Tag Archives: sour cream

Chipotle Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice (serves 6)

A new recipe at last and it’s a really great one! It is fast and a wonderful summer dish and even better if you decide to invite the neighbors over (if you happen to have good ones that is!)

chipotle

chipotle laced chicken stir-fry: The BEST!

Right now the supermarkets are over-flowing with avocados and they seem to be on sale everywhere I go. This is what prompted me to make this. I love to combine the cool creaminess of avocado with something spicy and crunchy.

I also served this with avocado slices, which gave everything a lovely creaminess

Having a couple of avocados on hand was also incentive for this dish

I used peppers and zucchini because it what was in my fridge when I went rummaging for dinner the other night. But this does not mean that you have to go running off to the shop to make this dish exactly the same. Use whatever you have on hand: any color pepper, onions (diced), shredded carrot, yellow squash (diced), the list goes on…

Make it up as you go along and it will be luscious!

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You will need:

1 to 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

2 to 3 chipotle peppers with a tbs of adobo sauce, chopped (press HERE for more information on this ingredient)

4 tbs olive oil

1 bunch scallions (between 6-10), chopped

1 red pepper, small dice

1 large (not enormous!) zucchini, diced

1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

2 or 3 Haas avocado, pitted and sliced

Cooked basmati rice  – *if using a rice cooker, use 3 cups of raw rice in your rice cooker cup measure. If using stove-top, use 2 regular cup measures of rice. Cook both according to instructions.

Method:

1 – Cook rice. when cooked set aside. No need to keep warm.

cool basmati rice or take leftover rice from frige adn mix to seperate

Cook Rice

1 – Put chopped chicken, 2 tbs olive oil, chipotle peppers and sauce, garlic and lime juice into bowl and combine. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge.

Chicken with Rock Creek Marinade

Marinade Chicken

3 – Put big saute pan on medium to high (more towards the high side but not all the way up), heat and add the last 2 tbs of oil. When it is hot, add the chopped veggies and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Stir-fry veggies first

Stir-fry veggies first

4 – Turn the heat up to high and immediately add  1/2 of the chicken mixture. *If you add all of  the chicken in one batch it will end up getting too moist and will steam more than stir-fry* Cook in an even layer for between 4 to 6 minutes. Taste a little to be sure it is cooked.

A smokey spicy stir-fry

A smokey spicy stir-fry

5 – Add the veggies back to the pan and turn heat off.

jkyg

Great Dinner! (chipotle chicken stir-fry)

Divide rice and chicken mixture between warmed plates or bowls and add a “fan” of avocado slices to each plate. I like to add some tapatio hot sauce (press here for more info on this hot sauce), and a cooling spoonful of sour cream to each serving, but each to his own!

Blackened Asian-Style Salmon with Yummy Rice

This was another one of those dinners that was held together flavor-wise by my trusty bottle of soy sauce! Soy sauce is an all around champion in the kitchen if you want a big flavor but don’t want to spend any time trying coax it out of your main ingredients.

Serve

A Great, Fast & Easy Dinner

Take salmon for example…it’s not my most favorite fish in the world, and unless you whip it right off of your fishing line or get it when the boat comes in, I think a lot of the flavor gets lost by the time it is presented to you on a bed of crushed ice in the display case of your supermarket. This is why I always treat salmon to a robust dousing of something strong like soy sauce. Here I let it sit in a sweet and salty concoction and then cooked it fast on high heat.

It sealed in the flavors and gave every bite a crusty zingy taste which everyone raved about. The rice was the perfect partner and the zucchini soaked up the rest of the marinate like the absorbent sponge that it is – a totally yummy dinner which was enjoyed to no end the other night!

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*This is a great Blood Type A Diet Recipe with the main ingredients being beneficial (salmon, soy, onions, garlic) and the rest being neutral*

You will need:

4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz per piece)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (find this in the Asian or international section of supermarket or specialty shop)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp finely granulated sugar

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

2 medium zucchini, diced

4 to 6 cups cooked basmati rice

Method:

*If you have leftover rice, take it our of the fridge ready for use. If cooking rice, do so first. For stove-top use two cups raw and follow package instructions. if using rice cooker, use 3-cup rice cup measure and follow instructions*

mix marinade

Mix marinade

1 – Mix the soy, mirin, sesame oil and sugar in a shallow bowl or dish and add the salmon. Turn a few times to coat and set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

prep veggies

Prep veggies

2 – Chop veggies!

