Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zucchini Cakes

I am not a big fan of zucchini, but I tell you what, these are delicious! I found the recipe on a couple of weeks ago. And today lo and behold a dear friend dropped off the biggest zucchini ever, so what else could I do but make this delectable little cakes.

1 large zucchini

1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs

1 heaping Tbsp. minced garlic

1/2-3/4 c. Italian cheese blend

1-2 eggs

a pinch of kosher salt

olive oil

black pepper

Chop the ends off the zucchini and then use a cheese grater to shred it. Place the shredded zucchini in a clean towel and squeeze out the liquid. I was very surprised how much came out. Next place the semi-dry zucchini in a large bowl. Add the garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, 1 egg and salt and pepper then stir with a fork. If mixture is to dry, add another egg. If it is too dry, the mixture will fall apart when you try to cook it. In a frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan by about 1/4". When the oil is hot, drop the zucchini batter by large spoonfuls into the pan and then flatten with the back of the spoon. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. The PW recommends serving these with Ranch dressing for dipping sauce, of which I had none last night, so we ate without and they were still fabulous on their own.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

4 (or 2-3 large) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 lb broccoli florets, cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup dry stuffing mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Boil chicken until tender and shred or cut into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until crisp but tender.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the soup and mayonnaise. Set aside. In a 9X13 inch baking dish, layer the chicken, broccoli, soup mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle dry stuffing mix over the top and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Serves 4 and very yummy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork

4-6 thick pork chops
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce (found in Asian food section)
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix honey, soy, and chili sauces.  Place pork chops in greased 3 quart casserole dish.  Pour sauces over pork chops.  Bake for 1 hour.  Easy and yummy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Calabasa Con Pollo y Tortillas

I am half Mexican and grew up with this staple that is not only tasty, but very healthy and delicious. It's name translates into squash with chicken, sounds a lot less intimidating in English:). It is an easy dinner to make. I usually make the tortilla dough, let it sit while I get the calabasa together and begin it and then go back to the tortillas to start rolling them out.

A make-ahead tip: you can make the tortilla dough and roll out the tortillas, placing one at a time in between pieces of waxed paper and then in the fridge. When you want to cook them, take them out and pop them on a warmed up grill. They taste so much better than store ones and are better when first cooked.

I haven't taken a picture of it, but will post one as soon as I have one.

Calabasa con Pollo

5 to 6 boneless chicken breasts (can substitute 10-12 chicken tenders) frozen
1 large onion, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you can always buy it already cubed at the store)
1 - 15 oz can of diced tomatoes or diced tomatoes with chile
2 cups of frozen or fresh corn
1/2 tsp garlic
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in large soup pot. Cover and simmer over low to medium heat for 45 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot flour tortillas.

Flour Tortillas

4 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
About 1 1/3 cups of warm water

After mixing salt and flour, cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly (with pastry cutter or fork). Add warm water. Knead well.

Place in bowl, cover and let rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour. Knead again until dough is smooth and glossy. Pinch a small amount of dough and roll until very thin. Keep flipping tortilla as it is rolled to get a round shape.

Cook on top of stove on an ungreased griddle set to medium heat.

Turn tortillas on both sides until lightly brown.

Keep warm in tortilla warmer or fold two pieces of foil together on three sides, put paper towel in foil and place tortillas inside to keep warm.

Using Leftovers

I HATE wasting food and when we were preparing for a trip a few weeks back, I realized we had 1-2 pieces of three different types of chicken leftover from dinners in the past week. We also had several items that would not wait until we made it home. I didn't feel much like cooking or anything heavy that night, so this fit the bill. It's nothing too exciting, but I guess i hadn't spent much time thinking about making salads as entrees.

a few leftover chicken tenders or slices of ham or salami
(we used marinated ones)
green leaf lettuce
green pepper
sugar snap peas
anything else you need to use in your fridge that works

My husband and I used different chicken leftovers to top our salads. Prep salad. Cut chicken tenders in slices and heat up in microwave for 25 seconds. Top salad with chicken and drizzle with dressing. It was filling and a great way to get our veggies. It's so simple, it's easy to overlook using leftovers in this way.