Sunday, July 20, 2014


This is really a "gyro," not a traditional gyro that you are accustomed to eating.  It's ground beef patties seasoned like gyro meat. It's a simple and quick dinner, great for a mid-week meal.

Mix ground beef together with diced onions, lots of oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. I made flat, slightly oval shaped patties and fried them in olive oil in a large skillet.

To serve, top with diced cucumbers and tomatoes, feta cheese.  I served mine with some garlic cous cous, but feel free to throw it in a pita.  It definitely needs taziki sauce though. Don't leave that step out, it will be quite dry without a sauce.

That's that folks, quick post for a quick dinner.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Homemade Pizza Dough

I got this pretty fabulous book for my birthday this year: How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.  If you're looking for a simple, but exhaustive cookbook bible; this book's for you.

I have already looked to this book several times.  This time I used his recipe for pizza dough.

I was really excited to use my stand mixer, but Mark also recommends using a food processor if you have that.

Pizza Dough
From How to Cook Everything

3 cups all purpose or bread flower, plus more as needed
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Combine flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer or food processor. While machine is on add 1 cup of water and the oil.
2. Mix for 30 seconds, add water a little at a time until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky.
3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth ball.  Put dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until dough doubles in size, 1-2 hours.
4. When dough is ready, stretch it, top it, cook it, eat it!

Although the dough didn't rise as much as I anticipated, it had a nice stretch and held it's shape.

 This was my first time making pizza dough on my own, as well as my first time making the pizza from start to finish.  I usually get some assistance in the dough stretching portion.

I was pretty damn proud of the outcome here and would definitely go through the effort to make my own dough again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cart Style Chicken and Rice

I have been looking forward to making this recipe for a long time.  I was made a follower of the chicken and rice cart food about 8 years ago.  The fact that I can now make it at home is pretty freaking awesome.

That's your chicken marinade right there.  I'm not going to sugar coat anything here when I tell you that this is not a quick dinner to put together.  It's definitely not a weeknight meal.  But it's not in any way a difficult recipe to make.

Cart Style Chicken and Rice
Adapted from Serious Eats

For the chicken:
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the rice:
2 tbsp butter
3/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cup long grain rice
2 1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper

For the white sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

For serving:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
naan bread
siracha hot sauce

1. For the chicken: combine lemon juice through salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour in half the marinade. Allow chicken to marinate 1-4 hours.
2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink. 
3. Place chicken on a cutting board and dice into small strips. Place in a bowl with the reserved marinade.
4. For the rice: melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the cumin and cook until fragrant.  Add rice to skillet and cook until lightly toasted, stirring often.  Add broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover cook until rice is tender, 15-25 minutes.
5. For the sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
6. To serve: return contents of chicken bowl to skillet and cook until heated through. Pile rice on a plate, top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, white and hot sauces. Serve naan bread on the side.

All that was missing here was the Styrofoam bowl.  

Seriously, this was unbelievably delicious. It is well worth the effort, especially for those whose access to halal carts is limited.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ramen Burger

I don't live in Brooklyn and I have no interest in making the journey out there.  So my odds of ever getting a chance to try the famed Ramen Burger from Keizo Shimoto were slim to none. As luck would have it there are already dozens of copy-cat Ramen burger recipes out there.

You will need a ramekin or other small round container to make the buns in.  I used a can of olives to press the Ramen down and keep it compact while in the fridge.

Ramen Burger

1 Ramen noodle package
1 egg
1 burger patty

1. Cook noodles according to package directions, about 3 minutes.  Drain and mix with egg.  Sprinkle about half the seasoning packet into noodle and egg mixture.
2. Line 2 ramekins with plastic wrap.  Divide noodle mixture evenly among ramekins.  Wrap with plastic wrap liner, and top with a can to press down while refrigerating. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
3. Sprinkle both sides of your burger with remaining Ramen seasoning.  Cook burger patty as you see fit. Brown both sides of Ramen buns in a greased pan, about 3 minutes per side.
4.  Serve up with some siracha sauce and enjoy!

I had some soy glazed green beans as my side here.  Got to keep it healthy, ya know?

Overall I would say this burger is definitely worth a try.  I would make 2 buns out of the Ramen noodles next time in attempt to make it easier to eat and in hopes that it would make me feel less disgusted with myself. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

If you're like me, anything buffalo chicken style is fantastic.  Buffalo chicken wrap? Yes please.  Buffalo chicken pizza? Most definitely!

Here it is a complete dinner.

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

cooking spray
6 tbsp hot sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 potatoes, cubed
2 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup sliced celery

1. Preheat oven to 500.  Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray.
2. Heat hot sauce, oil, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and salt in a large skillet, stir until combined.  Turn off heat and toss potatoes until evenly coated.  Transfer potatoes to the 13x9 pan.  Cook until tender and brown, about 30-45 minutes.
3. Reduce oven to 400.  Toss chicken in remaining sauce mixture.  Add atop potatoes in the pan.  Cook 10 minutes.  Top with cheese and celery and cook until cheese is melted.

Blue cheese would be a welcome accessory that I did not have on hand.

Spicy cheesy goodness right there.

There ya have it folks, a 2 pan dinner.  You might not want to heat the oven to 500 degrees on this crazy hot day.  Maybe save it for a less sweaty evening.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


This recipe can be used to make those leftover taco fixins into a miraculous new dinner.

At least that's what I did.

There is a magical secret to making these.  I'll let you in on it. Come a little closer.....

In a small bowl take a tablespoon of flour and mix in a tablespoon of water to make a paste.  This is the glue that will hold the tortillas together, sealing in the filling.

I fried each chimichanga in 1/2-1 inch of oil in a small sauce pan.  They will need to be flipped once one side is browned.  They cook quickly and will be done in less than 5 minutes.

If I hadn't just made taco burgers, I would say this was hands down the best thing I've made in a while.  But those burgers were damn good, tough call.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oreo Treat Bars

This recipe is basically a giant sugar rush.

It's a take on Rice Krispie treats, but using Oreos in place of the cereal.

Oreo Treat Bars

1 box Oreo cookies, crushed
5 cups marshmallows
4 tbsp butter

1. Melt marshmallows and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Mix in crushed Oreos.
2. Press into a buttered 8x8 inch pan.  Let set up in the fridge to cool.  Cut into squares.

I topped my bars with sprinkles to make them a little more festive.

These were a huge hit with my prek class!  I would love to try these with peanut butter Oreos because well everything is better with peanut butter.