Friday, March 28, 2014

Day Fifty-Three - Crab and Shrimp Salad Rolls (3.27.14)


Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp chopped green onions
  • 3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp hot sauce
  • 8 oz coarsely chopped cooked shrimp (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 8 oz lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
  • 4 small whole wheat hoagie rolls, split and toasted
  • 4 small Boston lettuce leaves
Instructions
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, and stir well. Add chopped cooked shrimp and lump crabmeat, stirring to combine. Line each hoagie roll with 1 lettuce leaf. Place 2/3 cup shrimp mixture in each bun.
Opinions

Katie: Mmm...this one was gooooood! :) I absolutely loved the horseradish and Dijon mustard flavors that came out in just about every bite of the sandwich. The lettuce provided a good balance. Even though this dish would be great to enjoy when it is warmer out, we decided to make it now as we hope for that warmer weather to be its way!

Potter: We threw this recipe in the mix hoping that our intentions would affect the weather and bring about some warmth. Alas, they did not but they did bring some delicious sandwiches to our dinner plates. While I would recommend this recipe for a spring or summer dish, on a porch/patio/deck/dock, it's delicious enough to be eaten any time. It is a very light dish that is surprising filling (I was planning on eating 2, maybe 3, sandwiches but only made it through 1). If you like seafood give this a try, if you don't like seafood give it a try anyway then realize you actually love seafood.

Day Fifty-One - Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb (3.25.14)


Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (1 1/2 lb) French-cut rack of lamb (8 ribs)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3. Sprinkle lamb evenly with salt and freshly ground pepper; rub lamb evenly with herb mixture. Place on a jelly-roll pan or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145 degrees (medium-rare). Cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice rack into 8 pieces.
Opinions

Katie: I don't know exactly what I was envisioning but a rack of lamb is a lot smaller than I was thinking! Each lamb recipe we make keeps getting better and better. This dish was cooked perfectly - thanks Potter! The flavors in the sauce crusted around the outside was great. 

Potter: This was my first time preparing, eating, seeing or being around rack of lamb. I embarrassed myself at the butcher thinking the meat had been cut off the bone when in fact it's just on tiny bones (the girl behind the counter informed lambs are small animals, apparently in my mind they are roughly the size of cows [or at least their ribs are the size of cows ribs]). So, yeah, tiny and delicious. These turned out perfectly, along with the homemade steak fries. This was another one that is really easy to make though it takes a little while to cook. If you've never had lamb give this recipe a try and you will not be disappointed.

Day Fifty-Two - Stuffed Peppers with Chorizo (3.26.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 pkg (5 oz) yellow saffron rice
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 poblano pepper or small green bell pepper
  • 1 green onion with top
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions in saucepan.
  2. As rice cooks, prepare bell peppers. Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove and discard stems and seeds. Microwave, covered, in large micro-cooker on HIGH 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Carefully remove bell peppers and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Meanwhile, core tomatoes and scoop out seeds. Dice tomatoes, poblano pepper, green onion, half of the cilantro and pressed garlic; cook 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  4. Add oil to 10-in. skillet; heat over medium heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add tomatoes, poblano pepper, green onion, half of the cilantro and pressed garlic; cook 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  5. Stir vegetable mixture into rice in saucepan; add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Place bell peppers cut side up into skillet; spoon rice mixture evenly into each pepper and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Add water to skillet. Cover skillet and heat over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.
Opinions

First, sorry about the slight lack of appeal the picture has; it doesn't do the dish justice, we forgot to take the picture before we started eating.
 
Katie: These were delicious! We originally had stuffed peppers with our cod dish about a month ago, but wanted to turn it into a main dish. We added chorizo and the result was just as good as expected! 

Potter: This recipe was so good as a side we just had to do it again as a main dish. The chorizo added just enough of that extra mmmm that it was perfect. This dish takes some time to prep and make but it is totally worth it. Try it with some sour cream or salsa on top for a little extra.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day Fifty - Stir Fry (3.24.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into pieces
  • 1 8 oz bag snap peas
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 lb skirt steak, sliced
  • 1/2 bottle stir fry sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add in meat and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add veggies and sauce, cook until veggies are crisp tender (about 5 minutes).
We enjoyed this dish with our friends Kim and Ryan. We served the stir fry over rice (made 2 cups) and, with Kim's great suggestion, had croissant rolls on the side. Good combo!