3 – Put large saute pan on medium to high heat and let the pan warm up. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the salmon, shaking off the excess marinade as you go (reserve marinade to be added later to the rice). The fish should be un-crowded, so if your pan is small, cook two at a time. Cook fish for about 4 minutes, disturbing as little as possible. Flip and cook for another 3 or so minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm on low heat in the oven.

fry salmon

Fry salmon

4 – Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes.

saute veggies

Saute veggies

5 – Add the rice and when it is just hot, add enough of the leftover marinade to color the rice. Taste rice and add more marinate to suit you.

add rice

Add rice

Serve a piece of fish with a serving of rice. an optional garnish (not for blood type A’s or diary-free diets) of a dollop of sour cream is great here, with a splash of sriracha sauce.

garnish with sout cram & chili paste, topped of with a flourish of parsley

Serving option: Garnish with sour cream & chili paste, topped with a flourish of parsley (on its own or along with rice)

Lemony Cheese Cake – Nothing Better!

At this point it must look like all we have is cake for dinner, but it has been one of those weeks when all sorts of things needed to be celebrated! And, celebrations demand cake!

Lemony Cheese Cake

Lemony Cheese Cake – 3 layers of heaven

Another birthday (there was a birthday 2 days ago featuring a chocolate cake!) yesterday so this fabulous cheesecake was put on the menu. This is another tried and true recipe and is a cheesecake that seems to be loved by the most finicky cheesecake-eaters out there. It was lifted from a 1977 Moosewood Cookbook and is so good it is probably still on their restaurant menu today.

slice of cake

Slice of cake

This cake is great any hour of the day (I had it with my coffee this morning) and I must say that on this bitterly cold morning it gave me the feeling of sunnier days ahead.

Again, this could be made by one of your children (or nieces, nephews or friends’ children!). Get your kids to cook, they will thank you for it!

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You will need:

for base crumb:

16 graham crackers, broken (you can ,use original, or another flavor like chocolate or cinnamon)

4 oz (1/2 stick), melted butter

1 tbs honey

1 tbs flour

Preheat oven 375*

Make Crumb base:

1 – Melt butter and add to food processor, along with graham crackers, flour and honey. Blend until it is a fine crumb consistency (about 30 seconds). Press evenly into the base of spring form pan.

press base mixture into springform pan

press base mixture into spring form pan

for cream cheese layer:

16 oz full cream cheese, (usually comes in 8 oz box sizes)

1/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 lemon, zest and juice *(zest first, then extract the juice – I zest directly into the blender)*

Make Cheese Layer:

1 – Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

blend cake mixture

Blend cake mixture

2 – Pour over crumb base and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove and place on a rack to cool.

bake middle layer

Bake middle layer

for creamy top layer:

1 pt sour cream (or plain yogurt if sour cream is unavailable where you live)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Make creamy top layer:

1 – Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with wooden spoon until blended. When cake has cooled spread top layer on top and return to the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 12 hours before removing from pan and slicing.

make top layer

make top layer

Serve alone – it needs nothing else!

12 hours later

12 hours later

Decandent Pork Tenderloin Fajita (makes 8 big ones!)

 If you want to make something truly over-the-top deliciously decadent, then this is the recipe for you my friend!

Just look at this picture for goodness sake; it is completely packed with flavor. It had zing, heat, mouthwateringly-good pork, crunch, and smoke, all wrapped in a softly warmed flour tortilla, which is home-made at that!

Decadent Pork Tenderloin Fajita

Wipe away the fear you have of making your own floury tortilla and get down to the fun of making this dish. 

The kitchen takes on a party atmosphere, and you can enlist all manner of volunteers to chops, slice and dice.

Once you taste this, you will crave it again and again.

