quick white wine chicken

so we are officially in full blown holiday mode around the country….

and can i tell you a secret?

i’m totally not.

it’s not that i’m totally anti-holiday, i’m just lazy. i mean i put up a christmas wreath and sometime between now and then i’ll change out my doormat. but other than that, nada.

and christmas / holiday music?

sorry but i can really only take it on christmas eve.

again, it’s not that i don’t like it but i just feel like we get inundated with it starting on august 1. {maybe that’s a smidgen of an exaggeration but you get my point.}

plus let’s be real… this time of year is like crazy hectic. i mean i feel like things go nonstop once halloween passes. {which is partly to blame for my sporadic posting,  the other part…. see referenced laziness.}

with the hecticness of the season i figure you probably need a good, quick meal on the table.

{nice segway huh?}

and we know i normally don’t share too much savory but i do cook myself dinner pretty much every night. {ok well that’s kinda a fib since i have leftovers so maybe i don’t cook every night but i do pretty much eat something homecooked so there’s that.}  part of the reason i don’t post too many dinner recipes is because i get home late which means i eat late which means it’s dark which means questionably pictures. womp womp. buuuuuut this meal was too good not to share. i made it twice within the span of like 3 weeks which means that i ate it a lot. aaaaaaand i ate all the leftovers.

the recipe comes from an america’s test kitchen cookbook that i scored in the discounted section of barnes & noble. it’s super simple and you probably have almost all the ingredients on hand; you probably just need to run to the store for leeks and creme fraiche. if you don’t want to use creme fraiche or your store doesn’t carry it, you can totally substitute homemade creme fraiche {1 c heavy cream with 1 tbs buttermilk stirred in and allowed to sit at room temp until thickened} although i personally haven’t tried it so… oh and i’ve made this with chicken thighs and chicken breasts and both have been fabulous.

quick white wine chickenquick white wine chicken

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken {thighs or breast cutlets}
  • 1-1/2 lb small red / yellow potatoes
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 lb leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped and thoroughly washed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 in thick
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c creme fraiche
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. pat chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. add potatoes to a medium-large pot and cover with water. boil potatoes for 10-15 min until fork tender; drain and toss with 1 tbs butter.
  3. melt 1 tbs butter in 12-in skillet over med high heat; add half of your chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned on each side, about 3-4 min a side. transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. repeat with an additional 1 tbs butter and remaining chicken pieces.
  4. melt the remaining 1 tbs butter in the empty skillet and add in the leeks and carrots. cook until the veggies are softened and starting to brown, about 4-5 min. add in the wine to deglaze the pan; add in the chicken and any juices. reduce heat to medium and cover the pan; cook until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, about 15-20 min. transfer the chicken to your plate and retent with aluminum foil. reduce liquid until slightly thickened (4 min) and remove from heat. add in the creme fraiche, lemon juice, salt and pepper. arrange chicken and potatoes on a serving platter with the sauce poured over top.

kisses

recipe from: america’s test kitchen’s simple weeknight favorites

crunchburger

so you know what’s a genius idea??

deciding to join a pass the cookbook club and then taking a blogcation.

because nothing makes more sense than deciding to commit yourself to cooking something and sharing it when you’re simultaneously deciding to take time off from doing that.

genius here.

well needless to say, i didn’t participate in the may recipe share but i decided to get on the ball for june. and it could not have been more perfect timing… june meant burgers and i am on a completely burger kick at the moment! as in they are part of my meal plan every week. i’m not sure how long this kick is going to last but i’m good with.

but back to the cookbook club…. kita decided that june’s recipes would come bobby flay’s burgers, fries and shakes cookbook. i took the rather boring route and went for the crunchburger (aka signature burger). honestly it was more because the other choices (a greek burger and a tuna burger) didn’t strike my fancy than anything else. a good old fashioned burger i can totally get behind. the twist on this is the potato chips.

yup.

you heard me right.

potato chips on top of the burger. just like you’d do with lettuce and tomato.

and let’s all be honest with ourselves. any sandwich is made better by adding some potato chips.

