Welcome to my site!

Welcome to my site!
I'm Cindy, and I love to cook! And, I love to eat... hence the size of my rear end! I come from a long line of cooks. My great great Grandmother was a cook in the original Harvey Houses. My grandmother Julia was an awesome cook, and my mom was incredible. I owe my skills to these great women. Especially my Mom who said this to me about making gravy... "Cindy Lynn, wallpaper paste is wallpaper paste & gravy is gravy. Never the two shall meet!" Shall we say my first experience at making gravy left a little bit to be desired! Thank the high heavens my cooking skills have improved since then! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chicken & Andouille Sausage Jambalaya

This turned out better than I expected. It is flavorful with a hint of spice and that delicious New Orleans flair that I love so much!

Ingredients:

1 ½ white onions, chopped
1 ½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic
Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s
14 – 16 oz. Andouille sausage, cut into rounds – or half rounds
14 ½ oz can diced tomatoes, break up tomatoes with a spoon
¾ cup chicken broth

1 ½ cups white rice
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s
1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces (can substitute chicken breast)

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in large, non-stick skillet. Add onions and garlic; sauté for a couple of minutes. Add green & red peppers; continue to sauté for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes, Tony’s and ¾ cup chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add rice, 2 ½ cups chicken broth, 1 ½ teaspoon Tony’s, and chicken tenders. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is absorbed, and rice and chicken are cooked. Check the rice occasionally and add more broth if needed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Toffee Sauce

I wanted to try something a little different for Thanksgiving this year. I still made my traditional Pumpkin Pie (recipe here), but I thought Pumpkin Bread Pudding might be a nice change. After reading about 10 different recipes – this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Bread Pudding Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon (heaping) allspice
1 ½ cup milk
3 Tablespoons melted butter
5 cups bread, torn or cut into 1” cubes (I actually used left over rolls, but a challah or a dense egg bread would be perfect for this)
½ cup pecan pieces

For Topping:
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugars, vanilla and spices together in a large bowl. Add milk slowly, whisking to fully incorporate. Add melted butter; mix well.

Add bread pieces and gently mix to be sure bread is completely soaked in mixture. Stir in pecan pieces.

Transfer to a 8 x 8 baking dish, ungreased. Mix cinnamon and sugar together; sprinkle over top.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until set, in 350 degree oven.

Remove from oven, allow to cool. Can be served warm, or reheated in the microwave.

Serve with Toffee Sauce drizzled over pudding. Can be served as is, with fresh whipped cream, or with vanilla ice cream.

Directions for Toffee Sauce:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter, sugar, and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. You can make this sauce in advance and simply reheat.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fisherman's Stew

This is perfect for a chilly autumn or winter afternoon. Pair it with a salad and you have a delicious healthy meal. You can use any combination of fish and seafood that you prefer… The only thing you absolutely need is the shrimp so that you can make the broth.

Ingredients:

1 lb of shrimp, reserve the shells to make broth
1 lb calamari rings & tentacles – or 1 lb of Seafood Blend from Trader Joes
1 lb white fish, I used tilapia
26 – 28oz jar of tomato basil marinara sauce (I used Trader Joes this time but I’ve also used Classico brand)
One half of a white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 red potatoes cut into bite-sized cubes
¼ cup dry white wine (Optional)
3 cups water
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Optional – you could also add chopped celery & carrots if desired.

Directions:

Clean the shrimp, reserving the shells. Pour 3 cups of water into a saucepan; add the shrimp shells and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the shrimp shells are simmering, drizzle olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Sauté the onions, garlic and potatoes until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are tender. (If you decide to add celery & carrots cook them with the rest of the vegetables at this time.) Deglaze pan with white wine, if using. NOTE: Be careful not to let the vegetables/potatoes burn. Add a touch of water if needed to keep the vegies from browning.