Opinions

Katie: This stir fry was delicious! I love stir fry and this came out great. The sauce was a bit less spicy than I usually enjoy, but was still good. Since we don't have a big enough skillet yet (grr...), we had leftover mixture that we couldn't cook at the same time as the amount needed for the evening. We kept the leftovers covered and in the fridge until we got more stir fry sauce and cooked it up the next day. The sauce was spicier and made the leftovers so good for lunch. :)

Potter: This was a great stir fry. It's a very simple recipe and is quick to make. If you don't want to use fresh veggies pick up a bag of frozen stir fry veggies and now you have a quick delicious meal in 20 minutes or less.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day Forty-Nine - Chicken Scallopini with Snap Peas and Asparagus (3.23.14)


Ingredients

  • 3 cups julienne-cut trimmed sugar snap peas (about 1 lb)
  • 2 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 lb)
  • 6 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 lemon wedges
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Steam peas and asparagus, covered, 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse pea mixture with cold water; drain. Chill.
  2. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 breast halves to pan; saute 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from heat; stir in butter.
  3. Combine remaining 1/4 tsp salt, mint, oil, rind, and juice, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle oil mixture over pea mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve pea mixture with chicken and sauce. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Opinions

Katie: This dish was SO good! I loved the combination of the chicken with the snap peas and asparagus. The chicken alone was good and the snap peas and asparagus mixture was good alone as well, but together they were just awesome. I will definitely be packing the leftovers up for lunch in the next couple of days!

Potter: This turned out perfect. Amazing flavor for so few spices or anything. That seems to be the theme over the last few days, a little goes a long way. The balance of the chilled salad with the light flavors and the savory chicken and sauce was wonderful. I would say this ix the perfect late spring early summer dish. 

Day Forty-Eight - Papa Murphy's Pizza (3.22.14)

We were over in Milwaukee visiting my brother, sister-in-law and nephew and after an afternoon at the museum we enjoyed pizza. The pizza we had was deep dish with garlic butter sauce, spinach, tomatoes, Italian sausage and pepperoni. The pizza was delicious!

Katie: I've never had garlic butter sauce pizza before, but it was great. I thought this was a great way to change up a pizza and can't believe I've been missing out! I've also never had Papa Murphy's so it is good to now know that the pizzas are delicious.

Potter: What Katie said.

Day Forty-Seven - Beef Stuffed Zucchini (3.21.14)


Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • Additional marinara or spaghetti sauce
Instructions
  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a thin slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out plp, leaving 1/4-in. shells.
  2. In a large skillet, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat; stir in the marinara sauce, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese. 
  3. Place shells on baking sheet. Spoon about 1/4 cup into each shell. Cook 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top and cook another 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Opinions

Katie: I was excited to try this dish and it did not disappoint. I loved this dish! I enjoyed many of my bites with extra spaghetti sauce we had, which also had more spices in it. I had 2 zucchinis and that was definitely plenty - surprisingly filling!

Potter: This turned out great. Surprisingly flavorful for having no spices. The marinara dipping sauce was excellent on the side. Katie is right it was much more filling than I thought it would be. This is a delicious recipe that is incredibly simple to make.

Day Forty-Six - Red Pepper Parmesan Tilapia (3.20.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 tilapia filets (6 oz each)
Instructions
  1. Crack egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and pepper. Dip fillets in egg, then cheese mixture.
  2. Place in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Opinions

Katie: I think that this is the best breaded tilapia I've made at home. The flavors were great and the recipe was so easy. There was quick preparation and quick baking time so the dish is also great for a time crunch.

Potter: This tasted great but no matter what I did I couldn't get the breading to crisp up. Definitely a great fast, simple recipe. Next time I would add a bit more crushed red pepper and italian seasoning just to give it a little bit more heat. 


Day Forty-Five - Barbeque Chicken (3.19.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Barbeque sauce
Instructions


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat chicken in barbecue sauce and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Cook until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees). 

