July 30, 2015

Making something out of nothing (stand and stuff chicken tacos with slaw)

I was planning on my greens and pickle meat to last me the whole week.  As usual, when I make plans, the universe has other ideas!  I had to make use of what I had around in the kitchen. I'm not a well stocked pantry girl, but I am a product of a long line of cooks that can make something out of nothing. I saw the rest of my chopped kale salad from Costco that I've been having for lunch this week and immediately thought slaw. Half an avocado still looked good in the fridge.  I have an absurd amount of chicken thighs in my freezer and seem to always have leftover corn tortillas in the pantry since they come in such a big bag.  Tacos it is!

The Ingredients:

Boneless skinless Chicken thighs (I say use one more than the amount of people you have)
Olive Oil
Packet of taco seasoning
A bag of some sort of slaw mix (broccoli slaw is my fave, or a bag of coleslaw or leftover chopped kale salad)
One lime, juiced
1 cup ranch dressing (I used yogurt based) (because I hate mayo)
Jarred jalapeƱos
Corn tortillas

Garnish ideas:
more limes
shredded cheese
avocado
sour cream
salsa
cilantro

I like to do my corn tortillas crunchy when they are a little past their prime.  I followed this recipe.  I don't have a microwave so I skipped that step.  They still come out great!

Tortillas:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • use a pastry brush to brush the tortillas with a drizzle of olive oil on both sides
  • drape tortillas over two oven rack bars each (see photo)
  • cook for 7-10 minutes
  • cool on a cooling rack
No, I haven't been reading Sylvia Plath again!
I always make an extra in case I get extra hungry

Filling:
  • Put the chicken in a ziploc with the taco seasoning and a little olive oil and seal and rub it around. 
How you doin'

  • Cook over medium heat on a non stick pan or a grill pan if you have one (get one if not, they are great!) and cook for 5 minutes on each side.  Make sure it is cooked with a food thermometer! (Yes, I'm a lawyer)

  • While chicken is cooking combine slaw mix with one cup of ranch dressing, 1/4 cup of the juice from the jalapeno and the juice of the lime.  Toss with tongs.

  • chop the chicken up and assemble tacos.  Layer chicken, slaw and desired toppings

Muy Bien!  It's taco Thursday!  Add some margaritas for the adults and it's a party!
Tacos are the best!

Happy Cooking!

Missy


July 29, 2015

Oh yes it's ladies night! ("Cream" of zucchini soup and burrata salad)

What girl doesn't love her besties?  I have such a wonderful support system that is taking good care of me after my out of no where break up, and every person on my team shares number one in my book!  My three best friends from high school and I had a ladies night last weekend.  They are all home with their very active munchkins all summer so they just wanted a break.  I was moving from a renovated 3 bedroom 3 bath home to a basement apartment and I wanted out.  We all gathered at a condo downtown to relax and have fun.  I, of course, offered to cook.  I was trying to find something relatively healthy that would use some summer ingredients and also please a very picky friend.  Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad!


I found this recipe for zucchini and rosemary soup on Epicurious and this amazing Burrata salad on Foodie Crush via Pinterest and was ready to roll.

The picky one wouldn't eat the salad but everyone else was pleased.  

 "Cream" of Zucchini Soup (serves 6)
So "creamy"!
2 tbsp of butter
4 zuchini sliced into rounds
1 russet potato sliced into rounds
1 onion chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced (I like garlic)
4 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt and pepper

optional toppings :
Green onions
croutons (I made my own)
bacon bits (I made my own)
dollop of daisy
walnuts
cheese of your choice

  • melt butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a soup pot.  Add onion and saute until translucent.
  • add in garlic and rosemary and zucchini and saute until zucchini is starting to brown, like 7 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper
  • Add potato and broth and bring to a boil for 15 minutes.  
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with desired toppings
You will not believe how creamy this is without having any cream in it!

Burrata salad (serves 4)

I forgot my friend thinks cold things are weird!  More for us!
one container of Arugula
One container (contains 4) of burrata
One bundle of Asparagus
one container of cherry tomatoes
One loaf french bread
Package of Prosciutto
Olive oil
one tbsp Balsamic vinegar
creole seasoning
Salt and pepper
  • toss the asparagus and tomatoes in two tbsp of olive oil, the balsamic and season with salt and pepper.  
  • Roast on a baking sheet under the broiler for 5-10 minutes (to your liking of doneness)
  • Slice french bread into rounds and sprinkle olive oil and creole seasoning.  Put in the oven for the last few minutes of veggie roasting to toast.
  • arrange arugula in salad bowl and top with a ball of burrata, a few asparagus spears, a handful of tomatoes, 2-3 pieces of proscuitto and one of the toasts.  No dressing needed, but a squeeze of a lemon may do.
Cards against humanity followed with the most winning combo ever!

Have you ever had such a perfect play in this game?