Strain the broth into a clean pot. Add the marinara sauce, pepper flakes and vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add all of the fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread and a salad – Viola! You have a delicious meal in about 30 – 40 minutes.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chicken Panang Curry

I love the show “Semi-Homemade” with Sandra Lee. She proves that you can use prepared ingredients to save you time, while still serving creative and delicious meals. In the spirit of Sandra Lee, I came up with this recipe. I love Thai food and Panang Curry is one of my favorites. This didn’t take much time at all – I think I had dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! The combination of chicken with fresh green beans and basil was delicious. Serve over steamed jasmine rice…. You’re going to thank me!
Ingredients:

1 jar Thai Kitchen Panang Curry
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional, depending on your spicy tolerance)
½ teaspoon curry powder
10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into thin strips (You could substitute chicken breast if you prefer. You will cook the chicken for less time in that case.)
1 package of BirdsEye SteamFresh Whole Green Beans
1 white onion, sliced lengthwise into crescent shapes as they do in stir-fry
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Olive Oil
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add the garlic chili sauce, chili flakes and curry powder to the jar of Panang Curry. Replace lid, shake well, set aside.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat; drizzle olive oil into it. Add onions and garlic; sauté for about 5 minutes.

While the onions and garlic are cooking, microwave the green beans according to package instructions – however cook one minute less than the instructions call for.

Add the chicken to the skillet and continue cooking with the onions and garlic for about 7 minutes.

Add the contents of the Panang Curry jar to the skillet, bring to a simmer. Combine the cornstarch with cold water. Add to the skillet. This will thicken the sauce.

Add the cooked green beans to the skillet. Stir to mix well. Add the basil at the very end. Toss all together. Serve over jasmine steamed rice, or long grain.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cajun Meatloaf - My 200th Post!

Welcome to my 200th post! Yay! I thought it appropriate it should be something Cajun, due to my love for all things New Orleans.

After reading several meatloaf recipes, I was in the mood to experiment. This meatloaf can be as spicy, or non spicy, as you would like it. When I make this again, I will “kick it up a notch” by adding some cayenne and/or red pepper flakes. My son loved the results. I wasn’t sure he would – he had never had meatloaf before! This turned out really yummy!

Ingredients:

½ white onion, chopped
½ bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning
14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 teaspoon salt-free Spike seasoning
1 teaspoon Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
2 cups Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
2 egg whites

¾ cup ketchup
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon Worchester sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in nonstick skillet. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper & celery. Sprinkle Tony’s seasoning over all. Saute until vegetables are cooked, about 10 minutes.

Take ½ of the tomatoes and whirl in the blender or food processor. Add all of the tomatoes to the vegetable mix. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Mix the beef and pork together thoroughly. Add the Spike and Johnny’s seasoning salt. Add the vegetable mixture and combine thoroughly.

Add the bread crumbs and egg whites. Mix well. Form into two loaves on a broiler pan.

Mix the ketchup, seasoning salt, Worchester and cayenne together. Spread over both loaves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Note: We enjoyed this the evening I made it, and we’ve completely LOVED the leftovers for lunch and one more dinner. The meatloaf heats up beautifully in the microwave. I think I see a meatloaf sandwich in my future this afternoon!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thai Braised Chicken

I found this FABULOUS recipe in the Cooking Light cookbook – but of course I’ve altered the ingredients and directions a little bit. (This was originally a Crockpot recipe. And it called for cooking the carrots along with the broth. I choose not to do that, because I find it makes the broth too sweet.) When I made it the second time I cooked it as a soup, as opposed to a full meal. I really love this easy recipe that is so incredibly fragrant and FULL of amazing flavor. Give this one a try. I don’t think you’ll be sorry!

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Thai curry paste (I used red curry paste)
1 white onion, cut vertically (like you would see in stir-fry)
1/3 cup julienne-cut peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, halved
3 (4-inch) stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in half lengthwise
8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skinned

1 (1-pound) bag baby carrots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups hot cooked jasmine rice
1/2 cup sliced green onions
4 lime wedges

Directions:

Place the first 11 ingredients into a soup pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and place a lid on the pot – but don’t cover completely. Simmer for about 2 – 2 ½ hours.

Place the carrots with approximately 1 cup of water in a separate pot. Cover; bring to a soft boil and cook until tender – about 45 minutes. (I find that by cooking the carrots in the soup itself – they tend to leave a sweet taste in the broth, which I don’t really like. So, I prefer to cook them separate.) Drain the carrots and set aside.