(p.s. if you never did that, you’re totally missing out.)

but the truth is…. i could do without the chips.

i also felt the horseradish mayo was slightly over hyped.

BUT….

this burger was still fantastic. and i really attribute that to having quality meat. the burger itself is simply ground meat patties seasoned with some salt and pepper. that’s it. it was almost revolutionary to me. it was ground beef heaven. no lie.

and let’s be honest…. burgers and july 4th are totally meant to be.

a couple things:

  1. bobby specifies american cheese. while i will agree that it is the meltiest and makes the best grilled cheese (assuming we’re not counting pimento cheese in the argument), i prefer other cheese on my burgers. i like to mix it up and my local whole foods has had this cheese out for sampling and it is like BUTTAH so that’s what i went with. use your preference.
  2. i happen to really like horseradish and the heat from something like creole mustard. needless to say, i upped the horseradish in my spread and used a whole grain dijon. next time, i will up the horseradish more and use true creole mustard. if you are not a fan, use less horseradish and traditional dijon.
  3. i tend to keep the fat at a minimal when i use ground beef. that being said, if you want to make juicy, delicious burgers you need some fat. i went with 50% ground sirloin (95/5 lean/fat ration) and 50% ground chuck (85/15 lean/fat ration).
  4. i also like my beef medium rare, including ground beef. this freaks some people out. i like to live dangerously what can i say?

crunchburgercrunchburger (aka signature burger)

  • 3/4 lb ground sirloin (95/5 lean/fat ratio)
  • 3/4 lb ground chuck (85/15 lean/fat ratio)
  • garlic salt and pepper
  • 8 slices cheese, each 1/4″ thick – mine was more like 12 slices but that’s because the block of cheese was about 1″ wide there were 3 slices per burger
  • 4 buns, split and toasted
  • Horseradish Mustard Mayo, recipe below
  • 4 handfuls potato chips – i used bbq, but use whatever you have / prefer
  • additional toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion) as desired
  1. gently mix together your meat; divide  into 4 equal portions. gently form each portion into a patty approximately 3/4″ thick; press a deep indention into the center of the patty to help prevent the patty from shrinking too much. season both sides with garlic salt and pepper; set aside to heat a cast iron skillet (or another heavy bottom skillet).
  2. heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat with a small amount of canola oil in it. cook the burgers 3 min per side (for medium rare), topping with cheese the last min or so of cooking.
  3. spread horseradish mayo on both sides of the buns; place burgers on the buns and top with toppings as desired. pile the potato chips on the burgers and top with bun. serve with some fries and a cold beer.

horseradish mayo

  • 1/4 c mayo
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs drained prepared horseradish
  • salt and pepper
  1. mix together the mayo, mustards and horseradish. season with salt and pepper to taste. let mixture sit in the fridge for at least 30 min for the flavors to meld together.

check out what some other fantastic people made:

kisses.

recipe adapted from: bobby flay’s burgers, fries and shakes cookbook

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesdays and what’s in your kitchen wednesdays

chipotle chorizo chili

so today is looking like a miserable day…. it’s all gray and drizzly outside.

and speaking of gray… what’s the difference between gray and grey? i mean why have 2 different spellings?

anyways… it’s perfect nap weather. but i won’t be napping today. boo.

and if i lived anywhere other than south louisiana this might mean that the temperatures outside are chilly and perfect for things like chili. but the temperatures will never be perfect chili weather around here for longer than a day. but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend and eat chili anyways….

i’m a big fan of chili. especially when it’s made with beer. i mean let’s be honest… it’s a pot of meat with beer in it and topped with things like cheese, sour cream and cilantro. how can you not be a fan?

