Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno poppers without all of the work - that's exactly what this dip is! Creamy, cheesy, spicy with some crunch. Yum.

I made real jalapeno poppers once before and they were great, but it took a lot of work to get them just right. Then I made Jalapeno Popper Bites and they were really easy and yummy so I thought they'd be my go-to recipe for a jalapeno popper inspired appetizer. But then I saw this dip and everything changed. Dips are my guilty pleasure and my weakness so this one didn't sit in my favorites tab long before I made it.

We were having friends over for dinner several weeks ago so I immediately put this dip on the menu. It was easy to make and everyone loved it. I ate a lot of this dip. And just in case you are wondering, it does reheat well later if you happen to have any left over! Confession... I may always make extra when I'm making a hot and bubbly dip JUST so I'll have leftovers to heat up later. Or the next day.

I made one major change to the recipe. Instead of using canned chilies and jalapenos, I used a mix of fresh jalapenos and freshly roasted jalapenos. I can get a bag of jalapenos at my local produce store for a lot less than 2 cans of chilies, and fresh is always better in my opinion.

So the next time you are having people over or even if you are just craving poppers, try this dip. I don't see how you could be disappointed ;)

Jalapeno Popper Dip
Adapted from: Tablespoon

  • 2 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 c shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese, separated
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 c Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c butter

  • Finely chop 2 of the jalapenos (seeds removed). Put the other 2 jalapenos over an open flame - I use my gas stove but you can also use an outdoor grill. Roast them until the skin is completely charred, and then transfer to a paper bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the bag/bowl and peel off all of the charred skin. Finely chop the jalapenos, removing the seeds and being careful as the juices inside will be pretty hot.
  • Mix the cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, Mexican cheese, half of the Parmesan and all of the chopped jalapenos. Spread in a baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the panko and toss until coated. Remove from the heat and add the remaining Parmesan cheese. Pour the panko mixture over the dip and spread evenly.
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until bubbly, turning on the broiler for the last few minutes to brown the top.
  • Serve with tortilla chips

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Chinese Pork and Mushroom Wraps

Eating leftovers - yes or no? Do you like cooking enough to have leftovers? Or do you try to cook just enough for one night?
The way I feel about leftovers depends on what's leftover... Thanksgiving dinner - I'm all over it. Soups, stews, and most comfort food - most of these things are better the next day so I love having leftovers. But if I make something like grilled chicken or pork, I can't just eat it the same way again the next day. Over the past few years I have gotten really good at re-purposing leftovers and that has come in handy for me since I always cook too much food :) 
These amazing pork wraps were the result of leftovers. We grilled 2 pork tenderloins one night, and the next night I sliced the leftover tenderloin, added some ingredients and had a completely different dinner with not that much effort. So when you are planning your meals for the week and you write "leftovers" for one night, look around for some recipes that use your original ingredients while giving you a new dish. One of these days I plan on writing a blog post with lots of ideas for leftovers - stay tuned!
Chinese Pork and Mushroom Wraps
Slightly adapted from: Fine Cooking
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 small grilled or roasted pork tenderloin. The one I used had been marinated in teriyaki sauce and garlic before grilling it. Slice the tenderloin into 1 inch thick slices, and then slice into strips.
  • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch scallions chopped, green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage sliced into strips
  • 2 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 to 8 medium tortillas, warmed
  • Additional hoisin sauce for serving
  • Mix the hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Set aside as you will use this at the end.
  • Heat half of the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the pork and cook (to reheat) until it starts to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
  • Add half of the remaining oil to the pan. Add the mushrooms and scallion whites and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown and soften, 2-3 minutes.
  • Push the mushroom mixture to one side of the pan and add the eggs. Cook, scrambling and breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula, until just set, about 1 minute. Transfer everything to the plate with the pork.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan. Once it's hot, add the scallion greens, cabbage, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the hoisin mixture and the pork mixture to the pan and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute to mix the flavors.
  • To serve - spread some hoisin sauce in the center of the tortilla. Top with a generous amount of the pork mixture, and wrap burrito style.
These wraps were so good that I may just make a pork tenderloin this weekend JUST so I can have these leftovers on Monday! I served them with this Napa Cabbage and Cucumber Slaw.
Happy Weekend!
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Tortellini

I really wish I had a green thumb. I dream of having a large vegetable garden in our yard where I could grown all of our produce and be totally self sufficient in the summer... I just can't see it happening. I don't really enjoy working in the garden (heck, I barely remember to water my potted flowers on the front step) but I want the benefits of having a garden at home. Like I have said for the past 10 years, maybe next year...

