Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Guest Post: General Tso's Chicken

Today I've invited my friend Emily to guest post for me.  You'll probably recognize her drool worthy photography from some of my Dinner Club posts as well as our recent Apple Extravaganza from October.  I'm always envious of her skills both in the kitchen and behind the lens.  She's an amazing person and I'm so glad to have her as a friend.  Hopefully this won't be the last that you see of Emily on this blog ;).

If you'd like to guest post, please leave a comment!

 This officially marks my first food blog post. Ever. Seriously. I’ve taken hundreds of photos of food I’ve cooked…and baked….and grilled….and, sometimes, when I’m feeling rebellious, even fried. But, never once written a blog post. So, as you can imagine I was a bit reluctant to take Christine up on her offer for a guest post, but I’m not one to turn down trying new things. Especially those food-related.

The recipe I’m sharing with you all today is quite the standard: General Tso’s Chicken. I’m sure this one has been done a hundred thousand times over, across blogs, recipe sites and the like. Heck, I would argue that this dish has been over done. However, the reasons I wanted to post this are two-fold:

First, I’m generally anti-fry. I’m more or less a border-line health nut about 80% of the week (the other 20%? Well, that’s what weekends are for!), making this recipe fall squarely outside of my comfort zone. I confess, we own a Fry Daddy (I blame the husband!), but require it never be used inside. There are few things that will make my stomach turn, but waking up to a kitchen with the lingering odor of a McDonald’s only results in my being overcome by the urge to shower. Or exercise. A lot.

Good news! This recipe does NOT require a Fry Daddy. Seriously, nothing ever should. And, yet….
Second, I was quite frankly blown away by the end result. It was border-line restaurant comparable. I’m not kidding. Let’s just say the husband put this recipe in his Top 5, and mandated it have a regular appearance in “The Rotation.” On one condition: that I continue to keep his plate broccoli-free (you see what I have to deal with?). 

And now, for the main event….

General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken

  • 1-½ teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 whole Large Egg White
  • ¼ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • Canola, Peanut, Or Vegetable Oil For Frying
  • Flour to coat the chicken (1/2 - 1 cup, depending on desired coating)
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut, Canola Or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger Root
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth Or Stock
  •  ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Chile-garlic Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar. (The original recipe calls for Raw (turbinado Or Demerara) Sugar, but I’m not sure it matters either way)
  •  4 whole Scallions, Thinly Sliced
  • Steamed Rice (we’re partial to sushi rice, but I’m sure this would taste phenomenal with sawdust, so it matters not!)
  • Steamed Broccoli
Preparation Instructions

  1. Prep your chicken: In a mixing bowl, stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until a thick slurry forms. It will look gummy but smooth. Add the chicken pieces and stir until all are evenly coated. At first it may appear that it will not come together but it does! Set chicken aside, covered lightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Begin the sauce: Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens, lower heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner partially covered to stay warm.
  3. To fry the chicken: Heat 1/2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over high heat. In the meantime, add the flour to your coated chicken, mixing everything together. When the oil is shimmering, add one piece of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
  4. Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken. Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. (If desired, add some steamed broccoli to coat with the sauce also.) Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through.
  5. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve immediately over white rice. Or brown rice. Or sushi rice. You get the idea.
Source: Adapted from Rebecca at on Tasty Kitchen (Original Recipe)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tex-Mex Meatloaf with Chipotle-Tomato Glaze

Hi friends.  Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with food, friends, and family?  I know I certainly evidenced by my lack of posting last week.  I had myself THREE Thanksgiving meals (yikes!) and surprisingly (and proudly) found myself still having an ab line and the scale was still within normal fluctuation the follow day.  I guess that Jazzercise session pre-Thanksgiving helped lessen the blow ;).  Plus, I was having far too much fun holding my adorable cousin's baby, Michaela, and watching her first crawl, too!  What did you do for Thanksgiving?  What did you eat and who did you spend it with?

Today's recipe that I'm sharing is a twist on an American classic.  It is a little tangy and a lotta spicy.  Definitely a fun change.

