Tag Archives: good leftovers

Broccoli Cheese Soup with Chicken

Depending on how long you’ve been following us this may look familiar. I posted this recipe almost a year ago in one of our first posts ever. Since our style has changed a bit since then and I never even showed a picture of it in the bowl, I figured I’d go ahead and share this with you again, or for the first time.

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Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

On Halloween night we changed up our usual chili recipes and made a white chicken chili. It was a nice change and the recipe could not be easier.  I don’t have any pictures of the process because there really wasn’t one. All of the ingredients went into the crock pot and the rest took care of itself!

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Deep Dish Lasagna

I love lasagna but I have found that making it in a traditional rectangular lasagna pan limits the amount of layers and fillings I can add. So I decided to try something different this time around and made my lasagna in a dutch oven. For those who do not have a dutch oven you could also use the ceramic pot of your crock pot as the vessel for this classic dish.

I started off by making my fillings for the lasagna. First I sauteed some onions and mushrooms and set those aside.

Another filler I typically add is sausage. For this dish I used hot Italian Sausage.

I just cook it up and try to break it down into small bite size pieces. Once it’s cooked through I drain it and set it aside as well.

The next filler is one of the most important- the ricotta cheese. To the ricotta I add an egg, freshly minced garlic, and my dried spices- typically salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper.

Once all the fillers are set it’s time to assemble everything. I cooked the pasta as the directions on the box specified (I used Dreamfields low carb pasta) and gathered tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella as well.

Then it’s really up to you how you want to layer everything. I always start of with a layer of sauce and then noodles.

Here you get a sense of the depth of this pot.

I trimmed my pasta so it would fit in here. Obviously with the round dish it’s a bit more challenging, but it worked out just fine.

I sort of freestyle the rest of the layers- ricotta, sauce, pasta. Sausage, sauce, pasta. Mushrooms and onions, sauce, pasta… you get the idea. Go until you reach the top or you run out of ingredients! I topped it all with some shredded mozzarella.

The next step is to bake it. What I also loved about using the dutch oven was that I could cover it using the lid. In the past when I used the lasagna pan I would cover it with tin foil and since I would fill the pan to the top the cheese would always melt and stick to the tin foil. When I would take the foil off, half of the cheese would come off too. By using the lid here I was able to avoid that mess.

I baked it for about 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees and took the lid off for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted it’s done. Its tough to do this, but if you can let it rest for a good 15 minutes before you cut it. Easier said than done though! 

It came out great. You can see all the layers below.

It takes a while to prep this dish but as you can probably guess you will have leftovers for days. Leftover Italian dishes always taste better than the first night too! I hope you like this one.

– Eileen

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad

We were heading to a family Labor Day cookout and decided on this cold sesame noodle salad.  I guess it’s not the most American dish for Labor Day, but it worked out just fine.

Cook the noodles and run them under cool water.  Then toss with sesame oil and set aside until the sauce is ready.  The sauce was a blended combination of many ingredients that was then tossed with the cool noodles.

The base seasonings headed for the blender

Can be a little fluffy at first but will settle

These did not go into the blender, but were tossed with the noodles and sauce.

Noodles with chopped vegetables waiting for the sauce

Sauce is here!

Once the sauce is prepared, veggies are chopped, and noodles are cooked and cooled, combine all ingredients and chill before serving.

The colder the better

Directions for Cold Sesame Noodle Salad

Greg

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

This is an interpretation of burgers and wings and most importantly, buffalo and blue cheese flavors!  This was inspired by our friend Matt that brought buffalo chicken burgers to a cookout a while back.  He got the idea from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I took the basic idea and added some flavors that we have enjoyed with this combo.

Start with ground chicken.

These are made in the same fashion as regular burgers but with a few different ingredients.

Garlic Parmesan buffalo sauce was a key ingredient that was mixed into the burgers and I also reserved some as a topping sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Get those hands dirty and mix up the meat and form the patties.

Patti Mayonnaise

I prepped the rosemary potatoes and threw them on the top shelf of the grill for about a half an hour before starting the burgers.  It was just foil wrapped redskin potatoes with rosemary, garlic, onion, banana peppers, salt, and pepper, and oil.

Be sure to wrap it well in 2-3 layers of foil.

