Friday, May 31, 2013

How To . . . Make a Frittata

Hello again fun friendly food fanatics.  Today I'm starting a new semi-regular feature I simply call "How To".  My restaurant reviews and new product reviews aren't coming as quickly as I had imagined they would so I have decided to add this new feature.  Eventually I hope to evolve this into doing "How To" videos as well but for now we'll just see how things turn out.

So Wednesday night I was watching Master Chef (oh yeah .... it's back!) and during their first "Mystery Box" challenge they were given basic simple ingredients to work with to come up with a dish.  Three people in the competition made Frittatas and one actually ended up being a top 3 dish.  Personally I've never made or had a Frittata and it looked fairly simple so I got curious and looked up how to make one.  The thing I really like about Frittatas is that you can put virtually anything in them and leftovers made great choices for ingredients.  I also like that since the basis of a Frittata is cheese and eggs, you can easily make this Gluten-Free. My wife has Gluten sensitivity and gets sick when she has Gluten so this is important to me.

So here we go with my first "How To" blog post.  Please leave comments about ingredients you think would be especially good in a Frittata or about Frittatas in general.

How To . . . Make a Frittata

Choose 3-4 of the following:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cups broccoli
  • 1-2 cups cauliflower
  • 1-2 leeks, diced
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 cup leftover pasta
  • 1 cup leftover rice
  • 1-2 sausages, diced
  • 1 cup shredded chicken, pork, or beef
  • 1 cup tofu, diced
  • Any other leftovers you may have in the fridge

Seasoning Ingredients:
  • 1-3 teaspoons spices, like oregano, basil, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt

Frittata Ingredients:
  • 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
  • 6-8 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients

  • 10" - 12" oven-safe skillet*
  • Spatula

*If you don't have an oven-safe skillet you can transfer the vegetables to an 8x8 casserole dish in step 3 and continue from there


1.  Heat the oven to 400°F.

2.  Sauté the Frittata Ingredients: If the meat is raw, cook that first and then remove it from the pan to add back in later. Cook the vegetables with a little oil over medium-high heat, starting with the longer-cooking veggies like onions and potatoes and ending with softer veggies like red peppers. Add any meat or tofu and cook just enough to warm through.

3.  Season the Vegetables: Since the vegetables will be mixed with eggs, you want to over-season them a bit here. Add whatever seasonings you wish to use along with a half teaspoon of salt. Let this cook for a minute, then give it a taste. It should taste strong, but still good. Add more spices or salt if needed.

4.  Add the Cheese: Spread the vegetables into an even layer on the bottom of the pan (or casserole dish). Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.

5.  Add the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together and pour them over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.

6.  Bake the Frittata: Put the entire pan (or casserole dish) in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the eggs are set. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. Cool for five minutes, then slice into wedges and serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for a week.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Buffalo Chicken Rolls)

Welcome everyone to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday!  It is Wednesday right?!  Finally we're back to doing this on Wednesday after the last couple of weeks doing it on Thursday.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and didn't get too sunburned .... or too drunk!  Speaking of beer, today's recipe should go nicely with a cold beer.  I discovered this recipe somewhere online and it's currently sitting on my "going to make if I ever have time" list.  I'm sure some of you can relate.  Maybe I can get my sister or mom to make these for the next family get together (*hint hint*).  Enjoy everyone and please let me know what you think if you try them.  As always feel free to post comments below.

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

  • 12 egg roll wrappers (roughly 4 square inches)
  • 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (6 ounces)
  • 1/2- 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw or cole slaw (dry)
  • Small bowl of water
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Blue cheese dressing, for serving

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.

2.  Begin by placing one tablespoon of the broccoli slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.

3.  To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.

4.  Repeat with remaining rolls.

5.  Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls crisp and turn a light golden brown.

*Note: To make the chicken, place 1/2 lb of uncooked chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover it. Bring to a boil on your stove top, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. (You can also do this in a crock pot).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Free Recipe Thursday! (Bacon Cheeseburger Balls)

Hello again friends!  So once again we've got a Free Recipe Thursday instead of Wednesday.  I had every intention of posting a recipe yesterday but yesterday, and the rest of the week for that matter, has been a busy one.  Luckily I'm able to get to it today and today's recipe looks delicious.

Today's recipe was a contest winning recipe that I found on the Taste of Home website and it was apparently originally published in Country Woman magazine, September/October 1999.  It appears to be a pretty simple dish with several different components and I personally can't wait to try this one.  As always, post comments with your opinions, suggestions, thoughts, etc.

Bacon Cheeseburger Balls

  • 1 egg
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

For The Coating:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed saltines (about 30 crackers)
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil

1.  In a large bowl, combine egg and soup mix.
2.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well; Divide into 36 portions and set aside.
3.  In another large bowl, whisk together the flour and milk until smooth.
4.  Add cheese and bacon and mix well; Shape cheese mixture into 36 balls.
5.  Shape one beef portion around each cheese ball.
6.  In a shallow bowl, beat eggs. Place cracker crumbs in another bowl. Dip meatballs into egg, then coat with crumbs.
7.  In a large skillet, cook meatballs over medium heat in oil for 10-12 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and coating is golden brown.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Free Recipe ...Thursday? (Ground Beef Sandwich Casserole)

Welcome everyone to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday ... Thursday!  I'm sure everyone was wondering where the heck their Free Recipe Wednesday was yesterday and I apologize for not getting that done.  I got my new Tablet (first one ever) yesterday so I was mostly playing around with that all day and Free Recipe Wednesday completely skipped my mind.