Tex-Mex Meatloaf with Chipotle-Tomato Glaze

Yields: 6-8 Servings

For the glaze
  • 1 c. crushed canned fire-roasted tomatoes  
  • 1/2 to 2 canned chipotle in adobo
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt, to taste

For the meatloaf
  • 1/2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo, removed from casings
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. finely ground tortilla chips, crackers, or combination of the two (I highly recommend using chips)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Either line a large baking sheet with greased foil or grease a loaf pan.
  2. To make the glaze, combine all ingredients except salt in a blender or food processor and puree.  Add salt to taste.
  3. To make the meat loaf, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and salt and cook 30 seconds more.  Slide the onion mixture into a large bowl.  Add the all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly by hand. Form the meat mixture into a loaf and move to the baking sheet.  Alternately, gently press into a loaf pan.  Spread half the glaze on top of the meatloaf.  Place in the oven and bake 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and spread the remaining glaze on top.  Place back in the oven10 minutes more.  When done, remove meatloaf from the oven and let sit 15 minutes.  Slice with a serrated knife and serve. 
Source: Lisa Fain, The Homesick Texan Cookbook as seen on Apple A Day

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recipe Swap: Cheesy Chili Mac

Recipe swap time again!  This time I received a recipe that I had bookmarked earlier and was wanting to make anyway so was very excited to see this One Pot meal show up in my inbox.

This is very rich and very cheesy as the name promises!  I decided to leave out the extra cup of shredded cheese in the pasta sauce because I was concerned it'd be too much (crazy considering how much I LOVE cheese) and it was still plenty cheesy.  This is essentially homemade Hamburger Helper.  Yum!

This week I submitted a recipe that I received in a previous swap: Pierogi and Kielbasa Bake.  The Cookaholic Wife had made a very similar version previously and her husband liked the recipe even more WITH my addition of the veggies!  See the full round-up at Taste of Home Cooking.

By the way, I think I'm officially going to try to make Fridays a series of posts: Fast Fridays.  Meals that you can make in 30 minutes or less.  What do you think?  And, any great recipes to share so I can build my repertoire?

Cheesy Chili Mac


  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 Onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 15 oz can Tomato sauce
  • 2 cups Pasta (I used about 3 cups Penne since noodles are bigger and so they don't pack as well)
  • 1 15 oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (used diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers)
  • 4 oz Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Shredded mexican cheese blend (I used a sprinkling of sharp cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat and add oil.  Heat until shimmering.  Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook an additional 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook through.
  2. Stir in the water and tomato sauce then add the pasta and stir again.  Cover and increase heat to medium-high.  Cook until al dente, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes and black beans, then the cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese is incorporated.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and for extra cheesiness, add 1 cup of shredded cheese.  Stir until combined.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and cover.  Let stand for 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.  Top with cilantro and garnish with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Adapted from Jey of Cooking

Monday, November 14, 2011

Roast Beef with Onion Gravy

I love family recipes.  They always seem to have that extra-special magic touch to them that make them extra delicious.  Perhaps it's the fact that you know the idea comes from someone special to you.  This particular recipe isn't from my family but from Sarah from A Taste of Home Cooking's step-mom.  I can tell you that it's now going to be part of my personal family recipes.

This dish is very easy to prepare and yet yields restaurant quality results.  I never knew how easy roast beef was.  Seriously, anybody can make this.  All you need is time to allow the beef to slowly roast itself to tender perfection.  My husband told me that this was the best meal he's eaten in a long time.

Oh and by the way, I'm going to count this against my Prime Rib recipe for 23 Things in 2011.  It's pretty much the same idea and basically, I just wanted to challenge myself with roasting a big hunk of red meat this year.  Besides it's my list so I make the rules ;).