Even though I don't have a big vegetable garden, I always grow tomatoes. This year I just have one pot of tomatoes and a pot of basil growing on my patio. The tomato plant doesn't look all that great but the tomatoes I have gotten from it have been so sweet and juicy. Two of those tomatoes inspired this summer tortellini dish.

When I posted the picture of this dinner on Instagram I used the hashtag #tasteslikesummer. Sweet and juicy tomatoes paired with basil are a classic summer combination - don't you agree? It's one of my favorite things about summer so I hope my little potted tomato plant keeps on giving me perfect tomatoes!

Summer Tortellini

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 6 leaves of basil, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz cooked cheese tortellini
  • A few handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional: crumbled ricotta salata
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat
  • Add the garlic and tomatoes; sauté for about 4 minutes
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper, add a little more than half of the basil and add the broth. Let simmer for a few minutes (this is the perfect time to cook your tortellini)
  • Once the tortellini has cooked, remove it from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to the sauté pan.
  • Add the spinach and toss everything to wilt the spinach.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Serve garnished with some basil and ricotta salata, if desired.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chicken Tostadas

Today is my baby girl's 4th birthday!!!
I feel like I was just writing the post about the peach cobbler I HAD to bake just before she was born, and here we are 4 years later. Time is going way too fast! It is so hard to remember my life before she was in it. She has brought so much joy, love, and craziness to our life and home - I just wish time would slow down.
Since today is going to be a fun day (actually, a fun day to kick off several days of fun birthday things!), I'm sharing a fun dinner - Chicken Tostadas.
I've had these a few times in Mexican restaurants and when trying to think of what to do with shredded chicken, tostadas came to mind. We all loved them and I'm sure I will turn to these often when looking for something fun and easy. So much prep can be done beforehand and everyone can assemble their own tostadas and choose their own toppings.
I read a recipe on the Food Network site and followed the basic instructions on how to fry the tortillas and spread on the beans. As far as toppings, I chose to make some of my Pico de Gallo - I knew my husband would like that a lot better than chopped tomatoes. What I liked best about making this dinner was that I cooked and shredded the chicken the night before so when it came time to make dinner, all I had to do was fry the tortillas and assemble them. Definitely an easy weeknight meal! 

Chicken Tostadas
Source: loosely adapted from The Food Network
Ingredients (per tostada)
  • 1 flour tortilla
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp refried beans (want to make your own? Try these)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded chicken (you will need chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder for cooking the chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh pico de gallo
  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeno (optional if you like heat!)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp crumbled queso fresco
  • Other ideas for toppings: tomatoes, Monterrey Jack cheese, avocado slices, green onions, tomatillo salsa, chunky salsa
  • Cook the chicken: place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Season the water generously with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat until chicken is done. Transfer to a KitchenAid mixer and shred or shred using 2 forks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use; I warmed the chicken in a pan with just a small amount of broth.
  • Preheat broiler in your oven
  • Pour a layer of vegetable oil - about 1/3 inch deep) into a frying pan and heat over high heat. Add the tortilla and cook about 45 seconds per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a dish lined with paper towels and let excess oil drip off.
  • Transfer the tortilla to a baking sheet and spoon refried beans on, spreading them in an even layer. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.
  • Add your toppings - chicken, pico, jalapenos, lettuce, sour cream, queso fresco, and anything else you like.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lemongrass Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rice Vermicelli Salad

Here is my first "it's too hot to cook" post of the summer! Over the summer I still do a lot of cooking in the house, but most of our proteins and even veggies are made on the grill. And then there are some nights when I don't even want to turn the stove on at all and I crave light and healthy meals. This Vietnamese pork and cold noodle salad is light and refreshing - perfect for a hot summer night.
Besides not wanting to stand over a stove, I was inspired to make this dish because of my desire to use 2 specific ingredients - the pork chops I picked up as well as a package of rice vermicelli noodles my dad had recently brought me from a day trip to Philadelphia's Chinatown. I came across a recipe on the Food and Wine web site for Lemongrass Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli Salad
I never used lemongrass in my own cooking before - I have only enjoyed it in restaurants. As soon as I cut of one end my entire kitchen was filled with the best lemony aroma ever - I knew this was going to be a good marinade! The pork marinated in this lemongrass mixture for several hours before grilling.
The sauce/dressing starting by making a paste of jalapenos and garlic followed by some cilantro and lime juice. Bright yet spicy!
The original recipe called for only noodles, carrots and cucumbers in the salad. I added a few ingredients to make this more of a salad that reminded me of these Vietnamese spring rolls.

This really turned out to be the perfect summer meal. It was satisfying and filling yet healthy. Simple yet packed with so many flavors. Bright and refreshing yet spicy. I'll definitely make this one again - soon!

Lemongrass Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rice Vermicelli Salad
Source: Food and Wine

I made several small changes to the recipe noted below in italics.

  • 1.5 lbs boneless pork loin  (I used a pork tenderloin and did not slice it until after it was grilled)
  • 3 large stalks of lemongrass
  • 4 large garlic cloves (for the marinade)
  • 2 large shallots, thickly sliced
  • 1.5 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Asian fish sauce (I haven't found a fish sauce I like so I used a mixture of approximately 2 Tbsp Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp vegetable broth and 1 tsp hoisin sauce in place of the fish sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 lb rice vermicelli (this stuff goes far - I used 4 "nests" from the package and could have fed 6 people)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 3 Thai chiles or 1 jalapeno, thickly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 c Asian fish sauce (I used my substitution again, making sure it equaled 1/3 c total when mixed)
  • 1/2 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 c finely chopped mint
  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 c water
  • Veggies: sliced cucumber, red pepper, carrots, green onions, some sort of crunchy green (lettuce or Napa cabbage), bean sprouts
  • In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Add the sugar, fish sauce (or substitution), lime juice, vegetable oil and soy sauce and process to a paste. In a large shallow dish, coat the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I marinated this for 5 hours).
  • About 30 minutes before you plan to eat: In a large bowl, cover the rice vermicelli with cold water and let soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil (the only time you will need your stove!) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Drain the rice vermicelli and add it to the boiling water. Cook, stirring, until barely tender, about 1 minute. Drain the vermicelli. Rinse the vermicelli in cold water and drain thoroughly.
  • Make the dressing: In a mortar, using a pestle, pound the garlic cloves to a paste with the chiles and sugar. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro, mint, lime juice and water.
  • Grill the pork: Light a grill (heat to medium high). Lift the pork from the marinade, leaving on some of the flavorings. Grill the pork over a hot fire until nicely charred, about 2 minutes per side. Because we grilled a tenderloin instead of slices, we used Jon's tried and true method for grilling pork - sear on all sides over high heat; place foil on the grill, put pork on the foil, and let it cook over medium heat until temp reaches 150 degrees max; remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Plate everything: place noodles on your plate and add veggies; top with some of the dressing. Slice the pork into thin slices and place over the salad.  
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

French Onion Cheese Bread

On Saturday morning I was sitting at my daughter's gymnastics class with my iPad so I could browse recipes to finalize my Father's Day Menu. I only had a small bowl of yogurt that morning, and my daughter claimed my Kind bar as her own before class, so I was starving. Looking at mouth-watering food pics while hungry is pure torture, especially when I was searching for some sort of bruschetta or crostini using Gruyere cheese. So many pictures of gooey melted cheese and crusty bread. Why was I doing this to myself??

After pulling myself together and focusing, I decided on a recipe for French Onion Cheese Bread that I found on the web site foodiecrush. Upon reading it I figured that it would taste like French onion soup just without the broth, and I was right. The French bread base is the crouton, and then there is a layer of creamy and nutty melted Gruyere cheese followed by some sweet caramelized onions. I served these as an app but can also see them being a great side.

Caramelizing the onions takes a while, but once that is done (and you can do it ahead of time), these are quick and easy.

