Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Pizza

I've wanted to do this FOREVER and I finally worked up the nerve today. Grilled pizza is fun and flavorful and a great way to avoid heating up your house with a hot oven in the summer. Grilling pizza is easiest if you make individual pizzas instead of one big one. If you are having guests over, offer a variety of toppings and let them go to town.

The most important trick to grilling pizza is having all of your toppings ready to go by the grill. You'll be starting the dough alone, but once you flip it, you have to work quickly to spread the sauce and add your toppings.

You can use any old pizza dough but I found a great dough recipe by Ina Garten (whose studio kitchen I totally covet) on FoodNetwork.com that makes enough for about 6 individual pizzas. It calls for 2 tsp. of kosher salt which is a coarser salt than the table salt we usually use in recipes. If you don't have kosher salt, you can substitute your regular table salt, but I do recommend getting kosher salt if you can because it's flavor is milder and it undergoes less processing (and you can use it in other recipes).

The pizza sauce recipe I also found online. It makes a very thick sauce but if you prefer a thinner sauce, just add water. If you find you don't need it all, pour the remainder into a freezer-weight Ziploc bag, press out the air, and freeze for next time. And please, please add the fennel. That is the "secret ingredient" when it comes to pizza sauce tasting authentic. It, too, can be used in other recipes (spaghetti, lasagna, etc.) so it's worth getting.

by Ina Garten on FoodNetwork.com

1 1/4 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
2 (0.75 oz) packages (or 4 1/2 tsp.) dry yeast
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
2 tsp. kosher salt

Combine the water, yeast, oil, and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer* fitted with a dough hook. Add 3 cups of flour, then the salt, and mix. While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough on low to medium speed for 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

When the dough is ready, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand a dozen times or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled boil and turn a couple of times to lightly cover it in oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours.

If you've chilled the dough, take it out approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature. Roll and stretch each ball into a rough 8-inch circle and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, putting a sheet of waxed paper between each:

(I rolled the first 2 pizzas too big and they cooked a lot faster than the rest.)

Spray grill lightly with cooking spray. Preheat to med-high heat (about 350-400 degrees). Place the pizzas directly on the grill, 2 or 3 at a time, and cook on one side for 1 minute. Flip pizzas over and spread with sauce; add desired toppings. Put the lid on the grill and cook for 5 more minutes or until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked:

*You can make the dough without a mixer: Combine the ingredients as listed, mix with a wooden spoon or by hand. Knead by hand for about 10-12 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Follow remaining directions.

slightly adapted from Ultimate Pizza Sauce on Food.com

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 small bay leaf
water, if desired

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter in olive oil and saute onion, celery, and garlic until tender. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients (adding enough water to achieve desired consistency) and simmer for 15-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and spread on prepared pizza dough.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I got this recipe out of Good Housekeeping magazine several years ago. This is a great alternative for those who love chicken cordon blue but don't like all the work involved in making it. You could always add a breadcrumb topping to make it more authentic, but I like it as is.

Just don't cut your potatoes too big or they won't cook through. To be on the safe side, you can always place your potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 Tbsp. water. Cover the bowl with waxed paper and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring once. Then add them to the rest of the casserole mixture. But if you cut them small enough you can skip this step completely.

adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine

1 lb. baby red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes
2 - 3 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
8 oz (1/2 lb.) cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together soup, milk, parsley, garlic, and pepper until smooth. Add potatoes, chicken, broccoli, ham, and cheese and stir to evenly coat. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake, covered, for 50-55 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and cheese begins to brown.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hungarian Goulash

I got this recipe from my mom. It was an old staple in our house. It is similar to stroganoff, but with a tomato base. It can be served over egg noodles or white rice.


2 lbs. round steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 (16 oz) bag egg noodles

Combine beef, onion, and garlic in slow cooker. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat. Add salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, bay leaf, and tomatoes and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours. Remove bay leaf and stir in sour cream 30 minutes before serving.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain. Serve goulash over noodles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oven Roasted Vegetables

We had something similar to this at the Claim Jumper restaurant a month ago. I've seasoned these veggies with garlic, salt, and pepper but you could also use Mrs. Dash, Greek or Cajun seasoning, etc. Just read the label first: if the ingredients include salt you won't need to add any yourself.


