Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stuffed Green Peppers, light, right, and you'll be full all night!

"Oh my god, it's almost dinner time! What am I going to make? I don't even know what's in the fridge-crap!"

When you find yourself in this very moment (and you will), might I suggest adding this super-easy supper of Stuffed Green Peppers to your emergency arsenal? Or stuffed peppers of your choosing. I happened to be holding on to a few Green Bell Peppers when I realized they were on their way out if I did not utilize all of the pepper mass as soon as possible. Plus I had two two leftover proteins: roasted chicken legs and raspberry chipotle kielbasa, and in my world 2 green peppers plus two leftover proteins plus yellow rice and some extras equals the light, right and full all-night meal of Stuffed Green Peppers.

  • 2 medium green bell peppers
  • 8 ounces protein of choice ( I have the roasted chicken and raspberry chipotle kielbasa)
  • 3/4 cups chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped green peppers
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup uncooked yellow rice
  • 2-3 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan & shredded cheese in mixture (I had white cheddar, but use whatevs)
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare yellow rice. Takes about 15-20 minutes.
While rice is simmering, chop veggies and proteins, clean and core green bell peppers trying to reserve as much of the pepper as possible.
When rice is done, set aside off heat.
Heat olive oil or whatever oil you have. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
Add your protein. I used 2 pans. One for the chicken stuffing and one for the kielbasa stuffing. Pete really did not like the raspberry chipotle kielbasa so I wanted to make sure it did not encroach at all in his roasted chicken stuffing.

Add 1/2-3/4 rice, salt to taste and cook all together another 3-5 mintes more. Reserve the leftover rice for the side.
Transfer hot mixture to a bowl(s).
Add chopped artichoke hearts and half the parmesan/shredded cheese mixture. Just mix slightly. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the prepared green pepper shells.

Cover the peppers with the rest of the cheese mixture.
In a deep-ish baking dish, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
Stand up stuffed peppers in the baking dish and roast for 25 minutes.
Take out and serve it up with a fork and knife because although this meal is elegantly contained, it is a monstrous amount of food.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Milanos at Home - July Daring Bakers Challenge

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Thankfully this month we DBers can be counted as a participant by completing either the Milans challenge or the Chocolate Covered Mashallow Cookies challenge, of course both were fair game too. July very unexpectedly picked in pace for me in addition to being away from L&S to visit home, mom, friends, and family for five days in PA. Regardless, I'm back and ready to release all the dishes I've been stockpiling since my last appearance. Also, look for my iPhone Photo Diary article at Eat, Live, Travel, Write as a guest blogger this August 2nd, 2009 featuring the lesser-known, yet none-the-lesser delicious foods of the Philadelphia area (Thanks Mardi!). I'm excited to showoff my childhood foods in the upcoming article, but without further ado-THE MILANs!

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website. I didn't change nearly anything at all, but truly enjoyed executing this recipe for an amazing homemade cookie version of a brand favorite.

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour

Cookie filling:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 orange, zested (omitted this, but added peppermint extract later for about 1/2 the batch).
  1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
  2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.

4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.

5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.

6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).

9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.

10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tex Mex Med Chicken Burritos with Cilantro Lemon Dressing

Want an alternative as easy to make as burgers and hot dogs without the heart-burn and calorie-guilt? Want to re-define a summer staple you eat with your hands that is fresh, full of flavor, and low-in-fat? Than I have the dish for you-Tex Mex Med Chicken Burritos with Cilantro-Lime Dressing. This dish is my attempt at pairing my native flavor-base of the Mediterranean by preparing the chicken in olive oil with fresh garlic and roasted red pepper and combining it with the popular Tex Mex and Latin cuisines of my current community highlighting cilantro and fresh peppers and onions for texture, flavor, and health. The lemon of the dressing bridges the gap of these regional fares making for a light yet filling dish that both is familiar and different.

Tex Mex Med Burrito Recipe, Serves: 4
1 lb. ground chicken
4 garlic cloves
2 large roasted red peppers
shredded iceberg lettuce
shredded Monterey jack cheese or any cheddar mix
diced red onions
diced orange peppers
diced tomatoes
4 large tortillas

Pre-chop all vegetables and prepare dressing ingredients. Heat 3 tblsp. of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add fresh garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add chicken meat. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 8 minutes. Add roasted red peppers for another 2-4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through.

Cilantro Lemon Vinaigrette from Food&Wine.com
2/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot: I used fresh garlic instead.
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey: I used white sugar instead.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a blender, combine the cilantro leaves, shallot (garlic), lemon juice, red wine vinegar and honey (sugar) and pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Assemble the burrito about 1/3 up on the shell and be sure to keep all components in the middle leaving enough room to fold-in on both sides. Drizzle about 1-2 tsp. of dressing on top, fold, and ta-da! You've got a hearty, healthy, burrito sure to make everyone in the family happy and full with a new summer favorite.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Orlando’s own craft beer, orange blossom pilsner

Dear Fantastic Blog Followers:

Looking for my recent post, "Orlando’s own craft beer, orange blossom pilsner" ? Well, for that you will have to venture to my second online home for food blogging, Examiner.com/Orlando (post is directly linked).

Thanks for stopping by LaptopsandStovetops and I hope you visit examiner.com/orlando soon!

Rachel 'Tha Pizza Cutta' Joyce