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Leftover Chicken Wrap

These wraps are lovely!  It’s a great use for leftover chicken (or turkey) Even without the wrap (or even the chicken really), the star of this post is the salad and dressing, which would make a great side-dish just own it’s own.

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This recipe is just one of a handful of reasons why I recently ventured out into the cold last week and picked myself up a copy of Jamie Oliver’s “Save with Jamie” cookbook.  I’m skipping a bit ahead in the story, let me go back…It was a typical Saturday late morning and I was perusing the TV channels, looking for something interesting to keep me from doing anything productive.  I stopped when I came across an episode of Jamie’s Money Saving Meals (considering anything with Jamie Oliver is pretty much guaranteed to be entertaining… with phrases like “just wazz it up” and “bang it in my gob”, how can you go wrong?).  Anyway, this episode included a version of this wrap spotlighting leftover chicken as a budget-friendly option (and also a couple other recipes that looked very intriguing).  End result is this book made a nice addition to the collection and I’ve acquired some new/easy dinner ideas that I’m quite excited about.

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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 30 min YIELD: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:
  • leftover chicken (about 1/2 c or however much you have), pulled apart so it fits reasonably in a wrap
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2-3 10″ soft tortilla shells

Salad:

  • 1 cup fine rice noodles (cover with boiling water, drain after 5-10 min after noodles have softened)
  • half of a yellow pepper, finely sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 2 tbsp green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1 tbsp fresh chilli pepper or jalapeño pepper
  • 4 large leaves romaine or other green lettuce of choice, sliced
  • grated zest from half a lime

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from half a lime (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
 Directions:
  1. In medium frying pan, over medium heat, combine chicken and hoisin sauce and re-heat until chicken starts to go crispy/sticky (~10 minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, mix together dressing ingredients.
  3. Combine salad ingredients and toss together with dressing.
  4. Now, the fun part, stuff the wrap with a little chicken and a whole bunch of salad– a little more than what you think you can reasonably fit into a 10″ tortilla shell
  5. Garnish with a little cilantro and/or sesame seeds if you’re feeling fancy, wrap it up then do your best and try to eat it without making a mess.  It’s best if served immediately (otherwise the tortilla can go a little soggy).

Turkey Dinner, Done a Little Differently

Soooo much turkey this holiday season! So many dinners, all turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and some variation of vegetables. Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that (because it will always be a classic!)– but for my turn to do a family turkey dinner this year, I wanted to do something a bit different.

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This year I made:

  • Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy (Recipe from The Splendid Table)– I omitted the banana leaves while cooking the turkey.  I also added a little extra seasoning to the gravy to bump up the flavour even more, I added 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp red wine, 1/2 tsp each cumin, granulated garlic, oregano, and a pinch of allspice, and cayenne pepper to taste.
  • Chorizo, Apple, Pecan, and Cornbread Stuffing (Recipe also from The Splendid Table)– can’t find Chorizo in your local supermarket?  (I couldn’t), make your own: Homemade Chorizo (Recipe from Food Network)
  • Cilantro-Lime Rice (Recipe from Martha Stewart)– be sure to add a little extra grated lime zest to boost the lime taste
  • Sweet Peppers and Onions, Fried with Garlic
  • Homemade Guacamole (Recipe to be posted soon)
  • Warm corn tortillas

Enjoy!

pizzadough1

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

As far as bread recipes go, I consider this one relatively quick and easy.  Though (*disclaimer*) the dough still requires some time to rise, so it’s not going to be a magical solution a serious time crunch for a quick dinner, unfortunately.  That is, unless you make this ahead and have it ready in advance.  This makes recipe makes too much for a dinner with just me and my husband, so more often than not I’ll freeze half the dough for another time.  Just defrost in advance, and pick up from Step 4 below.

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PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: 1 hour    YIELD: 2 crusts
Ingredients:
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast (or 1 package)
  • 1 warm water (~110F)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 and 1/4 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white sugar
 Directions:
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water (Note: if the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast and the dough will end up flat and hard as a rock… trust me I learned this sadly from experience).  Let stand around 10 minutes, until the yeast is creamy-looking.  Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the cup of yeast and water.  (Also make sure your yeast hasn’t expired, as it won’t rise properly… yes I learned that lesson as well)
  2. In medium-large bowl combine flour, salt and sugar.  Stir in the yeast mixture and mix until a ball of dough forms.  (Just an aside, this is both quicker and easier if you use a stand mixer with a dough hook… it requires much less elbow grease).
  3. Splash the dough-ball in a bit more olive oil just to coat and make it a bit less sticky and help the ball from drying out, then set aside in a covered bowl in a warm place to proof until about doubled in size, or 30 minutes.  I like to turn the oven on such that it’s just slightly warm, then put my bowl in there while the dough rises.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Turn out the dough on a well-floured surface.  Split dough into halves for making 2- 12″ diameter crusts; quarters for 4- 8″ diameter crusts; or leave as whole for one rectangular 16″ x 10″ pizza pie on a cookie sheet.  Roll dough to about 1/4″ thick.  Prep pans by coating with olive oil and adding a light sprinkling of cornmeal– this provides a fantastic crisp crust and helps the dough from baking to the pan as well.
  5. Once in the pan(s), add sauce and favourite toppings then bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  OR if making ahead, portion out dough after it has proofed and freeze for future use.

