Prep2eat

October 20, 2014

Paprika Chicken Stew

Filed under: Chicken, Food, Food blog, Homemade, Meals, Stew — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 11:27 am

Paprika Chicken Stew

This is the time of year in the northeast of the US when we bundle up to keep out the chill and crave hearty, comfort foods. This season of Autumn is just after warm summer temps and just before the really long, cold winter season.

Preparing this Paprika Chicken Stew each year takes on small additions or omissions of ingredients depending on the thickness of the gravy I am in the mood for. If making this dish for friends, I might add sweet potatoes and carrots or small cut new potatoes. The amount of liquid added during the cooking process will also determine the density of the gravy.

This basic recipe produces a sweet, comforting meal. The final dish is colorful as well as great tasting. I know you will go back for seconds. Since I know this usually happens, I choose butternut squash instead of potatoes and use less flour as thickener for the gravy.

My version of this recipe resembles a stew rather than chicken parts with potatoes in a skillet. I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and thin chicken breasts, no skin or bones.

Here is the original recipe I found in a magazine years ago by Joyce Litz of Albuquerque, NM titled “Skillet Chicken and Vegetables.”

Makes 4 servings

4 chicken thighs with skin and bone
1 tbs paprika
2 tbs vegetable oil
3/4 lbs red-skinned potatoes, halved
8 boiling onions, peeled
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbs all purpose flour
1 cup canned or boxed low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley to sprinkle over cooked dish.

Sprinkle uncooked chicken with paprika, salt and crushed black pepper
Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat
Add chicken and sauté about 3 min. each side until brown
Transfer browned chicken to a clean plate
Add vegetables to the heated skillet for 2 min and stir
Sprinkle cooking vegetables with flour and stir to coat all around
Gradually stir in broth and wine, bring to a boil
Return browned chicken with juices to the skillet and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to med-low and cover while simmering for 30 min or until chicken is cooked totally.
Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

October 9, 2014

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Filed under: Food, Food blog, Homemade, Meals — Tags: , , , , , — prep2eat @ 4:38 pm

Our weather in New England is cool and crisp on most days now in October. This is our Autumn or Fall Season. Our trees turn from green leaves to orange, red, and yellow leaves before gently falling in piles to the ground. A gusty wind sometimes hurries the process.

People in New England prepare hearty soups and stews with colors to match the season with different Fall vegetables. We dress in layers and our taste buds long for richer flavors to warm our tummies.

Today I wanted to make an old favorite meatball recipe. I gathered my ingredients on hand and realized I did not have apricot preserves but I did have a jar of wild blackberry preserves. I knew a version of this recipe had been made with Concord grape jelly, so I was pretty sure the seedless wild blackberry preserves would blend in nicely into the sauce.

Sometimes playing with flavors enhances a special dish to wake up the taste buds and we enjoy a new favorite recipe.

Here is the original recipe I have for Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Cook for 1 hour in a covered pot (depends on the size of the meatballs)

1 lb ground beef (prepared as your favorite meatball recipe)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tsp green tomato relish
Raisins, a small handful (optional)

Updates:

1/2 cup wild blackberry preserves (omitting the apricot preserves)

The Cooking Process:

Large bowl
Large platter
Fork
Wooden spoon
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Large pot with matching lid
Large serving bowl
Large serving spoon
Oven mitts

Prepare the ground beef and roll into small or medium balls.
Into the uncooked ground beef, mix in one beaten egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup Worcestchire Sauce, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper, and 1 cup Panko bread crumbs or more to allow the ground beef mixture to gently form a ball. Set the uncooked, prepared meatballs aside on a platter.

Put the large pot on the stove and add the water, chili sauce, preserves, tomato relish and raisins.
Turn the heat under the pot to medium high temperature until the mixture bubbles, about 2-3 min. and stir the bubbling mixture with a wooden spoon.
Gently add one meatball at a time and cover the pot.
Turn the bubbling sauce mixture down to a low temperature and keep covered.
Lift the cover to gently stir the half-cooked meatballs around in the sauce.
Continue to cook the meatballs in the sauce until the meat color turns from pink to brownish and the meatballs are firm.

Serve the cooked meatballs over your choice of grain, white or brown rice or quinoa.

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February 17, 2014

Turkey Meatballs in Cheesy Tomato Sauce

Filed under: Food, Food blog, Prep2eat, Turkey — Tags: , , , — prep2eat @ 6:47 pm

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Photo by The Souper at Prep2eat

What makes this recipe different from my usual turkey meatballs? The ground turkey is mixed with an egg, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Panko Crumbs. I am beginning to prepare food with hard cheeses as I have heard a person with lactose intolerance can digest the cheese. Hard cheeses are aged and supposedly have less lactose.

Once the turkey meatballs are formed, they are cooked in the prepared tomato sauce, same pot.

