Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chicken Adobo

This is a traditional Filipino dish and can be made with pork or chicken. I usually only cook with white meat, but with this dish I used dark to keep it traditional. If you do substitute pork, just use a pork tenderloin and cook until falling apart, about 1 ½ hours. When I first heard of this dish I was a little hesitant due to the large amounts of vinegar and soy sauce, but was in love after I smelled it cooking and then bit into the juicy tangy chicken. I also love how truly easy this dish is, and with using the dark meat I made and entire meal for 6 people for about $10, definitely a reason to put this in your recipe box.

Chicken Adobo

5 Pounds Chicken, preferably dark meat and on the bone (I used 12 Thighs)
1 ½ Cups White Vinegar
1 ½ Cups Soy Sauce (don’t use the low sodium)
6 Cloves Garlic, crushed and peeled
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Bay Leafs

Clean Chicken and place in 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with flour and sugar, then add all remaining ingredients to pan, cover and marinate for 3 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees, and bake uncovered for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender and falling off the bone, turning every 20 minutes. Skim off fat, place chicken on a bed of rice and top with the sauce.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Frittata

My friend Therese just had her birthday this last weekend and it was a total blast! The theme was Spanish Tapas, and the food…simply delicious! There were about 50 people at her party, so I was asked to make some larger quantity dishes since not a lot of our friends are foodies like me. I made a delicious roasted red pepper and potato frittata, stuffed mushrooms, and roasted red potatoes with aioli.
I took pictures of my frittata, but totally forgot to take pictures of the mushrooms and potatoes, so I will have to post those two recipes when I make them again. I made four 12 inch frittata’s which I divided into 16 pieces, so it was a good easy thing to make for a large crowd. The recipe below is for one.

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Frittata

1 pound bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 teaspoons oil
1 large yellow or sweet onion, cut into thin slices
2 large russet potatoes peeled and sliced very thin (I drug out my mandolin for this)
¼ cup butter
1 jar roasted red pepper (in water), cut into ¼ inch strips
3 cups grated jack cheese
12 eggs
½ cups half&half
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In 12 inch frying pan cook bacon until crisp, remove and drain fat from pan. Add oil and onions and sauté over medium heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Next add butter and potatoes and cook stirring occasionally until potatoes are lightly golden and tender, about 10 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
In large bowl add eggs, half&half, salt and pepper and beat until well combined. Ladle a small amount of egg mixture to cover bottom of frying pan, layer with ½ each; bacon, onions, potatoes, roasted red peppers, and cheese, repeat with remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture over layers to cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour or until puffed and golden brown on the top, let rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Peach Bellini

I love peaches and I love champagne, and combining the two makes the perfect drink. I think I could drink this for breakfast every day if possible, but probably not the best idea. If you don’t have peach schnapps on hand you can substitute simple syrup.
I also bought these mailing labels at the office supply store and they are the perfect name tag for glasses at dinner parties, as they are inexpensive and a bit different than the usual wine charms.

Peach Bellini

3 Peaches, skinned and cut into quarters (or 2 cups frozen peaches, thawed)
1 Cup Peach Schnapps

Puree peaches with peach schnapps in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve and refrigerate. Pour about 2 ounces of peach mixture into champagne glass and top off with champagne.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Indian-Spiced Eggplant

This dish has such a nice blend of spices, it's sweet, spicy, and you can taste the hint of cinnamon that is in the garam masala. The eggplant comes out really nice and tender and picks up all the flavors of the sauce. This is good as a side dish, or even with rice as a vegeterian meal.

Indian-Spiced Eggplant

2 ½ teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups water 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 2 inch cubes
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, coriander, and turmeric, and cumin. In a measuring cup, stir together water, sugar, and vinegar. Heat the butter in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add the spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and salt and toss to coat with the spice mixture. Stir vinegar mixture and add to eggplant mixture. Simmer mixture, covered, without stirring, 10 minutes, or until eggplant is just tender. Uncover skillet and cook eggplant mixture at a rapid simmer, without stirring, until liquid is almost evaporated and eggplant is slightly charred (but not burned) on bottom, about 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let eggplant stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with rice.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Dates

This is one of the easiest appetizers ever, and it is going to be the most popular you have ever made! It only takes two ingredients, bacon, and dried dates, how easy is that? I have made this recipe a few times and have never had people devour anything so fast ever in my entire cooking career!

Bacon Wrapped Dates

1 Pound Thick Sliced Bacon, 12 pieces
36 Dried Dates

Cut bacon into thirds, which will give you 36 pieces. Wrap dates with bacon and secure with toothpick. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until bacon turns light golden brown and becomes slightly crisp. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Anything that resembles bread pudding has to be delicious, right? This recipe does just that, but more on the savory side with the addition of cheese and sausage. I also love this recipe because it can be made the night before. It’s perfect for brunch or even for a yummy savory dinner treat. This recipe can be cut in half, or even doubled if you are having a large amount of people over for brunch. Thanks Wendy for this delicious recipe!


1 Loaf French Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 Eggs
½ Cup Milk
1 Large Sweet Onion, diced
1 Pound Spicy Sausage
8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, cut into cubes

In large bowl add eggs and milk and mix together, add bread and mix until combined. Sauté onion until over medium high heat with oil until translucent, about 5 minutes, add to bread mixture. Next, brown sausage in sauté pan, drain grease and add to bread mixture. Mix well and let sit for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight to ensure bread absorbs all liquid. Place mixture into 9x13-inch baking pan and dot with cheddar and cream cheese to evenly distribute throughout strata.
Place into pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until center of strata is set and top is golden brown.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jen's Blackout Lamb Stew

Only Jen could pull this look off!