chipotle chorizo chili

chipotle chili

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 of an onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 lb chorizo, removed from casing
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c beer
  • 14 oz stewed, diced tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • your choice of chili toppings – cheddar cheese, cilantro, sour cream, crushed corn chips, crushed pork rinds, whatever your fancy
  1. in a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. add the onion and bell pepper; cook until the onion softens but doesn’t brown. add in the chorizo and ground beef; cook until the meat mixture begins to brown. add in the garlic and stir around.
  2. stir in the beer, diced tomatoes, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, worcestershire and seasonings. reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chili until thickened, about 30 min.
  3. serve in bowls and top with your preferred toppings.

a couple quick notes…. jackie developed this recipe using chipotle stout. the store i went to didn’t have chipotle stout so i used a locally brewed bock style beer. i’m sure the chipotle would have given the chili a little extra something but i thought the chili was delicious with what i had.

she also developed the recipe without using beans. i’m not a bean person so this works for me…. but i know some people like beans in their chili so just add a can or two in if you chose to. in fact, jackie even says the same thing.

last thing… i’m not a fan of chunks of onions, bell peppers and tomatoes and such. i adore using my food processor to get all of it really finely chopped then i just proceed as normal. in this case, when i threw in the tomatoes, i threw in the chipotle at the same time.

and i know that tailgating season is over and so is the big game but hey… mardi gras is tuesday so bring a pot of chili!

kisses.

recipe from: the beeroness

this post is linked up to what’s cooking wednesdays and taste and tell thursdays

stuffed acorn squash

do you ever get really excited about something and then someone comes along and bursts your excitement bubble?

or doesn’t even really burst it but rather just makes it droopy like a 3 day old balloon?

yeah… that happened this morning.

see i was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy excited that it was finally getting “cold” here. and by cold i mean it’s in the 60s for a high and 30s at night. i’m sure i don’t need to repeat myself in the fact that i don’t like the heat. so needless to say, this drop in temps means i’m one happy girl.

and then i got the text this morning.

see cailan has moved to the chicago area and they apparently got their first snowfall. cue my bummer.

and before everyone gets all worried about it… honestly, she didn’t really deflate my bubble. just made me incredibly jealous that she gets to see actual seasons and i don’t. believe me, my cool weather bubble is bobbing around ever so happily around the ceiling so…

i hate the heat.

just saying.

but since we’re having a cool weather snap, i figure it’s a good time to share a fall dinner. or at least what i would call a fall dinner since acorn squash is a winter squash…

so i’ve been trying to branch out and try new veggies since i’ve discovered i don’t exactly hate them. they just have to be cooked right. and i figure that what better way to try acorn squash than to stuff it with stuff. and it turned out fantastic. i originally made it before i left for orlando thinking i could eat about a dozen meals in 3 days (duh, i couldn’t) but i’ve made it again since then. and that’s saying something.

stuffed acorn squash

  • 2 small/medium acorn squash, about 2 lbs total
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 1 1/2 c cooked wild rice
  • 1/2 c toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 c toasted silvered almonds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. preheat oven 400F.
  2. cut each squash in half lengthwise. scoop out the seeds. if the ridges on the squash sides are making each half sit a little wonky, just slice a little off so each half sits well.
  3. saute the ground turkey over medium heat until cooked through. remove the meat and add the oil. saute the onion, celery and carrot until softened. deglaze with the wine.
  4. return the turkey to the pan. add the rice, pine nuts, almonds, oregano, salt and pepper. stir constantly until the mixture is heated throughout. remove from the heat and divide the mixture evenly among the squash.
  5. add the squash to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. cover the squash with aluminum foil and let cook 45 min. remove the foil and bake an additional 15 min or until the squash is tender.

so you could totally use the ground pork alton calls for in the original recipe or even sausage would be delightful. i like to pretend that using ground turkey makes it healthier.

so is it snowing/cold by you?

kisses.

recipe adapted from: alton brown

crawfish etouffee

so i know it can’t be just me that gets all kinds of confused with her days when you go on vacation.

i mean like today shouldn’t be thursday in my world. it’s only tuesday. i guess i should be stoked that it’s thursday and not tuesday but i don’t like feeling all confused.

