Friday, August 1, 2014

Grilled Tandoori-Style Chicken

Remember how I am loving grilling things this summer? When I came across this Indian recipe in my Savoring the Seasons from Our Best Bites I had to try it! I am not sure how authentic this recipe really is, but it sure tasted great to us!


Preparation Time: 10 minutes (plus 8-24 hours marinading time)
Grilling Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts and cut them up)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 lemon, zested and then juiced
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric

Instructions:

Place chicken in a large, heavy-duty ziplock bag.

Place all remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into the bag with the chicken and toss to coat all the chicken pieces.




Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 8 hours.










When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil grill grates to avoid sticking. Remove the chicken pieces from the bag and allow excess marinade to drip off. Place the chicken on the grill and close the lid. Let it cook 4-6 minutes before flipping chicken over. Then cook an additional 4-6 minutes on the other side. If you use a thermometer (like I do, allow the chicken to reach a temperature of 165*F (74*C).

Eat with some rice and/or naan bread and enjoy :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pork Chops and Spaghetti

There was a good sale on pork chops at our local grocery store, so I stocked up. Now I have lots of pork in the freezer and don't know what to make with it. I got on the internet looked up some recipes. This one stood out in particular because I really like Spaghetti and I had everything I needed and didn't have to go buy anything.


Ingredients:

2 large pork chops
Flour
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups (24 oz.) marinara sauce (homemade or purchased)
½ lb. spaghetti
Parmesan cheese (optional to top before eating)
salt
pepper

Directions:

Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops, then sprinkle flour over them to lightly coat.













Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat

Place pork chops in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides.











After they are browned on both sides, pour marinara sauce in pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pork is done all the way through.













While the pork is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti.

By the time your spaghetti is done and you have drained it, your pork chops are probably done. So get your plates and serve it up!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I've been trying out lots of different ways to BBQ here because 1) It's summer, 2) Because it's summer, I don't like to use my oven a whole lot, and 3) It's so good!!

I kind of threw this recipe together a few weeks ago and my husband loved it! He keeps asking me to make it again. So I thought I would share it with you. Sorry there aren't any pictures, but I didn't think to take them at the time I made this.

LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN

Ingredients:

Chicken (I used 5 big chicken breasts and cut them in half... I can't remember how many pounds)
3/4 cup oil
1 cup lemon juice
2 TBS minced garlic
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and marinade overnight (I actually ended up marinading it for 2 nights)
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat grill for a few minutes on high.
Place chicken on the grill and turn heat down to medium (You might have to turn it down a little more depending on how hot your grill gets). Grill on both sides until done.
I am not an expert on grilling, so I use a thermometer to check the temp of the chicken inside. It took about 10 minutes on each side to get to the right temperature.

Serve with a salad and enjoy!

Casandra's helpful hints:

Like I said, I am not an expert grill-er. But these are things that I have noticed while I've been grilling.
The less times I turn the chicken, the more moist it is.
Using tongs, instead of a fork, to turn the chicken tends to keep the juices in more.
I like to take the chicken off the grill and let it sit for a few minutes (like steak). It seems to distribute the juices all over.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Casandra's Guacamole

I don't know if it's the Mexican in me or what, but I always eat way more than my share when it comes to guacamole. There's lots of different ways you can make guacamole, but I this my recipe... well... I guess it's my dad's recipe, but I made a few changes :) Also note, that when I make this I usually just eyeball how much of something to put in and use my taste buds, so the measurements may not be exact.



Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 medium/large avocados
1/2 ripe tomato (chopped)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 TBS cilantro (chopped)
1 small jalapeno (chopped--without the seeds)
1/2 green/red pepper (capsicum)
juice of a lime
salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for scooping :)

Instructions:

Mash avocados in a bowl. Chop tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and pepper and add to bowl. Add garlic, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Stir together and grab those tortilla chips and enjoy! 

You might want to double if you are having a party or if you love guacamole as much as I do :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Arroz con Pollo (Dominican Style)

One of my best friends is Dominican. She was my roommate in college and I loved it when she made her Arroz con pollo. I have been wanting to make it for quite some time now, but she is one of the people who is naturally a great cook. She just adds spices, tastes it, etc... so it was hard to get a recipe for this. She sent me this link and said that it's similar to how she makes it. I thought I would try it. The chicken was so good! The rice was alright, so I made a few changes.


