Dre always has a plan. He had a shopping list prepared for our grocery trip, did prep work Saturday night, and researched recipes for cooking on Sunday. I dig that kind of organization in a man.
The breakfast he made me was amazing, so I was looking forward to the dinner on Dre’s Vday menu. I was especially impressed with his ambition. Saturday night, Dre trimmed chicken breasts & marinated them in a habanero-buttermilk mixture. We both almost choked to death, not realizing how crazy hot those peppers are!
On Sunday, Dre seasoned & double-breading the breasts before frying them to perfection in my Cool Daddy. He topped them with crisped slices of prosciutto & Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, paired them with his homemade Tarragon Dijonnaise, and proudly declared it fried chicken cordon bleu!
On our shopping excursion, Dre picked up a bottle of champagne. After no mimosas for brunch, I got curious about it’s part in our Vday. Little did I know, but not only was Dre making a creamy batch of risotto, he was perfecting it with the bubbly and some fresh asparagus. I’m so proud of my Valentine!
Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu, Tarragon Dijonnaise, & Champagne-Asparagus Risotto
I had to work this past Saturday and needed a warm lunch before I headed out into the cold. I still have alot of leftover chicken from Thursday (and still do) and plenty of the roasted vegetables, too. Pulled chicken breast, lettuce, & mayo on sliced bread is in my top 10 favorite sandwiches, so that was an easy leftover solution.
The veggies were kinda gelatinous and freaking me out a bit, so I quickly removed the chicken and began heating the pan of veggies on the stove. I wasn’t too excited about a sammie with a side of roasted vegetables, so a roasted vegetable soup only made sense. I dug out my Grandma’s 70’s Era Cuisinart Food Processor, and after indulging its typical neediness, whirled the roasted vegetables and pan jus into a wonderfully tasty and perfectly textured Rustic Vegetable Soup… and I still have plenty of leftovers…
Homemade Rustic Vegetable Soup w/ a Roasted Chicken Sammie
P.S. I gave a shoutout on my Twitter – Re: Dating & finding info on my Grandma’s old Cusinart Food Processor. Please shoot me a message if you can help!
My Grandma's 70s Era Cuisinart Food Processor
I had of leftover Roasted Chicken and was stuck with the Cheddar Biscuits turned Pancakes from our snow day dinner. Leave it to Dre to have the brilliant idea to use them as bread on a chicken sandwich. I toasted the biscuits in the toaster oven, smeared them with light mayo, and piled on romaine, Lorraine swiss, & leftover roasted chicken breast. Turned out to an easy & tasty dinner!
Roasted Chicken & Swiss on a Cheddar Biscuit
Last week, Philly was graced with its 2nd major Blizzard in under 6 days. The whole city pretty much shut down on Wednesday = SNOW DAY! Luckily, I also had off on Thursday as Philly is completely unmanageable under 30+ inches of snow & ice chunks. Dre still had to trudge to work and I wanted to make sure he came home to a warm house and a warm dinner! I had defrosted a whole chicken and searched for a recipe online. My first stop is to see what Kayotic Kitchen has up her sleave. Rustic Roasted Chicken? Sounds perfect to me!
I have an odd obsession with the process of butterflying a whole chicken, or spatchcocking it. I had my first adventure with it last summer for my grilled Chicken Under A Brick. It’s easier to slice & serve and makes sense if you aren’t planning to stuff it. Kayotic Kitchen’s marinade for the chicken was a beautiful crimson (in real life) and super tasty.
Marinating Chicken nestled in Raw Vegetables
I improvised the veggies and such with I had available including baby carrots, shallots, onions, Idaho spuds, green onion, smashed garlic cloves, fresh thyme, & turkey bacon to keep it straight poultry.
Fresh Thyme w/ Vegetables
The 7lb bird took about 2-2.5hrs to cook and had the house smelling delicious when Dre got home from work.
Rustic Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
I whipped up what were supposed to be fluffy cheddar biscuits to serve with the chicken. Instead, I got cheddar pancakes. What more could I expect from mix I picked up from Acme for $1. They were still tasty with some melted butter and reheated perfectly for a quick Leftover Lightning! (in the form of a yummy chicken sammie the next day!)
