Migas

Migas


I had a bunch of corn tortillas left over from taco night and I knew just what I wanted to do with them. I remembered bookmarking several Texmex style breakfasts that called for day old corn tortillas over the last while and when I searched for them migas was the first to come up with this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks . Migas translates to crumbs and is a dish that consists of scrambled eggs, corn tortillas, onions, peppers, tomatoes and some cheese. What I like most about this recipe is all of the fresh ingredients and overall it is pretty healthy, other than the fried tortillas, which you could easily bake. Migas is pretty easy to make even if it does take a bit longer than your average breakfast which makes it perfect for weekends. The migas turned out really well! I liked the way the sauteed vegetables worked in the scrambled eggs and I was a bit surprised that the tortillas were still nice and crispy by the time I finished. This is a great way to use up those leftover tortillas! Since I am making breakfast for one, I kept the extra sauteed vegetables in one container and the fried tortillas in another. This way, during the week I can quickly heat the vegetables, add the eggs and tortillas and have some quick and tasty breakfasts.

Spicy BBQ Chicken Bibimbap

Spicy BBQ Chicken Bibimbap


When I first discovered Korean cuisine, the first dish that I tried was bibimbap and it has been my favorite ever since. Whenever I make a Korean style meat such as the dak bulgogi (Korean BBQ chicken) I try to make sure that I will have enough of it leftover to use to make a bowl of bibimbap. Bibimbap is a mixed rice dish where pretty much anything goes so it is a great way to clean out the fridge at the end of the week. I like to start with some brown rice, a fried egg with a runny yolk, some leftover Korean style meat and then I pack on as many vegetables as I can. You can use seasoned vegetables if you like but I often like to keep it simple and just blanch the vegetables or eat them raw in the case of cucumbers, etc. The final component of the bibimbap that really makes it is the spicy heat and I like to use this gochujang dressing that is sweet, tangy and flavourful in addition to being nice and spicy.

Although the photo above is nice for presentation it tastes much better once you have mixed everything up so that the gochujang dressing and the runny egg yolk cover everything.

Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken and Egg Burritos

Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken Burrito


I had some leftovers from taco night and the first thing that came to mind was along the same vein, burritos. The tacos were on the smaller side and there was no way that the leftovers would fill a mighty burrito so I would need something to fill them out a bit. Rice is a perfect filler for burritos and I figured that the freshness of some cilantro and lime brown rice would be a perfect fit. I have been fascinated by the idea of the parent and child concept of using both chicken and egg ever since I came across the oyako donburi a Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl, where the translation is literally parent and child rice bowl. With that in mind the next filler was going to be a pair of eggs, scrambled. Though I did not use any cheese in the tacos I just could not resist using some in the burritos in the form of grated cheddar and jack cheese. With the cheese in there I wanted a way to melt it so I assembled the burritos making sure that the cheese was near the outside and then I grilled the burritos after rolling them up. The spicy chicken and egg burritos turned out really well! The chicken, eggs and cheese brought an nice spicy flavour base while the rice, lettuce and relish brought a great freshness. All of the flavours and textures combined really well to make one really tasty burrito! These burritos would for either dinner or for breakfast. What a great way to enjoy some of the leftover dak bulgogi !

Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken Tacos

Korean Spicy BBQ Chicken Tacos


During the summer I found out about the Kogi taco trucks in California that serve Korean/Mexican fusion dishes that sound really tasty. Given that Korean and Mexican cuisines are both among my favorites I was immediatly intrigued and I since I figured that I would not be getting the chance to try out he Kogi trucks any time soon I decided to try reproducing one of their dishes at home. I started with their short rib tacos and came up with a recipe based on their description and photos. My version of the short rib tacos turned out so well that I vowed to try some more items from their menu! It was with this in mind that I made the dak bulgogi or spicy Korean BBQ chicken with the idea of using it as the meat in my version of the Kogi spicy chicken tacos. I had already reproduced the remaining ingredients in the chicken tacos including the Korean style salsa roja , the onion and cilantro relish , and the shredded lettuce in a Korean sesame vinaigrette so it came down to simply making those recipes once again and assembling the tacos along with the dak bulgogi . The chicken tacos turned out just as good as the beef ones, which is to say that I practically inhaled them. I really liked the way the gochujang on the chicken added even more heat to the chicken version of the tacos along with even more flavour. My favorite part of the tacos however had to be how well all of the fresh ingredients played with the spicy meat. Luckily I made a really big batch of the dak bulgogi and I have a bit more to play with!

Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)

Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken) Lettuce Wraps


I had been craving some Korean cuisine for a while and it was finally time to satiate it. When I think of Korean cuisine I generally think spicy but a lot of the BBQ meats such as bulgogi (Korean BBQ beef) and kalbi (Korean BBQ short ribs) are actually marinated in mixture that is on the sweet side. I had been wanting to try a chicken version of the bulgogi but I also had a plan that required the chicken to have some heat. For the recipe I simply took the bulgogi , tweaked it a bit and added a good helping of gochujang , a Korean fermented chili paste. The Korean BBQ chicken turned out just as well as the beef version! I quite enjoyed the way the sweet marinade played with the heat and flavours of the gochujang and I could hardly resist snacking on the meat every time I passed it. I served the dak bulgogi with rice, kimchi and ssamjang (another spicy Korean paste) along with some lettuce leaves for wrapping. Although the meal was excellent, my craving was not satisfied, which was fine because as I said, I have a plan and I made a double batch of the dak bulgogi.

Roasted Red Pepper, Pistachio and Feta Stuffed Chicken



I do not make stuffed chicken breasts all that often but with the recent success of the spinach and feta stuffed chicken I looking forward to trying again and I had the perfect recipe in mind. I recently came across this recipe for a roasted red pepper, pistachio and feta stuffed chicken by Peter of Kalofagas that sounded so amazingly good that I just had to try it. The chicken is stuffed with so many of my favorite flavours including the roasted red peppers, the feta and the pistachios. I would not have thought to stuff chicken with pistachios but as soon as I heard it I knew that it was a brilliant idea. Even with the chicken already packed with flavour the good things don't stop there with the sauce being just as tasty. The sauce starts by deglazing the pan to get all of the brown bits of flavour after cooking the chicken. From there the sauce is thickened with Greek yogurt and flavoured with yet more feta. One of my new favorite Greek ingredient, a touch of mastic in the form of a splash of mastic liqueur is used to finish the sauce off.

I think I am starting to get the hang of the technique for cooking stuffed chicken as these ones turned out just as well as the last ones. They held together through the cooking and most of the stuffing was still in them by the end. The roasted red pepper, pistachio and feta stuffed chicken turned out amazingly well! The stuffed chicken was so good! I was a little surprised by how well the pistachio and feta worked as a filling and the combo played nicely with the sweet roasted red peppers. I also really liked how the Greek yogurt thickened the pan sauce and the hint of mastic was just perfect. Despite all of the wonderful flavours in this dish so far, the one that really put it over the edge had to be the smoked paprika whose smokiness really brought it home! I served the stuffed chicken on a bed of saffron brown rice.

Spinach and Feta Omelette

Spinach and Feta Omelette


With all of the great omelettes that I have been enjoying lately, I just had to try one with my favorite spinach and feta flavour combo. I was first introduced to the spinach and feta flavour combo in spanakopita , a Greek spinach and feta pie, and I have been reinventing that flavour combo in different dishes ever since. Now it was time for an omelet version! I stuck pretty much with the basics from the spanakopita filling with the spinach, feta and fresh herbs including parsley, dill and mint along with some green onions. This time when cooking the omelette, I poured the eggs into the pan first and let them partially set before sprinkling on the spinach topping so that it would not all sink to the bottom. The spinach and feta omelette worked out even better than I had hoped for and it will definitely be on my regular rotation from now on. It is such a quick and tasty breakfast and as an added bonus it is pretty healthy as well.

