Monday, February 29, 2016

Potato Won Ton Bites


 They were absolutely delicious.  That's all I have to say about these little gems.  

It was "foodie day" at work to celebrate our coworkers February birthdays and my contribution were these babies.  
I wanted to bring something different, not the usual, you know...
So I came up with these delightful morsels that are chock full of mashed potatoes, onions, peppers, smokey seasonings and last but not least; cheese!
My coworkers loved them! That is the best feeling in the world!  Score!
Best part is I kept getting asked for the recipe.  You know that's a; "winner, winner chicken dinner"!
So easy to make, I literally whipped them up after I got home from work.  I know!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 50 won ton bites

Ingredients:
4 cups mashed potatoes, prepared and cooled (I used instant)
1 pkg medium won ton wrappers 
1 cup water (to seal won tons)
1 medium onion, diced
1 large pepper, diced
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded (8 oz bag)
6 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried smoked paprika





Topping:  
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

Directions:

-Prepare mashed potatoes if making and set aside.  If you have leftover mashed potatoes - is there such a thing? That certainly will work.

-In a large frying pan add butter, let melt, add onions till they just start to soften, then add the diced peppers.  Cook for a few more minutes.

-Add spices, including that wonderful smoked paprika to the onion and pepper mix.  Lean over the fry pan and just inhale that aroma.  What?  Let cook for 1 minute or so to give the spices time to spread the love.

-Add the softened onion mixture to the mashed potatoes, stir to incorporate. Let cool for a few minutes.


 -Once cooled, add the shredded cheese and stir.  At this point I would take a spoonful and taste.  It's for seasoning purposes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

-Preheat oven to 375F.

-Place won tons on a flat surface.  Working with one at a time, dip pastry brush into the water and baste the entire outer edge of the won tons.  This is what will help them seal.  Take a heaping tablespoon of potato filling and place in the center of the won ton. 
Shape into a won ton flower shape.  See link and video below.  I work faster than that.  I don't know if it's for the sake of the video or what, but man, s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n but I am to please!

How to fold a won ton flower

 -Place on parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet, for easier clean up.



 -Melt butter for topping, add topping seasonings.  Baste the won tons.

-Bake for 30-35 minutes till golden.  The corners will brown just slightly and I think they look so pretty that way.  Rustic and just pretty. 



-Remove onto baking racks and let cool for a few minutes, serve and enjoy!

Easy, budget friendly appetizers that everyone will thoroughly love!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, February 22, 2016

Inside Out Potstickers


So you are going to say to me; "these look like meatballs".  Yes, yes they do.  But they don't taste like meatballs.  Nope!  *Didi shaking head vehemently*
  
 What these little gems taste like, with intention of course, is the "inside" of a potsticker.  Yes, yes they do!  So much flavor without bothering with the wontons.  I know!  
I wanted to keep it lower carb, but what I really wanted, actually was craving like you wouldn't believe, was potstickers.  So me being me, I went about to recreate the "inside" of the potstickers to serve along with our egg drop soup I was making for dinner.




I am here to tell you my friends, my experiment was a total success, and to be honest with you, served on a toothpick next to your favorite Asian soup?  These were just perfection!

You can certainly have them as a meal as we did, but these will be perfect for appetizers as well.  I certainly plan on making them again, that is for sure!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 22-24 meatballs

Ingredients: 
1-1/2lbs ground pork
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend - this is my ultimate favorite



 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 tbsp Hoison sauce - also my favorite
 
 

2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup hot water to dip your hands in

Directions:  
-In a medium mixing bowl, add all your ingredients and mix well.


-Preheat oven to 350F.  Using a baking sheet, add a piece of aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

-Using your cookie scoop, scoop out the mixture and place directly on baking sheet.

-Dipping your hands in hot water - this will ensure nothing sticks on your hands, shape into meatballs.


-Bake for 35 minutes.

Enjoy on a toothpick next to your favorite Asian soup or as an appetizer.  I think these will be fantastic in a pho to be honest!
Either way, you will never miss the wrappers.  It's the stuffing that counts right?



Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, February 15, 2016

Creamy Lemony Chicken Alfredo -



Right?  This was beyond delicious.  So delicious in fact I decided to make a post about this so I can literally recreate it!  I mean it was that good!

