Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicken Mug Pie

Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 mugs


1 tube jumbo bake-off butter biscuits, from the dairy aisle of market (recommended: Grands by Pillsbury)
Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast pieces, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 ribs celery and greens from the heart, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded potatoes, ready to cook hash browns, available in sacks on dairy aisle
1 pint half-and-half or cream
1 quart chicken stock, available in boxes on soup aisle
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, a healthy grating
1 cup frozen green peas


Preheat oven according to package directions and arrange biscuits on cookie sheet. You will have 4 extra biscuits. Save them for ham and cheese or egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches the next morning. Sprinkle biscuits with a little paprika and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a medium pot over medium to medium high heat, cook chicken in butter 2 minutes then add veggies and season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 minutes more, add flour cook another minute. Add potatoes, then whisk in half-and-half or cream and chicken stock. Add nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil by raising heat, then turn heat back to simmer and cook soup another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Add peas. Stir in to warm them through a minute.

Serve mugs of soup with biscuits on top to cap the mug: chicken mug pies!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Spicy Hummus: Quick Chickpea Spread

Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings


1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 rounded tablespoons tahini sesame paste, found in both dairy and dry specialty foods sections
A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
1 teaspoon (1/3 palm full) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (1/3 palm full) ground coriander
1 clove garlic, crushed
Coarse salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pita breads, grilled and cut into wedges for dipping


Combine beans, tahini, oil, pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in food processor bowl and grind into a smooth paste. Transfer to a small dip dish and surround spread with warm pita wedges. This recipe makes a great appetizer, or anytime snack.

Tidbit: this is a fantastic dish to take to a pot luck or block party -- it's always a hit!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Curry Turkey Burgers

Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 5 servings


1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
2 scallions, thinly sliced
A handful cilantro, chopped very fine, about 2 tablespoons, optional
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons mild curry paste or a handful of curry powder (Preferred brand: Patak's Mild Curry Paste)
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
5 crusty rolls, split
Bib or leaf lettuce
Sliced vine-ripe tomatoes
Mango chutney (preferred brands: Major Grey's or Patak's Mango Chutney)
Serving Suggestions: Thai Slaw Salad, recipe follows and root vegetable chips (preferred brands: Terra Chips)


Combine first 8 ingredients and form into 5 patties.

Brush or drizzle patties with extra-virgin olive oil. Grill patties 6 minutes on each side on indoor electric grill or pan fry for same amount of time in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Pile patties on split crusty rolls with lettuce, tomato, and chutney spread liberally on roll tops as a condiment. Serve curry turkey burgers with Thai Slaw and root vegetable chips.

Thai Slaw Salad:

1 (16 ounces) prepared shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix) from produce department
1/4 European seedless cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded


1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup white distilled or rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or 2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Toasted sesame seeds
Combine vegetables in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small plastic container and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Drizzle sauce over vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Let stand 10 minutes and re-toss before serving and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Yield: 5 to 6 servings