Ready for battle

About 45 minutes on the grill

Grill the burgers up as you normally would.  Be sure that the grill is well oiled as the chicken has more of a tendency to stick and come apart a bit.

A key component of any buffalo dish is the blue cheese.  Nothing beats a good garlicky homemade blue cheese dressing!

So simple and so great!

Great as a dip, dressing, topping

The final product minus the sauces

Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing

Greg


Slow Smoked Brisket with Horseradish Sauce and Broccoli Slaw

This is our first Kittened dish in Pittsburgh and we have been discovering that food is very cheap.  This was a 9lb cut of brisket for $30, and that was not a sale.  Plenty more to come on the great deals found.  I smoked this similarly to the pork shoulder a bit back.  Slow cooked over indirect heat, but this time it was cooked as the debut dish on our new charcoal grill that we got for our wedding (thanks Mo and Stosh).

First to prep the rub

Started with a quick made rub.

Yeah, $30!

As similar to the pork, I started the grill with a large pile of charcoal and once it was ashed and ready, it was moved and kept to one side.  I also used a store bought foil baking dish as a drip tray below the meat to limit the mess and possible flare up.

The grill will never look like this again.

Opposite the coals

Now a lot of waiting.  The grill was covered with the below air intake about halfway open and the lid air intake also about halfway open.  The lid intake was placed over the meat, opposite the coals so that the heat and smoke are forced to go around the meat in order to escape.  The brisket cooked for about 5 hours total.  Here is is about halfway through.  I turned it about every hour to alternate the side facing the heat.

About 3 hours in.

And after all five hours.

Allow the meat to sit for 15 minutes or so before slicing and always slice against the grain.  It would be great to have a deli slicer here, but that is a bit excessive!

Patient, patient

Hey guys, Eileen here. I am going to fill you in on the sides, which I was responsible for making.

In addition to the brisket, we served a simple horseradish sauce from all recipes (sorry, no pictures of it) and a broccoli slaw from Smitten Kitchen. I have made this broccoli slaw once before for a cook out and people seemed to like it. I decided to make it again, figuring it would be a nice complement to the meat and tangy horseradish sauce.

First, I made the dressing for the slaw, which is composed of buttermilk, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and shallots.

Give it a good whisk and set aside.

Next, it is time for the broccoli. I used the slicing blade on my food processor to cut the broccoli for me. This method is a major time saver and produces pretty uniform slices of broccoli. Here it is pictured with chopped red onion as well.

To this, I added dried cranberries and sliced almonds and eventually the dressing.

Give it all a good stir and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

It’s a great slaw and a bit different than your typical cabbage slaw. If you are looking for something new to have or bring to an event this could be it! The crunch of the broccoli with the tartness of the cranberries and the sharpness of the red onion are all tamed by the buttermilk sauce. It was a great compliment to the brisket too!

All in all, this meal was delicious! We were very happy with the final product and our guests seemed to be too.

Brisket Dry Rub Recipe

Crab Pesto Grilled Pizza

Yes another crab dish and I think that this may have been the best one yet.  We had a hankering for some pizza and being that we live in Maryland, making your own pizza is the only option.  So we stopped at Marchone’s Italian Market in Wheaton and grabbed a frozen dough ball.

A thorough thaw is very important

This was about 2 hours of thawing and the dough had expanded to about twice the original size.

Thoroughly thawed and ready to work with

If the dough is not thawed to room temperature, it will be very difficult to work with which I have learned from experience.  At the same time, you can’t work with the dough too much and remember that flour is your friend!

I rolled the dough out to the desired size while the grill was heating up.  Once the dough and grill are ready, give the top of the dough a thorough spray of oil.  You will then put the dough on the grill otherwise plain.

Straight on the grate oil side down and plain

Leave the dough on for about 3-5 minutes.  Just until the down side is lightly browned and basically firm enough to pick the whole piece up without folding and flopping like raw dough.

We need a new grill!

The bottom of this piece is uncooked.  The top would look better if we had a better grill that cooked evenly(grill companies we are looking for a sponsor!).  When we move, the gas grill is not coming.  The grill doesn’t know that, but I guess once this is published the news will be out.

Now it is time to dress the pizza with your toppings as you normally would and then throw it back on the grill.  Instead of a red sauce we used a pesto base.

