Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reuben Stuffed Bell Peppers

I love reubens. A lot.

So, any way I can incorporate that into our lives, I will make it happen.

We love stuffing peppers here, so it wasn't long before this gem was born.

The rye topping is a important part of this process. It gives the bread flavor that is so important the entire profile of the dish.

Reuben Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 bell peppers, cut in half stem to end, and stem and seeds removed
8 slices thin sliced swiss cheese
3/4th pound corned beef, from deli, thin sliced
8 oz can sauerkraut, drained and squeezed
1/3rd cup thousand island dressing
2 slices rye bread
2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350

Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Place the peppers in and let boil 3 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to handle

Meanwhile, chop or tear up the corned beef into smaller pieces and mix with sauerkraut and dressing.

Place 1 slice of cheese inside all the peppers. Stuff with mixture. Top with another slice of cheese.

Place on baking sheet and cook 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, put bread in a food processor or blender, and pulse until coarse crumbs form.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium. Add crumbs and stir until well combined. Take off heat

Take out peppers, and top with crumbs. Put back in oven and broil 2-3 minutes (watching CONSTANTLY) until crumbs are toasted

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Maple and Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Pancake Muffins with Homemade Cinnamon Chips

I kinda hate pancakes. You have to stand right there and watch them, and at least one always burns.

My sister always tells me about these amazing cinnamon chips you can get in the store, but I have never been able to find them! Even in the holiday season they evade me.

So as I am googling the chips to see if I can find anywhere that makes them local, I stumble upon a few recipes for homemade ones! Well, pfftt. I'll just do that! Cheaper anyway. And better ingredients. I adapted the recipe and whipped them up toot sweet. Super fast and easy. And they would last a really long time in a airtight container

And pumpkin. I mean really?? Of course cinnamon and pumpkin.

I was thinking about how yummy the cream cheese frosting is on the pumpkin bars I make, and BOOM. Cream cheese stuffed pumpkin pancake muffins. Sweeten it with maple syrup and its golden.

These will not brown up the same as normal muffins. You have to go by feel.

Maple and Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Pancake Muffins with Homemade Cinnamon Chips


Cinnamon Chips (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp vinegar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (about 1/2 can. NOT pie filling)
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/3rd cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground clove
1 block cream cheese, room temp
1/3rd cup maple syrup

Cinnamon chips:
2/3rd cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp corn syrup ( I used organic corn syrup. Nice compromise)

Mix until well combined and crumbly. Press thin and even onto a parchment paper or silpat lined cookie sheet. Cook 35 minutes at 200 degrees. Let cool completely (I just let it sit and dry overnight) Use a pizza cutter to cut into small squares. Place in airtight container.

Add vinegar and milk and let sit a few minutes. Turn oven to 350 and spray 2 muffin pans

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together. Combine milk/vinegar, egg, and pumpkin. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in cinnamon chips

Put a spoonful of the muffin mix at the bottom of all cups(maybe leave 4 undone just in case). Put a dollup of cream cheese mix in the middle of each. Top with more mix, filling about 2/3rds full.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until muffin top springs back and keeps its shape when lightly pressed.

Let cool in pan 5 minutes then take out.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ham and Potato Soup

This soup is cheap and easy. Its a white soup, but since its just milk added, it doesn't seem overly heavy. Its very filling and nice to have on a lazy cold day. Not that in Florida I have any idea what those are like anymore. So I just crank the a/c and pretend! I think next time I will finish it with some fresh parsley

Ham and Potato Soup

4 tbsp butter, divided
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 8oz ham steak, diced into cubes
3 tbsp flour
4 cups diced gold or red potatoes
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a stock pot or dutch oven on medium. Add onion, celery,carrots and ham. Cook until fragrant and the onions are getting transparent.

Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes.

In a smal saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Heat until bubbling, stirring often. Once starting to bubble, add to large soup pot.

Let cook 5 minutes and taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cheesy Mexican Orzo

This is cheesy and spicy noodle goodness. If you like things more mild, cut the rotel in half. This is a fast and easy side, done in about 25 minutes.

Cheesy Mexican Orzo

2 tbsp butter
11/2 cups orzo
2 cups chicken stock (or veggie)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 can rotel, drained
1 cup mexi blend or cheddar cheese

In a sauce pan over medium high, melt the butter and add the orzo. Cook 2-3 minutes until toasted.

Add the stock, tomato sauce, and rotel. Stir. Once boiling, lower heat to medium low and cook 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed, stirring often.

Add cheese, stir, and remove from heat. Add salt if needed

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cilantro Pesto Roasted Chicken Thighs

I have been thinking about this dish for weeks. I just love cilantro. And I was looking at a basic pesto recipe a long time ago and thought about a mexican inspired pesto. And from that spurred this dish. Its very fresh and flavorful. The broth from the roasted chicken is amazing. The chicken was very moist. The pesto could be made a day or two ahead of time. Once the pesto is made, this dish couldn't be any easier. Try to marinade 24 hours, or at least several hours.

Cilantro Pesto Roasted Chicken Thighs

1 poblano pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1/3rd cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
zest and juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cotija, manchego, queso blanco, or parmesan cheese. Grated or crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil

4 pounds bone in, skin on chicken thighs (about 8)
2 limes

Coat the poblano pepper in a bit of oil and pop under the broiler. Check on it every couple minutes (literally 2-3. It doesn't take long) and rotate it until all sides are equally browned and bubbled. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 minutes. Remove outer skin. Take out the stems and seeds. Dice.

Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, toast the seeds over medium for a couple minutes, watching constantly. They will burn fast. Let cool a few minutes

Add the seeds to a food processor. Pulse until they are ground pretty fine.

Rip the top half of the cilantro bunch off. You want mostly just the leaves. I didn't go crazy pulling off the stems though. Add to processor and pulse until chopped very fine.

Add the garlic, zest, juice, and cheese. Pulse until combined.

Pour in olive oil as the processor is running on low. Pour until pesto is smooth.

Add salt as needed (different cheese have different salt levels)

Stir in the diced poblano.

Mix in large ziplock with chicken until its well coated. Marinate several-24 hours in refrigerator

1 hour before cooking, slice limes and add limes to chicken bag and mix well again.

Preheat oven to 375. Place chicken in a baking dish and cover with tin foil. Cook 40 minutes. Remove tin foil, turn on broiler and cook until chicken is browned. Keep a close eye.

Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.