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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grilled Chipotle Chicken

I saw this recipe over on Life's Ambrosia and I immediately put it on our list to try. It calls for a whole can of pureed chipotles in adobo - so it has a bit of a kick, to say the least.  We loved it! 

We normally just cook boneless chicken breast, so we had to a little experimenting on the cooking time.  Our (we have no idea what the temperature is) charcoal grill took 37 minutes to cook the drumsticks.  We made note of this so we'll know the next time we do drumsticks.  This was a nice change to our usual grilled chicken.

Grilled Chipotle Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

6 chicken drumsticks
1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning chicken

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.  Combine chipotle peppers, honey, vinegar, garlic, lime and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Process until it becomes a paste. Place chicken in a glass dish, lightly season with salt. Transfer 1/4 cup of the marinade to a bowl and set aside. Spread remaining marinade over chicken and turn to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better).  When ready to cook. Heat grill over medium heat. Grill chicken until browned on all sides, turning once and brushing with reserved marinade. Cooking time is about 25 – 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken legs. Chicken is done when it is punctured and juices run clear.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nutter Butter Chocolate Cream Pie

Talk about good!  This pie is about as good as it gets!  I've been wanting to try this recipe ever since I made the Nutter Butter Banana Pudding Pie last month.  I thought that nothing could be better than a peanut butter and chocolate pie.  I was right; the pie was a huge hit.  The filling is perfectly chocolate - just enough and not too rich.  This is the kind of pie that will call to you from the fridge "Come eat me!" (or at least that is what it does to me).  I left the pie at my parents house so I wasn't tempted to over indulge - they were!

The recipe for the chocolate cream filling came from my Mom's old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook - you know,  the red and white checked one.  It is so easy to make and tastes amazing.  I like to top my pie with whipped cream (a la Johnny Ray's), but feel free to top it with meringue. 

Chocolate Cream Pie
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour or 3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 oz unsweetened chocolate squares, finely chopped
2 cups milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

24 Nutter Butters, finely crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For the crust, combine crushed Nutter Butters and melted butter.  Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan.  Bake at 350 for 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in milk and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir small amount of hot mixture into yolks; immediately return to hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into cooled crust.

For whipped cream, put cream, sugar and vanilla your mixer bowl (it is best to chill it first).  Whisk until soft peaks form.  Spread on top of chocolate cream. 

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

We had these wonderful Brazilian cheesy muffins at Fogo de Chao.  They are actually more like mini cheese popovers.  I knew I wanted to try these at home so I used "The Google" and found a recipe over at SimplyRecipes.com  The recipe said it was from someone actually from Brazil - so I decided to give it a try. It had to be good if it came from a real Brazilian - right?!  

The recipe is pretty simple, the only "weird" thing is that it calls for tapioca flour.  I couldn't find tapioca flour in Birmingham.  I even went to Whole Foods and they didn't have it.  I ended up ordering it from King Arthur Flour (along with a few other things).  I've never heard of tapioca flour, much less baked with it.  It is a very fine and light powdery flour.  It is gluten-free, if you are into that. 

These were extremely simple to make and they tasted almost like the bread at Fogo de Chao.  Mine came out crispier than what I wanted.  I will cut the cooking time down a minute or two next time.  Overall, we loved these little cheesy bites and they went great with our Parmesan Pork.

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread
(Printable Recipe)

1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese, your preference, though we got the best results from Mexican farmer's cheese - queso fresco
1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes. Eat while warm or save to reheat later. Enough batter for 16 mini muffin sized cheese breads.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fogo de Chao Parmesan Pork

This is the second recreation from our recent Fogo de Chao dining experience.  We loved this pork just as much as the garlic beef we made last week.  I adapted a recipe online that claimed to be from Fogo de Chao.  The marinade was simple enough - equal parts salt, fajita seasoning and lemon pepper; then add wine.  I opted to leave the salt out - I figured there was enough salt in the fajita seasoning.  We grilled the pork for about 12 minutes and then coated it in parmesan cheese and baked it a few minutes in the oven for the cheese to melt.  It was fantastic - just like the restaurant!  

