Sticky Honey-Soy Chicken

I make a lot of chicken in this house. It’s better for our bodies and the only beef The Hubs likes is steak. Pork I’m still working on (it’s usually too dry and over cooked). I can and will start incluing more fish. overall, though, that leaves us with chicken. Chicken several times a week can get sooo boring. How do you mix it up, making it interesting? By constantly being on the lookout for something different, even if it’s a little tweek here or there. While this chicken is similar to many other chicken recipes, especially using soy, this one has a secret ingredient. It’s hidden right there in the name, honey. In this instance, I used the honey at the end, to add a sort of glaze. This locked in the flavors and added a very nice, sweet finish. Served over rice, a pretty perfect meal.

Ingredients:

2 Lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger (I use Gourmet Garden’s Ginger Paste)
2 cloves minced garlic (Pre-minced can save a few minutes in prep time)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup honey

Preparation:

Mix together soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add chicken to a gallon zip-lock bag, pour in sauce. Allow to marinade from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt and pepper. In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt butter in olive oil. Grill chicken on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes each side. The last 2-3 minutes each side, brush with honey butter mixture.

Serve with sticky rice topped with teriyaki sauce (recipe to follow).

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Gewürztraminer
Grüner Veltliner
Riesling

Serves 4

Total time: 40 minutes

  *Derived  from Tyler Florence at Cooking.com

Cheeseburger Macaroni

This recipe was not a hit with the family. D doesn’t like meat. Berto doesn’t like cheese. The Hubs doesn’t like ground meat or cheddar cheese. Sigh. This meal, to me, was wonderful! I do believe, though, it had less to do with the actual meal than with the fact this dish is true comfort food and it’s been over 100 degrees here in Cali. Maybe dinner would have been more successful had I just served ice cream. Hmmm, things to ponder . . .

Ingredients:

1 Lb ground beef (I Texas Longhorn beef from the farmer’s market and it cooked up similar to ground turkey, but still had a wonderful beef flavor)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni (or whatever you have on hand, I used penne)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I can see any number of types of cheese being used and it being wonderful)

Seasonings:

1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
3 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet to meidum high and brown meat. Once cooked, drain any fat that remains.

While meat browns, mix together seasonings in a small bowl. When drained, return meat to skillet and add seasonings, stirring to combine. Pour in hot water, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.

Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes until sauce thickens.

Serve immediately with melty garlic bread and a crisp salad.

Wine Pairing Suggestions (because no matter the dish, we always need wine)

Barbera
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6

Total time: 25 minutes


*Derived from FoodFanatic


Creamy Leek and Mushroom Pasta

I have a very good friend who is vegetarian. I’m not. But because of this friend, I’m always on the lookout for vegetarian dishes. A lot of them make me think of her. This is one of those dishes. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 Tbs olive oil (one of my best, best friends Agbeko, gave me this amazing garlic olive oil.  I use it for everything now.  Check them out at SunshineinaBottle.com)
2 large leeks, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed (I thought I had leeks, but I didn’t. To sub I diced a large yellow onion. Yes, it changes the flavor of the dish, was still awesome, though)
1 lb sliced mushrooms, I used cremini and sliced baby bellas (save yourself some time and buy pre-sliced)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (another time saver is to buy it in a huge jar, such as that by Spice Island)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth (for truly vegetarian, use vegetable broth)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional. I opted out)
12 oz Angel hair pasta
Parmesan for serving

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks (or, as in my case, onions) and garlic, sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until softened, 6-7 minutes.

Stir in broth and cream. Allow mixture to simmer 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Stir in parmesan and parsley, stirring until cheese is melted. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Slowly add creamy mushroom mixture. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with additional parmesan, fresh ground pepper, and parsley.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Albariño

Chardonnay
Pinot Noir
Rioja

Serves 8 large / 5-6 small

Prep time 10 mins / total time 30 minute

I have a very good friend who is vegetarian.  I'm not.  But because of this friend, I'm always on the lookout for vegetarian dishes.  A lot of them make me think of her.  This is one of those dishes. Creamy Leek and Mushroom Pasta *Derived from Kitchen Daily Ingredients: 2 Tbs olive oil 2 large leeks, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed (I thought I had leeks, but I didn't.  To sub I diced a large yellow onion.  Yes, it changes the flavor of the dish, was still awesome, though) 1 lb sliced mushrooms, I used cremini and sliced baby bellas (save yourself some time and buy pre sliced) 3 cloves of garlic, minced (another time saver is to buy it in a huge jar, such as that by Spice Island) 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup shredded parmesan  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional.  I opted out) 12 oz Angel hair pasta Parmesan for serving Directions: 1) Cook pasta according to package directions 2) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks (or, as in my case, onions) and garlic, sauté 2 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté until softened, 6-7 minutes. 3) Stir in broth and cream.  Allow mixture to simmer 5-7 minutes, until thickened.  Stir in parmesan and parsley, stirring until cheese is melted.  Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Taste and adjust seasoning. 4) Drain pasta and return to pot.  Slowly add creamy mushroom mixture.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately with additional parmesan, fresh ground pepper, and parsley. Enjoy! Serves 8 small portions / 5 large Prep time 10 mins / total time 30 minute

