Sunday, May 20, 2012

Firebird Chicken Pasta

I have seen this recipe posted online by a few different people. 
Each time I looked at the ingredients I thought it sounded interesting
but I hesitated making it a week night recipe because of the number
of steps involved in the recipe. 

Since the weekend allows for a little more time to cook dinner I finally
gave this recipe a try.  I have to admit that this pasta dish is" packed full of flavor. 
It is not a hot dish but it is a little spicy.

Firebird Chicken Pasta

* I did not have a Chili Rub so I just mixed the ingredients the recipe has listed  to make
my own adding more of the chili powder, paprika and cajun spices and just a pinch of
the cayenne pepper, salt and sugar.

* This recipe is for 2lbs of pasta so if you are making less you may want to make less of the cream sauce.

Cream Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup chile rub (ancho chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Roux (Whisk 2 Tbsp flour with 1/2 cup of chicken stock to make a paste)

1 1/2 cups asiago cheese, grated

3 tbsp basil, roughly chopped

Firebird’s Chicken Pasta

2 lbs penne pasta

4 chicken breasts, grilled

4 slices apple wood-smoked bacon, cooked

3 cups chile asiago cream sauce (see recipe)

3 tbsp green onions, chopped

1 large fresh tomato, diced


Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook
about 5-7 minutes.  Add the chili rub.  Mix well. 
Add the wine and cook on medium / high until reduced by half.  Add the chicken stock
(the half cup that is left after you made the roux) and bring to a simmer. 
Add the heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the roux ,  asiago cheese and basil. 
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. ( I seasoned my chicken with a little bit of the chili rub).
Cook on medium high. Set aside .  Cook the bacon, set aside.
Cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking dice the green onion and tomato, chop the cooked bacon, and slice the chicken.
Drain the pasta.  Place it back in a big pot.  Add the cream sauce over the pasta and stir well.  Add in the green onions, bacon, tomato and stir.   Serve with a little parsley or basil on top.
                                            Yummy pasta dish ~ packed full of flavor.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Burritos with Chorizo and Potato

Recently I found two interesting recipes in my Cooking Light Magazine.
When I plan out my menu for the week I usually try to include 2 or 3 new recipes
just for fun. This can be time consuming but in the end I think it adds great variety
to what we are eating.

This recipe caught my eye because I have not ever included potatoes in my
burritos before. I also really liked the combination of Chorizo and potatoes.

Since this is my first time making this recipe I followed it pretty closely. The only
change I made was I added about a teaspoon or so of cumin to the potatoes while
I was cooking them. 

Potato, Chorizo and Green Chile Burritos

from Cooking Light

10 ounce red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
6 ounces Mexican raw chorizo
1 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced poblano chile
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt 4 (7- to 8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
* I used a little more lime and cilantro in my tomato salsa b/c I love those flavors.
*I added a tsp of cumin to the potatoes when I cooked them.
* I used spinach tortillas instead of flour tortillas


1. Place the red potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain; pat potatoes dry with paper towels.

2. Combine 1 cup tomato, 2 tablespoons onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo; cook for 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add 1 cup onion and poblano to pan; cook 2 minutes or until onion is tender and chorizo is done, stirring frequently. Remove the chorizo mixture from pan. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add potatoes; cook for 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Stir in chorizo mixture and salt.

4. Heat the tortillas according to package directions. Divide the potato mixture evenly among tortillas, and top evenly with salsa and cheese. Roll up each burrito, jelly-roll fashion.

5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 burritos to pan, seam side down; cook 1 minute on each side or until browned.

* Instead of step 5 I placed my burritos in a greased baking dish.  I brushed a little oil on the top and baked them on 400 for about 10 minutes.  After they came out of the oven, I added a little more cheese and some of the tomato salsa to the top.

This is a very good recipe.  The ingredients create a very fresh, light tasting burrito.

                                                              Fancy Chorizo and Potato Burrito!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sausage, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

It is really much easier to make Risotto than you think.
I was scared of Risotto for a long time but not any more.
Risotto is not difficult to make. It is just a little time
The reason I like to make it is because it is so versatile.
Basically you just need Aborio rice and good broth,
after that it is all up to your creativity.

This Risotto dish has sausage, arugula and lemon.
I sauted the sausage in pan until it was just a little
brown.  The I removed it from the pan and set it
aside for later.
I cooked some shallots in a pan with a little oil and butter.
While cooking the shallots, I put my organic vegetable
broth in a pan to heat. Once the shallots were cooked
I added the Aborio rice the pan making sure it was
coated lightly with the oil/ butter. I did not cook the rice
to long, just for a few minutes. Then comes the work -
you slowly add the broth to the rice allowing the rice
to absorb the liquid slowly. 
Toward the end of this process, which took about
25 minutes, I added in lemon zest, a squeeze of
lemon juice and the sausage that I had cut into
small pieces.  At the very end, when the Risotto
had a creamy consistency, I turned off the heat
and added the arugula and a nice helping of
parmesan cheese.

YUM!  You really need to give Risotto a try.
Just add in two or three of your favorite
ingredients and it will be great.