Archive for June, 2009

Chicken Cream Cheese Egg Rolls

This was a random, use-up-some-ingredients meal, and I think it worked well!

Chicken Cream Cheese Egg Rolls

Package of egg roll wrappers
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (use two forks, one to hold the chicken and then drag the other across the chicken to shred it)
1 small tub flavored light cream cheese (I used garden veggie flavor, but there are so many that would be good)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tsp garlic powder
1 c cooked chopped spinach
1/4-1/2 c shredded gruyere and/or parmesan (I used my microplane which grates cheese very fluffy, so I used the higher amount)
salt to taste
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
dash of paprika (optional)
Butter, melted

Serve with:
Sour cream

Mix all of the ingredients together except the egg roll wrappers and melted butter. Follow the directions on the package for folding the egg rolls (or scroll down here and look at the pictures of my egg rolls… sorry I didn’t get pictures of these!)

Brush the tops of the egg rolls with melted butter, and cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with salsa and sour cream.


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Eastern NC BBQ

Somebody just asked me for the recipe for Eastern NC BBQ, so I just got permission from my aunt and uncle to post it here. It’s like a pig-pickin’ without a whole pig staring back at you.

I’m just going to copy this straight as my uncle, Bill, wrote it:

Eastern NC pork barbecue
6 lb. Boston butt
10 oz. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp salt

Put the Boston butt in a crockpot on high for 1 hour and then switch to low and cook for another 4 hours. Pour off the grease 3 hours after starting and again after cooking is done. While the meat is cooking, in a small pot, heat the vinegar, pepper and salt to a boil and immediately remove from heat. This will serve as the traditional Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce. The meat is ready when it falls off the bone and is stringy. Coarsely chop the hot pork with a meat cleaver or chef’s knife. Stir the sauce in with the pork until you have the taste and consistency you prefer. This barbecue should always be served with coleslaw [note from rhi: I hate coleslaw, so I disagree].

Note: If you’re not a purist, you could add other ingredients to the sauce such as brown sugar, sage, jalapeno peppers, and lemon or lime juice. If you add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to the sauce, it seems to help to retain the flavor over time while refrigerated.

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ABC Muffins

The other night Zach and I went to a great little restaurant in downtown Raleigh called The Rockford. Service wasn’t great, but the food was. I got the ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar) sandwich, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten (probably helped that I was starving by the time I got my food!). It was apple, bacon, and cheddar inside french toast, essentially. Sort of a monte cristo with apple.

I really enjoyed having muffins for lunch last week, they were so easy to make and to get ready each morning. So this week I was trying to think of what kind of muffin to make, and I thought of that sandwich.

The batter for this looks WAY dry, almost more like cookie dough. My thought was that the apple would release moisture. But up until the point I bit into the muffin I was convinced that they were going to be too dry. They are dense, but they weren’t dry. I also realized after I pulled them out of the oven that I had planned to put some onion and garlic in, and forgot. I didn’t include them in the ingredients, but you could certainly add some.

So Zach was a bit hungry and decided to test one of these muffins for me. He declared that it wasn’t really the best thing ever, and I was feeling sort of dejected. But then he had the thought to dip it in some maple syrup, and suddenly a just “okay” muffin became GREAT. He said he wants to eat them for breakfast. I say that breakfast isn’t just for breakfast, so I’ll eat them for lunch.

ABC Muffins


1st set:
-3/4 cup whole wheat flour
-1/4 cup all purpose flour
-1/3 cup wheat germ
-1/3 cup ground flax seed
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 – 1 tsp salt

2nd set:
-1/2 Cup Egg Beaters (or other liquid egg substitute, I used the type with extra Omega 3) or 2 eggs
– 1 1/2 green apple, diced (I used one Granny Smith, and 1/2 Golden Delicious)
-1/2 stick butter, melted
-1/2 c. bacon, cooked and chopped
-1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, diced

Mix the 1st set of ingredients together and mix the second set of ingredients (make sure the butter has cooled before you add the egg) together in two separate bowls.

Mix the two sets of ingredients together.

Spoon into a buttered muffin pan

350 degrees for 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins.