Panang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup

Panang Curried Pumpkin and Prawn Soup


When I think of Thai food I tend to think of all of the wonderful curries so it was only natural that when I was enjoying the Thai inspired chicken noodle soup recently that I thought of trying a Thai curried soup. The only question was; What kind of Thai curry paste did I have in my freezer? After a few minutes of searching I hit the jackpot when I found 2 tablespoons worth of frozen panang curry paste . Panang curry paste is one of my favorites as it incorporates peanuts. I had also recently tried using peanut butter in a sweet potato and peanut soup and I really liked it so I was thinking a Thai curry soup with peanut butter. Of course I would also need to add coconut milk as it is very often present in Thai curries. For some reason shrimp often come to mind when pondering about Thai cuisine and I figured that it would do an excellent job as the protein in the soup. Next I wanted some vegetables and I thought that the sweetness of squash would go well with both the spicy curry paste and the creamy peanut butter. From there I rounded the soup off with some red peppers and peas for extra colour. The curried pumpkin and prawn soup turned of fantastically! It was nice and warm and fresh and creamy and tasty. It was just packed with flavour and all of the different flavours played really well together. What a perfect soup for a cool winter day!

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese in a Bacon Pan Sauce Dressing Topped with a Hard Boiled Egg

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese in a Bacon Pan Sauce Dressing Topped with a Hard Boiled Egg


Bacon, caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms are among my favorite foods and when I saw a spinach salad on The Pioneer Woman that contained all three it, immediately made it to my meal plan. This salad is just packed with flavour! Not allowing any flavour to go to waste this salad starts by cooking the bacon in a pan and then setting it aside, reserving some of the bacon grease. The remaining bacon grease is then used to caramelize the onions and finally to saute the mushrooms. After cooking everything in that one pan it is just covered with those caramelized brown bits of flavour and they are recovered by making the dressing like a simple pan sauce where the pan is deglazed with the dressing's vinegar and then the reserved bacon grease is used as the dressing's oil component. As if this salad were not already flavourful enough, I could not resist adding some mellow creamy blue cheese. This salad would make a great side dish or you can easily add a hard boiled egg and turn it into a light meal.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

Roasted Eggplant Pasta


Sometimes it seems like I am in a never ending battle to clear space in my freezer. I am constantly trying to use things from my freezer to make some more room and then the next time I look I am out of free space again. This weekend I was looking through my freezer and I came across a stash of tomatoes that I had roasted during the summer when they were in season. I had roasted them up hoping to get the chance to use them in a pasta sauce which was fortuitous as I had recently been contemplating making an eggplant pasta. I was thinking that eggplant in a simple tomato sauce would be a nice flavour combo for pasta. Roasting vegetables adds so much flavour and I thought that it was only fitting to roast the eggplant since the tomatoes were roasted as well. With the main ingredients decided, I threw in some staples including onions, garlic, green peppers, etc. I decided to go with a Mediterranean flavouring for the sauce and spiced it with some oregano and smoked paprika. Of course I could not resist finishing the pasta off with some some cheese, in this case some crumbled feta.

Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Omelette with Bacon and Candied Walnuts

Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Omelette with Bacon and Candied Walnuts


The other week while I was enjoying the exquisite caramelized pear and gorgonzola omelette with bacon and pecans I thought that apples also go well with gorgonzola. I just bet that an apple version would also be amazing! My thoughts drifted a bit then and I was thinking about how caramelizing the apples in the butter and brown sugar reminded me of apple pie. Then I had a strange thought; I had heard of apple pie being served with cheddar cheese. How about a caramelized apple and cheddar omelette? Once again, I could not resist throwing on some bacon and I had some candied walnuts on hand so they went on as well. The caramelized apple and cheddar omelette with bacon and candied walnuts turned out amazingly well! The sweet caramelized apples and the melted cheddar and the salty bacon flavour combos were so good and the crunchy candied walnuts added a nice contrasting texture. I really like the way the cheese and the caramel melted into the eggs infusing them with a mouth watering blend of sweet and savoury. I will definitely be making this omelette again and again. A perfect breakfast for a weekend morning!

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes


During the summer I was exploring green tomatoes and while I was researching them I came across the concept of pickled green tomatoes. I had never even heard of pickled green tomatoes before but since I really like cucumber pickles and I had recently discovered that I liked green tomatoes I just had to try making some. After a bit of searching I found this recipe for pickled green tomatoes on about.com: American Food that sounded like a good place to start. The pickled green tomatoes were super easy to make, though I did have to wait several months before I could even try them. (Hence the delay in posting until long after green tomato season.) That long wait was certainly worth it though! The pickled green tomatoes turned out really well! They are nice tangy and extra crunchy with a touch of heat and an exotic blend of spices. I made half of the pickles in wedges for snacking and I sliced the other half for use in sandwiches. What is your favorite way of enjoying pickled green tomatoes?

Chocolate Pots de Creme

Chocolate Pots de Creme

With Valentines day coming chocolate has been on my mind and in particular I was remembering the molten chocolate cake that I had made last year. I just had to make something as decadently chocolaty this year! After searching through my bookmarks I decided to go with chocolate pots de creme or chocolate cream pots. The chocolate cream pots are essentially a chocolate custard with the following simple ingredients; cream, sugar, chocolate and egg yolks. The recipe is a easy as heating the cream to melt the chocolate, mixing in the egg yolks and baking until set. The only question you really need to ask is; how sweet do you like your chocolate? I prefer dark chocolate and I did not want my chocolate pots to be too sweet so I only added a bit of sugar. If you prefer sweeter chocolate I would double the sugar in this recipe. My 'practice' run of making the chocolate pots de creme worked out wonderfully! They were nice and chocolaty and so smooth and creamy and good! So good in fact that one of them disappeared before I finished taking photos of them! :) Feel free to garnish these with powdered sugar, whipped cream or even sliced strawberries.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken with Pan Sauce on Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach Rice)


It seems that the spinach and feta quesadillas that I made last week simply wet my appetite for my craving for the Greek spinach and feta flavour combo. Next up on my list of things to try using this flavour combo was something a bit more challenging, chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and feta. I don't make stuffed meat dishes like this too often as they can be a bit tricky to make and I sometimes end up with most of the stuffing squeezing out before it is finished cooking but this time the reward was worth the risk. I started out looking at the filling and I went with the standard spinach, feta, dill, parsley and green onions found in spanakopita. Ricotta is an ingredient that can be used in a spanakopita filling that I tend to skip but in this case I was thinking that it would help hold everything together. I was unable to find any butchers twine to hold my stuffed chicken together so I used some flavourless, unwaxed dental floss which worked out pretty well.

With my chicken stuffed and all wrapped up, I seasoned it a threw it into into a pan with some oil and browned it up. After getting the outside nice and brown I transferred the stuffed chicken breasts to a baking dish and finished cooking them in the oven. At this point the pan that I had just cooked the chicken in was filled with those brown bits of pure flavour and I could not let them go to waste! I deglazed my pan with a splash of wine and used those brown bits to make a simple pan sauce which I finished with a bit of cream and some of the leftover dill and parsley that I had on hand.

The spinach and feta stuffed chicken with pan sauce turned out so amazingly well! Luckily this time I did a pretty good job of tying the chicken breasts up and they held together with hardly any of the stuffing coming out. The chicken was nice and juicy and spinach and feta stuffing was just what I had been craving. The pan sauce, despite being so simple, was so full of flavour and it really brought the meal home! I served the spinach and feta stuffed on a bed of spanakorizo a Greek spinach rice to get even more spinachy goodness.

Ham and Mushroom Sauerkraut Soup

Ham and Mushroom Sauerkraut Soup


Sauerkraut comes in such large jars and I sometimes worry about picking one up because I just know that I will have that half used jar sitting in the fridge taking up space for months afterwards. Last week I could not resist trying the sauerkraut cabbage roll soup and that meant picking up one of those jars of sauerkraut. While I was enjoying a bowl of the soup it reminded me that it had been a while since I last made my favorite pirogies which are stuffed with sauerkraut, ham, mushrooms and onions. One thought led to the other and next I was wondering about a soup made with the sauerkraut, ham, mushrooms and onion flavour combination and I knew exactly how I was going to finish off that jar of sauerkraut! With the ham and sauerkraut the soup had the flavour department covered but I was thinking that I needed to bulk the soup up a bit and that sounded like the perfect opportunity to throw in a grain and barley seemed like the right choice. The pirogi filling inspired soup turned out really well and it certainly hit the spot on a cold winter day! It is always nice to find new ways to enjoy your favourite flavour combinations.

Shrimp Po’ Boy

Shrimp Po’ Boy


It is always nice to come across a tasty new food and my latest discovery is this shrimp po' boy that I came across on Ezra Pound Cake . This was the first that I had heard of the po' boy but you really can't go wrong with a spicy grilled shrimp sandwich all smothered in a tangy mayonnaise based sauce. A po' boy is a sandwich from Louisiana that is served in a baguette. Po' boys can be filled with pretty much anything but common fillings are fried seafood or roast beef. I had my heart set on the grilled shrimp version as I hardly need an excuse for the chance to enjoy some shrimp.

The recipe for this shrimp po' boy is pretty simple assuming that you have everything but since I did not have either the creole seasoning or the remoulade sauce I needed to start with them. I have way too many spices and not enough room for them so I don't like picking up spice blends, especially when they are so easy to make with the spices that I already have on my shelf. This creole spice blend was easy to make and pretty tasty! I could easily go for a plate of just the shrimp seasoned with this spice blend, but then again the remoulade sauce really brought this sandwich home! It was nice and creamy and tangy and mayonnaise based sauces go so well with seafood. This sandwich was amazing! I will definitely be making a lot of them in the future!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pine Nuts

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pine Nuts


So, you thought that I was just going to use that balsamic vinaigrette on salads eh? Though I will be using it on some salads the primary reason that I made was for these balsamic roasted brussels sprouts. After the success of the maple dijon roasted brussels sprouts it got me to thinking about other dressings that would work on brussels sprouts. One brussels sprouts dish that I always enjoy is roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and toasted pine nuts and I knew that it was time for a new and improved version that uses a more flavourful balsamic vinaigrette rather that just the balsamic vinegar. These balsamic roasted brussels sprouts with toasted pine nuts are definitely a winner! The balsamic vinaigrette is definitely more tasty and has a more well rounded flavour than the simple balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinaigrette


Although store bought salad dressings are convenient, it is also really easy to make them at home and I do it all the time. Scattered throughout my salad posts you will find quite the array of salad dressings but they are not all that easy to find hidden away in a recipe for a salad. I thought that I would try focusing on a few salad dressings both to give them the attention that they deserve and to make them easier to find.

Out of all the salad dressings out there the ones that I find myself coming back to all the time are vinaigrettes which are really easy to make and taste great. A vinaigrette at its simplest is just oil and vinegar but more often than not vinaigrettes are also seasoned with things like garlic, herbs, cheeses, etc. The basic ratio for oil to vinegar is generally 3 parts oil for 1 part vinegar but I prefer my dressings to be nice and tangy so I normally go with a 1 to 1 ratio but feel free to change this to fit your tastes.

One of my favorite vinaigrettes is a balsamic vinaigrette that is pretty simple and really highlights the flavour of the balsamic vinegar. Though I tend to play around with the recipes for salad dressings depending on what mood I am in, the following is the basic recipe. In addition to the balsamic vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil this recipe contains some garlic for flavour, some mustard to help bind the oil and vinegar together and a bit of honey to balance things out. Though many times I make just enough dressing for the salad at hand, it is often convenient to make a bigger batch to have some for quick use later on. When making the larger batches of dressing I like to use glass jars with tight resealable lids so that you can really give them a good shake before using them.