Summer basil is great

Next we used some more of the famous leftover crab which was starting to run low.  Note that this was published well after the dish was made and we did not keep fresh crab in the fridge for 3 weeks.

We were able to be pretty generous with the crab since we had so much.  This was almost but not quite a pound.

Cheese it up

We used a store bought Italian blend.

Fresh tomatoes

We love fresh tomato slices on pizza.  Now it is ready to go back on the grill for a little longer than the plain dough.

Close the lid, which will help to melt the cheese.  I gave it a few turns because of our extremely uneven grill as you can see the full blast flame or no flame options.  It would be a good idea to give it a spin either way though.  This stage will take closer to 7-9 minutes to melt the cheese and cook the pizza through.

Summer basil again

It turned out great!  Slice it up, cheese it up, and go to town!

Recipe for Standard Pesto with Walnut

Greg

(Since I have been begun posting over the last month, we will start to tag our posts)

Thai Peanut Stir Fry with Skirt Steak

When we made the pork and peach spring rolls we also made a delicious peanut sauce to dip the spring rolls in. I intentionally made a lot of the sauce because it is that good and I knew I would want to use it in another dish. Alas, here is what I came up with!  The peanut sauce was made in advance and stored for about 2-3 days before I made this.

I started off with some onion, which I sauteed in some toasted sesame oil. I kept the onion pieces pretty big as you can see- I guess they were technically quarters. Typically I add my aromatics (garlic, ginger, etc) once the onions cook for a few minutes, however, this step was not needed here because the peanut sauce already includes these ingredients.

Next, I added some carrots.

And then some spinach.

Time for the peanut sauce! I thinned it out using some chicken broth.

I blanched some broccoli and then added it to the mix.

For my protein I used skirt steak. I went to Whole Foods for lunch and they were giving out samples of their skirt steaks, which were also on sale. One bite and I was sold. It worked really well in this dish too!

I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper and grilled it. When it was ready I sliced it up and threw it in with the veggies and sauce. This dish really came together nicely- I give a lot of credit to the peanut sauce. As I mentioned it packed a ton of flavor, so for this dish it was really just a matter of putting it all together.

I wanted a more broth like sauce, so I thinned it out to my liking, but you can easily adjust this depending on your taste.  I ate it as is, but I am sure it would be great over rice or some thin rice noodles. It was also great leftover.

And this was going on while I was cooking! So starving!

All in all, I thought this came out great. See our post about the spring rolls for the link to the peanut sauce recipe!

– Eileen

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

 

Pulled Pork

Pork butt also known as Boston butt (not Bill Belichick) was on sale at Harris Teeter for .99 cents a pound which made this 8 pounder quite a deal.  I wanted to slow cook it since it was summer and I had the time, but didn’t want to slow cook it for 14 hours.  I did a bit of an in between method using indirect heat.  First I got the grill started before I prepped the pork.

 

Keeping all of the heat to one side

I put down a base of charcoal and a few small logs on top as added fuel and to get a smoky flavor.  I kept all of these to one side and started them up planning to put the pork on in about a half an hour.

In the meantime, I prepared the pork.

 

Fat jackets are gross, but necessary for flavor and tenderness

There was a bone in the meat

Next I took about 8 cloves of garlic and cut them in half.  Then I cut small slits throughout the meat and put the garlic in, making sure it was deep enough that it could not be seen.

You wouldn't know it, but there is a lot of garlic in there

Next I prepared a dry rub by combining some dry seasonings.  I prefer doing this over using a store bought one as they are often packed with sugar and or can be way too salty.

 

Just pick what you like and mix it up

Then I thoroughly covered the pork on all sides.

Next onto the cooking.  The coals were white and ashed over and the wood was burning and smoking well.  I opened the bottom air intake of the grill about half way and placed the pork on the grate on the opposite side of the heat so that there was nothing underneath it.

 

The flames will die down when covered but will still be plenty hot

I then covered the grill putting the top air intake over the meat and opening it about halfway also.  This makes the smoke and heat travel over and around the pork in order to escape out of the top.  Opening the intakes up halfway gives the flames enough air to be hot and continue to burn.  To truly slow cook it, you would have barely opened the air valves, but it again would take twice as long (up to 8 hours 0r more).  This is what I meant by using a hybrid method that was still slow (about 5 hours), but not the typical slow cooking process.

