 4mg; CALCIUM 38mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.9g; SODIUM 192mg; PROTEIN 4.4g; FIBER 4.8g; IRON 1.8mg

Avocado-Herb Dressing

Yield: 1 1/4 cups (serving size: 1 tablespoon) Cooking Light, MAY 2010

1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used 1/4 cup regular mayo [I had it])
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (I used 3 green onions)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (I used 2 Tbsp)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used ~ 1/2 Tbsp)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (I used ~1/2 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (I used 3 leaves of fresh basil)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (I skipped this)
1/8 teaspoon salt (I used the full 1/8 tsp since I left out the anchovies, would probably cut in half)
1/2 ripe peeled avocado (I used 1/4 avocado)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons water (I used 1 Tbsp)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I used 1/2 Tbsp)
3 drops hot sauce (I used ~1/4 tsp)

1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With the processor running, pour water, vinegar, and hot sauce through food chute, processing until blended. Store the dressing in an airtight container in refrigerator. (I just threw it all in at once, I didn't chop the herbs or the garlic first. That is what a food processor does!)

CALORIES 19 ; FAT 1.4g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.3g); CHOLESTEROL 2mg; CALCIUM 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 1.8g; SODIUM 87mg; PROTEIN 0.3g; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 0.1mg

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cook - Mediterranean Wraps and Brussels Sprouts

Last night we went a little Mediterranean with Mediterranean Wraps (from Eating Well) and Mediterranean Brussels Sprouts (of my own creation).

Mediterranean Wrap
From EatingWell: May/June 2010 (Picture is theirs)

This wrap is stuffed with chicken tenders and couscous with a hit of lemon and a healthy dose of fresh herbs. Save any leftovers to wrap up for an easy lunch. Serve with: Mixed green salad and a glass of crisp white wine.

4 servings (we got two dinners and probably 2 lunches from this)| Active Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup couscous, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenders (we used chicken breasts that we cut into "tenders")
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 4 10-inch spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps or tortillas (we used whole wheat pitas)


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine parsley, mint, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Toss chicken tenders in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parsley mixture and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the tenders in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked though, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
  4. Stir the remaining parsley mixture into the couscous along with tomato and cucumber.
  5. To assemble wraps, spread about 3/4 cup of the couscous mixture onto each wrap. Divide the chicken among the wraps. Roll the wraps up like a burrito, tucking in the sides to hold the ingredients in. Serve cut in half. (We just mixed the chicken right into the couscous-parsley mixture)
Nutrition -Per serving : 479 Calories; 17 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 11 g Mono; 67 mg Cholesterol; 49 g Carbohydrates; 34 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 653 mg Sodium; 382 mg Potassium

I know that brussels sprouts aren't really a Mediterranean staple but we were very excited to see them at Reading Terminal this week and they were so tiny and delicious looking I decided to try.
Mediterranean Brussels Sprouts

I made this up so I have no info regarding nutrition etc. We got sides for us for dinner last night plus a lunch out of it. It takes about 10 minutes to make. I love the way the sprouts turned out, more salad-y than whole but much less work than shredding. All measurements are approximate.

1 lb Brussels sprouts (as small as you can find), cleaned, cut into quarters
3/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c chopped fresh mint
1/4 c lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 c crumbled feta
1/2 c kalamata olives, chopped
sea salt to taste

1) Put quartered Brussels sprouts in a microwave-safe bowl with enough water to cover half of them. Cover and microwave on high 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with rest of ingredients.
2) Ta-da!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cook - Pulled Pork and Beef with Coleslaw

In honor of our LOST-hosting duties last night we served Pulled Pork and Beef sandwiches with Coleslaw and Tater Tots. For dessert with had Margarita Cake. It was all delicious.

The Barbecue Beef and Pork sandwiches were based on a Betty Crocker recipe - Slow Cooker Beef and Pork Barbecue Sandwiches. The picture is from Betty Crocker.

1 4 lb pork shoulder (bone-in)
1 2 lb beef chuck roast (boneless)
6 small onions, sliced (we only had small onions)
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
2 T chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cans tomato paste
Cheddar cheese
Hamburger buns

1) Add onions to the slow cooker
2) Remove the skin from the shoulder if it is still attached.
3) Cut the pork and beef into as big pieces as possible but so that they all fit in the slow cooker. Add beef and pork to the slow cooker on top of the onions.
4) Mix sugar, vinegar, chili powder, salt, mustard and worcestershire together. Pour over the meat.
5) Cook on low for 10 hours.
6) Remove meat from the slow cooker, remove bones and shred meat.
7) Remove about 2/3 of the liquid (try not to remove the onions). We kept this, not sure what we are going to do with it yet.
8) Add the meat back to the slow cooker along with the tomato paste. Cook on high 15 minutes. Serve warm with cheddar cheese and coleslaw (see below, optional) on hamburger buns.