*Derived from Kitchen Daily

Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Pasta is a staple in my house.  For the most part, you can make it fast.  But, there are also some amazing dishes that take a while (lasagna, baked ziti anyone?).  I kind of have to admit, too, that one of the reasons I love pasta has to do with the control freak in me.  It’s also the same reason I prefer texting and email.  It’s all on my time. I get to decide, do I want/need a quick pasta tonight?  Do I need/want to respond to this text right now? Basically, whether a text or pasta, it comes down to me.  And no one knows the elements that brought me to the decision.  This dish, however, I’ll share with you the behind the scenes thought process.  I already had defrosted the extra lean ground beef.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it simply because my family is just coming back from a quick little vacation to Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe (one of our fave places and I encourage everyone to go) and anyone that knows me understands that I spent the week leading up to Tahoe planning, cooking, and packing for our trip (those recipes to follow).  By the time we got back home I was 1) exhausted from a wonderful trip, 2) really tired of planning and cooking, and 3) completely out of groceries save for the staples I had on hand.  I can tell you, quite confidently, this was a huge hit!

Ingredients:

1 lb extra lean ground beef (can sub ground chicken or turkey)
1 (14.5) oz diced tomatoes
1 (14.5) oz tomato sauce
1/2 of (6.5) garlic & herb spreadable cheese (such as Alouette)
1 Tbs dried basil (such as Morton & Bassett) (I prefer fresh, but since my GSD puppy ate my plant, I had to go with dried)
Handful of dried spaghetti
Parmesan grated, shredded, shaved (your preference) for serving

Preparation:

Boil pasta according to your doneness preference.

While pasta cooks, brown meat. Once browned, drain off any excess fat. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Reduced heat to medium low and heat through. Add the garlic and herb spreadable cheese. Stir to completely incorporate through. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 5 – 10 minutes. Add basil the last few minutes and stir (if using fresh basil, wait until ready to serve.

Mix pasta with sauce, in batches, stirring to combine with each batch. Top with favorite Parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Barbera
Chianti
Malbec
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese

Serves 8
Total time: 40 minutes

photo (5)

*Original Serves-4 Recipe

Quick Beef Stroganoff

I love beef stroganoff, and it seems that there are so many different recipes out there with the smallest change making a huge change if flavor.  What attracted me, though, to this recipe from Gimme Some Oven was it’s 30-Minute timeframe.  While this did take me a little longer than 30 minutes, it was so worth it!  And between you and me, I think the reason it took longer was completely my scattered fault.  I just can’t seem to get my ducks in a row, and if I finally get them in a row, they certainly don’t stay that way!  There were some substitutions I made to make it a little healthier or I was missing an ingredient.  There are also many ways you can make this healthier, instead of steak, you can use sliced chicken or turkey.  Or, if you are vegetarian, sub mushrooms and use vegetable broth.  All in all, a wonderful weeknight dish!

Ingredients:

1 lb wide egg noodles
4 Tbs butter, divided
1 ½ lb thinly sliced steak (I bought the fajita sliced steak in the meat department.  They also have super thin carne asada style)
1 white or yellow onion thinly sliced (I used a small one, the size depends on your enjoyment of onions)
4 cloves garlic minced (As always, I used the pre-minced from Spice World)
1 lb sliced mushrooms (You can use a mixture of different kinds of added flavor)
½ cup dry white wine (or you can just use more beef broth.  I had the wine, but it fell into my mouth . . . )
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (thanks to the kids experimenting, I didn’t have any.  I used A-1 instead and it brought a very nice, unique flavor)
3 Tbs flour
½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (or you can use light sour cream, the yogurt added a different flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, as optional garnish

Preparation:

Cook egg noodles in boiling water according to package directions (Gimme Some Oven recommends actually adding the egg noodles to the water at the same time that the beef broth is added, and this is a perfect recommendation for timing!)

As pasta water is coming to a boil, melt 2 Tbs of butter in large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add steak in a single layer and season with salt and pepper, let it cook for 3 minutes without turning to get a good sear.  Remove the steak from pan with slotted spoon, transfer to a separate dish.  Discard the cooked butter from the pan.

Return pan to heat and add remaining 2 Tbs butter.  Once melted, add onions and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and mushrooms, stir to combine.  Continue sauteing an additional 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms have through and onions are soft.  Add white wine (or broth) and deglaze pan.  Let mixture cook down an additional 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together beef broth, Worcestershire (or A-1) sauce, and flour until smooth.  Pour the broth mixture into the pan and stir to combine.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next, stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream) until combined.  Finally, stir in cooked steak.

Serve over egg noodles, garnished with parsley if desired.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Merlot
Pinot Noire
Sangiovese

Total time: About 40 minutes

Serves 6

Quick Beef Stroganoff

Quick Beef Stroganoff

 *Derived from Gimme Some Oven