Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food and more Food....

Last week, no idea when, I made Chicken Tostada's.  Basically all I did was crisp up some low-carb wheat wraps with Mexican blend cheese than sauteed some chicken thighs with salt, pepper and chili powder.  After the wraps were crisp, I added the chicken, some diced tomatoes, shredded cabbage and avocado. Yum!
 I also roasted lots of veggies- asparagus, sweet potato, tomatoes, and summer squash.

Also sometime last week, I made one of my more random recipes.  I wanted to do a healthy take on Rice and Beans.  How could I make that dish healthier but also still ridiculously tasty?  How about replacing the rice with Bulger Wheat and smashing these beans into the dish.  Remember this pretty recipe?  Well, it tasted good and sometimes that more important than looks.  I surrounded this dish with kale chips.  I also decided to poach an egg on top.

Big fan of poaching.  Mmmmm....

So yes, that dish was extremely random and not exactly pretty. But the flavor was unreal!
I recreated an unpretty dish last week and tried to make mine look as good as Annie's did.  I made her Chicken Tortilla Casserole again and this time it looked and tasted better than the first.  What can be bad about adding tortilla chips into your dinner? I changed this recipe up a bit by adding a can of tomatoes with chilis and black beans...
Chicken Tortilla Casserole
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied into halves (4 halves total)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis

1 can of black beans
1¾ cups chicken broth
5 cups tortilla chips, broken into large pieces
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 oz. sharp mexican blend cheese, shredded

Pat the chicken breast halves dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a 10-12 inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (chicken does not need to be fully cooked at this point.)  Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil, shallot, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Add in tomatoes and drained black beans.   Add the chicken broth, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a simmer. Stir in half of the tortilla chips.  Nestle the chicken into the broth and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a cutting board and dice when it is cool enough to handle. Return the shredded chicken to the skillet with the tomatoes, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.  Stir in the other half of the tortilla chips until they are incorporated and moistened.Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and browning, about 2-3 minutes.  

 On Saturday I ran with the Wellesley group and we did 8.5 miles.  Nancy and I really pushed it the final 2 miles.  After I got home, I planned my weekly menu and went grocery shopping.  Dave had voiced that he missed meat so I made the menu with meat in every dish.  
Weekly Menu for 4/24
Saturday: London Broil with Cauliflower Mash and Sauteed Swiss Chard
Sunday: Southern Comfort Meal: Chicken & Peaches and Corn Cakes with Goat Cheese
Monday: White Bean Chicken Chili (Revamped)
Tuesday: Turkey and Black Bean Burgers with Kale Chips
Wednesday: Chicken Thighs with Leeks and Shitakes
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza Night!
 After I shopped, I met up with BFF Courtney to exchange Bday gifts.  She got me an AMAZING gift! Here is the packaging... when she handed it to me I was intrigued...
 And inside...
 Court loaded up her Shuffle with amazing running music for me to use during my marathon!! She also got me some fuel for the race... and that envelope is a gift certificate for a massage... something I am sure I will need after the race!  Thanks Court, amazing gift!

On to weekend eats.  This is becoming a rather long post... you still with me?
Saturday I made a restaurant quality meal: London Broil with Smashed Cauliflower and Rainbow Swiss Chard inspired by everyone's favorite (not) Rachael Ray.
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup shredded mix of mozzarella and gruyere
Coarse black pepper and salt
1 1/2 pounds shoulder London broil steak, 1 1/2 inches thick
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
6 cups chopped rainbow swiss chard, 1 large bundle
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it
1 tablespoon honey
Instructions: Place cauliflower in a medium shallow pot or pan. Add stock, cover and place pot over high heat. When liquid boils, reduce heat to simmer and cook covered 10 minutes. Remove cover, raise heat to medium high and allow the broth to reduce by half, 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and the cheeses and smash the cauliflower with a masher to the same consistency as desired for mashed potatoes. Season the cauliflower with black pepper, a pinch of salt and nutmeg.
Turn broiler on. Brush meat with Worcestershire (I also used A1 sauce) and season with salt and pepper. Cook London broil on top rack for 6 minutes on each side, for medium rare to medium doneness. (I finished it in a hot skillet for crispy skin)
While steak and cauliflower cook, heat a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, 2 turns of the pan, and add chard and wilt the greens into the pan then season with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg, optional. Cook 5 to 7 minutes more, turning frequently with tongs then add vinegar to the pan and a drizzle of honey. Turn to coat the greens, adjust seasoning and transfer to a serving dish.
Remove meat from broiler and let it rest 5 minutes.
Very thinly slice the meat on an angle against the grain (the lines in the meat). The degree to which you can slice thinly slice the meat will determine how tender it is to cut and chew, so make sure the carving knife is sharp – the thinner the better!

This felt like a delicious special occasion dinner.  The only thing that could make this better was getting ice cream at our local ice cream shop after : ) The only thing that could make it worse was the fact that I woke up with a horrible sore throat the next morning. Let's get healthy by the weekend!!!!!
Sunday was a busy day with a baby shower 45 minutes away.  By the time I got home, I got going on dinner.  I made another Rachael recipe (who am I?).  I saw her make Chicken and Peaches on TV and thought it sounded interesting...
Chicken & Peaches
2 tablespoons butter
4 peaches, pitted, thickly sliced or halved
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 shallot, chopped
3/4 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup peach preserves
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestorshire sauce
Heat a medium skillet with the butter over medium heat. Add the peaches and the juice of 1/2 lemon, and cook until tender and lightly golden, 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. While the peaches cook, heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Cut the chicken breasts in half across the center of each breast to make 4 equal portions. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes, then remove to a plate and cover with foil. Drizzle the pan with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil, half a turn of the pan. Add the chopped shallot, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, the preserves, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and season with black pepper, to taste. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes to thicken. Arrange the chicken and peaches on a platter and douse with peach sauce.

On the side, I made Corn Cakes with Goat Cheese.  I wrote this down last week as a recipe I wanted to try making, however, I never wrote down where I saw it.  So I did a google search and settled on this recipe from Epicurious.
2 thick bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (about) vegetable oil
1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup cream
1 large egg
5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in skillet. Add corn and onion; sauté over medium heat until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Combine cream, egg and 1/4 cup goat cheese in large bowl; whisk to blend. Add cornmeal, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne and mix well. Stir in corn mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop batter by generous tablespoonfuls into skillet. Cook until bottom of each corn cake is brown, about 1 minute. Turn corn cakes and cook until second side is brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to skillet as needed.
 And my dish...