After about 2 hours, I opened the grill up and took the whole grate, pork and all, off and placed it aside.  I stirred up the coals, got rid of some of the spent ash, and added a few more coals and small pieces of wood.  Then I turned the pork so that the other side of it was facing the heat source.  It was looking great already and could have probably been eaten, but it would not have been very tender.

 

After about 2 hours of indirect smoking

This was also going on during the process which really helped. The site's namesake!

I let the charcoal and wood heat back up uncovered for about 10 minutes then put the flipped pork back on.  I checked it in about an hour and flipped it around again, and the same in another hour.

Because the temperature was close enough to what I had wanted it to be and it was getting late, I took the meat off after about 4.5 hours of total cooking time.  This method also uses the fuel very efficiently as the coals could have gone for another few hours.

 

Got to about 205 degress at its highest

Government official numbers say to cook the pork to 160-170 degrees, but when slow cooking it like this, you want to get it closer to 200 for the tenderness.  This was tender and did come apart pretty easily, but also could have gone for another hour or a little less.  Towards some of the bone, the meat was not as uniformly tender, but was still tender enough.

 

Finally ready to come off the grill

I let the pork rest for a bit so that it could be handled.  The fat jacket came right off and many other visible fat pockets were easy to remove, though some people(southerners) would keep most of them for the extra flavor.

In the meantime, I cut up some cauliflower and covered it in vinegar and mustard before grilling.  I wanted something tart to contrast the pork and this easy mixture did that well.

 

Threw it in the grill basket for about 30-40 minutes

Once the pork was cool enough to handle, I shredded it with two large forks which was pretty easy except for a bit around the bone as mentioned.  The smoky flavor and rub had really penetrated throughout and there were pockets of stronger garlic flavor than others which I considered prizes.

 

Pulled Pork

We put the pork in a bowl with some cauliflower and ate some plain and ate some with a bit of BBQ sauce.

 

Was good enough plain

BBQ sauce is good too.

It was great and I am really pleased at how it turned out.  It could have been enjoyed on buns or with slaw or many other ways.  As you may have noticed, we do not know how to cook for 2 people and base our portions on a family of 8 which means that there were tons of leftovers which you will see some uses of in the coming days.  This may sound difficult, but really was not and also did not require a lot of attention.  Don’t put it on and go to the store, but is easy to set up and entertain while the magic happens.

 

Recipe for Pulled Pork Dry Rub

Chicken Piccata

My sister sent me this recipe for chicken piccata almost two years ago and  Greg and I been loving it ever since. It ‘s certainly a basic version, but it’s  a nice easy to follow recipe and tastes great. I’ve served it with different sides in the past, including pasta, rice and veggies. Rice is probably the best as it soaks up the delicious lemony sauce. For this go round however I served the chicken with some steamed broccoli (another good sauce absorber),  squash and zucchini.

The ingredients include olive oil, chicken (of course), chicken stock, lemon juice, butter, capers and flour ( not pictured). I actually experimented a bit and substituted almond flour for traditional all-purpose flour. Almond flour/meal has more fiber and less carbohydrates than regular flour and worked pretty well in this dish.

I purchased chicken breasts that were already sliced thin. If you are using regular chicken breasts you can slice them in half and pound them out. This is a bit easier if the chicken is still semi-frozen or if you buy it fresh, you can put it in the freezer for a few minutes to make it easier to slice.

The next step is to coat each chicken piece with flour.

Then get your butter and olive oil going in a pan and begin to cook the chicken. Since the pieces are pretty thin they do not need much time, maybe 2-3 minutes per side.

As each piece of chicken finishes cooking just set them aside. Once all of the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, add the chicken broth and lemon juice to make your sauce. Let the sauce get up to a boil, then turn it down to simmer and reduce. Once the sauce is nearly finished you can add capers (this was not part of the original recipe) if you’d like. Then dip each piece of chicken into the sauce, coating it completely. Plate the chicken and pour sauce over top or serve in a gravy boat.

Some pre-sauce shots:

and after the saucing… (I covered the veggies in the sauce too!)

I hope your enjoy this one!

Recipe for Chicken Piccata (courtesy of my sister)