Posted at 9:31 am , on November 16, 2015
When I need some comfort food and a quick meal I think of Chicken Parmesan. You can’t beat the taste of crispy panko breaded chicken with melted mozzarella alongside spaghetti topped with the tastiest marinara sauce. Most marinara sauces are made from canned tomatoes but I like to use fresh tomatoes when I can. There’s just something special about fresh tomato sauce with fresh herbs. This is also a frugal meal as I can make a meal for 4 using just one chicken breast. Don’t worry, no one goes away hungry. A hunk of french bread and a salad makes this a complete meal.
Posted at 11:11 am , on October 15, 2015
This year Joe and I have gone to several fall festivals around town. We’ve been to Irish Fest, the Plaza Art Fair and Old Settlers Day. It’s a great way to spend a day at any of these events. We’ve had some great festival food which got me craving a NM favorite Frito Pie. Frito Pie is a staple at most festivals in NM. We eat it straight from the bag and the chili has to be New Mexican. It’s traditionally served with grated cheese and onions upon request. When I make it for myself, I like to add some shredded lettuce and diced tomato to the mix. It’s Muy Bueno! I’d like to give a shout out to the ladies at the Desert Rose Center in downtown Tucumcari, thank you for the beautiful Route 66 swatch of material. It goes perfect with my NM Frito Pie!
Posted at 9:42 am , on October 6, 2015
Bread pudding is one of my favorite things on earth. In fact, I’ve never met a bread pudding I didn’t like. I had my boys over for dinner and made this especially for them. They showed up about the time this came out of the oven and as soon as the pictures were taken it was devoured! Normally, I would take the time to make a loaf of brioche myself, but I found this great brioche bread at Sprouts that is so good! If you have a Sprouts store, you must try this bread. It’s already sliced and perfect for french toast and easy to cube for a pan of bread pudding. Adding just a hint of lemon juice to the sweetened whipped cream turned out to be a big hit. Another reason I chose this dessert is because this is my 300th post of An Inspired Cook. I thought this would be the perfect dessert to mark the occasion!
Posted at 9:08 am , on October 2, 2015
Recently I cleaned out my freezer and found a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I had a small amount of shrimp, lagostino tails and an odd package of chicken thighs. So I decided to put it all together in a spicy gumbo which is one of my favorite one pot wonders. It makes a complete meal ladled over sticky rice with a crusty slice of french bread on the side. Traditional gumbo includes a holy trinity consisting of chopped onion, celery and green pepper, however I make mine with a duo of onion and red bell pepper. I’m just not into celery and green bells. However if you like them, throw them in too and just cut back on the onion and red bell. It’s hard to find the Southern tastes of New Orleans here in KC but having a bowl of gumbo takes me there!
Posted at 9:15 am , on September 18, 2015
This tasty Chicken Madeira is a popular dish served at the Cheesecake Factory. They have an extensive menu and I’ve tried several dishes but was unaware of this dish until my sweet friend Paula told me about it. She knows me well and thought I would find it delicious. She was right, I loved it at first bite! The chicken is smothered in melted fresh mozzarella and drips into the sauce which is flavored with Madeira wine and beef stock. The mushrooms are hearty and taste so good alongside a heaping dollop of mashed potatoes. It’s comfort at its best and very simple to make. There are many copykat recipes to choose from and I tried to take the basics and make it as close to the original as possible. I think I came pretty close. Hope you enjoy it!
Posted at 8:59 am , on July 14, 2015
It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a platter of fried green tomatoes. Every summer I can’t wait to try them in some new recipe. This year I made a salad loaded with quartered fried green tomatoes, Aussie shrimp, bits of fried bacon and the most delicious remoulade dressing I’ve tasted since the old days at the Cafe Oceano in Albuquerque. The Cafe is long gone now but I still remember the days of chalkboard seafood specials and the house remoulade dressing which was so good in my memory. This salad is like a serving of Southern hospitality with warm tomatoes, spicy shrimp and bacon on top. But don’t worry if you have any leftovers. Even chilled, this salad tastes great!
Posted at 11:17 am , on May 9, 2015
With Mother’s Day just around the corner it’s the perfect occasion to make Dutch Baby pancakes. These puffy pancakes, sometimes referred to as German pancakes are traditionally served with melted butter, lemon juice and powdered sugar. I opted for raspberries and a buttermilk syrup that sounded like the perfect touch to sweeten my pancake which has very little sugar. When it comes out of the oven it is puffed up over the lip of you skillet as if it could float away at any moment. When it eventually deflates, drizzle some melted butter over the top and listen as it virtually sizzles. Then top it with your choice of lemon juice or raspberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Some like maple syrup over top but I found the buttermilk syrup to be the perfect touch. The dutch baby pancake has the slight taste and texture of custard and a drizzle of buttermilk syrup made me think of my Mom’s buttermilk pie, only sweeter. So many times when I think of food it brings me back to my Mom who inspired me to make meals special and create memories. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s who make each and every day special!
Posted at 9:08 am , on May 5, 2015
It’s no secret that Cinco de Mayo is my favorite holiday for food. It reminds me of bright and festive colors with the sounds of Mariachi’s playing in the background. And the food . . . Oh, how it makes my mouth water! This year we’re having Taquitos which are fun to dip in your favorite guacamole or salsa. I’ve found that the key to making perfect taquitos is picking the right corn tortilla. Some corn tortillas are too soft and will fall apart when you try to roll them. But if you find a good thin tortilla that has a coarser texture they will hold together when rolled, and easier to pin together with a toothpick. Another key is to pan fry the tortillas for a few seconds on each side. The small amount of oil left on the tortillas enables them to crisp up nicely in the oven so that you don’t have to fry them. I cheated and used Frontera’s Barbacoa slow cook sauce to add the wonderful flavors to my roast. I then shredded the beef along with some grated Oaxaca cheese to make a tasty filling. They turned out so good, I plan on making another batch soon, maybe trying chicken next. Happy Cinco de Mayo all!
Posted at 8:41 am , on March 17, 2015
May the luck of the Irish be with you! Here in Kansas City there are always celebrations taking place in honor of St. Patrick’s day. You might see green water flowing through our “City of Fountains” or witness the largest St. Patrick’s parade anywhere. Also one of my favorite bands,”The Elders” return home for their annual “Hoolie” concert. It’s a festive time to be sure! While others cook a more traditional Irish feast, I’m going with something fun. I’m pretty sure nachos are not something you would find on a true Irish menu but it’s something that is festive and fun to eat. It starts with thin sliced potatoes baked crisp in the oven. These chips become the foundation topped with a tangy Irish cheese sauce and loaded with anything you want. As you can see, I like a lot of toppings!
Posted at 8:38 am , on January 27, 2015
Another discovery from “Great Day Cafe” is their Cheeseburger Soup. Their daily soup menu changes day to day but you can always be sure to find a tasty bowl listed on the blackboard. My version has a few differences, however. Great Day Cafe cooked diced potatoes in their soup where as I like crisp fries on the side. Waffle fries are perfect to dunk in this soup and also as a side cruncher. To give it some New Mexican flavor add some green chile, which is purely up to you. Don’t tell Great Day Cafe, but I think I like my Cheeseburger Soup slightly better than theirs. That won’t stop me from going back, I feel inspired every time I visit their cafe!