The coleslaw we made is a vinegar (not mayonaise) based slaw. It is from this recipe which is supposed to be based on the Primanti Bros recipe from Pittsburgh. Picture is from article.

Primanti Bros Coleslaw via The Washington Post
  • 1 pound (about half of a medium-size head) green cabbage, shredded or finely chopped (about 6 cups) (we ended up with about 12 cups shredded from a medium-sized head)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (we used 1 cup since we had twice as much cabbage)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (we used 3 tsp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (we used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper (totally forgot to add)
For the slaw: Combine the cabbage, sugar, salt and celery seed in a colander set over a medium bowl. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours; the cabbage will be wilted (about 4 cups total). (We let this sit for about 2-2.5 hours and ended up with about 6 cups?)

Discard the draining liquid in the bowl; rinse and dry the bowl, then transfer the wilted cabbage to the bowl. Add the oil and vinegar; toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (We made this the night before. We didnt want it to be too overpowering so we only used 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup oil)

In honor of Cinco de Mayo we made a Margarita Cake (also Betty Crocker, their picture). I liked it but it was a little strange (something about lime and cake seem weird to me). The general consensus was that the pretzel crust was too much of a texture contrast but I actually really liked it. Go figure.

Margarita Cake

1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels (Matty did this in the Kitchen Aid mixer)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
1 1/4 cups bottles nonalcoholic margarita mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
3 egg whites
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed (We used fat free Cool Whip)
Additional grated lime peel, if desired (we didn't)

1) Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with shortening and lightly flour (or spray bottom with baking spray with flour). In medium bowl, mix pretzels, sugar and butter. Sprinkle evenly on bottom of pan; press gently.
2) In large bowl, beat cake mix, margarita mix, oil, 1 tablespoon lime peel and the egg whites with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pretzel mixture.
3) Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until light golden brown and top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Frost with whipped topping; sprinkle with additional lime peel. Store covered in refrigerator. (We baked it the night before and then topped with Cool Whip as we were serving it)

Cook - Sloppy Lentils in Pita

Yeah, I know. It has been over 2 months. In those two months I have . . . turned 29, broken my knee skiing, successfully turned in my thesis (I am graduating May 17th) and started the teacher certification program in Secondary Biology at Drexel University Online. I have been busy. I also have not been cooking. But that changes this week! So first up - Sloppy Lentils in Pita. This was uber-tasty and will definitely be made again. We used pork instead of lamb (we dont like lamb) but I am sure it would be delicious with any meat (I am thinking maybe a turkey sausage?). The cucumber, yogurt and mint add a really nice freshness.

Sloppy Lentils in Pita

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 filled pita halves)
CALORIES 454 ; FAT 13.8g (sat 4.4g,mono 5.8g,poly 1.4g); CHOLESTEROL 39mg; CALCIUM 115mg; CARBOHYDRATE 57.4g; SODIUM 716mg; PROTEIN 28.2g; FIBER 11.6g; IRON 4.9mg
Cooking Light
, MAY 2010

(Picture is from Cooking Light. Nutritional Information is for their recipe, not my alterations. We got 2 dinners and 3 lunches out of this.)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces lean ground lamb (we used ground pork)
3/4 cup dried brown lentils (we may have used green? not sure)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup water, divided
2 cups diced plum tomatoes or boxed diced tomatoes, undrained (I used 2 14.5 oz cans of unsalted diced tomatoes which is about 3 cups)
1 bay leaf (I used 2 because the cooking time is so short)
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, cut in half (we used the little 3-4" ones)
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek-style yogurt (we used fat-free)
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
Chopped fresh mint (optional) (I would recommend)

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and lamb; cook 5 minutes or until lamb is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble lamb.

2. Add lentils, cumin, and thyme; stir until seasonings become fragrant. Add 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes. Stir lentil mixture; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is thick (add additional water as needed). (So because I used more tomatoes there was more liquid so after the second 15 minutes I uncovered and cooked on high for an additional 8-10 minutes until it was thicker) Discard bay leaf. Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup lentil mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon yogurt into each pita half; top with 2 tablespoons cucumber. Sprinkle with mint, if desired.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We roasted a chicken!

