Mini Pita Pizzas

So I totally stole this from my brother-in-law.  He made them for us one evening and they are stellar.

Serves 4

4 8inch Whole Wheat Pitas

4 tbsp Pesto

8 tbsp Pizza Sauce

2 BBQed Chicken Breasts (diced)

1/2 Package Turkey Bacon

2 Cup Diced Spinach

1 Green Pepper (diced)

1/2 Medium Onion (diced)

2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese (Grated)

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spoon a tbsp of pesto on each pita.  Spread evenly.  Spoon 2 tbsp pizza sauce on each pita.  Spread evenly.  Now top the pizza with a portion of the chicken, bacon, onion, peppers and spinach.  Finish it off with the cheese.  Bake the pizzas right on the rack for about 10 minutes.

Super simple and super tasty.  But wait!  You like pineapple on your pizza!?  Ok.  Put some on!  You can swap out whatever you want.  Just don’t over-top the pizzas or they won’t cook properly.  Also, because of the short cook time, pre-cook all meat and if you want softer veggies, pre-cook them a little as well.  Another neat tip is you can prep a lot of topping and have it a few times in a week.  Then all you have to do it top and cook.

Once again thank to Josh and Sonia for the great recipe.  Comment below with your own pizza topping ideas!

A few things to mention

It has been quite some time since I last posted and this post will be a bit of a mixed bag.  I can tell by the piles of emails and comments that my throng of devoted readers has missed my postings but fear not, I will try to do a little more.

First off a quick D&D update.  Our heroes defeated the Sharn, snagged another one of the legendary weapons and headed back to the university.  Once there they got word that the Bard’s home town was under siege by the undead (yes, them again!) so they traveled to the Dalelands.  After training up some recruits, the town was again besieged by the walking aberrations.  The heroes classed in the streets and drove back the dark forces.  We leave them preparing retaliation.

I am taking a break from my D&D posts because our group is taking a break from my campaign.  One of the other fellows wants to try his hand at DMing and I really don’t mind just sitting back and playing for a while.  I may do something either here or on another site to review the goings on of his adventures.  I might do something interesting and write it like a journal of my character.  Anyway just some ideas.

Back to the real world.  I really haven’t done much new stuff in the way of cooking.  That is to say I haven’t done any of my own stuff.  I have been trying a few things but they have been from recipes so I don’t feel I can take any real credit for them.  I will, however, shout out to this recipe for butter chicken.

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Main/Chicken/recipe.html?dishid=8423

It was really neat to cook because the flavour really doesn’t come together until the end.  It turned out super tasty.

The other really quick recipe I want to share is something Tam has started drinking.  Just take a can of club soda and add a lemon wedge and a lime wedge.  It is very low calorie and extremely refreshing.  Also, if you add a shot of vodka it becomes a great little summer drink.  It is so much better for you then Sprite.

The last think I want to touch on is I am getting really into photography.  Tam got a Canon EOS Rebel T1i for Christmas.  I did most of the research on the camera before we got it so in my learning I got very interested in the whole process.  So I am starting this new hobby and I will be making posts about it.  You can catch some of my updates on Facebook and Twitter as well as my Flickr account.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nimrod108/

I am really open to any feedback as I am really just starting out.  I hope to improve and slowly upgrade my gear.  I will also post stuff shot by Tam as she has a great eye for things.

Thanks again to my loyal readers.  I guess this is happy new year!

Chillin' and grillin'

I have recently become obsessed with deal website, especially ones that offer freebies. I have all manor of samples and tee-shirt showing up in the mail. Recently I found a great freebie download. It is a grilling guide from Martha ‘Hardtime’ Stewart. It is from her satellite radio show and has recopies from her and other gust chefs. You can grab it at:

http://www.sirius.com/marthastewartlivingradio

I tried the Whole Chicken Spatchcock and I will never roast a chicken on the grill any other way. The other recipes sound really good as well and I can’t wait to try them.

With this chicken I cooked it with the recommended wood chips for smoke. I did have a little trouble with the indirect heating on my grill. I figured out that the trick is to leave the off side on full heat and then keep your food side on low heat until the BBQ reaches temp. Make sure you turn your food side back on low after each time you open the lid to glaze. This is also the first time I used a meat thermometer for cooking and it is a great investment. I am always worried about underdone chicken and this removed all the guesswork without cutting into the bird.

Anyway I am super stoked about grilling season and this was a great way to really kick it off. Please leave comments and if you have a great recipe you want to share let me know and I can throw it up as a guest post.

One pan Chicken Fajitas

Here is how I make fajitas.  It is pretty simple and fairly healthy (I think).

1 large chicken breast
1 sweet pepper (any colour)
1 small onion
4-5 white mushrooms
1 can black beans
1/2 cup salsa
4 tbsp chili powder
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 cups diced lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 12″ soft tortillas
salsa
sour ceram

Turn your oven onto about 200F.  Throw your tortillas onto a baking sheet and let them get warm in the oven.

