Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Moosewood Restaurant Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

5 cups peeled cubed sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons canola or other vegetable oil
3-1/2 cups diced onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tablespoon minced fresh green chile
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons ground coriander
4-1/2 cups cooked black beans (three 15-ounce cans, drained)
2/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
8 eight-inch flour tortillas
Fresh tomato salsa or jarred

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a medium skillet or saucepan and add the onions, garlic, and chiles. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and cooked sweet potatoes and puree until smooth. (You can also mash the ingredients in a large bowl by hand using a potato masher. The result will be a less smooth but nicely textured filling.) Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a large mixing bowl
and mix in the cooked onions and spices.

Lightly oil a large baking dish. Spoon about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the filling in the center of each tortilla, roll it up, and place it, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until piping hot. Serve topped with salsa.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Bushman Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
2 cups bread flour, plus extra
2 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon caramel color (optional)
3 tablespoons cornmeal - for dusting
Whipped butter, for serving

1. Place all of the ingredients except the cornmeal and whipped butter in a bread machine and follow the manufacturer's directions. The dough will be a little on the wet side and sticky, but if it seems too wet, add more bread flour. When dough is done let it rise for 1 hour.

2. Remove from machine, punch down and divide into 8 portions. Form the portions into tubular-shaped loaves 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide.

3. Sprinkle the entire surface of the loaves with the cornmeal and place the loaves on two cookie sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The internal temperature of a loaf of yeast bread when baked to perfection is 210 degrees F. Serve warm with whipped butter.

Makes 8 loaves

Outback Creamy Onion Soup

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sweet yellow onions (thinly sliced)
1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth or stock
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 cup diced Velveeta cheese, cubes (compressed in measuring cup)
1 1/2-1 3/4 cups white sauce
4 bay leaves (more or less if you like)
shredded cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese or colby cheese (to garnish, or a combo)

1) For the white sauce: In a 1-quart saucepan melt butter and add flour, cook on medium heat until the flour turns thick and comes away from the side of the saucepan. Pour milk in flour a little at a time and stir constantly. Mixture should thicken and become like thick pudding. Remember to stir constantly taking care not to let mixture lump, set aside off from heat until ready to use for the soup.

2) In 2-quart saucepan place 3 tablespoons butter and sliced onions. Cook at low to medium heat stirring frequently until soft and clear but not brown. Add chicken broth or stock from can, chicken bouillon cubes, bay leaves, pepper, and stir until
completely heated through.

3) Add white sauce and Velveeta cheese to onion mixture. White sauce will be thick because it has been removed from the heat. Simmer on medium low heat until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are blended, stirring constantly. Turn temperature to warm and let cook for additional 30 minute to 45 minutes.

4) Serve with a garnish of shredded cheese(s), and a couple of slices of warm dark Russian Bread.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Houston's Grilled Chicken Salad

1 bag mixed salad greens
1 large carrot, julienne cut
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
thin tortilla strips

Lime Dressing:
1/2 cup lime juice
7 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons honey mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peanut Sauce:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons hot water
4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground ginger

In a small bowl, combine the lime dressing ingredients and mix well. In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, carrots, sliced chicken and tortilla strips. Pour the lime dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer the salad to 4 salad plates. In another bowl, combine the ingredients for the peanut sauce and mix well. Drizzle each salad with the peanut sauce and serve.

Starbuck's Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

3 cups unbleached flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
2 egg whites
2/3 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, combine the milk, applesauce and egg whites; mix well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend together. Fold in the blueberries.

Spray some muffin tins with cooking oil. Spoon the muffin batter equally among the cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Test with a long toothpick or a fork to make sure the center of the muffins are done.

Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Golden Corral Rolls

1 envelope active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot milk
1 egg - lightly beaten
4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons melted butter - for brushing rolls

Sprinkle the yeast over very warm water in a large bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves.

Add sugar, the 1/4 cup butter and salt to hot milk and stir until the sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Cool mixture to 105 to 115 degrees.

Add milk mixture to yeast, then beat in egg. Beat in 4 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Use some of the remaining 1/2 cup of the flour to dust a pastry cloth.

