Monthly Archives: April 2010

Chicken with mushrooms and gorgonzola sauce

Ok so yeah, I know that I failed with this photograph. You might be asking, what was she thinking taking a photograph of the chicken in white sauce over white rice? You can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. Well I was thinking about how hungry I was and how I wanted to eat the food while it was hot instead of taking time to figure out how to take a more aesthetically pleasing photo. Deal with it cuz the meal is really worth it. A picture says a million words. Maybe but it doesn’t tell you much about the taste. That’s what I am here for. Tender chicken breasts, creamy gorgonzola sauce with mushrooms…mmmm

Ingredients: 6 thinly sliced chicken breasts, 8 oz mushrooms,1 cup light cream, 1/2 cup milk, 3 oz crumbled gorgonzola, bunch of fresh dill, 1/2 tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper

Begin by soaking the chicken breasts in milk for about 30 minutes. This makes the chicken more tender and prevents it from becoming too dry.

While the chicken is soaking roughly chop up the mushrooms. In a skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoons of olive oil and mushrooms.

In a separate pot, on medium heat, allow the cream to come to a boil. Add the crumbled gorgonzola and stir with a wooden spoon until the gorgonzola melts in. Next add the cooked mushrooms.

Next chop the fresh dill and add to the sauce.

Stir everything together and leave the sauce on the stove for another minute.

In a skillet, on medium heat, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Drop the chicken breasts and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the chicken browns.

Once the chicken is cooked, top with some sauce and voila. Enjoy!

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course

Brunch Frittata with Spinach and Hash Browns

I love brunch. I love eggs. I love bacon. I love toast.I love coffee.I am a big brunch food person. It can be anytime of the day and I will be happy to eat brunch food. You can imagine why I like IHOP very much indeed. This frittata is great for many reason. 1st of all it’s brunch food (so I am in with both knives) and 2nd of all it’s great to make when you have a lot of people coming over for brunch which is what happened last week to me. This frittata required 10 eggs but was also enough for everyone at the table. Obviously I cheated and used frozen hash browns instead of cooking the potatoes myself. We pick and choose our own battles.

Ingredients: 10 eggs, 8 frozen hash brown patties, 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (get only this kind), 1/4 cup of milk, a big bunch of fresh spinach,1/2 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Begin by cooking the frozen patties. I threw mine in the oven for 15 minutes.Do not switch off the oven after.

When the hash browns are cooked, roughly chop them into small chunks

Lay the hash browns in a buttered lasagna pan. Next in a skillet on medium high heat add the butter and the spinach. Cook the spinach for 5 minutes. Add to the lasagna pan.

Next crack the eggs into a big bowl

Add salt, pepper and milk and whisk together. When the egg mixture is ready, pour it over the spinach and the hash browns. Add the shredded gruyere cheese.

Throw in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top crust browns.

Cut into squares and serve. Mornings have never tasted this good.

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Filed under Breakfast, Vegetarian

Quinoa Asparagus Salad

Recently I read in a Glamour article that Asparagus is a belly friendly food. Apparently it is “Natural diuretic that helps get rid of water weight”. Obviously I jumped on the asparagus wagon and made this super healthy Tabasco & Asparagus Quinoa salad that I got from 101 Cookbooks.I used different amount of ingredients for the Tabasco butter because I didn’t want any extra for the side. I also changed a few things around as I didn’t have the pine nuts, adding some goat cheese and cilantro. It’s all up to you. It came out great! Talk about eating healthy.

Ingredients: 2 cups of quinoa (uncooked), 1 lb asparagus, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature),2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 15 drops Tabasco sauce, 1 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt,fresh bunch of cilantro, 1 tablespoon of goat cheese (per serving), pepper to season

Begin by cooking the quinoa according to the instructions on the package

Next start making the Tabasco butter. To a food processor (or in my case a blender) add the butter.

Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the mustard, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Mix together. Squeeze half a lemon and put the other half aside.

Next set a pot with water and salt on medium-high heat to come to a boil. Meanwhile take the asparagus and cut into 1-inch strips.

Throw the asparagus in the boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Cookbooks 101 advises to cook the asparagus for only a minute but I absolutely detest uncooked asparagus and so I usually cook it for longer. Drain the asparagus and throw into an ice bath if you are planning on having leftovers.

Next chop the cilantro

In a big pot, melt the tabasco butter. Add the quinoa, asparagus and parsley and stir. Squeeze the second half of the lemon and cook for 5 minutes. Serve with goat cheese.


