Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Chili with Corn Spoon Bread

We had another snowstorm yesterday, so this felt like a very appropriate dinner option. It was pretty good. Not my favorite chili, but definitely not bad. The spoon bread also wasn't my favorite, but Jonathan really liked it. Of course, it had two of his favorite things -- corn and milk -- so it was hard to go wrong there.

Chicken Enchilada Chili
Courtesy of Stephanie O'Dea


1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
2 (14.5-ounce) cans tomatoes with seasoning
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto or kidney beans with juice (or 1 cup dry pinto beans, soaked overnight)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, diced, or 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds chicken (thighs, legs, breasts - your choice)
Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for serving (optional)

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the enchilada sauce and tomatoes into the bottom of the removable stoneware insert. Add the beans, celery, onion, and spices, and stir to combine. Place the chicken on top.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the flavors have combined. If you are using dry beans, you may need to cook longer to fully soften the beans. If your chicken has bones, fish the bones out before serving. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.


Corn Spoon Bread
Courtesy of Real Simple


3 cups whole milk
2 cups fresh corn kernels or one 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed
3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 350°F.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk and the corn to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining milk and the cornmeal. Whisking constantly, slowly add the mixture to the boiling milk. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs.

Transfer to a buttered casserole or cast-iron skillet. Bake until golden and set, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Double Quick Dinner Rolls

Yummy on a cold night.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
A variation on this recipe from Cooking Light


8 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 4.3-ounce package long grain and wild rice (such as Rice-A-Roni)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare rice, according to packaging, using broth instead of water. Set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through thyme) to pan; sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are transparent. Stir in butter and mushrooms; sauté until lightly browned. Add remaining broth, rice, salt, and pepper to pan; cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.


Double Quick Dinner Rolls
A variation on this recipe from


2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110°F/45°C)
1/4 cup dry potato flakes
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add potato flakes, sugar, salt, egg, vegetable oil, onion powder, and 1cup of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour. Continue stirring until smooth, scraping batter from sides of bowl.

Cover and let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

Punch down dough. Spoon dough into muffin cups, filling each half full. Let rise until batter reaches tops of cups, or about 20 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes. Brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Black and White Cookies

I can't ever seem to find black and white cookies anywhere and they're some of my favorites, so this was a very happy recipe find. It's a pretty decent version, and it was fun "painting" on the icing.

Black and White Cookies
Courtesy of Gourmet


For cookies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

For icings:
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

Make cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill completely.

Make icings while cookies chill:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

Ice cookies:
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Just felt like making muffins today, so I did. And these are awesome. Moist and with the perfect amount of sweetness.

I was also able to use the YumBots™ that I got from my brother-in-law for Christmas. They will be so fun to use for a birthday party!

Cranberry Orange Muffins
A variation on this recipe from TasteBook


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup fresh orange juice
1 large egg
⅓ cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
2-3 teaspoons turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with muffin cups.

In a food processor, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, egg, and sour cream. Add the mixture to the flour mixture and stir the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the cranberries. Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to muffin pan. Sprinkle the batter with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer muffins to rack to cool.

Smoky Veggie Mac & Cheese with Prosciutto

This is my first totally original recipe. And it won over my usually mac and cheese disliking husband. Woo!

Edited to add (1/30/12): I have to say that tonight's variation of fontina cheese (instead of smoked gouda) and a teaspoon of herbs de Provence was also delightful.

Smoky Veggie Mac & Cheese with Prosciutto


1 pound cavatappi (or other corkscrew pasta)
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
4 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
2/3 cup Parmesan, grated
9 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 cup panko

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil in Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add prosciutto and sauté until crisp. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in the same pot and add mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are brown and some of the liquid starts to evaporate, about 10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add flour and sauté for another 2 minutes. Whisk in milk until blended and then bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Stir in spinach a few handfuls at a time. Then add cooked and drained pasta and reserved prosciutto. Mix well and then pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle panko on top. Bake until bubbly and starting to brown, about 25 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mocha Chip Angel Food Cake

Excellent twist on angel food cake. It suggests being served with a mocha ganache, but we just added some vanilla ice cream. I'll add the recipe here since I'll probably give it a whirl sometime later. How you could go wrong with some mocha ganache, right?

I cannot find a link to this recipe online, but I got it from the Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine.

Mocha Chip Angel Food Cake
Courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine


2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
1 recipe Mocha Ganache (below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir together espresso powder, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water until powder dissolves.

In a large, wide bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high until foamy, about 1 minute. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form, 4 minutes. Continue to beat, gradually adding sugar, until stiff glossy peaks form, about 2 minutes. (If using a standard mixer, gently transfer egg-white mixture to a large, wide bowl for easier folding.)

Place cake flour and salt in a fine-mesh sieve and sift over egg-white mixture in three additions, gently folding with a rubber spatula after each addition. Gently fold in espresso mixture and chocolate chips. Gently spoon batter into an ungreased angel-food cake pan with a removable bottom. With a knife, cut through batter to release air bubbles, then smooth top. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed, 30 to 35 minutes.