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You will need:1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, thinly sliced, 1 large green pepper, thinly sliced, 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced, 2 chipotle peppers along with 1 tbs adobo sauce, sliced (a chipotle pepper is a smoked jalapeno and is found in a can in a smokey sauce called adobo. You can find it in the ethnic section of your supermarket), juice of 1 lime, 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped, 6 tbs olive oil, bunch of spinach leaves, 2 avocados, quartered & sliced (optional), 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (optional), 1 cup sour cream (optional), hot sauce (optional), 2 cups refried beans (home-made or good quality canned), 8 flour tortillas (bought or homemade)

2 – First, prep all ingredients as instructed above.

sliced peppers

*If you are going to make your own home-made tortilla (as I aways do; I just can’t help it, they taste so good, and are totally worth the extra 20 minutes it takes to get dinner together), click “flour Tortilla” in my search box to the right and a fab. recipe will appear! Do this while the meat is marinating*

Dough resting for flour tortilla

2 – Put chopped meat into a bowl and add the lime juice, 2 tbs of the oil, chipotle peppers and their sauce and chopped garlic. Mix well and set aside for about a 1/2 hour (or as long as it takes to get everything else prepped). You can also do this earlier and store in the fridge, taking out 20 minutes before using.

marinate pork

Put big saute pan or wok on high heat and when it is hot add 2 tbs of oil. When it begins to smoke, add the peppers and cook until they are beginning to char on the edges. Remove to a plate and add 1 more tbs of oil.

stir-fry peppers on high heat

4 – Immediately add the meat to the pan and stir-fry for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peppers back to the pan and turn heat off.

mix cooked pork and peppers together

To assemble your fajita, lay the warm tortilla on your plate and spread some beans down the center. Add some peppers and pork, followed by all or some of the following; spinach, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream and hot sauce (we use Tapatio)

fill with pork and an array of fresh accompaniments

This is a dinner to love!

Fabulous Breakfast Burrito for Dinner (serves 4)

What do you make for dinner when everyone wants to eat in under 30 minutes? Luckily for me I had some homemade flour tortillas leftover from the other night and I decided to make them the backbone of the meal. If you haven’t tried your hand at making these delicious floury envelopes, you should make a stab at it soon!

more peppers - help!

Also, my pepper harvest won’t go away!!! I know I will long for just one beautiful piece of fresh produce in the dead of winter, but right now, I feel like I am being tortured by peppers – -aaaggghhhh!

Breakfast for dinner

I made dinner in 20 minutes and there were no complaints whatsoever! My flour tortillas win them over every time. I could fill it with grass and fish eyes and they would be satisfied (hint, hint; make the tortillas!)

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You will Need: 2 to 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, 4 eggs, 2 tbs milk, 1/2 tsp sea-salt, freshly ground pepper, 1 red pepper, diced, 1 green pepper, diced, 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced, 4 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced or sliced, 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated, 4 pieces of bacon, 4 tbs sour cream, hot sauce (I used Tapatio brand), 4 flour tortillas (homemade or store-bought)

1 – If you are going to make the tortillas, do it first thing. Type flour tortilla in my search box to the right for great recipe and method).

2 – Fry bacon until just crispy. Set aside.

3 – Put saute pan on medium/high heat and add oil. When it is hot add the peppers and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to bowl and keep warm.

Fry peppers

4 – immediately add the spinach to pan, (you may need to add more oil) and toss for 3 or so minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

fry spinach

4 – Break eggs into a bowl and add the milk, salt and pepper. Mix vigorously with a fork for about 1 minute. Add the butter to the hot pan, followed by the eggs. Cook until scrambled. Turn heat off.

scramble eggs

5 – Warm the tortillas on the rack in your oven and put each one on a plate. (This will take less than a minute!)

fill flour tortilla

6 – Time to fill; first add the bacon, followed by eggs, peppers, spinach, sour cream and hot sauce.

Roll, and eat!

Roll your lovely tortilla and eat. Make as many as you like!

Mexican Inspired Salad (serves 4)

 I had to think of a dish that would use up a large quantity of my pepper hoard. It was out of control! Since so many of the varieties were on the hot side, I started to think about some sort of Mexican inspired dinner.

lots of peppers from my garden & from next door!

It was too late to make flour tortillas, but I was in the mood for that kind of flavor. I decided on frying up a whole bunch of peppers, tossing them with some super-thin smokey chicken and served it all on a bed of fresh spinach. 

I was also in luck and had some plum tomatoes from the garden, which added a nice cool note to the final dish. This is a fantastic thing to put together for a crowd (just double or triple the recipe). I couldn’t get enough of this humdinger of a meal!

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You will need: 4 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, mixture of peppers; 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow, long green and red, jalapeno, cherry bombs, cayenne peppers (use enough to make up about 6 cups chopped), sliced, 2 chicken breasts (fillet), thinly sliced, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 2 chipotle peppers with adobo sauced, chopped (you can find these in the ethnic aisle. They come in a can with smokey adobo sauce), 8 cups fresh spinach leaves, 4 plum tomatoes

1 – Prep all ingredients before you start cooking.

