Tag Archives: easy recipe

Baked broccoli fritters – how to use frozen broccoli for good, not evil

Since starting a full-time job a year ago, I’ve had to get creative with dinners. I have a limited amount of time before I put my son down for bed.

This evening I came home from work with absolutely no plan and a near-empty fridge. My freezer, however, was chock full of random Costco impulse buys: tamales, gyoza, hash brown patties, broccoli.

I contemplated the frozen broccoli. Why, why did I buy this? It’s never as good as fresh broccoli. It’s sort of chewy and crumbly. So I decided to get creative.

I fried up some hash brown patties, chopped up some thawed broccoli and came up with a seriously delicious side dish that’s sure to please the whole family. My husband ate five of them!

Baked broccoli fritters - the best way to use frozen broccoli | recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com
Photo Credit: famfriendsfood. Flickr

Baked broccoli fritters

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed and set to drain
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 frozen hash brown patties
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 grated sharp cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the butter in a sauté pan and cook the onions till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.

Place onions and garlic in a mixing bowl to cool. Place hash brown patties in the pan and brown on both sides. Crumble up and add to the mixing bowl. Finely chop the broccoli and add to the mixing bowl.

Once all the ingredients have slightly cooled, add the egg, bread crumbs, cheeses, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Lightly grease a baking pan (I used a silpat mat instead). Form mixture into small patties. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 15 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

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Easy sweet potato carrot soup

Today is a soup day. It’s rainy, grey and I just want to stay inside. Plus, after recently having major surgery, I’m on a limited diet of soft foods. When I noticed I had a couple of sweet potatoes in my pantry I decided to use them to make a blended, flavorful soup.

I’m not much of a soup chef. I have my minestrone, but that takes a lot of chopping. When a friend brought me some butternut squash soup last week she said all she did was roast everything and put it in a blender with some stock. Easy peasy.

This soup is sweet, savory and slightly creamy. Perfect for a day like today.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Easy sweet potato carrot soup

Serves 5

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (or cream cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the carrots. Place the carrots and the whole sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for one hour. Remove the carrots and place the whole, peeled garlic cloves in the pan. Roast another 15 minutes or until garlic is golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a pan and sauté the onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Roughly tear up the sage and place in the pan. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

After the sweet potatoes have cooled slightly it should be easy to remove the skins. Chop them into rough pieces and place in a blender with the carrots, garlic, onions and sage. Add 2 cups of stock and blend for a few minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Put contents in a soup pot and add remaining cup of stock. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

A few minutes before serving stir in the cream cheese until melted and well combined. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.

Easy sweet potato carrot soup with sage and cream cheese | A delicious blended soup recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña’s Fried Cauliflower — A Mexican side dish

Our family just came back from a two-week vacation in Nayarit, Mexico. One of the perks of the place we stay in is a housekeeper who cooks for us. Moña used to run a restaurant out of her home and she’s the best Mexican chef I know. I yearn for her chiles rellenos and chilaquiles.

One of her specialties is battered, fried cauliflower. I’m not a cauliflower enthusiast, but when it’s prepared like chiles rellenos, I’m sold.

Florets are coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a simple tomato sauce. The florets turn out perfectly tender, almost like al dente pasta.

The difficulty with my trying to make Moña’s recipes back home is our lack of delicious produce. Our fresh tomatoes are usually terrible and our onions aren’t nearly as sweet.

Here is my attempt at one of Moña’s signature side dishes. It’s accompanying pulled pork enchiladas and mexican rice. Look for the rice recipe below.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña’s fried cauliflower

Serves 4

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed into small/medium florets
  • 5 eggs
  • 1, 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • about a cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the flour, chicken stock, sugar, chile powder and tomatoes in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Fold in the yolks.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Pour oil in a small sauté pan. There should be about a half-inch of oil in the pan. Heat over high heat. When hot, dip florets in the egg batter till covered and drop them in the pan. You’ll need to do several batches but they brown pretty quickly. Spoon oil over the florets as they brown on the first side, then turn them all over and brown on the other side.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Drain the florets and place on a paper towel-lined platter. Set aside.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Add the blended tomato mixture and oregano. Stir until thickened. If too thick, add more chicken stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Add the cauliflower florets and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Moña's fried cauliflower | florets coated in a delicate egg batter, pan fried and tossed in a tomato sauce. It's the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Serve on a platter and sprinkle with cojita or monterey jack cheese.

