I have always had this weird obsession with paellas. They are so bold and bright with deep flavors. One of the reasons I believe they are often forgotten is the hefty price tag associated with the dish. Saffron is one of the most common ingredients found in paella. This spice is usually around $15 for a handful. While I LOVE saffron I decided to trade it out for smoked paprika. You will still get a bold flavor and instead of the rich yellow or orange the paprika turns the rice a deep red.
Another easy swap is using andouille sausage over the typical cured Spanish chorizo. When you pan fry the andouille you still get a ton of flavor to develop in a short amount of time. I love sauteing my veggies with the fried sausage to really add depth to every bite.
My grocery store does not have paella rice ready available so I switched it for arborio rice. Arborio rice is just tiny enough to soak up every little bit of broth. I actually kept adding extra broth to make sure I still had a little sauce for my bread. I skipped out on the mussels just because those are not my personal favorite. You can definitely add a few in at the end. Boneless skinless chicken thighs and shrimp are what I look forward to in a paella. Both of these proteins usually have great prices in my area especially if you have a Sprouts farmers market near by.
While I do believe an authentic paella taste is extremely hard to replicate without saffron- this affordable version is just as soul satisfying to me. It is such a beautiful dish and packed full of flavor. Honestly this came together so quickly as well. If you are looking to impress on a budget, this is the recipe to make!
An easy way to impress with bold colors and flavors in this affordable paella.
1 pound of chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of smoked paprika
2 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of red pepper
salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of stewed fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 cups of chicken broth
fully cooked sliced andouille sausage
1 pound of shrimp shelled with tails on
1½ cups of arborio rice
½ cup chopped parsley
Heat a large paella pan or saute pan over medium heat.
Add the olive oil.
Add chopped onion and sausage.
Fry until onions begin to be slightly translucent and the edges of the sausage starts to brown.
Remove the sausage and set to the side.
Add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
Add garlic and rice.
Season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper and chili powder.
Add in the stewed tomatoes and stir until all the rice is covered.
Pour the broth over the top and stir into the rice.
Bring to a boil.
Lower to medium low heat.
Add the sausage back in then cover.
Cook for about 10 minutes.
If your broth evaporates before the rice is done just add a little more on top.
The important part is to make sure you do not stir the rice at all.
When the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes) add the shrimp on top.
Salt and pepper then cover.
When all the liquid has absorbed and you start to hear a little crackling the rice is done.
If you are unsure then just test the rice to make sure it has finished.
Sprinkle with parsley and squeeze a little lemon over the top.
I finish mine with Tabasco!
I know this is going to be one of my go to recipes this summer. Even Patrick’s kids ate their entire bowls! I don’t think this dish is too spicy. You can always omit the red pepper. I love the heat so I added lots of hot sauce to my bowl 🙂
Let me know if you try this recipe! I know you will love it!
Happy Thursday everyone! We made this dish a few weeks ago after going to the mall. You know when you are trying to zoom through the food court so you don’t get suckered into buying a slice of pizza, a philly cheesesteak, and a pile of orange chicken to go? We almost made it to the door and we were stopped by a man handing out teriyaki chicken samples. Noooooooo. It took everything inside me not to turn around and order a plate full of that chicken. So tender and sweet with perfect browned bits on each piece.
I used chicken thighs to make sure the chicken would soak up all the flavors and not dry out. You can easily swap the jasmine rice out for more broccoli or zucchini slices. The recipe does contain soy sauce and brown sugar, but I think both ingredients are crucial to get that really smooth sweet glaze.
After trying this chicken I promise it will be so much easier to walk past the food court! It only takes about 30 minutes and I think it is just as delicious! Did I mention this dish is also kid approved?
Every year I make an herb stuffed turkey. This year we wanted to try something a little different. We have been trying out so many cajun recipes lately and thought we would spice up our normal Thanksgiving routine.
I confess I did buy one of those little cajun spice injector kits, but the seasoning for the crust is really what takes it over the top! I made a 12 pound turkey so we would have lots of left overs for the busy weekend ahead. This meat pair perfectly with whole wheat bread and all the fixings for a turkey sandwich!
The skin came out perfect due to the cooking technique. Crank up the heat to 420 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered then lower the heat to 350 for the remaining 2.5 hours and cook with a layer of foil over the top.
Now lets talk about the stuffing. I almost always use my mom’s stuffing recipe. Fulled with fresh tart cranberry, spicy sausage and lots of veggies. To go along with the theme I skipped the cranberries and used andouille sausage over my usual ground sausage. This would be perfect on a serving platter stuffed into the turkey once both dishes are fully cooked. It is hard for me to ever say stuffing is “beautiful” but it sure is tasty!
I have been craving a plate of nachos lately. Unfortunately, Patrick is not a big fan of tortilla chips so I am always trying to come up with a new spin on nachos. Homemade nacho cheese is what makes this fantastic burger. Fresh garlic and jalapenos sauteed before adding in sharp cheddar and monteray jack.
The hardest part about making burgers on the stove top is not drying them out. To be honest I am usually so focused on flavor I forget about the cook time on the burgers. When I told Patrick what I was making he actually cringed a little clearly remembering my well done burgers from last time. Oops! This time I am focused! These came out a perfect medium rare which is so important since we are using a very lean cut of meat.
I used a blend of my favorite spices: smoked paprika, fresh cracked sea salt, white pepper, garlic and onion. Yes I definitely satisfied my nacho craving with these! Feel free to reduce the recipe. We ended up sharing one burger since they were so massive.
Spicy chili is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is super simple and there are always left overs. Chili leftovers are perfect for next day omelets or hashbrowns. This chili has a little bit of a twist. I usually like a more traditional borderline Italian chili. This time I changed it up and went heavy on Mexican spices. I started with lean ground beef then picked up some thinly sliced steak with light marbling. Think fajita cuts.
Layers of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, fresh garlic, fresh cracked pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper and fresh onion all meld together with the fats from the meat and create the best base for this spicy chili. How spicy is obviously up to you. I love my chili to be nearly on fire! I know this is going to be one of my go to meals this fall/winter. I serve mine with a crusty piece of baguette, but crackers would be equally delicious.
Layers of smoky spices, lean cuts of beef, juicy tomatoes and red beans come together to make this amazing Mexican chili.
½ pound of lean ground beef
½ pound of thinly sliced steak (fajita beef)
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic
1 can of light red kidney beans rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
¼ cup of tomato paste
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
salt to taste
fresh cracked pepper
2 cups of beef or chicken broth
¼ cup of hot sauce
In a large soup pot heat a couple tbsps of olive oil.
Cook the chopped onion and garlic until translucent.
Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.
Add in the spices.
Let cook for another 5 minutes or so until the meat is thoroughly coated.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock.
Add the beans.
Let cook for the next 1 hour on low.
Stir every 15 minutes or so.
Add in the hot sauce, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Cook an additional 15 minutes.
The longer you cook this chili the better, but everything is done within the first hour. We are late eaters so I usually start this around 5 and let it cook over low for a few hours until we are ready to eat. This would also be great without the beans. I personally love the texture with the beans. I top mine with extra hot sauce, cheddar and sour cream. Patrick likes sour cream and chopped green onion. You can even trade out the sour cream for Greek yogurt! Yum!
I hope you try this recipe! Tag #kelliericecakes if you do!
A few weeks ago we went to Tybee Island for the weekend and we stopped at the most amazing restaurant on the beach. Patrick and I have always been very fond of hole in the wall type restaurants. Places where the owner is usually on site talking to the guests and all the pictures on the wall are family photos. After a day on the beach in the sun and wind we were starving. We weren’t planning on dinner for a few hours so we started searching the island for a place to have a snack. We found a really tiny beach “shack” with a large patio. We ordered a platter of shrimp and fried fish to share with a side of home made tartar sauce. I don’t know if it was the beach air, the long car ride, or if these truly were the greatest bites of fish and shrimp that I have eaten.
My goal was to try and recreate those fun beach memories with my own fish fry. My batter is not quite as light as the batter I had that weekend on the beach, but it is so delicious. The spicy crunch of the batter with the tender shrimp and fish on the inside. A squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of salt and you are set for an amazing meal.
The true star of the meal is this tartar sauce. I have never really had tartar sauce with my fish in the past, but after trying it at the beach and Patrick raving about it I knew I needed to try. I am pretty impressed with my first try. If you do not like a super tart tarter sauce skip the lemon. I think I would have liked the sauce more if I had just left the fresh lemon on my fish and not added it to the sauce too.
I might have had chicken in every meal for the past 7 days straight. I can’t help myself. Chicken has been on sale at the local grocery store all month and my freezer is packed full of different cuts. Thighs with skin, boneless thighs without skin, breast, tenders, thin cutlets… the list goes on. I am proud to say that I haven’t been bored yet. Some how each dinner gets more creative than the last.
1 russet potato cut into wedges or thin even sticks
3 cups of canola oil for frying
monterey jack cheese
1 cup of ranch dressing
1 cup of hot sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp of butter
1 cup of lettuce chopped
small flour tortillas
In a large bag add in the flour, panko, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika
Toss in the chicken and coat evenly
In a bowl mix the eggs and milk
Add in the chicken
Move the chicken back into the bag of flour mix
Toss again to coat evenly
Fry in the canola oil until cooked to 165 degrees
drain on a paper towel
In a sautee pan heat the hot sauce, garlic, and butter
Toss the chicken in the sauce
Cook the potatoes in the oil until golden brown
Season with salt and let rest on paper towel
To assemble start with the tortillas
Sprinkle the cheese over the tortillas
Add chicken and fries
Top with lettuce and ranch
These buffalo chicken tacos are so cheesy and spicy. Layers of monterey jack, crispy fried chicken, garlicy buffalo sauce, hand cut fries, ranch, and lettuce all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. It is definitely one of my new favorite combos. I am pretty sure I am obsessed with fries stuffed into any taco or burrito.
