Happy Thursday! Can you believe we have only more week of February left??!! February is my least favorite month of the year. It’s usually pretty grey where I live and besides the Super Bowl, there isn’t much to look forward to. March is on it’s way and I couldn’t be happier… and hopefully we’ll get some 70 degree weather like we did last year!
Since it was so warm last spring, I was able to use my grill a lot. Besides my Vitamix and slow cooker, my grill is another prized possession. There is something fun about cooking outside, the smell of the grill and easy clean up.
I long for those warm days. Earlier this week, Chicago’s windchill was in the negatives. Way too cold to be cooking outside, so I came up with a meal that reminded warm days will be here soon.
Blue Cheese Burgers with Steak Sauce Tomatoes & Onions. There isn’t much to it but when I took my first bite, I felt like this is something I would eat during the dog days of summer. Burgers stuffed with blue cheese. Homemade steak sauce. Freshly sliced tomatoes and onions. Doesn’t it sound like something you’d be eating at a cook out??!
I also made a side of sweet potato chips. I finally used my mandolin slicer for the first time. I’m loving this kitchen gadget, too! There is no way I would take the time to slice super duper thin potatoes with a knife to make chips. Now that I know how to use the mandolin, I feel like the world is my oyster.
If you’re wishing for warm days, I hate to break it to you but Mother Nature doesn’t care what you want. But this Blue Cheese Burger Meal will make you feel like it’s time to slap on the SPF and a tube top… or whatever you like to wear in the summer.
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- Salt & pepper
- Blue Cheese Crumbles
- 4 Buns, sliced & toasted
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 8 oz canned tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, pick more round shaped potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- For the burgers, add all ingredients except blue cheese into a bowl and mix with your hands. Shape into 4 patties. Make a hole in each patty and add blue cheese. Reshape patty to seal in the blue cheese. In a skillet, cook patties 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. When burgers are done, remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes. Place burger on toasted bun and top with Steak Sauce Tomatoes and Onions.
- For the Steak Sauce Tomatoes & Onions – in a sauce pan, add vinegar and the next 3 ingredients. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add tomato sauce and whisk in olive oil. Set aside to cool. In a bowl add tomatoes, onions and sauce. Toss to coat and garnish with parsley. Serve on top of burger patty.
- To make Sweet Potato Chips – Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice potatoes to be 1/4 inch thick. Add potatoes and all ingredients to a ziplock bag. Shake potatoes and the marinade. When the sliced potatoes are fully coated, place in a single layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
One thing I love to do is find new blogs. Some of you might know that from my #FollowFriday feature which I highlight a blog I’m crushing on and share 5 of their posts. I’m excited to be taking part of the Surprise Recipe Swap for February. Each month, a blogger is assigned to another participating blogger and pick a recipe of theirs to make & post about. If this is something you’d like to join, click on the Surprise Recipe Swap image to sign up!
For February, my assigned blog was Red, White & Blueberries. Melissa’s recipes are All American with a Texas twist. Cooking for family is something Melissa grew accustomed to. Her Mother & Grandmother would spend their weekends and vacations cooking for everyone. These days, Melissa is making meals for her husband and his large Greek family. We’re talking 30+ people. (wowza!)
The recipe I selected from Red, White & Blueberries was Melissa’s easy apple turnovers. Turnovers are great because they can be eaten anytime of day. I like turnovers for a sweet breakfast, an afternoon pick-me-up snack or as a dessert.
I really liked Melissa’s recipe because she took a little shortcut to get these turnovers on the table. For the dough, she used Pillsbury crescent rolls. This makes this dish super easy!
I did make a few changes to the recipe — for the apples, I mixed two different kinds. I like a tart apple (like Granny Smith) and then a sweet apple (like Gala). I always do this trick with any apple recipe — pie or cobbler — because mixing two kinds of apples provide a balance of flavor. It won’t be too sweet or tart. I also added goat cheese. I like the creamy texture and savoriness goat cheese gives this sweet turnover. It’s definitely something different, but I think you’ll like addition!
Red, White & Blueberries Easy Apple Turnover Recipe is a new favorite! I’m sure I’ll be making it again when I’m short on time in the morning for breakfast, looking for an afternoon treat or we’re having guests for dinner and I need a quick dessert.
- 2 apples, peeled and cubed. (I used 1 Granny Smith & 1 Gala Apple.)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 dash of salt
- 2 cups of water
- 1 can of Pillsbury crescent rolls
- 2-3 tbsp goat cheese crumbles
- 2 – 4 tbsp. water
- ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp. of vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sauce pan, add apples and the next 5 ingredients. Cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates. (the liquid should be thick like a syrup.) This step will take about 15 minutes.
- Roll out each crescent into a square shape. Take a spoonful of the apple turnover filling and place it in the center of crescent. Sprinkle goat cheese on top. Fold up the sides and pinch the dough to seal everything inside. Place turnovers on a grease cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until brown.
- To make glaze – combine water, sugar and vanilla. Stir until well combined and no clumps are visible. Drizzle over turnover and serve.
Happy Monday! How was everyone’s weekend??
I was happy to see the return of Shamrock yumminess.
On Saturday morning, I took my first spin class in like 10 years. Can someone PLEASE tell me why do they make the most uncomfortable seats for spin bikes??! I mean, it took me a good 20 minutes to get over the fact how much pain my hiney was in. I looked around the class to see if anyone had any remedies, like a seat pad or a towel, and no one did. Looks like I have a wimpy butt.
And then on Saturday night, my car battery died when we went to pick up take out pizza…Oh, and I parked illegally in a tow zone. Luckily we have AAA — but it was going to be a 90 minute wait. So the hubby & I ate pizza in the car and then went into Forever Yogurt to wait for the AAA guy to come save us. I was happy to eat this while we waited and people watched…and prayed not to get a parking ticket.
I’m happy to report Sunday was a drama free day. We went out for brunch, wandered aimlessly through the hardware store and sat on the couch judging other Big 10 basketball teams. (“other” meaning all teams except Indiana. )
My favorite part about Sunday is dinner. Growing up, we would always have a home cooked meal on Sunday nights. It was usually something meaty – like hamburgers, meatloaf or steaks. These days, I still love staying in and making a hearty dinner. It’s way better than sorting through take out menus at 6pm trying to figure out what to eat.
A Sunday meal doesn’t get any easier than this – (5 Ingredient) Slow Cooker Ranch Seasoned Beef. It would be great to eat like a pot roast with some potatoes or you can shred the beef and serve it as a sandwich. I decided to go the sandwich route…mainly because I wanted to top it with cheese. YUM!
The marinade for the beef is super easy and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry. To make this slow cooker meal, all you need is an onion, distilled white vinegar, a Hidden Valley Ranch Packet & 2 garlic cloves. Mix everything together and pour over the beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.
I loved how flavorful this beef tasted! The vinegar helps to break down the meat to make it tender and gives the beef some tang. And of course, Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning is the best thing ever invented. I decided to use the seasoning packet to cook with the beef so every bite was infused with a ranch kick!
Since this meal is so easy, it would also be a great week night meal! Just put everything in the slow cooker before heading off to work and when you’re home, dinner is ready.
I like my Sunday’s to be pretty effortless, and that includes making dinner. I wish all of my meals only required 5 ingredients!
- Cooking Spray
- 1 Onion, sliced
- 3lb Chuck Pot Roast, Boneless & seasoned with Salt & Pepper
- 1/3 cup Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 Hidden Valley Ranch Packet (1.0 oz)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp water
- 6 French Rolls, sandwich size (optional)
- 6 slices of Mozzarella (optional)
- Spray crock pot with cooking spray. Add sliced onions and place beef on top. Mix vinegar, ranch packet, garlic and water. Stir and pour over beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- To make sandwiches – shred beef and place in french rolls. Add cheese on top of beef. Broil in the oven until cheese is melted.
I’ve been working on being more creative with my food lately. Coming up with unique and out of the box recipes to share…
Cobb Salad and Egg Rolls. Both on their own are great appetizers. By combining both of them, you get a super appetizer baked in a crispy wonton. All I did was combine my favorite toppings from a Cobb salad (sorry, but NO black olives!), shredded cabbage and baked in Nasoya’s egg roll wraps.
I didn’t know what to expect when these rolls came out of the oven. They looked beautiful on the outside – all brown and crisp. I could hardly wait to take a bite. I used some ranch dressing to dip the egg roll in and I took a bite. All I could hope for was not some epic kitchen fail.
No fail here! My first bite was filled with shredded chicken, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes, hard boiled egg and green onions. The shredded chicken, avocado and blue cheese made the inside of the egg roll very rich and filling. These could be a light appetizer or have a couple for dinner.
- 1 1/4 cup shredded cabbage slaw
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 squirt of honey
- Salt & Pepper
- 8 egg roll wrappers (I used Nasoya brand)
- 1 1/2 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 1 avocado, diced
- blue cheese crumbles
- 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
- 4 sliced of cooked bacon, crumbled
- 3 green onions, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- Ranch dressing
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
- In a large boil, add cabbage slaw. To make slaw dressing, combine vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Stir and pour over cabbage. Toss slaw with dressing.
- Make an assembly line with all of the remaining ingredients. (except for the Ranch dressing.) Take an egg roll wrapper and lay it so it looks like a diamond. Spread a few dabs of water on top of the diamond to help it stick. Layer the cabbage slaw and the rest of the filling ingredients in the middle of the egg roll wrapper.
- To fold the egg roll – Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold in both sides snugly against filling. Roll the wrap up and seal with the top corner. Lay flap side down on cookie sheet. Repeat with other egg roll wrappers.
- When ready to bake, spray the top of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Check to see if egg rolls are browning. Bake longer if needed. Serve immediately with ranch dressing for dipping.
A few weeks ago, my husband & I went to a very popular burger bar in Chicago. It’s called Kuma’s Corner — maybe you’ve heard of it…?? It’s known for it’s award winning heavy metal themed burgers, loud music and long wait times. The description I just gave doesn’t give it justice — Kuma’s has serious burger street cred. Just google to see the endless reviews and famous guests they’ve served. (It’s Lady Gaga’s favorite burger joint!)
Besides having the best burgers, they’re also known for their “killer mac n’ cheese.” I think the killer comes from how sinfully delicious this little dish can be. It’s very cheesy and you have the option of picking two toppings. I looked right past the calorie content and picked two of my favorite – bacon and caramelized onions. There are no diet options when eating at Kuma’s…or when ordering mac n’ cheese.
Weeks have passed since eating at Kuma’s. And guess what I can’t stop thinking about?? Killer mac n’ cheese. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought making a rich pasta dish using the inspiration from Kuma’s would be a great recipe to share with you. I said last week, there is something about Valentine’s Day which makes me crave Italian food. Mac n’ cheese doesn’t scream romance, but risotto sure does.
I’m not sure what kind of cheese Kuma’s uses for their recipe, so I picked a variety that would go great together. Sharp White Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cream Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. (FYI – There are no calorie restrictions on special occasions.) The sharpness of the white cheddar could easily stand alone… but by pairing it with monterey jack and cream cheese, the dish is transformed into a creamy and decadent flavor bomb. And of course, by topping the risotto with Parmesan cheese, bacon and caramelized onions, you’ve got a fancy restaurant style meal made in your own home.
Making risotto is a labor of love (and a great arm work-out!). I can’t think of a better way to show someone you care than by making an amazing dinner. This Four Cheese Risotto with Bacon & Caramelized Onions fits the bill. It’s special occasion worthy!
Are you making a special meal or dessert for Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear about it!
- 6 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 6 cups of stock or broth
- Splash of olive oil
- 12 oz arborio rice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar
- 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- Pepper, to taste
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In a large skillet, cook and brown bacon slices. Remove from skillet and place on a paper lined plate. Set aside. Add onions to same skillet and cook in bacon fat. Cook low and slow to caramelize onions. This will take 20-30 minutes. Add a little water if the skillet gets dry. When onions are brown, remove from heat and place on a plate. Set aside.
- In a sauce pan, bring stock or broth to a boil. Lower heat to low and cover with a lid.
- In the same skillet used for bacon and onions, add a splash of olive oil, rice and garlic. Stir until rice turns a light brown. Pour white white in skillet and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
- Using a ladle at a time, pour warmed stock/broth into the rice skillet. Stir until all liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step until rice is cooked to al dente. (can take up to 30 minutes.) If you run out of stock/broth, just add warm water.
- When the risotto is cooked, add cheddar, monterey jack and cream cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and is well combined. Add 1/2 of the onions and bacon to the skillet. Stir into the risotto.
- Taste and add pepper. (you won’t need salt, trust me!) Top each serving with shredded Parmesan cheese, bacon pieces and onions. Serve warm.
I have a serious addiction…and my first step to recovery is admitting it, right? My inner demon has been with me since I was little and my need for it happens everyday. I don’t even care if I can’t kick the habit.
This addiction I’m writing about is chocolate and peanut butter. I’m not ashamed I have peanut butter cups hidden around the house, chocolate and peanut butter ice cream in the freezer or pin just about everything with chocolate & peanut butter in the recipe title. (I really do need a pin board JUST for peanut butter and chocolate recipes!)
When I was a kid, my favorite cereal was Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. We always had it in the pantry and my Mom would spoil me by adding a little cream to milk in my bowl. It was so rich and fantastic. Almost like getting a treat for breakfast.
I probably haven’t had Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal for 15 years. But as soon as I opened the box and took a bite, it reminded me of being a kid. I won’t wait another 15 years to get another box, that’s for sure!
I went over to the Cap’n Crunch website the other days to see if they had any recipes. I was so excited to see a cereal bar recipe and I couldn’t wait to make it. Guess what it combined — Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch cereal and chocolate. I couldn’t wait to eat it!
This bar is a lot like a rice crispy treat. The same method is used to make these Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bars. (melt butter & marshmallows and then combining it with the cereal.) It’s super easy and will take you 5 minutes.
If there ever is a time when I don’t have a chocolate & peanut butter treat in the house to eat, I know I can get my fix with these Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch & Chocolate Bars.
- 5 cups Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
- 1/2 cup Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 tbsp sprinkles (optional)
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 bag (10 oz) Marshmallows
- 1/3 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- In a 13 x 9 casserole dish, line with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine cereal, chocolate and sprinkles in a bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl, microwave butter for 45 seconds. Repeat until butter is melted.
- Add marshmallows and peanut butter to the melted butter. Stir and microwave for 45 seconds. Continue to microwave until marshmallows are melted.
- This step must be done quickly – Add cereal to marshmallow mixture. Stir to combine. Press firmly into the casserole dish. Let it cool before cutting into squares. Decorate with extra sprinkles. (optional.)
Recipe from Cap’n Crunch
Happy Friday!! It’s a good thing you guys can’t see me today. I’ve had a headache for two days and I’m just not my usually smiley self. I’m blaming the crazy weather. Change of weather can give people headaches, right??
Lemons for Lulu — doesn’t that make you feel warm and happy?!! It sure does for me! Tanya, the Ohio native behind Lemons for Lulu, will make you smile everyday… just look at her food. All of her meals are things she makes for her family. After stalking her website, I really wish I was young enough to be adopted. I’d love to have a place at her table! Tanya grew up loving food and all of her recipes show it.
I’ve selected 5 recipes from Lemons for Lulu to share with you. Get ready to feel hungry!
If I woke up one morning and this donut was waiting for me, I’d jump for joy. I love anything s’mores!
I love this dip! It can be eaten with crackers, bread or veggies.
I expressed last week I love BBQ chicken pizza. I’ve always wanted to grill pizza dough but I’ve been scared of messing it up. This recipe makes me want to give it a try. The reward looks amazing!
Ok, so this treat has a red velvet brownie, caramel and a flaky shortbread cookie. I think my head just exploded.
Have you missed my past #FollowFriday posts? No fear, I have a pin board with all of the past blogger’s recipes for easy reference. How can you be my Featured #FollowFriday Blogger next week? It’s easy! All I have to know is know about you! Make comments on my blog, get active in Link Parties or take drool worthy pictures. (I’m easily distracted by yummy looking food!) If you are featured, all I ask is for you to tell you fans & followers you were featured on The Tasty Fork. I’ve got a #FollowFriday button on the right sidebar if you’d like to add it to your featured list.
Have a great weekend! See you on Monday!
If I had to pick only one type of cuisine to eat for the rest of my life, I’d pick Mexican. No doubt. I could live on chips, salsa and queso… oh and guacamole. And I’d be so happy!
But seriously, Mexican food is amazing. My only complaint – when we go out to dinner, I have a hard time picking what I want….and then when the waiter arrives to take my order, I’m usually debating between 4 items and I’m forced to chose. When in doubt, I’ll pick enchiladas. It’s a safe choice. Who doesn’t like meat, veggies & cheese wrapped in a warmed tortilla??
I’ve found a way to make create my own spin on chicken enchiladas — Instead of wrapping all of the ingredients in a tortilla, try chicken. Yes, stuff and roll a chicken breast. It’s a bit different, but it’s darn good…. oh and I also made an enchilada cheese sauce. I clearly need someone to take away my cheese grater. This is the second bechamel cheese sauce I’ve made this week.
Ok, so this is how everything comes together. The filling has veggies, sour cream, cheese and cut up tortillas. On a butterflied and pounded/flattened chicken breast, place a large spoonful of the filling on one side and start to roll. Secure with at least 2 toothpicks. When all of the chicken breasts are ready to be baked, top with the enchilada cheese sauce. Bake for 45 minutes.
This is a bit more of a labor intensive meal than I’d prefer for a week night meal. So it’s perfect for a weekend or if you plan ahead, the chicken can be rolled up a day before and top it with the enchilada cheese sauce right before it’s baked.
Trust me, this meal is well worth the effort! I love all of the cheese (obviously!) and you can still taste the tortillas in the filling. Plus, do we ever get enough chicken in restaurant enchiladas? Heck no! For this recipe – Inside Out Chicken Enchiladas – chicken is the star of the show.
- 2.5 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 1/2 Onion, diced
- 4 Corn Tortillas, sliced into strips and then cut again. (will look like squares)
- 4 oz can Mild Green Chilis
- 15 oz can Black Beans, drained
- 1 tbsp Cilantro, diced
- 1 cup Sour cream
- 1 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
- Salt, to season
- Cooking Spray
- 2 10 oz cans Enchilada Sauce
- 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, butterflied and flattened
- 2 tbsp Butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 cup Skim Milk
- 8 oz block Monterey Jack & Chedder Cheese, shredded
- Pre-heat oven 375 degrees.
- To make the enchilada filling, combine the taco seasoning and the next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and taste. Add salt if needed.
- Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour 1 can of enchilada sauce into the dish.
- For the chicken roll ups – take one large spoonful of the enchilada filling and place it on one side of a chicken breast.Fold over and roll chicken. Secure with toothpicks. Place in the casserole dish. Repeat 5 more times.
- In a sauce pan, add butter & flour. Stir and cook until the mixture is a deep blonde color. Add 1 cup of milk and stir with a whisk. When the sauce has thickened, add the other can of enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in half of the Monterey Jack & Chedder cheese. Stir until all of the cheese is melted. Pour sauce over chicken.
- Bake chicken for 45 minutes. Take out chicken and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove chicken and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Hi Everyone!! What is the first thing you think of when someone says – Valentine’s Day. I’m sure a lot of you think chocolate, flowers or romance…but for me, I think Italian food. I’m not sure why but I’m guessing it has to do with a certain spaghetti scene from a dog loving Disney movie…. And I guess there is something about Italian food which is kinda sexy. (I blushed when I typed that!) Twirling pasta, drinking wine, low lighting….meow!
Since I love to cook, my hubby & I will celebrate Valentine’s Day by staying in. In Chicago, if you don’t book your reservation weeks in advance, good luck at getting something that isn’t super early or late.
Making a special meal is a great way to show someone you love them, but you don’t need to stay in your kitchen all evening to prepare a spectacular meal. Lasagna is amazing, but it takes FOREVER to actually eat it. You have prepare everything, assemble the lasagna and then bake it for 60 minutes. There is a time and a place for lasagna, just not on Valentine’s Day.
To give you more time with your honey, I created a Lasagna Bolognese Pasta Toss. It has all of the elements of a lasagna — meat sauce, bechamel sauce, cheese and pasta — but you don’t have to bake it in the oven. And that means you’ll get to eat a lot sooner!
