Stuffed Poblano Casserole

I used to love receiving my monthly issue of Everyday Food. Page after page of tasty and quick dishes. So sad it no longer exists.ūüė¶ Thankfully, I have my old issues! (of courseūüėČ )

This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I increased the garlic and onions, decreased the water, and added corn. We ate it with green salad and brown Basmati rice. Mildly spicy and light… well, for a casserole!

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole San Marzano tomatoes in puree
  • 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
  • 1 1/2 ¬†to 2 large yellow¬†onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves (3 whole, 2 minced)
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded jalape√Īo¬†Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs and seeds removed
  1. Preheat oven to 425, preferably on convection.
  2. In a blender or Vitamix, combine tomatoes in puree, jalape√Īo, half the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Season with salt.
  3. Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine beans, corn, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic (I used a garlic press), cumin, and 1/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake until poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes.
  8. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes.

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Linguine with Asparagus & Egg

Oh my. It has been a long time since I’ve devoted time to blogging. Spring yard work and cleaning always consumes my schedule this time of year. (and I am so exhausted from doing all of it… I can’t muster up any energy in my spare time¬†to do anything else.:/ ) I have been cooking though! TONS of tasty and quick dishes… I plan to start sharing some of them with you!:)

I love the combination of asparagus and eggs. It screams springtime to me. This vegetarian main dish is simple and delicious. The recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I doubled the asparagus and used Parmigiano Reggiano and linguine fini noodles. We ate the leftovers with sliced and diced hardboiled eggs over the top. Great.

Yield: Serves 4, generously

  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound linguine fini (I used Barilla), linguine, fettuccine
  • 2 1/4 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 T¬†unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated¬†Parmigiano Reggiano (1/2 ounce), plus more for serving
  • 4 large eggs
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, adding the asparagus in the last two minutes of cooking (if large) and last minute of cooking (if thin).
  2. Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid; drain pasta and asparagus and return to pot along with butter and Parmesan. Toss until butter is melted, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta.
  3. While pasta is cooking, in a large straight-sided skillet, heat 2 inches water over medium until a few bubbles rise to the top.
  4. Crack each egg into a small bowl and gently pour into skillet. Partially cover, and cook until whites are set and yolks are runny, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  5. To serve, divide pasta among 4 bowls, top each serving with an egg, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with additional cheese, as desired.

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Cheesy Pasta Casserole with Wild Mushrooms

This is high-class macaroni and cheese.ūüėČ Fancy comfort food. A delicious vegetarian main course. What’s not to love? My favorite pasta shape- orecchiette- with earthy mushrooms, salty Parmigiano Reggiano, and fabulous melted fontina cheese. Prior to incorporating the mushrooms with the pasta, they are¬†roasted with rosemary which infuses them with amazing flavor. Delicious.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used two cloves of garlic and a combination of cremini and shiitake mushrooms. I also decreased the baking temperature to 475 degrees (because I was worried about damaging my special casserole dish). No worries- it was still brown and bubbly.:)

Now that spring has sprung, I thought that I may have missed my chance to post this cozy dish, but it may snow here tonight! So I suppose I’m safe.:/

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 pound mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms, such as oyster, maitake and shiitake (I used 12 oz cremini mushrooms and 4¬†oz shiitake mushrooms.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon black pepper, plus a few grinds
  • 2 fresh rosemary branches
  • ¬Ĺ pound orecchiette, farfalle or other short pasta
  • ¬ĺ cup heavy cream
  • ¬Ĺ cup fresh ricotta
  • 5 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (I used a garlic press.)
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Trim the mushrooms and cut into 1-inch pieces. Toss with the olive oil, the salt, a few grinds of pepper and the rosemary. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast, tossing once or twice, until golden brown and crisped around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Discard rosemary.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for at least a few minutes less than the package directs. (You want the pasta very al dente; it will finish softening in the sauce.) Drain well.
  4. Turn oven up to 475 degrees.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together the cream, ricotta, fontina, Parmesan, sage, pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt
  6. Stir in the pasta and mushrooms.
  7. Arrange in a shallow 2-quart gratin dish or 9- by 13-inch pan.
  8. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Pear Clafoutis

My mom and brother were in France¬†last¬†week, so I made a clafoutis. It makes perfect sense… I was¬†pretending that we were¬†there too!ūüėČ Clafoutis was always one of my mom’s favorite desserts to make for dinner parties. It is simple, elegant, and delicious. Absolutely wonderful with pears too!

This recipe was adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, via Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Food Network.com. I used Cuarenta y Tres (a Spanish citrus and vanilla liqueur) instead of Poire William. I substituted large for extra-large eggs, omitted the creme fraiche garnish, and used the zest of one lemon. I also modified the baking time to fit my deeper pan. Next time I would bake it in a wider, more shallow pan so that the pears were visible in the finished product. Lovely!

