Chicken Cacciatore

I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s recipe post yesterday, and decided to try it myself, with what I had on hand. We always have frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs on hand, and I had several other ingredients I thought might go well together. I wasn’t digging the idea of egg noodles under the chicken, though, so I decided to go with cous cous. It felt like a good meal, but something was lacking. It was a lot better today, with some crusty bread. Especially when I took the garlic cloves and smushed them on the bread, and added some tomato bits… mmmmm.

One thing I’d do differently next time: salt the boiling water. I figured the chicken + sauce would be salty enough to flavor the cous cous, but it just wasn’t so. I usually add butter + salt when the kids ask for cous cous, and it’s yummy that way, so I’ll have to remember — always add salt!

Chicken burritos

No, I don’t fancy myself The Pioneer Woman, but I thought I’d take pictures of dinner anyway. Gotta liven up the ol’ blog somehow!

Let’s start with the salsa:

1 can diced tomatoes + 1 jalapeño + 3 fresh tomatoes (boil the latter 2, peel off tomato skin)

+ cilantro + a splash of tomato sauce =

Now the burritos:

I added garlic salt, pepper, taco seasoning, and some of the chicken stock:

You need a comal if you want to heat up tortillas the proper way:

Add sour cream, cilantro, cheese, whatever your little heart desires. This little heart of mine opted to dip hers in sour cream, and also requested I remove the onions & tomatoes. I decided to “pick my battles” and acquiesce.

First recipe sharing!

I’m going to share a recipe I like from “The Cuisine of California”, by Diane Rossen Worthington. It was a total impulse buy from the bargain section at Borders, but I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve only made this dish twice, using big scallops the first time, and tiny bay scallops this time. I preferred it with the big ones – they sautéed nicely, and these tiny ones just kind of shrunk up and steamed. -Shudder- But it was still tasty. The first time I made it was my first time eating both watercress and scallops. That was pretty bold for me, actually. I was so glad I actually liked it! So, here you go:

Warm Scallop Salad dressed with Tomato, Mint, and Lime

Serves 4 as main course or 6 as appetizer

For dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

*******

1 pound scallops, well drained and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of coarsely cracked black pepper
3 bunches watercress, large stems removed

*******

1) For dressing: Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add shallots and sauté 2 minutes, or until soft. Add lime juice, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and add tomatoes and mint. Set aside.

2) If using sea scallops, remove small white muscle at side of each. If scallops are 1 inch in diameter or larger, cut in half before using.

3) In another medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add scallops and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, turning often. They should be slightly translucent in the middle. Remove from heat.

4) Pour half of dressing mixture over warm scallops, add salt and pepper, and mix.

5) Divide watercress evenly among individual plates. Spoon scallops with some dressing in center of each plate. Spoon additional tomato-mint dressing around scallops.

And you’re done!

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Scrambled pancakes, anyone?!

I was surfing through blogland the other night, and read about scrambled pancakes. It was in a comment on angry chicken’s “crackers” post. It sounded interesting, so I googled it. I found out that it’s a German recipe, and they’re called “schmarren”. Every website I visited had basically 1 of 2 recipes for them, so I picked the easiest, the one that didn’t require separating eggs. It seemed like with that one, you ended up with a regular pancake, which you then chopped up. Which sounded good! But the one I chose just called for whisking all ingredients together, then scrambling. Little sis asked for pancakes the next morning, so I thought I’d try it out. They’re supposed to brown a little bit, which mine didn’t. I guess my pan wasn’t hot enough when I put them in, I don’t know. It was not looking good, though. It seemed like it was taking way longer to cook than it should have, and it was just looking like a gloopy, uncooked mass of yellow. Yuck!

Little sister looked at the stuff in the pan, and said, “I’m not gonna like it”. I told her I was sorry, but that was what we had. I poured maple syrup on the whole thing, gave her a small amount in a bowl, and she said, “You will see. I’m gonna make a face. Watch”. I told her to just give it a try. So she did, and much to my surprise, said she liked it. She said it tasted like waffle and syrup and pancake and egg. And it does! Well, I’d say it tastes like a cross between scrambled eggs and pancakes. The syrup is a must. It’s definitely different, and I’ll even go so far as to say “funky”. The tastes are familiar, but the texture/combination just threw me off. Not sure I’d make it again!

Just like home

Dinner tonight reminded me of our dinners growing up: usually white rice, a meat dish, and some greens. Tonight’s was cooked by my husband, and much simpler than my mom’s, to make it more kid-friendly. But it still brought me back. YUM!

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Teriyaki chicken and mustard greens.

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