Saturday, January 29

Peggy's Chicken and Dumplings

My mom adapted this from our Grandmother Peggy's recipe.  This makes a lot of food - so be prepared to have left overs. 

For the chicken
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
6 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 bouillon cubes
3 cups water

In a large 12 inch skillet,  brown the chicken breasts in the butter.  Add the vegetables, bouillon and water and bring water to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cover.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Once done simmering, remove chicken and veggies from broth - place in a large bowl and cover with aluminum foil.  Set aside and keep warm.  Pour broth in a container. 

For the gravy
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour

Melt butter in same skillet over low heat.  Add flour, stirring constantly, until thick.  Add broth in cups to skillet and bring to simmer.  Keep adding broth until it is all used and gravy is of desired consistency. 

Return chicken and veggies to the skillet and place in the gravy.  Keep covered over low heat while you make the dumplings. 

For the dumplings
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp oil

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl mix milk and oil together and then add to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. 

Turn the heat up a bit so the gravy starts to simmer.  Drop dumpling dough on top of chicken and veggies in heaping spoonfuls.  It may not look like enough to start - but trust me these dumplings get big!  Cover again and simmer over medium low heat for 15 - 20 minutes.  Serve when 

Bring gravy to slow simmer. Drop dumplings directly on top of chicken pieces by large heaping spoonfuls. Cover tightly. Simmer slowly for about 15-20 minutes and serve when dumplings are done- they will be the consistency of very soft biscuits or shortbread when you check inside. Not doughy or soggy.

Serve in deep bowls and enjoy!

Thursday, January 27

Cheddar and Poblano Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Such an easy recipe - a perfect weeknight meal for two.

2 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and gills scraped from cap - get the biggest ones you can find
2 poblano peppers
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup cooked rice (1/4 cup dry)
1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Start rice cooking while you prep the rest of the ingredients.  Broil the poblano peppers on high about 3 inches away from the heat 5-8 minutes on each side - the skin will start to blacken and bubble which is good.  Once its charred on both sides, move to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to cool.

Once the poblano pepper is done under the broiler, move the mushroom caps to the broiler and broil cap side up towards the heat so liquids drain easily.  Broil about 5 - 10 minutes until soft.  Remove from broiler and set aside.

While mushrooms and poblano are broiling,  saute the onion in 1 tsp of oil until soft.  Add spinach to pan and stir till wilted.  Turn off heat.

By now the rice should be cooked - mix the rice, spinach and onion in a bowl together.  Take poblanos from bowl and peel skin away (it should pull away easily with your fingers), remove seeds and dice.  Add poblanos and cheddar cheese to rice mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat oven to 325.  Place mushrooms capside down in an oven safe pan and spoon rice mixture into mushroom cap - use the entire mixture even if it overflows into the pan (trust me - its so good you'll want to eat it all!).  Bake stuffed mushrooms for 20 minutes and serve.

Wednesday, January 26

Huevos Rancheros

A great way to use the left over ingredients from the Chipotle Mushroom Tacos.  Super easy dinner - takes all of 30 minutes to make.

15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cilantro
4 tortillas
4 eggs
sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream

The hardest thing about this recipe is making the black beans.  Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet, add garlic and chipotle and simmer until fragrant - about 1 minute.  Add black beans, salt, and 1/3 cup of water and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro, turn heat down to low and cover for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Layer the tortillas on a plate, with a paper towel between each layer - heat for 1 minute in the microwave and set aside.

Heat salsa in a small bowl for about 30 seconds (that way it won't cool the eggs down) and set aside.

Beat the eggs with a splash of milk and scramble in a non-stick skillet.  While eggs are cooking, arrange two tortillas per plate, top with fresh shredded cheddar cheese, the black beans, then the eggs.  Then garnish with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. 


Monday, January 24

Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

This is a fun healthy take on tacos.  Inspired by a recipe in Martha Shulman's Recipes for Health - an excellent cookbook for anyone looking to cook healthier in the New Year.  We served this with a side of Spanish rice.

 Makes 4 - 6 tacos

1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 lb mushrooms (any variety - I used cremini), sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 chipotle chile in adobo sauce - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
4-6 tortillas

Crumbled feta
Sour Cream

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallot cook until tender - about 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook until starting to brown - about 3 minutes.  Add salt, chipotle pepper, and garlic - stir well.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid in the skillet has evaporated for the most part - about 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and turn off heat.

Serve with heated tortillas and your choice of garnishes.

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