Posted in Food

Chef Lane: Breakfast Burritos


I get very excited when I strike upon something that Thor will eat without complaining.  So, when I discovered he liked my breakfast tacos, I decided to pre-cook and freeze them.  Unfortunately, breakfast tacos (a tortilla folded over the ingredients) do not taste as good as a breakfast burrito (a tortilla wrapped around the ingredients), so the first batch largely went into my belly.  The second batch?  Gone in 4 days.

They are very easy to make.  Easy to freeze.  Easy to reheat.  And if you’re in a hurry and forget to pack your lunch one day, grabbing one of those and a banana will get you through a Monday.  I know this for a fact.

Here’s what you do:

The hardest part is folding them up, and wrapping them.  I've seriously considered getting a part time job at Freebird, just to learn how to properly wrap a burrito.
The hardest part is folding them up, and wrapping them. I’ve seriously considered getting a part time job at Freebird, just to learn how to properly wrap a burrito.
Posted in Chef Lane, recipe

Chef Lane: Fauxsghetti and Chicken Soup


Fauxsghetti.  That’s an awful title, isn’t it?  But it was a great dish, so I am sharing.

The boys like Italian sausage for dinner, but I can’t stand the stuff, so while I was cooking for them, I whipped up a little something different for me.  For them, I made sweet Italian sausage with angel hair pasta and marinara sauce.  For me, I cooked up some turkey bacon (3 strips), extra crispy, scrambled 1/4 cup of egg beaters with salt, pepper, and a TBS of shredded cheese, crumbled my bacon into my eggs and mixed that into 1 cup of the angel hair and marinara.  It was tasty!  And rather filling.  And bacon.  (And, if you’re counting–like P, who asked for it–this is 10 PPV.  There you go, P!)

I like to use the Buitoni pasta, found in the dairy section of the grocery store.  It’s got a better taste than the dried, box pasta.  I use the Buitoni marinara sauce, too.

 

Also, I think I’ve finally got my chicken soup recipe down to perfection.  I made a huge pot over the weekend, and I impressed myself!  It was velvety and luscious, and I’ve been enjoying it for lunch every day since.  It’s light, but full of good-for-you stuff, and full of flavor.

You will need:

3 chicken breasts on the bone, with skin

3 yellow squash, small to medium (cut into 1/4 inch bits)

3 zucchini, small to medium (cut into 1/4 inch bits)

2 cups of carrots (chopped, baby, shredded, however you like them)

2 TBS garlic paste

1 TBS basil paste (or fresh basil to taste)

2 TBS chicken consomme (I use Telma)

1 beef bouillon cube

6 cups water

1 TBS olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

In a heavy stew pot, warm the olive oil, garlic and basil.  When the pot bottom is hot, place your chicken breast in, meaty side down, and brown the skin for about two minutes.  Then, add enough water to cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil for 20 minutes and add the consomme and bouillon cube, then cook on a medium heat for about an hour, hour and a half (depending on how you like the chicken–I like it falling off the bone).

Remove the chicken from the stock and skim out any skin.  Add all the veg to the stock, add the rest of your water, and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.

Strip two of the breasts and shred the meat, then return it to the stock and cook with the vegetables until those are tender.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Shred up your remaining chicken breast and make some chicken salad to serve on greens or in a sandwich as a side to the soup.  Nom Nom Nom.

A two cup serving of the soup is 3PPV

 

Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: Effing Delicious Cherry Cobbler


I made a test cobbler for our upcoming Godfamily Thanksgiving Dinner.  It is so good, I want to go bury my face in it and pretend I am in a cobbler eating contest and just slurp it up.  But I won’t.  Instead, I will just share the recipe with you.  This is the easiest dessert recipe you can imagine, and I’ve yet to serve a disappointing cobbler.  I usually make peach, so this was my first try at cherry–very happy with the results.

I found the recipe at Betty Crocker online, and it goes like this:

Ingredients

  • 1 21oz can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup of Bisquick
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 TBS of sugar
  • 1 TBS of butter, melted
  • (I added) 1 TBS vanilla extract

You need a cold oven.  Put your cherry filling in a casserole dish and pop that in the oven, then pre-heat it to 400.  While your filling is warming and the oven is preheating, mix the bisquick, milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla until you have a soft dough and everything seems evenly distributed.  Drop your dough on top of your cherry filling in 6 spoonfuls, then bake at 400 for 18–20 minutes, or until your dough is a pretty, light brown.

I doubled the recipe for my test cobbler, so I could take it to work.  It looks like this:

What is good about the way the dough sort of biscuits up is that it is easy to get a nice scoop of crust and an equal amount of filling.  Makes serving sizes easy to determine, and makes it that much easier to plate for your desserts.  What is delicious is the way the dough flavor marries up with the cherries.

You’ll want to serve it a la mode.  I prefer Blue Bell Vanilla Bean.

Looks like this.

 

Tastes like this.

 

 

Posted in Chef Lane, Food

Chef Lane: No Noodle Lasagna


I’m working out how to utilize all the produce from my Bountiful Basket order.  First up, today, was the eggplant.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do with it, but when I started to work, I realized that the bottom quarter of the plant was not usable.  So, I switched gears and turned it into a lasagna.