Preparation Time: 25 minutes plus at least 1 hour marinating time
Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

4 lbs Chicken (I used 10 chicken legs)
2 cups long grain rice
3 cups water
1 green bell pepper (capsicum)
1 red bell pepper (capsicum)
1 onion
3 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander)
2 limes
2 Tbsp Spanish Olives
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Salt (for marinade)
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar

Instructions:

First you want to soak the chicken while you prepare the marinade. Put it in some water and 1/2 cup vinegar.

 Prepare the marinade by chopping up your ingredients and combining all the ingredients (peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro,  lime juice, Spanish Olives, Worcestershire Sauce, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, and chicken) in a Ziplock bag. Let it marinade for at least an hour. I ended up letting mine marinade for 2 nights because we got invited to dinner the night I was going to cook this.





















When you're ready to cook. Heat the oil and sugar in a pot.











When it starts to caramelize and gets dark add just the chicken to the pot (Don't discard the marinade!)

 Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then turn over to the other side and let cook until the juices have reduced down. You might have to gently stir every once in a while so the chicken doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once your chicken is brown and cooked through (about 20-30 minutes), add the marinade to the pot. Lightly cover and cook for 10 minutes.










Remove the chicken from the pot and add 3 cups of water, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Let it come to a boil and add the rice. Once the rice has absorbed most of the water, cover and let it continue to cook on medium/low for 20-30 minutes.












The rice should be fluffy when you return to the pot. Return the chicken to the pot (on top of the rice), cover, and let it heat through for 5-10 minutes, then serve.


















Sunday, June 15, 2014

Rice Bowl

So remember how I really like Rumbi's? Well I wanted to make their rice bowl that I usually get. I found this recipe for some pork, used the Rumbi rice recipe and added veggies and Teriyaki sauce (bought from the store) and there you have it... instant rice bowl :)


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

This meal can be as easy as you want it, or as hard. It's easiest if you use left over meat. Then all you have to do is cook the rice and veggies.

Ingredients:

Meat of choice
Rumbi rice (or white rice)
Vegetables
Sauce of choice

I used broccoli, onions, carrots, and red peppers (capsicum) for the veggies.

Instructions:

Start with your rice, add the meat and veggies, top with your sauce and you have a rice bowl. :)

Enjoy!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Dutch Oven Aussie Pizza

When we first got to Australia, our days would be really long that when we got in, I didn't really want to cook anything. So one nights we got on the phone and ordered a pizza. We decided to order an "Aussie Pizza" because we had never had it before. Turns out it's a pizza with egg and ham on it. We have made it a couple of times before just in the oven. At our family reunion last weekend, we had dutch oven pizza and that was on our minds! So we decided to make an Aussie pizza in the dutch oven.


Ingredients:

Shredded ham (or deli style ham and layer it)
2 Eggs whisked together
Cheese
Marinara Sauce
Pizza dough*

*I Love using this recipe, but you can go buy it or use your own recipe.

Instructions:

Spray dutch oven with pam

Place pizza dough in the bottom.

Layer with sauce, eggs, ham, and top with cheese. (You might notice from the picture that I did it backwards... that's because sometimes I forget what I am doing. Either way you do it, it tastes good, but it's better when put the eggs on the bottom).

Cook in dutch oven for 30 minutes at 375*F (About 14 cols)

Note: If you don't have a dutch oven or don't want to do it, simply follow the directions but put it on a pizza sheet or on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 500*F for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coconut Rice

I posted a curry and suggested you try coconut rice with it, but never gave a recipe. So here are a couple that I use.

Casandra's Coconut Rice

One day I decided to put coconut milk in my rice instead of water and I loved it! So this is my recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups rice
3-4 cups coconut milk*
1 tsp salt

*Usually I put the milk in an inch above the rice.

Instructions:

Wash rice off with water then put in a saucepan.

Add salt and coconut milk to rice and begin to boil over medium heat.

Let rice boil for 15 minutes. Take off heat and cover for 5-10 minutes to continue cooking.

You'll have moist, coconut rice for dinner in less than 30 minutes!





The other rice recipe is a copy cat version from a restaurant that I like to eat at occasionally. I found this recipe and had to try it!



Ingredients:

2 cups long grain white rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1/2 TBS sugar
1 can red beans (drained and rinsed)

Instructions:

Combine water, coconut milk, and sugar in a saucepan.

