Monthly Archives: April 2011

What to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs

Having thought that more than a dozen of dyed eggs is a great idea for Easter, I now have way more hard-boiled eggs than I would like to eat. So now I am stuffing them in all possible foods including sandwiches and puff pastry. This recipe is somewhat russian (we use the same minced meat filling in savory blinis and in Pirozhki) and it is very close to the Tuna Empanadas I made a few months ago. If anyone else has any ideas about what to do with the leftover eggs or a good recipe for a breakfast pizza, do let me know. I am losing all creativity.

Ingredients: 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry thawed, 4 hard-boiled eggs roughly chopped, 1 lb minced beef, 1 onion cubed, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 425. Begin by adding olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes.

Add the meat and saute until cooked through

Add the meat and onion to a bowl and top with the hard-boiled eggs. Add salt and pepper and mix together

On a butter cookie sheet, lay one sheet of puff pastry. Add the filling to it and top with a second sheet of puff pastry making sure to seal the edges all around. Lightly beat the egg and brush the puff pastry with the egg wash.

Make 3 slits in the puff pastry and cook in the oven until the pastry becomes golden for about 15 to 20 minutes.



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Filed under Meat, Pastry, Russian

Happy Easter Everyone from Monster Eggs

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Filed under Seasonal

Middle Eastern Inspired Chicken

Za’atar [ZAT-ahr] is a Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, thyme, roasted sesame seeds, marjoram, oregano and salt. It is a common all-purpose spice in Middle East used with bread, poultry, meat, vegetables, yogurt and olive oil. It is pretty easy to find it in international section of the grocery store if you don’t feel like making it yourself. Feeling nostalgic for Dubai and the yummy Lebanese and Iranian food, I decided to make a semi Middle Eastern dish.

Ingredients: 4 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, lemon juice from 1 lemon, bunches of fresh mint chopped, 2 tablespoons of za’atar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt (like Greek), salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. To a bowl add fresh lemon juice. Add olive oil and whisk together.

Add za’atar and mint and mix together.

Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Add the mint mix and yogurt to the chicken.

Mix together and lay in a buttered dish

Bake in oven till the chicken is cooked for around 20 to 30 minutes.

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course

A successful attempt at cooking Indian

I never thought that I could make something like this. When I first saw the long list of recipe, I was like petrified but reassured by Baked Bree‘s post, I decided to try it. Oh my god it’s amazing. Absolutely delicious and tasted authentically Indian. A must try for those who like Indian food or chicken tikka masala. For some unknown to me reason, my huge grocery store did not have any cardamon even though there are like 6 spice brands. The only cardamom I found was like $20 and I was not about to spend that on a spice. Is there another name for cardamom? Or is it usually rare and expensive? Since Baked Bree’s photographs are so amazing, I did not even try to photograph all the steps. You should look at her post to see all the step by step photos. I am kind of embarrassed of mine after comparing.

Ingredients: 1 onion chopped, 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (like I mentioned above I did not have many), 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 bay leaves, 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup butter, lime wedges (I did not use any), chopped cilantro, cooked Basmati rice

Saute the onion, ginger, jalapeno and garlic in olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly browned/golden. Add the garam masala, chili powder and cardamon and stir together. Cook for a few minutes. Add the contents of the pan into a food processor or blender. Top with tomato paste and chicken broth and process until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan and add bay leaves and cream. Stir together and let come the mixture to a boil. Simmer until sauce reduces to about 3 cups. Pour the mixture into a bowl and leave aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and chicken to a pan and cook until the chicken becomes opaque. Add the sauce back to the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Spoon the chicken over the rice and garnish with cilantro and lime.

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Filed under Chicken, International Food, Main Course

Another rant about Giada

I honestly really like Giada De Laurentiis and her cooking. I always watch her shows whenever it’s on. I don’t even mind her personality but I feel like I am always picking on her. This time it was Let Them Eat Cake episode about kid friendly meals. These Grilled Cheese with Spinach sandwiches were considered one of these recipes. There is a stick of butter used in these sandwiches! While it was absolutely delicious, there was a little too much butter pouring out of the sandwiches even for me. I honestly suspect that a stick of butter is probably nutritionally not the best thing for kids even if there is a dose of spinach added.

I also have my doubts about the benefits of pancetta so I skipped it altogether when making this recipe. Nevertheless for adults, the sandwiches are delicious delicious. The cheese and the butter melts out of the bread and the spinach goes really well with it.  You can also refrigerate the filling and make these grilled cheese sandwiches the next few days.

Ingredients: 1 stick butter, 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 2 cups shredded mild Cheddar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus extra as needed), 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach, 16 slices country-style white bread (I used sourdough cuz that’s my favorite), 1 teaspoon salt, vegetable oil cooking spray

To a food processor or a blender, add the cheese

Add spinach

Top with butter, oil and salt

Blend until smooth. Add more oil if the mixture does not blend easily. Spread the filling on one piece of bread.

Cover with another piece of bread. Spray the panini maker with vegetable oil spray and grill the sandwiches until gold and crispy for 3 to 4 minutes.


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Filed under Main Course, Sandwich, Vegetarian

White Chicken Enchilada

Yes I know that chicken is white meat. Well at least most of it. What I mean by a white chicken enchilada is that the sauce that is used is sour cream based. I found this recipe through Tastespotting. I misread one of the ingredients and used fresh green chile instead of canned ones but it still came out amazing. Also in the process of making this I found out how to shred chicken. It had never occurred to me how chicken is shredded and so upon reading the ingredients I had to google it. Turned out to be really easy. Use two forks and just break the cooked chicken apart. Duhhh.

Ingredients: 8-10 soft taco size flour tortillas,2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 can chicken broth,1 cup sour cream, 1 7-ounce can diced green chiles (I used one fresh green chile which I diced)

Preheat oven to 425. Begin by combining the chicken and cheese (use 1 cup only).

Add equal amounts of filling to each tortilla

Roll the tortillas up and place in a buttered lasagna pan, seam down. Roll all the tortillas and arrange spo that all are closely packed together.

Make the sauce by melting the butter. Add the flour

Whisk until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the sour cream and chiles.

Stir everything together and pour the sauce over the enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course