Friday, July 27, 2012

Greek Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki

This was my first time participating in the Recipe Swap on the cooking message board that I'm a part of.  This specific one was a Blogger's Choice theme.  This meant that you could choose any recipe from your assigned blog.  I was given Sarah's blog.  I've browsed her blog before but never saw this recipe.  My Husband loves Gyros and Tzatziki sauce so I was pretty sure that he'd love this.

I was right!  He loved it as did I.  All I was wondering after I ate dinner was, "what else can I put Tzatziki sauce on?"

The pitas that we bought were a bit difficult to work with so excuse the poor "shove-all-the-ingredients-in-the-pita" picture.  I made a few modifications just due to the time of the evening that we started dinner.  You can view the original recipe on her blog, the recipe and instructions below are what I used. 

I think we'll definitely make these again.  It was a quick, weeknight meal and it was something that we've never made at home.  My Husband and I made this meal together.  It was a good time cooking a meal together.  We have a tiny kitchen, but we made it work!

Greek Chicken Burgers with Tzatziki
Recipe from: A Taste of Home Cooking

For the Burgers:
1 lb ground turkey
2 tablespoons onion, finely grated
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste

For the Tzatziki Sauce:
1 english cucumber
12 ounces plain Greek yofurt
2 cloves of garlic (I used jarred, minced garlic)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Splash of olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Squirt of fresh lemon juice

For serving:
Pita bread
Tomato, sliced
Red Onion, sliced

Combine the turkey, onion, oregano, salt & pepper in a bowl until well mixed.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and spread the mixture into the pan.  Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.  The mixture isn't very thick so it doesn't take long.  Beware, when you take it out of the oven, it will have shrunk quite a bit.  There is also quite a bit of liquid in the pan, so be careful.

To make the tzatziki sauce, peel the cucumber.  Shred the cucumber and then squeeze the shreds in a paper towel to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible.  Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice.  Salt to taste.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.  You could refrigerate this overnight too.

Slice up your meat and serve in your pita bread with slices of tomato and red onion with a dollop of tzatziki.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Banana Crumb Muffins

Recently, I had about two dozen bananas in the freezer that I wanted to use up.  I made a couple loaves of my regular banana bread, but I wanted to make some muffins to have for Breakfasts during the week.  I found this recipe and it seemed perfect.

I really loved the crumble of this muffin.  It just added that something extra that I felt it needed. They were a very moist muffin and made for the perfect snack to eat on the way to work, or at night for a dessert!

I doubled the recipe because the original recipe says its yields only 10 muffins.

Banana Crumb Muffins
From: All Recipes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the crumble:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375* degrees.  Lightly grease muffin cups or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together the 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg  & melted butter.  Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and the cinnamon.  Cut in 1 tablespoon of cold butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle the topping over the muffins.

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dr. Pepper Chicken Wings

My Husband and I both really enjoy chicken wings. I've never really made them at home before.  I came across Carrie's recipe and knew that we'd both enjoy it.  The most tedious part of this, for us, was the frying of the wings only because we used our small deep fryer so we could only fry a few at a time.

Dr. Pepper Chicken Wings

One large bag of chicken wings
3/4 cup flor
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspon garlic powder
1 can of Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/2 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons butter
oil for frying

Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the chicken in the flour mixture, coating completely.

Put the coated chicken in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This will help the coating adhere to the chicken during frying.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the can of Dr. Pepper to a boil, reduce heat and simmer briskly until reduced to about 1/8th the amount.

Add the brown sugar, ketchup, Tabasco and butter and simmer until a nice thick sauce. Set aside.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the fridge and fry in the oil until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. When all chicken is cooked, toss in the sauce until completely coated.

Serve & enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

I've made chicken pot pie before, but for Christmas this past year, my In-Laws gave me a set of these little ramekins.  I had some pie crust in the freezer so I decided this was the perfect opportunity to make some.  As you can see, it made a ton so we had leftovers for a few days afterwards. I would assume this recipe would make one whole pot pie if using a pie plate.

I've crossed out anything from her recipe that I did not use.

Chicken Pot Pie
From: Annie's Eats
Originally From: The Pastry Queen


 For the filling:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large russett potato, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 purchased rotisserie chicken
2 Large chicken breasts, cut into cubes
 1-2 cups frozen peas and carrots

For the sauce:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream (optional)
Dash of hot sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the crust:
16 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
10 oz. cream cheese, chilled
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 large egg

To make the filling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and potato to the pan, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook for about 15 minutes more, until the potatoes are tender. While the vegetables are cooking, remove the skin from the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Once the vegetables are finished cooking, turn off the heat and mix in the chicken and the frozen peas and carrots. Stir in the red pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken broth and cook over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Mix in the cream (if using), the hot sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken and veggie mixture and stir to combine well. Spoon the mixture into 6-8 individual oven-safe dishes (such as ramekins).

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Place the pot pie dishes on a baking sheet for easy transfer in and out of the oven. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Black Forest Cupcakes

This is a recipe from the ever popular, Annie's Eats. I made them once for a meeting at work and everyone loved them!  One of my coworkers raved and raved about these to her family.  Because of the rave reviews, her Daughter-In-Law wanted me to make cupcakes for her Son's Graduation party.  So, I prepared myself to make an array of cupcakes.  She requested two dozen of these cupcakes.  I was happy to oblige.

The major change that I made was that I used this Chocolate Cupcake recipe instead of the one that she uses.  The reasons why I love this specific recipe is because it always is so moist and chocolate-y.

Other than that, I followed her recipe exactly.

Black Forest Cupcakes
From: Annie's Eats
Originally from: Martha Stewart Cupcakes
Frosting adapted from: Wilton

For the cherry filling:
16oz frozen cherries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
6 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the garnish:
Chocolate shavings

To make the filling, drain the thawed berries, reserving the juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough water so that the total liquid equals 1¼ cups. Add the liquid to a medium saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Continue whisking so no lumps form. Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Fold in the drained cherries with a spatula. Stir in the kirsch, if using. Cover and chill until ready to use. (The filling will continue to thicken as it chills.)

To fill the cupcakes, use the cone method to remove a portion from the center of each cupcake. Fill each with a spoonful of the cherry filling.

To make the whipped cream frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating on medium-low speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to medium-high speed. While the cream is being whipped, gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar a spoonful at a time. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to overbeat!) Fold in the vanilla extract.

Frost the filled cupcakes with the whipped cream. Garnish as desired with cherries and chocolate shavings. Refrigerate until ready to serve.