Thursday, July 29, 2010
Creamy chicken and pierogi
While watching "No Reservations", which is a lackluster remake of the more superior "Mostly Martha" ("Bella Martha" in German), I cooked up some pierogies, which I have been thinking about for the past week or so. As a child, I loved pierogies, but my exposure to them was the frozen sort. And for a while, before I learned how to make them, I would buy Mrs. T's pierogies, but they are not that great--just sort of lackluster tasting. My friend Jen gave me a recipe back in college, nearly 10 years ago, and I never bothered with them until a few years ago, when I bought a box of Mrs. T's pierogies.

Unfortunately, the pierogies did not taste as good as the ones from the West Side Market or any of the Hungarian or Eastern European restaurants.
So I finally made these pierogies:

  • 2 handfuls of flour
  • 1 large egg
  • warm water

Make a nest with the flour, and put the egg in the center. Fold the egg into the flower, and mix in just enough warm water to make a ball of dough. If sticky, add mix in some flour.

Potato filling:
  • 2 c. potatoes, cooked
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 small onion, diced and sauteed in butter

Mash the potatoes with the cream cheese (I also added some butter). Mix in the sauteed onions.

To make the pierogi:
Pinch off a small bit of dough, roll into a ball. Roll out into a thin disc. Put 2 spoonfuls of potato filling on the disc and fold in half. Pinch the ends closed. Boil pierogi in a pot of salted water. Pierogi are cooked when they float on top of the water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Fry the pierogi in a pan with melted butter (can also cook some onions with it, too).

We've also been on a mission to clean out our fridge and pantry (in other words, eat whatever we have). While this sometimes leads to eating things that I don't particularly like (canned peas, or yucky condensed corn chowder--which I didn't buy, by the way, but I was hungry), or things that are better tasting, such as brownies...I wanted somethign that didn't come out of a powdered mix. So I defrosted some chicken breasts and made sure that I had chicken broth and cream cheese. I found a recipe for this chicken with a creamy pan sauce, so here is the recipe, courtesy of kraft foods.

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tb flour
  • t Tb oil
  • 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

Coat chicken with flour. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken, cook 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet. Cover chicken to keep warm. Add broth to skillet, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add cream cheese, cook for 3 minutes until cream cheese is melted and sauce starts to thicken, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Return chicken to skillet, turn over to coat both sides of chicken with sauce. Cook 2 minutes or until chicken is heated through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Note: you can use other herbs. I used fresh basil from my own little garden!


posted by Me @ 7:16 PM   0 comments
Friday, June 11, 2010
I'm back
So it's actually been a few years since I've actually done anything with this blog. Actually, life got in the way. Although I didn't starve to death while not updating this blog, I fell off the one-recipe-a-week resolution, because life got so incredibly busy, that all I wanted to do was to just not do anything more time consuming than opening a jar of spaghetti sauce and boiling some noodles. So the focus of this blog is going to change a little bit--I'll still share my cooking adventures, some recipes, and yes, I'll even eat food that I didn't cook.

So let me start this off right--I had been hungering for spaghetti pie these days, so I decided to break out a recipe and googled it. I found one on that sounded pretty good, but after reading some of the comments, I made a few modifications to it. For the original recipe: click here. My adaptation follows. I think it tastes darn good, too.

3/4 pound spaghetti
9 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
20 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
6 ounces fontina, grated
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
4 ounces feta, crumbled
4 ounces Parmesan, shredded
8 ounces Pancetta (I got a pack with them already diced up into little cubes)
Few sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into smaller pieces
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Special Equipment: 2 pyrex pie pans (or two cast iron skillets)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously add salt and 3 tablespoons of oil and add the spaghetti. Bring back to a boil and cook for 11 to 13 minutes until the spaghetti is just tender. Drain into a colander and rinse under cold water. Return the spaghetti to the pot and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cherry tomatoes, kalamatas, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down.*
Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
Whisk the eggs and cream together in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper, the red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, fontina, feta, 4 ounces of the Parmesan, mozzarella, and the tomato mixture. Mix in the spaghetti.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the 10-inch skillet over high heat. Add the spaghetti mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the center of the pie is set and the top is golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a spatula around the edges and underneath the pie to loosen. Place a large plate over the skillet and invert the pie onto the plate. Place another plate onto the pie and invert again. Let the pie set for an additional 10 minutes.
Slice the pie into 6 to 8 pieces and garnish with Parmesan and basil leaves before serving.
*Cook's Note: You can help the tomatoes break down by crushing them with the back of a spoon as they get soft.