After the soup has been cooking for about 2 hours, add the carrots and cook until they are heated through. This takes just a few minutes. Remove the lemon grass stalks and add the cilantro.

Place a half-cup of rice in a bowl; serve with two chicken thighs and the broth and vegetables. Garnish with green onions and a squeeze of fresh lime. Delicious!

Note: The second time I made this, I chose to make it more of a soup – as opposed to a meal. I used only four chicken thighs, and removed them from the soup after 2 hours. I removed the chicken from the bone and added it back into the broth. I followed all of the other directions with the exception of not using any rice, and I added some celery to the soup when I started cooking it. This made a deliciously fragrant chicken soup that we enjoyed for lunch.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Oh... this ain't your Momma's old fashion tamale pie. (Although I do remember it fondly!) I made this on a Sunday afternoon, for dinners on a week that I knew was going to be busy. The individual pieces warmed up beautifully in the microwave – and dinner was ready in a flash!  It's  creamy, cheesy and so full flavored you would guess there were twice as many calories in it!

I slightly adjusted this recipe from the 2009 Cooking Light cookbook. The original recipe called for 2 cups of shredded chicken breast and ¼ cup egg substitute. I used 1 lb. of chicken tenders and 2 eggs instead. If you want to follow the original recipe – there is only 354 per serving. I don’t think these alterations increased the calories that much… maybe about 390 calories.

Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken tenders
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

1 cup pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup fat-free milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 – 14 ¾ oz can creamed corn
1 – 8.5 oz package corn muffin mix, I used Jiffy
1 – 4oz can chopped green chilies, drained

1 can of red enchilada sauce, not the biggest can – the normal size – about 12 – 14 oz
Cooking spray
Fat Free Sour Cream for garnish

Directions:

Preheat a non-stick skillet; drizzle olive oil in it. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Cook tenders for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and allow to cool. Shred with a fork.

Preheat oven to 400. Combine ¼ cup of cheese with next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; mix until just moist. Pour mixture into 9” x 13” baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with shredded chicken; sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Bake at 400 for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from oven; let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces, top with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy National Gumbo Day

Who knew... October 12th is National Gumbo Day! 

I love me some gumbo, y'all!  I think I may have to make a pot of this for dinner tonight.  Enjoy!

Here's my recipe for gumbo: http://gumboyaya2u.blogspot.com/2008/08/nawlins-gumbo.html

And here's a link to learn more about Gumbo and explore other delicious sounding recipes!  http://southernfood.about.com/cs/gumborecipes/a/gumbo.htm

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Stroganoff

Here’s another recipe from the Cooking Light cookbooks, although it is altered and probably not quite as “light” as it started out to be. This was fairly quick to make and really scrumptious. Hearty, creamy and full of flavor. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Ingredients:

5 slices of bacon
1 white onion, chopped
2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz low fat sour cream
4 tablespoons flour
8 oz no-yolk egg noodles, cooked and drained
Flat leaf Parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions:

Cook bacon in large non-stick skillet. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chicken tender pieces; sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add broth, salt, pepper, paprika, wine and garlic to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; cook for 10 minutes.

Combine sour cream and flour, stirring until smooth. Add sour cream to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cooked noodles and stir to combine. Continue to simmer until some of the sauce is absorbed by the noodles.

Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve this delicious meal and enjoy the creamy and decadent treat.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greek Lamb Pilaf

The combination of lamb, mint and lemon is just amazing. This is a quick and filling meal that can be made easily on a weeknight. Add a side salad and dinner is served. This is another Cooking Light recipe… but I’ve altered it slightly. I don’t believe my alterations changed the caloric value very much. It serves four and according to the recipe - 1 2/3 cups of this contains 446 calories, 17.2 g fat, 26 g protein, 45 g carbs and 2.4 g fiber.

Note: I have made this twice.  The second time I couldn't find ground lamb, so I used beef.  It was still tasty - but for me I preferred it with the lamb.  However, if you're not a fan of lamb - try it with the beef and substitute beef broth for the chicken.