Stir in rice and beans. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18-20 minutes, until rice is tender.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spanakopida

Making this, really made me miss our neighbor from Australia, Georgia. She is from Greece and while we were down in Australia, we always traded food. One of my favorites was her Spanakopida. It's a spinach pie with feta, dill, and other herbs and spices. When we left, she gave me a "Women's Weekly Greek Cooking" cookbook. I was craving some of Georgia's food, so decided to make this. It did NOT taste like hers, but it was ok. I did not have enough spinach and I think that made a big difference, so don't cheat with the spinach.


Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes

Note: This recipe is a more difficult recipe. You will need to thaw your fillo dough out for a day prior to making this. Also when working with fillo dough, you need to take one sheet off and place a damp cloth on the rest to prevent the dough from drying out. You could probably use puff pastry if you don't want to work with fillo dough. 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds (.75 kg) silver beet, chopped (I just used spinach)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 oz (110 grams) feta cheese
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
1/8 cup parsley
1/8 cup fresh dill
2 green onions, chopped finely
8 sheets fillo pastry
2 ounces (60 g) butter, melted or olive oil
sesame seeds

*I halved the recipe to fit in an 8 by 8 pan. If you double this, it will make a 9 by 13 pan full. 

Instructions:

Microwave spinach (with a tablespoon of water and plastic wrap over it) until just wilted. Squeeze out excess moisture and drain on a towel. 

Heat oil in small frying pan and cook brown onion and garlic until onion is soft. Add nutmeg and stir until fragrant. 
Combine feta, herbs, and green onion with onion mixture and spinach.
Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C) and grease bottom of pan.

Place one fillo sheet in the pan. Brush the sheet with butter or olive oil (or spray with butter flavored cooking spray) and lay another sheet on top. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP. Your dough will not cook. Repeat the process for four layers.  

Add spinach mixture. Place fillo sheet on top and repeat the process above for four layers.

Butter the top and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until browned lightly. 
Sorry I didn't take too many pictures, I kind of got caught up in the process of it. I thought I would let you know that I found fillo dough in the frozen foods isle where the cool whip and pie stuff was. Same place as the puff pastry.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Chicken & Mango Curry

I didn't grow up eating curry. For one, there weren't too many places to get it where I am from and for two, I just thought it was super hot sauce with lots of stuff that I didn't like in it. The first time I had curry was at college when my roommate made it (I then requested it for my birthday dinner meal I liked it so much!). I realize now that there are so many different kinds of curries! There's Indian curry, Chinese curry, Thai curry, Japanese curry, dry curries, wet curries, the list goes on. I saw this recipe in a magazine in Australia and wanted to try it out, so I ripped it out of the magazine and brought it home with me. I don't know what country you would classify this curry under, so we will just not complicate things by categorizing it this time.


Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb (750g) chicken cut into bite size pieces*
1 (200g) brown onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder*
1/2 teaspoon ground chilies*
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder*
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1 small mango chopped*
roasted unsalted cashew, to serve
cilantro leaves (coriander leaves), to serve
steamed rice, to serve

* Wow! Lots of asterisks on this one. First the chicken: Sometimes, I use less meat than it calls for and I just grabbed 3 pieces of chicken out of a bag (I am guessing it was 3/4-1 lb). Second, the curry powder: I totally got messed up and put in 1 1/2 Tablespoons instead of teaspoons, you'll notice that in the pictures. Just thought I should let you know. Third, the chilies: I didn't use them. I wasn't feeling like a spicy curry. Forth, the chicken stock powder: I couldn't find it, so I substituted 1 chicken bullion cube for the stock powder (I didn't look too hard though, so if you know where to get it, let me know please). Finally the mango: We LOVE mangos, so I used 2 medium sized ones :)

Instructions:

Start your rice so it can be done when your curry gets done. Sometimes I like coconut rice, so that's what I made for this curry.

Heat oil in large frying pan over high heat, then cook the chicken until it is browned. When it's done, remove from the pan.

Reduce heat to medium, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring until softened. Stir in the curry powder, chili, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Notice how there is heaps of curry powder...














Dissolve the stock powder (bullion cube) in the boiling water; add to the pan along with the coconut milk. Stir mixture until boiling.













Return the chicken to the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes.













Serve the curry over rice and top with mango, cashews, and cilantro leaves.













We'll definitely make this again! Fast, simple, and Delicious!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cheng's Dumplings

So remember this post about my Chicken fried rice? Well after eating Cheng's dumplings that night, I really wanted to put them on the blog. He was so kind to come over and make them again with me so I could jot down the recipe and so we could enjoy them again :)


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb (.5 kg) ground/minced pork*
3 chopped green onions
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn (optional)
1 egg
oil
dumpling skin

* I don't know about you, but we can't go to our supermarket and pick up ground pork. If your store offers that, Awesome! If not, just ask someone at the meat counter for some ground pork and they will be happy to ground some for you.

