Category Archives: Poultry

Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese

This is grown-up grilled cheese. Sure, you could share with children, but you won’t want to.

MMG

Oh, don’t give me that look. Instead, look at that sandwich and then tell me again you’re okay with sharing. Yeah, I didn’t think so.

MeatballsBreadPlant

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of gal who could eat a few grilled cheese sandwiches in one sitting and still not be satisfied.

Sure, you can serve it with some soup. I’m still gonna want more grilled cheeses…pleases.

That’s politeness pluralized.

Bread

I’ve told you that I’m not really a spaghetti gal. Go ahead and get judgy, but I’m by no means low carbing it. I just prefer the chew of some hearty bread over a pile of pasta.

So, when I made a giant vat of meatballs and sauce to serve company Friday night and all the pasta went but there were still a bunch of meatballs, I wasn’t bummed because I happened to have a lovely loaf of bread and some super melty muenster cheese on hand.

And then the angels sang because that’s what happens when you make a sandwich this heavenly.

Nothis

That – and your dog stares at you while you’re cooking because he know mom’s making magic. By the time Eric and I polished off our sandwiches I think he finally got the hint neither one was for him.

Sorry, homie.

HisHersThe purpose of this picture is to show you that my slightly smaller sandwich is super ladylike and dainty compared to my husband’s. I do this with almost everything we eat. Give him just a little more.

Then, sneak seconds as he does dishes and I pack leftovers into Tupperware.

Griddling

I’m kidding, of course. Eric is well aware and extremely impressed by my ability to eat. What I’m not kidding about is the second sneaking. Guilty as charged on that one.

Before I get into the meat (get it?) of this recipe, I should tell you there is no real rhyme or reason to it. Like your homemade meatballs and sauce better than mine? Make ’em. Short on time and you’d rather do a store bought shortcut? Do it.

Whatever it takes to get this sandwich to your mouth is good by me.

Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese

Inspired by How Sweet It Is & The Kitchn

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
Meatballs and sauce – how many meatballs you’ll use depends on the size. Mine were a little over an inch in diameter, so I cut each in half and needed six total (three per sandwich). Also, you’ll just need enough sauce to coat the meatballs.
4 ounces muenster cheese, shredded
4 slices of good, grainy bread
a little bit of butter
extra sauce for serving, if desired

Directions:
Heat a grill pan, griddle over skillet over medium-low heat and while it’s coming up to temp, lightly (or heavily) butter one slice of bread.

Place the bread – buttered side down – on the hot surface and pile a little cheese onto each piece. Then, layer on the meatballs and sauce. After you add another small mountain of cheese, top both sandwiches off with another buttered bread slice. Be sure the buttered slice is facing up.

After about four minutes, carefully flip your masterpiece over and patiently wait as the other side gets good and golden.

Wait another few minutes and take the sandwiches off the griddle or out of the pan. Bask in the glory of the beautiful sandwiches you just made.

Serve with extra sauce if that gets you goin’.

Stacked

These were good with an O and an M in front. That, for those of you spelling along with me would make Meatball Marinara Grilled Cheese Sandwiches OMGood.

They’re Lady Gaga good. Gaga ooh lala.

Please excuse my poor attempt at remaining relevant by incorporating dumb pop culture references into this post. I’m just a person who stays home on the weekend so I can take pictures of the meals I make.

In no way shape or form, am I cool. I sure can make a sandwich though.

BigBite

My secret to mastering the grilled cheese sandwich? Meatballs.

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Salsa Baked Chicken

Add this to the list of recipes I’ve been obsessed with as of late. What’s one more, after all?

SBC

I love Mexican food – it’s second only to Mediterranean – and I could easily eat it everyday. It’s one of those things I tend not to make for myself at home though. Why, you ask? Well, I don’t feel like I can really do it justice. Plus, when you go out for Mexican, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some crunchy, salty, so-good-they-might-be-laced-with-crack tortilla chips.

And now you know why I can’t keep tortilla chips in my house. They pose a problem.

This Salsa Baked Chicken is so good on its own you don’t even need the tortilla chips. You’ll still want them, of course – you’re only human after all. Curb the craving by serving your chicken with some brown rice and guacamole. Realize that hankering for tortilla chips really didn’t go anywhere and make yourself reservations at your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Then, make this chicken to tide yourself over.

Onions

Start out by spraying a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and covering the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of thinly sliced onions. I usually opt for sweet onions, so what you’re looking at above is a Vidalia – it’s going to cook down and get even sweeter.

SpinachSalsa

Up on top of your onion slices, you’re going to add some good old leafy greens – hearty spinach. Remember that the spinach will wilt as it cooks and take up a lot less room in the pan as well, so really pack it in there. Then, scatter a couple spoonfuls of salsa over your spinach. What kind of salsa you use is entirely up to you – go with what you know. When it comes to me, there is only one brand of salsa worth buying. Look for the salsa with the classically handsome man on it.

He’ll never let you down.

Salsa

While this brand offers a slew of different salsas, this particular variety is called Farmer’s Garden and it’s far and away my favorite. It’s super thick and chunky thanks to the ton the chopped up veggies that go into each jar. Carrots, bell pepper, tomatoes – you name it – it’s in there. There’s also enough kick to satisfy those seeking heat, but it’s not so spicy that wimps won’t enjoy.

ChickenTaco

On your bed of spinach, lay down your chicken breasts that you’ve generously sprinkled – on both sides – with taco seasoning. If you’re feeling ambitious, knock yourself out and make a batch of homemade taco seasoning. Or, if you’re like me and you’re feeling lazyish – take a helping hand from the stuff that comes in the little packet. I always go for the lower sodium variety when I buy pre-made taco seasoning – I find it to be salty enough on its own, but if you feel the need to add a pinch more, at least you can control the salt content.