but i guess if i can get confused over what day it is, i should understand how mother nature can get all confused over what the weather is supposed to be like. i mean we’ve gone over how it’s like 80F in october but can i just tell you how hard it is to pack for a vacation with weather that gets all confused….

see i tagged along with my mom and stepdad to disney world and the WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!! and mother nature decided she would change course after i’d packed. so i show up with nothing but shorts and the temperatures decided to hang out in the high 60s. not cool mother nature. not cool.

ya know what else is all confusing? crawfish etouffee. i mean the dish itself is really straightforward but when exactly am i supposed to share it with you?? see it’s a warm, comforting dish that is perfect for fall / winter but crawfish season is really more like springtime. and since confusion seems to be a thing this week, i figure now is the perfect time.

crawfish etouffee

  • 1 lb boiled crawfish tails
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 12 oz beer – use a good amber beer
  • 3/4 c chicken stock
  • 1/8 c dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  1. in a medium saucepot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. add in flour and cook 2 min, just to get the raw flour taste out of it. add the onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic and green onions; cook 2 min. add the beer and chicken stock and cook 30 min. add the crawfish tails and cook 15 more min. add the seasonings and simmer for a final 30 min.
  2. serve hot over rice.

see… this is a seriously uncomplicated dish.

oh and here’s a note… i am aware that boiled crawfish are not as readily available throughout the country like they are in south louisiana. you have a couple options… you can buy a pound of shrimp and put it in a pot with some crab/shrimp boil and boil it yourself. that would work just as perfectly. the other option is if you can find some frozen crawfish. if you insist on going that route, pleas PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE me that you won’t buy the stuff from china. for real. i’m begging you to promise that you’ll buy the stuff from the usa. there are a multitudes of reasons for this but overall, you’ll be getting a better product.

anyways….

what day is it again?

kisses.

recipe adapted from: my dad

chicken parm meatballs

dear mother nature,

i think we need to have a chat about what the weather is supposed to feel like at the end of october. hint… it’s not supposed to be anywhere close to 90F. if you could make highs of like 70-75F and lows of like 50F happen, it would be greatly appreciated.

kisses.

for real though. it’s like hot down here in the south and i really don’t like it. seriously… it’s been pretty well documented. but i just thought maybe by putting out a plea to mother nature, it would cool down around here. and when it does, i can eat more meals like this.

i pinned this recipe last week and it usually takes me a little while to get to trying something. ummm not these meatballs. see what happened was i was walking around the farmer’s market and trying to come up with meals for the week. and then i remembered the idea of these meatballs and knew i just had to try them. and i did. last night. see i initially planned to bring you that etouffee i’ve know mentioned at least twice but then these happened. and as i have mentioned before, i get weary about sharing entrees since i haven’t mastered food styling and photography but i just have to share these with you.

these look like they could be super complicated, what with the cheese all in the inside, but trust me when i say they aren’t. i had everything cooked and ready to be eaten within 45 min of coming home.

chicken parm meatballs

  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 c whole wheat bread crumbs, divided – regular plain breadcrumbs would be fine
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 c vegetable oil (or enough to come about 2 in up the sides of your pan)
  • 3 oz mozzarella, cut into 12 pieces
  • 3 c marinara sauce – i used store bought to save time on a weeknight
  • 3/4 lb spaghetti (or whatever pasta you want to use)
  1. preheat your oven to 350F. line a baking sheet with papertowels. start heating your oil to 350F (use a candy/fry thermometer or an electric skillet).
  2. mix together the milk, 1/2 c breadcrumbs, salt and pepper together in a bowl. add the ground chicken and gently mix until it’s evenly distributed.
  3. add the remaining breadcrumbs to a shallow plate. separate your chicken/breadcrumb mixture into 4 even portions. flatten each portion into a disk; add 3 pieces of the mozzarella cheese and shape the disk into a ball around the cheese. (make sure to seal the balls really well so no cheese leaks during cooking!) roll each meatball in the waiting breadcrumbs.
  4. place the meatballs in the hot oil and fry until golden on all sides.(you’re not frying to cook through just to get them crunchy and golden.) transfer to the paper towel lined baking sheet to allow the excess oil to drain.
  5. start cooking your pasta according to the package directions.
  6. after the excess oil has drained, removed the paper towels from the baking sheet and place the meatballs on a rack on the baking sheet. bake 15 min until they are cooked through.
  7. toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce and divide among 4 plates/bowls. top each plate/bowl with one meatball.
  8. dig in!

go.

make these now.

kisses.

recipe from: tracey’s culinary adventures

lemonfish with basic risotto

do you ever have those days that you wish you could leave everything behind to move to the islands to go sell coconuts?

is that just me?

i mean for real. there are some days that i just wish i could have simiplicity of it. i mean i’m sure i’m totally romanticizing it all and that i would get bored in less than a week. but it sounds like a fabulous deal, i mean aside from the constant sweltering heat but i think i could learn to live with that. and i’m not talking about going to live in gulf shores or panama city. i’m talking about the virgin islands or bora bora or some where like. and if i’m being honest, i’ve never been to either of those locales but the pictures look gorgeous so i like to pretend that would be awesome. i could totally live the life that kenny and jimmy sing about. you know… all kicked back in a old blue chair with a boat drink in my hand.

but for real.

and if i lived on an island i could make dinners like this all the time because i could fish i all the time. i might have mentioned to you that i recently went fishing and this was part of the spoils of the trip. see i didn’t actually catch this but that’s why we share.

lemonfish with basic risotto

  • 4 lemonfish (cobia) filets
  • salt
  • pepper
  • flour
  • 1 – 2 tbs canola oil
  • 4 c reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 c arborio rice
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  1. place the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and get it good and hot.
  2. season your fish filets with salt and pepper; dredge in flour. place the filet in the hot skillet and cook 5 min so that you get a nice golden crust. turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 3-5 min until the fish is cooked all the way through.
  3. make your risotto: bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan; cover and keep warm over low heat. in a large saucepan, melt 2 tbs of butter over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and sautee until tender but not brown. add the rice and stir to coat in the buttery goodness. add the white wine and simmer until the wine is nearly absorbed, about 3 min. add 1/2 c of chicken stock and stir until the liquid is absorbed, about 2 min. continue this addition and stirring until rice is tender and all the stock is absorbed (make sure each 1/2 c of stock is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 c), about 20 min total. remove from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, parmesan, salt, pepper and lemon zest.
  4. serve the hot risotto with your beautifully cooked lemonfish!

here’s a couple notes:

– since these were fresh caught filets and i don’t have a kitchen scale, i have no idea what the weight of these were. if you were looking for a specific weight to buy, i would go with a 6 oz filet.

– if you don’t have lemonfish (cobia), you could substitute and firm white fish in its place.

– yes. i am aware that risotto can seem really daunting (all that stirring!) but i promise you it’s really not. as long as you have arborio (or medium grain rice) and you stir, it will come out. it is more needy than it’s cousin long grain rice but it’s oh so good.

– no i didn’t give an exact flour measurement because all you need to do is dredge it in the flour. i just put a handful on a plate and go from there. you just want to coat the fish so if i tell you 1/2 c +, you could waste a lot of flour that way.

– make sure when you’re sauteeing your fish, you don’t crowd the pan. you want to get a good sear on the filets so make sure you keep your pan hot. if you have a large enough pan to fit all the filets without them touching and crowding each other, use 1 tbs oil. if not and you need to do more than 1 batch, use an additional 1 tbs of oil per batch.

i know that’s a lot of notes but honestly, with the simplicity of this recipe, i almost feel like you need every one of them. this is more about the cooking techniques than about ingredients really. i promise this is so much simpler than giving a bunch of notes makes it seem. and this is really worth trying if you can get your hands on some fresh lemonfish!

kisses.

recipes adapted from: john besh’s my new orleans, giada de laurentiis’s everyday italian