Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

IMG_1118Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
with thanks to Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan, divided
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 jar (or 2-1/2 cups homemade) marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Method

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together 1/2 cup of the panko with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup panko, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, chicken, egg, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine using your hands until just incorporated.

Divide the meatball mixture into 30 golf ball sized rounds and roll them in the panko/Parmesan mixture.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch oven safe skillet. Brown the meatballs in the oil, about 30 seconds on each side, working in batches if needed to avoid crowding the pan.

Add the meatballs back to the pan, along with the marinara, cover with the grated mozzarella and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes, and the cheese is melted. Serve over cooked pasta or on top of crispy bread.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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IMG_0541Chicken Tikka Masala
adapted from RecipeTin Eats 

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large (about 2-inch) chunks
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons each salt, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cooking Chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed

Curry Sauce Spices:

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method

Chicken Tikka:

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and mix. Add chicken and turn well to coat. Cover with cling wrap and leave in fridge to marinate overnight (3 hours minimum).

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan over high heat until smoking. Add half the chicken and spread out. Leave for 2 minutes or until charred. Turn each piece and cook the other side until charred (don’t worry if it is not fully cooked inside). Remove to bowl. Scrape out charred bits left in pan, add more oil if required, and cook remaining chicken. Remove to bowl.

Curry Sauce:

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and turn heat down to medium high. Add onions, ginger, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the ginger is starting to turn golden and the onions smell sweet, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the Curry Sauce Spices, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce and water and mix. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour curry into a bowl, then use a stick blender to puree until smooth (or use a traditional blender). Return sauce to skillet. Add half and half and sugar. Add reserved chicken and stir. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with minced cilantro, if desired. Serve with rice and/or naan.

NOTES

So, here’s the thing. I already have a recipe on this site for chicken tikka masala. I’ve made it probably a couple dozen times over the years, many times for guests and family, and everyone loves it. Everyone except me and Steve, that is. I mean, it’s good! But it never wowed us and in recent years we have much preferred my butter chicken or cashew korma.

Until now. Holy crap, this dish is AMAZING. I revised the original recipe in some significant ways, if only to make it fully a tikka masala rather than a cross between tikka masala and butter chicken, but I left the method of searing/charring and the spice and aromatics levels the same. I think both of those things were key because the end result has a crazy intense depth of flavor and a lovely heat, just as it should. I will not take my old recipe down, but no way am I going back to it after this!

Hoisin Pork and Cashew Stir Fry

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Hoisin Pork and Cashew Stir Fry
adapted from Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 28 ounces pork shoulder (or pork loin), sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned (or about a cup of bagged shredded carrots)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) roasted cashews
  • salt and pepper

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 10 ingredients. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil over medium-high in a wok or large nonstick skillet; swirl to coat. Add the pork and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the sauce, carrot, scallions, and cashews. Bring to a simmer to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes. Taste; season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve mixture over rice or noodles.

NOTES

The original of this recipe was outstanding as it was, but the second time, I very slightly adjusted certain ingredient amounts to perfectly suit our tastes. I also used pork shoulder rather than the loin because I almost always have sliced or cubed pork shoulder portioned away in the freezer.

Bottom line: this is our new favorite stir fry. The pork and cashews together make it incredibly meaty and hearty and the spicy, savory, sweet sauce just brings it all together. This one is definitely going into long-term rotation.

Chinese Spaghetti

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Chinese Spaghetti
slightly adapted from The Woks of Life

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. dried spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon chile oil (optional, but highly recommended)

Method

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, undercooking it by about a minute (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a wok or large deep skillet over high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the ground beef and cook until slightly browned, breaking up any large chunks of beef. Add the onion, garlic, and Shaoxing wine, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the onion is transparent, and then add the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to a hard simmer. Stir in the oyster and soy sauces, sesame oil, and white pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, add the peas, and stir for one minute.

Stir up the cornstarch slurry and drizzle the slurry into the sauce while stirring constantly. The sauce should thicken until it coats a spoon.

Turn heat to low and add the cooked pasta. Toss until the noodles are coated in sauce. Add some of the pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick or add more cornstarch slurry if the sauce is too thin. Add the chili oil and toss again. Serve!

