Archive | April, 2011

Pepper Jack Chicken with Succotash

22 Apr

We’ve been really busy here the past month.  We made the invitations for Mariya’s wedding this upcoming July and I must say they are awesome!  Also Larry, Mariya and I went to Paris for a week.  So I did not do much cooking but instead brainstorming and of course while in Paris eating every macaron in sight.  And my sweet little brown Chinese Imperial (Shih Tzu per AKC) Maggie went into heat and that required 5 hour round trips.  Needless to say the Armstrong household has been busy. 

After all the eating out or prepared food cooking it was time for a real meal.  It was a gorgeous Saturday here in Charlotte.  I got to work in the yard and start cleaning it up.  I had earlier in the week picked up a Food Network cookbook and we decided to try this dish.  Barry created the pockets in the chicken and stuffed them while I did the cooking.  I changed a few things in the recipe to make it my way and it was really very good dish and not only looked beautiful, but tasted great.

Adapted from Food Network’s Great Easy Meals

Pepper Jack Chicken with Succotash

Serves 8

  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 cups baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts about 12 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing on the chicken
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun spice blend
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans or 1-15 oz can baby limas, drained
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 375F.  combine the cheese and 2 cups arugula in a bowl.  Cut a deep wide pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast.  Be careful not to go thru the chicken.  Stuff breast with the arugula mixture and use toothpicks to secure open ends so stuffing does not all come out.  Brush both sides with olive oil and season with the Cajun spice blend.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat about 5 minutes.  Cook the chicken until blackened on the bottom about 4-5 minutes, turn and cook until blackened on the other side about 3 minutes. 

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook about 15 minutes.  Transfer chicken to platter.

Wipe out the skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the lima beans and squash and cook until squash is tender about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 cups arugula and the lime juice. 

Slice chicken in half and serve with the succotash.


Chinese BBQ Stir-Fry

19 Apr

Chinese food, bbq and stir-fry what is not to like?!  I used to own a wok but to me it was no different than my skillet.  I love my cast iron skillet.  My husband bought it at a yard sale used over 20 years ago.  I’ve had other skillets that for one reason or another just never lasted.  I hand wash and season the skillet every time I use it.  The bad thing is, it is so heavy and my hands don’t have the strength like they used to but as long as I can lift it I will use that skillet and this dish is perfect for it.  It has that slightly sweet tang and I like to cook the cabbage longer than the original recipe.  I serve this over a coconut rice.  I just use a can of coconut juice, not milk, and cook the rice in that.  My husband can attest how good it is, he ate more than half for dinner!

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Chinese BBQ Stir-Fry

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 – 7.5 oz bottled hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size strips
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, thinly bias sliced
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 small head about 3-4 cups coarsely chopped Chinese cabbage

Heat 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil in a wok or 14″ skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pepper, onions and carrots and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or till crisp-tender.  Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and add the chicken.  Stir-fry until no pink remains.Remove from skillet.

In a medium bowl combine hoisin sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder and black pepper.  Stir cornstarch into marinade .  Add to skillet.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Return chicken and vegetables to skillet.  Add the cabbage and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Serve over hot cooked rice.