Yield: Serves 8

Total Time: about 1 hour

  • 1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, separated
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 T¬†all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse¬†salt
  • 2 T¬†pear brandy (such as Poire William) or citrus-vanilla liqueur (such as Cuarenta y Tres)
  • 2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
  • creme fraiche, for garnish, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, preferably on convection.
  2. Butter a 10 x 3-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. (I used a 9 x 3-inch pan.)
  3. Beat the eggs and the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt, and liqueur. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears.
  6. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish.
  7. Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, and creme fraiche, if desired.

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Chicken Meunière

Did I mention that I was feeling the need to transport myself to France? My mom and brother were just there on a special trip. Those of us left behind were trying to feel better by eating some French food.:)

I actually made this dish as an afterthought… I knew that I wanted to make Pear Clafoutis for dessert and wanted a suitable main dish! Like Clafoutis, (post to follow…), this is an elegant weeknight dish. They were a perfect match.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. We ate it with roasted asparagus, lemon slices, and brown Basmati rice. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins (about 12)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (approximately) all-purpose flour, panko, or cornmeal for dredging
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4¬†tablespoons unsalted butter,¬†separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. (I used cast iron.) While it is heating, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and place the flour, panic, or cornmeal in a 8×8-inch baking pan or pie dish.
  2. Place the oil and 2 T butter in the skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot and the butter has melted, dredge the cutlets in the coating, turning them a few times and pressing them down so they are well covered. After you dredge each, add it to the pan.
  3. Cook until the chicken is nicely brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn. Cook 2 to 4 minutes until the chicken is firm to the touch (lower the heat if the coating begins to scorch).
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium heat until it is nut-brown; set aside.
  5. When the chicken is done, drain it briefly on a paper towel, then transfer to a warm platter.
  6. Drizzle with lemon juice, and top with half the parsley. At the last-minute, pour the browned butter over the chicken, add the remaining parsley and serve.

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If you like this you may also like:

Classic Shrimp & Grits

This is a simple, classic, and perfect version of this fabulous southern dish. As a tradition in our house, we eat Shrimp and Grits over Easter weekend. It is absolutely delicious and can be served for any meal of the day. Great.

This recipe was adapted from Crook’s Corner of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, via Saveur. I used large shrimp and increased the amount of garlic and mushrooms. I also omitted the oil¬†and used Sriracha instead of Tabasco. The shrimp tasted incredible after being¬†saut√©ed in the bacon fat. Mmmmm.:)

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 cup white or yellow stone-ground grits
  • 3‚ĀĄ4 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup parmesan
  • 2 T unsalted butter, divided
  • coarse¬†salt
  • 2 T olive or canola oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium or large shrimp, peeled with tails intact
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1‚ĀĄ2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges or slices
  • 1‚ĀĄ2 tsp. hot sauce,¬†such as Sriracha or¬†Tabasco
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat. (I incorporated 1 cup of chicken stock.)
  2. Reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are tender and creamy, 30‚Äď40 minutes. (Whisk in more water for thinner grits.)
  3. Whisk in cheddar, parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt; cover and set aside.
  4. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel‚Äďlined plate; set aside. Reserve cooking fat in skillet.
  6. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  7. Over medium-high heat, add shrimp to skillet and cook, turning once, until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  8. Lower heat to medium; add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and cook until golden, 1 minute.
  10. Raise heat to high, add chicken broth, and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Cook until broth reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Return shrimp to skillet along with the lemon juice, remaining butter, and hot sauce and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  12. Divide grits between 4 bowls; top each with shrimp and its sauce.
  13. Garnish each bowl with bacon, scallions, and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

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Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies

My friend had the most beautiful Easter party yesterday. She served an exorbitant amount of delicious food and everyone gobbled it up. Her spread included asparagus-cream soup,¬†tomato-goat cheese tarts, grilled lamb chops, baked ham, mustard chicken salad, leek-bacon-gruyere quiche, green salad, arugula-fennel-dill salad, fruit salad, penne a la vodka, and more. That doesn’t even include dessert!:) She also had an egg hunt and goodie bags for all of the kids- AND party favors. Amazing!

I brought one of my favorite appetizers, Leek and Gruyere Tart with Prosciutto, and these flavor-packed cookies to contribute. My kids made Peep kebabs too.:) (Some peeps ended up being roasted over a fire!)