Two Years Ago: Get ready to get your Gobble Gobble on in less than 2 weeks with these great sides, including another family tradition! Corn Casserole and Sweet Potato Souffle
One Year Ago: Chicken and Cheddar Dog Treats

Roast Beef with Onion Gravy

Roast Beef with Onion Gravy

  • 1 (3 1/2-4-lb) beef roast
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 3 cups cold water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all sides of the roast. Place roast on a rack set in a roasting pan and put in the oven. 
  2. Dissolve the onion soup mix with 3 cups of cold water (doesn’t completely dissolve) and add it to the bottom of the pan with the roast 15 minutes after putting it in the oven. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Baste the roast with the mixture as it cooks, about every half hour. For medium the roast will take about 2-2 1/2 hours. Add water to the bottom of the roasting pan, as needed so the drippings and soup mix don't dry out and burn. 
  3. When the roast is done, take the remaining drippings and pour into a small pot and bring to boil, adding water as needed to make the amount of gravy you want. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until cornstarch is dissolved, then add to the gravy until it thickens. 
  4. Serve the gravy on the side, with the sliced beef and choice of sides.
Source: A Taste of Home Cooking

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheesy Italian Meatballs with Marinara Sauce

Happy 11/11/11!  There's only one more time this century that a date with all the same numbers will happen and that's on 12/12/12.  When I bookmarked this recipe and put it on my menu plan I had every intention of making this in the crockpot.  But, apparently when you forget to do the pre-work ahead of time before going to work you end up making it in old fashioned way to speed things along.  Thank goodness for dual oven and crockpot directions on this one :).

I learn all sorts of meatball tricks on Joelen's blog.  Previously with Swedish Meatballs recipe I learned that instead of pan frying your meatballs you can put them in a (mini-)cupcake pan and bake them.  Now from this recipe I learned you can also just put your meatballs on a plate and nuke them.  How amazing and easy is that?!  I love tips and tricks that make your life easier and the thing I particularly love about Joelen's blog is that most recipes have make-ahead tips so they're perfect for new parents and folks with busy lives.

These meatballs were cheesy as promised and a definite crowd pleaser!  Everyone knows that marinara sauce freezes perfectly, too.

Cheesy Italian Meatballs with Marinara Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste (equivalent to one 6 oz can.)
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • Minced fresh Italian parsley for garnish


  1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, tomato paste, 6 garlic cloves, oregano, pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until golden, about 8 minutes.
  2. Transfer half of onion mixture to large bowl; set aside. Add wine to pot with remaining onion mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, then transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, sausage, eggs, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining garlic to bowl with reserved onion mixture. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Add beef and cream to bowl and knead with hands until well combined. Form mixture into twelve 2-inch meatballs.
  4. Microwave meatballs on large plate until fat renders and meatballs are firm, 4 to 7 minutes. Nestle meatballs in slow cooker, discarding rendered fat. Cover and cook on low until meatballs are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 hours. Skim fat. Stir in basil and remaining Parmesan. Season with salt. Serve over pasta and garnish with minced parsley if desired.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the directions as noted above for sauce however allow the sauce cool and set aside. Prepare the directions as noted above for the meatballs however nestle meatballs in an oven- and freezer-proof baking dish discarding rendered fat; allow to cool. Alternately, you can cool the meatballs and place in a gallon sized freezer bag. Cover the meatballs with the cooled sauce (either in the baking dish or freezer bag). Cover/seal and freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost.

If making in the oven - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking dish with foil and place baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in basil and remaining Parmesan. Season with salt. Serve over pasta and garnish with minced parsley if desired.

If making in the slow cooker/crockpot - Place contents of freezer bag in a slowcooker/crockpot. Cover and cook on low until meatballs are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 hours. Skim fat. Stir in basil and remaining Parmesan. Season with salt. Serve over pasta and garnish with minced parsley if desired.

