Posts Tagged ‘original’

Chicken,Main Dishes

April 25, 2012

Southwest Chicken Spaghetti
Posted by Chammer

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After being sick for almost an entire week, I was craving something home style and delicious. I decided to make Chicken Spaghetti but didn’t have any cream soups (I don’t particularly care for them, so I don’t keep them on hand). After looking up some recipes, I decided to create my own.  What developed was a semi-spicy Southwest style Chicken Spaghetti. The panko spread on top of the dish gave it a nice color and crunch.  It was tasty and easy. I’m excited because I froze half of it for a quick meal later. Here’s the recipe:



2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

Season-All or Lawry’s seasoned salt

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

8 oz dry spaghetti or angel hair pasta

1/2 bell pepper (whatever color you prefer), chopped

1 stalk celery, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 cup butter, plus 1 tbsp (5 tbsp total)

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup milk

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp oregano

1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can Rotel Tomatoes, drained

2 1/2 cups grated cheddar

1 cup panko bread crumbs

kosher salt and pepper



Season chicken with seasoned salt or kosher salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until done.  Meanwhile, cook spaghetti to al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain spaghetti and return to pot; add chicken to the pot. In the same skillet used for the chicken, add 1 tbsp olive oil if needed.  Cook vegetables until crisp-tender in juices from chicken.  Add chili powder, cayenne and oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  In a small sauce pot, heat butter over medium-low.   Add flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth and milk, stirring or whisking to combine.  Cook over medium heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes.  When sauce had thickened, stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small dish, mix in Panko bread crumbs.


Add vegetables and drained Rotel tomatoes to the stock pot already containing spaghetti and chicken.  Pour in the sauce, stirring to combine.  Spread mixture into a greased 9×13 glass baking dish, or two smaller dishes, if you wish to freeze half for later.  Spread remaining cheddar cheese and Panko bread crumbs over the top.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are browned. Enjoy!


November 2, 2010

Carmelized Onion and Apple Tartlets
Posted by Chammer

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I made this as an appetizer for Bunco, but I wanted to make it my own.  Lots of recipes called for Puff Pastry dough, and if they called for tart dough, they didn’t have apples or something.  So, I read a bunch of recipes and came up with this one.  It is tasty!

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 7 Tbs. ice water

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Butter
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or in a food processor, cut in the butter until pea-size crumbs form.  Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and mix with your hands, adding more water as needed until the dough comes together. It should be moist but not sticky.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 2 balls and shape each into a 5-inch disk. Cover separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

While tart dough is chilling, cut onions into thin strips.  Peel and dice apples into 1/4 inch cubes.  In a heavy skillet with a lid, heat olive oil and butter  over medium-low heat.  Cook onion, covered but stirring occasionaly, for 10 minutes, until it begins to have a golden hue.  Remove lid and add apples.  Cook another 10 minutes, or until apples are softened but still have some bite, and onions are a deep golden color.  Stir in balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough disk to 1/8 inch thick.  Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds. Transfer rounds to parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove rounds from refrigerator and par-bake rounds for six minutes.
While rounds are baking, combine ricotta and egg yolk in a small bowl.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes.  Then, top with 1 tsp ricotta mixture and 1 to 1 1/2 TBSP onion mixture.  Return to oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until rounds are golden brown along the edges and filling is heated through.
Makes 24 tartlet rounds.  Enjoy!

Main Dishes,Seafood

September 21, 2010

Shrimp and Grits
Posted by Chammer

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Mom and Dad took me to an excellent Denver restaurant called Venue, in the Highlands when I was home this last time.  I ordered their signature dish, Shrimp and Grits, and it was awesome!  After telling Will about it, he asked if I thought I could replicate it (coming from a good Southern family, the boy loves grits).  I told him I could sure try.  I’m proud of the outcome!  I don’t know exactly how they do their grits at Venue, so I just guessed.  However, they did tell us that they use Emmantaler cheese, which is a type of Swiss.  I found this at the Commissary.  I was reading about Emmantaler in my ingredients book and it said Gruyere is similar, so I imagine that could work too.  Also, at Venue, you get Black Tiger Shrimp. The Commissary here, however, thinks it’s a good idea not to have a fish monger, even though I can see the ocean from the Commissary parking lot (okay, not quite, but almost).  So, I had to get jumbo shrimp which were frozen, so they were not as good as other not-frozen shrimp might have been, however, the dish was still great!  Here’s what I did (I made it up as I went along):

For Grits:

1clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup minced sweet yellow onion

2 TBSP Olive Oil (2 turns of the pan)

1 cup Old Fashioned white grits

1/2 cup chicken broth

1  1/2 cups milk


1/3 cup Emmantaler cheese, finely grated


Sriracha chili sauce

For Shrimp:

1 TBSP olive oil

1 lb Jumbo or Black Tiger Shrimp

1 clove garlic

pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan of medium heat.  Saute onions and garlic until they are softened and have a tiny bit of color (you don’t want them too dark or they will stand out in the grits).  Add broth and 1 cup of milk. Bring to a boil.  Add grits and salt to taste, stirring to combine.  Reduce heat to low and cook grits for 5-7 minutes, then stir in last 1/2 cup of milk.  Cook another 10-15 minutes, until the grits are soft and creamy in texture. 

Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute.  When garlic is browned and has flavored the oil, remove from pan. Add shrimp to pan and saute 5-7 minutes, or until pink on the outside and opaque in the center. 

Once grits are soften and creamy, stir in Emmantaler.  If grits are too thick, add a splash more milk. 

Serve grits garnished with cilantro on top and Sriracha sauce spread on the plate beside the grits, place shrimp on top of grits. 

This was soooo good and so much fun to try to replicate a recipe.  Of course, Venue does it best, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment!!!