Filed under Salad, Vegetarian

No Name Pastry Thing

Boyfriend has this weird thing where he has to know what EVERYTHING on the plate is before he eats it. Obviously I get a huge kick in not telling him what anything on the plate is or how it was made. This dish though really does not have a name. When the boyfriend popped in the kitchen he obviously had to ask, “What you cooking?”. “You’ll see,” came my usual answer. When the pastry came out of the oven and was cut, the boyfriend identified the pears. “What’s the white stuff?” he pushed. “You’ll see.” “Is it sour cream? Is it mayonnaise, is it yogurt?” he proceeded. “Oh god it’s blue cheese!” yelled Anna from the living room. And that’s exactly what this. Blue cheese and pear filled pastry squares. Takes 20 minutes to make and just as long to eat.

Ingredients: 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, 3 pears, triangle of blue cheese (do not get the crumbled kind!)

Preheat oven to 350. Thaw the puff pastry sheets according to the instructions on the box. Then on a flour dusted surface roll out the puff pastry sheets.

Peel the pears and chop into long strips

Next take the blue cheese and cut into strips. I failed at following my own instruction. I kept the blue cheese outside the fridge for like an hour and so it crumbled under the knife. It is no big deal but if you can cut the blue cheese into slices more power to you.

Butter a baking sheet and place one rolled out puff pastry on top. Add the pears and blue cheese

Use the second puff pastry to create a top and seal the edges. Throw the baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust browns.

Cut the big pastry into squares and enjoy the different flavors that came together under 20 minutes. So any ideas for the name that I should give this recipe?


Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian

Honey Chicken Pasta

Do you have one of these days when there is absolutely nothing in the fridge and yet you cannot force yourself to go to the grocery store? The story of my life! What makes things even sadder is that I have a giant grocery store down my building. So last Sunday I found myself scouting the last remains of food in the fridge. Ketchup? Ummm no.Moldy Cheese? Probably not? My Moleskine notebook that I misplaced a week ago? What?! Oh god this semester needs to end like right about now. Along with the expired and inedible I found frozen chicken, pasta and cream. With honey and soy sauce an always yes at our house, I turned to an old recipe that my mum sent me a while ago. I know that honey, soy sauce and cream might sound like a weird combination but really give it a try.

Ingredients: 4 Chicken legs (if you don’t want to use the legs, use any dark chicken meat), 2 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup light cream, 1/2 lb pasta elbows, 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon flour, salt and pepper to season

Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Add the elbows and cook according to instructions on the box.

Add olive oil to a Dutch pan on medium heat. Next add the butter to the olive oil. Sounds weird? You are on the right track.

Next cut the chicken legs, careful to cut most of the meat of the bones. Discard the bones or throw back in the freezer to make chicken stock at a later time.

Add the chicken to the pan with butter and olive oil and sautee for 5 to 7 minutes. After the chicken cooks through, add the honey and the soy sauce. Sounds weird? Keep going.

Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked pasta.

Next pour the cream and add the flour

Mix together and cook for the last 5 minutes.

Serve right away cus this is not the leftover pasta. It tastes delicious hot and straight from the pan. Wait does it mean I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow?

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course, Pasta

‘Vegetarian’ Turkey Patties

I love turkey patties! I just find them a lot more rewarding than any beef burger patties out there. Having said that, I really like my turkey patties to be full of fragrant herbs and spices. And the more the better which jokingly makes them more vegetarian than turkeyish. Not only does the parsley and cilantro make the turkey patties taste amazing but they are also so pretty to look at. One of the tricks that I use when I cook turkey is added a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream to the raw meat to avoid it from becoming too dry. I also threw some coleslaw together while waiting for the patties to grill.

Ingredients: Makes around 4 patties

Turkey Patties: 1 1/2 lb minced turkey, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of yogurt of sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, black pepper and salt.

Coleslaw: Slaw Cabbage, mayonnaise, honey, relish, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to season

Begin by adding the minced turkey to a large bowl. Chop fresh cilantro and parsley. I used twice the amount of fresh herbs that are in the photo.

Add the fresh herbs to the bowl and throw the crumbled feta cheese in.

Add the breadcrumbs, paprika, salt, pepper, yogurt and 1 egg

Mix all this together with your hands. Yes sounds gross but that is the best way to get everything really well mixed.

Shape 4 round shaped balls

Add to a hot grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes

While the patties are cooking throw some cabbage slaw into a bowl. Add mayo, relish, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

Mix together and serve with the Turkey Patties.

