Sunday, March 14, 2010

Poblano Stuffed Peppers

Well, Dave wanted to cook dinner one night from start to finish! Usually if he cooks, I will be the sous-chef and chop veggies, saute stuff etc. But not this time. He did this recipe from start to finish and it turned out excellent!!

4 Poblano Peppers
3 carrots, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 scallions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large pickled jalapenos, chopped
3 tbsp of the jalapeno juice
1 small can of diced green chilis
2 cup brown rice, quick cooking (15 minutes)
Chicken stock, no salt added
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 lb ground turkey, browned
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 lime sliced

Wash and clean the Poblano peppers. You can either grill the peppers to pre-roast them or you can broil them in your oven making sure to turn them occasionally. You are looking to get a pre-cook them slightly to get a charred taste to them. This should be done before you start cooking the other items so they have time to cool and you will be able to handle them.
Pre chop all of your vegetables. For the jalapenos, de-seed them. This is where your heat will come from. If you like the heat, feel free to leave them in ;o).
In a large cast iron skillet, in 2 tbsp olive oil, brown the turkey. Once the turkey has been browned, remove from heat. Begin preparing the rice. Instead of all water, use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 cups water to the 2 cups rice. May sound like a lot of rice, but you are going to be making a bed of rice on the cast iron skillet. Add the jalapeno juice, paprika, cumin and the chili powder to the rice along with the chilies, and let it start cooking.
While the rice is cooking, begin sauteing the vegetables. Start with the onions, carrots and celery and let cook for 7 - 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the jalapenos. Let the vegetables saute until tender. Your rice should be done about this time. You will be adding the turkey and the vegetables to the rice. Mix together completely. Let the flavors meld together and as they are simmering, turn your attention to the poblanos.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice a slit down from the top of the poblano to just above the bottom, making sure you don't go all the way to the end. You want to make sure you create a little boat. Turn your rice mixture off, and fill the bottom of the cast iron skillet with a bed of rice.
With a pepper in your hand, put in a layer of cheese, then a layer of the rice filling. Lay the pepper on the bed of rice. Repeat with each of the peppers.
Sprinkle with the fresh cilantro leaves and the lime slices and sprinkle the peppers with any remaining cheese. Put in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes or until the peppers have warmed up again. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almond Crusted Chicken with a Dijon Mustard Wine Sauce

Well, it was a comedy of errors tonight with both the camera and my phone, so you don't get to see pictures tonight of my dinner. This is sad for you, because this dish turned out to be quite excellent. Besides having to actually go and get chicken from the grocery store, I am in day two of my unofficial "use what is in the pantry before you buy new" mission and I made this recipe up with a few things I had on hand. I hope you enjoy!!

4 chicken breasts
1 - 2 cups of finely crushed almonds (depends on how big the chicken breasts are)
3 eggs scrambled
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp lemon sea salt
1 tbsp finely grated gruyere cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp coarse ground mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup chicken stock, no salt added

On your counter top get three flat dish bowls. In the first one, place your flour, second, your eggs (scrambled) and in your third, mix together your finely crushed almonds, parsley, sea salt and the gruyere cheese. Preheat a deep frying pan and add about enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. While the pan is preheating, take each piece of chicken and first dip and coat in the flour, then in the eggs and then in the almond mixture making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated with the almonds. My pan was on medium for about 5 minutes before I put the first chicken breast in the pan. Repeat for each breast. Do not mess with the chickens. Let each side cook for about 5 minutes before you even attempt to flip, otherwise you will lose all of your coating. You will be able to tell just by sneaking a peak if the bottom is ready to flip, or if the coating has set. My chickens were very thick so it took a good 20 minutes worth of frying and every so often flipping them to make sure each side was cooking evenly before they were done. The temperature of the chicken should be between 170 - 180 degrees if you are using a meat thermometer to check. Other wise, just take your thickest breast and slice into the meatiest part to see if it is white on the inside.

While the chicken breasts are cooking, in a small bowl, combine both mustards, the honey and the garlic and mix thoroughly. Once your chicken breasts are done, remove from the pan. At this point you should have a lot of droppings and bits of the coating that have fallen off in the pan. Take your wine and pour into the pan to deglaze the pan by scraping up all the little bits and pieces up off the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and honey mixture and stir into the wine. Add the chicken stock. Just let this simmer for about 1 -2 minutes and add the chicken back into the gravy. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Citrus Shrimp over Rice

Tonight was what my father calls a "pastish" night, when you pretty much clean out the refrigerator and use whatever you can to make your dinner. So that is what we did! Dave and I went through and grabbed what veggies were looking a little worse for the wear and I came up with this citrus dish for our shrimp. It turned out very good!! As I have said more than once, Dave loves sauce, so you can adjust the broth as you see fit. This could have been a dry dish or a soupy dish..we ended up making it a soupy dish.

1/2 lb to 1 lb shrimp
6 oz pkg crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 leek, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 clementine oranges, juiced (I used the cuties)
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup grand marnier liquer
1/2 cup to 1 cup chicken stock (depending on how much broth you want)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tbsp chili paste
3 dried chilis, de-seeded
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

In a very hot pan, spray some pam and sear the shrimp till they are almost done. Remove the shrimp from the heat and place on a dish. You will be adding them back into the sauce prior to serving so you will be able to complete the cooking process and heat them through.

Chop the leeks and place in a bowl of water to make sure the dirt and grit have been removed. Chop the mushrooms and the celery and garlic. It is important to make sure all veggies are prepared prior to beginning the cooking process.

In the same frying pan you had the shrimp, add about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and the celery, and saute for about 7 minutes. You want to make sure the leeks and the celery are almost cooked prior to adding the rest of the veggies. Add the mushrooms and the garlic and saute for about 7 more minutes until the mushrooms have reduced in size and are almost cooked through.

While the veggies are sauteeing, juice the lemon and the clementines and add to the pan to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the liquer and the chicken stock, thyme, rosemary, chili paste, chilis and the crushed red peppers. Bring to a simmer for about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the shrimp back in and finish cooking. Serve over rice.