Tag Archives: sour cream

Avocado Skillet Chicken

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With our busy schedules, weeknight dinners need to be fast. From refrigerator to table and yes even clean up, during the week I don’t have a lot of time to fuss over preparations. There are bonus points for dishes that are truly delicious and loved by everyone in the family. And as the cook and pan washer it is even better when the entire meal can be cooked in a single pan. And that is why this super fast and tasty dish from Cooking Light has quickly become an all around family favorite.

Preparation is fast and when I use my cast iron skillet cooking and clean up is a breeze. The chicken is seared on the outside then it finishes cooking in the oven ensuring that the meat is juicy and flavorful. And my family loves spicy flavors so the peppers and cilantro are palate pleasers. You can adjust these seasonings to satisfy your own palates. Any way you cook it, this is a delicious midweek keeper.

AVOCADO SKILLET CHICKEN

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
Cooking spray
2 small ripe avocados, halved and pitted
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
4 green onions, trimmed
1 poblano pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons water
8 cilantro sprigs
4 lime wedges
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the oil to pan, swirling to coat.
  • Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, the black pepper, and the chili powder.
  • Add the chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan.
  •  Coat pan with cooking spray and increase the heat to high.
  • Sprinkle the avocados with the sugar.
  • Add the avocados to the pan, placing them cut side down. Cook for 2 minutes or until charred. Remove avocados from pan.
  • Re-coat pan with cooking spray. Add the red onions; cook 3 minutes or until charred. Turn the red onions; add green onions and poblano, cooking for an additional  3 minutes.
  • Separate the red onions into rings and toss with green onions and poblano.
  • Stir in the lime juice and the soy sauce.
  • Return the chicken and the avocado to the pan, nestling it between the onion mixture.
  • Place the pan in oven and bake for 7 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine sour cream and water in a small bowl until thinned to a saucy consistency.
  • Drizzle sour cream mixture over chicken and avocados.
  • Garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges as well as the remaining salt and paprika.

Serves 4

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Cheddar & Portobello Quesadillas

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I’ve always loved quesadillas. Whether there are simply made with whatever cheese you have on hand and eaten like a grilled cheese sandwich or filled with interesting ingredients like these caramelized onions and mushrooms, they are an easy snack, appetizer, or even light dinner. They are that versatile. I love making them for my family. I can adjust the fillings to please even the most finicky of palates.

But, one of my all time favorite fillings is the combination of mushrooms, onions, and cheese. The mushrooms and onions are best when cooked down slowly. If you are pressed for time you can always cook the vegetables ahead of time then pop them into the tortillas when you are ready to make the quesadillas. Yum!

CHEDDAR & PORTOBELLO QUESADILLAS

4 small flour tortillas

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pinches salt, divided

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

4 small portobello mushrooms, sliced

8 slices sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sour cream (for serving if desired)

  • Place two tablespoons of the olive oil in a small saute pan set over medium-low heat.
  • Add the sliced onions and 1 pinch of salt.
  • Saute, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and lightly browned. about 15 to 20 minutes. Add a small amount of water if necessary to keep the onions from sticking. Set aside.
  • Place the remaining olive oil in another small saute pan set over medium-low heat.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and the remaining pinch of salt.
  • Saute, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are soft, browned and have released their liquid, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Set a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, lightly coat it with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Reduce the temperature to medium.
  • Place one tortilla in the center of the pan and lay 2 slices of cheese in the center of the tortilla.
  • Add half of the onions and half of mushrooms, evenly distributing them over the top of the tortilla.
  • Top with 2 more slices of cheese and another tortilla.
  • Cook until the tortilla is lightly browned and toasted and the cheese has begun to melt, 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the tortilla and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Slice the tortilla into four wedges and serve with sour cream if desired.

Yields: 8 tortilla wedges

 

Cajun Chicken Stroganoff

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Here is a fun twist on a classic dish courtesy of Cuisine at Home. Stroganoff is using made with beef in a rich and creamy sauce but here things are changed up a bit. A combination of chicken and kielbasa give this dish a whole new dimension as does the flavorful combination of Canjun inspired seasonings. The dish is really full of flavor and best of all, it is easy and fast.

But if you are really pressed for time, do as I do on occasion: prepare the dish as directed but stop before you add the sour cream. When you are ready to eat simply reheat the dish, adding additional chicken broth if necessary. When the meat is heated through, continue by stirring in the sour cream and voila, dinner is served.

CAJUN CHICKEN STROGANOFF

1/2 lb dry wide egg noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 ounces kielbasa, sliced

10 ounces button mushrooms, quartered

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry sherry

3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

6 tablespoons sliced scallions

  • Cook the egg noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, saute the kielbasa and mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Stirring regularly, cook for 5 minutes or until the kielbasa and mushrooms are browned on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, salt, basil, thyme, oregano and flour in a small bowl.
  • Dust the chicken the the flour and spice mixture.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet and add the chicken to the pan.
  • Saute the chicken for 5 minutes or until it is cooked through.
  • Push the chicken to one side of the pan then add the tomato paste and garlic; saute for 1 minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with the sherry, simmering until it is nearly evaporated.
  • Add in the broth, Worcestershire sauce and kielbasa-mushroom mixture.
  • Return the pan to a simmer and reduce and cook until the liquid has been reduced by half, about 5 additional minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.
  • Serve over cooked egg noodles and garnish with scallions.Serves 6

 

Buttermilk Herb Dip w/ Fresh Vegetable Crudite

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Sometimes it is the easiest dishes that are the best.  This is often the case when it comes to appetizers. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and make fancy bite-sized treats as much as the next person.  There is something special about a treat that you know took a lot of work and tastes great to boot.  But other times, simple is the way to go.  I think this is especially true as we move into warmer weather and want to put lighter, fresher, and yes, less time-consuming food on our tables.  And perhaps the easiest solution of all is good old-fashioned dip with vegetables.

