Sunday, November 25, 2012

Diablo Pasta Sauce

I buy the big container of Cherub grape tomatoes at our local wholesale club but due to the holiday, they didn't get eaten like normal.  I didn't want them to go to waste so I roasted them then made a spicy sauce that my hubby and I loved.  I knew the kids wouldn't be able to eat it so I just made good old buttered noodles for them.  Don't tell my Italian husband, but our kids would rather have butter noodles then spaghetti sauce and noodles :-/  
This recipe does take some prep time.  I actually roasted them one day and made the sauce a couple days later.  They stored well in the fridge and it gave them a chance to thicken up.  This recipe only serves 2 people, not a whole family.  That is also why the buttered noodles came into play.

1 quart grape tomatoes
2-3 TBS garlic infused olive oil
2 TBS minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
4 oz red wine
2 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place grape tomatoes and minced garlic in shallow dish, a glass pie pan works great.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in oven until tomatoes have popped and are very soft, usually 20-30 minutes.  Once done, mash tomatoes in dish leaving skins in there.  Place in fridge for later use or prepare to make sauce.
To make sauce, combine grape tomatoes and can of tomatoes, wine and pepper flakes in 2 qt sauce pan.  Simmer for 60 minutes.  Adjust spices to your liking.  Add more garlic and pepper if you want.
Serve over hot noodles.

I served it with my version of garlic bread:
1 loaf of frozen garlic bread
2 TBS finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper

Place frozen bread on foil lined baking sheet.  Top with onions then cheese then sprinkle with pepper.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or as directed on package.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

I know, I know, you've tried a hundred crock pot chicken recipes and they always come out bland and dry.  Well, I've finally found one that isn't!  I think using dark meat instead of breasts and a shorter cooking time really keeps the chicken from drying out.I can't remember what web-site I found this at, but it is a keeper in my family's book.

 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (frozen)
1 bottle KC Style BBQ sauce (i like the one at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce, minced (found in Mexican area of store)
1 TBS Adobo sauce from can of peppers

Combine BBQ sauce, sugar, garlic and pepper and Adobo sauce in mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.  Place chicken thighs in Crock Pot.  Pour sauce over.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours until chicken falls apart.  Remove chicken from pot, shred and place back in sauce.  Heat another 15 min or so.  Serve on deli roll with toppings of choice (we had pickles jalapenos and red onions).  These sandwiches are very saucy so eat quickly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Spice Shrimp

I found this post on one of my favorite sites, and was a little hesitant to try at first.  I was worried that it might be too spicy for the kids or that my hubby wouldn't like the cinnamon.  However, I thought what the heck, might as well try something new and we loved, loved, loved it!  My kids fought us for more shrimp!  I served it with the Saffron flavored rice in the yellow bag (that I add cilantro to after it's cooked) and steamed cauliflower.  It was so flavorful and all of the exotic flavors just melted together.  Joe and I honestly had to get up from the table to stop eating.  It was a fabulous meal for all, hallelujah!! This barely served my young family of 5 so I would recommend doubling for older children.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp dry white wine

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and season with Chinese five spice, salt and pepper. Let cook, flipping once, until almost opaque (about 5 minutes). Add the wine and cover. Cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the wine evaporates, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately. Drink the rest of the wine.  jk.

Joe and I ate it with Asli Garlic Hot Sauce that we get from a local vietnamese store and it really complimented the shrimp plus it added lots of heat.  My kids just ate it plain and were happy ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Steak Salad

We love steak. We love salad. So why not combine the two? Wallah, it turned out wonderful. Even my kids were impressed. What made the salad so scrumptous is that my husand cooked the steak perfectly. Still pink in the middle but the juices weren't crazy pink (I have a hard time with that). The other reason this salad came out so good was the dressing. A friend had given me a sample of a Blue Cheese vinagarette that she eats faithfully. I am not a blue cheese fan, at all, but the dressing was awesome. That's where the steak salad comes in. Gotta have blue cheese with steak, right?

KC strip steak, 2 lbs worth
Montreal Steak seasoning
3-4 eggs
1 lb asparagus
1-2 packages of Spring Baby Mix salad
grape tomatoes, red onion and croutons-all to your liking
fresh Parmesan (not much, just a little for show)
Blue Cheese vinagarette (I found it in the refigerated section of the produce)

Preheat oven to 350. Place eggs in a sauce pan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, line baking sheet with foil. Spray with PAM (I used Olive Oil PAM). Lay asparagus flat on baking sheet. Spray asparagus with PAM. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic (I use McCormick pepper/garlic blend). Place baking sheet in oven. Bake for around 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender crisp and green. Not burnt.