1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 sweet onion, cut into wedges
2-3 zucchini, cut into thirds then quartered
1 cup baby carrots, or sliced carrots
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Spread veggies in an even layer on cookie sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Greek Salad

I forgot we were out of olives when I made this, so this photo is not fully representative of the salad. But you can use your imagination. You don't have to serve it on lettuce, but that helps stretch it out a little further.

adapted from Allrecipes.com

3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (or red onion)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata or black olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 (10 oz) package Romaine salad, optional

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl or container and let stand 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and olives (if using). Pour dressing over and stir to coat.

In a large, shallow salad bowl, spread Romaine evenly in bottom. Top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese. (Or you can just toss it all together in a large bowl.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pork or Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki

My mom bought my dad some Greek and Indian cooking lessons for his birthday one year. (He's one of those rare men that enjoys cooking and does it well.) So now we look forward to his Greek dinners with anticipation. But he lives on the other side of the country from me so I finally caved and decided to learn how to make some things myself.

If you frequent Greek restaurants or gyro shops, you are probably familiar with souvlaki and tzatziki. Souvlaki is traditionally made with lamb or pork but can also be make with chicken and is essentially a marinated and grilled meat. You can serve it in a pita with lettuce and tomato gyro-style or on it's own. It's best served with the complimentary tzatziki which is essentially a yogurt and cucumber mixture that is either flavored with dill or mint. I like dill best. Tzatziki is also a great dip for pita crisps or vegetables.

You'll need plain Greek yogurt, which is thicker and a different consistency from regular American yogurt. Luckily it's become more popular and is not hard to find. Here is what I used:
These 5.3 oz containers run about $1 a piece at Walmart and you'll need about 3 1/2 to make this recipe. Or maybe you'll get lucky and find a bigger container at your grocery store. The shredded cucumbers give it some crunch, but if you want your tzatziki sauce more smooth, pulse it in a food processor or blender.

marinade adapted from Emeril Lagasse's on FoodNetwork

2-3 pounds boneless pork loin or b/s chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in a gallon size Ziploc bag and marinate 3-4 hours or overnight.

If grilling: Soak wooden skewers in water for 1 hour. Preheat grill to med-high heat. Thread cubes onto skewers and grill for 10-12 minutes for pork or 8-10 minutes for chicken, turning occasionally.

If sauteing: Heat large skillet over med-high heat. Saute in 2-3 batches (to ensure even cooking) for 8-10 minutes for pork or 6-8 minutes for chicken.


2 cups Greek yogurt
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and shredded
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp. salt (kosher salt is best)
1 tsp. dried dill weed (or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill)*

Place shredded cucumber in a strainer and squeeze out excess water with your hands. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and dill. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours to let flavors mingle.

*Some people prefer mint over dill in their tzatziki. You can substitute 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint for the dill.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grilled Salsa

Apparently this is similar to Chevy's salsa, but I've never been there so I really don't know. The recipe called for 6 jalapenos, which I mistakenly complied with, and let me just say, that is too frickin hot for me. Which is too bad, because the flavor of this salsa is awesome. So here's my suggestion:

Mild salsa = 2 jalapenos
Medium salsa = 4 jalapenos
Super-hot-clear-your-sinuses-for-4-hours salsa = 6 jalapenos

And if you are smarter than me you will wear gloves while handling the jalapenos to prevent 3 hours of burning fingers. I also recommend removing as many seeds as you can because that is where most of the heat comes from.

The tomatoes and peppers are grilled in this recipe (hence the name) but I think you could get the same effect by broiling them. Just keep an eye on them so they don't turn into charcoal. You want them charred but not brickettes.

And as for the liquid smoke, if you're not going to add it ... well don't bother making the salsa.


8-10 Roma tomatoes
2-6 jalapenos
olive oil
1/4 of a medium sized onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. liquid mesquite smoke

Preheat grill to high. Place tomatoes and peppers in a large bowl, lightly drizzle with olive oil, and rub to coat. Place tomatoes on grill first and after about 6 minutes add the peppers. Grill, turning occasionally, until skin peels from tomatoes and peppers are charred:
Remove to a plate and let cool.

Once the tomatoes and peppers are cool, remove the skin from the tomatoes and place them in a food processor.* Pull off the stem of the peppers, remove any burned skin and seeds, and add to the food processor. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until mixture is smooth.

Pour salsa into a medium size bowl, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight for best flavor.

*If you don't have a food processor, this can be made in a blender: pulse for 1-2 second intervals and use a rubber spatula to stir it up until you can get it all the same consistency.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Southwestern Eggrolls with Avocado-Ranch Dipping Sauce

These are a baked (and therefore healthier) version of Chili's Southwestern Eggrolls. I looooove these things! The dipping sauce is the best and totally makes this dish. These are a little time consuming, so I've adjusted the recipe to make about 15 rolls so you're not wasting your time. You can always freeze some of the rolls before baking to have on hand at a later date. Just thaw them out, brush with butter, and bake as usual. The dipping sauce does not freeze well, however, so that will have to be made fresh. Any leftover sauce would make a great salad dressing.