French Onion Cheese Bread
Source: foodiecrush

My notes and small changes are noted in italics

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (I used 1/2 tsp of dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 French rolls, split in half (I used half of a baguette, split in half and then each piece halved = 4 total pieces)
  • 2 cups Gruyère or Fontina cheese, shredded (I used just over 1 c of Gruyere)
  • Caramelize the onions: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium low, add the sugar, salt, and pepper; stir and cover and cook for 1 hour (mine took 35 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place bread halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese then spoon caramelized onions on top.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread turns golden brown.
  • Cut into pieces and serve immediately. Garnish with extra thyme leaves if desired

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Brown Butter and Gruyere

I wish I could take credit for this recipe. I love to create new dishes and experiment in the kitchen, but putting the ingredients from this recipe together in one dish is something I never would have thought of on my own.

But even though I can't take credit for this recipe, I bumped it ahead of a few original recipes I have waiting to post because it is THAT good and needs to be shared.

The other night I asked Jon to throw a bulb of garlic on the grill while he was making steaks. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but knew I wanted to use it the next night. I also had half of a block of Gruyere cheese left over that I wanted to use - roasted garlic and Gruyere are so perfect together. So I googled "roasted garlic and Gruyere recipes." At first I was finding a lot of ads for roasted garlic Gruyere cheese. Um, yum! I think I need to find some!!! After looking for a bit I came across a recipe for Roasted Garlic and Lemon Rigatoni with Brown Butter and Gruyere on the Blog Baker by Nature. I read the recipe and knew it would be fabulous.

I can't say enough good things about this pasta dish. Every bite gives you so many flavors that all work perfectly together - sweet roasted garlic, light and bright lemon, nutty brown butter and creamy and nutty Gruyere. Our sides really complemented the dish too - roasted Brussels sprouts and some roasted cherry tomatoes. I may have eaten 2 servings and then had the small amount of leftovers for lunch the next day and I already want to eat it again.

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Pasta with Brown Butter and Gruyere
Source: Baker by Nature

  • 1 head of garlic, bottom cut off
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked 3 minutes short of al dente (you want them not raw, but not quite there yet; they will finish cooking in the butter/lemon sauce)  *reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  • 5 tablespoons butter, browned (THIS is a great tutorial on making perfect brown butter)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon (original recipe calls for 2 but 1 was plenty)
  • 1 cup fresh grated Gruyere cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper
My notes and changes are in italics
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Carefully slice the bottom off of head of garlic. Place in a small oven proof baking dish (or wrap in foil), drizzle with olive oil, and place in the oven to bake for 55 minutes. Remove garlic from baking dish to cool while you make your pasta. Or you can make this ahead of time. My husband roasted the garlic on the grill the night before I made this dish, and then I stored it in the fridge.
  • Fill a large pot with water and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta for 5-6 minutes, or until just slightly under al dente. Drain and quickly run pasta under cold water to stop the cooking. Return pasta to pot. ** Make sure you reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water
  • Squeeze cooled garlic cloves out from the head and place them in a food processor or blender; set aside.
  • In a small pan cook butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it’s just browned and smells slightly nutty (see this link if you have never made brown butter before). Pour butter into the food processor, then add the reserved pasta water, parsley, lemon zest, and juice of one lemon; pulse until smooth.
  • Add mixture to pasta (as well as some red pepper flakes), stir, and heat on medium-low for 3-4 minutes, just until the pasta has warmed and is al dente. Remove from heat and stir in Gruyere. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Right before serving drizzle olive oil over pasta and toss lightly. Serve warm with grated cheese.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Tomato-Basil Quinoa with Spinach and White Beans

Does anyone else agree that tomatoes and basil were just meant for each other? Combine them and the taste just screams summer.

Over the winter I don't keep fresh basil around unless I need a lot for a recipe. Instead I use the basil paste that comes in a tube -

Have you tried it? I love it! Each tube has the equivalent of 3 bunches of basil and is guaranteed fresh for 3 months when kept in the fridge.

This tube of basil and a container of grape tomatoes in addition to my desire to eat a healthy lunch were my inspiration for this dish. I always turn to quinoa when I want something both healthy and filling.

To really infuse the flavor of the basil through the dish, I cooked my quinoa in a tomato-basil broth.