Mexican rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the butter in a large sauté pan. Toss in the rice and cook, stirring for a few minutes until the rice is lightly toasted. Pour in 1 cup of stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for five minutes.

Add another cup of stock, the carrots, onion and garlic. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Check the rice every now and then to see if it needs more liquid. Add more stock if necessary.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Smoky tuna dip – a healthy snack

In Alaska we are pretty seafood-centric. Although we have more than 47,000 miles of shoreline my husband doesn’t like seafood so I rarely cook with it.

I have access to Alaska halibut and salmon, but sometimes I just want a good old-fashioned can of tuna. Recently I was in Mexico and a friend served up a dip made with smoked mackerel. I don’t have any smoked fish lying around my freezer so I tried my own tuna dip. With a tiny amount of liquid smoke and just a few other ingredients I came up with a smoky, delicious tuna salad that’s perfect for a mid-afternoon snack — and it’s healthy too!

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

I love tuna packed in oil, but that can run pretty expensive at our local fancy grocery store. The big grocery store carries the next best thing for about $2.50 a can.

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

You can use any can of tuna you’d like.

Smoky tuna dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 teaspoon of chile in adobo sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • salt and pepper to taste

Drain the tuna and place in a small mixing bowl. Combine all the other ingredients. Serve with corn chips or crackers.

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

Fried Green Tomatoes

In our family, home is where the kitchen is. This week we are visiting family in Pittsburgh. My kid sister just moved into a cavernous brick home in Lawrenceville, coincidentally the neighborhood where my husband was born.

Her kitchen is absolutely Pinterest perfect and I couldn’t wait to cook in there.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

This evening we stopped by a farmers market full of squash, zinnia bouquets, goat cheese and apple cider. We picked up some green tomatoes and made them as a light dinner.

Here’s a quick post about how my sister prepares them.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 4 medium green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 thick slices
  • 1/2 cup cream of wheat
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • Ground pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • Peanut oil

In a shallow bowl, mix together the Cream of Wheat, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, pepper and salt. Whisk the eggs in another shallow bowl.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

Add half a fingernail’s depth of oil to a cast iron skillet and turn heat to high.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

Dredge the tomatoes in the egg and then in the breading.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

When oil is glistening, add tomatoes in one layer in the pan. You may need to fry them in three or four batches.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

Fry for a few minutes on each side, till browned. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Fried Green Tomatoes | try this simple recipe for a tasty appetizer. The breading is made with Cream of Wheat! Recipe available at alaskaknitnat.com

Serve as-is or with a yogurt dipping sauce. Recipe below:

Yogurt Herb Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh herbs such as oregano, basil or parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all the ingredients. Serve with fried green tomatoes.

Chicken & Vegetable Stew

I came home from work today and didn’t want to think much about making dinner. What with eight wedding floral gigs this summer, parenting, plus my near full-time job, I have a lot of other things on my mind.

Enter condensed cream of chicken soup. I tend to avoid recipes that call for this salty, globby ingredient but sometimes I’ll make an exception.

Chicken, veggies, herbs and soup over rice or noodles is always a crowd pleaser. Comfort food at its finest.

This was simple to assemble and although it’s not quick, it requires very little effort or thought, which is perfect for today.

Chicken & Vegetable Stew | An easy recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Chicken & Vegetable Stew-like Casserole Dinner

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 skinless chicken thighs (breast works too)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat butter and 2 Tbs. olive oil in a dutch oven oven. Place flour in a pie pan. Dredge chicken thighs in flour and shake off any excess. Place thighs in dutch oven and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Set thighs aside and pour out excess oil.

Chicken & Vegetable Stew | An easy recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Add another tablespoon of oil and toss in the celery, onion and carrot. Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley, bay leaf and cream of chicken soup. Fill the empty can with chicken stock and pour that too. Break up the cream cheese with your fingers and add to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nestle the thighs into the sauce and place into the oven. Take out and stir the pot every 20 minutes or so to prevent any burning.

Chicken & Vegetable Stew | An easy recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

 

After 45 minutes in the oven, stir in the frozen veggies and break up the thighs with a fork. Place back in the oven and bake another 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and break up any other chicken pieces. Remove bay leaf and serve over egg noodles or brown rice.

Chicken & Vegetable Stew | An easy recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com