Knead the dough lightly for 5 minutes, working in the remaining flour (use it for flouring the pastry cloth and your hands).

Place dough in a warm buttered bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and knead 4 to 5 minutes on a lightly floured pastry cloth. Dough will be sticky, but use as little flour as possible for flouring your hands and the pastry cloth, otherwise the rolls will not be as feathery light as they should be.

Pinch off small chunks of dough and shape into round rolls about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Place in neat rows, not quite touching, in a well-buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cover rolls and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes.

Brush tops of rolls with melted butter, then bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chi-Chi's Baked Chicken Chimichangas

2 1/2 cups chicken, cooked, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
16 ounces salsa
1/2 teaspoon cumin
pinch of salt
6 − 10 inch flour tortillas
1 cup refried beans
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
Olive oil (for basting)
Sour Cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in chili powder, salsa, and cumin. Stir in shredded chicken. Let cool.
  3. Grease rimmed 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon a heaping tablespoon of beans down center of each tortilla. Top with a scant 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture. Fold up the bottom, top and sides of tortilla; secure with wooden toothpicks if necessary.
  4. Place chimichangas in greased baking pan, seam side down. Brush all sides with the oil. Top with cheese.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with sour cream and guacamole.

Serves 6

Panera Bread's French Bread Margherita Pizza

1 Loaf of French Bread, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce (or 1/2 cup of your own favorite tomato sauce)
1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade, lightly packed (chiffonade = cut into thin strips)
2 large roma tomatoes, sliced
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat, the oven to 475 degrees F.

Lightly toast the bread for about 5 minutes. Spoon the tomato sauce over the bread. Top with the basil, then tomato slices, then the cheese.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the tops.

Nobu's Green Tea Tiramisu

9 oz marscarpone cheese
3 oz sugar
4 pieces yolk
8.5 oz whip cream
4 oz water
3 oz syrup
0.5 oz green tea powder
0.5 oz gran marineir

(1) Knead the marscapone cheese until it becomes creamy.

(2) Beat sugar and yolk until it becomes fluffy.

(3) At first, add 2 tablespoons of (2) into (1) then later, the rest of (2) also add into (1).

(4) Whip cream until foamy consistency.

(5) Combine (3) and (4).

(6) Pour (5) into the mold and put on the green tea cakes which are already cut into 1/4 inch and cover with syrup. After that pour the rest of the syrup into it and repeat the same.

(7) Finally, strain green tea powder with powder sugar for garnish.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Melting Pot's Green Goddess Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, sliced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

In a microwave-safe container, microwave cream cheese and milk for 2 to 4 minutes, whisking after each minute, until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives. Refrigerate until cold.

Olive Garden Chicken Marsala

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1/2 cup flour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dried oregano to taste
4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine

1. Pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4" thickness.
2. Combine flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
3. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts on medium heat for about 2 minutes on the first side, until lightly browned. Turn breasts over to cook other side, then add mushrooms to skillet. Cook breasts about 2 more minutes, until both sides are lightly browned. Continue to stir mushrooms. Add Marsala wine around chicken pieces.
4. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Transfer to serving plate.

Serves 4

Bahama Breeze Chicken Santiago

2 Chicken Breast, 8oz, skinless, boneless
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Olive oil
½ cup Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
2 Tbsp Chimichurri Sauce
2 servings of Your Favorite Side-dish
2 servings of Your Favorite Vegetables


Lightly coat the chicken breast with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides. Grill over a medium heat, pre-heated char-grill with wood chips added just prior to adding the chicken or a charcoal grill with wood chips added. Grill for 6-7 minutes per side, while flipping it over twice during the grilling; the chicken is done when 165-170°F on a meat thermometer or the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Serve immediately with warm roasted pepper sauce drizzled with chimichurri and your favorite sides. Enjoy!!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
¼ cup Yellow Onions
2 tsp Chopped Garlic
1 cup Roasted Red Peppers, rough chopped
2 cups Heavy Cream
Pinch of Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp Cornstarch
2 tsp Water, cold tap

