Archive for April, 2012

I got the inspiration for this recipe (and most of the recipe from) Food Network Magazine: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/falafel-crusted-chicken-with-hummus-slaw-recipe/index.html

So apparently, you can buy boxed falafel mix.  It’s so cool!  It SMELLS just like falafel.  I did a little research and apparently this is the best brand (they have it at Henry’s/ Sprouts):

It was even on sale!

So the basic idea is to coat the chicken in falafel mix, bake it and stuff it into a wrap with delicious hummus coleslaw.  Just FYI, I double the recipe because I had two pounds of defrosted chicken, but the recipe is the original amounts.

What you need:

  • a pound or more of chicken breast tenders (or make your own from whole breasts)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup falafel mix
  • 6 tablespoons of hummus
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon harissa or hot chili paste.  I used spicy paprika paste from Budapest:
  • 4 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
  • Salt
  • Tortillas or wraps

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with one tablespoon of olive oil
  3. Add the falafel mix to the bowl and coat the chicken pieces with the mix
  4. Put the chicken on a baking sheet (spray with oil first)
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes
  6. While the chicken is baking, make the coleslaw.  Mix the hummus, lemon juice, parprika/ chili paste and 3 tablespoons of water together in a large bowl.
  7. Add the cabbage/ coleslaw mix to the bowl, and mix until the cabbage is evenly coated with sauce.
  8. When the chicken is done, combine with slaw in a tortilla, then roll into a wrap, and eat up.



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Here is a quick snack recipe.  It would be a great after school snack, or even lunch for kids.  Apples and cheese are always such a great combo, and it works especially well in quesadilla form.

What you need:

  • 1-2 granny smith apples
  • olive oil
  • tortillas
  • brie, sliced as thin as you can get it
  • Optional: bacon, cook and cut up to put in the quesadilla

What to do:

  1. Slice the apple into really thin pieces.
  2. Add some olive oil to a skillet, heat over medium high heat, then add the apples.  Stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes or so, until the apples get tender.
  3. Arrange the cheese, apples (and bacon?) on a tortilla and top with another tortilla (or fold if you want a small portion)

    Ready to grill

  4. Grill the quesadilla in the skillet you already used for the apples until the brie is nice and gooey.  You’re done 🙂

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Agua Fresca

I love strawberry agua fresca, you guys.  I love it to much, I want to marry it.  I go to the swapmeet in East County, just to get it.  Then I got the courage to ask the cashier at the tamale stand how to make it… What she told me was TOTALLY different than the recipes on line.  She said the secret ingredient is half and half.  The recipes online are always just fruit, sugar, ice, water.  I don’t buy half and half, and always have 2% milk, so I used that instead.  The result was SO GOOD.  Almost just like at the swapmeet, but no pants required.

P.S. Please do not mix up SALT for SUGAR in this recipe.  Trust me, it is the most disgusting thing you will taste all month, if you do.  #ilearnfrommymistakes :/

What you need:

  • 4 cups chopped/ hulled strawberries (about the amount you get from a small container from the store)
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • blender

What to do:

  1. Add all the stuff to the blender… and puree! 
  2. Put the agua fresca in the fridge for at least an hour, 2-3 hours is preferred.  Don’t worry if the foam settles on top.
  3. Stir it up and enjoy, preferably in a warm, sunny spot. 

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Refried Beans

I make these all the time, and never really though anything of it until Christina came over for pollo asado one night and was so in love with them.  I think she called them “restaurant beans”, haha.

I got the recipe from the mother of my best childhood friend.  She was a badass Mexicana who would always have some delicious Mexican food on the stove.  I loved going over there on enchilada night.  Anyway, it’s a very simple recipe that doesn’t require a lot of brain power (read: measurements) and makes a great side dish!

What you need:

  • Sun Vista pinto beans, what size can you want.  I usually use the 29 ouncer (the cheese amounts are based on this size can):
  • Cheese, shredded, about 2 cups.  Can be any of the following: cheddar, jack, mozzarella, cotija, queso fresco, anything similar.  I usually use whatever I happen to have on hand.
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated, 1/2 cup or so.  This is key.  Romano should work, too.
  • Optional:
  • Minced garlic or onion
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chili paste, crushed red peppers, or anything else to make it a bit spicy
  • Potato masher, or some other way to smash the beans up

What you need to do:

  1. Pour the contents of the pinto bean can into a large skillet.  If you are adding any of the optional ingredients, add them now.
  2. Cook over medium high heat until the beans start to bubble.
  3. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally… no worries because you can’t really over cook it.
  4. Smash a few beans with a spoon to see if they smash easily.  If they do, you are ready for step #5.
  5. Grab your potato masher (or other smashing tool, hah) and CAREFULLY smash all the little pintos up.  Seriously you gotta be careful because sometime you can create a suction when you smash the beans then pull the masher back up and then you end up with a beansplosion ALL over your kitchen… it’s VERY messy, ask Christina.  It’s not complicated, just try not to be an idiot like me.

    look at my fancy masher!

  6. Once the beans are homogenous, stir in the parmesan cheese.  And then stir in the other cheese.  Stir, stir, stir until it all melts.
  7. Enjoy 🙂

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

It was brought to my attention yesterday, during lunch at a delicious greek restaurant that my mom and sister have never had lemon chicken orzo soup (aka Avgolemono) and that I never posted about it!  I really, really like this soup, but I make it all the time because my BF LOOOOVES it.  It’s a very hearty soup, so it can definitely make a meal out of it, or pair it with a fresh, greek inspired salad.

Also, don’t be afraid to fudge things a bit… Adding more of things you like, etc.  I kind of just throw in what I have without measuring.

What you need:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (I usually end up just throwing in a whole pre-cut bag)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chicken soup base (found at Trader Joe’s, or two bullion cubes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (Wondra works best for this)
  • 1 – 2 cups orzo
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast (I prefer coating the chicken in breadcrumbs, then baking them)
  • parsley to garnish
  • 6 eggs
  • olive oil

What to do:

  1. In a pot, sauté carrots, onion, garlic with olive oil for a few mins
  2. In the same pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, then simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add uncooked orzo
  4. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
  5. Meanwhile, beat the egg until light in mixed. Gradually add the eggs to the hot soup, stirring constantly. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Mix in the chicken pieces.
  7. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

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