Is it hot outside and/or looking for pizza that’s a little different?  Consider trying it on the BBQ.  Instead of Step 4 above, roll the dough quite thin ~1/8″, and (this is absolutely important) make sure to have all your toppings prepared and ready to go.  This all happens really fast, so preparation is key.  Make sure the grill is quite hot (550F), brush one side of the dough lightly with olive oil and place the dough carefully directly on the grill for 4 to 5 min just until the it firms up and has some light grill marks.  Brush the other side of the crust with a little olive oil and turn over.  Now, put sauce and desired toppings on the crust and grill for another 5-6 minutes until bottom is browned.  The crust is amazingly crispy when cooked this way.  Enjoy!

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Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

This barbecue sauce-making adventure began with a salad dressing recipe, strangely enough. For the back-story read this previous post on my experiments with homemade raspberry vinegar.  A long story short, I ended up with some vinegar-soaked raspberries that I needed to find a use for.  After it was all said and done, I will admit I’m happier about the sauce than I was the vinegar.

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This sauce is great on steak, burgers, probably anything else you can think to slather it on.  The berry flavour was quite subtle, and the chipotles provide a nice hum of heat.  On my first go-around with this recipe, I was a bit too bold with the chipotles and added 5 or 6 of them (they looked so small)… next time I will stick with 2.

 

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: YIELD: 1 L
Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 2 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries (and/or mix in some blackberries as well)
  • 1 can of plain tomato sauce (398 mL)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp cooking molasses
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp honey (or coconut palm sugar, or brown sugar)
  • salt/pepper to taste
 Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan.  Add onion and green pepper and cook until onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, and puree  the mixture until a smooth consistency and there are no big pieces remaining.
  3. Over medium heat, simmer for ~30 min or until sauce thickens.
  4. Store the sauce in the fridge for up to a week and/or freeze in freezer safe containers for longer-term storage and future use.
tacoseasoning

Taco Seasoning

I prefer making my own taco seasoning as opposed to buying pre-packaged because then I know exactly what’s in it, and can limit the amount of salt added.

Not only is it a healthier alternative than the store bought alternative, but it’s also easy to make with seasonings I usually have handy in the pantry.  Try making a bigger batch to store in an air-tight container for future use.

PREP TIME: COOK TIME: TOTAL TIME: YIELD: 1
Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
 Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients.  Use immediately or save in air tight container for future use.
sweetchillisauce

Sweet Chilli Thai Sauce

Slow cooker chicken and rice was on the menu for dinner tonight, though it needed something to make it interesting– Sweet Chilli Thai Sauce.  Now I didn’t actually have any, nor was I going out to buy any- so I modified a recipe to suit what pantry ingredients I did have.  The result was a fantastic sauce!

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This would be great with fresh ginger, garlic, and chillies as well- but still great with pantry-friendly ingredients.

PREP TIME: 5 min     COOK TIME: 15 min     TOTAL TIME: 20 min     YIELD: 1 cup
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
Directions:
  1. Combine water and vinegar in saucepan, bring to boil over high heat.
  2. Stir in sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ketchup.  Simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Stir in cornstarch.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat, use as desired or transfer to sealed container and refrigerate until needed.
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Turkey (or Chicken) Leftovers Pie

Anything goes when it comes to “turkey leftover pie”, well, within reason anyway.  It’s a prime opportunity to use up leftover vegetables as well as turkey (or chicken).  In addition to the ingredients listed below, in the past I’ve also added some minced garlic, green beans, etc.

It’s also great for stocking up the freezer with a few hearty and very easy dinners for those days when you just really don’t feel like cooking.  {What!  I can’t believe she said that!  This is supposed to be a cooking blog!}

After the last turkey dinner I hosted, I followed up dinner promptly by making four of these bad boys (it was a rather large turkey).  That was an especially long day, and if I had it all to do over again I would say the turkey could wait it out in the fridge for a day before making some pies… but it was rewarding in the end to make use of SO much food and not see any of it go to waste.

PREP TIME: 25 min  COOK TIME: 30 min  TOTAL TIME: 55 min  YIELD: 2 pies
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (I omitted this, because I don’t like peas!)
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 1 big leaf of kale, chopped (optional)
  • 2-1/2 cups of diced turkey or chicken
  • 4 to 5 cups of chicken broth (or substitute 1 cup with white wine if you happen to have a bottle open…)
  • 1/3 cup of margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of celery seed
  • 3/4 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • mashed potatoes to top (I use 4-5 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed, and add cream/butter/salt as desired)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, like a sharp cheddar
  • 2 prepared pie crusts
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Peel, cut, boil and mash potatoes or use leftover mashed potatoes.  {If you prefer, another option is to avoid the potatoes all together, and top with another prepared pie crust instead
  3. Chop, then cook celery and carrots (and peas, if you like that kind of thing) in 1 cup of either chicken (or turkey) broth or white wine until soft in large skillet under medium heat until al dente. Put aside while you cook the rest of it.
  4. Add butter to pan, then onions and cook until just translucent. Add flour and seasonings (celery seed, thyme, salt, pepper, anything else you want to throw in). Cook ~2 minutes, stirring slowly. Add 3 cups of chicken (or turkey) broth, mixing well.
  5. Add chicken, mushroom soup, kale (if you’re using), and vegetable mixture and combine well. Allow to simmer ~10 minutes, and if need-be use additional chicken (or turkey) broth. Or if too runny, simmer longer until mixture thickens.
  6. Divide mixture into 2 pie crusts, top with mashed potatoes.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or until crust is browned/cooked. Add cheese to top, then bake additional 6-8 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, then let stand 10-15 minutes before eating.

To Freeze:

  1. Bake pie crusts according to directions.  Meanwhile, follow steps 1 through 5 above.  Fill pre-baked pie crusts , top with mashed potatoes.  Cover with plastic wrap, store in freezer bags, label and freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw (in the fridge!) and bake 30-40 minutes at 425 F.  Or, if cooking from frozen, bake 50-60 minutes.  Tip: wrap crust edges with foil, then remove for the last 15 minutes to avoid burning.
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Zucchini Patties

I don’t know what I was thinking planting 5 zucchini plants.  Anyway, I ended up with an abundance of zucchini.  See my previous post about shredding/freezing for future use.

Not really knowing what else to do with it, I went looking for a few new recipes when I came across this one.  Definitely too good not to share.

These zucchini patties were QUITE good. Great for a meatless meal, if that’s your thing.  Or just great period.  They were very easy to make as well.

I highly recommend serving with pasta and marinara sauce.

PREP TIME: 15 min   COOK TIME: 30 min    TOTAL TIME: 45 min   YIELD: 12
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups shredded/drained zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozza cheese
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegtable, or olive)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together zucchini, eggs, onion, garlic, flour, bread crumbs, and cheeses.
  3. Turn on frying pan to medium heat, add small amount of oil to pan.  Form patties (warning, the mixture will be a bit messy) and drop into pan.
  4. Brown on both sides, and transfer to baking sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve, enjoy!
zucchinishred

What To Do With Zucchini

I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’m also still trying to figure out quite how I ended up with 3 massive zucchinis, seemingly overnight.  Toby (to the left) assists for scaling purposes.

So in the mean time, while I research new ways to use zucchini, I decided to shred and freeze these 3 beasts.

Firstly, break out the food processor.  If you don’t have a food processor?  Go and get one.  Because shredding this quantity by hand would be quite the work out.  Then chop it up in manageable sizes, and shred away.

Then empty the food processor into a colander lined with cheese cloth.  This will allow a lot of the juice to drain off before freezing.  Squeeze out that cheese cloth, and voila!  zucchini shreds.  I was quite shocked at the amount of zucchini juice that came from these, it was around 7 cups!

Lastly, measure convenient portion sizes (I used 2 cups), and put into sandwich bags.  Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags, and label/pack in a larger freezer bag.

Now to figure out what to use these for…

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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

I am not a fan of broccoli in general.  However, this casserole is so good that I don’t really care that there is broccoli in it.  I came across a version of this recipe while surfing for new things to try quite some time ago, and after a few tweaks, this recipe has now found its way into my elite collection of favorites.

Served with brown rice on the side, this made for a hearty supper tonight… and will be just as good for leftovers tomorrow.

PREP TIME: 20 min  COOK TIME: 45 min  TOTAL TIME: 1h 5 min   YIELD: 4
Ingredients:

Casserole:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 a large onion, diced and fried
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced and cooked
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Biscuits:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp chilled margarine
  • 3/4 cup milk

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
  1. For casserole, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook diced chicken and onion until no pink is remaining. Meanwhile, also steam broccoli.
  3. In a deep dish 8 inch diameter pan, combine cooked chicken, broccoli, soup, onion, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and curry. Mix well. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and stir slightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. For biscuits, mix dry ingredients then cut in margarine until mixture resembles the size of small peas. Make a well in the center then add milk all at once. Mix the dough until it just comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out on floured board, then roll between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick. Cut with round cutter (or a glass works well for me).
  5. Cut round biscuits and each in half, into semi-circles. Arrange biscuit halves around edge of hot casserole. Combine topping ingredients, and pour topping over biscuits.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for an additional 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cook any remaining unused biscuits at 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.