But we’re not talking your grandmother’s rich dip laden with heavy sour cream and dried French onion soup mix.  Thanks to a combination of Greek yogurt and low-fat sour cream my dip, adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe, is lighter and filled with plenty of fresh herbs.  I used parsley, dill, and thyme but feel free to put together any combination that appeals to you.  The dip should sit for at least half an hour before serving but that will give you plenty of time to cut up the fresh veggies that you need for dipping.  Your results will be tasty with no stove required.

BUTTERMILK HERB DIP w/FRESH VEGETABLE CRUDITE

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Crudite vegetables of your choice for dipping

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir until well mixed.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Yields:  3 cups

 

Buttermilk Herb Dip w/ Fresh Vegetable Crudite

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Sometimes it is the easiest dishes that are the best.  This is often the case when it comes to appetizers. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and make fancy bite-sized treats as much as the next person.  There is something special about a treat that you know took a lot of work and tastes great to boot.  But other times, simple is the way to go.  I think this is especially true as we move into warmer weather and want to put lighter, fresher, and yes, less time-consuming food on our tables.  And perhaps the easiest solution of all is good old-fashioned dip with vegetables.

But we’re not talking your grandmother’s rich dip laden with heavy sour cream and dried French onion soup mix.  Thanks to a combination of Greek yogurt and low-fat sour cream my dip, adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe, is lighter and filled with plenty of fresh herbs.  I used parsley, dill, and thyme but feel free to put together any combination that appeals to you.  The dip should sit for at least half an hour before serving but that will give you plenty of time to cut up the fresh veggies that you need for dipping.  Your results will be tasty with no stove required.

BUTTERMILK HERB DIP w/FRESH VEGETABLE CRUDITE

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Crudite vegetables of your choice for dipping

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir until well mixed.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Yields:  3 cups

Sweet Potato Latkes w/ Sage Cream

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Traditional potato latkes are nice but if you like sweet potatoes as much as I do, you’re going to love these latkes.  Made with sweet potatoes and just a hint of sage, they are earthy and satisfying making them the perfect accompaniment for grilled meat.  I love to serve these with a dollop of sage cream sauce on top.  However, when I serve them with my Bourbon & Brown Sugar Marinated Flank Steak, I omit the cream and let the potatoes soak up the steak sauce.

SWEET POTATO LATKES w/ SAGE CREAM

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated

4 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

6 sprigs fresh sage, 3 chopped and 3 whole

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine the sweet potato, scallions, flour, eggs, 2 chopped sage leaves, and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  • Use you hands to form the mixture into 2 inch patties.
  • Arrange the patties on the baking sheet.  Brush the olive oil over the top of each patty.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms have browned.
  • Flip the latkes and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the sour cream or creme fraiche and the remaining sage in a small bowl.  Using a stick blender puree until smooth.
  • Season the latkes with salt and pepper and serve topped with the sour cream and sage mixture.

Serves 4

Mini Chocolate Stout Cakes

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Happy St. Patty’s Day! Whether you are Irish by birth or by spirit, today is the day everyone is a wee bit Irish. And what better way to celebrate than with a bit of Guinness Stout? Guinness is great on its own but when combined with chocolate it only gets better. The combination of the rich beer and chocolate produces a dense and complex cake that isn’t overly sweet. You could skip the coffee infused ganache if you wanted but I think it takes these cakes from very good to great. After all, you now have beer, chocolate and coffee!

Like so many recipes, this one is an adaptation of an adaptation which you guessed it, was adapted from the original. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen but versions of this recipe are floating all over the web. Some recipes produce three layer cakes and others give you one large bundt shaped cake. I decided to make mini bundt cakes since I recently re-discovered my mini bundt cake pan while unpacking my moving boxes. And because I made this cake for a get together with Glenn’s co-workers, the mini cakes traveled better and were easier to serve a crowd. I had hoped to bring a leftover cake home with me but alas, they all disappeared. I guess the moral is that if I really want to eat the cake I need to leave one at home.

MINI CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKES

For the cake:

1 cup Guinness Stout
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the ganache:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules

To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a six-cake mini bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray taking care to get in all of the nooks and crannies. If you don’t have two pans you will need to wash, dry, and re-grease the pan before baking the remaining cakes.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to a simmer.
  • Add the cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend.
  • Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
  • Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed until just combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.

To make the ganache:

  • For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
  • Drizzle over the top of cooled cakes.

Yields: 12 miniature bundt cakes

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