Friday, July 18, 2014

Mediterranean Turkey Casserole Recipe

Mediterranean Turkey Casserole Recipe
Adapted from: My Halal Kitchen's Ground Turkey with Potatoes, Tomatoes, Mint & Parsley
I love the fresh, exotic taste of this dish. Using ground turkey makes it refreshingly healthy and it's quick enough to make on a weeknight. This year I'm growing mint, parsley, chives, basil and thyme. I love growing herbs and finding new ways of using them. I came across this excellent recipe from My Hala Kitchen after doing a search for "turkey mint parsley" which is what I had on hand. I was pretty excited when the dish ended up tasting so good and the hubs and kids actually liked it too. I was able to put a little spin on it, borrowing some flavors from other recipes I've tried, by adding lime juice and feta cheese. Since not all recipes I try are good, I was glad this one was a success so I can now add it to the dinner line up. I'm really trying to branch out here and this was a good step in a new flavor direction!

4 tbsp grape seed oil
4 large potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 lb ground turkey
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fresh mint, chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chiffonade
1/4 cup feta cheese

1. Boil potatoes until soft then transfer to heated skillet with 1 tbsp oil and cook over medium/high heat until golden brown.

2. In another skillet, sauté onion and garlic in remaining oil over medium/low heat until softened. Stir in diced tomatoes. Add ground turkey, breaking up into small pieces. Cook turkey until slightly browned. Stir in paprika, salt, pepper and lime juice.

3. Gently fold in crisped potatoes, mint and parsley. Serve topped with crumbled feta cheese.

Serves: 2-4

If you like the herb mint used in unexpected ways, you might also like our Orzo Salad w/ Honey Vinaigrette Dressing recipe!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Secret to Making Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Secret to Making Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

You won't believe me until you've tried this recipe for yourself, but I'm telling you I've discovered the secret to baking perfect chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I'm talking perfectly tanned bottoms, moist and chewy from top to bottom and the perfect balance of fluff and richness. So, want to know just what it is that makes a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies? Well, I'll give you a hint. It's not melted butter. And it's not sour cream, although that's something I might try because it sounds interesting. Ready for it? Here's the big secret: Corn syrup. That's it! It truly is a magic ingredient that took me years to learn about. Apparently it's cookie baking's best kept secret. Oh, and do NOT get it confused with high fructose corn syrup and go running for the hills. Just plain old corn syrup. 0 grams of fat and 10 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons. So there you have it. Now try it for yourself:

2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 (10 oz.) package dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

1. Mix butter and two sugars together. Add corn syrup, egg and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add this to the butter and sugar mixture.

3. Add chocolate chips (and pecans if desired).

4. Spoon onto baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 350˚ for 10-12 minutes or until middle is just set. Remove from oven and let cool.

Yield: 3 dozen perfect chocolate chip cookies!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crockpot Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

Crockpot Thai Coconut Chicken Soup - Peanut-free Recipe

Here's a really easy to make, tasty Thai dish. Since the hubs is allergic to peanuts, I actually used soy butter instead of peanut butter and it tasted fantastic. I think its so flavorful, you really don't notice when you're not actually using peanut butter. So it's a great peanut-free Thai dish to make that tastes like the real deal! Since this is something they can't eat at restaurants, treat your friends with peanut allergies to this dish and they'll love you forever.

2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5oz) can coconut milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ginger powder
3 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy butter
1/2 lime, juiced
2lbs cooked chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 (12oz) jar roasted red peppers
1 cup peas

1. Place all ingredients into crockpot. Stir gently until well mixed.

2. Cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve over rice cilantro lime rice.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Grilled Hawaiian Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Grilled Hawaiian Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Shrimp and Grits has long been a favorite southern dish. It's comfort food at its finest. But comfort food is really more of a winter thing. So, since it's spring, I decided to try adding a little tropical flavor. To my delight, this little experiment came out quite good. The pineapples and tomatoes give this southern classic a fun and summery twist.

1lb package bacon
1 (8oz) can crush pineapples
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp butter
1 cup dried grits
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp salt
5lbs raw shrimp
Barbecue sauce

1. Spread out bacon on a large, greased piece of foil and grill for 15 minutes or until nice and crispy. Remove and crumble. Add shrimp to remaining bacon fat and grill for about 6-8 minutes or until  grey color has turned white.

2. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in butter until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for a minute then stir in crushed pineapples and tomatoes and keep heated on low until ready to serve.

3. In a microwavable large bowl, prepare grits using the microwave as directed on the package. Stir in cheese and salt.

4. Spoon grits onto a plate and layer with tomato pineapple sauce, crumbled bacon bits and shrimp. Top with barbecue sauce and serve.

Serves: 4-6

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tabbouleh with Baked Pita Chips Recipe

Tabbouleh with Baked Pita Chips Recipe

1 (10oz) container grape tomatoes
1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
8 green onions, finely chopped
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup bulgur or cous cous, cooked

Baked Pita Chips
2 pita pockets
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp basil

1. Prepare 1/2 cup (dried) bulgar or cous cous as directed on package. Cool in refrigerator.

2. Slice grape tomatoes into quarters and place in large bowl. Add parsley and green onions. Stir in lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, butter, garlic, basil, mint and salt.

3. Add cooled bulgar or couscous and toss.

4. Slice pita pockets into bite-sized triangular pieces, separating layers. Dip in melted butter and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with basil and toast or bake until golden brown. Serve tabbouleh topped with baked pita chips.