I will post a few more of my photos from this recipe process. I altered and added ingredients at times during prepping. This meal can be as easy as using prepared sauce from a jar or make your own favorite marinara sauce. I made my own sauce which had some vegetables added during the cooking process. (onions, carrots, red peppers)

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Here is the original recipe I was using as a guide.

 

 http://www.thethaikitchen.org/recipes/turkey-meatballs-in-tomato-cheese-sauce.html

February 11, 2014

Crispy Mustard-Horseradish Baked Chicken

Filed under: Chicken, Food, Food blog, Meals, Prep2eat — prep2eat @ 3:05 pm

It is refreshing to enjoy a new chicken dish. Many of my recipes are inspired by Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa on the Foodnetwork shows. This post is a similar version of Ina’s Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken. I chose boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Ina used cut chicken parts on the bone with the skin on.

I chose a mustard-horseradish rather than Ina’s choice of Dijon mustard. The remainder of the recipe is basically the same. One difference in the breading process is Ina dipped the chicken in a mixture of white wine and the mustard, therefore, eliminating the popular egg mixture for dipping.

The crispness of the breaded, baked chicken provided a very flavorful tang from the mustard-horseradish, lemon zest, Panko crumbs and garlic. A very nice surprise and definitely not a boring chicken dish.

i can’t wait to serve this chicken dish to unsuspecting guests 🙂

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Above is my photo of Crispy Mustard-Horseradish Baked Chicken (The Souper at Prep2eat)

Here is the link to Ina Garten’s chicken recipe which I followed except for the exchanges mentioned above:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/crispy-mustard-roasted-chicken.html

 

January 20, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Filed under: Chicken, Food, Food blog, Healthy, Meals, Peppers, Prep2eat, Quinoa, Turkey — prep2eat @ 8:17 pm

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Photo above by “The Souper” at Prep2eat

Inspired by Foodnetwork’s Guy Fieri, I followed his recipe for Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and thought why not enhance the mixture with Chicken Sausage with Spinach & Cheese? Yes, the sausage addition put this dish over-the-top on the flavor scale. 

Here is my photo of the Chicken Sausage with Spinach & Cheese:

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Here are some more photos of the recipe process for my Stuffed Peppers. Included in the mixture is ground turkey, chicken sausage, quinoa, kale, garlic, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, Panko crumbs mixed with grated cheese.

 

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Some ingredients for my Stuffed Peppers

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Heating up Chicken Sausage with spinach & cheese already in the sausage. As the cheese melts from the sausage, it flavors the fat from the sausage therefore no additional oil is needed to brown the ground turkey.

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Adding garlic and red pepper flakes to the browning ground turkey.

 

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Above is Quinoa and fresh, chopped Kale added to the browned ground turkey. Low-sodium chicken broth (or white wine) was added to the cooked ground turkey to add liquid to the cooking mixture.

 

 

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Filled peppers are topped with a mixture of Panko crumbs & grated cheese, ready to be baked in the oven until brown on top.

 

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Finished peppers above. A lot of mixture was left over for the three peppers I had in the refrigerator at the time. I put the leftover cooked mixture in a container to keep in the refrigerator. The quantity of mixture from the original recipe by Guy Fieri would have filled 4-6 peppers. My recipe with the added chicken sausage made the original recipe stretch to several more peppers. 

This recipe came together easily with organization of ingredients and cooking utensils. Prepping the ingredients before beginning the cooking process made the cooking process flow with very little stress.

The presentation of this meal-in-a-pepper is an excellent buffet item for an informal gathering of family and friends.

 

Here is the link for the Stuffed Peppers by Guy Fieri of The Foodnetwork:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/turkey-and-quinoa-stuffed-peppers-recipe/index.html

December 29, 2013

Rum Cake

Filed under: Food, Food blog, Homemade, Prep2eat — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 9:48 am

Here is a new version of a traditional Rum Pound Cake served at our new year’s celebration with friends. The original rum cake was prepared by the mother of my friend, Marie. Many small rum cakes were flown around the country to a very large family. A wonderful gift to start off a new year with some confection love.

We all anticipated the first aromatic inhaling of rum vapors saturating the small rum cake. The rum enhanced the sweet, plain pound cake. Let the new year begin 🙂

My updated version of this rum cake is combining my favorite lighter white cake mix which includes pudding mix, therefore eliminating one step in the preparation of ingredients. Also, I will be making cupcakes instead of a Loaf or Bundt Cake. (The photos below were a test of my cake mix in loaf form.)

This white cake mixture is soft, sweet and enjoyable as is. One option is to top the cake or cupcakes with a thin white Royal Icing with either a drop of rum mixed in the icing OR fresh lemon juice mixed in the icing.

Original Rum Cake Recipe by Virginia P.

1 package yellow cake mix

1 3-ounce package of instant pudding (flavor of choice)

4 eggs

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup veg. Oil

1/2 cup Rum

 

Glaze Topping

1/4 cup butter (one stick)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup Rum

 

The Cake Process

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour baking pan(s)

Mix all cake mix ingredients together for two minutes with hand mixer at medium speed.

