Monday, October 20, 2008

Chicken Spanakopita Burgers

I stumbled across this Rachel Ray recipe a couple of years ago, and it's one of my favorite ways to use ground chicken. I usually don't eat this on a bun (the burger pictured is Chad's), I just eat the patty with some basil aioli. There is so much flavor in the burger, it doesn't need much to accompany it!

Chicken Spanakopita Burger



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped,
1 red onion, 1/2 chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
1 box, 10 ounces, frozen spinach, defrosted
2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed in the palm, divided
1/4 pound feta crumbles
1 1/3 pounds ground chicken or ground turkey breast, 1 package
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. To one side, add a little extra-virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. When butter melts, add the chopped garlic and chopped red onion and cook 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and garlic to a bowl to cool. Return pan to heat.

Wring the defrosted spinach dry buy twisting it in a clean kitchen towel over your sink. Separate the spinach as you add it to the bowl with cool onions, garlic and season with 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add in feta crumbles then chicken or turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Mix and form into 4 patties, 1-inch thick. Raise heat on pan to medium-high. Add patties and cook 6 minutes on each side.

For basil aioli: mix basil pesto with mayo.

Monday, October 13, 2008

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

After the weekend BBQ, we have a ton of grilled chicken leftover. I love BBQ chicken potato skins, so thought a BBQ chicken quesadilla would be tasty. What a great combination...these were great!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas



3 large tortillas
2 cups cooked BBQ chicken
mushrooms
sliced onions
shredded cheese (I used cheddar and colby jack)
BBQ sauce

Heat a pan over medium heat, and saute onions and mushrooms. When they are fully cooked, add chicken to warm it up. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Heat a griddle pan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil. Heat tortilla on one side for about 1 minute. Flip and layer cheese and chicken mixture on top. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes (tortilla will brown). Fold in half and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with BBQ sauce and sour cream.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette

Our good friends Courtney and Eric had a baby in June, and they came from Orlando for the weekend to introduce Luke to the Tampa crew. I wanted to do upscale BBQ, so I searched for a good grilled chicken recipe that was different. I found this Bobby Flay recipe on Food Network and it sounded good, so that was the winner. The color of the vinaigrette was a little interesting, but it was really tasty. I will make this again.

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette
from Bobby Flay



For the roasted garlic-oregano vinaigrette:
8 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (oops! I forgot this!)

Combine garlic, vinegar, oregano, parsley, honey and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Stir in the red chile flakes.

Rub chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken, arrange on platter and drizzle immediately with vinaigrette.

BBQ Chicken

I wanted to make regular BBQ chicken just in case the green sauce didn't appeal to some people =) so I called mom for some tips on making a dry rub. She just rattled some ingredients off, and I put this together with what I had on hand. I put it on the chicken early in the day and let it sit, then basted with BBQ sauce when it was grilling. Delish!

BBQ Chicken



For dry rub:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tbsp. Montreal steak seasoning
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic salt

Mix together and rub into your chicken. Grill, and baste with favorite BBQ sauce.

Mashed Baked

This is a Paula Deen recipe, and features her usual stick of butter (plus cream cheese, sour cream, colby jack cheese) so it only comes out for special occasions. It was great for our BBQ since I could make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven when it was time for dinner. Everyone loved them!

Mashed Baked
from Paula Deen



4 cups frozen hash browns
1 (7.6-ounce) package butter and herb mashed potato mix
1 stick butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I use colby jack)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups boiling water
2 cups prepared French-fried onion rings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the hash browns. Cook for 5 minutes and drain. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked hash browns, mashed potato mix, butter, cream cheese, jack cheese, sour cream, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Stir in the boiling water. Place in a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle the onion rings over the casserole and bake for about 5 to 8 minutes longer until onions are golden brown.

100th Post!

So this is my 100th blog post, pretty amazing! It's been over a year since I started and while I've had some slow periods, I've kept up with it pretty well. The best thing about this blog is that it inspires to try new recipes all the time so I have stuff to add! And once I've made something and blogged about it, I can easily access it to make it again and also can share it with friends.

In honor of my 100th post, I wanted to do my top 5 posts...so here they are in no particular order =)

1. Our first anniversary was this past July 14th, and we decided to have dinner in. Our steaks with gorgonzola and crab cakes were just as good as any restaurant, and we got to enjoy spending a quiet evening together.

2. I love entertaining and cooking for friends, and this recipe from my mom for Chicken Marbella was soooo good and great to make for company since all the prep is done the night before.

3. I love looking on other people's blogs for inspiration, and Elly's is a favorite. Her pasta with shrimp and goat cheese sauce is one of my favorite pasta dishes and inspired me to get creative with my own pastas and sauces.

4. Even though I only participated in Tuesday's with Dorie for a short time, her cookbook is full of amazing recipes. The Brown-Sugar Apple Cheesecake and La Palette's Strawberry Tart are two of my favorites!

5. I love to cook (obviously) and am excited that my friends also enjoy cooking. I am a part of 2 cooking clubs, one here in Tampa and the original group back in Orlando. My friends have contributed some great recipes that are featured on my blog...Karen's chicken lasagna, Jenn's tilapia (well, actually I guess it's Keith's!), and Kelly's chocolate eclair cake. And I can't forget my favorite inspiration and go-to person for the perfect recipe for anything, my mom! LOTS of recipes on this blog come from her, but this chicken salad is one of my favorites.

So I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my blog as much as I've enjoyed publishing it. Please leave comments when you visit, I love seeing who's been here and what they like!

Lani

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

For our last Orlando cooking club, Karen was the hostess and we decided to do a brunch. She had a great menu, and two of my favorites were this quiche and the fruit salsa below. I'm so lucky that Chad will eat whatever I put in front of him...when I told him we were having quiche and fruit salsa for dinner, he said "Sounds great!". Which it was!

Spinach Mushroom Quiche



5 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained (I used fresh)
1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled (I only had plain so I added some Italian herbs and garlic powder)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
4 eggs, beaten (it overflowed at cooking club so I used 3 eggs!)
1 cup milk (and 3/4 cup of milk)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 15-20minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

This was delicious...I would eat this for breakfast, brunch, a snack, dessert, you name it. Chad loved it as well and it was very easy to make. This recipe makes a lot, so I halved it since it was just the two of us.

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips



2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tilapia with Lemon Pesto and Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I saw this on Elly Says Opa! and knew I had to try it. I love making KQ's tilapia, but was ready for a new fish dish to put in the rotation. This was simple to make and cooked quickly, perfect for a weeknight meal. I loved the roasted tomatoes with the pesto flavor. I still think KQ's is on top, but this is a great 2nd.

Tilapia with Lemon Pesto and Oven Roasted Tomatoes
From Elly Says Opa!



1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (I had Campari tomatoes, so I used those)
5 cloves garlic, peeled/smashed
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp pesto
1 lemon (I only used half)
3 tilapia filets, about 6 oz.
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the tomatoes and the garlic with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, juice the lemon and reserve both the juice and the juiced lemon. To the juice, add the pesto and stir to combine. Season the tilapia with salt and pepper and then spread the pesto mixture on top of the fish.

Take the pan of roasted garlic and tomatoes out of the oven and nestle the cut lemon into the pan. Place the tilapia on top of the lemon and tomatoes and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and no longer opaque. Spoon the tomatoes over the fish.