Friday, February 15, 2008

Chicken in a Chipotle-Red Pepper Sauce served with Seasoned Quinoa

I found a recipe for Smoked Chicken with a Roasted-Red Pepper Sauce on the Cooking Light web site and tried it last night. I made a few changes that I feel helped the dish. I'd highly recommend this one!
I made the dish with three chicken breasts; below is what I did. For the original recipe see the link above.

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 c chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce; drained and chopped
  • 1/2 c salsa
  • 1.5 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 c chicken broth (I added this to the recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp dried Cilantro; the original recipe called for fresh but I didn't have any


  • Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken to bacon drippings in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan.
  • To the pan add the onion, coriander, garlic, and chipotle chile; Saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add salsa and red peppers, stir. Add chicken broth.
  • Return chicken to the pan and let simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is done. Once done, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and cilantro.

Here is the chicken simmering in the pan:

When this dish was cooking I wasn't sure about it - I'm not in love with the aroma from chipotle chiles. I was wrong was fabulous!! I'll definitely make this again. I took leftovers to my parents and am looking forward to hearing what they thought of it.


Seasoned Quinoa

I made quinoa once before and thought it would go nicely with this dish. Here is what I did:

  • Saute 1/4 of a small onion and 2 cloves minced garlic in olive oil.
  • Add 1 c rinsed quinoa and 2 c chicken broth. Turn heat to low and let simmer 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  • I then added a few shakes each of cumin and chili powder, and just a dash of cayenne.

Amazing flavor, super easy, and much healthier than white rice.


I sliced 1/2 of a zucchini, chopped 1/2 of a red pepper, and threw it into a pan with some olive oil and 1 c of frozen corn. I added a dash of salt and sauteed it for about 4 minutes. Loved the color, loved the mix of flavors, and it went perfectly with the chicken and quinoa.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stuffed Peppers...for Breakfast!

Eggs are a quick and easy way to have a filling breakfast, so I love making them. I'm always looking for new ideas, so when I came across a recipe for stuffed peppers in this book, I decided to give it a try.

I love how pretty these peppers are! What a great idea for a brunch or serving overnight guests.

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 3 eggs, beat with 2 tsp milk
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red pepper, chopped
  • 2 small green (or red) peppers, tops chopped off and insides cleaned
  • cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp shredded cheese; I used cheddar


  • Microwave peppers on high for 2.5 minutes to soften; set aside
  • Spray frying pan with cooking spray; heat on medium
  • Add onions and peppers; saute 1-2 minutes
  • Add eggs, scramble; add salt and pepper while scrambling
  • Once eggs are done, fill each pepper cup with the eggs. Top with cheese and put under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

I can't wait to make these again. You could make any kind of scrambled eggs you like, using any number of ingredients - veggies, meats, different cheeses, etc.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Herbed Polenta with a Tomato Ragout

A few weeks ago I bought a package of stone ground cornmeal to make homemade polenta. Tonight I finally took on the challenge.

I found inspiration from this recipe for polenta and this idea for baking polenta. I read through them, combined a few ideas, thought about the ingredients I had on hand, and came up with this Herbed Polenta with a Tomato Ragout -


  • 3 cups chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 leaves of sage, minced
  • 1 small sprig of thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese; I used a mix of white cheddar and asiago
  • Ragout: 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used 1 package of grape tomatoes), 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt


  • Combine broth, herbs, garlic, and salt; bring to a boil
  • Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, just a bit at a time.
  • Lower heat to medium-low and continue to whisk until the polenta becomes thick and creamy and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan. This took about 18 minutes.

  • In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add the ingredients for the ragout and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes. Set aside.

  • Once the polenta is just about done, whisk in the cheese until creamy.
  • Spoon half of the polenta into a baking dish. Top with the ragout and then spoon in the rest of the polenta. Top with just a bit of shredded cheese.
  • Bake on 400 for 30-40 minutes - covered for the first half, uncovered for the rest - until golden brown.

I wish my blog had a "scratch-n-sniff" capability because it smells sooo good in here right now! Here is the finished product.
It was sooo yummy - one of the best things I have tasted in a while. My one wish is that it was a little firmer; I think I can achieve that next time by letting it cool in a pan to set for a bit before baking it. I served the polenta with a side of sauteed spinach - fresh baby spinach sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with some Kosher salt.

One word of advice - warm up your arms and be ready to get a workout from the constant whisking! I had just done an upper body workout so my arms were exhausted by the time I was done cooking. It was well worth it though and I'd do it again.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tortellini Soup

My dad makes a good tortellini soup. I decided to change it up a bit by combining my dad's recipe with my garlic soup recipe. It worked perfectly! I took this picture when it was still simmering in the pot:

Ingredients (4-6 servings)
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped (big pieces)
  • 46 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of stewed tomatoes; reserve juice; chop tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 cups frozen tortellini
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch each of salt and black pepper


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat; add garlic, lower heat, and cook for 15 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic
  • Add the red pepper flakes, broth, water, juice from the tomatoes, and the Parmesan rind; bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the rind; add chopped tomatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Add tortellini; simmer for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the fresh spinach, stir until wilted, and remove from the heat.

I'll have this soup for a few lunches this week. As the week goes on, the tortellini does start to soak up the broth. If this happens, you could definitely add a bit of broth and let it simmer on the stove for 10 minutes or so. Enjoy!