Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's been toooo long!

Sorry it's been so long, everyone. We've been busy around here, but I just keep thinking "I need to put up more recipes! It's getting to be summer and everyone needs stuff for hot weather." I hate heating up my house when it's already hot enough outside, so I will try to put together some recipes that use minimal heat, OK? And thanks to everyone who's checking (and USING) this blog--I love getting your feedback!!! It makes me feel like I'm doing something good to help others :o) And for those of you who are reading this but AREN'T responding, please do! I want to know what you think and what you'd like to see. You can either post a comment or email me...
Anyway, here are a bunch of good ones to make up for the last couple months. Enjoy!

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Can you tell I LOVE curry? This is not your average nightly meal, but it’s honestly our family’s favorite dinner. Bennett asks for it at least once a month. Invest in the ingredients, and you’ll use them. You can find most of them at the normal grocery store (“Thai Kitchen” and “Taste of Thai” are good brands). It’s best when served over jasmine rice. Be brave and have fun!

Thai Red Curry Chicken
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
½-1 tsp red curry paste (depending on the heat level you’re going for)
¼ cup fish sauce (smells awful, but you can’t taste it in the dish—I promise!)
2 T sugar
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 small can pineapple chunks or tidbits
½ green pepper, thinly sliced
5-8 Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (optional)

Combine ½ the can of coconut milk with red curry paste in large skillet. Add chicken, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until chicken is done. Add remaining coconut milk, tomatoes, pineapple, and green pepper (and lime and basil leaves if you have them). Heat through and serve over rice.

Tandoori Chicken

Here’s another unique recipe; it’s very good and very healthy! We like this chicken best when it’s grilled on the BBQ, but you can also broil it in the oven.

Tandoori Chicken
2-3 lbs chicken pieces
1 ½ cups plain yogurt
2 T lemon juice
2 T fresh minced ginger
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

In a bowl, combine yogurt with lemon juice and spices. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Lightly oil grill and preheat for 5-10 minutes (or preheat broiler). Place marinated chicken on grill or broiler pan. Cook chicken 8-10 minutes per side, basting occasionally with juices. Serve over cooked rice sprinkled with cilantro (basmati rice is best!).

Kay Curtiss Salad

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who got it from her sister-in-law's sister (whose name is Kay Curtiss--go figure!) We love it as a main dish in the summertime. In fact, we just had it at Lake Powell last week!

Kay Curtiss Salad
Romaine lettuce
Green pepper, sliced
Broccoli slaw (by bagged lettuce)
Cooked chicken, cubed
Red grapes, sliced in half
Sunflower seeds
Peppercorn Ranch dressing

Just toss everything in this one together to your liking, and enjoy!

Kristin Farnsworth's Las Vegas Ward Salad

Don't I have the greatest names for salads?☺ I make this almost every time I’m asked to bring a salad, so you’ve probably already had it. Oh well... I love it!

Kristin Farnsworth’s Las Vegas Ward Salad
chopped Romaine lettuce and spinach
1-2 gala or fuji apples, sliced and diced
Toasted pecan pieces (or sliced almonds or pine nuts)
**Optional—crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing: Make up one Good Seasons Italian salad dressing packet according to directions. Add ½ tsp sugar and ½ tsp. rosemary; shake it up well, pour over salad, and toss!

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

I had this salad at Max & Erma’s when we first came looking for a place to live in Columbus. It’s since been taken off the menu, for some dumb reason. I wrote down all the ingredients and now think I make it better anyway—who needs a restaurant? Or maybe my memory is just failing…

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Romaine lettuce
black beans
small corn tortillas
BBQ sauce
Ranch dressing

Grill (or broil) chicken with some BBQ sauce on it—keep basting it on during cooking. Meanwhile, cut up lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and cilantro. Slice corn tortillas into long strips and fry in a little oil till crispy, then remove from oil to a paper towel and salt them a bit if desired. When chicken is done, cut up into strips and serve on bed of lettuce with all the toppings. For dressing, combine BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing till it tastes good to you. Pour on the goodness, and enjoy!

Pesto Chicken Pasta

OK, I made this one up on my own. I put a whole bunch of ingredients that I love together in one recipe. So if you don’t like it, that’s fine. Find your own!

Pesto Chicken Pasta

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size pieces
about 12 oz. basil pesto (homemade or storebought)
1 small can marinated sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 small can marinated artichoke hearts, drained
about ½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 package uncooked bowtie or penne pasta
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, brown chicken in a little bit of olive oil (or some of the pesto sauce). Add sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts; mix together. Add pasta to skillet, along with the pesto sauce and pine nuts, then toss to coat everything. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese generously on top, put lid on skillet for a few minutes to let cheese melt, and dig in!

Tortellini Salad

This one's great for hot summer evenings--make it early, throw it in the fridge, and enjoy a chilled meal later on when you're too hot to cook...

Tortellini Pasta Salad
20 oz. fresh cheese tortellini, cooked and drained
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ lb. salami or ham, cubed
¼ lb. havarti, mozzarella or swiss cheese, cubed
1 red or green pepper, chopped
½ cup black olives, sliced
2 green onions sliced

3 T red wine vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp salt

Blend dressing ingredients in food processor or blender till well-mixed. Then combine ingredients and toss with dressing. Let chill for at least 2-3 hours.

Carrot Soup

I love this recipe—it’s light, so it makes a perfect summer or fall meal! Serve with crusty bread on the side, and you can clean your bowl with it...

Carrot Soup
½ cup butter
2 large onions, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ inches fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
3 lbs carrots, chopped
2 pints vegetable stock (chicken broth works too)
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

Melt butter in large pot. In butter, sauté chopped onions and garlic. When onions are tender, add ginger and coriander. Add the chopped carrots and vegetable stock to the sautéed veggies and cook until carrots are tender. Put mixture in blender and puree; return to pot. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving.
**Optional garnish: small dollop of sour cream on top.

Couscous Salad

I got this recipe from a family in Saudi Arabia, so it's obviously good for hot weather! You can either make it as a main dish (with chicken) or side (w/out chicken). Don't be scared by couscous if you've never made it--it's kind of like rice, but so much easier to make and it tastes fantastic! Look for it in the ethnic section of the grocery store...

Couscous Salad
1 ¼ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 T butter
½ cup olive oil
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp prepared Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
black pepper to taste
1 cup chicken, cooked & diced (omit for vegetarian)
1-2 spring (green) onions, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
1 large green apple, cored & diced

In saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil; add couscous and butter. Bring to a boil again and cover. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and let cool. In small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, coriander, mustard, garlic and pepper—mix well. In large bowl, combine cooled couscous, chicken, onions, apple and celery. Add olive oil mixture bit by bit to moisten, and toss to coat. Don't use all of the olive oil mixture if it looks like it's going to be too oily...