Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers with Grilled Summer Veggies

Every time we have gone to Bonefish Grill, the hubs always orders Bang Bang Shrimp.  I am not much of a seafood gal, but I tasted one anyhow and LOVED the sauce!  On a future trip, I saw they had some bang bang chicken and I'm hooked!  This chicken is not the same as they do in the restaurant...I wanted a little healthier version rather than the breaded variety (although delicious).  

We paired ours up with some yummy zucchini, summer squash, green bell pepper, red onion, and couscous for a delicious dinner.  If nothing else, make the sauce and try it on some different meats, with your chicken nuggets...experiment and see what you like!

Bang Bang Chicken Skewers with Grilled Summer Veggies

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 12-oz package of mushrooms, cut in half
1 pint grape tomatoes
Olive oil, a few tablespoons for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce, or more to taste

Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes before using. You can also use metal skewers.

Thread the chicken, zucchini, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes onto the skewers (keep each thing separate since they have different cooking times). Drizzle the chicken and veggies with oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce, and chile garlic sauce. Set aside.

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the skewers. Cook the veggies for 6-8 minutes, or until tender, and the chicken 10-12 minutes.

Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest a few minutes. Remove the chicken and veggies from the skewers before eating. Toss the chicken with the sauce and serve alongside the veggies.

Recipe Source:  Taste of Home Cooking

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Peanut Noodles with Pork

I honestly have been receiving the Food Network Magazine for a couple years now, and love it!  My problem is I see these fabulous recipes, want to make many of the recipes, then forget about them and all my new recipes come from my Pinterest boards.  Times have changed!!  I have been going through and trying some new delicious recipes, and it's been a fun change cooking from them instead of the blog world for a minute ;)

These noodles turned out good, although I wish there was a bit more sauce, so I'll tweak that for next time!

Peanut Noodles with Pork

Kosher salt
12 ounces Chinese chow mein noodles or spaghetti
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 carrots, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
1 2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces ground pork (or ground turkey)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
chopped dry roasted peanuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain. Whisk the peanut butter, vinegar, 2 tablespoons each water and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the carrots and half of the jalapeno in a large bowl. Add the noodles and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the pork and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce.

Transfer the pork mixture to the bowl with the noodles. Add half of the scallion greens and cilantro and toss to coat, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to loosen. Serve topped with the remaining jalapeno, scallion greens and cilantro, and peanuts.

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cherry Cannoli Pie

I miss living in Ohio.  We lived so close to so many cool "Big" cities to visit.  On one of our visits, we traveled to Pittsburgh to watch a Pirates game and explore the city.  In our exploration, we went to the little Italian District, where we ate our first Primanti Brothers sandwich, got ice cream, and got some delicious biscotti and cannolis.  This pie reminded me so much of that trip.

This recipe comes from the lovely Food Network Magazine, which I've had a subscription to for the last few years and just love it!  I saw this and with cherry season beginning, this went on my short list to make!!

It turned out fantastic, and with the chocolate layer between the crust and the cherries, there was no soggy pie a few days down the road!  The pistachios are a MUST in this recipe, gives the perfect little crunch this pie needs to make it perfect :) Not to mention, this pie is just pretty and represents all the colors of the Italian flag ;)

Cherry Cannoli Pie

Spread 3 ounces melted chocolate in a 9-inch graham cracker crust; chill until set. Cook 12 ounces pitted cherries with 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a skillet over medium heat until tender, 5 minutes. Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water; stir into the cherries and cook until thickened, 3 minutes. Let cool, then pour into the crust. Puree 1 cup ricotta, 1/2 cup each pistachios, cream cheese and confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; spread over the cherries. Top with chopped pistachios and candied orange peel. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

 I have been trying so hard to eat better...until I see a fabulous dessert.  But I am trying!  Here is a yummy side dish we had with some Asian noodles recently that really hit the spot...was very refreshing, crisp, and healthy.  Definitely better than eating an egg roll on the side ;)  This is so simple, a 5 minute side dish that will go well with any of your Asian dishes.

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

Chop 1 English cucumber. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt; let sit 10 minutes. Whisk 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons each sugar and soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 sliced scallions, 1 minced garlic clove and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drain the cucumber and toss with the dressing; season with salt. Top with chopped cilantro.  

Recipe Source:  Food Network Magazine, June 2014