Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stuffed Jalapeño

my first try about a year ago!
These are the poppers, you can buy it frozen in the grocery store. They are expensive and with much less cheese in them. It's very easy to make these poppers at home. Jalapeño poppers are jalapeno peppers that have been hollowed out, stuffed with the mixture of cheese, spices, sometimes ground meat etc. They are then breaded and deep fried or prepared unbreaded, wrapped in bacon and then baked or grilled. Normally they are served with some sort of dip. 
latest attempt
Jalapeño are very hot and fiery peppers as we all know. But when seeds and ribs are taken out, they lose all their fieriness. Good for us eh?! I've made changes in the classic version of the poppers. The classic version asks for blanching the peppers, then stuffed with cheeses, breading and frying. I made a few tweaks to get the healthier poppers and believe you me, they were devoured in no time! And they left us crave for more.

healthified stuffed peppers!

Stuffed Jalapeño
24 medium sized peppers
12 1" cubes of sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup flour
Oil for spraying

How to:
Slice the peppers in two. Make sure to keep the two halves together. Deseed and core the peppers. Place them on a baking sheet in the 400° F oven for about 10 minutes or until they are a bit soft to touch. You don't want mushy peppers. Pull them out of the oven and let them cool down.

Mix cream cheese with salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs in a bowl.

Now take the one half of the peppers, stuff it with one spoonful of cream cheese mixture, place the 2nd half on the top and keep it aside. Repeat with 11 more peppers.

Again, take one half of the pepper, place the cheddar cheese cube in it and cover it up with the 2nd half. Repeat for 11 more peppers. This way, you will have 2 different cheese filled peppers.
Now, roll the peppers gently in flour, dip them in egg, coat with bread crumbs. Again, dip them in the egg and coat with bread crumbs. Place them on the baking sheet.

Spray Pam or any cooking oil liberally on the peppers and bake them in the very hot oven for about 5-6 minutes till they are golden brown. Be careful as the filling will be very hot. Serve warm with your favourite dip.

Please let your emails/comments keep coming! it's been great and thanks for your kindness and love!

Monday, November 21, 2011

One Grilled Chicken-Two Simple Dinners

What more should I say? The title says it all. We love grilled chicken. Mostly, during the weekends, I grill about a couple of lbs.of chicken which we use for dinners and lunches. I use them for sandwiches for lunch and throw in some steamed veggies with garlic bread for quick and easy weeknights' dinners. Saturdays, I marinate boneless chicken breasts with Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is my go to marinade. Always, always have used this one. Leave the chicken overnight in the fridge, grill them on my trusty George Foreman Grill( which I bought from a garage sale for only $2, yay!) Sunday afternoon. They are all done in under 30 minutes. And I am ready to face half of the week's lunch and dinner challenge. I do the same in summer time but grill it on my outdoor bbq. Life's been pretty hectic as we leave for work at 6 am every morning and come home at around 5 PM. Inclement weather which is very normal in Canada could make us get stuck in traffic and come home very late. We have our supper at 6 pm and then I start cleaning up the kitchen, getting ready for next day and so on and so forth. If I have a main dish ready to go, sides I can throw in in no time!

The rolls in these two dishes were made out of Pillsbury crosssaint dough. The first one, I simply use the same cheese and tomato mixture on top of the chicken inside of the crosssaint dough, with some more seasonings and bake them. The 2nd one, is rolled up in a ball, with sprinkles of garlic and parmesan.

First dish has a simple sauce of tomatoes with salt and pepper. 2nd dish has the cream sauce with saffron and garlic.

Again, for all the foodies, who cares about the recipes?!

This is my entry for Julie's Christmas Delicacy event!

Please let your emails/comments keep coming! it's been great and thanks for your kindness and love!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Individual Lasagna

Lasagne Individuali! Now I really love the sound of this! You call it Individual Lasagna, eh, nothing! No bells ringing, no goose bumps. Isn't it like a song to your ear to speak something in Italian?! Mark is the best at mimicking the languages and accents and the way he speaks English with Italian accent, it amazes me all the time.

I love the idea of these little personal lasagnas - it's fun to create, to serve and most of all, you can personalize it your way. It's such a playful way to throw in whatever fillings that strikes your fancy. The sauce and the filling I used for these are the same as my Lasagna Rollata-Al-Forno. It smells heavenly while baking and tastes oh-so-out-of-this-world when you eat it.

I've made these with only 6 lasagna noodles. I was running out of the noodles and was craving for homemade lasagna, hence this dish. I think this is a great appetizer dish which can be made ahead for the dinner party. This dish has made those 6 noodles the star of the show! You need very little sauce, filling and cheese for each layer and when you dive your fork into it, the tines come out with strings of cheese pulling behind. Now that's a great visual while having pasta or pizza.

Have fun with this recipe - you can do just about anything with it. I'd love to hear what variations you all try!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Simple Dips

Oregano Feta Dip

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
 I have finally pulled out last of the oregano, rosemary and basil from my garden before the thanksgiving(ours was on October 10th!). I didn't want to dry them as I still have bottles full of dried herbs. Made pesto out of basil, froze the pieces. Used up rosemary for turkey, roasted potatoes and as garnish for my thanksgiving table. Oregano was the only problem herb left . I don't like to use fresh oregano in my dishes as it overpowers almost everything. I love the aroma of this herb but I like to use it dry in my cooking. I also happened to have lots of red peppers which I finally roasted and threw them in the leftover dill pickle bottle! Both red peppers and oregano were used in the dips for my crudités like this grilled chicken, shrimps, grilled paneer and peppers. The colors of the dips were very inviting and fresh. They were good also as spreads on our sandwiches with leftover grilled chicken and paneer.

Oregano Feta Dip
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup feta crumbles
Pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

Blend everything together.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
2 medium red peppers, roasted, peeled, cubed (or use 1 jar of storebought roasted red pepper)
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Blend all the ingredients together, adjust the thinness of the dips to your liking.

went oh-so-well with all my grilled dishes!
grilled lamb
grilled shrimps, paneer, peppers

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pizza of the Month - Nacho Cheese Pizza

Another crowd pleaser and family favorite. Who doesn't like nachos and cheese AND pizza? Combine both and be prepared to get ooh's and aah's from whoever sets an eye on it, Let alone eat it! This pizza was so delish and it is only available in your kitchen if you decide to make it. I haven't come across any menu as yet which has this particular pizza on it. So my friends, it is totally up to you to decide to make one for you and family or just drool over by looking at the pictures! Choice is yours.

I actually decided to make enchiladas with the sauce I had on hand. Didn't have the tortillas in my fridge. So I ended up making this flavorful pizza for us. Leftover sauce, I froze it which I used just 2 weeks before when my parents were with me. Gotta have them to taste this pizza too.

Everything is very simple and quick to put together. You make the pizza dough and while it's doing it's thing(rising I mean!), you make the sauce,shred the cheese. Once baked, enjoy and bask in the glory of having been able to make pizzeria style pizza right in your kitchen.
Nacho Cheese Pizza
For crust: please find out the basic pizza dough recipe from my blog! It's somewhere.

For Sauce: 
1 lb. ground chicken
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 medium onion, diced
Garlic cloves to taste, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
2 spring onions, sliced(optional)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

How to:
Make sauce by sautéing onion, garlic and red pepper flakes in oil.
Add chicken and cook till no long pink.
Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, sugar, salt and taco seasoning and simmer for about an hour.
Pre heat oven to 450° F.
Roll out the pizza base from the dough.
Spread the sauce on top of the base.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or till the cheese browns up and gets bubbly.
Sprinkle spring onions, slice and enjoy.