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I rolled the dough in chopped raw pecans and used cream cheese instead of goat cheese in the filling. Using a large cookie scoop to ration the dough made the precise 18 cookies. They had a great consistency- chewy on the inside with a crunch from the pecans on the outside. Loved them.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 stick, room temperature, for frosting
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed finely grated carrots (from about 3)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apricot jam

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, and yolk.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture to combine.
  5. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins.
  6. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop, ration 18 scoops of dough. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll balls in pecans to coat.
  8. Space 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
  9. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press an indentation into center of each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon.
  10. Bake until golden brown on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes more. Re-press indentation into each cookie, as needed. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  11. In a bowl, beat remaining 1/2 stick butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium until smooth.
  12. Beat in cream cheese until just combined. Swirl in jam.
  13. Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe filling into the center of each cookie with cream cheese mixture.
  14. Chill until ready to serve.

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Oaxacan Pork Picadillo Tacos

This is an easy upgrade to the typical Taco Tuesday ground beef tacos. Rick Bayless uses tomatoes and sweet spices to flavor the meat (ground pork) as well as nuts and raisins to add contrasting texture. Delicious!

We ate the picadillo in warm hard-shell taco shells with avocado slices, refried beans, steamed greens, and brown Basmati rice. A little sprinkling of feta or queso fresco was a nice garnish too. This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless.com.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 1/2 T¬†vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean, coarse-ground pork
  • 1/2 tsp black¬†peppercorns OR about 3/4 tsp¬†ground
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick OR 1 teaspoon ground
  • 5 cloves OR about 1/8 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 tsp cider¬†vinegar
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • coarse salt (about 1 teaspoon)

  1. Pour the tomatoes directly into a blender and blend until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large, 14-inch skillet over medium heat. (I used enameled cast iron.)
  3. When hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add the pork in a thin layer and fry, stirring frequently, until cooked and lightly brown. (If quite a bit of fat has rendered from the meat, drain it off.)
  5. If using whole spices, add the pepper, cinnamon and cloves in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the ground spices to the skillet along with the tomato puree, raisins and vinegar.
  6. Simmer until reduced to a thick, homogenous mass, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. While the filling simmers, toast the almonds for about 8 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
  8. Stir toasted almonds into the filling; adjust seasoning as needed with salt. Serve.

Note: The finished picadillo can be covered and refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.

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North African Meatballs

This ultra-flavorful dish is based upon a version of North African meatballs served in France, where they are called boulettes. Both the sauce and the meatballs are loaded with spices. SO fragrant and delicious.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I used ground turkey instead of beef or lamb and increased the garlic. I also forgot to include the raisins in my couscous! We ate it with steamed spinach on the side but it would also be incredible served with roasted tomatoes or roasted cauliflower- or all of the above. Next time!

I’m sharing this dish (belatedly, again) at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #111 this week, co-hosted by Naina @ Spice in the City and Julianna @ Foodie on Board. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6

For the Saffron Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T¬†tomato paste
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • large pinch saffron, crumbled
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef, lamb, or turkey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ¬ľ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ‚Öõ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¬ľ tsp cayenne
  • ¬ľ tsp ground cloves
  • ¬ľ tsp ground coriander
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 T chopped parsley
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 3 T finely chopped scallion
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • olive oil or vegetable oil

For the Couscous:

  • 1 cup giant couscous, m‚Äôhamsa, or medium couscous
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • ¬Ĺ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained
  • coarse salt
  • ¬ľ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the Sauce:

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate.
  3. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more.
  4. Add stock and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

Make the Meatballs:

  1. Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put squeezed-out bread, ground meat and egg.
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well with hands to distribute seasoning.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, and knead for a minute. May be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.
  5. With hands or a cookie scoop, roll mixture into small round balls about the size of a quarter.
  6. Dust meatballs lightly with flour. (I gently rolled the meatballs in the flour as I lifted them up to place in the pan.)
  7. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain and blot on paper towel.
  8. Simmer meatballs in saffron-tomato sauce, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, Make the Couscous:

  1. Cook according to package directions, fluff gently and stir in butter and raisins.
  2. Season with salt and cinnamon, and toss well.

To Serve:

  1. Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion. Serve with couscous and roasted tomatoes, roasted cauliflower, or steamed greens, as desired.

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Chicken Paprikash

This dish was an easy, full-flavored, and hearty weeknight meal. We ate it over a whole wheat version of our new favorite bread, Sullivan Street Bakery’s No-Knead Bread. It would also be wonderful served with¬†rice or egg noodles. Rich and delicious!!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Molly Yeh.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 4 T unsalted butter, separated
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • coarse¬†salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 5 thighs)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Four 1-inch-thick slices of sourdough or other flavorful bread, toasted and torn into bite-size pieces
  1. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.
  2. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring, until dark red in color, 2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth and sugar and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Divide the bread between bowls, spoon the chicken 
paprikash on top, and serve.

Note: The chicken paprikash can be refrigerated overnight.

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Samoa Brownies

When I first saw photos of these brownies, I knew that I needed some reason to make them. Making a fabulous upgraded version of our favorite girl scout cookies was absolutely irresistible. Then I realized that all we needed were friends to share them with! Needless to say, that was easy.:)

This recipe was adapted from Host the Toast, via Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. I modified the baking times and used jarred dulce de leche instead of caramel sauce. I also combined dark and semi-sweet chocolate for the drizzle. Yummy!

For the Cookie Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¬ľ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

For the Brownies:

  • 1‚Öď cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ‚Öď cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 T water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¬ĺ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¬ľ tsp coarse salt

For the Caramel-Coconut Topping:

  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (I used¬†dulce de leche)

For the Chocolate Dip and Drizzle:

  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

To Make the Cookie Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, preferably on convection.
  2. Line an 9 x 9 baking pan parchment paper hanging on the sides (for easier removal) and spray with non-stick spray.
  3. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the cookie crust. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, pulse or mix the dough until crumbly.
  4. Evenly spread and pat the cookie crust into the bottom of the parchment-lined baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookie crust turns light golden brown.
  5. Keep in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, Make the Brownies:

  1. In a bowl, place the dark chocolate chips. Set aside. IMG_3361
  2. In a small saucepan, add butter, water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Pour onto the chocolate chips and stir the mixture until chocolate has completely melted. Let cool for a bit.
  3. When the chocolate mixture has cooled down, mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add in flour and salt. Mix to incorporate well.
  5. Once the cookie crust has cooled, pour the brownie batter onto the top. Bake for about 25 (on convection) or up to 35 minutes (standard oven), or until toothpick inserted comes out with few crumbs (but not wet) batter.
  6. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack and transfer to the freezer to chill up quickly. (Do not remove from the pan.)

While waiting for the brownies to firm up…

Make the Caramel-Coconut Topping:

  1. Spread your sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet and toast for 5 to 7 minutes at 350 F, on convection. Watch carefully as the coconut may turn very quickly from beautiful golden from to burnt. Make sure stir the coconut once in a while to avoid burning.
  2. Mix the toasted coconut and the dulce de leche/caramel sauce. (If you just took your caramel sauce out from the fridge, you can microwave it first to thin it a bit. I heated mine for about 30 seconds and stirred it prior to using.)
  3. Spread the caramel-coconut topping over the chilled brownies.
  4. Place back in the fridge to chill again for at least an hour.

For the Chocolate Dip and Drizzle:

  1. Remove the brownies from the fridge.
  2. Grab the sides of the parchment paper and lift the brownies from the pan. Remove the parchment paper and cut them into smallish squares.
  3. Place about 2/3 of the mixed chocolate chips in a bowl and melt in the microwave with 30 seconds interval, stirring in between. You can also melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. (I usually have more success with the double-boiler method.)
  4. Dip each brownie bottom into the melted chocolate and place upside-down on another sheet of parchment paper to let dry.
  5. When the chocolate coating has cooled, turn each piece right side up. Melt the remaining chocolate as directed above.
  6. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of the Samoa Brownies. You can eat right away or you can let the chocolate drizzle firm up before serving.

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Shepherd’s Chicken Pot Pie

I’m not a corned beef and cabbage person. It’s okay! I bought some¬†corned beef at Trader Joe’s so that my husband and son could make their St. Patrick’s Day sandwiches for lunch.:)

and…

Although I love a one-dish complete meal, I am also not a Shepherd’s pie person. Ugh. (I’m really not a picky eater!) But, when I saw this Shepherd’s pie twist on a chicken pot pie, I knew it would be the perfect “Irish” meal to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. We ate it with roasted asparagus and green salad- just to add some celebratory green to our meal.¬†Great comfort food!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Scott Hocker. I increased both the chicken and garlic and modified the roasting¬†temperature and time in order to coordinate¬†with my roasted asparagus. I loved Hocker’s description¬†of this dish as “a complete meal in every bite.”

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Total Time: 1 hour

For the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (I used 3 russet potatoes)
  • coarse¬†salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 7¬†garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks or chopped in a food processor
  • coarse¬†salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Make the Potatoes:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with warm, salted water, then bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then mash them with the milk, butter, and salt to taste.
  4. Reserve the mashed potatoes.

Make the Filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425¬įF. (I used the¬†convection roast setting.)
  2. Chop the garlic in a food processor, followed by the onion and then the carrots.
  3. In a large cast-iron or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot, then stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook, until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then stir in the chicken. Cook until desired thickness is achieved.
  7. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Complete the Dish:

  1. Transfer the filling to a 3-quart baking dish. (I used a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.)
  2. Spread the potatoes evenly over top of the filling.
  3. Bake the shepherd’s pie pot pie in the preheated oven until the potatoes are browned in spots and the filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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