posted by Me @ 6:41 PM   0 comments
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Luck of the Irish
I skipped cooking last week, because I was stressed out having to study for back-to-back exams. So as penance, I made two dishes on St. Patrick's Day.

One was an Irish Stew, which was yummy. Even if the meat was tough and had to be gnawed to be even digested.

The other was a beer bread (originally I planned to make a soda bread, but forgot the buttermilk.

Here's how to make the bread:

3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp dill seeds (optional, I didn't have these)
1 2/3 oz butter, cubed
12 fluid oz. Guiness Stout Ale (all in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day!)
1/4 c. all purpose flour, extra
dill seeds, extra (optional)
coarse sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with melted butter or oil. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Add sugar and dill seeds; stir to combine. Use your fingers to rub butter cubes into the mixture. Make a well in the center and pour in beer all at once. Using a wooden spoon, quickly mix into a soft dough.

2) Turn out onto floured surface. Sprinkle extra dough onto hands and dough. Knead for 1-2 minutes until dough forms a smooth ball. Elongate ball slightly, flatten a little, and with the blunt end of a large knife, press down 1 inch along center. Brush surface with water, than sprinkle liberally with dill seeds and coarse salt.

3). Bake 20 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from oven and place on wire rack and leave to cool.


posted by Me @ 5:17 PM   0 comments
Monday, March 05, 2007
Week 8: Spinach Quiche

This is actually spinach quiche! I will actually post a recipe for's the crust that I used for the other quiche I made, but with a variation on the filling.

This was actually for the fundraiser party I went to this past weekend, and one of my friends is vegetarian, so I stayed away from making anythign meat.

And it was very, very good. (but I didnt' win any raffles ;( but at least it went to a good cause.)

posted by Me @ 8:18 PM   0 comments
Week 7: More penance

Mom opened a huge bag of shrimps and defrosted them.
She took the ones she wanted and left a whole bag full for me.
So I made shrimp scampi. It's rather easy...I'll post a recipe for it sometime soon.
And it was very yummy. Especially when washed down with white wine (also used in the cooking). I boiled the leftover shrimp and had shrimp cocktail. The reason I did that, other than having enough shrimp--is because I decided that peeling raw shrimp totally grosses me out.
Especially when the little legs are persistently stuck to the body...and I have to pull off those little legs. Yuck.
But still not quite enough to convert me to vegetarianism.
posted by Me @ 8:13 PM   0 comments
Week 7: Penance

Do you know it costs about 8 dollars to buy 8 ounces of Pancetta?
And sometimes it's a good idea to follow directions to the letter? In the ingredients list, it says, "1 Tb red pepper flakes (or to taste)." I looked at the flakes, thought to myself, yeah, one tablespoon isn't exactly enough.
So I added more.
And as i was grating the cheese for this dish, my mom wandered into the kitchen and sampled some pasta from the pot.
She then sucked her breath in and was like, "Boy, that is hot!"
So I asked, "Hot hot, or like, temperature hot?"
"It's hot, even for me! You're going to think it's too hot!"
And it was pretty spicy.
But very good. Especially with my famous garlic bread.
posted by Me @ 8:09 PM   0 comments
Week 6: Bad girl!
Bad girl! No cooking!
posted by Me @ 8:08 PM   0 comments
Week 5: Pork chops

I'll admit that I'm not a huge pork chop fan. When I was a kid, my mom would dump some...soup? On the pork chops and bake it.

Not very appetizing.

But I decided to see how one could cook pork chops. This came about because I've had some delicious pork chops last year from Crave in Akron, and while I won't try to duplicate those grilled chops, I thought I'd try somethng a little simpler (i.e., following a recipe).