My nick-name for this stew is “black out lamb stew” because when I went to my friend Jen’s house for dinner the electricity was out. Thank goodness she had a gas stove! I brought over some candles and lanterns and another friend brought over an ipod player that was battery powered. It was so much fun hanging out in the candle lit house sipping wine and having a good time. I believe it is the first time I have ever been disappointed to have the power come back on. The funny thing is when the power did come on we immediately turned the lights off and pretended it was still out. Jen was a trooper and prepared the meal wearing her camping headlight, in case you were wondering what the heck the picture was. I hope to have another black out party soon!
Now for the food…I can’t ever get enough lamb and was so excited when I got invited over to Jen’s for lamb stew. This is a very healthy recipe and has a ton of flavor. The combination of the potatoes, lamb with the veggies and rosemary, delicious! I never thought of adding collard greens to a stew, but loved the texture, color and flavor they brought to the dish, and they don’t get soggy like a lot of other leafy greens would. I made my new favorite no-knead bread to go with the stew, and we had Williams Sonoma peppermint brownies and ice cream for dessert. Thanks for the delicious and fun night Jen!

Jen's Blackout Lamb Stew

1 Pound Lamb, fat removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ Teaspoon Pepper
½ Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Cups Vegetable Stock
3 Large Carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 –inch thick slices
2 Large Celery Stalks, cleaned and cut into ½-inch thick slices
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
5 Red Potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
2 Tablespoons Italian Parsley, minced
5 Large Collard Green Leaves, roughly chopped

Mix flour, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt together and toss with lamb to coat. In large stock pot heat olive oil over medium high heat and brown lamb. Add stock, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, and rosemary, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and meat is tender. Add parsley and collard greens and continue to cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Almost No-Knead Bread

I love getting my Cooks Illustrated magazine because it always has such good recipes. In my January edition they had an almost no-knead bread recipe, I was inspired and it turned out beautiful. I am not very experienced in bread-making so it was nice to have a recipe that produced a professional quality loaf of bread. It has a nice thick crispy crust and a very dense flavorful inside. I took this to my friend Jen’s house for a dinner party to go with her Lamb Stew, which I will share the recipe when I get it from her. I didn’t start my bread early enough to give it a full 8 hour rise, so I placed it in a very warm spot in the house and let it rise for 6 hours, and it was fine. It was really strange cooking bread in my dutch oven, but it did the trick, I am going to try it with some rosemary, parmesan, and olives thrown in next time. Enjoy!

Almost No-Knead Bread

3 Cups Flour
¼ Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
¾ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Water (7 ounces), at room temperature
¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons mild-flavored Beer (They recommend Budweiser, or Coors)
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using runner spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit a room temperature for 8-18 hours.
Lay 12x18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough seam side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in siz and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6-quart heavy bottomed dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and using razor blade, make one 6-inch long, 1/2 –inch deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pat (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20-30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wendy's Crab Cakes

My room-mate Wendy made these for Christmas breakfast and they were absolutely amazing. I love that the main feature in these was crab, not mayo and tons of other fillers. They are very indulgent and definitely worth the cost of the crab. You have to try this recipe, you will fall in love.

Wendy's Crab Cakes

2 Teaspoons Butter
½ Red and Yellow Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Scallions, chopped
1 Pound Crab Meat, ½ pound jumbo lump & ½ pound black fin or claw meat
3 Dashes Tobasco Sauce (or asian harissa sauce)
¼ Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
¼ Cup Japanese Panko Crumbs, plus more for coating
Olive Oil for frying

Sauté peppers and scallions with butter until soft, set aside to cool. In mixing bowl combine all ingredients, and mix until combined. Form into 3 inch patties and coat with panko crumbs. Heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil in pan over medium heat and sauté crab cakes until well browned and heated through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with Tabasco or cocktail sauce.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Apple Galette

This recipe was a huge hit at Dave and Francisca’s dinner party the other day. I made 2 just to ensure everyone could have as much as they wanted. The dough was absolutely wonderful, flaky, buttery, and delicious. I got this recipe from Williams Sonoma, and tweaked a few things and will definitely make it again soon. I like how rustic it looks, but at the same time it’s much fancier than your traditional apple pie.

Apple Galette

2 ½ Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
16 Tablespoons (2 Sticks) Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
1/3-1/2 Cup Ice Water

2 Pounds Granny Smith Apples (about 4 large), peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch slices
½ Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice (one half lemon juiced)
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Allspice
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1 ½ Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 Egg, lightly beaten
Sugar for sprinkling
2 Tablespoons Apricot Jam

To make dough, put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl of food processor and pulse 5 times to blend. Add the butter and pulse 15-20 times, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1/3 cup of the water and pulse a few times. Squeeze the dough with your fingers; it should hold together but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, salt and cornstarch, set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for a few minutes. Lightly flour the counter and roll out into a 12 inch round. Brush off the excess flour. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet. Arrange the apple filling in the center of the dough, mounding the fruit slightly and leaving a 2 inch border. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the apples, pleating loosely. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Lightly sprinkle sugar over the apples.

Bake until the crust is golden and the applesa are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and brush with the apricot jam, to make shiny coating on the apples. Let cool and serve with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Muppet and I are wishing you a very Happy New Year!!!
I hope you had a safe fun filled New Years Eve!