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Tag Archive for skillet

::spicy nights:: Chana Masala


In an attempt to cleanse myself of the cookie madness I have been involved in the past few weeks, a recent trip to the grocery store resulted in a TON of fruits and veggies, and supplies for vegetarian dinners. It is no joke that I went through more than one 5lb bag of flour, an entire 5lb bad of sugar, 32oz of molasses, and who knows how many pounds of butter in the past month. And while you would think, most of those cookies were eaten by others… they simply weren’t. I would make far too many and end up eating all the remaining goodies. Thank goodness for pregnancy. It has made a decent excuse.

But now I need to get back on track! Since we moved out of the city we don’t have the easy access to our favorite Indian restaurant, Tiffin, anymore. While this gives us good reason to go visit our friends and Chuffin (NBC’s Chuck and Tiffin nights) buddies Dave & Karyn, it also gives me a good reason to expand on my Indian recipe collection here on the site.

The other part of the grocery trip that the holidays inspired was saving a bit of money, so a few extra vegetarian meals seemed like a good plan. So we started with Chana Masala. I just ordered this the last time we got Tiffin, and my how they are different. Their version is smoky and stewy and very homey. This version inspired from a Food.com recipe was fiery and kicked your butt a bit. Nothing like clearing the sinuses on a snowy day. ūüôā I cannot wait to have it as leftovers. Curry is one of those things that just keeps getting better.

What You Need
Step One

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 medium onions, minced
~1 Tbsp ginger (about 1.5″ piece), minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
Step Two
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Step Three
15oz can whole tomatoes, chopped small
Step Four
2/3 cup water
2-15oz  cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Step Five
1 lemon, juiced

In a large skillet or saute pan heat oil over medium heat. Add all step one ingredients and cook about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low and stir in all the spices. Allow to cook for a minute or two.

Stir in tomatoes, returning to medium heat and using the juices to scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the pan.

Add step four ingredients, and reduce heat to medium low, simmering uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve over hot rice.

Serves: 4-6   Cost: >$2/serving (for 4 servings, all organic ingredients!)

::savory supper:: Chicken with Prosciutto and Tomatoes


With my love of pasta, it’s no surprise I have another sauce to add to my list. I stumbled upon this recipe when I was looking for Cooking Light ideas. I have been loving the new Cooking Through the Seasons book I got, but needed some other recipes as well. ¬†And now, I have a package of prosciutto I need to cook my way through.

This meal ended up being the highlight of my week earlier in the month. ¬†Everything kept highjacking my plans and prevented me from making dinner. ¬†I had a menu planned, and kept having to shift everything. ¬†This was the only home-cooked meal the entire week! ¬†It completely through me off and I am just starting to get back on track. ¬†Last week wasn’t much better, but at least I have some restaurant posts to write up because of it.

As (almost) always, a recipe that calls for thighs, I must immediately change to use breasts. Why not?  It is the taste we prefer. If you want to use thighs, use two for each of you.

What You Need:
Step One

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour
Step Two
2 tsp Olive oil
Step Three
1/2 cup dry white wine
Step Four
1 cup chopped, seeded & peeled tomato
Step Five
1 tsp lemon juice
2 slices of prosciutto
Step Six
Cheesy Polenta for Two

Pat the chicken dry and coat with sage, salt and pepper.  Dredge (see above) through the flour shaking off excess.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken on each side (~4 min), add the wine, and cover to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Since you have some time, this would e a good point to star the polenta and chop up your tomato and prosciutto.

Remove the chicken from pan once it is cooked through (should register 160F) and add tomato.  Allow to cook for 1 minute and then ad lemon juice and prosciutto.

Spoon sauce over chicken and polenta, and enjoy!

Serves: 2  Cost: $4/serving

::nice spice:: Skillet Cornbread


With Memorial Day right around the corner, the picnic season is about to officially kick off. ¬†I have never been crazy about the typical picnic sides. ¬†Potato salad, cole slaw, bleh. ¬†Really, mayo in general. ¬†I tend to stay near the dessert tables. ¬†Brownies, cookies, easy, can’t be messed up. ¬†This year, I think I will be once again bake a dish for any picnic we go to, but rather than the dessert table, I’ll stick with the sides. ¬†I love food that can go year round. ¬†In the Winter, this cornbread is perfect next to chili. ¬†In the Summer, it is going to be perfect with barbeque. Mmmmmm. ¬†Can’t wait. ¬†A basic cornbread recipe can be changed up pretty easily. ¬†What would you change?