This little baby started off with leftovers.   Yes, you heard me right, leftovers.  Remember my Lemon Herb Chicken
Well, I had a little over 2 cups of chicken left along with those amazing juices, and about 2 cups of leftover broccoli.  So, what is a very frugal minded mom to do?  Incorporate it into a delicious casserole and serve it with a smile.  So I did!  Such and easy dish to put together, and it's weeknight friendly, SCORE!




Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
2 Cups of diced chicken (I used all white meat)
2 cups broccoli, cooked
1 jar Ragu - Classic Alfredo

 1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup half and half (can use milk)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese 
1 cup grated mozzeralla, cheddar cheese, colby jack etc.  *Whatever you have on hand*
Optional - 1/4 sliced green onions

Directions: 
-Boil your pasta of choice using manufacturer's directions and before draining, reserve 1 cup water.  Set aside.

-Using a 13 X 9 baking dish, spray with baking spray and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350F.

-In a medium mixing bowl, add your alfredo sauce, half & half, pecorino romano cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, your seasonings, and finally the water.  Whisk till all incorporated, taste for seasonings.

 
 -In another mixing bowl, add your diced chicken with all those amazing juices and add your broccoli, mix till evenly distributed.

 -Toss in your pasta, mix well and pour into your baking pan.



 -Pour your alfredo sauce over the chicken & pasta.  Using your spatula move the sides only of the pasta mix to ensure that the alfredo does go all the way to the bottom.  Don't mix, just pull the mixture away from the sides all the way around the pan.

-Sprinkle with your grated mozzeralla, cheddar etc. 



 -Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from oven, let stand for about 10 minutes.  

Scoop out and enjoy!  This is certainly a simple yet delicious revamping of leftovers that the whole family will love!




Till next time

Dishin with Didi

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lemon Herb Chicken


 

 Talk about "lemon goodness".  That is all I'm saying.  This is a "make ahead" dinner dish that you can use your leftovers for lunches and also easy dinner dish ideas as well.  Think "salads" of any kind, your favorite green that you add this amazing lemony goodnes to.  Then add feta cheese,  (my fav, so sorry, or a blue, maybe a nice sharp provolone or Fontina) - see where I am going with this?  How about tossed over pasta or rice for the week and top it with a side of your favorite veggie for dinner?
It is such a versatile healthy dish that can easily be adopted into a complete different leftover meal.  Trust me, I made one and it was as delicious and moist as the first day it came out of the oven!


 


 So you are going to ask me; "Didi, what is the difference from your lemon herb chicken versus what is found on the internet today"?  "Aha"!! 
The difference is I actually have my chicken slices go right back in to those amazing juices after cooking and slicing them. 
This produces "chicken slices" that are literally; "amazingly moist and just bursting with lemon flavor and are to die for".  All I'm saying...
 
Ready for this very simple recipe?

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:
3 Medium/Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
1 lemon sliced
2 tsp garlic powder (I really like not having to peel and dice garlic)
1 tsp onion powder 
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parley, diced fine
3 tbls extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
 -Preheat oven to 350F.

-Using pre-spray, coat your favorite baking dish and set aside.

-In a small bowl, add your dried herbs, salt & pepper, mix and set aside.

-Rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts.  Place in your baking dish breasts side down. 

-Pour your lemon juice along with lemon zest evenly on one side of the chicken breasts, turn over and evenly pour over the remaining juice and lemon zest.

-Season liberally with herb coating on both sides and finally add your 1tbls of olive oil to each breast.

-Cover with lid and bake for 35 minutes.  

-Juices will rise, remove lid, bake for another 10 minutes or so.

-Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

-After 10 minutes, remove chicken breasts from pan, and slice into bite site pieces.  Place directly back into the succulent juices into the baking dish.

-Moist, lemony herb goodness with each bite...



At least that is what "we do"!!  Being a "very busy working mom" is tough enough... 
Making homemade meals that are delicious all week, well, my sweet friends, that is necessary!!

Enjoy this awesome "Lemon Herb Chicken", I know we will.  
The leftovers will stretch my imagination...
Can't wait till I figure out what to do.
  
Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi