24 August 2011

Lime- and Chili-Rubbed Chicken Breasts

2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp olive oil

  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, brown sugar, lime zest, salt, garlic powder, and ground red pepper. rub both sides of chicken with oil, then with spice mixture.
  2. Place chicken on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, until juice of chicken is clean when center of thickest part is cut (170 deg).

South of the border Chicken & Pasta Skillet

2 cups medium-shaped pasta, uncooked
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 jar salsa
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese, divided

  1. Cook pasta as directed on package.
  2. Meanwhile, cook and stir chicken in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium, high heat for 6 minutes, or until done. Add next 4 ingredients; mix well. Simmer on medium-low heat 6 minutes or until cream cheese in melted, stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture with 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Simmer 3 minute\s or until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. top with remaining shredded cheese; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand until cheese is melted.

Four-Cheese Baked Penne

An old friend of mine sent me this recipe.  Quite honestly, it didn't sound very good until I tried it.  It really is fantastic.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups small-curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 lb penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15 ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ricotta, and parsley in a bowl.
  3. Cook pasta until tender but firm; drain.
  4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds more. Add tomatoes, sauce, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper flakes, and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add pasta; turn off heat. Stir in cheese-parsley mixture.
  6. Coat a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray; transfer pasta mixture to dish. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes.

Cheesy beef burritos

My wife immediately showed displeasure at my cooking a been burrito, but she changed when we ate these.  In fact, we both had the delicious leftovers the next day.

1/2 lb ground beef
2 tsp chili powder
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 flour tortillas (10 inch)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

  1. Cook meat and chili powder in a large skillet on medium-high heat until the meat browns, stirring frequently. Drain.
  2. Add beans and salsa; cook 5 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese.
  3. Spread mixture down center of tortillas; top with sour cream, tomatoes, and lettuce.
  4. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up burrito-style.

Italian Bread Dough

Cooking is an experience beyond words.  It's such a wonderful feeling to prepare food to be shared with friends and family.  In my endeavor to prepare the perfect pizza crust, I have replaced my prior crust with this fantastic one.  Per the recommendation of the original recipe, I do measure by weight.  However, as I live in a highly humid part of the country, I have to add a considerable amount of flour to the dough.  Here it is, by weight and by volume.  Enjoy!

500 grams (4 cups) flour
325 grams (1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons) water
10 grams (2 teaspoons) salt
3 grams (1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast
olive oil

  1. Mix flour, water, salt, and yeast together.  Be sure to keep yeast an salt separate until you begin mixing, as salt kills yeast.  If using a stand mixer, mix slowly for 2 minutes, faster for 5 minutes, then slowly again for 2 minutes.  If by hand, mix for 6-8 minutes, until well combined.
  2. Coat a bowl with oil. Roll dough around the bowl to coat well. With a sharp knife, place an X in the top of the dough. Cover; let rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  3. Punch dough down, then divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover, and let rest for 1 hour.
  4. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, then dust with cornmeal. Follow pizza directions from prior post to piece together.

Hot Dog Chili Sauce

It takes a special sauce to place on a hot dog, and this is that sauce!  Fashioned after, the A&W coney dog sauce, this bold sauce is easy to make, inexpensive, and simple to freeze in portioned containers.

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6-oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
1 Tbsp onion flakes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp ground cumin
  1. Cook the ground beef in a saucepan until it browns. Drain.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Use about 3 tablespoons per hot dog.  Freeze whatever you don't use.  Enjoy!

Katie's Favorite Sloppy Joes

My wife Katie is not a fan of sloppy Joes, but these ones she enjoys.    Here it is!

2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground allspice
8 sandwich buns, split

  1. In a large pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Drain.
  2. Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard, chili powder, and allspice.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Spoon over buns for either open-faced or closed sandwiches.  Enjoy!