Category Archives: Main Course

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

I love recreating classics. Especially if the classics are lightened up without the sacrifice of losing flavors. This recipe from Natural Noshing blog is a lighter remake of the traditional Russian stuffed peppers. Even the boyfriend, who skeptically approaches all poultry-replacing-red meat dishes, enjoyed the dish. I used a mix of ground turkey and chicken for the stuffing as I sometimes find ground turkey to be too dry. I also used green bell peppers instead of red and didn’t add zucchini. This dish is delicious and, as much as I am afraid to say, might replace my Russian favorite.

Ingredients: 2 large red bell peppers cut in half and seeded, 1/2 pound ground turkey, 3 teaspoons oil divided, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 chopped zucchini, 1 chopped carrot, 1 cup fresh baby spinach torn into pieces, 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/3 cup shredded cheese  (I didn’t add any)

Preheat oven to 350. Place peppers in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Set the dish aside. To a large skillet on medium heat add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the ground meat, cumin, garlic and oregano and cook until meat is cooked through for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove meat from the pan. Add the remaining olive, onion, zucchini and carrot

Add the spinach and saute the veggies for about 5 minutes or until tender

Return the meat to the veggies and add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper

Stuff the peppers with meat. If not using cheese, bake for 15 minutes. If using cheese, bake for 12. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 4 more.

 Sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!

The authors advices to fill small oven-safe bowl or ramekin halfway with water and placing the bowl in the middle of the baking pan in the middle of peppers or pour tomato sauce into the baking dish. This is supposed to keep turkey mixture moist while baking. I had enough sauce inside the pepper and so I did not do either step.

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Filed under Main Course, Turkey

I know I have not posted in a while

I really do have an excuse(s) though. First, I graduated from college a few weeks ago. Second, I am moving to New York. It is mainly my move to New York (and all the apartment hunting, job searching factors that come along with the move) that has kept me from posting or even cooking. It’s hard to remember the last time I even cooked and not eaten out or taken food out. This will all change now as I have finally secured the most adorable little studio in New York where I will continue to cook but now in a much smaller space. With the move happening this upcoming week, keep a look out for all my new recipes. As for now happy Memorial Day weekend and enjoy this white pizza recipe.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese (make sure to use smoked, otherwise the pizza will be really bland), 1.5-2 cups spinach, pizza dough, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 plum tomatoes thinly sliced, olive oil for drizzling, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 450. In a food processor or blender, combine ricotta cheese, garlic, salt and pepper

Add mozzarella cheese and spinach

Pulse until smooth. Roll out the dough and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and spread the spinach mixture evenly on top

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Top with sliced tomatoes and bake until the crust becomes golden

Slice and serve

 

 

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Filed under Main Course, Pizza, Vegetarian

Kebabs

I know this looks a little bit like poop but I promise this is delicious. I again had a craving for something middle eastern so I decided to make kebabs which are no harder to make than regular meatballs or burgers. The trick is to use a lot of spices and fresh herbs. My grocery store does not carry ground lamb (which is what traditional kebabs are made of) so I had to use ground beef. Both are good but in my opinion lamb is more juicier and tender for grilling. You can use any other meat if you prefer it to beef or lamb and serve the kebabs on skewers or wrapped in pitas.

Ingredients: 1 onion roughly chopped,3 pressed garlic cloves, fresh bunches of mint, french bunches of parsley, 1 lb ground lamb or beef, 1/2 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper

Begin by adding the chopped onion and pressed garlic to a food processor or, in my case, blender

Add mint to the blender

Add fresh parsley. Blend until combined together. Add olive oil if needed.

Add ground meat to a bowl. Add cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.

Top with the mint/parsley mixture. Mix together

Form into rounded kebabs and lay on a baking sheet (if baking like me) or place a skewer through (if grilling).

Bake or grill until cooked. Served with rice or any other side or in a pita with hummus. Enjoy hot.

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Filed under International Food, Main Course, Meat

How my obsession with smitten kitchen began

The first recipe that I ever saw from smitten kitchen blog was this one for Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs. Ever since then I have not only wanted to try this recipe but I have also discovered smitten kitchen to become my absolute favorite savory cooking blog. I love the recipes and the beautiful photos that the author takes. I can’t believe this recipe took me 9 months to try!

Ingredients

Meatballs:1/4 cup milk, 1 slice good white bread trimmed of its crust, 1 pound ground pork, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 egg, 1 cup flour spread on a plate, salt and pepper to season, vegetable oil for frying

For the bèchamel:4 1/2 cups milk, 6 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To finish:1 pound rigatoni, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup milk

Begin by making the meatballs. Heat the milk and drop pieces of bread into it. Allow to soak for 5 minutes before squeezing the excess milk and adding the bread to the meat.

Add garlic, parsley, grated cheese, egg, salt, and pepper to the meat and bread.

Mix together and form mini meatballs

Roll the meatballs (15 to 20 at a time) in the plate with flour

Get rid of excess flour by placing the floured meatballs in a strainer. Heat the oil in the skillet and fry the meatballs making sure to brown on all sides.  Once the batch is done, transfer to a paper towel and allow the meatballs to drain. Set aside when all are done.

Heat the milk over low heat until tiny bubbles appear. Do not let the milk come to a boil.In a different saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, add the flour and whisk constantly  until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of milk at a time to the flour and butter mixture, stirring thoroughly. Repeat 8 more times.

At this point, add the milk in 1/2 cup additions, stirring constantly to keep it smooth. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir the sauce until it thickens. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 and cook the rigatoni according to the instructions on the box. Drain the cooked pasta and add to a bowl. Add meatballs, two-thirds of the bechamel sauce and half the grated cheese. Mix together.

In a buttered baking dish, spread the pasta mixture and pour the milk over the dish. I did not add the milk but just because my mixture was already kind of wet. Top with the rest of the béchamel sauce and grated cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a golden brown crust forms on top

Serve hot

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Filed under Main Course, Meat, Pasta

Pork Paprikash

I’ve been meaning to making traditional Hungarian chicken paprikash for forever now and never got around to it. When I came upon this pork with paprika, mushrooms and sour cream recipe through tastespotting, I made it right away. Close enough, right? Omg this is so good. The sauce is delicious and the dish is perfect to go over rice or pasta.

Ingredients: 1 lb cubed pork, 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 9-12 oz mushrooms, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (I did not use them), 1 14.5 oz-can petite dice tomatoes, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2/3 cup sour cream, salt and pepper to season

Begin by seasoning the pork cubes with 1 tablespoon of paprika, salt and pepper

To a a pan (I used my Dutch oven) add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and add the pork. Cook until evenly browned on all sides.

Remove the pork from the pot and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the pot.

Cook until the mushrooms have browned and all liquid has evaporated for around 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and add to the pork. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and drop the onion and sauté until just starting to brown for around 3 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic, thyme and caraway seeds (if using). Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Add pork and mushrooms back to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Mix in the sour cream…

… and serve

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Filed under Main Course, Meat

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