Bangers and Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day

DSC_1167I have wanted to try out making Irish Bangers since my trip to Ireland two summers ago, so when I found this recipe for Bangers and Colcannon with Guinness Onion Gravy from Closet Cooking just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I was thrilled! This is comfort food at its best! I adapted the recipe just a bit to be dairy free.

Ingredients:

  • DSC_11611 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 lb bacon cut into 1 inch slices
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp earth balance organic whipped buttery spread
  • 1/4 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Irish bangers
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp earth balance organic whipped buttery spread
  • 1 tbsp vegan sour cream
  • almond milk to taste

Directions:

  1. DSC_1162Bring some water to boil, add the potatoes and simmer until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat until it renders, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the butter to the bacon, season with salt and pepper DSC_1163and cook about a minute.
  4. Add the cabbage to the bacon, mix to coat and let cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the green onions to the cabbage, cook for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  7. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side, and set them aside.
  8. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  10. Sprinkle in the flour and let it cook for a few minutes.
  11. Add the Guinness, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar along with the sausage and simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the sausage and continue to simmer to reduce by half about 10 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, mash the poatatoes, mix in the cabbage followed by the butter, sour cream and enough milk until you get your favourite mashed potatoes consistency.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

DSC_1164

 

Mini Turkey Meatloaves and Mashed Potatoes

 

DSC_0985Meatloaf has a bad reputation, but I happen to like it, a lot. It just has to be made well! I loved the idea of these miniature, single serving meatloaves from Sweet Potato Chronicles, and loved the result (with a few adjustments to the original recipe) just as much as the idea. These were moist, flavorful, and great as leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • DSC_09811 glug of olive oil
  • half an onion, diced fine
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced fine
  • 1/3 cup of carrots, diced fine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. DSC_0982Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.  

    Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

  3. Add your vegetables and the fennel seeds and allow them just start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

     

  4. In a large mixing bowl, dump your meat, oats, ketchup, sauteed vegetables, and egg (whisk the egg first). You can use a fork or wooden spoon to blend all over your ingredients but the best tools will be your hands. Mix it all together thoroughly.
  5. If you’ve used your hands you’ll want to give them a really good cleaning before moving on.
  6. Now use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop up your mixture into your muffin tin.
  7. DSC_0984In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp of ketchup and 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Use a small spoon to smear this glaze over the top of your mini meatloaves.
  8. Bake them in the oven for 40 minutes. The internal temperature for meatloaf should be 160 to 165 degrees.
  9. Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy!

 

Jambalaya

DSC_0915

 

Before this I had never had homemade Jambalaya from scratch, but I had to try out this recipe from The Messy Baker, with a few adaptations. It took a long time to prep and make, but was absolutely worth it!

Ingredients:

  • DSC_09003 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 4 andouille sausages, cut into bite-sized rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 14 oz of diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz of tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corriander
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • several dashes of hot sauce
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:

  1. DSC_0901Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly brown.
  3. Add sausage and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion, celery, green pepper, red pepper, and garlic. DSC_0902Saute for for 5-6 minutes until veggies become tender.
  5.  

    Sprinkle the flour over the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock.
  7. Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and corriander.
  8. Stir in worcestershire and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn back the heat to low.
  9. Cover the pot and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10.  
    Pour over cooked rice and enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Tenders

I have always loved chicken tenders, but then, who doesn’t love chicken tenders?  So of course I was excited when I found this recipe from Cooking by Moonlight.  These are easy to make, and they are quite tasty!

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts cut into strips
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 t. hot sauce
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
canola oil cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Wash the chicken and trim away any excess fat.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder on a plate or in a bowl.  Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
  3. Beat the egg along with the milk and hot sauce in a bowl.
  4. Place a large pan over medium high heat.
  5. Dip the chicken strips into the flour, then the liquid, then the breadcrumbs.  Be sure the strips are completely coated with each before moving onto the next step.
  6. Thoroughly spray each strip with the olive oil until well coated and place in the heated pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.

 

Spicy Tri-tip Skewers with Garlic Rice Pilaf for My Mom’s Birthday

My mom and brother both had their birthdays this past week, and I was able to be home with them for both!  I asked my mom what she wanted for dinner, and she told me to surprise her.  I wanted to make her something she wouldn’t expect, and something she would never take the time to make for herself.

I had found this recipe for tri-tip skewers at Tasty Trials, and new it was perfect.  Especially because I don’t have a grill at my apartment anything like my moms!  I needed something to pair with them, so I modified this pilaf recipe from Pennies on a Platter.  Both were fantastic, these recipes are definitely keepers and I highly recommend them!  Oh, and not only was my mom surprised, she loved it! However, I couldn’t have done this without my boyfriend, and grill master, Matt!  Here he and my mom are!