Yayz! So we did this before about 2 years ago and it was a disaster and we decided that it totally wasn't worth it all. But then I went to a nutritionist this week (my blood pressure is a bit high) and she was all about roasting chickens. I think it was mostly because she herself has been roasting chickens a lot recently. But anyway, I look cooking on Sundays and so we decided to try it out again. Because it is a bit ridiculous that I can't roast a chicken. We based our chicken on Jamie Oliver's My Perfect Roast Chicken from The Naked Chef.

From "The Naked Chef" by Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver
Servings: 4 (We ate half of it tonight, so yeah I guess that is right)
One 2 1/2-3 lb. free-range chicken (we used a 3.5 lb chicken)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, marjoram), finely chopped (basil and parsley)
1/4 cup olive oil (didnt measure)
1 lemon, halved (I quartered it)
4 bay leaves, torn (I left them whole)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 bag of Teeny Tiny potatoes from Trader Joe's
1 onion, cut into eighths
cloves from 1 head of garlic

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 c vegetable broth


Preheat the oven and a roasting tray (we used Jamie Oliver's [seemed appropriate] Baby Retro Roaster with rack) to 425 F. Wash the chicken inside and out, and pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. Some people remove the wishbone, but I like to leave it in and later make a wish. (We wouldn't know how to remove it) Rub the cavity with salt; then, being very careful, grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, making sure that it doesn’t rip, and pull up gently. With your other hand, gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast. It’s normally connected by a little bit of tissuey-type stuff, and you can either leave this attached in the middle and make two little tunnels either side, or you can try to cut away the middle. (I cut it away down the middle) Sprinkle a little salt down the gaps that you have made (I missed that step) and push in the chopped herbs. (3/4 of them) Drizzle in a little olive oil. (I did this first) I don’t always stuff the chicken but when I do I generally go with lemon, bay and (2 sprigs) rosemary, which I push into the cavity at this point. Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed, tuck the little winglets under (under what?!) and tie up as firmly as possible with kitchen twine. (We didnt tie it up because I ran out of kitchen twine and forgot to pick some up today)

To me, the perfect roast chicken has tender moist breast meat, crisp skin and, dare I say it, overcooked thigh meat. So at this point, simply slash across each thigh about 3 or 4 times and rub in some of the leftover herbs (this didnt really work well so I stuffed the rest into the cavity), which allows the heat to penetrate directly into the thigh meat, enabling it to cook faster. With your hand, rub a little olive oil into the skin of the chicken and season very generously with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray (roaster) from the oven and add a little oil. Put the chicken on one side, breast side down on the tray, and put back into the oven. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then turn it over on to the other side, breast side down. Cook for another 5 minutes and then place the chicken on its back. Cook for 1 hour. (We cooked for 15 minutes, then added the potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, stock and rosemary to the bottom of the pan. Then we put it back in the oven for another 40 minutes. Then we started checking the temp every 10 minutes or so. It ended up taking about 1 hr 20 minutes after searing the breasts.)

There is nothing like potatoes and garlic cooked in chicken fat. Mmmm! We will totally be roasting more chickens.

We are following this all-American meal up with the world's most adorable apple pie (3" round!) that we bought from the Fitler Square Farmer's Market yesterday and a vegan mint chocolate chip cookie from One Shot Coffee today after our lunch at Tiffin (which you are going to have to wait to hear all about!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Calzone and pizza party

Well it was a party of 2. But yesterday we made 3 calzones and a pizza for dinner. No, we didnt eat them all. But we couldnt decide which ones to make, so we made 3!

Matty made the dough based on a recipe in Mom's Big Book of Baking. I am not sure what the actually recipe was but it is a pretty good recipe (a little sticky sometimes).

Then we made a cold cut calzone, a bbq beef brisket calzone, a turkey and basil calzone and a pizza provencal (kinda).

Cold Cut Calzone
This is one of my own creations, so no real recipe but we used - pepperoni, genoa salami, proscuitto, rosemary ham, provolone and asiago. And it is damn tasty. I usually add tuekry but Matty decided to use rosemary ham instead. All the cold cuts were from Trader Joe's.

BBQ Beef Brisket Calzone
This one is pretty basic - Trader Joe's Pulled Beef Brisket in Smoky BBQ Sauce, shredded cheddar. Mmmmm . . .

Turkey and Basil Calzone
This is based on this recipe - Chicken and Basil Calzones. With some modifications of course.

