Category Archives: dinner

Bobbi’s Crab Chowder

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This recipe is one that I have worked on for a while. I  moved to Washington in 2006 and being in the Pacific Northwest brought on a great love for the fresh fish, seafood, and shell fish I can get here. So I set out to make wonderful meals with all of the goodies I had to chose from.

One of my favorite things is crab. Every since I was a kid I can remember my grandparents taking me out to a nice dinner and all I wanted was crab. Now every time I have crab I remember wonderful times with my grandparents!

This chowder is one that I have been requested to make by several people. That was when I really knew I had dialed the recipe in to where I wanted it to be. One suggestion though, the first time I made this I made it with King crab. The second time I used Dungenes. I recommend using Dungie or blue crab if you can’t use King. I made the mistake of using just the “lump” crab meat they had at the store last time and it made the chowder a little more “fishy” than I like.

Bobbi’s Crab Chowder

1 yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4-ounces (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup flour
10 slices bacon, chopped
5 medium potatoes, peeled, diced and par-boiled for about 5 minutes
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
6 cups half and half
1 cup frozen corn
1 pound lump crabmeat (King, Dungenes, Blue)

In a large soup pot cook the bacon until it renders its fat, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add butter, celery and onions to the pot and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add flour and mix well cooking for a couple minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in white wine. Add diced cooked potatoes, cooked bacon, parsley, paprika, white pepper, seafood seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix and then slowly add the half and half, stirring constantly. Add the corn, and then gently fold in the crab meat. Stir slowly. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with crusty bread for sopping!

Serves 4 to 6

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Chicken Enchiladas with Chili Verde Sauce

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By now you know that I am a Mexican food fanatic. It can be a bit of an obsession really. Since I live in a very small town in Western Washington my choices in restaurants that serve Mexican food are slim to none, especially if you want it to be good Mexican food. When Jessi and I were in Tacoma last year looking for Halloween costumes, we came across a tiny little Mexican market that also served food. We just about got whiplash because I turned the car into the driveway so quickly! We were both so excited to find a new place to try out. Well, it turns out that we shouldn’t have been so excited. But Jessi was happy because she was able to get some Mexican soda and candies she hadn’t had since we moved from San Diego to Washington.

Due to this lack of satisfaction with the choices I have been faced with, and my continued cravings, I am constantly trying to duplicate the wonderful foods of my past. As I have mentioned in past postings, Kevin doesn’t exactly share my enthusiasm for my obsession. He is not a fan of burrito’s, carne asada, tacos, etc. However one dish he does like is enchiladas in green sauce (chili verde). So you know I jumped on that right away. I had a way to calm my craving and make a meal that I knew Kevin would enjoy.

I took a little help from premade salsa on this one. I do want to create my own chili verde but there were no tomatillos in the store so I went for the next best thing. I will tell you that the best brand of salsa verde I have found is Herdez.

If you can’t find this one there are other very good ones out there. I just have a little love affair with this brand.
With traditional enchiladas you use corn tortillas and have to run them through hot oil to make them soft enough to roll without cracking. I have always done them this way (was taught by my son’s babysitter who was from Mexico) but hated that it added so much fat to the dish. Imagine my happiness when I found corn and wheat combo tortillas. They were bigger than a regular corn tortilla and soft like a flour tortilla, but still had that corn flavor I love. If you can’t find these combo tortillas I would just use the soft taco size flour tortillas to save the hassle and calories of the whole oil routine.
I used 10 x 13 pans and that worked out to make 8 enchiladas. I also made a pan of plain cheese enchiladas for my Dad and Jessi. 
After you cut the chicken breasts into strips, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with the seasoning mixture.
Once the chicken bakes for 15 minutes and cools, shred it with two forks.
Saute your onions, garlic, and jalapeno over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the peppers ae soft, about 5 minutes.
Mix the shredded chicken, sour cream, cheese, left over spice mixture, and onion mixture together in a medium bowl.
Spoon 1/8th of the mixture into a tortilla and roll it up, placing it in a 10 x 13 pan. Top enchiladas with the salsa verde and sprinkle with left over cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Chicken Enchiladas with Chili Verde Sauce

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 cup sour cream
8 small flour tortillas (corn blend if you can find them)
1 jar salsa verde
Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Place chicken strips on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the chili powder mixture, reserving any unused mixture. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven, set aside to cool.
Meanwhile in a medium skillet over medium heat, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent and the peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Shred the cooled chicken strips with two forks and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the onion mixture, sour cream, 2 cups of cheese, and the remaining spice mixture. Stir to combine well.
Spoon 1/8th of the mixture into a tortilla and roll it up. Place the enchilada in a 10 x 13 pan and continue with the remaining 7 tortillas. Pour the salsa verde over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with Salsa Rice. 