Kimchi Egg Salad Sandwich

Kimchi Egg Salad Sandwich


It seems that I could not stay away from the kimchi for too long... A new idea hit me that I just had to try; a kimchi egg salad sandwich. Egg salads generally consist of mashed hard boiled eggs in a mayonnaise based dressing along with anything else that you wish. Since kimchi went so well in the hot cheesy kimchi dip that I recently made I was willing to bet that kimchi and mayo would be another great flavour combination that it would just make an egg salad sandwich. When I think about eggs I naturally tend think about bacon and given that bacon also goes well with kimchi I would definitely be adding some to the sandwich. A sandwich is one of those cases where you need to worry about all of that moisture in kimchi because no one likes a sandwich with wet bread. A great way to remove some excess moisture, and to add flavour at the same time, is to saute the kimchi and caramelize it a bit. Since I would already be cooking some bacon I figured why not caramelize the kimchi in some of the bacon grease for even more flavour? (If you are omitting the bacon, caramelize the kimchi in a touch of toasted sesame oil.) Another great flavour combination is mayonnaise and gochujang (a Korean chili paste) so added a touch of it and it had the nice side effect of boosting the bright red colour. The kimchi egg salad sandwich turned out so well!! All of those individual flavour combinations combined to form something greater than the sum of their parts. I will definitely be making more of these sandwiches! I had better start a new batch of kimchi soon.

Spinach and Feta Quesadillas

Spinach and Feta Quesadillas

Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup

Sauerkraut Cabbage Roll Soup


It is probably time for a little break from kimchi. :) Speaking of fermented cabbage, my second favorite form of fermented cabbage is sauerkraut though I never seem to know what to do with it. Sauerkraut is of course great in reuben sandwiches and it goes really well in my favorite pirogies but it always comes in such huge jars and I often seem to be stumped with how to finish the rest of the jar. Needless to say, I am always looking for new ways to enjoy sauerkraut and I recently came across a tasty looking ground beef and sauerkraut soup on It's All Gouda . After seeing that it included sauerkraut the next thing that I noticed was that it included all of the main ingredients of stuffed cabbage rolls where the sauerkraut took the place of the cabbage and then there was the ground beef, the rice and tomatoes. I really liked the sound of a tangy cabbage roll soup with sauerkraut and it quickly made it to my meal plan.

I pretty much left the recipe as it was but I did seriously consider adding even more flavour with some salty bacon but in the interest of keeping the meal more on the healthy side I opted to skip it. The main change that I made was switching the seasoning over to a paprika based seasoning which seemed to go better with my vision of a stuffed cabbage roll soup. My final change, once again thinking about eating healthier, was to use brown rice rather than white rice. This soup is pretty easy to make with only about 15-20 minutes of work followed by some simmering time to cook the rice and let he flavours mingle. The sauerkraut cabbage roll soup had an amazing aroma while cooking and it finished with a gorgeously vibrant shade red. Adding the juice along with the sauerkraut gave the soup a great tang that in my opinion really made this soup shine. It was just like eating stuffed cabbage rolls in soup form! The next time I make cabbage rolls I think that I am going to have to try adding sauerkraut to the filling.

Kimchi Dip

Kimchi Dip


I have been on quite the kimchi craze lately! I am always looking for new ideas for ways to enjoy kimchi and recently a reader suggested something that I could not pass up on, a kimchi dip. I had not even contemplated using kimchi in a dip but it sounded like a great idea! A quick search of the web for kimchi dip recipes did not turn up anything that inspired me so I had to come up with my own. Since I discovered that kimchi and cheese is a great combination I have been trying to combine them any chance that I get and a cheese based kimchi dip sounded perfect. My favorite cheese based dip is the hot spinach and artichoke dip and I figured that I could not go wrong starting with that recipe and replacing the spinach and artichokes with kimchi. I also went with a panko bread crumb topping to add a bit of a crunchy texture. If this dip is not is not packed with enough artery clogging goodness for you, please feel free to add some cooked crumbled bacon as it also goes really well with kimchi. I am constantly amazed at how well kimchi goes with so many things and this dip is not exception! This hot cheesy kimchi dip was amazing! You really can't go wrong with warm melted gooey cheese and the kimchi flavour worked perfectly in dip form. I also really enjoyed the texture that the kimchi added to the dip and it was always nice biting into the juicy and crispy pieces of kimchi in the dip. I served the hot cheesy kimchi dip with sliced whole wheat baguette. What a great game day snack!