Ingredients:

Drizzle of olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped in small bite-sized pieces (about ¾ cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. (approximately) ground lamb
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups chicken broth (recipe calls for fat-free, low sodium. I used regular)
3/4 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes
Good sized handful of chopped fresh mint
3 - 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (taste after adding 3 to see if you would like more)
¾ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in a heated large non-stick pan that has a lid. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes; add carrots. Continue to cook until onions are translucent – about 5 minutes. Add lamb; cook and crumble the lamb for about 5 – 7 more minutes.

Stir in rice and cinnamon. Sauté for about 2 minutes allowing the rice to absorb the juices in the pan. Add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with lid. Simmer for about 10 minutes, add the can of diced tomatoes; continue simmering for another 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat; add the mint, lemon juice and salt. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I can’t even begin to list enough adjectives to describe these muffins. They are AMAZING! The recipe is from the 2004 Cooking Light Annual Recipes cookbook. Each muffin is 187 calories, with only 23% from fat (4.8g) I’ve never been a huge fan of blueberries, but there was something about reading this recipe that caught my eye – and taste buds. The combination of flavors, between the lemon and blueberries, is PERFECTION. Your taste buds will thank you for making these, as well as anyone that you share them with.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup butter
1 ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
Zest of one lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup blueberries (I used the entire 6 oz package, which was slightly more than 1 cup)
Cooking spray
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine buttermilk, zest and egg; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on wire rack to cool.

Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maple-Sage Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This recipe came from the Cooking Light cookbook (2009). The pork was so savory and fragrant with the combination of the maple syrup and sage. It was perfectly delicious with mashed potatoes and the Brussel Sprouts I blogged about yesterday. Click HERE for recipe. This was easy and fast enough to make on a weeknight – and the pork made fabulous leftovers.

Ingredients:

1 ½ tablespoon maple syrup
1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound

Note: The pork tenderloins come two to a package. I prepared both tenderloins and doubled the other ingredients above. It turned out perfectly.

Directions:

Combine the first four ingredients in a Ziploc bag, mixing together. Add the pork tenderloin. Seal the bag and turn to complete coat the pork. Place in fridge and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. I think I left mine in the fridge for about 1 ½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Remove pork from bag. Place on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for approximately 25 minutes, or until a thermometer reaches 155. I left mine in the oven for about 28 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve on a platter and pour juices over it. I hope you enjoy this mouth-watering meal.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Brussel Sprouts

I must confess I’ve never liked Brussel Sprouts. I’ve always turned up my nose, because every time I’ve tried them – they’ve been bitter and unpalatable to me. But, everyone always says… you’ve just never had them prepared properly. Uh huh… sure! Well, earlier this year I ate at Ford’s Filling Station in Downtown Culver City, and my friend David and I order the brussel sprouts. I admit they were extremely tasty and I did enjoy them. They were delicious without a drop of bitterness.  So, they’ve been on mind and I’ve wanted to try making them myself. I looked at a few recipes and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. They were divine.

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. brussel sprouts
4 slices bacon
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Wash the brussel sprouts, trim about ¼ inch off the bottom. Remove some of the outer leaves, leaving the core, and cut the sprout in half lengthwise. This helps the sprouts to cook quicker.

Cook the bacon in a skillet. When finished drain the bacon on paper towels, pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the grease out of the pan. Return the pan to the heat.

Add shallot to hot grease, and sauté for about 3 – 4 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the brussel sprouts to the pan. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover with a lid. Let steam for about 8 minutes. Remove lid and test for doneness. You want them to be tender, but not mushy.

With lid off, increase heat and cook until liquid evaporates and coats the brussel sprouts. Remove from heat, crumble bacon over the brussel sprouts; salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vegetable Samosas with Mint Raita

Samosa’s are an Indian pastry that is filled with an assortment of meats and vegetables. This recipe is vegetarian. They are usually prepared with dough, but I’ve adapted this recipe from Cooking Light, in which we substitute phyllo dough. Makes them lighter and flakier. If you prefer – you could use a pre-made pie pastry like I did for my empanadas. You can find that recipe HERE. And, if you’re in search of gluten free foods, you could make or purchase a gluten free pie dough and use that in which to stuff the samosa filling. I served these with Chicken Burger Patties with an Indian Flair.  Click HERE for the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 medium baking potatoes; peeled and chopped into small chunks. Maybe about ½ to ¾ inch.
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 ½ tablespoons minced peeled ginger (I used the kind from a jar for simplicity)
1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic (again, for simplicity – this time I used it from a jar)
¾ teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ cups peas, use frozen and just thaw them first
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
16 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed (18 x 14 inch sheets)
Cooking spray

Raita Ingredients:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I like to use the Greek yogurt because it is thicker)
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
Juice of one lime
½ of a cucumber, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook the potato and carrot in boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Add cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds and add the onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add ginger, garlic and red pepper; sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the cumin and next 5 ingredients. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the potato, carrots, peas, cilantro and lemon juice. Stir until well combined and turn heat off. Let cool slightly.

Depending upon the size of your food processor, place ¼ to ½ of the mixture into it and pulse until coarsely chopped. Put the chopped mixture into a bowl and repeat with the remaining mixture until all has been processed and coarsely chopped.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on a large cutting board. (cover the rest of the phyllo with a clean dish towel so it doesn’t dry out.) Spray the sheet with cooking spray. Fold in half so you have an 18 x 7 sheet. Fold the bottom corner over to form a triangle to mark where to place the filling. Unfold. Place about 3 tablespoons, or 3 heaping teaspoons of the filling by the line you’ve made. Fold over the bottom corner to make a triangle. Fold back and forth over itself to make a triangle until you get to the last fold. Tuck edges under; lightly spray both sides with cooking spray, place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Or, if you have a silpat – you can use that.
Repeat process above until all of the filling has been used. Should make about 14 – 16 samosas. This will use 2 baking sheets.

Place one baking sheet on the bottom rack and the other on the second from the top. Bake for 13 minutes. Switch positions of the sheets in your oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.

To prepare the Raita, combine all the ingredients and mix well.

Serve the samosa’s with the raita.

I won’t fib, this recipe is a bit labor intensive… but it’s not difficult to make. Just time consuming. But, I think the labor involved is SO worth it. The fragrant flavor of these will make you forget the time it took you to make them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken Burger Patties with Indian Spices

First, this recipe makes four patties... but my kiddo doesn't think he should have to wait until Mom is finished with her photography. So, he got served first!  Ha!

These were really yummy. I chose to serve them with Samosa’s (an Indian pastry stuffed with meat and/or vegetables) rather than making an actual burger out of them. But, they would make an excellent burger. This is another great recipe from Cooking Light, which I altered slightly. They are full of flavor and fragrant from the garam masala (an Indian spice mixture). Whether you serve them as patties – or a full fledged burger – I think you’re going to like them!

Ingredients:

1 – 2 green onions, depending upon your taste, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 heaping teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb. ground chicken
Cooking spray

½ cup low-fat greek yogurt
Handful of chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ cup mango chutney (I had a small jar from Trader Joes – I used half of the jar)
4 hamburger buns
1 cup fresh spinach leaves or lettuce

Directions:

Combine the spices, lime juice, green onions and chicken in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and form into four patties. The chicken mixture is really sticky. You can use plastic food-prep gloves OR if you wet your hands first, before forming each patty, it helps to cut down on the sticking.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat, coat with cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil. Add patties to the pan and cook for 7 minutes on each side.

Combine yogurt, mint, salt and chutney. Spread on the top and bottom half of each bun, add the patty and the spinach or lettuce leaves. Add more of the yogurt mixture if desired. If you choose to serve without the bun, serve the sauce on the side of the patty for dipping.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Now on Facebook

Gumbo Ya Ya is now on Facebook!  Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/gumboyayarecipes

Please come visit the page and click LIKE.  When I publish a recipe on Gumbo Ya Ya, I will announce it on Facebook - along with other fun facts and revisiting some of my favorite older posts.  So stop by and say HI!
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