Monthly Archives: March 2014

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups

Readers of The Dinner Pages are well aware that I’m not afraid of carbs. I mean, Banana Bread Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches and Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes with Cream Cheese Ice Cream are not exactly light fare! But sometimes, in the midst of all those carbs, I need a break and need a quick, easy, meal that’s not so heavy. These Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups fit the bill!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups

I quickly browned ground chicken in a wok, then added shredded carrots for texture and color, and garlic and the whites of green onions for flavor. I stirred in a simple sauce containing hoisin, soy sauce, and some water, and let it thicken up briefly.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups

I served the chicken mixture on crisp lettuce leaves, garnished with green onions. The hoisin results in a slightly sweet flavor to the chicken, but it’s balanced by the saltiness of the soy sauce and the garlic. It’s a great dinner for the whole family. My toddler was literally trying to climb into his high chair to start eating it (a big change from the norm when he is kicking and flailing around to avoid sitting down to dinner!).

Of course, if you really miss your carbs, you can totally serve the chicken over steamed white rice! It’s great that way too!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups ______________________________

Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups (adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, January/February 2014)

Yield: serves 4

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)

1/2 cup matchstick carrots (or 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced)

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

4 green onions, whites and greens separated and chopped

1 head romaine lettuce (or the lettuce of your choice)

Directions:

1. Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup of water in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. In a large nonstick wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and the other tablespoon of oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the garlic and the whites of the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the hoisin mixture and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

4. Divide the lettuce leaves among 4 plates and top with the chicken. Garnish with green onions before serving.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

Well, St. Patrick’s Day just kind of crept up on me and now it’s here. Before we move on to the next fun food holiday recipes, here’s just one more for March 17. I’ve already said that my little kitchen leprechaun refused to let any green recipes be successful this year so I had to try another way to get a little “luck o’ the Irish” into my kitchen. Using Guinness, which hails from Dublin, Ireland, in my recipe is the perfect way to infuse a little “green” into your dinner, whether for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day. Plus any time I find myself with a little extra time, I consider myself VERY lucky, and using my slow cooker might just save me a few minutes. Win!

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

I started off with boneless skinless chicken thighs, which I dredged in a little flour, salt, and pepper. I lightly browned them over the stove, then put them into the ceramic bowl of the slow cooker. To the chicken drippings I added more flour, plus a bottle of Guinness and some brown sugar and stirred it all together until it was smooth. I poured this over the chicken thighs in the slow cooker, then added chopped carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, and chicken broth.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

I cooked the stew on high for 3 1/2 hours, then added in fluffy dumplings and peas, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked for another 30 minutes.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

It turned out like the Irish version of matzah ball soup, very hearty and flavorful, and a delicious comfort food. Perfect with my quick Irish Soda Bread! Slainte!

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

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Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout (adapted from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)

Yield: serves 6-8

6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed

1 2/3 cups Guinness Stout

6 carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large onions, thinly sliced

2-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 cup lower sodium chicken broth

2 cups frozen peas

For the dumplings:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill

1/4 cup water

Directions:

1. Combine 6 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken thighs in the flour mixture and transfer to a plate.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook until well browned, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a slow cooker once browned. Reduce heat to medium, add 2 more teaspoons of oil, and cook the remaining chicken until browned. Add to slow cooker.

3. To the drippings from the chicken remaining in the skillet, add 1/2 cup flour, the Guinness, and the brown sugar, and stir until smooth. Transfer to the slow cooker.

4. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme to the slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth on top. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours.

5. For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With your hands, add in the shortening, dill, and a little bit of the water at a time to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls between the palms of your hands. Add the dumplings to the slow cooker at the 3 1/2 hour mark.

6. Add the peas (they can still be frozen) right after the dumplings. Cook on high for another 30 minutes then switch to warm until ready to serve. Serve with Irish Soda Bread.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

This post is part of a Pi Day themed Blog Swap and comes from Kristin at Dizzy Busy and Hungry. Over the past few months that I’ve been blogging I’ve learned a lot from interacting with Kristin and from following her blog, so I am so excited to be featuring one of her recipes here at The Dinner Pages! 

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie from DizzyBusyandHungry.com

Hi, my name is Kristin and I blog over at Dizzy Busy and Hungry! My blog is all about easy, healthy, family-friendly food and how to fit it all in to today’s busy schedules. I am excited to be participating in this blog swap meet today! Many thanks to Jessie for hosting my post on her blog. We hope that our wonderful readers will enjoy this little variation from our regular posts!

The theme for our swap today is “Pi Day”. You remember pi from your math classes, right? It is an irrational number and one of the most widely known mathematical constants, equal to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (can you tell that I used to be a math teacher?). Anyway, all you need to know today is that pi is typically rounded to 3.14, which is why March 14th is also known as Pi Day. And the best way to celebrate Pi Day is with pie! Sweet, savory, fruity, or chocolatey, it doesn’t matter as long as it is pie. It just so happened that I had a gem of a pot pie recipe waiting in the queue to be written up, so Pi Day provides a perfect opportunity to share it! I have made chicken pot pie before, but I love this recipe because it is super easy and because most of the work is done by the crock pot during the day while I am at the office. Then, when I get home and we are ready to eat dinner, I just transfer the chicken and veggies to a 9×13 baking dish, pop some packaged refrigerated biscuit dough on top, and bake for about 15 minutes. My entire family LOVES this recipe! Even my picky eater (who typically turns his nose up at vegetables) happily gobbles up every morsel of this dish. It is perfect for a weeknight meal if you can just spare 10 minutes in the morning to get everything in the slow cooker. (If it makes your morning easier, cut up your potatoes the night before and store in the refrigerator covered with water.)

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie from DizzyBusyandHungry.com

Here’s a totally optional hint if you like the nice golden color and sheen on the biscuits: Take a minute to whisk an egg white together with a tablespoon of water and brush it over the top before placing the baking dish in the oven for the final 15 minutes of cooking. Don’t those biscuits look beautiful? Most nights I really can’t be bothered with a cosmetic step like that, but every once in a while I like to get fancy. 🙂

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (20 ounce) jar chicken gravy
  • 3 or 4 red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag mixed vegetables (your favorite, no need to thaw)
  • 1 cup diced onion (can be frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (8 biscuit) tube refrigerated biscuit dough

Instructions:

  1. Place the chicken in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine the gravy, potatoes, mixed veggies, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika, and pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. 20 minutes before you want to serve dinner, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Transfer the chicken and veggies to a 9×13 baking dish. In the process, pull the chicken apart a little so there are chunks throughout the mixture.
  6. Cut each round biscuit in half from side to side (to form two thinner rounds) and place on top of the chicken and veggies, touching each other.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown on top.

Thanks again to Jessie for hosting my blog swap Pi Day recipe post! Please feel free to stop by my blog (Dizzy Busy and Hungry) and see what else I have cooked up lately, or follow me on social media!

Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+

Enjoy, and Happy Pi Day!

Kristin -

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Below the collage are links to all of the blogs that participated in our

Blog Swap Meet: Pi Day Recipes

Hosted by

Edward from If You Can Read, You Can Cook and Kristin from Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Stop by and visit them all!

march swap meet collage

Chef Mireille’s East West Realm

The Dinner Pages

Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Fearless Dining

If You Can Read, You Can Cook

Kneaded Creations

Polish Housewife

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

Seriously, I think I have a playful leprechaun in my kitchen because I attempted to make several really cute green desserts for St. Patrick’s Day and let’s just say, they didn’t work out! I didn’t even bother to take pictures of my two attempts at green marshmallows and the green “fudge” is sitting in my fridge uneaten. Even my green contribution for my upcoming Pi Day blog swap (come back on 3/14 to check that out), required a redo. So pretty much I was about to call it quits on St. Patrick’s Day recipes and move on to the next holiday. Fortunately, though, I moved on from the ‘green’ theme and had much much better success with this 4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread recipe!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

When I think of Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish Soda Bread is one of the first foods that comes to mind since my mom usually baked a loaf to have with dinner each March 17th. To be honest, I was never a huge fan of the raisins within it so other than making it one time a few years ago to check the box when baking through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, I was never all that motivated to try it again. However I came upon this recipe in a book I recently acquired about Irish pub cuisine and I knew I’d give it a go. It was just too easy not to try!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

In working on this post I wanted to learn a little more about what makes this bread Irish, and was it really traditional (you know, like sesame chicken is not the highlight of cuisine in China). So, it actually is traditional, but not an ancient recipe, as apparently bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), the key ingredient, was only introduced to Ireland in the mid-1800s. The other fun fact I learned was that cutting a cross on the top of the loaf of bread with a knife was another tradition, to ward off evil and protect the household. Hopefully that worked in my home!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