Add oil to a sauce pan and heat to medium. Add onions and garlic sauté until they loose the raw appearance. Add red peppers, cream, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Add slowly to the boiling sauce while stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes then cut heat. Puree sauce using a kitchen blender. Serve warm

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

McDonald's Yogurt Parfait

4 cups vanilla-flavored low-fat yogurt
2 (10-ounce) packages sliced strawberries with sugar added, thawed
1/3 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1/2 cup crunchy, sweet granola

1. Pour 1/2 cup of yogurt into a parfait cup or tall glass.
2. Add 1/2 cup of strawberries into the glass on top of the yogurt.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of blueberries to the glass.
4. Pour 1/2 cup of yogurt over the fruit.
5. Top with granola and serve. Repeat for remaining 3 glasses.

Makes 4 servings.

Wendy's Chili

2 lbs. ground beef
1 (29-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 (29-oz.) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (29-oz.) can kidney beans, undrained
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green chili
1/2 cup diced celery
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
dash garlic powder

1. In large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown meat; drain fat. Using a fork, crumble meat. Transfer to Dutch oven.

2. Add remaining ingredients to Dutch oven; reduce heat to low; bring to simmer; simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4-6

Red Lobster's Spicy Pineapple Glazed Salmon

Spicy Pineapple Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
1 ea 8 oz can Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice
1/2-1 Tsp Cajun Seasoning

Fish Ingredients:
4 ea 5-6 oz Salmon Fillets
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Nonstick Cooking Spray

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the Salmon in a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with Nonstick Cooking Spray. Season the Salmon with Salt and Pepper.

2. In a small bowl, combine all the Glaze ingredients and mix well. Generously top each piece of Salmon with a scoop of the Spicy Pineapple Glaze.

3. Bake the Salmon for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serves 4

Monday, May 23, 2011

Olive Garden's Tuscan Garlic Chicken

4 each (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 lb fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package directions
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, julienne cut
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 lb whole leaf spinach, stemmed
2 cups heavy cream
1 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

1. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken breasts 2 at a time over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp (2-3 min). Add more oil for each batch as necessary.

3. Place cooked chicken breasts on a baking sheet and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F.

4. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 1 Tbsp flour, wine, spinach and cream and bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in parmesan cheese.

5. Coat cooked, drained pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Chili's Chicken Crispers

Honey Mustard Dressing:
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
pinch paprika
pinch salt

1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup chicken broth (Swanson)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup self-rising flour

6 to 10 cups shortening or vegetable oil (amount required by fryer)

10 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup flour


1. Make honey mustard sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill until needed.

2. Heat shortening or oil in fryer to 350 degrees F.

3. Combine beaten egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper in amedium bowl. Whisk for about 30 seconds to dissolve salt. Whisk in 1 cup self-rising flour. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.

4. When you are ready to fry the chicken, coat each piece with dry flour (1/2 cup in a medium bowl), then dunk the chicken into the batter. Let a little batter drip off the chicken and lower it into the hot oil and fry for 7 to 9 minutes or until it's golden brown.

Depending on the size of your fryer, you should be able to fry 3 or 4 tenderloins at a time.

Drain fried chicken strips on a rack or paper towels for a minute or so, and serve with the honey mustard dressing on the side for dipping.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree.

Outback Steakhouse Marinade

1 cup Scottish ale
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Accent Flavor Enhancer

Place your favorite cut of steak in a shallow pan and pour ale on steak and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator. Remove steak from ale and mix dry ingredients together and rub steak on both sides. Let marinate with dry ingredients for 1/2 hour.

Preheat a skillet or grill to med high heat add vegetable spray or vegetable oil and braise to perfection.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
Granulated sugar
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 large egg yolks, plus 7 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
18 fresh raspberries
6 scoops vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter six 6-ounce souffle cups and sprinkle each with granulated sugar. Tap out the excess sugar.

2. In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove the top of the double boiler pan from the heat.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set on low speed, beat the egg yolks and eggs for about 2 minutes, or until light and smooth. With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes longer.

4. Put the confectioners' sugar and flour in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle into the chocolate mixture. With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared souffle cups, leaving about 1/4 inches of space below the rim. Set the souffle cups on a baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until puffed and about 1 inch higher than the rim. The centers will be soft but not sticky.

6. Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately invert each onto a serving plate. Remove the cup, and garnish each plate with three raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bennigan's Smothered Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon hickory smoke flavor
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 to 8 slices provolone cheese
4 slices cooked bacon

For Marinade:
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons hickory smoke flavoring
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the basil, garlic, 3 tablespoons smoke, wine, oil, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Mix together and stir well to blend. This will be the chicken marinade.

Transfer the chicken marinade to a medium sized Ziploc or plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts to the bag and seal. Marinate the chicken by shaking the bag to mix and coat the chicken. Allow the
chicken to soak and marinate for at least two hours, shaking occasionally.

While chicken is marinating, slice onions and mushrooms and cook the bacon. Saute mushrooms and onions in butter and hickory smoke flavor for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent but not brown, and mushrooms are tender.

After two hours, remove chicken from marinade, and grill for about 10 minutes. Take care not to overcook chicken. While the chicken is grilling, preheat the oven to a high broil.

After the chicken is done grilling, remove from the grill and place in a shallow baking dish. Cover each breast with a strip of bacon, then provolone cheese, and then some sautéed onions and mushrooms.
Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately from oven.

Makes 4 servings.

Shoney's Slow-Cooked Pot Roast

2 tablespoons butter
3 lbs rump roast, trimmed
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
2 cups beef broth
20 whole peppercorns
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Melt butter in Dutch oven; add roast and brown on all sides; remove to platter. Add celery, onion, garlic, parsley and thyme to Dutch oven; saute 5 minutes; return roast to Dutch oven.

3. Add broth, peppercorns, bay leaf and salt; cover; place in preheated oven. Cook roast 4 hours; baste every 30 minutes.

4. When done, remove roast and strain stock into bowl; discard vegetables. Using two forks, shred meat into bite-sized pieces and return to Dutch oven. Pour strained broth over shredded beef; add carrots, potatoes and salt. Return to oven and cook for 45 additional minutes.

5. Drain and measure stock from Dutch oven. Add enough beef broth to measure 3 cups and place in saucepan. Whisk in flour; simmer until thick. Pour over meat and vegetables.

Serves 6

Friday, May 20, 2011

T.G.I. Friday Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta

10 ounces cooked fettuccine (cooked al dente)
1 cup Spicy Cajun Pasta Sauce (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 boneless chicken breast, cooked and sliced in strips
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Spicy Cajun Pasta Sauce:
2 ounces olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1/2 cup onion, cut in large chunks
1/2 cup green peppers, diced in large pieces
1/2 cup red peppers, diced in large pieces
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup V-8 juice
cornstarch (mix about a table spoon with a couple table spoons cold
water to form a slurry)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare sauce: Heat oil in saute pan; add garlic; saute for 30 seconds; add onions and saute for 1 minute; add peppers and continue to saute for another minute. Deglaze with chicken stock and reduce to half. Add V-8 juice and cayenne pepper; bring to boil; simmer 10 minutes.

2. Thicken to consistency with cornstarch; season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Add cooked pasta to sauce and heat through until hot.

4. Arrange on serving dish and top with chicken breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.

Serves 2 to 4

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Orange Peel Chicken

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
peel from 1/4 orange, julienned (into 1/8" thick strips)

1. Prepare the sauce: In medium saucepan, heat oil; add garlic and onions; do not let the garlic burn; add tomato sauce; bring to boil.

2. Add sugar, chili sauce and soy sauce; bring to boil; simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce thickens; remove from heat.

3. Prepare chicken: In wok or large skillet, heat oil. Meanwhile cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

4. In medium bowl combine egg and milk; mix well. Place flour in shallow dish.

5. Coat chicken pieces - first in the flour, then the egg wash and back into the flour. Cook in 2 or 3 batches until all chicken is cooked.

6. When chicken is done, remove oil and rinse out wok with water; reheat pan. When hot, add orange peel and chicken; heat through - about a minute - stirring gently.

Panda Express's Orange Flavored Chicken

1 lb. chicken breast meat
1 egg white
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups vegetable oil to be used for frying
1 cup cornstarch

Orange Sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons chopped scallion

1. Cut chicken breast into 1/2-inch cubes, set aside.

2. To make marinade - combine egg white, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir vigorously until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add chicken cubes to marinade and stir to coat well.

3. To make orange sauce - combine water, ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, 4 teaspoons cornstarch and sesame oil; stir and set aside. Place a pot over high heat. When pot is hot, add the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat. Add orange peel and scallion and stir for about 20 seconds, taking care not to burn the orange

4. Pour combined sauce ingredients into the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened, about 12-15 minutes.

5. Preheat 4 cups oil to 350-375°F. Meanwhile, put marinated chicken in the plastic baggie containing the cornstarch. Shake chicken well for about 20 seconds or until chicken is covered with cornstarch. Shake off all excess cornstarch and fry chicken in hot oil until golden brown, approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Remove chicken from oil with a slotted spoon, drain well and set aside. Add fried chicken to pot with heated orange sauce, stir for about 30 seconds, then serve immediately.

6. Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TGI Friday's Baked Potato Skins

5 baked potato skins, cut in half (empty of most of the potato)
1 tablespoon melted butter
seasoning salt
1 green onion, diced
1/2 cup crispy fried bacon, diced (about 5 strips)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

Heat oven to 375F.

Brush potato shells with melted butter and sprinkle seasoning salt to taste.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp but not dry and hard.

Remove and sprinkle with cheese, bacon and onion, place back in oven until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream and chives.

For a bit of variety try Ranch dressing.

Servings: 2-4

Wendy's Mandarin Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
pinch of garlic powder

Additional Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
5 cups romaine lettuce
2 cups mixed greens
1/2 (5-ounce) bag shredded carrots
1 tablespoons toasted, salted sesame seeds
1 cups canned mandarin oranges, packed in juice and drained
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup crispy (chow mein) noodles (optional)
1/2 cup roasted sliced almonds (optional)

Add the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a mixer until combined. Chill before serving.

As the dressing chills, add chicken breasts to a pot of boiling water. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until cooked.

Once the chicken is tender and no longer pink, remove from the pot and cut into bite sized pieces.

Combine chicken and other remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve.

Serves 2.

Red Lobster's Maryland Crab Cakes

1/2 tsp. garlic minced
1 tbsp. onion minced
1 tbsp. celery diced
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 whole egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 pound lump crab meat
2 tbsp. oil for sauteing

In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine all ingredients except crab meat and bread crumbs.

Using gloved hands, gently mix in crab meat, then add bread crumbs. Spread a thin layer of plain bread crumbs on your work surface.

Form crab mixture into equal balls, approximately two inches in diameter. Place on crumbs.

Gently flatten the ball of crab mixture and round the edges. Form cakes about one-half inch thick and three inches round.


In a saute pan, melt 2 tbsp. of oil until hot. Gently slide in crab cakes 2 at a time.

Brown on one side approximately two-to-three minutes. Turn and brown on the other side. Turn down heat to simmer and cook crab cakes another 5-8 minutes.

Serves 4.

Papa John's Garlic Sauce

1/4 - 1/2 stick margarine or butter
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Melt butter in the microwave (about 30 seconds).
2. Put in salt and garlic powder (to taste).
3. Microwave for 5 seconds longer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cracker Barrel Baked Macaroni & Cheese

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar (8 oz.), divided
2 cups elbow macaroni (8oz.)
1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs

In saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour, salt, and mustard. Add milk, stir constantly until sauce thickens a little. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese, heat until melted, stirring.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni as directed; drain. Combine with sauce in a buttered 2 quart casserole; top with remaining cheese, then buttered bread crumbs and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 375" about 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.

Hardee's Peach Cobbler

1 large can peach pie filling
1 frozen pie crust, thawed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pats - thin slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spread the pie filling into a square baking pan. Put the slices of butter on top of the pie filling, placing them as evenly as possible.