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008. Ground chicken breast is a lean alternative to beef. Substitute ground sirloin, if you prefer. (We used ground turkey) Total time: 40 minutes. (That is their pic but our filling looked pretty similar)

Cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground chicken breast (1.25 lb ground turkey)
3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce (Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (1 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough (Matty's crust)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
(Trader Joe's lite mozzarella)

1. Preheat oven to 425°. (350)

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in pizza sauce and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut dough into quarters. Pat each portion into an 8 x 6–inch rectangle. Divide chicken mixture evenly among rectangles; top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold dough in half over filling, pinching edges to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining rectangles. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden. (We just made 1 calzone, we used about 3/4 of the filling because the dough wasn't stretching quite enough for us)

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone) (Again, we made 1 calzone total)

CALORIES 459 (14% from fat); FAT 7.1g (sat 1.8g,mono 1g,poly 0.4g); IRON 3.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 74mg; CALCIUM 111mg; CARBOHYDRATE 56.4g; SODIUM 919mg; PROTEIN 39.1g; FIBER 3g
Pizza Provencal
The pizza was loosely based on this recipe - Pizza Provencal.

Cooking Light, JUNE 2009. Upgrade pizza night by making a pie loaded with fresh basil, rotisserie chicken, (we left out the chicken) and all the best of Italian-inspired ingredients. A food processor makes quick work of the homemade sauce. (We didnt make a sauce per se. That is their pic. Ours looks NOTHING like that.)

1/4 cup niçoise olives, pitted (I used kalamata cuz I had them)
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I used 2 Tbsp of a sundried tomato tapenade)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (I used dried lemon peel)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (We used 1 head of roasted garlic)
1 teaspoon water (left this out since we werent making a sauce)
1 (16-ounce) loaf Italian bread, split in half horizontally (We used Matty's dough)
2 cups thinly sliced roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 6 ounces) (Left this out)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese (we used half goat cheese, half feta)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 450°. (350)

2. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. (I just chopped the olives, mushed the garlic cloves and mixed it all together in the dish we roasted the garlic in) Place bottom half of bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet (reserve top half for another use). Spread olive mixture over bread (We just used the olive mixture as a spread o. Arrange chicken over bread; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until heated. Sprinkle with basil. Cut into 4 pieces.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 piece) (We made a full size pizza from it)

CALORIES 330 ; FAT 10.7g (sat 4.4g,mono 3.8g,poly 1.6g); CHOLESTEROL 46mg; CALCIUM 98mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.4g; SODIUM 595mg; PROTEIN 23.2g; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 3mg

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Creole Recipes

Someone asked me for the crawfish creole recipe, so I figured I would post it here in case anyone else wanted it. A creole is like a tomato sauce kinda? It was originally from The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine. I got it from Best of the Best from Louisiana. And then I modified it. I made three recipes-worth since I was making alligator (big oval pot in the back), crawfish (big round pot in the middle), and no-meat (small round pot up front) versions. But here is a single recipe. The directions from the actual recipe were really helpful . . . no they totally weren't. They say things like "saute all seasonings until done." Not helpful. Especially since I dont consider 3 cups of vegetables "seasonings." But here is what I did.

Creole Sauce
4 Tablespoons vegan margarine (recipe calls for butter, wanted to make vegan)
1 T canola oil
6 Tablespoons brown rice flour (recipe calls for flour, wanted to make gluten-free)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp sugar
16-oz can tomato sauce (I used 52 oz for 3x recipe)

Melt margarine in heavy bottom pot (I used the Le Creuset French Oven). Add oil. Add onions, celery, pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Add lemon juice, bay leaves and flour. Mix until flour is covered vegetables. Add tomato sauce, hot water and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

I did that much on Thursday night. Then I let it cool and put it in the fridge until Saturday. I took it out and let it get to room temp and then split it into 3 pots (crawfish, alligator, no-meat). I added the meat to each one (or not meat) and then let it simmer for about an hour before putting it out. The no-meat one I simmered for about 30 minutes by itself.

We bought 2.75 lbs of alligator steak, frozen. We thawed this overnight in the fridge. Then I cut each steak into thirds, you can see the picture here. I put them in a big pot, added some no-salt creole seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt and enough water to cover the pieces. I brought this to a fast boil and boiled for 3 minutes. Then I removed the pieces from the water and let them cool, keeping the water. They were not completely cooked all the way though. It looked a lot like chicken, white on the outside, pink in the middle. Once they were cool we cut them into bite sized pieces and then added them to the creole sauce. I used some of the cooking water to thin out the sauce some since it had gotten pretty thick in the fridge.

We bought cleaned, cooked, seasoned crawfish meat (about 2-2 1/2 lbs) from Reading Terminal and so it was all ready to go. I added it to the sauce with the water from the container to thin it out some.

The recipe said to serve over rice with chopped green onions. I totally forgot the green onions.