 Tomato-Basil Quinoa with Spinach and White Beans

  • 1 c dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 c vegetable broth (note, this is more than you usually need to cook 1 c of quinoa, but we are also cooking the tomatoes and beans in the broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz canned white beans, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp basil paste from the tube (or several leaves, chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz fresh baby spinach
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Timing is important on this - you want to start your quinoa and step 2 simultaneously. Once step 2 is done it will be time to add your quinoa to the tomato mixture.
  • Combine quinoa and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  • At the same time, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, white beans and basil; sauté 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour the pot of quinoa and broth into the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until the quinoa has cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. You may need to add a bit more broth to finish cooking the quinoa if the broth is absorbing too quickly.
  • Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add the spinach and stir to wilt.
  • Optional: stir in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or cheese of your choice.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

A few weeks ago I made Baked Egg Rolls that were filled with ground pork and lots of veggies. My little one and I had so much fun making them together that I wanted to do something with the remaining egg roll wrappers.

I checked out my fridge and spotted the package of string cheese I just bought as well as a package of sliced pepperoni - instant inspiration! These pepperoni pizza rolls were crunchy, gooey, fun. They would make a great appetizer for a party or game day. We enjoyed them as dinner - I rounded out the meal by serving them with some sautéed baby spinach.

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
(for 8 rolls)
  • 8 egg roll wrappers
  • 4 reduced fat string cheeses
  • 24 slices pepperoni
  • Pizza sauce (for in the roll and for dipping)
  • Cooking spray
One note: when working with eggrolls, be sure to keep the wrappers covered with a wet paper towel as they are waiting to be used. Once I would finish rolling one, I'd cover it with another wet paper towel. You don't want the wrappers to dry out and crack before you cook them.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Lay one wrapper on a cutting board (lay it so a point is facing you).
  • Spoon a small amount of sauce just below the center of the wrapper, spooning from side to side.
  • Place three slices of pepperoni on top of the sauce, going from side to side
  • Put one of the halves of string cheese on top of the pepperoni.
  • Roll the rolls - Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay a wrapper flat on the sheet (like a diamond - pointed end facing you) and spoon a small amount of sauce onto the bottom third of the wrapper. Add three slices of pepperoni somewhat overlapping from side to side, and then top with one of the halves of string cheese. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the ingredients and fold in the sides. Roll it once and fold in the sides again. Roll it until sealed (about 1.5 more turns) and place seam side down for baking. Continue rolling all of the rolls until done and then spray them with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Note: when I made the pork egg rolls I flipped them halfway through cooking. I didn't flip these until 3/4 of the way through cooking since the cheese wanted to ooze out. I put the broiler on at the end to brown up the tops.
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Spicy Thai Chicken and Noodles

Once the weather starts to warm up, Jon starts hinting that he would love me to make something with tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and onion that he can enjoy while drinking a Sol. In other words, he wants pico de gallo  I have been making my pico de gallo recipe for 7 years now and it still always takes me back to Cabo.  
So last weekend I got home to find 3 huge bags of tomatoes sitting on the counter ... not such a subtle hint, is it?? He had been talking about it for a few days so I wasn't completely surprised - the man had a serious craving going on! He also sharpened the knife so I'd be ready to go, so a few hours later we were enjoying some awesome pico.
What does that have to do with this recipe? Well I had a bunch of cilantro left over as well as a jalapeno, and I planned on making chicken so that's how this recipe came to be.
I created this one on the fly and it was really, really good! Spicy but light and healthy with some brightness from the lime and cilantro. It also only took about 25 minutes to pull together making it a great weeknight meal.
Spicy Thai Chicken and Noodles
Marinade Ingredients
  • 1/4 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp spicy chili garlic sauce (I used this one by Huy Fong Foods)
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lime
All of the other ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into 3/4 inch thick strips
  • 1/2 jalapeno, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced into 1 inch long thin strips
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth
  • chili garlic sauce (I used about 1 Tbsp; adjust to your liking)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 lb noodles, cooked (I used thick spaghetti)

  • Mix all of the marinade ingredients except the lime juice. Pour over chicken and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours. A half hour before you are ready to cook, add the lime juice.
  • Heat most of the olive oil in a large sauté pan or wok. Add the chicken and cook several minutes until done. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add the rest of the oil to your pan; add the jalapeno, garlic, and red pepper slices. Saute 1-2 minutes.
  • Mix the soy sauce, peanut butter, broth, chili garlic sauce and lime juice and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust for heat.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and add the noodles and cilantro; toss to coat.
  • Top with green onions.
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