No pictures again, but this time because it smelled so good I kind of dove into it before I thought to take any.

You will need:

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3 leaves of fresh basil (or dried)
  • 1/2lb of ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pasta sauce of your choice
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1tsp Cilantro Paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Slice eggplant into paper thin rounds.
  3. Dredge the rounds in egg (I added a dash of salt to the egg), then coat with bread crumbs.
  4. Place the coated eggplant on a cookie tray and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, turning the rounds halfway through.
  5. Remove from oven and set aside.
  6. Finely chop basil leaves.
  7. Slice onion into thin rounds.
  8. Leave half in rounds, and finely chop the other half.
  9. Mix garlic, cilantro, and chopped onion into lamb, then brown in skillet on stovetop. While meat is browning, add half the basil leaves.
  10. In a small casserole dish, pour a small amount of pasta sauce and cover bottom of dish. Layer the bottom with the baked eggplant rounds. Add a layer of onion rounds. Use half the goat cheese and create a cheese layer.
  11. Pour in the entire meat mixture for the next layer.
  12. Cover with a layer of pasta sauce
  13. Add the rest of the goat cheese and cover layer.
  14. Cover with the rest of the eggplant rounds and the rest of the pasta sauce
  15. Top with parmesan cheese and the remaining basil.
  16. Cook at 350 for 35 minutes.

This makes about 6 heaping 1/2 cup servings, and works out to the following per serving numbers (according to MyFitnessPal):

  • 253 calories
  • 17 carbs
  • 15 fat
  • 14 protein
  • 4 fiber

Thor ate his up!  This means I got eggplant, onion, basil and cilantro into the boy without his knowing it.  Yay!

 

 

Posted in Chef Lane

Chef Lane: Tarting It Up


The B Family went to Half Price Books last night, and I scored three new cookbooks, along with my Father-in-Law’s next holiday present.  God bless him.  He has suffered through nine years of crazy gifts from me.  But he loved his talking George Bush doll, and his Chia Obama.  Okay, loved is maybe too strong a word, but he did enjoy seeding Chia Obama’s ears, eyebrows and nostrils, so at least we know he was entertained.

Anyway, cookbooks.  This is about cooking, not my inappropriate gift giving–I can’t even remember how that started.  I get normal gifts for everyone else.  Only Pop gets the nutjob treatment.  Cookbooks.

The new ones are the Step-by-Step, the Mediterranean, and the Smoothie books. No, those aren’t all my cookbooks. I haven’t found all of them in the unpacking, yet. And yes, that is an upside down wall sconce being used as a book end.

 

I’ve done a fair amount of cooking today, for having only gotten started after four o’clock.  I made my crackers this morning, then went to the grocery store and came home with the fixings for five recipes out of my new books.  I also came home with steamed crab legs, cooked lobster tail, and shrimp cocktail because my mother has addicted my child to crustaceans and he has been begging me for crab for two weeks.

While I was resteaming the crab legs, I got started on Goat Cheese Tarts from the Step-by-Step cookbook.  This is my kind of book!  It is full of pictures, showing you how to, what to, and how it should look.  I’m pretty visual.  That helps me.

The recipe called for a sheet of puff pastry, 10 oz of goat cheese (I got two different kinds from the same brand), onion, corn, or tomato relish, one egg beaten, oil for drizzling, flour for dusting, and pepper. I also added chopped olives and a dash of sea salt for flavor.
This relish. You guys! This relish is delicious! I had no idea what kind of relish to get, only that B hates corn, so that was out. I chose this one because Wayne rhymes with Lane, and it was Award Winning. I chose wisely. Buy this.
In short: You dust some flour on a space, roll out your dough, then use something round (I used a glass) to cut out 12 circles of pastry. You transfer that pastry to a buttered up cookie tray (I used a stick of Land o’Lakes butter and just rubbed it all over the tray until it was slick.) Then, use a smaller circle to make an inner ring dent (don’t cut! just impress) on the circles of pastry, brush egg all over that, then prick the dough with a fork a few times to punch some holes. I don’t know why. It was an instruction and I followed it.
Then, you put a spoonful of relish in the center of each round, and I added a spoonful of chopped olives, then a dash of salt. Then, you put a round dollop of goat cheese on top, drizzle that with oil, and top with sprinkles of pepper.

 

That goes into an oven, preheated to 400, until the pastry is fluffy and the cheese is bubbly. It took about 12 minutes for mine. Serve hot or cold.

 

They don’t look like much, and I was actually afraid to eat one.  I served them to B first, since I had finished cracking and cleaning his crab legs first.  He said they were very good, so I tried one.  Um…I have 4 left.  I am saving them for tomorrow.  Maybe.

But the relish is the thing.  That relish is delicious!  It is exactly the right balance between sweet and savory.  Nom nom nom.  Probably a ridiculous amount of calories per bite, but I don’t care.  That’s good eatin’!

I had a lot of lobster left over, so I have made lobster salad.  We’ll see how that is tomorrow, and if I like it, I’ll tell you what I threw together for that.