Very good with mashed potatoes.

posted by Me @ 8:02 PM   0 comments
Week 4: White Chicken Chili
I wanted something good and hearty. Yummy. And i was in the mood for chicken, and have never tried chicken chili, but having had some lousy experiences with traditional chili, I opted for white chili, which I actually love.

So I chose a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, and it sounded pretty good, and necessitated my buying three kinds of chilies. I know what jalapenos look like, but the other (Anaheim and Poblano) were a mystery. I forgot to take pictures of the uncut chilies.

But anyway, i wound up with like, banana peppers and realized that I got the wrong peppers (not a problem; my dad ate the banana peppers). But I went to two different Giant Eagles and two Acmes to get my peppers!

Now I know what poblano peppers look like. The chili required 9 chilies, which made me a little worried, because I'm not sure of chilies. But it turned out to be quite flavorful rather than fire alarm spicy.

Previous white chilies that I have tried usually are creamy (I'm guessing thickened with masa), so I was kind of surprised this was more like a stew, a little soupy but very yummy. So rich and very simple. I have nothing bad to say about this, except that I had to run to 4 different grocery stores to get my poblanos and anaheims.

posted by Me @ 7:51 PM   0 comments
Week 3: Pork Picadillo

I am dreadful.

Lest you think I've not been posting...

I have been cooking. There were a couple weeks when I was unable to cook, so the following week I cooked TWO dishes for penance.
This is week three. Pork Picadillo. This was ok. easy to make (maybe like 15 minutes prep., 15 minutes cooking. Not too bad, but not my most favorite dish. Kinda boring. But then again, this is a girl who likes food hot and spicy.

posted by Me @ 7:45 PM   0 comments
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Week 2
So as my week wound to a close, and I had no idea or any real desire to cook, but I didn't want to break my new year's resolution so close to the beginning of the year (which would be shameful, indeed). So I looked through my Cooks Illustrated magazine from a few years ago (and which I haven't cooked much from, but have drooled over recipes).

So I chose a spinach lasagna, which uses no-boil noodles. Easy enough. Yes, it was easy... grate 8 ounces of fontina cheese? Not to mention about a cup and half of parmesan? UUUGH. Then I had to rinse, and stem 20 ounces of spinach leaves, mince a cup of shallots (enduring those awful stinging tears), and garlic. Add blending cottage cheese with egg. Oy vey. After I cooked my lasagna, I had to laugh at the fact that it takes about half an hour to cook the dish, but like an hour to prep everything. WHAT A PAIN IN THE NECK.

But. I digress.

It was yummy. Even my mom, who hates cheese, loved it.

So maybe it was worth it. Though thinking back, I should have taken pictures of the entire messy, arm-sore enducing process of grating cheese.
posted by Me @ 7:12 PM   0 comments
Friday, January 05, 2007
How 52 weeks began
New Year's Resolutions:

Try a new recipe each week. Let's see how I succeed: I love to cook, and I have tons of cookbooks, recipes scattered in the pages of various cookbooks, and recipes bookmarked here and there. I have a selection of ex-boyfriend recipes. (Too bad I don't have his cookbooks, but at least I know his recipe for triple-chocolate pecan pie) and I want to improve upon it (and believe me, I have already improved upon his pie crust.

Pictured is the pecan pie (ha! tastes just as good--if not better--than the ex's!)

I also like to experiment with recipes. Sometimes they flop. I indulge in excessive Christmas baking, too.

The other resolution was to learn to juggle. And to knit lots.

This week, I made quiche lorraine, using this wonderful recipe from Cooks Illustrated. The crust was also from Cooks Illustrated, and my gosh, the quiche was the creamiest I've had (big pat on the back here) and just very savory and rich.

Of course the picture is sideways...and then I had leftover cream, so I made a second quiche. As good as it was, I doubt I will make another quiche anytime soon.
posted by Me @ 4:06 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Me
Home: Ohio
About Me:
See my complete profile

Previous Post
Template By
Free Blogger templates