Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baked Fingerling Potato Chips

I had been craving a burger for about a week now.... so for dinner tonight I made burgers with grassfed beef (thanks mom!) on the foreman grill.... which I think does a pretty good job with burgers. I made these awesome fingerling potato chips to go with them... along with some green beans...

Baked Fingerling Potato Chips

2-3 fingerling potatoes for each person (you can also use Russet)
Olive Oil or Melted Butter
Salt, Pepper, or other Seasoning (try salt and vinegar!) or some pickle juice!

1. Start by slicing the potatoes very thin... about 1/8 inch or smaller (a mandolin would have been great for this...)
2. Preheat your oven to 450.
3. Soak the potatoes in cold water to get rid of some of the excess starch. Rinse the potatoes.
4. Dry the potatoes thoroughly on paper towels- DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
5. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer, lined with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
6. Brush with olive oil or melted butter, then season with salt or other seasoning.
7. Bake until golden around the edges, I find the fingerling get little bubbles in them. Start by baking about 10-15 minutes. Check them often, mine tend to crisp at different rates... depending on the thickness. Flip when one side is dried and crispy. Mine take about 30 minutes total... but it depends on your oven and the thickness of your potato.

Serve warm, and leftovers are great snack the next day crisped up in the toaster oven.

For some reason my purple chips went first!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I had some bananas that turned overripe very quickly on me this week- so what else to do but make banana bread! I used Alton Brown's Recipe from his baking cookbook, but adapted it a bit because my husband is allergic to nuts.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

3-4 overipe bananas
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted then cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup oat flour (I used whole wheat graham flour instead)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, and prepare a loaf pan, or muffin tin
1. mash bananas with the sugar
2. mix butter, eggs, and vanilla together, then add to bananas
3. sift flours, and baking powder, and salt together
4. mix in the wet ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips
5. spread batter into pan, then bake for 50 min to an hour for a loaf, or about 30 minutes for muffins.
6. remove from oven, let rest 15 minutes, then slide out onto a rack to cool.

This was our dessert- although I meant it to be for breakfast! Even my 10 month old was begging for more!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs

My husband and I went out to eat last weekend for our 1st anniversary, so instead of going out on one of the busiest and cheesiest days of the year, I've decided to make a romantic dinner for us here at home, using leftover chipotle peppers from my Guisado earlier this week. On the menu tonight is Robin Millers Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs with Jamaican Rice and Peas, which I found on Food Network. I did scale my version down a bit, I did not think we needed 4 pounds of chicken! Next time I will probably use only 8 oz of tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup each of celery and carrots. Sorry this was posted late, I had some issues with the pics, still trying to get that down!

We paired this with hand shaken margaritas, made by my husband. We sat down for dinner after the children had gone to bed- what a difference to have a quiet dinner at home! I think I'm going to make it a point to have one quiet dinner with my husband every 2 weeks. It was very refreshing!

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken Thighs

2 Lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
3/4 Cup Chopped Carrot
3/4 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Onion, sliced thinly
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 Chipotle Pepper with 1 tsp Adobo Sauce
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
1 Avocado, diced
Lime wedges for garnish
Cilantro if desired

1. Arrange Onion, Celery, and Carrot in the bottom of your slow cooker. Trim the Chicken Thighs of excess fat. Season Chicken Thighs with Salt and Pepper, and arrange on top of the vegetables.

2. In your food processor, combine tomato sauce, lime juice, chipotle chiles, and garlic. Pulse until well combined, then pour over the chicken.

3. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high. Serve with Jamaican Rice and Peas, Avacodo, and Cilantro.

Jamaican Rice and Peas

1 1/2 Cups White Rice
1 14 oz Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
3/4 Cup Water
1 15 oz Can Red Beans, drained
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp finely grated Lime Zest
Salt and Pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper. Set to high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer as long as your particular rice directions say, usually about 20-25 minutes. Season with Salt and Pepper

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crock Pot Carne Guisado

This past fall my husband and I went down to the Hispanic Festival in downtown Grand Rapids to eat some mexican food (which we both LOVE). One of the dishes we had was called Carne Guisade, which was slow cooked beef with potatoes in a smoky tomato-ey sauce. I have been unsuccessful at trying to find a recipe that is similar...so here is my try at making it! We were both VERY happy with the way this turned out! It was very yummy! If you like a little more spice, add some more of the chipotle peppers, I was feeding this to a 6 year old, so I didn't want to add too much spice.... Definitely going to do this one again!