Pour mixture into two-three loaf pans, Bundt Pan or cupcake wrappers in cupcake pans. (See recipe on cake mix box)

Bake above mixture for about an hour or for amount of time on cake mixture box

The test for the cake fully baked is a tooth pick coming out clean with no batter sticking to it after being pushed into the center of the cake.

Cool the cake before topping with prepared Glaze.

 

Preparing the Glaze

In a small pot on stovetop at low-medium heat setting, melt butter, stir in water and sugar while bringing mixture to a boil for five minutes, constantly stirring!!!

Add Rum from Glaze Recipe after butter, sugar mixture cools a bit.

 

Glazing the Pound Cake

With a tooth pick, poke holes all over the cooled cake, drizzle slowly all of the prepared Glaze.

Top the finished cake(s) with plastic wrap or foil.

Refrigerate in advance to help absorb the rum into the cake, then serve at room temperature.

 

My Rum Cake Version In Photos (made two pound cake loaves)

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Rum Cupcakes

Same cake mix and process poured into cupcake pans with liner paper. After baking and cooling put cupcakes on a baking sheet, poke some holes with a tooth pick, and gently spoon cooled glaze with rum on to each cup cake. Since the run off of glaze is a bit messy, peel away the paper liners and serve on a cake plate.
I sprinkled some gold sugar to add a little sparkle for New Year’s Eve Party.

Here is my photo: by “The Souper” at Prep2eat

Rum Cupcakes

November 12, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

Filed under: Brown rice, Chicken, Cook, Food, Food blog, Homemade, Soup — Tags: , , , , — prep2eat @ 2:04 pm
Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

We saw our first flurry of snowflakes this morning in Boston. Not a major snow storm, just a visual of what is to come our way this winter. In November, the autumn leaves drop from the trees leaving colorful piles of mixed yellow, orange and red crunchy carpets on lawns and sidewalks. Trees are left bare showing their skeleton branches.

The sun was not shining brightly this morning, the wintery chill was in the air and our heating needed to be turned on in our home. Looking out the front window was a picture in grey. Grey empty tree branches against cloudy, grey sky. This was a very cold start to the day.

Fortunately I had chicken parts in my freezer to defrost. I knew I could prepare home made chicken soup easily with a few carrots, a stalk of celery and a whole onion. In a couple of hours I had a steaming mug of warmth to comfort the gloom of today.

November 11, 2013

Salad With Avocado and Sunflower a Seeds

Filed under: Food, Food blog, Healthy, Homemade, Prep2eat, Salad — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 12:52 pm

Healthy salad made creamy with avocado.

Fresh salad with Avocado

Fresh salad with Avocado

November 8, 2013

Baked Turkey Balls with Sides

Filed under: Brown rice, Cook, Food, Food blog, Healthy, Homemade, Meals, Turkey — Tags: , , , , , , — prep2eat @ 7:38 pm

Good basic dinner

Good basic dinner


Photo by Prep2eat

Our meal tonight is a basic go-to healthy, no fuss dinner. We are trying to eat simply just before the big eating holidays. Lean protein, vegetables and brown rice.

My ground turkey balls recipe has been posted on this blog. One special ingredient is horseradish mustard among other mix-ins. These rounds are baked to keep calorie count down, less fat.

The brown rice is a good grain, no white flour as in a pasta. It is easy to prepare by following directions on package or jar of Organic Texmati Brown Rice.

The salad of baby spinach and assorted cut vegetables is dressed with my go-to simple fresh dressing made right in the bowl: juice of one half lemon, sprinkle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the salad, add a bit of Kosher salt, ground black pepper and optional pinch of sugar. Toss salad to coat all greens.

The simplicity of this meal is providing a well-rounded nutritional offering, not too heavy in any food group. There is balance eating this way.

October 28, 2013

Chicken Stew With Chicken Sausage

Updated recipe photos of Chicken Stew with Chicken and Cheese Sausages
(By The Souper at Prep2eat, 2014)

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Photos by Prep2eat 2013

New England is bursting with color now that we are well into autumn. At this time of year it is normal to see orange trees, yellow trees and red trees.  Crisp cool days followed by colder nights signal leaves to change from their summer green to bright autumn glow.

This photo was taken in late afternoon with part of the sky grayish and some sunlight just before dusk was shining upon this beautiful tree with bright orange leaves. Enjoy.

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The cool brisk air begs my taste buds to bring on some heat.  I decided to play around with my go-to Chicken Paprika Stew and take the recipe to a more intense level to satisfy my craving for something spicy. While watching one of my favorite cooking shows on The Cooking Channel called “Extra Virgin” about husband and wife, actress and Tuscan farmer, cooking together, I was inspired to cook with sausage.  While at the market to buy my chicken thighs, I also bought some Italian sausage with peppers and onions.  This proved to be an excellent choice in a very tasty way.

Food photos and recipe continued below:

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