When eggs are done, pour out boiling water and replace with cold water. When cool to touch, peel and place whole eggs in fridge to get cold until ready to slice. Preheat grill to medium high. Put steaks on the grill and cook to medium rare. Let steak sit 10-15 minutes before slicing.

While steak is resting, cut up onions, tomatoes, eggs and asparagus. Place salad greens on large platter. Top with onion, tomatoes, croutons, eggs, asapragus, and Parmesan. Slice steak and place on top of salad. Drizzle with dressing (really doesn't take much, especially with juicy steak). Serve and enjoy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

BBQ Chicken wings

Our weather has been absolutely georgeous and it's grilling time again, yay!!! So, if you have followed my blog, as boring and inactive as it is, you would know that every year I come up with a grilled chicken recipe for the Summer. This is it. I am anxious to try it with boneless and bone-in chicken breasts to see if they come out as juicy and messy as the wings were. My kids had bbq sauce from one temple to the other :)

24 wing drumettes
1/2 cup or so Italian dressing (enough to cover all wings)
1/2 lime, juiced
4 TBS honey
BBQ Sauce (we used Sweet Baby Rays Hickory and Brown Sugar)

Place thawed chicken in Ziploc bag. Squirt in rest of ingredients. Close bag and knead bag to combine ingredients and coat chicken. Let marinade for at least an hour. Grill chicken at medium/high heat. We had the grill pretty hot and it flamed up so the wings were crunchy with burnt spots (my fave). Baste with BBQ sauce towards the end of cooking time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Queso Corn Salad

I cannot say enough good things about this salad. I love, love, love it. I could eat it everyday by itself or as a topping or as a salsa. Wonderful is what it is. Okay, I'm done! I served this on top of frozen fish sticks in a soft-tortilla with some shredded lettuce and salsa verde and my hubby couldn't get enough (my kids just had fish sticks). I can only imagine what it would be like with grilled fish or freshly battered fish. And like always, the longer it sits the better it is. I get this from a site I visit regulary and adapted it to my tastes.

1 bag of frozen corn or frozen roasted corn
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (de-seeded)
1/2 cup queso fresco cheese (or cotija), chopped
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
cilantro, 1/4 bunch chopped (more if you really like cilantro)
salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS sugar
1/2 cup Italian dressing
juice of 2 limes

Place 1 in of water in large stock pot or dutch oven. Bring to boil. And corn, boil for 3 minutes and drain. Mix dressing together in separate bowl. Place all ingredients except avocado in large bowl, pour dressing over and mix. Refigerate at least 30 minutes, overnight is best. Add avocado right before serving.

Tip: I sprinkle my avocados with Fruit Fresh after chopping and add avocado in the beginning and it doesn't turn brown. And at my local grocery story, queso fresco cheese is located by the fancy, gourmet cheeses, not the shredded cheese aisle.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spinach Ravioli's

My new favorite pasta. My brother-in-law made a wonderful manicotti at Christmas that was smokey and filled with spinach and mushrooms. I am usually not a manicotti fan so I decided I needed to find a way to re-create this recipe for my taste. I was planning on using just cheese raviolis and adding spinach to the sauce, but I found spinach and cheese filled raviolis. Perfect. My dish doesn't equal his by any means, but I made it easily and we loved it! I plan on making this many times. Hope you enjoy!

1-2 pkgs of refrigerated spinach and cheese raviolis (depending on how many you need, I found them at Sam's Club)
1 big can crushed tomatoes
1/4-1/2 pound double smoked bacon
glug of Cabernet or other red cooking wine
Italian Seasoning and dried basil to taste
1 TBS brown sugar
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Grated Parmesan
Parsley for garnishment, optional

Cook bacon in medium sauce pan until crispy. Remove bacon to plate, pour out most of bacon grease. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, seasonings, sugar and crumbled bacon back to sauce pan. Let simmer until ready to pour over raviolis.

While sauce is simmering, bring a big pot of water to boil. Cook raviolis according to package directions. Drain and place in casserole dish. Top with tomato sauce and coat with cheeses. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Broil for a minute or so to brown cheese. Sprinkle with parsley for color.