Source: Originally from Cook's Illustrated/Cook's Country as adapted by and seen on What's Cookin, Chicago and The Piggly Wiggly

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Do not let this mundane looking photo fool you.  These are no ordinary mashed potatoes.  In fact, these mashed potatoes are SO FULL OF FLAVOR that they don't even need gravy.  Everybody (especially my now blog-famous friend Emily) knows that caramelized onions make any dish irresistible.  And that, my friends, is what sets this mashed potato recipe apart from any other.  Those craving more flavor can add a hit of garlic (roasted for more mellow flavor or raw for a bite) and parmesan cheese.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Yields: 4 Servings

  • 2 pounds potatoes, washed, peeled, cubed
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup hot milk
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Garlic (optional, roasted or raw)
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Put prepared raw potatoes into a large pot and submerge in water.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Drain and allow to steam dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat butter until it begins to bubble.  Add sliced onions and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned.
  3. Transfer half of the onions and all of the milk to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Mash the potatoes and stir in the hot onion milk.  Add a little extra butter and check the seasoning.  Stir in the remaining caramelized onions and the minced parsley.  If desired add garlic and parmesan cheese for a boost of flavor.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie

This was a fantastic change from the standard pot pie and captures the best Fall flavors in a spin off from a comforting classic.  It also used a ton of different root vegetables that I got from my CSA share big win! While there are quite a few steps and dirty dishes made in the process of creating this pie, the end result is worth it.  The roasted root vegetables lend an earthy but naturally sweet flavor to the dish while the chicken makes it familiar and adds protein to a dish my husband would otherwise not eat.

Oh and by the way, I made the pie crust for this so though I originally intended to share a dessert recipe for that one I think I can officially check that one off my 23 Things in 2011 list :).  Woo hoo!

Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie

Yields: 8 Servings


For the filling
  • 2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound parsnips (approximately 2), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound turnips (approximately 2 medium), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound butternut or other winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled, and - yes, you know it by now - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • one head of garlic, peeled down to the last layer of skin, leaving that last layer of skin intact, and the top 1/4-inch of the head removed to expose the tops of the cloves within
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
For the gravy
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth (saved from boiled chicken breasts above)
For the crust (makes 3 9" round circles)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick very cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk (any type)
  1. To make the chicken filling and broth: In a large stock pot, add chicken and enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.  Remove cooked chicken and place on a cutting board to cool.  Strain the broth using a fine mesh sieve and set aside for use in the gravy.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into cubes or shred using fingers or forks.
  2. To make the vegetable filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the parsnips, turnips, carrots, and butternut squash with the olive oil to coat. Transfer to a large baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and thyme over top. Wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil over the cut side, salt and pepper, and seal it in the foil. Roast the vegetables and garlic in the oven on the middle rack until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown on the edges, approximately 45 minutes.  While the vegetables roast, you can make the pie crust and gravy.
  3. To make the crust: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Then add the cubed very cold butter and cubed very cold vegetable shortening to the flour, and pulse until fats are pea-sized. With the motor running, add 1/2 cup of very cold water to the dough. If the dough does not come together completely, add very cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead quickly and gently into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Once chilled, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to fit a 9" pie crust.  You should be able to make about 3 out of the dough ball.
  4. To make the gravy: Add butter to large saucepan and melt completely.  Then add flour and stir until combined.  Allow to cook for about a minute.  Whisk in the reserved chicken broth then all of the spices.  Continue to whisk until no lumps remain.
  5. To assemble and bake:  If you turned off the oven, pre-heat it back up to 375 degrees.  Put one pie crust round into the bottom of a pie plate.  Fill with the roasted vegetable and chicken filling (use as much or as little as you want...I probably used half of what I cooked).  Pour the gravy over the top.  Put the other pie crust round on top.  Seal the edges and cut decorative slashes into the top.  In a small bowl beat the egg yolk and milk together.  Brush it on top of the pie crust.  Bake on the middle rack for 40 minutes or until the top of the crust is golden brown.
Source: Inspired by Poor Girl Gourmet and My Recipes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Recipe Swap: Strip House Potatoes Romanoff

These potatoes were, in the name sake of my recipe swap partner for the week, DeLish!  My husband went in for second servings (shhh, nobody tell him that there's a good helping of sour cream in this dish!) and we easily cleaned out half of the casserole dish (supposedly 6 servings) between the two of us.

It's a bit time consuming to make with the pre-baking of the potatoes prior to the final casserole assembly and bake but cheesy flavor is amazingly comforting.  I'm sure in a rush you could substitute hash brown potatoes and go straight for the final bake.  I may try that in the future but if someone else gets to it first please let me know how it goes.