As befits tradition, the ingredients I’ve used are the standard four–flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. You can certainly add in raisins or caraway seeds if you like but I absolutely loved this bread without any adornment, just hot from the oven spread with a little bit of butter and dipped into some warm soup. The dough was much stickier than I expected and I wasn’t holding out very high hopes for a great outcome when I put the bread into the oven but I was pleasantly surprised. The bread had a rustic appearance though far from rustic flavors. The crust was crunchy and flavorful, almost like the delicious crust of real French or Italian bread. The bread within was soft, moist, and slightly tangy from the substantial amount of buttermilk in the dough. Despite the lack of yeast, the baking soda reacts with the acid in the buttermilk to create bubbly carbon dioxide which allows the bread to rise quickly. I know I talked about fast bread with my Quick Herb Bread recipe. This is a totally different style of bread, but amazingly, it was even quicker to make and is likely a recipe I will turn to year round whenever I want to enjoy fresh bread in under an hour!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Hopefully my little kitchen leprechaun will move on so my I don’t have so many kitchen disasters next month…

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4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread (adapted from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)

Yield: one 8-inch round loaf

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat with nonstick spray).

2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Add in most of the buttermilk and mix together by hand until the dough is soft but not wet. Add in the remaining buttermilk. If the dough is too sticky, add in more flour, little by little until it becomes more manageable. Knead it lightly.

3. Shape the loaf into an 8-inch circle and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Cut an X shape on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool slightly before slicing. Best served warm.

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More bread recipes from The Dinner Pages:

Quick Herb Bread

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

Hot Chocolate Bread

Yogurt Biscuits

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

homebaker1

Since February was a short month, it’s already time to share another coffee cake, baked along with The Home Bakers group; this time it’s Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake.

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

I was initially really excited about this particular cake because I love raspberries and I love cakes with streusel topping. I planned to bring the cake to work for a potluck so I had a deadline. However toward the end of an exhausting work week, with the potluck party the next day, I really wasn’t in the mood for a big baking project and almost skipped out on the coffee cake and made brownies from a mix (Gasp. Kidding…brownies from a mix can actually be pretty amazing). But I read through this recipe and realized it actually was very straightforward and quick, so I decided to drive on and make the cake. I’m very happy I did.

The results are sweet, but not overly so, with juiciness from the raspberries, texture from the almonds, and, a light tangy flavor from the combination of buttermilk, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Because this cake isn’t exceedingly rich, it does go perfectly with breakfast or brunch. I think it would also go well on a baby shower menu. It would be easy enough to switch out the raspberries for fresh blueberries if the shower was for a boy and you were trying stick with the blue for a boy color scheme.

I first prepared the streusel topping by combining flour, sugar, nutmeg, and cold pieces of butter in a bowl with my hands until crumbly. I then added in the almonds.

Streusel for Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Next, in the bowl of my electric mixer I creamed the butter and sugar, then added in eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and buttermilk. I then added in the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I spread the batter into a greased springform pan and topped it with raspberries and then the prepared streusel topping.

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

After baking it for about an hour, I removed it from the oven and let it cool in the pan before removing the sides.

Success! And in the end there were three other types of brownies at the potluck, so I’m glad I did something unique!

Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake

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Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake (adapted from Coffee Cakes)

Yield: one 9-inch round cake (serves 12)

nonstick cooking spray with flour

For the streusel topping

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced almonds

For the cake

10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (I used the zest of one medium lemon)

3/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (I used buttermilk)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh raspberries

Directions:

Please see The Charmed Cupcake for the full directions for this recipe.

My additional notes:

  • The recipe recommends baking for 55-60 minutes; it took me 65 minutes.
  • I used nonstick cooking spray with flour to grease the springform pan; you could also use butter and a small amount of all-purpose flour to get the same effect.

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Check out The Home Bakers and see other interpretations of Raspberry-Almond Coffee Cake!

If you love coffee cake, my Milk Chocolate-Walnut Coffee Cake is amazing too!