Regarding the frozen chopped spinach: once it thaws and you squeeze all the liquid out you end up with a lot less volume. So about 1 cup of frozen spinach breaks down to about 1/2 cup thawed.

adapted from TopSecretRecipes

4 cups (about 3-4 breasts) finely chopped cooked chicken breast
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper (about 1/2 a pepper)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (about 3 onions)
1 1/3 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup thawed and drained frozen chopped spinach
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies (or jalapenos for more heat)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
15 soft taco size flour tortillas
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat vegetable oil in a large skillet or saute pan over med-high heat. Add the red pepper and onion and saute for a couple of minutes until tender. Add the chicken, corn, black beans, spinach, chilies, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, cayenne (if using), and liquid smoke (if using). Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring well so that the spinach separates and is incorporated into the mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese; stir until cheese is melted.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish (AND an 8x8 baking dish if you are baking all 15 rolls) with cooking spray.

Wrap the tortillas in a moist cloth or paper towel and microwave until warm, about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes on high. Spoon about 1/3 - 1/2 cup filling into each tortilla and roll it up, tucking in the ends as you roll. Place each one seam side down in a baking dish (you can fit 10 - 11 in the 9x13 and any remaining in the 8x8).
Brush with butter and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. To serve, cut in half on a diagonal and serve with dipping sauce.

(cut recipe in half if you are only baking a few rolls at a time)

1/2 cup mashed fresh avocado (about 1 avocado)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. buttermilk (or 2 Tbsp. milk + a couple drops of lemon juice or vinegar)
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. onion powder
pinch dried dill weed
pinch garlic powder
pinch black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep refrigerated until use. Sauce will thin as it stands.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pacific Island Grill

I think this recipe originated from a local Hawaiian cookbook that belonged to my grandmother. It's packed full of flavor. It calls for flank steak, but as I've mentioned in past posts you can do it with a cheaper cut of meat such as London Broil. When using a cheaper, and thus less tender, cut of meat, you can tenderize it by stabbing it like crazy with a fork. And the longer you marinate the meat, the more tender it will be (overnight is best).

I just realized I've never discussed using fresh ginger root. If you aren't sure what it looks like, here is a picture:

Image via.

When picking out a root at the grocery store, choose one that is firm, not soft or squishy. I also try to pick one that doesn't have too many "arms" coming off the main body, mostly because it's easier to grate.

I know a lot of people peel the outside skin off, but I don't bother. I actually keep the root in a freezer-weight Ziploc bag in the freezer. It will keep for a long time as long as you push as much air out of the bag as possible to keep it from getting freezer burn. When I need fresh ginger root I just pull it out of the bag, grate how much I need (without thawing it), and then put it back in the bag in the freezer until next time. I think I've had my current root about 6 months now. I've had one last as long as a year ... maybe more.


2-3 lb. flank steak
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work as well)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in a gallon size Ziploc bag and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to med-high heat. Grill 7-8 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Remove to a plate and cover with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain to serve.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Key Lime Pie with Raspberry Sauce

We forgot until the last minute to find a dessert for Mother's Day. I thought Key Lime Pie sounded good, but the store bakeries were out and I wasn't about to pay $8.99 for a frozen version. So I made one myself late Saturday night. And let me say, this is the best Key Lime Pie recipe EVAH.

One word about limes: Key limes are not the same as the 'regular' (ie: Persian/Mexican) limes you usually find at the grocery store. For one thing, they are much smaller:
Image found here.

I usually see them sold by bulk in a mesh bag instead of individually. They are much more tart than the Persian limes and lighter in color. So, to make traditional Key Lime pie you need the real thing, but it still tastes great if all you can find is Persian limes. The pie will simply not be as tart. And that neon green pie sold in stores? Not normal. I did add a couple of drops of green food coloring to my pie just for aesthetics, but it's not necessary. I just want to make sure you aren't expecting your filling to look bright green.

I really think Key Lime pie tastes best when made with a homemade graham cracker crust but I will not judge you if you use a pre-made store bought crust.

The raspberry sauce? Not a traditional topping. I got the idea from Longhorn Steakhouse - they serve(d) their Key Lime pie with a drizzle of raspberry glaze and it's a great combination. You don't have to do the same, but I thought I'd add a recipe in case you want to try it.

adapted from Key Lime Pie VII from Allrecipes.com

1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup lime juice*
1 Tbsp. lime zest
green food coloring, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, and a couple of drops of food coloring, if using; pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set - do not brown. Remove to wire rack. Let cool, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

*You will need about 10 Persian limes or 25-30 Key limes.

found on Allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and butter and blend well. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water

Combine the raspberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth; add to saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Puree the sauce in a blender and strain through a fine mesh sieve and let cool. Sauce keeps in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ham and Potato Casserole

Here's a great way to use up your leftover holiday ham. If you don't have leftover ham, a ham steak should do. I used a brown sugar ham steak and the sweetness from the sugar added a pleasing dimension to the flavor of this casserole. If you use smoked ham, you may want to use a low-sodium cream soup to minimize the amount of salt.

If using a ham steak, I recommend cooking it in a skillet first to draw out the excess water so your casserole doesn't turn out runny.

Slice your potatoes 1/8 of an inch thick or thinner to ensure they cook through.

adapted from End of the Line Ham Casserole on Allrecipes.com

2 cups diced, cooked ham
4-5 cups scrubbed and thinly sliced potatoes
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of celery soup
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dehydrated minced onion
black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup french fried onions, slightly crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine soup, milk, onion, and black pepper. Stir in potatoes and ham; pour into casserole dish and spread evenly. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Remove casserole and sprinkle with cheese and french fried onions; bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Have you noticed a Mexican theme to my recipes lately? This is the last one ... at least for a little while. I think the next recipe I post will be good ol' American comfort food.

I've adjusted the recipe from the original. For one thing I've added an egg to the cream cheese mixture which produces a more cheesecake-like texture to the filling. You can leave the egg out if you want it more creamy. I've also reduced the amount of butter and sugar.

adapted from Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie on Allrecipes.com

2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 egg (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
sliced strawberries for garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, egg (if using), and vanilla until smooth.

Unroll first can of crescent dough and press into the bottom of pan. Spread with cream cheese mixture. Unroll second can of dough and, pinching seams closed, place over filling, stretching dough as necessary to cover. Brush with melted butter.

In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over dough. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving. Drizzle with honey and serve with sliced strawberries, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I loved the restaurant Rio Bravo for two things: their salsa and their fresh tortillas. I was so sad when they went out of business. For years I have contemplated making my own tortillas and today was finally the day (I'm writing this on Cinco de Mayo). These are great, but I think next time I will invest in a tortilla press to make it faster and easier. With a press, I think it would be worth making your own tortillas every time instead of using the crappy store-bought ones that are full of preservatives.

I was able to make 16 fajita/taco size tortillas with this recipe. Don't expect your tortillas to be perfect circles - you only get those lovely round edges with a press. Tortillas are traditionally made with lard, but I made mine with shortening and they turned out fine. I think these days most people don't even have lard or know where to purchase it. Which is not a bad thing in my opinion...

recipe found on Allrecipes.com

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. shortening (or lard if you want to be traditional)
1 1/2 cups hot water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Mix in the shortening with a pastry blender or your fingers until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.

Preheat a skillet over med-high heat. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll each ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and cook until golden on the other side (mine never got golden - just cook until cooked through). Keep warm and repeat with remaining balls of dough.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chili Lime Chicken

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I have no idea why we celebrate this in the U.S. - I guess we Americans are happy to find any reason to party and have a potluck at work. This recipe is sorta kinda Mexican...and definitely yummy.

adapted from Lime & Chili Rubbed Chicken from Tablespoon.com

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lime zest
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of cayenne pepper, optional
1-2 limes for juice

Rinse chicken breasts with water and pat dry. Rub with olive oil. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, brown sugar, lime zest, garlic powder, salt and cayenne; rub all over chicken.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill chicken for 10-12 minutes turning once halfway through cooking time, or until juices run clear. Squeeze fresh lime juice over breasts before serving.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sausage Cheese Balls

These remind me of a sausage breakfast biscuit. Some people like to dip them in maple syrup, others in barbecue sauce. Me, I like them plain. Great as an appetizer or a side dish for brunch.

adjusted from Tablespoon.com

1 lb. bulk pork sausage (like Jimmy Dean)
1 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
4 cups (16 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (easiest if you use your hands). Roll into 1-inch balls and place on lightly greased, foil-lined jelly roll pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

If you wish to make these ahead of time, just cover the pan with plastic wrap after rolling the balls and freeze until ready to bake. Preheat oven, remove from freezer and let thaw for 10-15 minutes before baking.