I baked my potatoes and assembled the casserole in the same day (still allowing to cool to room temperature first).  My potatoes were on the small side since they came from my farm share and probably could have benefited from a reduced pre-baking time to shred more easily.  I did not have white cheddar so used a combination of sharp cheddar and some leftover three cheddar cheese (which, I guess technically has *some* white cheddar in it).  In lieu of shallots which I forgot to buy I just used a medium onion and 2 garlic cloves.  Also, I cut back the salt to 1.5 tsp but still found it to be a little too salty.  Might scale it back to a single teaspoon in the future.  I used fat free sour cream with success to trim some calories.  I'm sure hubby will be asking for this dish again!

Please visit A Taste of Home Cooking for the swap roundup and check out the equally cheesy and comforting Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe (my go-to!) that I submitted and Hezzi D's Books and Cooks recieved in this week's swap.

Strip House Potatoes Romanoff

Yields: 6 Servings


  • 3 large russet potatoes, about 2 lb. total, unpeeled and scrubbed  
  • 3/4 cup minced shallots  (I used a medium onion and 2 cloves garlic, which I grated on the small side of the grater)
  • 2 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese (I used 1 & 1/2 cups sharp and three cheese cheddar)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (I used 1.5 tsp but would recommend trying 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper 
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used fat free)


  1. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and pierce several times with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the foil and let the potatoes cool to room temperature. Place the potatoes on a plate, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
  3. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the potatoes, including the skins. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle the shallots, 1 3/4 cups of the cheese, the salt and white pepper on top. Using your hands, gently toss the mixture together to combine, then fold in the sour cream in 2 additions. 
  4. Transfer the potato mixture to a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish; do not compress. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup cheese on top. Bake until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

Source: Originally from Strip House as seen on DeLish

Friday, November 4, 2011

Napa Cabbage Salad

Typically I find such "Asian salads" to be a crock but this.  I really liked this.  I questioned the dressing based on the ingredients but it really worked and tasted delicious.  There's something about the crunchy ramen topping that makes it pretty irresistible....and in no way healthy.  It IS ramen noodles after all.  Even my husband, who originally turned up his nose at this salad, wanted to add this to the rotation.  Imagine that...he wanted to add a SALAD to the rotation!  Of course, I had to jazz it up with some chicken to round it out and make it a meal that he would approve of but you can leave it off if you prefer.

Napa Cabbage Salad

Yields: 6 Servings

  • 1 head napa cabbage (you can use coleslaw or even regular lettuce in a pinch)
  • 1 bunch minced green onions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (3 oz) package ramen noodles, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Cooked and cubed chicken (optional)

  1. Finely shred the head of cabbage; do not chop. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the crunchies: Melt the butter in a saute pan. Mix the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter. Cook and stir until ingredients are lightly toasted.
  3. To make the dressing: In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
  4. Combine dressing and cabbage then add the crunchies. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.

Source: Slightly modified from All Recipes

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken

Well, after so many dessert posts recently it's time to get back to entrees.  I apologize for this awful photo but really, this taste is quite good.  The flavor of the barbecue sauce is extra sweet (and makes a great "gravy" for the mashed potatoes).  And best of all, the meat is fall-off-the-bone-tender after being slow-cooked in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Two Years Ago: Buttermilk Cornbread

Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yields: 6 servings

  • 12 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 12 oz barbecue sauce
  • 1 jar peach preserves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Place chicken thighs, four at a time, in the pot with the skin side down.  Brown both sides then remove to a plate and repeat until all chicken is browned.  Pour off half the grease then return pan to stove.
  3. Add onions to pan and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.  Pour in whiskey (taking care if you are using an open flame) to deglaze the pan.  Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, allowing whiskey to reduce for a minute or two.  Pour in barbecue sauce, peach preserves, water, and Worcestershire sauce.  Add garlic cloves and stir until combined.  Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up.  Cover and dutch oven into the oven.  Cook for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Serve pieces of chicken over a big pile of mashed potatoes.  Garnish with sprinkled green onions.
Source: Pioneer Woman