Invert pan on a baking sheet; let cake cool in pan, 1 hour. Run a thin knife around pan and tube, then unmold cake. Serve drizzled with ganache. (Store cooled cake in pan, wrapped in plastic, up to 3 days.)

Mocha Ganache

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)
1/2 cup skim milk
2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Place chocolate chips, milk, and espresso powder in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. (Refrigerate up to 1 week.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lemon Chicken Fricassee with Biscuit Topping

I think I may have simmered this down a bit too much since there wasn't much liquid in the final product. But it was very good. A good comfort food option.

The only thing I did differently was add some fresh thyme. I really like the flavors of thyme and lemon together, and since I had some, I thought I'd throw it in. I thought it was a good addition.

Lemon Chicken Fricassee with Biscuit Topping
A variation on this recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray


8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds), quartered
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
One 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons shortening over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the peas and carrots, thyme, lemon peel and lemon juice.

In a bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using your fingertips, rub the remaining 1/2 cup shortening into the dry ingredients. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk to form a dough. Transfer to a floured surface and roll out 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, form 8 biscuits.

Top the chicken mixture with the biscuits and brush the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Bake until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Mustard-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

This was lovely and definitely fit for company. I added/changed up some of the vegetables since I had some in the fridge that needed to be used. The breasts came out beautifully within the suggested cooking time, but the dark meat needed a little more time. I also put the vegetables back in the oven to crisp them up a bit after taking the chicken out.

Mustard-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
Courtesy of Real Simple


1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt and pepper
4 small carrots, cut in half crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
8 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400°F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat.

Combine the carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a roasting pan.

Nestle the chicken among the vegetables. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

Divide the chicken and vegetables among individual plates.

White Bean Chili

This definitely needed the chili powder that Stephanie O'Dea mentions in the paragraph before the recipe. It also needs salt. I also used Italian seasoning because I couldn't find the dried fennel that the original recipe called for. It's a solid and easy recipe that makes the house smell good and is very enjoyable on a cold day/night.

White Bean Chili
A variation on this recipe by Stephanie O'Dea

1 pound dry Great Northern white beans
1 pound smoked Italian sausage, sliced (pork, turkey, chicken, whatever your preference)
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
Salt, to taste

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Sort through the beans, and soak overnight. If you don't have time to soak them overnight, boil rapidly on the stovetop for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover. Let the beans sit in hot water for 1 hour before draining and using in the slow cooker.

Put the beans into the cooker, and add the sausage and celery. Add the garlic, and spices. Pour in the tomatoes and water, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, high for 4 to 5 hours, or until the beans have reached the desired tenderness. Add salt, to taste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coffee-Caramel Crème Brûlée

This is amazing. And while I was pretty happy with my first attempt at crème brûlée, this version made me realize that the other one was a little on the gritty side. This one was so smooth. And because I had had some practice using the brûlée torch, the caramelized sugar on top was a lot more evenly caramelized. Chilling the custards after using the torching also seemed to help make the topping more evenly crunchy.

I can't stress enough how easy these things are to make. You will wow your guests with very little effort.

Coffee-Caramel Crème Brûlée
Courtesy of Bon Appétit


2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1/4 cup dark-roast coffee beans (such as French roast; about 3/4 ounce), crushed with mallet in plastic bag
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
2 cups half and half
8 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons raw sugar*

Bring 1 cup cream and coffee beans to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Stir 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 11 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add remaining 1 cup whipping cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir over low heat until caramel is smooth. Stir in half and half. Strain coffee-infused cream into caramel cream; discard coffee beans in strainer.

Whisk yolks, salt, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in cream mixture. Strain custard into large measuring cup.

Arrange eight 2/3-to 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups in roasting pan. Divide custard among ramekins. Add enough warm water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins or custard cups.

Bake custards until just set in center, 65 to 70 minutes. Transfer custards from water bath directly to refrigerator. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Sprinkle top of each custard with 1 teaspoon raw sugar. Using kitchen torch, melt sugar on each custard until deep amber. (Alternatively, preheat broiler. Arrange custards on small rimmed baking sheet; broil until sugar topping melts and browns, about 2 minutes.) Refrigerate custards until sugar topping hardens, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour (do not chill longer than 1 hour or topping will start to soften). Serve custards cold.

* Also called turbinado or demerara sugar; available at most supermarkets and at natural foods stores.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

An easy weeknight meal. I rounded it out a bit with some roasted broccoli.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken
Courtesy of Cooking Light

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 (6.75-ounce) package thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wild Rice and Celery Root Soup with Chicken

Yum yum yum. Pureeing the one cup of soup mixture makes the final soup product surprisingly creamy. So hearty and healthy and delicious. A perfect dinner after a couple of weeks of overindulging.

Wild Rice and Celery Root Soup with Chicken
A variation on this recipe from Cooking Light


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced leek
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled celeriac (celery root; about 3/4 pound)
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add celeriac, broth, 1 cup water, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until celeriac is tender.

Place 1 cup soup mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Add pureed soup mixture back to saucepan. Add wild rice and chicken; cook 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives.