Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Endless Summer Salad with Homemade Maple Vinaigrette

You just can't beat an entree salad as a weeknight meal.  This one is particularly special, with its crispy bacon pieces, feta cheese, and homemade maple dressing.  I've omitted measurements for the veg as people have their own preferences for salad proportions.

Oh, and my recent discovery that partially frozen chicken is WAY easier to slice than thawed has changed my world.  

Endless Summer Salad
An Ommy Noms original, shout-out to Oishii for helping me name it!
Serves 4

Spring mix
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Sweet onion, several thin slices
2 granny smith apples, thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts (or you can go for almonds or sugared pecans if you'd like!)
2 oz feta cheese crumbles
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced
Maple vinaigrette, recipe below

1.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook until fat begins to render out.  Add chicken pieces and cook in rendered bacon fat until browned and cooked through, flipping occasionally.

2.  Remove cooked chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.  Continue cooking bacon pieces until they reach desired level of crispness.  Remove to plate.

3.  Layer all ingredients in individual salad bowls and drizzle with maple vinaigrette.

Maple Vinaigrette
Adapted from Southern Living

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

1.  Whisk together first five ingredients.  Gradually whisk in oil until fully incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

*  I tend to taste and adjust my dressings to suit my preferences.  I wound up adding more maple syrup in the end.

Pin It!

Monday, July 23, 2012

28 by 28: Enchiladas Verdes

I used to avoid green things at Mexican restaurants like the plague.  Guacamole?  Nuh uh.  Green dip?  No way.  Green enchiladas?  Not a chance.

Lucky for me, I've seen the light.  I can put back some serious green dip and order a plate of enchiladas verdes at pretty much every Mexican restaurant I visit.  It's a kind of test- like ordering lasagna at a new Italian place.  If the enchiladas verdes are good, the place is okay in my book.
I recently made some enchiladas of my own, and they passed with flying colors.  :)  I used some leftover cooked chicken in mine, though I've included the directions for poaching some raw breasts if you don't have any around.  (Also, I used queso quesadilla rather than queso fresco, so I popped mine in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.  This step is unnecessary if you use a crumbling cheese.)

Adapted from Allrecipes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 white onion
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed
5 serrano peppers
1/4 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 pinch salt
1 cup chicken broth
12 corn tortillas
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a saucepan, combine chicken breast with chicken broth, one quarter onion, a clove of garlic, and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Set chicken aside to cool; discard onion and garlic. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken with your hands.

2. Place tomatillos and serrano chiles in a pot with water, enough to cover them. Bring to boil, and continue boiling until tomatillos turn a different shade of green (from bright green to a dull, army green). Strain tomatillos and chiles, and place in a blender with another quarter piece of onion, 1 clove garlic, a pinch of salt, and chicken broth. Blend until completely pureed. Pour salsa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a low boil.

3. Pour oil in a frying pan, and allow to get very hot. Slightly fry tortillas one by one in hot oil, setting each on a paper towel afterwards to soak some of the oil. Finally, dip slightly fried tortillas in low-boiling green salsa, until tortillas become soft again. Place on plates, 3 per person.

4. Fill or top tortillas with shredded chicken, then extra green sauce. Top with crumbled cheese, chopped onion, and chopped cilantro.

Pin It!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recipe Index

I am pleased to unveil my brand spankin' new Recipe Index!  (Woohoo!)  It's been a labor of love to say the least, but now you can enjoy a whole blog's worth of ommy noms at your fingertips. :-)  Check it out!

Pin It!

Spicy Crawfish Pasta

I first had this dish many, many years ago at a family gathering deep in the heart of Cajun country.  My mom wrote down the recipe and I always looked forward to its spicy, cheesy goodness when it was on the menu.

Last week, I set out to make crawfish etouffee but found myself fresh out of rice.  The wheels started turning when I spotted an unopened box of spaghetti hiding behind the flour.  I tweaked the original recipe to suit my cooking style, namely swapping a block of Velveeta for my favorite jack cheese.  It was as delicious as I remembered and tasted just as good for lunch the next day.  (Gotta love those dishes!)

Adapted from a family recipe

4 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 lb peeled crawfish tails (I buy the frozen packages and thaw them in cold water)
8 oz Monterrey jack or jalapeno jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 tsp Cajun seasoning blend
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 lb dry pasta (I typically use fettuccine or spaghetti)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

 1.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Stir in flour, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add crawfish tails. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

2.  Reduce heat to low. Stir in the half-and-half, Cajun seasonings, and cayenne pepper. Cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shredded cheese a handful at a time, stirring well after each addition. After all cheese is added, continue to stir until melted.

3.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stir noodles into crawfish mixture; pour into prepared dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

5.  Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Pin It!

Monday, July 9, 2012

28 by 28: Chocolate Milk Mix

Chocolate milk mix was the one item on my 28 by 28 list that I expected to whip out in 2 seconds and call it good.  I even felt a little funny including it on any sort of bucket list, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a couple of easy fillers.  Let's just say it wasn't as easy as I anticipated.

Things I learned while attempting to make homemade chocolate milk:
1.  Cookies-and-cream milk = milk-and-Oreo-sand
2.  Cocoa powder does not incorporate into milk.
3.  Neither does dutch-process cocoa powder.
4.  Not even if you use powdered sugar instead of regular.
5.  Cocoa powder WILL incorporate if it is microwaved in a small amount of milk or water.
6.  Who wants to do that?!

It was a long road, but this final iteration is wonderful- a silky chocolate syrup that stirs into a cold glass of milk with ease. The original recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate, but I opted for milk chocolate instead. 

From Tasty Kitchen

1 cup heavy cream
4 oz quality semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate pieces

1.  Heat cream over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. 
2.  Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces.  Whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is fully combined.
3.  Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
4.  Stir 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into cold milk to make chocolate milk.  Add to hot milk for hot chocolate.

Pin It!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

28 by 28: Panna Cotta

I included Panna Cotta on my 28 by 28 list because I thought it looked intriguing.  I had never actually tried it before, so I was a little concerned that it would come out tasting like cream-flavored Jell-o.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case!  It's basically an eggless custard that is so smooth, rich, and creamy you won't be able to get enough of it. 

With such a simple ingredient list, it's important to be mindful of freshness and quality.  According to Mark Bittman, you can freeze the leftovers and thaw them for 20 minutes before serving for more of a Philadelphia-style ice cream consistency and flavor.

And don't sweat if you don't have custard cups- I used a muffin tin.  : )

From Mark Bittman, via the New York Times


3 cups cream, or 1 1/2 cups cream and 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or to taste) or 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar

1. Pour 1 cup cream in a medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it; let sit for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring, until gelatin dissolves completely.

2. If using vanilla extract, add remaining cream and sugar to gelatin mixture and heat gently, just until sugar dissolves; add vanilla and proceed to Step 3. If using vanilla bean, cut it in two, lengthwise. Scrape out seeds; add seeds and bean pod to pot, along with the sugar and remaining cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until steam arises. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Remove vanilla bean, if you used it. Pour mixture into 4 large or 6 small custard cups. Chill until set, about 4 hours. Serve in cups, or dip cups in hot water for about 10 seconds, then invert onto plates. Serve within 24 hours.

Pin It!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...