Opinions

Potter: This was chicken with barbeque sauce, it was good, but it was nothing spectacular or particularly unique. It's good for a quick dinner when you need to go shopping.

Katie: The chicken was good; it stayed moist. As Potter states, it was chicken with barbeque,so nothing spectacular but quick and delicious.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day Forty-Four - Lasagna (3.18.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 lb Jimmy Dean or other Italian sausage
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp basil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese (4 cups)
  • 6-10* wheat or rice lasagna noodles
*10 noodles makes a firmer lasagna

Instructions

1) Brown and drain the meat. Add onion and garlic near the end of browning. Add next 3 items and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2) Cook noodles according to package directions.

3) Combine next 6 ingredients in bowl.

4) Spray 9 X 13 pan with butter cooking spray (Pam) and line with 3 noodles. Layer half the cottage cheese mixture over noodles, then half of the mozzarella, then half of the meat. Repeat.

5) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, 45 minutes if assembled early and refrigerated.

6) Let stand 10 minutes to firm up before cutting.

We enjoyed garlic butter asparagus on the side. It was delicious!

Opinions

Katie: This dish was delicious. The amounts of basil and parsley are spot on. I used 6 noodles tonight. Well...after I originally put 3 noodles on the top of the second layer (so on the top of the dish) - such a ditzy moment (dangit!). Even with that mishap, I enjoyed making this dish for us - I thought it was a lot of fun! 

Potter: Tonight I came home from a massage to find dinner made (or nearly made) and it was wonderful (the dinner and the nearly made part). The lasagna was delicious. It fell apart wonderfully and tasted amazing. This was the ideal of a lasagna and the perfect recipe.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Day Forty-Three - Brocach's Traditional Irish (3.17.14)

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

We went to Brocach's to enjoy delicious food and celebrate St. Patty's Day a bit.

Opinions

Katie: I had the corned beef and cabbage and it was delicious. I also had a couple bites of Potter's dish which was also delicious. I enjoyed my dinner with a pint of Harp. :)

Potter: I had the Irish stew with brown bread. It was perfect. Very hardy with just amazing flavors. The bread was perfect for soaking the broth up with or spooning a few chunks on. I will definitely be keeping this in mind for next winter or a cold fall day. I topped it of with a half and half (Guinness poured over Harp).

Day Forty-Two - Cheeseburger and Breaded Tenderloin Sandwich (3.15.14)

After a great Friday night, slow to get going Saturday morning, a day at the PGA Valspar Championship and a wonderful sunset at the beach, we were all pretty tired. We tried a couple different restaurants before heading to El-Cap Restaurant, but it was a good choice! 

Opinions

Katie: I had the breaded tenderloin sandwich with tomato, lettuce, pickles and mustard. The sandwich was great!

Potter: This was the perfect hangover cheeseburger. I got the daily double (double cheeseburger) and it great. Nice and greasy good flavor. Cheap as well, with a good beer selection. We also had the fried mac and cheese which was amazing. 

Day Forty-One - Creamy Pesto Shrimp (3.14.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 lb linguine pasta
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Instructions

1) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

2)In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, and season with pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly.

3) Stir Parmesan cheese into cream sauce, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Blend in the pesto, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened.

4)Stir in the shrimp, and cook until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Serve over the hot linguine.

Opinions

Katie: Potter cooked this one for us and our friends Kendra and Chad while we were down visiting them in Florida. It was a hit! This dish was great. The sauce does come out thinner than expected (we were expecting more like an alfredo), so keep that in mind as you are finishing up the dish.

Potter: This turned out amazing. Once again I read the title but didn't really consider the ingredients; I thought this was going to be a straight pesto sauce but it turned out to be more of a pesto flavored alfredo. A delicious pesto flavored alfredo. I ate so much of this it hurt but I just couldn't stop. And the best part is it was super easy to make. 

Day Forty - Calzones (3.13.14)

We traveled to Florida today and our friends Chad and Kendra took us to Paisanos Pizza N Pasta for dinner. Since we have had pizza we changed up the Italian dish to a calzone this evening. We all started with a garlic breadstick appetizer with three different dipping sauces (marinara, alfredo, garlic oil). The service was also good - our waitress was cheery and helpful!