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 pound tri-tip, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup red wine
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Skewers:
pineapple chunks
red onion pieces
6 inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Garlic Rice Pilaf:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions:
For marinade:
Mix first 8 ingredients together. Pour into a zip-top bag and add tri-tip. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 24 hours.
For skewers:
When ready to cook, thread skewers with one chunk of pineapple, one piece of red onion, a cube of tri-tip, then another piece of onion and another chunk of pineapple. Repeat until all the meat is used up.
Heat the grill to about 375 degrees and place skewers over direct heat.
Grill for a few minutes per side, to desired doneness. (Beware: They cook fast!)
For dipping sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes, until thickened.
Serve skewers with dipping sauce on the side.
For Pilaf:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the garlic and rice for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 30 minutes.  Stir in a splash of lemon, cover, and bake a final 15 minutes.

 

 

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Broccoli

 

Some Asian inspired recipes sometimes don’t taste so great, and certainly don’t taste authentic, but with a little doctoring I was very impressed with this recipe I found from Will Cook For Friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. linguini
  • 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • Salt

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook noodles until al-dente, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a wok or pan over medium-high heat, add 1 TBSP oil and let heat until glistening.
  3. Add broccoli florets and give the pan a shake or a stir. Let cook 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, then pour in soy sauce and stir until mostly evaporated.
  5. Remove broccoli from pan while still bright green and slightly crisp. Set aside.
  6. For the sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the hot water, stirring to combine.
  7. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, then add the remaining 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
  8. Toss noodles and broccoli in the sauce.
  9. Serve!

 

 

Pesto Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

First off, how long it has been since my last post!  I don’t like to make excuses, but I had finals, then I did a lot of cooking without posting, and then I went on a two week road-trip!  It was a lot of fun, but I have missed sharing with you all!  This recipe is from Gimme Some Oven, and it was great!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4″ thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly.  Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside.  (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.)  Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.)  Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts.
  5. Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Homemade Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

I have always loved TJ’s chili lime chicken burgers, but they would be so much better if they were organic! So when I found this recipe at Iowa Girl Eats I was thrilled! I could make them myself with all organic ingredients! They were easy to throw together and they tasted fantastic! I will surely make these again, they are healthier and yummier than regular burgers.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 4 buns, toasted

Directions:

  1. Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl.
  2. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  3. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through.
  5. Top with slices of avocado and serve with salad.

 

 

Irish Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes

Ever since I went to Ireland last summer, I have had an inkling for more delicious Irish food.  This is my first attempt at making some myself!  This recipe is from Lauren’s Latest, and it is FANTASTIC.  It takes a while to make, but is not too hard at all.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • heaping 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • mashed potatoes

Directions:

  1. In large pot or deep skillet, brown stew meat in olive oil until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.
  2. Pour in onions, carrots, garlic and spices. Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Deglaze pan with beef broth. Cover and simmer 2-4 hours or until meat is very tender.
  4. When you are ready to serve, in a small bowl stir softened butter and flour together until smooth and incorporated.
  5. Stir butter mixture into the stew with the frozen peas. Once the gravy thickens slightly, it’s done.
  6. Serve hot over mashed potatoes.
  7. Have some Irish beer (with your food of course)!

Chicken Cacciatore Risotto

If you ever find yourself hosting a dinner party where you really want to impress your guests… MAKE THIS.  I took one bite and literally said out loud “this tastes like it’s from some gourmet bistro or something!”  I couldn’t believe that I had made it, it was so good, and so impressive with its complexly delicious flavors.  This recipe is adapted from Elly Says Opa! who I thank for sharing it with the world.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup grated Peccorino Romano cheese

Directions:

Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence.  Heat a large saute pan or wide/shallow saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil.  Add the chicken and cook 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.  Remove chicken and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and crushed red pepper to a simmer.  Keep at a low simmer.
Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the pan where you cooked the chicken.  Once melted, add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, and mushrooms and cook an additional minute.

Add the rice to the skillet, and cook, stirring continuously, until the edges are translucent.  Decrease the heat to medium-low.  Add the red wine, and stir continuously, scraping up any browned bits, until the wine is mostly absorbed.

Add 1-2 ladle-fulls of the chicken broth/tomato mixture to the rice, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed.  Add another 1-2 ladle-fulls.

Continue adding liquid until the rice is cooked al dente.  Taste to check doneness—it should have a slight bite in the center.  When cooked to al dente, add 1 more ladle of chicken broth, and remove from heat.  Stir in the remaining Tablespoon of butter, and the cheese.

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to the risotto.  Serve immediately and impress those guests!