Monday, October 29, 2012

Pizza in a Sandwich


I'm always on the look out for new things, new flavors and new places. I probably spend half of my free time surfing for new recipes online and I never get bored of it. I like to be different when everyone else is doing the same dish. 

I stumbled upon a recipe for a Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque pizza on Pillsbury. It was a very interesting mix of hickory flavored bbq sauce, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and raspberry jam. 

Sweet, smoky, cheesy and a little tangy with an extra spicy kick, just like your favorite Chicken Barbeque Pizza!


Take two slices of bread. Butter one side of each bread. Turn the bread over. Put a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese on the side that hasn't been buttered.


Pile the chicken on top of the cheese. Just look at those gorgeous bits of spicy chipotle pepper. 


Then sprinkle with slices of red onions and chopped cilantro leaves, like a pizza.


Then top with more cheese.. okay, maybe not THIS much cheese unless you want hot cheesy mess to come spilling out in all directions. Lesson learned. Lesson learned indeed. Oh yes.


Here it is all melted and gooey with bits of the chicken poking out. YUM!


RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE BBQ CHICKEN GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
recipe adapted from Pillsbury

6 slices of bread
1 cup of cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/3 cup raspberry chipotle barbeque sauce  (recipe below)
red onion, thinly sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated (or monterey jack)
chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque Sauce
1/4 cup Hickory BBQ sauce
1/4 cup raspberry jam 
3 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped finely (add more if you want it more spicy)
1 tsp adobo sauce, from the chipotle peppers
1 garlic clove, grated
salt and pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a bowl. Add the chicken and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  (I cooked chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, chili pepper and paprika in a little bit of oil and then shredded the meat afterwards.)

Butter the outside of each slice of bread. Pile the cheese on the other side. Top with the chicken, red onions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle more cheese on top. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side out.

Toast in the oven, fry or grill the sandwich on a non-stick pan over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Serve with chips or fries and a beer. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stuffed Cheesy Bread on Crack


This is Cheesy-Melty-Onion-Garlic-Love weekend.  

Stuffed Italian Bread is like onion-garlic bread on crack. Highly snackable, highly addictive, you find yourself unable to stop pulling those cheesy bread pieces and licking your fingers good after devouring each piece. 

Trust me. Your friends will go crazy over it.

The only problem with it is those few agonizing moments of waiting for the bread to cool down a bit while drooling at the melted, gooey cheese between those oh so delicious cracks just so you don't burn your mouth when you do eat it. It's a real test of self restraint for those few moments.


STUFFED ITALIAN BREAD
recipe adapted from Monster Mama

1 Italian loaf, about 12 inches long 
1 stick butter, melted
1/8 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tsp chopped parsley (add more if you wish)
12 oz grated cheese (I used a mix of white cheddar and monterey jack.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

Mix the melted butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, poppy seeds and parsley in a bowl. 

Cut the bread into cubes with X slices without cutting all the way through the bottom crust. 

Pour the butter-onion garlic mixture carefully into those X cracks using a small spoon and over the top of the bread. Fill those delicious cracks with the grated cheese. (It seems like a lot of work and trouble but it's all worth it. Yes.)

Wrap the entire loaf with foil, sealing the sides properly and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and unwrap. Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.


Bon appetit, tout le monde!


Hot, gooey, melting and very very tasty.... 

I think I'm in love...


What are you waiting for?  

Stop counting those calories and just DIG IN!

You'll thank me for it.


30 seconds and 6 hands later....


Have a nice weekend, everyone! 

Update: I would like to give a big hearty shout out of Thank You to Monster Mama for this sharing this brilliant idea, to theKitchn for including it in their delicious links list and everyone else who liked this recipe post and took the time to check out my blog. Quite honestly, I am pleasantly overwhelmed and amazed by the response it received. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to climb to the top of the current favorite list on Foodgawker when I submitted the post. Thank you, everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dinner in 15 Minutes or Less

After enduring endless jokes from my colleagues about the name of my blog and the irony that it doesn't have a SINGLE Asian recipe (Hey, I strongly object! That Shrimp Paste Fried Rice with Green Mangoes and Caramelized Pork counts!), I decided to do more Asian dishes from now on. 

Let's start with rice! Just my favorite subject! 

Kimchi Fried Rice with Bacon and Egg

Ever wonder how Koreans stay so slim? According to Health.com, obesity is not common in Korea due to the fact that Koreans eat a lot of Kimchi. 

 But just what is Kimchi? Kimchi is spicy fermented cabbages, sort of like the Asian version of Sauerkraut.

