Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tex-Mex Pork

Posted in by blkris | Edit
A terrific friend gave me a subscription to the Cooking Light Magazine last year for Christmas (Thanks again and great idea by the way if I didn't ever tell you!!).  I have tried some of the recipes, but lately I have been in a need new recipes funk, so I am going back through all the ones I pulled out that I wanted to try.  Tonight I made a dinner that was soooooo easy and it was good too!  My husband (who shows little emotion about lots of things :), even was impressed by this meal.  Looks like it was a winner!  I am not a huge fan of pork, but get sick of chicken.  So, I got some pork chops on sale and had them in the freezer waiting for me to decide what to do with them.  This was a great recipe for them, and a lot less fattening than your normal pork chop dishes.  And, one of the best things besides how easy and quick it was, is that it only had 7 ingredients, 2 of which are optional!  You should try this!

From Cooking Light December 2010

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 C refrigerated fresh salsa (DON'T Go "el cheapo" on this.  The salsa will make or break it! We   used the Organic Salsa from Costco.  The best!)
2 C. hot rice (we use brown rice)
1/4 C. light sour cream
3/4 C. cubed avocado (I actually didn't have a ripe one, so we didn't use this tonight and it was still great)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add pork to pan; sprinkle with 3/4 tsp kosher salt and 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.  Saute for 8 min. or until lightly browned.  Add salsa and 1/4 C. water to pan; bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 min. or until slightly thickened.  Serve pork mixture over rice; top with sour cream and avocado.  Yield 4 servings.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Here is a great recipe if you are in need of something different than the regular, weekly meals.  I don't make this very often because to be honest, it takes a bit of time to prepare.  I did, however, finally get smart this last time I made it and I did it in phases.  I cooked the stuffing earlier in the day, and then finished it up before dinner time.  Much better idea.  So, note to anyone who makes this... plan ahead.  Sorry to say this is not a great throw together recipe at the last minute, but it does taste yummy! 

Stuffed Peppers

    * 6 green bell peppers
    * 1 tablespoons butter
    * 1 tablespoon olive oil
    * 1/2 cup chopped onion
    * 1/2 cup chopped celery
    * 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
    * 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
    * 1 clove garlic, crushed
    * 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
    * 2 teaspoons salt, divided
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
    * 1 egg, lightly beaten
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    * 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or turkey)
    * 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice (we prefer brown rice)
    * shredded mild Cheddar cheese, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup, optional


Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Chop edible part of tops and set aside. Rinse peppers under cold water. Place peppers in a large pot; cover with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Sauté chopped green pepper (from tops), chopped onion, and chopped celery for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, crushed garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Gently stir to blend; add ground (either precooked or raw, but if you want to take less time cooking in the oven, cook meat) beef, cooked rice, and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Mix well. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in a 3-quart baking dish. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the stuffed peppers. Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes. If desired, top stuffed peppers with a little shredded Cheddar cheese just before peppers are done; bake until cheese is melted.
Recipe for stuffed peppers serves 6.
Friday, February 4, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu 2

Posted in by blkris | Edit
Found on Mel's kitchen cafe

I have made a couple different recipes for this (as always!), and really like this one, and it was a hit with my family too (which is always a plus!).  They had a really great tip too on this website... they said, "Thankfully Cook’s Country came out with a clever version of how to stuff this classic dish and it peaked my interest. The shredded swiss cheese is rolled up in ham slices and then gently tucked inside a pocket cut into the chicken."  I didn't shred my cheese, but used cheese slices and just rolled those up in the ham and then stuffed them inside the chicken.  It worked great!

Note: To make sure the cheese doesn’t leak out of the chicken while baking, use large (at least 8-ounce) chicken breasts and chill the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator before breading. (I didn't chill mine, and it still turned out fine)

Make-Ahead Tip: The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.

*Serves 4 to 6

25 Ritz crackers
4 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat(I wanted this part to be quick so I used store bought italian bread crumbs)
6 tablespoons butter, melted (I didn't use butter, but used olive oil instead)
8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), see note
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs ( I realized as I was making this that my hubby used the last egg for breakfast! So I omitted this)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter (or olive oil) and pulse (I just mixed mine with a spoon) to incorporate together. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works great!). Leave the oven on.

Top each ham slice with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Or if you have slices, roll these up in the ham). If your ham slices are too small, shingle two ham slices on top of each other to create a larger slice and roll the cheese up in that. Roll tightly and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with 2 (I only used 1) ham/cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal (you can use a toothpick to gently secure the pocket edge, if you like). Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, covered, for at least 20 minutes. (I forgot this step, but it worked fine)

In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs (or if you don't have eggs, just mix olive oil, enough to dip the chicken in on both sides, and mustard) and mustard. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working with one stuffed chicken breast at a time, coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. (The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.)

Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 (you don’t have to leave the chicken out of the oven while the temperature adjusts, just put it back in the oven and then reduce the temperature), and bake until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Country April/May 2010

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

Posted in by blkris | Edit
My husband found this recipe a while back when I was still prego, and I thought it tasted so good.  I didn't know if it was because I was pregnant and starving or if it was because it actually was good.  Well, we have had it twice since I have had our baby and yes, it is just a good recipe!

Found on

Recipe Ingredients
 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat
 1 teaspoon kosher salt , divided
 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour , divided
 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided
 2 large shallots , finely chopped (I never have these so I just use white or yellow onions)
 1/2 cup dry white wine (I don't like a strong white wine flavor, so I substitute some of this with more chicken broth)
 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
 1/2 cup chopped chives (about 1 bunch)

Recipe Directions
  1. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in chives and serve immediately.

Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

Posted in , by blkris | Edit

I have tried a couple of different recipes for Chicken Tortilla Soup, and didn't really like any of them... until I found this one.  I love it because it has a fresh flavor and is very easy!  I have made it a couple different times and like it still.  Hope you do too!

Found on Food Network


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped (you can use canned tomatoes in a pinch, but fresh is best!)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips (I just use store bought torilla chips to save time!)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Jack cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving


Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes; cook, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Ladle the hot soup into 4 soup bowls and put a pile of shredded chicken on top of each. Top with the diced avocado and fried tortilla strips (and cheese if using). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.