Cheddar Biscuits turned Pancakes
P.S. I highly suggest you click through to the Kayotic Kitchen blog. Kayleigh’s photos are beautiful and recipes are really amazing & easy to follow. I could only aspire to take ones that great. Her love for food is certainly sincere ❤
Friday night, a blizzard was heading our way so I wanted to make a spicy dinner to warm our bellies. I drew inspiration from my Summer Feast with the ladies and decided on to make Chicken Breast marinated in Red Curry Paste & Greek Yogurt again. I whipped up a simple Tzatziki with fresh Dill, Cucumber, Scallions, Garlic, & the remaining Greek Yogurt. They combined perfectly with some Romaine & Tomatoes on Whole Wheat Pitas.
Red Curry Chicken Pitas w/ Cucumber Dill Tzatziki
I came across a recipe for Mashed Cannellini Beans on elly says opa and thought it’d be a perfect side dish for my Red Curry Chicken Pitas. I switched up the rosemary for fresh thyme and simmered the beans with Garlic & Chicken Stock. They look good enough eat even before I mashed them!
Simmering White Beans
After a few smashes with the potato masher & a dash of chili powder, the White Beans were a perfect consistency & pairing for our snowed in dinner. Next time I have to remember a splash of white truffle oil!
Mashed Cannellini Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme
RED CURRY CHICKEN PITAS w/ MASHED WHITE BEANS
- Red Curry Chicken
- Cucumber-Dill Tzatziki Sauce
- Chopped Romaine Lettuce & Roma Tomatoes
- Whole Wheat Pitas
- Mashed White Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme
- Stuff Pita halves with Lettuce, Tomato, & Red Curry Chicken. Top with dollops of Tzatziki.
- Pair with a hearty scoop of Mashed White Beans and finish them with a dash of Chili Powder on top.
Red Curry Chicken
Prepared for (2) people
- Chicken Breast – (2) breasts – rinsed, patted dry, & cubed
- Greek Yogurt – (1/3) of a 6oz container – I prefer Fage Total 0% or 2%
- Red Curry Paste – (1) T
- Combine Chicken cubes, Greek Yogurt, & Red Curry Paste in a mixing bowl and coat thoroughly. Marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a saute pan on Medium and add (2) T of Olive Oil.
- Once the oil is glistening, add the chicken and brown each side until cooked through. Or you can kebab the marinated Chicken cubes and throw them on the grill.
Cucumber Dill Tzatziki
Makes about (1/2) cup
- Greek Yogurt – (2/3) of a 6oz container – I prefer Fage Total 0% or 2%
- Cucumber – (1/2) cup – peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, & sliced thin
- Garlic – (1) T, minced
- Shallot – (1/2) bulb, sliced paper thin
- Fresh Dill – (1) T , chopped
- Lemon Juice – (2) tsp
- S&P – to taste
- Put sliced cucumber in a colander and salt generously. Toss to coat and allow to rest in sink for about 5 minutes to draw out moisture.
- Combine drained cucumber and other ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold gently.
- Chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge before using.
Mashed White Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme
Adapted from elly say opa!’s recipe
- Cannellini / White Beans – (1) 15oz can, drained
- Garlic – (1) T, minced
- Chicken Stock – (1) cup – feel free to use veggie stock instead
- Lemon Juice – (2) tsp
- Fresh Thyme – (2) tsp
- S&P – to taste
- Bring a saute pan or wok to medium heat and add about (2) T of Olive Oil. Once glistening, add Garlic and brown about 1 minute.
- Add beans and saute about 3 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer over Medium-Low heat.
- Once stock has almost completely evaporated (about 10-15 minutes), add Fresh Thyme and combine.
- Immediately turn off heat, add Lemon Juice, and mash beans with a potato masher or puree in a food processor until desired consistency. Add splashes of additional chicken stock to smooth if necessary.
- Serve immediately with a dash of Chili Powder on top.
Dre got me an awesome deep fryer for Christmas and it took some debate on what to christen it with. Making Egg Rolls is new to me but seemed easy enough. Dre & I popped over to our local Asian market and picked up some ingredients to make the basic cabbage filler. Thank god for my Frankenberry so I could pull up some pics to discern Chinese Cabbage from the wall of greens in front of me. I love how it looks crimped when you slice it thin.
