Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Simple Weeknight Meal: In a Packet

I'll admit it. I almost titled this recipe, "The Cleveland Steamer". It's accurate. It's a taste of Cleveland, and it's steamed in a foil packet. But then, if you go look up Cleveland Steamer on Urban Dictionary, you'll know why I refrained.

Anyhow, I got Michael Symon's '5 in 5' cookbook for Christmas, and used one of his recipes as inspiration for this. He notes that this recipe reminds him of Cleveland all wrapped up in one packet. I've modified his recipe a bit to add some extra flavor with garlic, mustard and jalapeno. Best part of the recipe? It takes 15 minutes and there is literally zero clean up. Ready, go!!

The Cleveland Packet
makes 2-4 servings

1 - 1 1/2 lbs pork brats (cut into 3 in. pieces)
1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 cup sauerkraut (I use Whole Foods brand)
1 jalapeno (seeds removed and thinly sliced)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 cup IPA
salt and pepper

Heat a grill pan or grill over medium-high heat.

Lay down 2 large pieces of foil. Split all the ingredients in half.

Pile up brat pieces, red onion slices, garlic, sauerkraut, jalapeno slices, Dijon, caraway seeds, salt and pepper on each piece of foil. Fold up all 4 sides to make a basket. Pour the beer into each foil basket. Roll up to make a sealed foil packet.

Drop onto the grill or grill pan, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with all the juices.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Garlic and Lemon Chicken Strips

I'm back in the kitchen and that means I'll be back on the blog. I'm not gonna lie, it's sometimes a lot of work to photograph my meals, memorize the recipe and then write it all down. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just give it up. But then I think back to why I started it. I feel lucky to have a hobby that I enjoy. I love to cook, and sharing that with people is fun. Especially when I hear someone like or made one of my recipes. 

So, here's a simple one. Brian and I enjoyed eating it oh so much on a Monday night. I hope some of you guys enjoy it as well!

Garlic and Lemon Chicken Strips
makes 2 servings

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
4 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot (diced)
10 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1 lemon (sliced into thin discs)
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

Start by slicing the chicken breasts into chicken strips. You could alternately just buy chicken strips, but either way works. Coat the chicken in salt, pepper and flour. Make sure all of the chicken is lightly dusted in flour. 

Heat 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium/ medium-high heat in a saute pan. Drop in chicken and cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Turn until most of the chicken has browned, about 8 minutes total. 

Add shallots and garlic and let cook for about 3 minutes. Next add Dijon mustard, white wine, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything to combine. Lay the lemon slices over top of everything. Cover, and lower heat to low. You want everything to be simmering very low.

Let cook for 1 hour. Remove lid. Add remaining 2 tbsp of butter and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and let cook for another 3 minutes. 

Remove from heat and serve!

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Monday, January 26, 2015


You probably noticed that Brian and I were just in London and Dublin thanks to Instagram. Work sent me over there, and Brian was able to come along as he was in between projects of his own. I can't tell you how happy I was that he could come along. I've been to some pretty great places, but nothing is ever as much fun if you're alone.

While I worked most days, Brian did lots of exploring around the city. I'd get off work and meet him to try some fun restaurant and have a few drinks. We were lucky enough to get to spend 2 weekends in London, so shopping at Harrods, walking around neighborhoods, perusing Portobello Market and lots and lots of eating were on the itinerary.

Take a peek at our restaurant and fun list -- we ate at some really awesome restaurants. Next up is Dublin, so stay tuned!

Chor Bizarre - Fancy (but delicious) Indian
Bill's - Lunch and Dinner spot (afternoon coffee or great dinner)
Ember Yard - Tapas Basque-style grill (our favorite)
Antidote Wine Bar - Charcuterie and wine
Fernandez and Wells - Sandwiches
Barnyard - "Modern British" (best chicken wings ever)
Portobello Market - Antique Market and Food Stands
The Spice Shop - Awesome spice market at Portobello Market
Côte Brasserie - Chain brasserie
Harrod's - Rotisserie (fun stop while shopping)
The Market Tavern - Fish and Chips and other British Fare
Salt Yard - Charcuterie Bar (Sister restaurant to Ember Yard)


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Here comes the end of football season, and for me, the end of eating like it's not making me fat. But, this recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip is so good, I had to share it before I start posting all my healthy recipes. Make this one for your upcoming Superbowl party. The smell of it baking alone will drive you mad.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
makes 1 dish for game day

1 6 oz. can artichoke hearts in water
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach (thawed, chopped and squeeze all excess liquid out)
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp course Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated mozzarella + 1/4 cup for topping
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 lemon (juice)
2 tbsp dried onion or 1 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
salt and pepper 
for serving:
Tortilla Chips
Pita Chips
Celery and Carrot Sticks 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Start by thawing and chopping the spinach. Wrap up in a clean towel and wring the heck out of it until almost all of the water is gone. Toss into a mixing bowl.

Chop up the artichoke hearts into small pieces.  Add to the mixing bowl. Now combine Greek Yogurt, mayo, Dijon mustard, Parmesan, 3/4 cup mozzarella, minced garlic, lemon juice, dried onion, pine nuts, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. 

Add mixture to a small baking dish and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the top. If you need more than 1/4 cup to cover it, just go for it. 

Bake for 23-25 minutes, until cheese on top is golden. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving to set and cool. Serve with chips and veggies! 

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