So today I bring you a delicious looking dish.  It's certainly on my list of things to make but I think it's very possible that my sister will probably get a chance to try this one before me.  I don't remember where I found this recipe but I'm sure it was shared on Facebook, one of the many blogs I follow, or in a magazine somewhere.  I do remember the description saying that this is very rich and very filling.  Give this a try and let me know in the comments (or on Facebook) what you think.

Ground Beef Sandwich Casserole

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 10 slices Bread, cut in half
  • 1 carton Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cooking Creme, Herb and Garlic
  • 3 cups Shredded Cheese, mozzarella or whatever is on hand
  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a frying pan (or sauce pan) combine ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano; cook until beef is done. 
3.  Toast all of the bread in the oven, at 350 degrees, until toasty but not burnt. 
4.  Place 10 bread halves (5x2) in the bottom of a 9x13 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
5.  Cover the bread halves with the entire container of cooking creme. 
6.  Top with all of the ground beef, then 1 cup of shredded cheese, then the entire jar of spaghetti sauce, then another 1 cup of shredded cheese, and finally top with the remaining slices of bread.
7.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
8.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese and the Parmesan cheese on top then bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until nice and golden brown.
9.  Let sit 5 minutes before cutting and then enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Paula Deen's Frito and Corn Salad)

Hello again y'all (that's how Paula Deen says it right?) and welcome to another Free Recipe Wednesday. Now personally I'm not a huge Paula Deen fan but I have watched her show a few times and she does make some delicious looking food. I found today's recipe shared on Facebook (let's be honest, most of the good stuff I find is from Facebook) and I've had a similar version of this before and it looks so easy to make so I thought I would share this one. I know this recipe has the word "salad" in it but let's be realistic here .... it's a Paula Deen recipe so how healthy can it be?! Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments. The next time I make this I think I'm going to add 1 teaspoon of chili powder and maybe a minced jalapeno for a little extra kick. I haven't eaten lunch yet and my stomach is growling just thinking about this recipe so lets get on with it. As always feel free to post comments with suggestions, opinions, and ideas.

UPDATE: The other night my sister made the Crispy Cheddar Chicken that I shared (2 posts down) and she said the family absolutely loved it. I haven't gotten to try it yet but it's at the top of my list. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already.

Paula Deen Frito and Corn Salad

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • 2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese (or experiment)
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Orange Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 (10½ ounce) bag Coarsely Crushed Fritos Chili Cheese Corn Chips

1. Combine first 5 ingredients. 
2. Stir in corn chips just before serving. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Quick Dinner Ideas! (Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken)

Welcome friends to another Quick Dinner Ideas.  If you follow my blog then you know I'm a big fan of slow cookers and today's Quick Dinner Idea is something that my wife and I make quite often.  All you need is a slow cooker, 3 or 4 chicken breasts, your favorite seasonings, and a jar of salsa.

First, season the chicken breasts on both sides with your favorite seasonings.  We'll usually buy a chicken or steak seasoning packet at the store and use that but feel free to use whatever you want.  Next, put the chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover them with a jar of salsa.  We've tried this with both your traditional salsa as well as Salsa Verde (green salsa) and both ways are delicious.  Once the chicken and salsa are in your slow cooker, turn it on low and let the chicken cook away for about 4 or 5 hours. When the chicken is done pull it out of the slow cooker and use 2 forks to shred it up.  It should shred really easy. After the chicken is shredded just put it back in the slow cooker with the salsa and seasonings that remain and stir it up to really get the chicken coated.  That's it, quick and easy shredded chicken.

You can store the shredded chicken or use it right away.  It should store just fine in the fridge for a few days and when you want to use it you can just heat it up in the microwave and make whatever you want.  One of our favorite things to do is make shredded chicken tacos, like in the picture to the right.  You could also add a can of corn and a can of beans to make it more tex-mex and eat it just like that or make tex-mex tacos. You can make up a bunch of this shredded chicken to have meals all week with and since there's an extremely large number of things you can make with shredded chicken you don't have to worry about getting tired of it quickly. Plus chicken is healthier and higher in protein than red meats so if you're dieting or just watching what you eat then this is perfect for you.

Please feel free to post comments and let me know what you use your shredded chicken for or ideas that you might have to make this even better.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Crispy Cheddar Chicken)

Hello again everyone and welcome to a new edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. I've had a busy week and didn't have much time to prepare for today's post so luckily I came across this recipe on Facebook last night as I was winding down my day. This dish looks super delicious and looks pretty easy to make too. Plus it's baked so it's a little healthier than fried chicken. Personally I think panko bread crumbs would be a good substitution for the Ritz crackers but I bet it's delicious just the way it is. Hopefully I'll find out soon and let you all know. As always feel free to post comments if you've tried this before and let us all know what you think.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

  • 2 lb Chicken Tenders (or 4 large Chicken Breasts)
  • 2 sleeves Ritz Crackers
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 3 cup Cheddar Cheese (finely shredded)
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley

For The Sauce:
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

1. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut each chicken breast into 2 or 3 large pieces.
2. Crush crackers; season with salt & pepper.
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate dishes.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese; press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers, then press the cheesy coated chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in
5. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan; sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
6. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
7. After 35 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. In a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk; stir over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve sauce over the chicken.