‚ÄĘ finely zest 1-2 limes
‚ÄĘ juice lime into 1 cup measuring cup
‚ÄĘ fill to 1 cup line with milk
375F oven
greased baking dish

What You Need
Step One

1 stick of butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Step Two
lime/milk mixture
1/2 tsp baking soda
Step Three
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Step Four
2 jalepenos, finely chopped
lime zest

Prep work is self explanatory right?  I used a large cast iron skillet greased with bacon drippings (perfect flavor for the crispy cornbread edges).

In a large bowl, melt the butter, and then mix in each ingredient in order.  Pour into greased baking dish.  Bake in 375F oven until golden brown on top.  In a cast iron skillet, it took about 30-35 minutes.

::cooking for two:: Chicken Fajitas


For me, the first real signs of Summer completely change my attitude about food. ¬†I’m still always hungry, but I start always wanting to eat outside and never wanting to cook. ¬†It’s really one of those things that is not going to be remedied until I have a big airy kitchen with a patio off it where we can have a grill and a dinner table. This is the true downfall to apartment living. ¬†We have taken our food outside to eat before, but it has really just been to satisfy me. ¬†It makes the hallway seem so long and the stairwell seem so dark and musty.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when summer begins, a meal needs to be quick and easy and make me feel like I am eating outside, even if it’s just that the windows are open. ¬†These super simple fajitas definitely do the trick, having very little preparation needed. ¬†They are also great to cure some winter blues. Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking For Two these fajitas had juicy chicken and were full of flavor.

What You Need
Step One

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
Step Two
bell pepper, 1/2″ strips
small red onion, sliced thin
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
Step Three
1 lime, juiced (or about 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1Tbsp canola oil
Step Four
6, 6″ flour tortillas

Heat oven to 200F. ¬†Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. ¬†Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a 10″ skillet until just smoking and then carefully add the chicken to the pan. ¬†Cook until well browned on each side and 165F at its thickest point. ¬†This should take about 7 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breasts. ¬†Once cooked through, transfer to an oven safe plate, tent with foil, and place in warm oven.

Reduce the skillet heat to medium and add all step two ingredients. ¬†Cook until softened ¬†(~6 min). ¬†While the peppers and onions are cooking, in a medium bowl, whisk together all step three ingredients. ¬†Slice the chicken into 1/4″ pieces and mix into lime mixture. ¬†Everything can sit for a minute while you warm the tortillas and then you and your other half can prepare your fajitas with whatever topping you would like (salsa, avocado, sour cream, cheese… you get the idea).

*Warm Tortillas?  My preferred method of warming the tortillas is to toast them like I do for my enchiladas.  Move the cooked peppers and onion to a bowl and wash out the skillet.  Return the skillet to medium heat and place the tortillas in the skillet one at a time, heating both sides for just a few seconds.  It should slightly puff up on the second side when it it done.  Any leftover tortillas?  A perfect snack to finish them up, toast them, add lemon butter, and roll up.  Yum!

Serves: 2  Cost: ~$3/serving

::sweet treat:: Toasted Almonds

Since it is Friday I wanted to post something easy. ¬†Something snacky to help get through the weekend. ¬†I thought about posting a white bean hummus I had made. ¬†I wanted something sweeter. ¬†I thought about posting some snickerdoodles that were a midnight snack this week. ¬†They hadn’t turned out quite as I wanted and need a re-do. ¬†I thought about posted individual apple tartlets for two. ¬†I bought some apples on sale this week and maybe it would be inspiration to make them again. ¬†They are too complicated for what I wanted (and they aren’t even that complicated).

Then I decided to post about what it the most obvious thing to me. Chocolate. ¬†Ice Cream. ¬†These are a few of my favorite things. ¬†Personally, I am a Turkey Hill Choco Mint Chip fan. ¬†They don’t sell that at Whole Foods, so I am left with Breyer’s. ¬†We’ll get into my feelings about ice cream another time, but let’s just say, I tend to buy vanilla a lot lately.

In the summer especially, vanilla is the perfect flavor to have on hand. ¬†What pie or other fruity baked good doesn’t it go well with? ¬†But by itself? ¬†No, thank you. ¬†I prefer mine with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. ¬†And lots of it. ¬†Again, though, this is not a post about ice cream. ¬†This is a post about toasting almonds. ¬†Which happen to go wonderfully with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. ¬†And a ton of other desserts as well. ¬†(Have you ever had Malva Pudding?)

What You Need
mini food processor
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 Tbsp butter
tiny skillet
salt (optional)

This could not be easier, and really the measurements are whatever you want them to be.  Chop up your almonds in the food processor.  In the tiny skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the almonds and continue to stir until golden brown.  If you want to add salt, I would say do so once the almonds are coated with the butter.

Since you are already done, I like to think of this recipe as instant satisfaction.