Crock Pot Carne Guisado

2 Lbs beef rib steaks, cut into 1/2- 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 red potatoes, peeled, and cubed
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from a small can
3 bay leaves
dash of cumin
dash of chili powder
salt and pepper

1. Combine the beef, onion, garlic, and potatoes in the crock pot.
2. In a food processor, combine tomato sauce, peppers, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pulse until blended.
3. Add the tomato sauce to the crockpot, stir to combine, add a little water if needed, add the bay leaves, and set to High for 2 hours (I always start out on high to get it going). Then switch to low for 6 hours.
4. Serve with rice, or with all sorts of taco toppings, or make into enchiladas, using the sauce as enchilada sauce.

We warmed some corn tortillas, topped them with rice, then the guisado, sour cream, guacamole, cheese

My husbands masterpiece:

And I added chopped tomatoes, and black olives, making it look more like nachos:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cheesy Hashbrown Chili

I recieved the March issue of Rachael Ray Magazine in the mail over the weekend....and this sounded good, and I had all the ingredients to make it already!

Cheesy Hashbrown Chili

2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Lb ground beef
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I used my mom's canned tomatoes, chopping them myself)
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
1 Lb frozen hashbrowns (shredded)
1 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion, chili powder, and cumin, and saute until onion is tender. Add the tomato paste, mix, then add the ground beef, breaking up. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the ground beef until no longer pink.
2. Add the kidney beans, and tomatoes with their juices, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Combine the hashbrowns and cheese in a bowl. Spread chili mixture in a 9 by 13 inch pan, top with the hashbrown mixture, and then bake in the top third of the oven at 400 for 35 minutes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bow-Tied Lentil Narsh-Narsh

I love lentils- I sneak them into dishes a lot. The canned ones are so easy because you don't have to soak them! I didn't know what I was making when I started making dinner tonight.... and this is what it ended up being. I am not sure if it is soup or pasta (you could add more stock to make it more soup-like), so my husband named it : )

Bow-Tied Lentil Narsh-Narsh

4 oz Salt Pork, cut into thin strips, and then chopped (or use bacon)
1 15 oz can brown lentils, drained
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup small pasta (i obviously used mini-bow-tie)
4-5 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
3-4 drops tabasco

1. saute salt pork over medium heat until brown edges form. skim some of the fat out, then add the carrots, celery, onion, and shallot. reduce heat to medium-low. sweat the veggies until tender, but not mushy.
2. Add the lentils, the vegetable stock, and pasta. Season with salt and pepper, paprika, and tabasco, and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, boiling until the pasta is al dente. Serve!

Makes about 4 servings

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spaghetti in Creamy Pea Sauce with Crisped Prosciutto

This was an easy tasty meal that I adapted from a recipe I found on Serious Eats. The original recipe was for 2 people, and I made a little more than that... and added garlic.

Spaghetti in Creamy Pea Sauce with Crisped Prosciutto

16 oz. Whole Wheat Spaghetti
16 oz. bag Frozen Peas
3 small Shallots, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. Butter
Salt and Pepper
Dash of Nutmeg
3 oz. Prosciutto (1-2 slices per person)

1. Cook Spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat. add shallots and garlic and sweat until translucent. turn the heat up to medium, add the peas, and cook until bright green and thawed, but not mushy. Transfer contents of skillet to a blender, add the cream, and puree until smooth.
3. Place a fine meshed sieve over a pot (or use the skillet, or the pot used to cook spaghetti.) In batches, fill the sieve, and press the peas through, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Discard the solids. Warm the puree, add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the spaghetti.
4. Top each plate with pieces of crisped prosciutto (place prosciutto on baking sheet, and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes).