Balsamic Smoked Chicken – Thanks Hubby

We got a brand new, free smoker (the kind you cook in).   We have used it a few times and surprisingly the simple chicken won over the turkey and beef.  There is something to be said about smoking food although, I can only speak for poultry and beef.  The smokiness is two fold.  It makes the food delicious and it fills my house with air that makes one cough. (The smoker is outside but it comes in through the window, which gets closed, very quickly.)

I hate to admit it but I was not really tuned in to my husband.  Our conversation went like this. 

Husband: I need a marinade.

Me: Uh Huh.

H: Would you find a marinade for me?

M: Uh Huh.

H: I want to do this now so it will marinate overnight.

M: OK

H: So, will you get me a marinade?

M: (springing to action) )I remembered seeing one online using balsamic vinegar so I did a search and found the following at CD Kitchen.

Balsamic Smoked Chicken

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 whole chicken

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a resealable bag.

Add marinade and seal closed, removing as much air as possible from the bag. 

When ready to grill remove from marinade, discard the excess marinade and grill until chicken is fork tender and no pink remains.  Hubby was in charge of the grilling and I don’t know how long it was in the smoker.It was succulent and had the smoky flavor permeating every pore.  It stole the show.

This is linked to Made From Scratch Monday

Garlicky Bok Choy on Tomato

Before, you tell me how clever, I am and pat me on the back……..   Before you throw out all those praises for my creation……. Before there are accolades for this special dish and before you run  to emulate me, I must share that this was all unintentional and just seemed to happen.  Happenstance! 

I am not really familiar with bok choy.  I have used it in recipes once or maybe even twice but that is about it.  I wasn’t sure if you could eat the leaves and stalk and ended up throwing out the leaves, when I didn’t have to.

Bok Choy hails from China and you will find it in stir fries, soups and main dishes.  It is a healthy vegetable with lots of Vitamins and few calories.  It is from the cabbage family but it doesn’t have the strong taste of the green cabbage, we use.  The stalk is very much like celery but I like it better than celery.

Tonight, after some checking, I decided to cook it in soup with garlic.  This is one of the easy recipes that is rewarding.  Basically, you cook the garlic in margarine or butter for a minute, add soup and bok choy.  Cook for another 6 – 8 minutes until soups disappears.  Plop it on a tomato slice or half a tomato and serve.  You could heat the tomato for a minute if you would like.  You could mix a little Parmesan in with the bok choy.  I imagine, as I cook with it more, I will discover some of its secrets.

Since my husband doesn’t eat garlic, I made enough for one person.

Garlicky Bok Choy on Tomato

Ingredients

1  baby bok choy

1 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon margarine 

1/4 to 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth

1 tomato slice

salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use either.)

Procedure

In a small skillet, melt margarine.

While it is cooking, dice bok choy and slice tomato.

Add garlic to margarine and cook for 1 minute.  Add bok choy and cook for another 6-8 minutes until soup is absorbed.

Put tomato slice on a plate. Cover with bok choy mixture.  Add salt and pepper, if you choose.

I wonder if this could be used as an appetizer.  Maybe with a little feta or some sliced mushrooms…….  On a piece of fish….

This is linked to  Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Traditional Tuesdays,       Fat Tuesday    Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training       Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party     Tuesday To Do List   Real Food Wednesday        Success U-Wednesday Link-up                Whatcha Whipped Up           Made from Scratch Monday        This Week’s cravings at Veggie Converter

Lunch on Passover

I find, one of the biggest challenges of Passover is lunch.  The food in the house is different and what I normally would throw together is not available.  I usually resort to eggs since we have lots of them.  When, I went to take out the eggs, I spotted a small container of shredded carrots and a small bag of potato cubes (cooked) and a piece of raw onion.  No challenge here, I would put them into the egg but that is so mundane.

Instead, I pulled out the mini processor and threw everything in, plus some garlic, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and blended it together.  I cooked it in a skillet and presto, I had breakfast.  The carrots shined through and gave a slightly sweet tinge to the egg mixture.  I liked it a lot and would like to play around with this, using different vegetable and different amounts.

Ingredients: (These are approximate amounts. )

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup potato chunks

1 medium onion chunked

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

cooking spray

Procedure

In a blender or food  processor, put all ingredients, except parsley and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Grease a medium-sized skillet and pour in mixture.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Cook on one side until it is a light brown.  I cooked on low for about 3 minutes.  Turn and cook other side for another 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve and enjoy.

This is linked to  Real Food Wednesdays   Pennywise Platter Thursdays

Creamy Onion- Garlic Salmon

When, I went to make two salmon fillets, I didn’t have a plan which means, no recipe in mind.  I had some non dairy whipped topping that I wanted to finish and these days, I seem to be using up, anything that is not brand new.  

What  an amazing moment, when I looked into my refrigerator and it looked half empty.   I hate a cluttered refrigerator but mine is that way, most of the time.  That is because of the leftovers.  There is always a little left and it usually sits and does not get eaten.  Despite that, we hope we will make it disappear, until the moment, it gets thrown out.  It hurts to throw out food.

From the refrigerator, we look at the cabinets.  Another puzzle is how I have so many cans when I don’t use cans for anything except pumpkin, beans and diced tomatoes and I guess a can of this and a can of that.  It is the this and that, that take up the room.  I love by baking cabinet but it is filled with so much.  I stand there and stare and wonder how long, I have some of the items, looking so tempting and not being used.  Each is waiting for a special occasion to be taken down.  

Rather than go on about each cabinet, one day, I will take photos.  I would rather share my salmon with  you.

Creamy Onion- Garlic Salmon

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets, skinless

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup non dairy whipped topping

paprika

1 tablespoon fresh dill

This is easy to do.  I am almost ashamed to share the directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop onions and put aside.

Pour non dairy whipped topping into a baking dish, big enough to hold two pieces of salmon.  Place fillets on top of cream, turning them over once.  Shake garlic powder, paprika and white pepper over salmon

Top with chopped onion.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped dill for garnish.

  Mix it Up Monday   Gluten Free Wednesdays    Fabulous Fridays

Chili with Meatballs

My husband found a package of chopped beef in the freezer and asked me if I would make something with it.  I had planned on making a vegetarian chili, for dinner, so now, it was becoming a meatball chili.  Frankly, I prefer it without the meat but the meatballs were good and my husband ate many more than I did.

I wanted the onions, corn, carrots, peppers and beans and had my share.

Although, this is not a difficult recipe, it has lots of ingredients.  Don’t let that scare you away.  It is chopping and opening cans and cooking in a pot.  Sounds easy, right?  It really is.  I based this recipe on a vegetarian recipe from allrecipes.com.   I did adapt it quite a bit.

I realized, I was concentrating on cookbooks and magazines and wanted to also get some of my recipes from the bigger cooking sites.  I have been very fortunate with allrecipes.com.  This was one more time that we had a good meal, thanks to them.

Chili with Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained

  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1  tablespoons fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 I used a lot less spice than the original recipe.

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the  onion, and carrots in the pot until tender. Mix in the red bell pepper. Season with chili powder. Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

  2. Stir in the tomatoes with liquid, black beans with liquid, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add cooked meatballs to dish.

    • 1 pound chopped beef or combination of chopped chicken and chopped beef
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestshire sauce
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • ½ cup crumbs from taco chips (made in food processor)
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Grease a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Mix all ingredients together and form into 1  inch round meatballs.  Place meatballs on cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Add to chili.

Serve  over rice.

This is linked to  Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits

Oven Roasted Spicy Potatoes

P-leasing

O-utstanding

T-asty

A-dmirable

T-errific

O-ut-of-the-World

POTATO —-Yes the potato which is plain in appearance, often dirty, drab in color but oh so powerful, in the pot, in the pan, in the oven and on the grill.  Need I even say, I love potatoes.

Oven Roasted Spicy Potatoes

Ingredients:

10 small to medium red potatoes

olive oil spray for the pan

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 – 2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

plastic bag to marinade in

1 chopped onion

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash potatoes thoroughly and cut into quarters of eighths, depending on the size of the potato.

In a sealable ziplock bag,  place olive oil and seasonings and shake well.  Include the chopped onions.

Place half the potatoes in bag and make sure, they are all covered.

Remove potatoes and put them aside.

Take remaining onions and potatoes and  add them to the marinade in bag.

Place in sprayed roasting pan, only one layer.

Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.

Eat and enjoy.

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

I thought, I was going to make lasagna and cheesecake for our family party and filled my refrigerator with cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta and farmer cheese plus Cheddar, Mozzarella and Parmesan and miscellaneous favorite cheeses.  We didn’t make lasagna nor cheesecake.  Instead, I made cottage cheese latkes and bagels and lox.  Dessert was chocolate cake and cookies.

Are you picturing my refrigerator now?  You are right; it is filled with cheeses from top to bottom.  I am planning lots of dairy dishes in the next days.  We  love dairy meals so that is not a problem.  I still, I can’t imagine using up all that cheese.  I started with one meal, stuffed shells.  I added some cream cheese to make it creamier than usual and I like the addition.

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

1 box large pasta shells, cooked al dente (according to package directions)

1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta

1 cup whipped cream cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

1 egg

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cheese School 101

1 jar Marinara sauce (I did not use the entire bottle – make it as saucy as you like)

extra shredded mozzarella to top casserole

 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine cheeses in large bowl.  Mix together so that you have a creamy cheese mixture.  Add egg to the cheese and mix until incorporated.  Add seasoning and mix well.

I have some odd-shaped dishes but the closest standard size is a 9 x 13 baking pan.  Cover the bottom with a thin layer of marinara sauce and put aside.

Spoon cheese mixture into shells and place each shell into baking pan.  When shells are positioned, pour as much sauce as you like on pasta.  Add shredded mozzarella cheese on top.

Place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  I keep checking to make sure the cheese does not burn.

We find this to be a hearty dish and a side of salad is satisfying for us.