I added some shredded Carrot, Bean Sprouts, minced Ginger, Garlic & Shallots, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, and S&P. After a quick toss, it was a perfect fresh slaw to begin my egg rolls. I had some leftover Pan-seared Chicken Breast from Thursday’s dinner and leftover Snow Crab from Friday’s dinner. Both seemed like perfect proteins to add to my Egg Rolls. I chopped the Chicken and tossed it with Chili-Garlic Sauce, Chinese BBQ Sauce, & Clementine Zest. Half of the Cabbage mixture was mixed with the Chicken and we piled the fresh lump Crab Meat on top of the rest.
Chili BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Egg Roll Filler
So far, so good! Rolling was easy enough as Dre took over with the crab and I rolled the chicken mixture.
Soon to be... Chinese Chili BBQ Chicken Egg Rolls
Once we got in a rhythm, we banged out almost two dozen perfect egg rolls sealed with an egg wash and love.
I heated some (very expensive!) peanut oil in my Presto Cool Daddy and dropped in batches of 2-3 egg rolls at a time. Dre whipped up a Ginger-Hoisin-Soy Sauce from scratch and poured some Sweet & Sour Chili Sauce for us to dip them in. I’m proud to see him turn into such a great kitchen helper. Once the Egg Rolls crisped, drained, & cooled, we were ready to snack!
Fried Chinese Egg Rolls
Chinese Egg Rolls ~ makes about 18-22 egg rolls
- Chinese Cabbage – (2) bunches, shredded or sliced thin
- Fresh Bean Sprouts – (1.5) dry cups
- Carrot – (2) large, shredded – about 1.5 dry cups
- Garlic – (2) T, minced – about (3-4) cloves
- Ginger – (2) tsp, minced
- Shallots – (1) large, minced
- Soy Sauce – (2) T, preferably low sodium
- Toasted Sesame Oil – (1) T
- Egg – (1) whisked in a dish for an egg wash
- Egg Roll Wrappers – (18-22) – usually in the frozen section, not be mistaken for spring roll wrappers, lumpia wrappers, etc.
- Toss all ingredients (except egg & egg roll wrappers) until mixed thoroughly.
- Add chopped protein if desired – semi-cooked shrimp, crab meat, chicken breast
- Lay an individual wrapper on a hard surface so it’s shaped like a diamond. Paint the edges with the egg wash using a pastry brush or back of a spoon.
- Spoon cabbage mixture towards the bottom point of the wrapper, I’d say what looks like about 2-3 hot dogs put together. Make sure to squeeze any moisture from the mixture before spooning on wrapper to avoid sogginess!
- Fold bottom point on top of mixture and roll once, tightly. Fold in each side and continue to roll and seal.
- Deep fry 2-3 at a time at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crispy.
- Shake out oil and then drain on paper towels.
- Enjoy with Soy Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, or the Asian Dipping Sauce below.
Asian Dipping Sauce
From the Best Answer on Yahoo! Answers for an “egg roll” dipping sauce
- Soy Sauce – (1/4) cup, preferably low sodium
- Toasted Sesame Oil – (1/2) tsp
- Garlic – (1) tsp, minced – about (1) clove
- Green Onion/Scallions – (1) tsp, minced – about (1) stalk
- Hoisin – (2) T
- Ginger – (1/4) tsp, minced
- White Sugar – (1/2) tsp
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl, cover, & chill for 1-2 hours so flavors can marinate.
- Serve warmed or at room temperature with egg rolls, spring rolls, wontons, dumplings, potstickers…
While out shopping for my Black Friday dinner, I popped into Chickie’s Italian Deli in South Philly to finally try their Fried Tomato Special. The base is Fried Tomatoes, Bacon, Roasted Peppers, & Lettuce on a famous Sarcone’s Roll. I added on Turkey, Fresh Mozzarella & Mayo. DELISH! And on top of that, the kind lady behind the counter handed me a complimentary full Sarcone’s Roll. They’re perfect – soft and airy on the inside, with a crusty sesame seed crusted shell. It was like the sammie gods were calling upon me to create a delicious one of my own!
I had some Roasted Tomato, Mushroom, & Smoked Mozzarella Chicken Breasts left over along with some cooked Bacon and extra Smoked Mozz. I sliced the roll, whipped up some Sriracha Mayo, and piled on the goods. And, oh, was it GOOD!
Smoked Mozz, Bacon, & Roasted Chicken Hoagie w/ Sriracha Mayo, Roasted Tomatoes, & Sauteed Mushrooms on a Sarcone's Roll