It was such a good time and I hope it happens again soon!
Happy cooking!
Missy


July 28, 2015

Other uses for old things (braised greens with pickle meat)

We all have that tradition from growing up that we later learned wasn't a thing for everyone. Growing up in New Orleans, we have a lot of things like that. What do you mean we don't get off for Mardi Gras (?) was a lesson I finally learned living in Austin over the age of 30. Growing up we always had pickle meat in our red beans at my mom's and grandma's house. We still fight over who gets more when we eat red beans at my parents' house, usually on a non traditional Tuesday.  I learned in college that was not a thing for all people and received lots of questions about what it was. I try to stock up on it when I can; so I got some in bulk from Costco back when I was in a nice kitchen with a crock pot. Unfortunately my crock pot caught on fire doing some prep work for Hogs for the Cause (long story) and my red beans making days are over until I get a new one.

In my search for what to do with my beloved last pack of pickle meat that was nearing expiration I stumbled across this gem of an article in the New Yorker. It so perfectly depicts some trips to the grocery here in New Orleans. I also happen to love me some braised greens with pork products, so I was inspired!  Best part, low carb and calorie!

The cast of characters.  That's bacon grease in the mason jar
that I keep in my fridge.  How am I not married yet?
Braised Greens with Pickle Meat (serves 4 for a light meal, 6 for a hearty side)
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of bacon grease or other fat (olive oil, butter, avocado oil etc)
1 onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 pound pickle meat (I like Savoie's)
1 big bag of greens or two fresh heads of it chopped and destemmed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
seasoned salt, salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste

Method:

Cut pickle meat into smaller pieces and remove excess fat:


Heat your bacon grease over medium heat in a dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and sautee until onions are translucent, like this:

The best smell in the world!

Add your pickle meat and some seasoning.  Heat until meat looks the color of pepto bismol.  (I know that sounds gross, sorry!)

Add the greens and the broth and the water.
Looks like a lot, but it sure aint!
Once it looks more manageable like above, put the lid on and let sit for 20 minutes.
Let sit another 20 minutes and stir again.  And then do that again.  This is not a quick weekday meal/side by any means!

After about 45 minutes, you will have a bowl full of goodness or a yummy side for some grilled meat!



This is what happens when you don't destem!
Happy Cooking!

Missy

July 27, 2015

Take that bare walls and fancy mushrooms! (Chanterelle Mushroom Pasta)

The other night two of my fabulous friends came over to help me hang art and organize my new apartment.  As a thank you I cooked dinner.  If you know me, you know I love Hollygrove Market and the weekly box they sell for $25.  The box that week had chanterelle mushrooms.  I never had such a thing.  They looked weird.  To the google!  I found this recipe for papardelle with chanterelles in a light cream sauce from Tartine and Apron Strings which I  never visited before but will begin; what a beautiful blog!  I couldn't find guacinale or papardelle at my Rouses and I didn't want to fry eggs, so  I doctored it up and made a very yummy dish for my lovely ladies!

The cast of characters: Homemade chicken broth (in Tupperware), heavy cream, cleaned chanterelles, garlic, butter, white wine, parsley, pancetta, egg noodles.

Please excuse the not so good phone photos, will be updating the camera soon.  This was delicious and made all very happy!

Here's the recipe! Serves four (but not generously)

1 package of pancetta
half a bag of egg noodles
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine (I used viognier so we could drink too)
about a cup of chanterelle mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup of butter
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • Start your egg noddles while you chop.  Bring water to boil in a large pot and cook until al dente. Remove to a colander.
  • In a cast iron skillet (or any other skillet of your having) heat pancetta over medium heat. Cook until you think its going to start to burn.  Take that out and drain pancetta on a paper towel.  
  • In the pasta pot, melt the butter.  Add add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms  and cook until juicy (about 4 minutes) add 1/2 cup of the wine and cook for 2 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and remove pot from heat.
  • Back to your pancetta pan, add the rest of the wine, and the broth and cook until reduced by half.  Add your cream and stir.  cook until sauce reaches your desired thickness.
  • Throw pasta and pancetta in the mushroom pot, stir and then pour your sauce over it.  Toss the parsley throughout right before serving.
                                                                             et voila!

Happy cooking!
Missy

Welcome!

Hey y'all! I am Missy.  I probably know anyone reading this at this point!  I am a thirty something newly single girl who loves to cook! I am also a lawyer with a potty mouth and a silly sense of humor.  I am a Pure Barre addict who thinks there is always room for more wine! I just had to downsize my living situation after a break up and it doesn't have the gourmet kitchen of my dreams hence the title of this blog.  Follow me along as I try new recipes, share my tricks and tips in the kitchen, and whatever else I come up with.  Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest @missyquiggs. 

Email me with food questions, New Orleans recommendations or anything else at myshittkitchblog@gmail.com

-Missy

Just a random night with a pink Cadillac!