Obviously you can customize these fries to your liking, but I like mine fully cooked and slightly soggy. I know that sounds crazy, but it just makes it so easy for them to soak up the hot sauce.
Tacos are so versatile. You can change up almost any ingredients and just wrap up in a tortilla. Buffalo chicken just happens to be one of my personal favorite fillings!
I have been dying to make a chimichurri sauce ever since my mom send me a new food processor. Seriously, the most handy device in the kitchen. Most of the sauces chimichurri sauces I love are amazing straight from the processor. This sauce I brushed onto the kabobs as they grilled. The result was perfectly juicy chicken and veggies with crispy edges. This meal can be prepared in around 20 minutes! It is so fast and flavorful!
Side note- Patrick and I found this tiny restaurant tucked away on a back road Sunday. The menu was a mix of Korean flavors with a Mexican twist. Korean BBQ tacos with freshly pickled jalapenos and cabbage slaw tossed in a light vinaigrette. They served a side of double fried french fries seasoned with sesame oil and lemon pepper. Such a great find! Last Friday we took the kids to the food truck friday event down town and shared some of the most amazing treats. My favorite indulgence was a homemade biscuit topped with buttermilk fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, bacon jam and fresh pimento cheese. I cannot even describe how amazing each bite was. Fluffy buttery biscuit with crunchy tomato and juicy chicken. I see many more food truck visits in my future!
20 Minute Tuesdays : Chicken Kabobs With Fresh Jalapeno Chimichurri
Recipe type: Chicken, Kabobs
Juicy chicken kabobs brushed with fresh jalapeno chimichurri.
1 pound of chicken breast
1 red bell pepper
½ of a white onion
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 sprig of fresh oregano
2 tbsp of olive oil
½ stick of melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 fresh jalapeno
1 bag of mini red potatoes
I use a charcoal grill, but preheat any grill you have available.
Quick tip for cooking potatoes fast- dump potatoes in a tupperware. Poke a few holes in each. Set the lid on top, but do not seal the entire way. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Set to the side to cool slightly.
Cut chicken, onion and pepper into even chunks. Slide onto a kabob skewer. I prefer metal.
On a separate skewer add all the potatoes.
In a food processor blend herbs, spices olive oil, jalapeno and butter.
Lay the skewers on the grill and brush the chimichurri onto the meat and veggies.
Cook on each side for 10 minutes.
Brushing extra chimichurri as you flip.
Cook until chicken temp reaches 165 degrees.
If you want something a little extra smash all the potatoes with a fork when you remove them from the grill. Top with garlic powder, cracked pepper and cheddar cheese.
I am pretty sure I will make this meal a few times a week. It was so amazing. Light and healthy, yet filling!
Banh Mi is widely known in my neighborhood. There are at least 5 restaurants within a mile of my house that specialize in these Vietnamese sandwiches. They are traditionally loaded with pork belly, head cheese, jalapenos, and fresh veggies. I wanted to take something traditional and make it my own. Something bursting with Asian flavors while also comforting.
I used chopped garlic, ginger, lemongrass, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chilis to make my pork. It created the most tender mouth watering meat. The crock pot is really your best friend here. It allowed me to use a leaner cut of pork without losing flavor.
Fresh bread is crucial to making a good sandwich. Something with a crunchy crust and light fluffy center. Baguettes are a great option because the soft insides soak up the juices from the meat and the crust holds everything together. I stir fried some red and green peppers with mushrooms, soy sauce and fresh garlic. Then I loaded the whole thing up with plenty of sriracha!
Chicken thighs can always be found in our kitchen. Boneless, skinless or bone-in. We do not discriminate! Thigh meat is so much more forgiving when compared to chicken breast. The meat stays so juicy and tender.
And these potatoes! O. M. G. They have a nice crispy skin with a fluffy center. They are perfect with these chicken thighs.
Chicken thighs are also incredibly versatile. We make them in so many different marinades. Today I wanted to try something different. I picked up some lemongrass puree over the weekend and I have been dying to use it in a marinade. These thighs have a crisp skin and really tender meat.
Crispy Spicy Lemon Grass Chicken Thighs With Pan Seared Potatoes
Recipe type: Poultry
Crispy chicken thighs with a spicy lemon grass marinade.
For The Chicken-
Bone-in chicken thighs
1 tbsp pureed lemon grass
3 cloves of vodka chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sriracha
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
For The Potatoes-
2 large russet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
For The Chicken-
Mix together all the ingredients for the chicken and marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 or set up a grill. (I use a charcoal grill)
I grilled on each side for 15 minutes.
Grill the thighs until internal temperature is 165.
For The Potatoes-
Slice the potatoes about ½ inch thick.
Place them in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender.
Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add olive oil.
Sear the potatoes until golden brown.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Squeeze fresh lemon to finish.
You can swap the potatoes for fresh greens and make it a low carb meal! These chicken thighs are always a hit in our house. So fast and easy. I love the twist with the lemon grass and ginger. The thighs came out so light and fresh while the potatoes were salty and crisp!
Please please say you will make these! They will be your new summer best friends!