Instructions:

Mix pork, onions, cabbage, garlic powder, soy sauce, salt, corn and egg together.













Take dumpling skin, add about a 1/2 spoonful of meat to the middle. Dip you fingers in water and wet the edges of the dumpling skin. Fold in half pressing the sides together and fold to insure that the seal is tight.














This process might be a little confusing, so here is Cheng himself showing us how it's done!
video

There are two ways you cook these. Cheng is from Taiwan and he says they like things fried, but boiling them also works.

Method One (Frying)
Heat oil on medium in a frying pan. Add the dumplings to the pan and let them get brown (3-5 minutes). Put some water in the pan and cover for 5 minutes (or until water is evaporated). Turn the dumplings over to brown on the other side (3-5 minutes). Serve hot :)


Method Two (Boiling)
Boil water. Add dumplings to pot. Boil for 10 minutes (or until all dumpling have raised to the top). Serve on a platter (so they don't stick to each other)



.










My husband prefers his dumplings fried. I like them both ways. Boiling them does give them a smooth texture. I also like the dumplings with or without the corn. The corn does give the dumplings a sweeter taste, but I didn't notice that big of a difference. The first time we ate them, we just put soy sauce on them.
This time Cheng made a special sauce with soy sauce, sesame sauce, and minced garlic. It was really good! It had a very savory taste. I recently got some sweet chili sauce (my favorite from when we lived in Australia!) and tried it on them. Boy, was it yummy! So just experiment with whatever sauces you have at home and Enjoy!
Thanks for helping me Cheng!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ANZAC Biscuits

So I know I missed a post last week. I was so excited to make Hot Crossed Buns and share the recipe with you, but let me tell you... it was a disaster! My yeast has lost it's oomph and the buns did not rise... at all! I continued to the end thinking that they would at least still taste ok after baking them. Nope. Since they didn't raise, the dough in the middle did not get done. I was so sad! I think its kind of funny now and someday I will try them again.

Anzac biscuits were sent overseas during World War I to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp and Anzac Day is similar to what we American's celebrate as Memorial Day. We were in Australia last year on ANZAC day, but didn't get to experience it fully (we wished we would have!). The town we were living in had a ceremony at dawn and a parade or march later that day. We were able to walk to the post office that evening and saw lots of crosses representing those who had lost their lives in WWI.

I thought since ANZAC day is just a few days away (April 25), I would make some bikkies to celebrate it. I found this recipe and modified it just a little.


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut
1 stick and a little (125 g) butter*
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda)

*Conversions never really match up. I used about 9 Tablespoons of butter

Instructions:

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar, rolled oats, and coconut.













Melt the butter along with the golden syrup and water in a saucepan.













Stir the baking soda in.













Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix well.













Form small balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.













Bake at 350*F (175*C). For a more chewy cookie bake for 12 minutes, then leave them on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes after taking them out of the oven. For a harder/crunchier bikkie, bake for 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Happy ANZAC Day!!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Curried Egg Sandwich


I don't know about you, but here in America, we dye hard boiled eggs around Easter. I don't really know why, we just do. Maybe I should look that one up... but I have done it since I was a child and still love doing it! After we finished dying the eggs, we usually admired them for a while, but then would make Deviled Eggs or Egg sandwiches. While I lived in Australia, I went to a church function. There they served a variety of sandwiches, one of which was an egg sandwich. I had to get one. Little did I know that I would end up eating about 5! (One sandwich was cut cut into 4 triangles, so really it wasn't too much...) They were delicious! I found out that they put curry in them. I decided I would use up some of my Easter eggs to make a curried egg sandwich.


Preparation Time: 5-30 minutes (It all depends on if you have your eggs already boiled and how far above sea level you are, but they are fast to make)

This recipe makes 3-4 sandwiches depending on the size of your bread

Ingredients:

4 Eggs
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2-1 tsp Curry Powder (depends on how strong you want the taste)
6-4 slices of bread
Chopped Lettuce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Boil your eggs. When they are done, I run them under cold water. I have found that this helps them peel better.

Mix Mayo & curry powder together.














Chop your eggs or do what I do... just smash them with a fork.













Add the eggs to your mixture.













Add salt and pepper to taste, spread egg mixture on the bread, sprinkle some lettuce on top, and your ready to eat.













Fast and easy and a good way to use up all those Easter eggs you dyed :)