Bolognese sauce is one of my favorite meat sauces. It’s filled with veggies, garlic, pancetta, ground pork, red wine and tomatoes. This meat sauce recipe is doubled. I like to let it sit for a few days, so the flavor even builds and toss it with spaghetti. Or freeze the sauce and use it at a later date.
If you’re still scanning the Internet for the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, give this Lasagna Bolognese Pasta Toss a try! You can make a sexy Italian meal and spend more time with the one you love.
- * 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- * 1 Onion, diced
- * 3 Celery stalks, diced
- * 4 Carrots, diced
- * 5 Slices of Pancetta, sliced
- * 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- * 1 lb Ground pork
- * 2 tbsp Parsley
- * A few dashes of Red Pepper flakes
- * 1 cup Red Wine
- * 28 oz canned Crushed Tomatoes
- * 28 oz canned Diced Tomatoes
- * Salt & Pepper, to taste
- * 13.25 oz Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
- * 2 tbsp Butter
- * 2 tbsp Flour
- * 1 cup Skim Milk
- * 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- * Salt & Pepper, to season
- * 1 1/2 cups of your favorite Italian Style Cheese Blend
- * Shredded Parmesan Cheese, garnish
- * Parsley, for garnish
- Pour oil into a warm large skillet. At a medium heat, add onions, celery & carrots. Stir and cook until soft. Stir in pancetta and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and keep stirring. Add pork and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until pork starts to brown. Stir in parsley and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute.
- Pour wine into the skillet and cook until wine is evaporated. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan and get the brown bits. Add both cans of tomatoes. Bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt & pepper, if needed.
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
- To make bechamel – In a sauce pan, add butter and flour. Stir consistently and cook until the color turns to a deep blonde color. Stir in one cup of milk, using a whisk. When sauce starts to thicken, add Dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Turn off heat and add in the 1.5 cups of the cheese blend. Stir until there are no clumps.
- Remove half of the meat sauce and set aside. (Use at a later date!) Add drained pasta & bechamel sauce to the meat sauce. Stir until well combined.
- To serve, top each portion with shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Sorry this post is a little late. I like to have a new recipe up on Monday but my weekend got away from me. Does that ever happen to you??
When I attended culinary school, I’d always get super excited when Yogurt Chicken was for dinner in the cafeteria. Yogurt Chicken sounds kinda gross, so I steered clear of it until one of my friends told me it was delicious and a must try. So with hesitation, I tried it. I was expecting I’d try a bite, spit it out and get something else to eat… but I was wrong. Yogurt Chicken was amazing! The yogurt kept the chicken breast from drying out and there was a Parmesan cheese crust on top which I could’ve eaten in spoonfuls.
It’s been awhile since my culinary school days. I found myself thinking about that Yogurt Chicken, but I wanted to make it my own way. To give the yogurt base more flavor, I mixed in red curry paste, garlic powder and lime juice. As much as I loved the Parmesan cheese crust, I wanted something a bit healthier. I made a panko bread coating, which still gave the crusty topping I was looking for but with less calories.
Having a side of sauteed vegetables is the perfect way to round out the meal. I boiled and blanched green beans & then added them to a hot pan with red peppers and garlic. I love the burst of color! (and the taste was on point, too!)
Yogurt Chicken is something I never would of eaten if I wasn’t told to try it. Is there something you were pushed to taste and you loved it??
- 1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Red Curry Paste
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
- Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- 2 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Cilantro, for garnish
- 12 oz French Cut Green Beans
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Red Peppers, sliced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Red Pepper Flakes, a dash
- Salt, to taste
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add yogurt and the next 4 ingredients. Stir until well combined. In a shallow dish, combine panko bread crumbs and red pepper flakes. Dunk one chicken breast into the yogurt mixture, both sides of the chicken should be covered. Next, place chicken in the panko. Press chicken into the panko to cover the chicken. Put chicken in baking dish and repeat steps with each chicken breast. Bake for 35 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
- In a sauce pan filled with water, add french green beans and bring water to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Immediately drain green beans then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and toss and stir for about 1 minute. Add the beans and saute for 1 minute longer. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Season with salt if needed. Turn off heat and sprinkle cilantro. Serve immediately.