How much water weight you want to retain is entirely up to you 😉

BeforeBake

The last layer we’ll need to add before baking is the remaining salsa – just smother those chicken breasts and don’t feel bad about it. All that tomatoey goodness will keep that chicken moist while it cooks and it’ll also seep down to mingle with the spinach and onions.

This is perfection in Pyrex, people.

Salsa Baked Chicken

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes

adapted from AllRecipes

Ingredients:
4 ounces fresh spinach
16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa (I use Newman’s Own Farmer’s Market)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons taco seasoning (or more, to taste)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and put down a layer of thinly sliced onions. Then, top with a hearty helping of spinach and a couple spoonfuls of salsa. Place chicken breasts on top of the spinach, sprinkling taco seasoning on both sides. Pour on the remaining salsa.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear. The time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts.

Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) if desired, and serve.

Delicious served over brown rice or black beans with a scoop of guacamole.

Mmmm

Your chicken will need a little bit to bake, so now’s the time to gather your sides. Just because I default to rice and guac doesn’t mean that’s the only option. Black beans would work or even just some simple, warm flour tortillas to wrap this obsession of mine up in. Mmm hmm.

Did I mention that the last ten minutes of cooking time are devoted to topping everything off with shredded cheese and then anxiously waiting/salivating while it melts?

Yeah…I don’t think I’ll get sick of this dish any time soon.

Chicken Shawarma

I had another post planned for today, but this recipe just booted it. Make room for Chicken Shawarma.

Shawarma

I never had Chicken Shawarma until a couple years ago, which kind of blows my mind. I mean, it falls under the umbrella of Middle Eastern food, all of which I am obsessed with. Except that one dish that involves fish and tahini sauce. Sorry, Mom. Never liked it – never will.

I’m not trying to harp on my mom here, but I’m also wondering why we never ate Chicken Shawarma in our house. What gives?!

Good thing I got myself a great recipe so I can stop griping about all the Chicken Shawarma eatin’ I didn’t do and get started making it for myself. Every night.

Marinade

Every step of this recipe is short and sweet – just like the girl writing about it. Kidding. Kind of.

Seriously though, Chicken Shawarma  comes together in under a half hour. There are worse ways one could spend their time. For example – in thirty minutes, you could watch one full episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Or…you could make yourself some shawarma.

The biggest thing is just getting the timing down, so you’ll want to start by making a marinade for the chicken. All you’ll need is a little lemon juice, some curry powder, olive oil, a tiny sprinkle of salt, cumin for some smokiness, and garlic. Uh huh to all of that.

Marinade2All right – step one is done. Just let the chicken sit still in this delicious concoction for twenty minutes. It’s hard to believe, but so much flavor seeps into the chicken in this twenty minute time span – trust me! The depth and complexity of flavor is crazy. Plus, the chicken gets great color from the spices we incorporated.

Now that our chicken is all set, we can focus our attention on the rest of the ingredients.

Sauce1Sauce2Sauce3
Above, we’ve got our delicious shawarma sauce that makes this meal! Start out with some plain Greek yogurt and then just stir in lemon juice, garlic, tahini and salt. Could it be any easier? I think not. This bowl can hang out in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your sandwiches, which will be soon!

Toppings

I know I just told you in the previous paragraph that the sauce is the shining star of Chicken Shawarma, but the co-stars (aka the toppings) may just take the cake. I love my pita pocket packed with the works – thinly sliced tomato, romaine lettuce, cooked red onion and sweet pickles. I know – it’s kind of a mish-mash of randomness, but each of these toppings adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the sandwich. They are all completely necessary – nothing here is overkill.

Shove them in your sandwich so we can all be on the same page.

Pita

Here are those pita pockets – just waiting to be stuffed to the gills with some Shawarma. Mmm!

Chicken

All we need is our chicken, which I popped in the oven to broil for just a few minutes on each side. See what I mean about the color from the marinade? It takes just a second to see that this is not your every day, run of the mill chicken breast. In fact, it’s anything but.

Chicken Shawarma

adapted from Cooking Light
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
Chicken:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken tenders

Sauce:
6 oz. plain 2% reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Remaining Ingredients:
Cooking spray
4 (6-inch) pitas
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
8 (1/4-inch-thick) tomato slices
sweet pickle slices
1 red onion, thinly sliced (raw or cooked)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450.

To prepare chicken, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to use cooked red onion, place thin slices you’ve tossed with a little olive oil on a cookie sheet and bake until you get a little char on the edges – usually, I just let them hang out in the oven until my chicken’s ready to go in.

While your onion slices in the oven, prepare sauce by combining yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove). Keep sauce in fridge until you’re ready to assemble sandwiches.

Then, arrange toppings – tomato slices, romaine lettuce, sweet pickle slices, and your cooked onions (once they’re done) – on a plate and set aside while the chicken cooks up.

Switch oven from bake to broil so you can cook your chicken. Line a pan with aluminum foil and coat surface well with cooking spray. Place chicken tenders on pan and put pan on the top rack in the oven; broil 4 minutes on each side or until done.

To assemble sandwiches, slice pitas in half to create a pocket; smear some sauce in each pocket, then stuff with a couple pieces of lettuce, tomato slices, onion and pickles. Make room in there for two or three chicken strips and enjoy!

BiteThank you to my handsome, hungry hand model for letting me take this quick pic before he destroyed the rest of that sandwich.

That thing didn’t stand a chance.

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