Curry Meatloaf with Spicy Sriracha Peanut Glaze

I was so excited to participate in this monthly recipe swap through “What’s Cooking?” because I finally met the minimum number of recipes. Just barely but hey, it counts! I was assigned to try a recipe from Ashley of Cheese Curd in Paradise. I immediately went to her blog to check it out and spent an hour reading through her recipes as well as the fun stories about her life that she intersperses throughout. Her son is only a few months younger than mine so I loved that we have similar challenges when it comes to cooking for our families now. I had a hard time choosing which recipe to prepare because several really caught my eye to include the Indian Spiced Meatballs and Red Velvet Cheesecake but I eventually settled on Curry Meatloaf with Spicy Sriracha Peanut Glaze because the flavors sounded really interesting and I know my son does well eating foods with ground meat. It did not disappoint!

Curry Meatloaf with Spicy Sriracha Peanut Glaze

I made a few changes to the original recipe, using panko breadcrumbs instead of crushed up saltines and coconut milk instead of cow’s milk to keep it dairy free. Unfortunately once I took it out of the oven and sliced it there were still some slightly pink parts within so I had to put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes but that was really the only snafu.

Curry Meatloaf with Sriracha Peanut Glaze

The meatloaf was moist and flavorful and the glaze was delicious. The sweet combination of peanut butter and orange juice coupled with soy sauce and a hint of sriracha was fantastic. It was definitely not overly spicy. My son loved it. He had thirds! Can we say growth spurt anyone?! Anyway, we very much enjoyed this unique twist on meatloaf and will definitely make it again. Thanks Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise for sharing your delicious recipe with me!

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Curry Meatloaf with Spicy Sriracha Peanut Glaze (adapted from Cheese Curd in Paradise)

Yield: 1 meatloaf

For the meatloaf:

nonstick cooking spray

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced white onion

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 egg

1/8 cup unsweetened coconut milk (can use regular milk if you prefer)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 cup ketchup

For the glaze:

1/3 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha

pinch of salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until well combined. Press the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan.

3. Bake for 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small mixing bowl.

5. After 45 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any grease that may be there, then top the meatloaf with the glaze.

6. Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the center is no longer pink.

7. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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If you like this recipe, also check out Cheese Curd in Paradise for more recipes from Ashley! Thanks to Sarah from A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting!

Quick Herb Bread

Would you like to fill your home with delicious aroma of freshly baked bread within 90 minutes? No it’s not a trick and yes, the results are totally and completely edible. This recipe will show you how to prepare not one, but two loaves of savory herb bread in a short enough time that you might be able to start preparation after work and still have fresh bread with dinner. For real. I did it with a toddler underfoot.

Quick Herb Bread

My mom has been baking this bread for as long as I can remember. I used to love coming home from school and being hit with the herb bread scent as I opened the front door. My friends also loved coming over and eating this bread. I distinctly remember the neighbor’s kid eating almost a loaf of it in one sitting way back when!

Quick Herb Bread

For some reason I associate this bread with cold weather. Probably because my mom often made it with Potato Soup which was one of our favorite winter meals. Warm fresh bread is good all the time but it just makes a meal on a chilly winter day, which we have had plenty of this year.

Quick Herb Bread

I really love the flavors of this bread, and I love the crevices which fill so delightfully with butter making each bite a tasty adventure. This bread never lasts long in my house so I’m thankful it’s so quick and easy to make again and again.

Quick Herb Bread

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Quick Herb Bread (adapted from my mom who adapted the recipe from Bake Your Own Bread years ago)

Yield: 2 loaves

2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packages)

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar

2 cups hot water

2/3 cup skim milk powder

4 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1. Measure the yeast, herbs, salt, honey, hot water, and skim milk powder into one large bowl and stir with a spoon until the honey is dissolved. The mixture will look murky. You can also use the dough hook of your stand mixer to do this.

2. Add the first 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing gently until all the flour is wet, then increasing the speed to medium-high and mixing for 3-5 minutes.

3. Slowly add in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook until fully combined.

4. Coat 2 loaf pans with nonstick spray, including the top rim. Divide the dough between the 2 pans, ensuring the corners get filled.

5. Cover the pans with a clean towel and place in a warm location for 20 minutes.

6. Do not preheat the oven. Place the loaf pans into a cold oven. Set the oven to 250 degrees and bake for 10 minutes, then raise the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, for a total bake time of 50 minutes. Knife test for doneness; the loaves will be golden brown, and sound hollow when you tap on them.

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