Opinions

Katie: I had the Italian sausage calzone and it was delicious. It was great on its own but even better with any of the dipping sauces!

Potter: Boy do I love me some calzone. This place had a great one, big enough I didn't finish it and delicious. The sauces it came with were each delicious in their own right but the alfredo was my favorite. But the breadsticks were the best part, I ate way more than my fair share. 

Day Thirty-Nine - Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout (3.12.14)


Ingredients

Beef

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 beef tenderloin filets (4-6 oz each), cut 1 in. thick, trimmed
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • Quick Polenta*
*Quick Polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 pressed garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Mushroom Ragout
  • 2 cups baby portobello or white mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Instructions

1) For beef, add oil to 10-in. skillet; heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. As pan heats, season both sides of filets with salt and black pepper.

2) Cook filets undisturbed 2-3 minutes or until well browned. Turn filets over; cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until thermometer registers 140 degrees for medium-rare doneness. Remove from heat; transfer filets to plate and let stand 5 minutes (temperature will rise to 145 degrees).

3) As beef cooks, prepare Quick Polenta*. Meanwhile, start ragout. Chop mushrooms. Add mushrooms to skillet; return skillet to medium-high heat. Cook 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove mushrooms from skillet.

*Combine 1 1/2 cup water, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper and 1 pressed garlic clove in microwave safe dish; cover and microwave on HIGH 2 minutes or until water is steaming. Whisk in 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal. Microwave 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream and 1 Tbsp butter.

4) As mushrooms cook, thinly slice shallots; add shallots and wine to skillet. Simmer 3-4 minutes or until wine is almost completely evaporated. Meanwhile, chop parsley. Add half of the parsley and broth; simmer an additional 1-2 minutes or until broth is reduced by half.

5) Return mushrooms to skillet and whisk in butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and black pepper. To serve, divide polenta between serving plates. Slice beef into thick slices and place over polenta. Top with ragout and remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

Opinions

Katie: Mmm this was good. The meat was very tender and the ragout was good. I thought the ragout would be a bit creamer, but Potter and I talked about thinking that was due to using red onions instead of shallots. Plus, you have to drink wine when you make it so you don't waste the rest of the bottle.

Potter: This was awesome. Even though the sauce never really thickened into sauce it tasted delicious. I devoured mine. I'm definitely going to earmark this recipe for 'practicing' in the future. I also think this would be a good dish to scale up for impressing family. Tastes super fancy, doesn't cost a ton. 

Day Thirty-Eight - Salsa Turkey Burgers (3.11.14)


Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp chunky salsa (use medium or hot for extra kick)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions

1) Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

2) Add salt and pepper to taste.

3) Divide into 4 patties.

4) Spray a frying pan with cooking spray. Cook over medium heat until cooked thoroughly (about 10 minutes), flipping once about half-way through.

We had a cheesy vegetable medley on the side.

Opinions

Katie: These burgers were amazing. I added a slice of pepper jack cheese on top along with a salsa-mayo mixture. Toasted the hamburger bun to give it a bit of crispness. The flavors in the burger were great and I loved having a leftover burger.

Potter: These turned out pretty good. I'm not usually a fan of turkey because it's so hard to cook without drying it out too much but these turned out nice and moist. These salsa-mayo was the perfect condiment complement. I tried one with ketchup and mustard as well, which was still good, but the salsa mayo was better. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day Thirty-Seven - Artichoke Chicken (3.10.14)


Ingredients

Potatoes and Chicken
  • 3 small red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp rosemary herd seasoning mix*
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
Artichoke Topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (about 2 hearts)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
*Substitute for rosemary herb seasoning mix: 1 tsp crushed dried rosemary leaves, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper.

Instructions

1) Preheat broiler on HIGH. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into quarters. Place potatoes, water and salt into a small micro cooker; microwave on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

2) For artichoke topping, chop artichokes and parsley; place into small mixing bowl. Grate cheese. Set aside 2 Tbsp for later use; add remaining cheese and mayonnaise to artichoke mixture and mix well.

3) Flatten chicken to 1/2 in. thickness. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with 1 tsp of the seasoning mix.