Serve with maple syrup!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ABC Muffins

Note: I actually used *slightly* less flax/wheat germ, and *slightly* more all purpose flour. But I couldn’t really come up with a measurement for that, and I think the measurements provided will work just fine. You could also just use whole wheat and all purpose flour, or completely all purpose flour. You just want 1 2/3 c of flour, total.

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Chicken tenders and nuggets – three ways

A year or so ago I was watching an episode of Rachael Ray (that’s what I did when I was unemployed) and she made chicken tenders by breading them in crushed pretzels. Zach and I thought this looked awesome, so we tried it, and they tasted great. The problem with them is that they dirty a LOT of dishes.

The other day I decided to make honey sesame chicken, and the recipe that I based mine around used a different method to the breading.

Last night I tried to incorporate that new (actually very old) method into regular chicken tenders.

All three taste great. The pretzel chicken is interesting, but I’m honestly not sure it’s worth the extra mess, unless you’re going to be making a lot of them. They are fun because you can buy so many different flavors of pretzels now, that you can really vary the taste of the chicken tender.

On all of these you want to start with good quality chicken. It’s the main part of this recipe, don’t buy stuff that looks nasty.

We’ll start with the Pretzel Chicken recipe and move on from there.

Pretzel Chicken

Raw chicken tenders
Pretzel crumbs (food process works great for this)
Spices (garlic, onion powder, Bojangles seasoning, salt, pepper, anything that sounds good to you!)
Olive oil for cooking

Rinse the chicken tenders and pat dry. Pour the flour into a bowl, the milk and egg in a bowl, and the pretzel crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the chicken tenders into the flour, then the milk/egg, then the pretzels. You can repeat this if you want a thicker crunchier coating.

Pour olive oil into a large skillet until it is deep enough to come more than halfway up the sides of the chicken tenders. Heat on medium high. Drop a little piece of the breading into the oil to see if it’s hot enough, it should immediately start sizzling like crazy.

Lay a single layer of chicken tenders in the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pan. Let cook for aproximately 5 minutes, you want it to be nice and golden brown. Flip the tenders and cook until the other side is golden brown. You want a meat thermometer to read at least 165. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, then cut a tender open and see if there is any pink left.

Place the chicken tenders on a towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken.

If you feel like the outside is cooking too quickly and the inside is not done yet, you can finish these off in the oven.

Chicken Tenders recipe 2

Raw chicken tenders
Wochestershire sauce
Garlic powder
Olive oil for cooking

Place chicken tenders in a bowl with enough wocestershire sauce to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with a heafty dash of garlic powder and paprika (I also used a heafty dose of bojangles seasoning, but I’m assuming most people don’t have any of that). Let them marinate for at least 10 minutes, an hour or two is better.

Give them a sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch (don’t drain them or take them out of the wocestershire sauce!). Then start adding flour by the handfull (or scoop full), making sure to thouroughly coat the chicken and absorb the wocestershire. If you want a thicker breading, then drizzle some melted margarine or some chicken stock on top, and then coat with more flour. Don’t worry about putting too much flour, any excess just won’t stick.

Follow the directions from the pretzel chicken for cooking.

chicken tenderschicken tenders

Honey Sesame Chicken

Raw chicken tenders cut into chunks that are aproximately 1 inch square
Soy sauce
Garlic powder
Olive oil for cooking
Sesame Seeds
Altered polynesian sauce

Follow the directions from the chicken tenders recipe directly above, but substitute soy sauce for the wocestershire.

Alter the polynesian sauce recipe by using soy sauce instead of wochestershire. If you have any bell peppers on hand, saute a handfull of minced bell pepper, and add it to the sauce. If it is too runny, sprinkle some corn starch in it and stir well.

After they are cooked, drizzle them with polynesian sauce to coat. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve over rice with whatever veggies sound good. Maybe brocolli (if you like that evil flower), bell pepper slices, and water chesnuts.

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Ricotta Pea Wontons with Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

Not such a pretty name for these guys, nothing with the word “pea” in it is ever going to sound pretty. But since peas are the main ingredient, I guess there is no way around it.

I starred a recipe similar to this in my Google Reader the other day, and decided to make them last night as a side dish. The original recipe didn’t call for any sauce in particular, and I thought a quick lemon butter sauce would work well.

This recipe made about 16 wontons, and they supposedly freeze well, just make sure to double bag them, and then bake straight from the freezer.

Ricotta Pea Wontons with Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

1 c. sweet peas, cooked, and mashed slightly
1/4 c. ricotta (I used part-skim ricotta)
1/4 c. parmesean and/or guyere (I used a microplane so my 1/4 c. was very fluffy and not packed in at all… use less if you’re packing it in more densly)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed (if you love heat, leave the seeds and ribs in, or use an extra pepper)
Dash of red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Wonton wrappers (or eggroll wrappers cut in fourths)
Tbsp melted butter

Mix all of the ingredients except the wrappers and butter in a bowl. Lay out your wrappers and place a teaspoonfull of the mixture on each wrapper. Top with another wrapper and seal the edges with water, pressing down to make sure you’ve got them sealed. Brush the tops lightly with butter (I used Smart Balance light margarine with omega 3).

Cook at 450 for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown and the edges are crispy. Drizzle with lemon butter sage sauce (recipe to follow).

ricotta pea egg rollsricotta pea egg rolls

Lemon Butter Sage Sauce

1/4 c. melted butter (I used the Smart Balance light margarine with omega 3)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 sage leaves (I used pineapple sage from my garden)
Dash of garlic powder

I don’t like big pieces of sage, so I muddled my sage in the lemon juice and let it sit for a while, and then poured the lemon juice into the butter while leaving the sage behind. Then I added the garlic.

You could also mince the sage and just mix all of the ingredients together.

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Poultry Puff Pastry Pot Pie

I just found this recipe in my Myspace blog from a year ago and thought I should add it, because it was really good.

I have a great vegetarian cookbook which I’ve only made one recipe from, though I’ve made that particular recipe several times. But I’ve been in a food rut recently, and needed something new to try, so I pulled out my cookbook and flipped through the 20 or so pages I’d bookmarked the day I bought the book. There was a recipe for spring vegetables in cute little puff pastry baskets with a tomato sauce, and suddenly it hit me, chicken pot pie in little puff pastry baskets! Like most dinner recipes that I make, I didn’t bother to go directly by a recipe or really measure everything, so the amounts are estimated.

Poultry Puff Pastry Pot Pie

One pack of puff pastry, thawed
1 cup (maybe a little more) frozen peas, carrots, corn, and greenbeans
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup diced onion
2 red potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces diced chicken
1 can chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Roll the puff pastry out very thin, sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan, fold over, and roll out again. Cut into four rectangles. Using a sharp knife cut a smaller rectangle into each, cutting halfway through. Very lightly score a criss-cross pattern across the inner box. Brush with egg. Put on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or silpat, if you have one) and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. They should look something like this:
puff pastry

While the puff pastry is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onions and garlic. Cook until soft, and add 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine and let melt, then add 2 tablespoons of flour and rest of Parmesan and stir. Add the chicken broth, stirring to dissolve any lumps. Bring to a simmer and add chicken and potatoes. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Add the frozen vegetables and milk and heat through, making sure green beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. It should look something like this:

Carefully remove the tops to the puff pastry boxes:

Fill the boxes with the chicken pot pie filling:

This was really good, and I bet you vegetarians could leave out the chicken and add some extra potato. Enjoy!

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Cranberry Chutney

I just realized that I have posted two recipes that call for homemade cranberry chutney, but that I hadn’t actually posted my cranberry chutney recipe (or, if I have, I can’t find it!)!

I thought I had a picture of it, but I can’t find one on my flickr. I’ll look at my computer when I get home and try to find one.

This stuff is amazing on turkey and cheese (especially Brie) sandwiches.

Cranberry Chutney

1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tsp powdered ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 small orange, peeled,diced
1-2 inch orange rind, finely diced
1/2-1 lemons, juice only

Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a large pot.

Simmer for about 20 minutes or until there are only several tablespoons of liquid left (this doesn’t have to be exact).

Add cranberry sauce and salt and mix and bring to a simmer.

Add nuts, orange, peel and lemon juice. Simmer slowly for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until you get a nice spreadable jam-like consistancy.

If you aren’t going to eat it all in the next few days, store in an airtight container in the freezer. It won’t freeze solid, so you can just pull it out when you want it without having to thaw.

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