Cut your chicken into long strips and throw into a large frying pan (I use my wok) with the oil over medium high heat.  Cook until chicken is just about brown.  Add the garlic, chili powder and 1/2 cup of salsa to the chicken and let the chicken finish cooking.  Please note always make sure your chicken is fully cooked before adding your veggies.  Another helpful and healthy tip is that if your chicken starts to stick to the pan, don’t add more oil, instead add a little water to the pan, the chicken should un-stick quickly.

While the chicken is cooking, dice the pepper, onion and mushrooms.  Cut the veggies into long strips to match the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked, throw in the veggies.  Once the veggies start to soften, drain and add the black beans.  Once the beans are warm, remove the fajita fill from the stove.

Remove the warm tortillas and you are ready to eat.  The nice thing about fajitas is that everyone builds their own.  Just have them spoon some fill onto a tortilla, throw on some cheese, salsa, lettuce and sour cream, and then roll.  They are a one pan meal that combines your meat, veg and side all into one.  If you want to add something else you can’t go wrong with chips and fresh cut salsa or maybe some mexi-rice.

California Club Chicken Burger

I was inspired to make these things by a California club sandwich I had at a restaurant.  I know it is not a true club because I am not using turkey but the chicken really works here.  This is plenty for about 6-8 burgers.

6-8 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1lb bacon
1 lrg tomato
½ head of lettuce
6-8 slices of havarti cheese
6-8 Kiser buns
16 tbsp guacamole
mayonnaise
BBQ sauce
Start by putting a layer of tinfoil over the top rack of your BBQ.  Lay the bacon on the tinfoil.  Fire up your BBQ and let the bacon cook on med to med low heat for about 15-20 mins.  This is a good time to make your guacamole.  Check out this post for my homemade guac.  Be sure to keep checking the bacon every 5 mins or so.  You want it to be crispy but not burnt.  Remove the bacon and set it aside.  Turn the heat up to med high.  Be sure to oil your grill before cooking chicken.  Because it has less fat I find it sticks easier.  Put your chicken on the grill and brush with the BBQ sauce.  You want to turn the chicken about every 5-6 minutes (that means about 10 mins a side).  Be sure not to burn it but always cook your chicken well.  After you flip the chicken, brush the exposed side with more BBQ sauce.  About 2 mins before removing the chicken, place a slice of cheese on each breast.  Once you have removed the chicken you are ready to build the burger.  On the bottom half of the bun, scoop on about 2 tbsp of guac.  Place the chicken breast on the guac.  Put two strips of bacon (each cut in half so you end up with 4 pieces) on the chicken.  On the top half of the bun, spread some mayo.  Then place the lettuce and the tomato on the mayo.  I personally like to keep the tomato closest to the meat.  Close the burger!  Server with some nice salads and LOTS of napkins!  If you have leftover bacon, use them as bacon bits in a ceaser salad.  If you have left over guacamole, sever it on the side with some chips!

Chicken parmesan with roasted broccoli and asiago cheese

First off I have to give some major credit to a friend of mine Dwayne.  He gave me the recipe fo for the broccoli and it was amazing.  Thanks Dwayne.

Chicken parmesan (yield 4)

4          large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1cup    fine bread crumbs
1          large egg
2tbsp   milk
8-10     slices of mozzarella cheese
1can    pizza sause
1/2cup grated parmesan cheese
            olive oil
            salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425.  In an medium bowl, beat egg and milk together until well blended.  Dump the bread crumbs into another bowl an lightly season them with salt and pepper.  Dip chicken breast in the egg mix and then into dredge them in the bread crumbs.  Be sure to cover the chicken well.  Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Brown the breaded chicken breasts (about 2-3 minutes per side) and then place them in a baking pan.  Place the mozzarella cheese on the chicken breasts (about 2-3 slices per breast should do).  Cover each breast with about 2 tbsp of pizza sauce.  Sprinkle the chicken with the parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and lets stand for 2 minutes before serving.

roasted broccoli and asiago cheese

1          large broccoli crown
4tbsp   olive oil
1cup    grated asiago cheese
            salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425.  Rinse and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces.  Dry the broccoli.  Put in a bowl and toss with olive oil.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Spread the broccoli on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  The broccoli should start to have a few little brown areas on it.  Remove broccoli and return it to the bowl where you tossed it with olive oil.  Add the asiago cheese and toss until the cheese melts over the broccoli.  Serve with the chicken.

I also usually make this with an alfredo pasta but you could do roast potatoes or rice with it as well.  I hope you enjoy this.

Curry chicken broccoli

This is a recipe that I used to make when I was a kid.  It is really tasty.

2-4 lrg Chicken breasts (boneless is best)
2 lrg Broccoli crown
2 cans Cream of mushroom soup
1 cup  Mayonnaise 
1 cup Shredded cheddar
4tsp  Curry powder or paste
4-5tsp Lemon juice 

 Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and line the bottom of a baking pan.  Place the chicken on the broccoli.  Combine the soup, mayonnaise, curry powder, and lemon juice.  Whip it together and pour over the the chicken and broccoli.  Sprinkle the cheddar over the coated chicken.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the cheese.

Bake for about 45 minutes.  Serve with rice and enjoy.  Try it out and post you comments.  Let me know if you have any ideas on how to improve it.