Fogo de Chao Parmesan Pork
(Printable Recipe)

1 pork tenderloin (approx. 3/4 pound)
2 Tbsp fajita seasoning
2 Tbsp lemon pepper
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Combine fajita seasoning, lemon pepper and wine.  Pour over pork tenderloin and let marinate 4 hours or overnight.  Grill pork for approximately 12 minutes.  Coat tenderloin in parmesan cheese and bake at 400 for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Allow pork to rest for 5 minutes and slice.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

YUM!  We've tried several versions of fajitas and this is one of the best, if not THE best.  I found this recipe over at Our Krazy Kitchen and knew I wanted to try it because the chicken is marinated in beer.  I chose to use Dos Equis since it went with the Mexican theme dinner.  The fajitas turned out great!  I marinated the chicken overnight (because it is easier to do it at night than before work in the morning). 

I served the fajitas with some great (and healthy) tortillas - La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Tortillas.  The tortillas only had 50 calories, 5 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber!  You can't beat that and they tasted great!!  Everything you need to enjoy a guilt-free Mexican night!

Grilled Chicken Fajitas
krazy kitchen
(Printable Recipe)

4 ea chicken breasts, boneless, skin on
1 cup beer
1 cup Herdez Salsa Casera (you can substitute Rotel)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin

Mix all of the ingredients (except chicken) for your marinade.

Marinate the chicken in a gallon zip bag for 4 - 6 hours.

Grill over a 350f fire, flipping every 5 minutes until the breast hit an internal temp of 160f. For me, this takes right at 20 minutes.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

You read the title correctly black bean brownies; and yes, they are made with the black beans in a can that you usually eat with your Mexican food.  Sounds really gross and weird, huh? Well, they are great! Who knew? I certainly would have never imagined that I would eat them, but I did and they are good.  I think they would be great topped with a big ol' scoop of ice cream.  The way I figure, all the fiber and protein in the brownie would cancel out the fat in the ice cream. Right?!

I found the recipe over on skinnytaste.com   The brownies only have two ingredients - black beans and brownie mix.  I had them both in the pantry, so I gave it a shot.  Talk about easy!  Go ahead and give them a try - I promise you will never know that they are made with black beans. 

Black Bean Brownies
(Printable Recipes)

1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 box brownie mix

Open can of beans, drain and rinse well. Put beans back in the can and fill can with water. Put beans and water in blender until smooth. Mix pureed beans with brownie package mix. DO NOT add eggs or oil. Spray baking dish with Pam. Cook brownies according to package directions. Cool and serve.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Better than Jim 'N Nick's Cheesy Biscuits

This is our new favorite cheesy biscuit recipe - it is SOOO good.  I am just going to say it - these just might be better than Jim 'N Nick's famous cheesy biscuits (which I could eat at least a dozen of all by myself). We loved these. The best part - they are incredibly easy to make!  They are even good reheated.  We ate them with dinner the next night too.  Just slap some honey butter on these puppies and go to town!

Better than Jim 'N Nick's Cheesy Biscuits
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbps sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425.  Stir together all ingredients just until combined.  Scoop into a mini muffin pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden.  **I used a medium cookie scoop and got 20 muffins**

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garlic Skirt Steak

On our recent visit to Atlanta, we ate at Fogo de Chao. This was my first experience at Fogo de Chao and it was crazy good. I have never seen so much food in my life! You just turn your card to green and you are bombarded with gauchos offering you all the meat your heart desires.   I barely had time to take a bite before another gaucho was at the table with another delicious offering.  I had two favorites - the garlic beef and the parmesan pork.  Chicken Legs loved it all!

This is our take on the garlic beef.  We used skirt steak because we love it and had some in the freezer.  Fogo de Chao uses Picanha (Top Sirloin) and it is fantastic. We served the beef with a side of pan seared polenta like we had at the restaurant.  *I like polenta - who knew?!*   I was also going to make pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), but I couldn't find tapioca flour at Whole Foods.  I ordered some from King Arthur Flour - hopefully it will be here for our parmesan pork recreation this weekend!  I ended up making some other cheesy muffins to go in their place.  They were fabulous!

We loved our take on the Garlic Beef, and this might be our "go-to" skirt steak from this point forward.  See, skirt steak isn't just for fajitas!