Carefully remove the pie crust from the pan it is in, and place it carefully on top of the pie filling and butter. You will need to cut off the edges that hang over and make them fit on the square pan. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until pie crust is lightly browned.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chili's Grill & Bar's Southwest Chicken Chili

1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. diced onions
11/3 C. diced green bell pepper
2 T. diced seeded jalapeño pepper
3 T. fresh minced garlic
4 1/2 C. water
8 tsp. chicken base
2 tsp. lime juice
2 T. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. ground cumin
2 1/2 T. ground chili powder
4 tsp. ground paprika
4 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. freshly minced cilantro
11/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1/2 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 C. crushed canned tomatillos (see note)
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
2 (15 oz.) cans navy beans or small white beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained
3 lb. diced cooked chicken breast
Shredded cheese and sour cream for garnish (optional)
Tortilla chips

In 5-quart or larger pot, heat oil over medium heat.

Add onions and sauté along with bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender.

In another container, combine water, chicken base, lime juice, sugar, cornstarch and seasonings. Add to vegetable mixture. Add tomatillos and diced green chiles to pot; bring to boil.

Add beans and chicken; simmer 10 minutes.

Serve topped with cheese and sour cream if desired, with tortilla chips on the side.

Yields about 4 quarts.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Klee Brasserie Restaurant's Spaghetti Carbonara

1 cup mushrooms (porcini, shiitake or chanterelle)
1 pound imported spaghetti
½ cup diced pancetta
1 garlic clove, sliced
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Clean the mushrooms and slice them thin. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Saute the pancetta and garlic in a large pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne. Add the pasta. Divide the pasta among 4 large bowls. Sprinkle with the cheese and the chives.

Serves 4.

Perkins Family Restaurant's Potato Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced onion
4 shredded fresh potatoes -or-
2 1/2 cups frozen hash browns (defrosted)

Combine all of the ingredients, except for the potatoes, in a large mixing bowl. Beat by hand until smooth. Add the potatoes to the batter and mix by hand until the potatoes are combined. Let the batter rest while you preheat a skillet to about medium heat.

Grease the pan with some butter.

Ladle 1/4 cup scoops of batter into the pan. Cook as many at a time as will fit comfortably into your pan. Cook each pancake for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side until brown.

Chipotle Mexican Grill's Barbacoa Burrito


1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 to 4 canned chipotle peppers (no sauce)
4 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons cumin (toast and grind whole seeds)
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon clove (toast and grind whole cloves)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pound chuck roast
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

Pico de Gallo:
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinto Beans:
3 15-ounce can pinto beans (with liquid)
3 tablespoons bacon fat (from cooking 3 to 4 pieces of bacon)
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Cilantro-Lime Rice:
3 cups water
2 cups converted rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

For Burrito:
8 12-inch flour tortillas
shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
guacamole (optional)
sour cream (optional)


1. Make adobo sauce by combining vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and clove in a blender or food processor and puree on high speed until smooth.

2. Trim the fat from the meat, and then slice the roast into 6 smaller pieces. Sear all sides of the chunks of meat in 2 tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat until browned. Add the adobo sauce to the meat, pour in the chicken broth, and add the bay leaves. Cover the pot, turn your stove to med/low heat and let the meat simmer (braise) for 5 to 6 hours or until meat easily flakes apart. Turn meat every 30 minutes as it cooks. After 4 hours, keep the lid off the pot. At the 5-hour mark, you should be able to tear meat apart into bite-size chunks with tongs.

3. As soon as your meat is in the pot, make pico de gallo by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill for several hours while the barbacoa is cooking.

4. Just before meat is done, prepare the pinto beans by combining beans with bacon fat and oregano in a medium saucepan. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and beans are soft. Keep beans covered until the meat is ready.

5. Make the cilantro-lime rice by combining water, rice, and butter, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes. When the rice is done stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep rice covered until you're ready to assemble the burritos.

6. Make each burrito by first heating a flour tortilla on a large skillet over medium heat, or wrapped in moist paper towels in the microwave. When the tortilla is warm, spoon a healthy portion of barbacoa meat into the tortilla, followed by the cilantro-lime rice, beans, pico de gallo, and your choice of cheese. You can also
add sour cream and/or guacamole, if you like. Fold in the sides, tightly roll the tortilla, and dig in.

Makes 8 large burritos.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory's Bang-Bang Chicken & Shrimp

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of ground turmeric
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons macadamia nuts, finely ground
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups fully cooked shrimp
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 teaspoons water
Chopped scallion for garnish
Cooked rice

Using a large skillet, heat oil and cook chicken - about 5 minutes per side or until browned and no longer pink in the center. Remove to platter and set aside.

Using same pan, heat broth; add onion, garlic, cilantro, ginger, lemon peel, cumin and turmeric and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender but not browned; stir in coconut milk, nuts, sugar, red pepper and shrimp.

Return the chicken to skillet, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is heated through; remove to platter and keep warm.

Using same pan (do not discard sauce) add tamarind paste and water previously mixed in small bowl. Bring to a gentle boil until thickened and mixture measure about 1 cup.

Cook and divide rice; evenly divide the chicken and shrimp among 4 plates. Top with sauce and garnish with scallion.

Serves 4

Aquavit's Black Sea Bass en Papillote

1 whole head of garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cucumber, seeds removed, sliced on the bias 1/4-inch thick
2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs chopped fresh basil
2 sprigs chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
2 pounds cleaned black sea bass, cut into 4 portions

Roast the garlic in a pre-heated, 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. Slice off the top, squeeze out the puree, and blend it with the oil. Place the vegetables in a medium mixing bowl and season with roasted garlic-olive puree, salt, pepper, basil, parsley and lemon juice. Divide the vegetables evenly among four 8 by 8-inch sheets of parchment paper. Season the bass with salt and pepper, place one portion on top of the vegetables and fold the parchment together.Wrap each parchment "package" in an 8 by 8-inch square of aluminum
foil and place on the grill. Then grill for 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Remove from the heat and allow it to rest for 2 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

Benihana's Fried Rice

1 cup uncooked white rice
5 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Chopped onion
1 cup Chopped carrots
2/3 cup Chopped scallions
3 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
5 Eggs
5 Tablespoons Soy sauce

Cook rice according to the instructions on the package. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and scallions. Saute until carrots become soft.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sesame seeds in a shallow pan. Bake until golden brown (10 to 15 minutes), shaking pan occasionally for even color.

Lightly grease another skillet. Beat eggs. Pour into hot skillet. Cook as you would scrambled eggs.

Combine rice, vegetables, sesame seeds and eggs. Add soy sauce. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Hudson River Cafe's Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce


For marinade:
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
4 tablespoons pureed, canned chipotle chiles

For steak:
2 pounds skirt steak
For chimichurri sauce:
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, no stems
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro, no stems
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all marinade ingredients in large shallow bowl. Place meat in marinade for 15 minutes. Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat an oiled, well-seasoned grill over high heat until hot but not smoking. Grill steak, turning occasionally, for about 2 minutes per side for thin pieces or 4 to 6 minutes per side for thicker pieces (medium-rare). Portion onto 4 dinner plates. Drizzle with the chimichurri sauce. Serves 4.

Thunder Jackson's Spinach and Garlicky Chicken

2 (5-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, drained and thawed
6 cloves chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups lima beans, cooked and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons butter
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the chicken breast with Dijon mustard on both sides. Sprinkle with garlic powder and dip into bread crumbs, creating a crust. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Bake chicken for 15 minutes or until done, turning once halfway through. Meanwhile, heat the 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and sauté until hot, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add lima beans, chicken broth and butter and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper if necessary.

Place the spinach and broth mixture into a bowl and top with the chicken. Top with a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Bombay Palace's Chicken Madras


For dry masala:
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dry coconut
1 teaspoon salt

For chicken:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
4 whole cloves
4 pieces green cardamon
10 curry leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice


In small bowl, stir together all dry masala ingredients. Set aside. In a wok, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, whole cloves and green cardamom. Stir, then add curry leaves, chopped onion, garlic and
ginger. Cook until golden. Add tomato paste and enough water to make a thick sauce. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken and the dry masala. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in coconut milk and lemon juice. Taste and add extra salt if necessary.

Serves 4

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