NOTES

The minute I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to have it. The flavors are right up my alley and it’s quick and easy to boot. It’s genius. It’s perfect. I am going to be putting it on our weekly menu for years. *INSERT MORE EXCITED FOOD TALK* Seriously, I cannot talk this one up enough. Go make it!

Kung Pao Ground Chicken

IMG_3203IMG_3201Kung Pao Ground Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon black soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-1/4 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 large zucchini, finely diced
  • 10 arbol chiles, heads cut off, left whole
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grated (or minced) fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated (or minced) fresh garlic
  • 4 ounces dry roasted peanuts
  • Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
  • Crushed chile flakes (optional), for serving

Method

Combine the black soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok (or large deep skillet) over high heat. Add the ground chicken, season with the salt and pepper, then stir fry, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it browns, for about 4 minutes, until mostly cooked through. Add the red bell pepper and zucchini and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the chiles, scallions, ginger, garlic, and peanuts to the pan. Stir for about 30 seconds, then add the stir fry sauce. Bring to a boil and stir continuously until the sauce has thickened.

Serve over white or brown jasmine rice with additional chile flakes, if desired.

NOTES

I’m a little bit in love with this dish. It is essentially my Kung Pao Chicken recipe, but with ground meat, different vegetables, and an easier and more streamlined cooking process – which makes me want to replace my original with this one for the foreseeable future!

Ancho Chorizo Chili

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Ancho Chorizo Chili
slightly adapted from Simply Scratch

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or regular crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup of stock or water

Suggested sides/toppings: sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, cheddar or jack cheese, hot sauce, cornbread, tortilla chips, corn chips

Method

Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of olive oil along with the onion and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute for about 4 minutes or until the onion is just tender. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the beef and chorizo. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small crumbles and cook, stirring occasionally until no longer pink.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, Mexican oregano, sugar, and stock. Stir and bring to a gentle bubble, then reduce to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with desired sides/toppings and enjoy!

NOTES

OH MAN. This was amazing. I am not usually a big fan of chili (I know, sacrilege!), but for some reason when I randomly stumbled across Laurie’s post, the words “ancho” and “chorizo” took hold in my brain and wouldn’t leave. Maybe because I’ve been so into my recently tweaked homemade chorizo and I’ve been looking for new ways to use it. Whatever it was, I had to make this immediately – and I did not regret it. I admit being hesitant about adding in a full three tablespoons of ancho chile powder, but I’m glad I trusted her judgment and went for it. CRAZY good.

This made a solid six portions for us. I gave two to a friend and then ate my two servings as shown above. Steve had his first with just Fritos and pico and his second with Fritos and… hot dogs! I say that with a bit of a laugh only because we normally don’t think of chili with beans as being good hot dog chili, but we were both pretty blown away by how well it worked. Not a big hot dog fan myself, but for those of you who love them, I highly recommend.

Chorizo-Stuffed Hatch Chiles

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Chorizo-Stuffed Hatch Chiles
with a nod to Once A Month Meals

Ingredients

  • 10 large fresh hatch chiles (hot or mild)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb Mexican-style chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz roasted hatch chiles, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To prepare the chiles (pro tip: WEAR GLOVES), cut the heads off, then slice on one side, down the middle, devein, and seed.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the chorizo and saute until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes, until just soft.

Reduce heat to medium low. Add the black beans, corn, tomatoes, diced hatch chiles, cumin, oregano, chile powder, and salt; stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes, until heated through.

Remove from heat and pour into a medium mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup cheese and stir into the chorizo mixture until melted.

Spoon one-tenth of the mixture into each of the chiles, taking care not to rip the chiles all the way open.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the chiles are soft. Remove pan from oven, top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, then put the pan back in the oven for another few minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve.

NOTES

This is the third year in a row I have made these with in-season hatch chiles and I figured it was about time to get a recipe down. This is a spectacular and impressive (yet simple!) meal, and a great way to highlight the best of the season. I love serving mine with hatch chile cornbread on the side, but refried beans or a pile of Spanish rice would also do quite nicely.