4) Add 1 tsp of the oil to 10 in. skillet (do not use nonstick cookware); heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Meanwhile, add remaining 1 tsp of the oil and remaining 1 tsp of the seasoning mix to potatoes; stir to coat.

5) Place chicken and potatoes, cut side down, into skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden brown. Turn chicken and potatoes over; cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink.

6) Remove potatoes from skillet; set aside and keep warm. To finish chicken, spread artichoke topping evenly over chicken; sprinkle with reserved cheese. Place skillet as close as possible to heating element (2 in.); broil 4-6 minutes or until topping is deep golden brown and internal temperature of chicken registers 170 degrees. (Watch closely. If topping starts to brown unevenly, adjust accordingly.) Carefully remove skillet from broiler. Serve chicken with potatoes

Opinions

Potter: I ate way too much of this but it was too good to stop. I was a bit hesitant when I saw that the chicken wasn't marinated but it was perfectly juicy and the artichoke/cheese topping was amazing. For having so few seasonings or anything this stuff tasted delicious. The potatoes were pretty good though I've had a few similar recipes that turned out better.

Katie: This chicken was great. The artichoke topping was really good and provided great flavor to each bite with chicken. The chicken was also moist. I can't wait to take this dish for lunch!

Day Thirty-Four - Crockpot Beef and Bean Chili (3.7.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans kidney beans, 1 can drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 2 fresh serrano peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions

  1. In a large skillet brown meat on medium-high heat.
  2. Mix all ingredients into crockpot and stir well.
  3. Cook on low heat 6-8 hours stirring occasionally (once every few hours). Until it smells too good to let sit there anymore.
  4. Remove bay leaf and serve.
We enjoyed jalapeno cornbread as the side with this dish.


Opinions

Potter: I've been practicing my chili recipe over the last few months and this version tells me I'm close to perfecting it. Above is the recipe for my "spicy" batch I served this weekend. Considering it disappeared quite quickly I think it went over well. I thought this batch was delicious even though it didn't turn out as spicy as I thought it would. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top and it's just amazing.

Katie: The chili was awesome! I had some of both the "spicy" batch and the "less spicy" batch and they were both delicious. As I have tried many of Potter's attempts at chili, I agree with him that he is getting very close to getting his recipe down. The shredded cheese and oyster crackers on top were great as usual.

Day Thirty-Five - Chinese Take-Out (3.8.14)

We had a group of people staying at the apartment this weekend for a beer pong tourney we were hosting, so we didn't cook every night. Saturday, after all participates of the tourney left, we decided to go easy and get Chinese take-out. We ordered from a place we hadn't yet had in Madison, so that was something new for us at least!

We ordered a lot of food, but Potter and I did enjoy our own, destinct dishes from Asian Kitchen.

Opinions

Potter: Some of you may know I have a penchant for chinese take-out. I've ordered from just about every place downtown that delivers to our apartment and have yet to find the one I will continue to order from. It may just be the days activities talking but I think Asian Kitchen may be that one. It will take another (sober) run sometime in the future but none of our guests had complaints and my dish (Hunan Beef) was spot on.

Katie: The long day of beer pong won --- I fell asleep before the food actually arrived to our apartment, so I did not eat dinner this evening. I did, however, eat my order for lunch and it was good. It wasn't the best Chinese take-out I've had, but it was good.

Day Thirty-Six - Pizza (3.9.14)

As stated for day 35, we took the easy way out on a couple dinners this weekend. We enjoyed 2 small pizzas from Glass Nickel Pizza Co. so that we could enjoy 2 different kinds on our pizza night.

Opinions

Katie: This pizza was really good and will be put on our list to have again sometime. We had a BBQ Chicken pizza and a Deluxe pizza - both were well baked (nice a crispy crust) and the ingredients on each pizza were very good.

Potter: I love pizza. I mean, who doesn't? Glass Nickel is one of the classier (read: more than $5/lg) pizza places in Madison and rarely disappoints. Tonight was no different. Great BBQ and Deluxe pizzas delivered straight to the door.