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Filed under Main Course, Salad

And the crabs finally crawl out of the can

And 5 days later I open the can of crabs. With three weeks of the semester left, I have been crazy busy. On the topic of our seafood friends, I have finally decided to try them out. A little disappointing but Anna wisely noted, “They cost $1.99, did you really think that they would taste like they came right from the Kamchatka Peninsula?” The crabs were really crumbly and lacking the taste of the real king crabs. Having said, when mixed in a salad or added to wontons, they taste pretty decent. The heartiness of the red beans and the freshness of the cilantro with the saltiness of the crabs really create a flavorful combination. Judge for yourself.

Ingredients: 1 can of crabs, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 yellow pepper, 16 oz can of red kidney beans, 1 cucumber, fresh bunch of cilantro, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Begin by draining the red beans and washing them with cold water. Add to a big bowl.

Roughly dice the cucumber.

Add to the bowl. Next dice the yellow and the red peppers and add to the bowl.

Drain the crab meat

Chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.

Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix together and done! This salad, despite looking almost too easy, really does taste good so don’t dismiss it. Enjoy!

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Filed under Salad, Seafood

$1.99 for crab meat?!What?!

My love affair with Trader Joe’s just became a lot more intimate. Boyfriend already mocks my obsession with a grocery store that has no “real snacks” (apparently dried fruit and rice crackers don’t count). But last week I was browsing the shelves of Trader Joe’s and came upon this $1.99 crab meat. What? Crab meat never costs this little. But I came to trust my Trader lover Joe. He has taught me well with the most amazing foods such as Frozen Mini Croissants (which taste like they came right out of a Parisian bakery), Thai Lime & Chili Cashews (an unbelievable mix of spicy, sour and  sweet flavors) and Shrimp Gyoza (no words needed). I have an idea for a fun salad so we’ll test the crabs then. Come back to check out the review and a recipe.


Filed under Blah Blah

Broccoli Soup

Boyfriend thinks that I make some mean soup. I tend to agree. I love soup and have thousands of recipes from many cookbooks and blogs as well as some (“the crazy if you dare” concoctions) from my own head. When Anna bought some frozen broccoli from Trader Joes this weekend, I knew that Broccoli Soup Puree was a must. While fresh broccoli is a better alternative,  frozen broccoli works just as well (I am not picky, you know?). Hulk food? Maybe. But oh so good.

Ingredients: 1/2 lb of frozen broccoli, 1 large carrot, 4 oz sour cream, 2 tablespoons cream,2 cups vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to season.

Begin by steaming the broccoli. I threw mine in boiling water for maybe 5 to 10 minutes to become tender (the less you steam the more vitamins you retain!).

Next grate the washed and peeled carrot. Saute in a pot with olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add  broccoli to the pot and saute for 5 more minutes.

When the veggie are all nice and soft, add them to the blender. Top with the vegetable broth, sour cream, cream and salt and pepper.

Puree the mixture for a minute or until everything has blended into one smooth green mixture and return to the pot on medium heat.

Leave on the stove for 5 more minutes and then serve. Since, I am such a rebel, I topped my soup with croutons, cheddar cheese and goat cheese but just a sprinkle of any cheese will do. Enjoy!


Filed under Soup, Vegetarian

Stuffed Mushrooms

I have been really sick for the last week. It seems like some sort of vicious combination of a bad cold and seasonal allergies mixed into one. Stuffed nose, chills and fatigue though are not the worst of the symptoms. I HAVE LOST MY APPETITE! On any other occasion, this would have been a great opportunity to go on a diet but I have lost all desire for all food. Breakfast: Oatmeal, Lunch: Banana, Dinner: Apple and all this I force myself to eat to be able to take my Tylenol and Sudafed. So in view of this, I have not been cooking much. This recipe is an old one  so excuse me for the photos. This recipe is a great party appetizer. The toothpicks help the guests pick the mushrooms up and so it’s not messy. Always a success.

Ingredients: 16 oz white mushrooms, 4 oz crumbled blue cheese, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (plus some to sprinkle on the mushrooms), salt and pepper to season

*I did not have any crushed walnuts laying around but if you do or if you decide to buy them, it adds an even more delicious flavor. DO IT!

Preheat the oven to 350. Begin by carefully breaking off the stems of the mushrooms.

Discard the stems. Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Throw the mushrooms in the oven for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to release water.

In a bowl, mix together the crumbled blue cheese, crushed garlic, olive oil and if you have crushed walnuts (again I strongly suggest).

When the mushrooms are out of the oven and slightly cooled, begin to stuff them. Since not a lot of stuffing can go inside, pile some blue cheese combo on top.

Throw back into the oven for 7 minutes or until the blue cheese begins to melt. Serve warm.

As soon as I done being sick, new recipes will be posted.

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Filed under Appetizer, Vegetarian