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Lemon Mustard and Herb Chicken and Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

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With all of the great weather we have been having here in Washington I have been so excited about being outside and grilling instead of cooped up in the house over a stove. We have a horseshoe pit and our backyard is gorgeous when it isn’t raining. I love sunshine, good food, and the people I love all in one place at once. I want to take advantage of every second of this awesomeness!

As you know we already made BBQ chicken this past week, and I have a burger recipe coming too, but I decided I wanted to do something totally different than your “typical” BBQ dish. I took a look at what I had in the fridge and the little voice in my head told me that this just needed to be made! Yes, as I am sure you have gathered, I do talk to myself quite a bit. I guess it can be a bit unnerving for those around me at times.

I was a little hesitant to make this dish only because I know Jessi doesn’t like mustard very much and I wasn’t sure if Kevin’s son Dylan did. But the thought of it made my mouth water and that alone won over any crazy non mustard eating kids. So I dived right in to setting everything up for this meal.

I had to do a tad bit of cooking for the side dish though. I had baby spinach and remembered this salad my Mom used to make. So I dug through my recipes and found it. I was such a happy camper!

The reviews came in and even the non mustard eaters loved it. I think the lemon helps to balance the mustard flavor and the herbs just add even more tastiness. The salad was gone almost before it hit the bowl!

Lemon, Mustard, and Herb Chicken


2 to 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Combine the lemon zest, juice, Dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, and a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in a small bowl. Place your chicken in a shallow dish or pan. Salt and pepper the chicken and generously paint both side of the chicken with the mustard mixture. Cover chicken and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high heat.Cooking times will vary depending on what type of grill you are using. Baste the chicken frequently with left over marinade.

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing


5 slices bacon, chopped fine
2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound baby spinach

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towel lined plate with slotted spoon to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. In the remaining fat, cook shallot for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, sugar, mustard, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, pour over spinach and toss. Serve.

Spicy Chicken Tacos

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I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and started thinking about the fact that Cinco De Mayo is coming up. I am a HUGE fan of Mexican food! I grew up in Southern California and Mexican food is a staple there. I probably ate Mexican food, be it in just the form of a burrito at home, to a sit down dinner at a restaurant, 3 to 4 times a week. Living here in Western Washington I miss good Mexican food. I decided to make some chicken tacos, but like many other foods in my house, they had to be spicy chicken tacos. I am not talking, blow the top of your head off or melt your tongue spicy. But these babies pack some heat. Your mouth will feel nice and warm. If you want to dial the heat back you can remove the ribs and seeds from the peppers, or substitute poblano for the anaheim chilis.
This recipe also uses one of my favorite ingredients, boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can get so much chicken flavor very quickly out of the thighs vs breasts. I buy my chicken thighs in multi packs from Costco. You get several packages of thighs in vacuum sealed plastic, so you can pop them in a sink full of warm water to thaw out quickly if you forget to plan something for dinner. Not like I have ever done that or anything. HA I am the QUEEN of forgetting to plan ahead!
Spicy Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

1 1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 fresno chilies, chopped
1 anahiem chili or 1 poblano pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
1/4 white onion, finely chopped
8 corn or taco sized flour tortillas
sour cream for garnish
Liberally salt and pepper chicken. Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and chicken. Let the chicken cook for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure all sides get browned. Push chicken to the edges of the pan and add the chilies, garlic, and onion to the pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, cumin, and coriander, stir to make sure all of the chicken and veggies are coated well. Reduce heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and reduce heat to low, add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro leaves, let cook on low while you prepare the tortillas.
Place tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds. Remove the tortillas from the paper towel and fill each tortilla with the chicken taco mixture. Top with sour cream (if wanted) and sprinkle some of the remaining cilantro leaves and finely chopped white onion.
Serve with refried beans.
Serves 4