A research made by a university in South Korea claims that Kimchi can help you lose up to 11 lbs per month. Well, I'll keep this in mind the next time I'm on a diet and see if there's any truth to it.  =)


I love my rice. Take it away and you will find a very grouchy, moody me. My boyfriend knew that too well when I was on vacation in the Netherlands. He lives on bread (he's Dutch) and I live on rice. But I think I've successfully converted him into a rice lover too. Ha!

Fried rice is a quick, easy and cheap meal that will not break your wallet. Plus you've got a whole meal with rice, meat and veggies. It's very adaptable too. Swap bacon for chicken, pork or beef, add some peas and carrots or make it completely vegan with tofu. 

You can probably find Kimchi at any Asian or Korean grocer or you can make one at home with this simple Kimchi recipe from David Lebovitz. I bought a single serving of Kimchi (1/2 cup) at a restaurant near my house for only 20 pesos ($1 is more or less PHP 42 these days). Finding cheap food is one of the things I love about living in the Philippines.


KIMCHI FRIED RICE WITH BACON AND EGG

1 cup cooked rice
half of a small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 thin slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces (or leftover bacon)
1/4 cup Kimchi, chopped
1 green scallion,chopped
1/2 tsp canola or sesame oil
pinch of black pepper

Sauce: 
1 tsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
pinch of sugar

Toppings: 
1 fried egg 
chopped scallions (optional)

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  

Add the bacon. Stir constantly until slightly crisp. Remove and set aside in a bowl. Drain some of the fat and oil in the pan.  (If using leftover bacon pieces, skip this and proceed to the next part. Add the bacon after cooking the onions and garlic.)

Add the chopped scallions and cook for 5-10 seconds. Remove and set aside. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the bacon back to the pan. Add the Kimchi and sauce. Cook while stirring for about a minute or two.

Add the rice to the Kimchi. Break up the clumps with a wooden spoon. Season with black pepper. Stir everything together until the rice is evenly mixed in with the Kimchi. Stir constantly to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions. Serve in a bowl topped with a fried egg.




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Potato Cheddar Soup to Get You Warm and Cozy


Cool days are pretty much a rarity where I'm from but when it comes,
the last thing I ever want to do is get out of bed. And go to work. Humph.

Wouldn't you just want to stay tucked under that warm, soft blanket and fade away into la-la land instead of being woken up annoyingly by that persistent alarm?

Two days ago, we were happily stuffing our faces with Southwest Loaded Baked Potato Skins, weren't we? 

Plenty of leftover mashed potato is good.
  Leftover mashed potato makes amazing Potato Cheddar Soup. Like loaded baked potatoes, only soup version.

Thick and creamy potato soup topped with crisp crumbled bacon, 
grated cheddar cheese and cilantro...

Just me, my blanket and a big ol' bowl of cozy warm soup.
 I want to be totally wrapped up in that delicious warmth, happily slurping away.

Perfect for cold rainy days and lots of cuddles. 

POTATO CHEDDAR SOUP
recipe adapted from Kayotic Kitchen

3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar or honey (I like a hint of sweetness to my soup but you can omit this.)
120 g cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:
grated cheddar cheese
crumbled bacon bits
chopped cilantro

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the dijon mustard. Add the flour. Stir for about a minute just to get rid of the raw flour taste. Stir in the mashed potatoes. Pour in the chicken broth and milk. Keep stirring until there are no more lumps. Stir in the sugar. Cook for 10-15 minutes, occasionally stirring, until nice and thick. 

If you want a really smooth soup, you can transfer the soup to a blender or a food processor.  (I used a sieve since I don't have a blender nor food processor.)

Put the soup back in the pan over low heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup. Season with salt and pepper.

Top potato soup with bacon crumbles, chopped cilantro and more grated cheese. Serve with warm toasted bread.


NOTE: This makes quite a thick soup. If you want it thinner, just add 1/4 cup more of chicken broth or milk each time until you get the consistency you want. Then adjust the seasonings.

UPDATE:  I actually forgot to add the mustard and sugar in the procedure (my apologies!) and made some corrections after a reader's comments. Thank you to Amy Graves for calling it to my attention.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Southwest Loaded Baked Potato Skins

I have been on a Mexican kick lately for some reason. About 2 weeks ago, I had this insane craving for burritos that I went to a restaurant by myself. I could have eaten five burritos that night (good for my stomach, not so good for my waistline and thighs). Luckily, my wallet only allowed me to order one.

That only seemed to worsen my craving though. So after a lot of drooling, a lot of waiting and contemplating, I finally gave in and stuffed my face with this amazing Spicy Chicken Tamale Casserole. Love you, Cooking Light!

But some days I crave for fries.