Day Thirty-Three - Lamb Curry (3.6.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 lb lamb leg steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (from 14.5-oz can)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp mild curry paste
  • 1/2 cup grozen green peas, thawed
Instructions

1) Combine curry, ginger and salt in a shallow dish. Add lamb, tossing to coat.

2) Melt oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

3) Add lamb and onion; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes.

4) Add tomatoes, coconut milk and curry paste.

5) Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

6) Stir in peas; cook 1 minute longer or until thoroughly heated.

Opinions


Katie: I have had lamb less than a handful of times so not a ton of experiences to relate this to, but this dish was great. There was a kick and after multiple bites in a row it was getting a bit hot, but overall this dish had such good flavor and the lamb was cooked well.

Potter: I don't know that I've ever had lamb before going into this dish so I was excited to try it, on top of that I've never made curry before so this dish was just a lot of new experiences. And they did not disappoint. This turned out awesome, very tender and flavorful. There was none of the spice heat you would expect with a curry, just a good even flavor. If you're looking to introduce someone or yourself to curry this is a great dish to start with.

Day Thirty-Two - Pong Pong Pork Chops (3.5.14)


Ingredients
  • 4 pork loin chops (substitute chicken breasts if desired)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp hot mustard
  • 2 tsp Slenda (or sugar)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
Instructions

1) In a non-stick skillet saute onion and garlic with a small amount of water until onion is translucent and set aside.

2) Trim all far from chops and make small cuts through any membrane on the outside to prevent chops from curling.

3) Brown pork chops on both sides and then return onions and garlic to pan.

4) Mix the rest of the ingredients to make a sauce, thin with more water if needed.

5) Add to pan chops, onions and garlic and heat through.

6) Serve with rice.

Opinions


Katie: These pork chops were delicious. I love thai and thai-inspired food and this was right on the money with the sauce. Note: the sauce is quite spicy, so if you aren't one for that, you will want to stay away from this or modify the recipe a bit. The chops were tender and cut away easily from the bone.

Potter: These turned out perfectly. We had some nice thick-cut pork chops that were delicious to begin with and the recipe for the sauce was delicious. This recipe is incredibly spicy (I did not modify to make it spicier) so for those of you that don't love spicy food you may want to think about reducing the amount of tabasco you put in. This dish was incredibly flavorful and left me wanting more. And that is saying a lot because I tend not to be a fan of peanut/peanut butter flavored dishes.

Day Thirty-One - Chopped Steak with Onion Gravy (3.4.14)


Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt


Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Form into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties and onion in the oil until patties are nicely browned, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the beef patties to a plate, and keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the onions and drippings in the skillet. Stir in flour with a fork, scraping bits of beef off of the bottom as you stir. Gradually mix in the beef broth and sherry. Season with seasoned salt. Simmer and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the gravy thickens. Turn heat to low, return patties to the gravy, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Opinions

Katie: This dish was simple but very savory. It is like a salsbury steak and it was about the best I've had ever. The ground steak had great flavor and the gravy was wonderful.

Potter: When I was a kid I always loved the school lunch salsbury steaks and as I grew up I always wondered what happened to salsbury steaks. You never see them at restaurants, nobody ever just whips them up for dinner. Turns out they just call them something different: chopped steaks, hamburger steaks, etc. This recipe was delicious and will certainly be my go-to salsbury steak recipe. The gravy did come out a little thin so don't be afraid to add a little more flour than the recipe calls for.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day Twenty-Nine - Kielbasa (3.2.14)


Ingredients
  • 1 package kielbasa
Instructions

1) Cook per package instructions.

Curried rice on the side.

Opinions

Potter: This was another one of those 'let's see what we have in the freezer that will take less that 20 minutes to cook' nights. It was pretty standard; if you've had kielbasa before it tasted like that, if you haven't had it before it tasted like sausage and if you haven't had sausage before this meal is probably not the one for you. (PS, I just read Katie's meal description and I totally got hosed on the dinner choices tonight).

Katie: I went out to dinner before a show tonight. The girls and I went to The Icon for tapas. As always, this place was delicious! We had baked goat cheese, artichoke dip, tuna tartar, beef empanadas and duck confit flatbread. Topped the meal off with caramelized banana and apple tart. Love this place!