Archive for October, 2009

I was perusing potato recipes online and came across one that used pumpkin soup instead of cheese for au gratin potatoes (http://www.greatpotatorecipes.com/easy-potato-recipe.html#more-52), so I thought I’d try out butternut squash, instead.  I tweaked it a bit:

Potatoes, thinly sliced (enough to fill up a casserole dish, I used about 7 small ones)
1.5 containers of TJ’s chopped onions, garlic and shallots
16 ounces of milk
about 20 ounces of TJ’s butternut squash soup
goat cheese
freshly ground pepper to taste

my TJ's ingredients

my TJ's ingredients

Put layers of potatoes, then sprinkle the chopped mixture, some pepper.  Then another layer of potatoes, and so on.

Mix the soup and milk together, then pour over potatoes.

oven ready

oven ready

Bake at 350 for about 75 minutes.  After it is done baking, I served the potatoes and added generous chunks of goat cheese on top, which quickly melted.  A new fall favorite!  I think it could use a bit more spice, though…any suggestions?


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Okay, these aren’t exactly LEFTOVERS but I’m trying to use up leftover ingredients. I had half a can of whole peeled tomatoes and a bunch of potatoes to get rid of, so I decided to make some tomato sauce to pour on top of pan-roasted potato medallions.

Tomato sauce (I totally winged the measurements):

  • Juice from half a can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • Cut the whole peeled tomatoes in quarters
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced shallots
  • Diced mushrooms

I heated some butter & evoo in my TINY saucepan and cooked the garlic and shallots first. Then I put the rest of the ingredients in (I didn’t need any water/stock either). I placed a few thyme stems into the saucepan for flavor, as well as the following spices:

  • Garlic salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Oregano
  • Sugar
  • Chili powder
  • Pepper

Let this simmer while you prepare and cook the potatoes. The longer it cooks, the better. It’ll probably even be better the next day.

  • Skinned potatoes, cut into medallions (or any way you prefer)
  • Seasoned with salt and pepper

I heated some evoo in a pan and cooked minced garlic & slivered onions until the onions started to turn transparent. I put as many potato medallions as I could on the pan (I like when they’re all crisp & golden-brown). After 4-5 minutes or so, I flipped them over and put the pan into the oven @ 350 so the potatoes could cook through.

Once the potatoes were done, I put a handful of the medallions on a plate and poured on some tomato sauce. I had some freshly grated parm so I topped it off with that. This dish is surprisingly delicious and filling, and best of all, it’s cheap!

$ breakdown:

  • $3 5 lb bag of potatoes
  • <$1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

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Oh sweet heavens, this was uh-maze-zing!  You might think it sounds gross, but you, my friend, are mistaken.  Sweet and Savory, FOR THE WIN.  I have been wanting to make these for months, and I am so glad I finally did.

I originally got the idea from the Bacon Today blog: http://bacontoday.com/bacon-cinnamon-rolls-o/

So it was pretty simple.  Bought bacon, the pop out cinnamon rolls.  My cohort and I decided it would be best to cook the bacon just a little bit in the skillet first to make sure it would be nice and crispy.

just cooke the bacon a little bit first

just cook the bacon a little bit first

Then we discovered that the cinnamon rolls were already pre-rolled…so basically they looked like a pilsbury biscuit :/

I decided to just go for it and wrap some bacon around one of the rolls, before the sous chef came up with the great idea to just cut the the rolls ourselves.  This was easy and done with kitchen shears.


Here you can see the one I wrapped in bacon, the first successful cinnamon roll, and the cut and uncut versions.  After getting all the rolls assembled, we popped them into the oven, according to the directions for the rolls.  I believe it was 425 for about 15 minutes.

ready for the oven!

ready for the oven!

Once they were out of the oven, you just add the icing and you are good to go!

If you don’t think this is the best cinnamon roll ever, I will fight you.  That’s no lie.

finished product!

finished product!

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I cheated. I bought marinated chicken from an Asian market this past weekend. I HATE using anything prepackaged so I’m not too sure why I caved in and bought this chicken.

I was craving something similar to what I’ve had at Korean fast food places and I figured it shouldn’t be too difficult to make (especially since I already had the marinated spicy chicken).

  • Slivered onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • A few pieces of baby bok choy (separated)

Heat some sesame oil in a pot over medium-high heat and toss in the garlic and the chicken. After about 2 minutes, turn the chicken over, put the rest of the ingredients in and cover the pot with a lid. Because the mushrooms and bok choy release a lot of water (also combined with the covered pot), the chicken will cook through and you’ll have a bit of a sauce from the marinade. You can choose to make this sauce thicker by adding a bit more broth or water & some cornstarch/flour, or you can leave it as is.

It won’t take long to cook, btw, maybe about 8-10 minutes. In the meantime, you can boil water and cook the vermicelli noodles. I mixed them with sesame oil and some hoisin sauce after they were cooked and strained.

$ breakdown:

  • $4 marinated chicken from the Asian grocery store (I got it from M2M in the east village but I’m sure it would’ve been cheaper if I went to Koreatown or Chinatown)
  • $2 bok choy
  • $2 vermicelli

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The main inspiration for this recipe is my friend’s mom’s recipe for chicken salad sandwiches. Apparently she roasts the chicken all day and man.. the way it’s seasoned (there’s a little bit of curry powder or SOMETHING) is SO good. The meat is so finely minced that it’s basically a spread. OH MAN it’s so good. Plus I don’t know why but I’ve never thought about making chicken salad sandwiches NOT from a can.

I wanted to do something similar but not exclusively for chicken salad sandwiches (although that is ultimately what I made). I had a bag of frozen chicken breasts from Trader Joe’s that I needed to get rid of, and since I’m impatient, I stuck them into the oven @ 350 degrees instead of thawing them out. After about 10 minutes, the chicken breasts were thawed and ready to season.

  • Garlic salt
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder (not too much because curry is very strong)
  • Oregano

I covered the sheet with foil & popped these into the oven for another 20 to 25 minutes until fully cooked. In retrospect, I think I should have lowered the temperature and cooked it longer so it’d be more tender. Oh well.

While the chicken finishes cooking, prepare the rest of the dish for the chicken salad.

  • Diced shallots
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped fresh thyme

Pour evoo and let the flavors mingle.

After the chicken is done cooking, take 2 forks and shred them. This was a PAINSTAKING process for me (the entire time, I kept thinking about Dave Chappelle’s Samuel L. Jackson beer skit — “Made painstakingly by ME, Samuel L. Jackson!!!”). Mix the shredded chicken with the shallots-garlic-thyme mixture and let it cool down.

Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to keep the chicken versatile so I didn’t add anything else to the whole batch. When I made myself a chicken salad sandwich, however, I took maybe 1/3 cup of the shredded chicken and mixed it with some mayo and put it on a bed of lettuce (on which I trickled some of my Gwyneth-vinaigrette) on some toasted bread.

I tried it with some mustard and mayo but I don’t think the mustard went too well with the curry powder. Because there’s so much flavor packed into the chicken, it might be best to keep the mayo as is.

I also had some of the chicken on a bed of leafy greens with sliced cucumbers, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, onions and the Gwyneth-vinaigrette. SO good.

$ breakdown:

  • $9 – entire bag of frozen chicken breasts (or maybe it was $12, I don’t really remember) and I used about 7 pieces out of 20 or something

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