Friday, June 22, 2012

Almond & Cheese Stuffed Chicken


This is the last recipe from Six Degrees of Supperation that I had not yet posted on our blog as well. After this, I promise there are some new recipes coming soon!

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I am always looking for ways to take the boring out of plain chicken breasts, and this recipe definitely does the trick. Not only is this dish super easy to make, but since it was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, it is actually fairly healthy too.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup light garlic and herb spreadable cheese (I use alouette brand)
  • 1/4 cup slivered and toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (note that I only had three, but the cheese mixture makes enough for four)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Chop the parsley...


...and the almonds. Unless you are in a Martha Stewart kind of mood. I recommend buying pre-toasted and slivered almonds like these. They are awesome.



Combine the spreadable cheese, almonds, and parsley in a small bowl. Look at me...I even opted for light cheese this time.

My hips thanked me.




Trim the chicken breasts if necessary, cover with wax paper, and pound into thin cutlets.


Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the salt and pepper.


Spread the cheese mixture in the center of each piece.


Roll up the chicken with the smaller side on top, and secure with toothpicks.


Heat the butter on medium-high heat in an oven-proof skillet. I love using my cast iron skillet for this.

I'm not going to lie...I think I used a bit more butter than usual. But I used light cheese, so it all evens out right?


Add the chicken, thick side down, and cook for a few minutes or until slightly browned.


Turn over and do the same to the other side. If your toothpicks are too long (as you can see, I had to use cut-off skewers, so mine were way long), you may have to remove them for this step, but the chicken should stay together at this point.


Turn the chicken back over and put the pan in the oven. It is fine to leave the toothpicks in.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.


Serve with your favorite side dish. This time around, I served them with veggie couscous. Yum!

Matt's El Rancho's Spanish Rice

Here is another recipe that I originally posted on Six Degrees of Supperation. I made some last week, and it was just as delicious as ever!

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One of my New Year's resolutions is to revive our lovely blog, and I thought a recipe from Matt's El Rancho would be the perfect way to do so.  This recipe is super easy and makes a delicious side dish for any Mexican/Tex-Mex meal.
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups water or chicken broth (I often use 1 1/2 cups of each)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

First, chop up all your veggies.


I used my trusty veggie chopper for the onions, because we all know what a cry-baby I am around onions.

On that note, my fabulous in-laws gave me kitchen goggles for Christmas. I can't wait to try them out the next time I chop onions!!


Heat the oil in a large skillet.


Add the rice and saute until it is golden brown.






Add the veggies and seasonings, and continue to saute for a few more minutes.






Add the water/broth and the tomato sauce.

At this point, you can add 2 cups of any raw veggie you want...think chopped carrots, corn, and peas like El Arroyo. Get crazy :).


 

Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then remove the rice from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes, still covered, before fluffing the rice with a fork.


This rice is so fluffy and delicious...make it for your next Taco Night!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there, including...

My Dad.






My Father-in-Law, Gary.




My Step-Dad, Jimmy. 



My Grandfather, BB. 




And of course, my wonderful husband. Happy First Father's Day!







Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shrimp Etouffee

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


This is another one of the recipes that I made on my family's 2010 Fourth of July trip to Port O'Connor, and it was a hit! I was especially happy that my Dad was impressed, because he was born in New Orleans and loves cajun food. Also, this recipe is adapted from Emeril's version (and uses his "Essence"), so you really can't go wrong.

WARNING - there are a lot of ingredients and quite a bit of prep time involved, but it is worth it.

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Essence  (you can buy it ready-made at most grocery stores or make it using the recipe below)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • white rice
*Note that I doubled the recipe for my extremely large family.


Start by chopping all the veggies for the roux. Thanks to my sister Hannah for helping out with the photos on these...it really helped speed up the chopping process.

Celery...


green bell peppers...


red bell peppers...

p.s. Can we please stop to take notice of the smallest cutting board in the world. This is the only cutting board at our house in Port O'Connor. I know what I am getting my Dad for Christmas.


and the onions (shout out to Rhonda for saving my eyes and chopping the onions for me)...


Set the roux veggies aside.


Chop up the garlic and set aside.


Chop tomatoes, parsley, and thyme and set aside.


Peel and devein the shrimp. If you have a champion shrimp peeler/deveiner for a Dad, feel free to tag him in for this step.


Now that everything is prepped, it is time to get cookin.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. It doesn't hurt if you have one on hand that happened to belong to your Great-Grandmother from Louisiana. Dad told me she would have been really proud of my shrimp etouffee :).


Add the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns into a peanut butter color.

Since achieving a peanut butter color can take quite a while, I highly recommend having a glass of wine handy.

Note that the picture below is before it was taken before it was totally done, and I completely forgot to take a pic when it was completely PB color...I blame the glass of wine.


Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft (about five minutes).


Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.


Add the water and stir.


Add the Essence and bay leaves and reduce heat to medium.


Add the tomatoes, wine, parsley, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for five minutes.

Have another sip of your wine and smell the deliciousness that is going on at this point.


Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens (about five minutes).

At this point, you can add more water if you prefer thinner etouffee.


It kind of looks like restaurant-style queso at this point. Mmmmm....queso (I will save that for a later post).

Add the shrimp and cook until they just curl and turn pink (about three to four minutes). Add the green onions and cook for two minutes.


Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice. Some nice crusty bread to soak up all the extra goodness is also necessary.


This really is so good. And, although it was great during our summer vacation, this meal is even more fabulous on a cold and rainy night. Enjoy :).

About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing instead. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; pajamas; La Croix; reading; coffee; podcasts; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; bad hair days; snoring; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); Miracle Whip; scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and working out. I think that sums it up.

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