2 – Put sliced chicken in a bowl with the garlic, chipotle peppers,  some adobo sauce and 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil. Mix together and set aside.

prep the peppers

3 – Put big pan or wok on high heat and when it is hot add 3 tbs of the oil. Let the oil get hot before adding all of the sliced peppers. stir-fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to plate.

stir-fry peppers

4 – Add the last tablespoon of oil to pan and add the chicken, spreading quickly onto pan surface in an even layer. Cook for 3 minutes. Do not try to move chicken around during the cooking or it will stick. After about 3 or 4 minutes the chicken will loosen and can be tossed to turn over. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Add the peppers back to the pan and turn off heat.

stir-fry chicken

5 – Lay a layer of spinach leaves on the bottom of each plate and mound with chicken mixture. Place sliced tomatoes around the border.

HOT salad!

You can also put some condiments on the table such as sour cream, hot sauce and grated cheese.

Chicken Burrito (makes 6-8)

With all of these beautiful peppers at my disposal at this time of year it is hard to resist making chicken burritos with the peppers playing the lead role.

luscious peppers, and lots of 'em!

There is really nothing better than burritos made with seasonal produce and home-made flour tortillas. Yes, this seems like a mad attempt to earn the housewife of the year award (is there such a thing?), but making my own tortillas is a must. I cannot think of going to all the trouble of growing peppers, and seeking out geogeous tomatoes, only to stick them into a store-bought doughy covering posing as a tortilla. I’m sure there are some good brands out there but nothing comes close to the real deal.

The very best burritos ever

I made them a  long time ago just as an experiment, and to say that I had actually made tortillas, but after one bite I was hooked. if I don’t have time to make the tortilla I don’t bother making burritos. It’s as simple as that!

The tortilla along with all of the fresh goodies around me made these burritos the best tasting ones I have ever put together. While tomatoes and peppers are abundant I encourage you to try out this recipe for you, and your family and friends. And, if you are looking to impress, this is the way to do it!

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You will need: 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and thinly sliced, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped,  3 chipotle peppers, finely chopped (you can find these smoked jalapeno peppers in the international section of your supermarket. They come in a can. Once opened, they keep in a covered container for up to 1 month), 3 tbs olive oil, a variety of peppers such as 1 green, yellow, red, some long sweet peppers, 1 Anaheim pepper, all thinly sliced lengthways, 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (I don’t bother taking out ribs and seeds), Sour cream, 2 cups strong white cheddar cheese, grated, hot sauce (I use Tapatio), 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed & dried, 3 medium great quality tomatoes, sliced, ( I used lovely freshly picked heirlooms),  8 flour tortillas (see below, if you don’t use store-bought)

* I make my own flour tortillas, and if you could taste them, you would too. I am imploring you to try them at least once. The store-bought ones taste like eating a brown paper bag compared to the beautiful soft floury tortilla that a home-made one produces. They are easy to make, but you need to add another 1/2 hour to you prep time. To find my recipe, type Flour Tortilla in the search box to the right of my blog. You will not be disappointed.

home-made flour tortillas

1 – If you are making the tortillas, do this step first.

2 – Place sliced chicken, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers and extra-virgin olive oil in a dish and mix everything together. Cover and set aside for at least a 1/2 hour. This step can also be done ahead of time and left in the fridge until ready to cook.

3 – Slice all of the peppers. Place in a bowl and set aside.

look at the lovely colorful array of peppers - so delish!

4 – When tortillas are made put big saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs olive oil. When it is smoking hot, add the peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until their color turns vibrant and they begin to char.

stir-fry the peppers on high heat

5 – Remove peppers to a bowl and add 1 tbs of oil to the pan. When the pan is hot add the chicken and spread quickly and evenly over surface of pan. Do not touch for at least 3 minutes. Flip chicken with a spatula or wooden spoon, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.

add the peppers back to pan

6 – Add the peppers back to pan and stir everything together. Turn off heat.

add your fillings

It is now time for everyone to serve themselves. Start out with an open tortilla on your plate and add some chicken and peppers, followed by spinach, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and hot sauce. Of course you can add all of the above or make whatever version you feel like.

Burritos packed with absolutely everything my man Dave could get his hands on!