Garlic Skirt Steak
(Printable Recipe)

1 skirt steak (approx. 1 pound)
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

Cut skirt steak into two equal pieces. Combine olive oil, garlic and seasoning in the food processor or blender and pulse until combined. Pour marinade over steak and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Grill for 3 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Slice skirt steak against the grain and enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

RO*TEL Mexican Rice

This is our new favorite Mexican rice. It is made with RO*TEL and packs some heat.  We both LOVED the rice and mixed our black beans in with it.  It stole the show from our Tequila-Lime chicken.  This is our new "go-to" Mexican rice recipe.   

Mexican Rice
adapted from blogchef.net
(Printable Recipe)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 Tbsp dry minced onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, pulsed in food processor
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt

Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a medium pan or skillet. Add rice and sauté until the rice is browned.

Add chicken broth,  tomatoes and green chilies, chili powder, minced onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tequila-Lime Chicken

This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman, so you know it is good!  I saw it on her site a few weeks ago and immediately put it on my menu for Mexican night.  Boy, I am I glad I did.  This was great!  The chicken was really juicy and exploding with flavor!  You could really taste the lime and cilantro.  The chicken didn't pack a lot of heat even though it had a whole jalapeno in the marinade.  We served it with black beans and a new Mexican rice recipe (I'll share that tomorrow).  This was a huge hit!  I am sure we will make it again in the near future.

Tequila-Lime Chicken
Pioneer Woman
(Printable Recipe)

3 whole Limes, Juiced
5 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ cups Cilantro
½ cups Tequila
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Combine lime juice, garlic cloves, sliced jalapeno, salt, cilantro, and tequila in a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Turn on the blender/food processor and drizzle in the olive oil until it’s all combined.

Slightly flatten chicken breasts with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Place in a plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag and marinate for several hours or (preferably) overnight.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from bag and place on the grill. Cook until completely done. Toward the end of cooking, top chicken breasts with grated Monterey Jack and allow to melt. (You can also top chicken with cheese and melt under the broiler.)

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Southern Style Mac & Cheese

I have been on a Mac & Cheese kick lately.  I found this recipe in The Deen Family Cookbook and knew it should be good.  I was right; it was great.  It was really a traditional southern mac & cheese - creamy and cheesy!  It is really quick and easy to make since it doesn't require a roux - a plus in my book.  The prep time is basically the time it takes to boil the pasta.  I cut the cheese down a little since the original recipe had a full pound of cheese!  (That goes back to wanting to fit into my pants again)  We served it with our favorite chicken fingers.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I am always on the lookout for a great Mexican recipe and this recipe fits the bill.  These are quick and easy and one of my top two favorite enchilada recipes.  This recipe doesn't use any type of condensed soup - a big plus in my book.

I found the original recipe here.  I wanted to be able to fit in my pants the next day, so I cut out the butter and whipping cream and used low-fat cream cheese.  I also marinated the chicken in our favorite Tex-Mex marinade to give it more flavor.  They turned out great!  I ate some of the leftovers for lunch the next day and they tasted really good reheated.  This is a keeper!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Better than Toll House Big Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is another twitter recipe. I follow Chris Garboski, aka @nestlefoodie, on twitter.  A few months ago she tweeted that the Toll House Cookie was even better if you used half the butter. What? Even better? Well, I am up for that challenge.

I decided to break out my new muffin top pan (a al Picky-Palate) and make us some BIG cookies. They turned out great!  The cookie was better than the original Toll House Cookie recipe - it was a light and chewy cookie.  I find that the original recipe spreads a lot more when you bake them.  I like fluffy cookies and that is what these are! 

The best thing about these cookies is that they are low-fat since they only have half the butter!  Well, at least that is what Chicken Legs is telling himself.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak

See, we do eat something besides chicken (sometimes)!  This is one of our favorite cuts of meat - skirt steak.  We've had a hard time finding it lately.  Chicken Legs recently found some at Fresh Market, so we stocked up!  I got this recipe in my inbox from Cooking Light.  I have been saving it until we found some skirt steak.  We made a change to the original recipe and invert the amounts of balsamic and Worcestershire - we prefer the flavor of Worcestershire over balsamic.  It turned out great.  It was very flavorful and juicy!  We ate the whole thing - which was OK since it was a Cooking Light recipe (right?).

Grilled Balsamic Skirt Steak
(Printable Recipe)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak, turning to coat; seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight, turning once. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.

Grill 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove from grill. Tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

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