Friday, March 30, 2012

Thai Coconut Soup

I know I've mentioned several times how much I love soups- it doesn't matter what time of year.  But I do feel like the true comfort food/soup season got a little cheated this year.  This recipe is a huge step outside of our box. 

The case:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced ginger, or 1 ½ teaspoons ground dry ginger
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth
1 13.5 ounce can light coconut  milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 packages ramen noodes (discard seasoning packet)
optional: ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
1 ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken
toppings:  additional chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, and lime wedges

Heat medium sized pot to medium-high heat on stove top.  Add olive oil, jalapeno, and ginger (if using fresh.)  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until jalapeno and ginger are softened and fragrant.  If using ground ginger, add now and stir.  Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and add noodles (note you will discard seasoning packet that comes with noodles.)  Simmer 3-5 minutes, until noodles are softened.  If using mushrooms, add them in the final 2-3 minutes of cooking the noodles.  Add chicken and simmer for about 30 seconds to heat through.  Remove pot from heat and stir in lime juice, chicken, and cilantro.   Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with additional chopped cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges if desired.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4-6.
Note:  This type of noodle absorbs liquid exceptionally fast, so you should serve the soup immediately.  If you know you need to keep the soup warm for a while before serving, wait to add the noodles until a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.

The ruling:
If you like cilantro and lime, you're going to love this!  I had a feeling about this soup and I'm glad I trusted my gut!  It is delicious.  The freshness of the cilantro and lime make this the perfect springtime soup.  But it would be great anytime of the year.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy Creamed Corn

Yet another Pinterest dish that I made because I had all the ingredients already in my fridge/pantry.  I knew we were grilling out tonight (marinade recipe to come) and I wanted an easier, lighter side dish.  Plus corn is on sale $1 a bag at Kroger this week, and I decided to stock up!

The case:  Slightly adapted from Budget Savy Diva
  • 1 bag frozen corn (I used one that steams in the microwave)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat corn, butter, and cream cheese.  Stir until heated through and all ingredients are combined.  
  2. Stir in cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.

The ruling:
 BEST CORN I'VE EVER HAD!  This lovely dish was beyond simple and actually low in fat.  I'll just make a guess that this corn will be made at least every other week at the Greer household.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Man Pleasing Chicken

I've been cooking a ton lately, but honestly haven't found anything even worth posting.  It seems to go in spurts like that. 10 in a row that I can't blog about soon enough, and then 10 I've wasted my time and money on.  I realize this blog's purpose is to share both the best and the okay.  That's why it's important to read my ruling at the end, but these have been just plain bad.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It came from a wonderful little blog called Witty in the City. Michael is actually the one who wanted me to make this.  He happened to be looking over my shoulder when I enlarged the picture. 

The case:
  • 1 package Chicken thighs (I used bone in)
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup- 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Mix together mustard, syrup, and rice wine vinegar. 
  3. Place chicken thighs into a small baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour mustard mixture over chicken.  Turn chicken so mixture completely covers chicken.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes.  Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.  Serve chicken with extra sauce over top!  Sprinkle over fresh rosemary if desired.

The ruling:
This chicken was a lot better than I was expecting.  The tangyness in the flavoring was a good surprise.  Michael probably enjoyed it more than me, but I liked it well enough to make it again.

Balsamic Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta Salad

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of pasta salad, but I'm a huge fan of the ingredients in this.  I found this recipe on Pinterest a couple of days ago.  We're going to be moving in a few weeks and we're trying to clean out the freezer before we move.  We just happen to have some cheese tortellini in the freezer that I've been wanting to get rid of. 

The case:
Balsamic Chicken, Tomato, and Spinach Pasta Salad (adapted from Multiply Delicious)
  • 1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini 
  • 1 pound  skinned and boned chicken breasts, diced 
  •  1 ½  cup  Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (divided) 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  •  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  •  2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pour 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette in bag with chicken.  Marinate for at least 2 hour, but best if marinated overnight.  Take chicken out of zip-lock bag and discard marinade. 
2. In a grill pan, grill chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Dice chicken into small bites.  Meanwhile boil tortellini according to package directions.
3. Whisk together remaining ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mustard in a small bowl.
4. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Toss together pasta, chicken, balsamic mixture, spinach, basil, tomatoes, and cheese. Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill 1 hour before serving.

The ruling: 

This dish is out of this world wonderful!!!!!  Easily in the top 10 recipes I've ever made.  All the flavors mesh together in perfect harmony.  Okay, that sounds really corny but it really explains how I'm feeling.  Is it bad food sings to me?  Anyway, this recipe is perfect!  This recipe is the reason I blog and am so interested in trying new things.  How else would I ever find these little gems?  I'm going to use this chicken for a lot of pasta dishes to come.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blueberry Cobbler

This is another fantastic Pioneer Woman recipe.  I had seen it originally in her first cookbook, but didn't have any desire to make it until I saw her make it on the first season of her show on Food Network.  I've actually already made this a couple of times, but am so excited to eat it, I forget to take a picture.  I don't like typical fruit cobblers.  This one is sorta a twist between a cake and a cobbler.  I have always made it with frozen blueberries and served it with vanilla ice cream.

The case

  • 1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 cup self-rising flour 
  • 1 cup whole milk 
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries 
  • Whipped cream and/or ice cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted butter. 
  3. Rinse the blackberries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. When 10 minutes of the cooking time remains, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Top with whipped cream or ice cream . . . or both!