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!
These stuffed shells bring me back to my childhood. I don’t know how I have gone this long without making them myself. Growing up in an Italian household we typically celebrated holidays with some sort of pasta. With Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to offer a alternative to typical turkey and sides.
I personally will be celebrating Thanksgiving on a different day. Due to the nature of my day job I will be working on the actual holiday. This dish is for those of you that might be too busy to do a full on Thanksgiving meal, but still want something special. Each shell is stuffed with so much garlic, so much onion, so much mushroom, and so much sausage. Every bite will burst with flavor and ooey gooey cheese.
I finished the top with a little panko and fresh parm. Patrick does not liked baked pasta which is totally crazy to me but if you are one of these people feel free to eat these shells right out of the pan without baking. Still good. The cheese just isn’t melty enough for me.
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.
I know I know. Another FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE!? I promise this is different. You can swap the chicken out for white fish or shrimp, but we just happened to have chicken on hand. Did I mention that once a month I load up on every cut of chicken and beef I can find and freeze them all? It makes it easy to come up with different ways to cook when I have options. I usually buy my produce every few days and fish once a week, but the rest I buy in bulk for the freezer.
When I left for work I thought I was going to be making chicken pasta so I sat some chicken out to defrost. By the time I got home I was craaaaaving a po boy. We love ordering from Red Crawfish. They make these enormous po boys filled with fresh fish, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of yum yum sauce. I still had a bag of spicy fish fry left so I cut the chicken into strips and dipped them into a mix of flour and fish fry.
I want to start making my sub rolls from scratch, but until then I will continue to buy from the Kroger bakery. These rolls are just under 6 inches and have a beautiful crust with soft pillow-y interiors. They are perfect for these po boy sandwiches. I hollowed out the inside so I could pack in the filling without too much bread in the way.
Ramen is one of those super comforting foods that we turn to for an easy dinner. Long gone are the days when we fill our foam cups with water and wait for noodles to soften. While dressing up a ramen packet is not new to me, this is definitely a more sophisticated approach. I am lucky enough to live near several Asian farmers markets so some of these ingredients will be optional. Delicious either way. Yesterday we went to pick up some soybean paste (which I seriously cannot find in any other grocery store in our area!) and I was lost in the 3 aisles of noodles. Rice noodles, mung bean noodles, green bean noodles, wheat noodles, soba noodles, egg noodles… so many noodles everywhere! I went with a classic ramen noodle, but we purchased a few others for later experiments.
I started by slicing some sirloin steak very thin and browning it in my soup pot with a little vegetable oil. Removing the meat and setting it to the side I then browned some fresh chopped brussel sprouts. Again removing from the heat and setting to the side. I added onion and mushrooms let that saute then drizzled some soy sauce to deglaze my pan. Turning the heat down I poured in the beef stock. Mixing in the brown sugar and spices. I recommend using a beef stock cube or half a packet of beef ramen seasoning to really get a bold beefy flavor.
I make my noodles in a separate pot tossing them into the broth once they have softened. Then comes my favorite part! The eggs! I know a lot of recipes call for a soft boiled egg on top, but we like to add our eggs straight into the broth and let them poach in the beef seasoning. So wonderful!
I personally have never been to Nashville. It is definitely one of those trips on my bucket list. I always see the most amazing creations on instagram and other forms of social media. They typically stem from Nashville. This recipe is my version of hot fried chicken. Juicy bonless chicken thighs with a very thin salty crust made of panko crumbs and cornstarch. They are then tossed lightly in this amazing peppery hot sauce. I am pretending these are healthy since I removed the fat and skin…
I know what you are thinking. How many times do we eat fried chicken a week since I have at least 5 different fried chicken recipes. I promise we really only eat fried chicken maybe once a month. It is just really hard for me to make something the same way every time. There are so many variations in the food world, I feel obligated to try them all!
The biggest secret to what makes this recipe so great is the sauce. Instead of using butter and hot sauce which is my typical go to I tried something a little different. I started with some Louisiana hot sauce, added lots and lots of fresh cracked pepper and garlic powder. Then two spoonfuls of the chicken grease. This made the sauce a lot thinner and it was able to coat each piece of the chicken really well.
These egg sandwiches came into my life after I tried one of these voodoo kettle chips. Seriously, I went into the kitchen and started making myself some toast. Dave’s killer toast is my new favorite. It is packed full of grains and seeds, lower in carbs, and only 70 calories. Anyways, while I was waiting on the toaster I thought I would try just one of these voodoo kettle chips. I did not expected to fall in love immediately. I am not even much of a chip person! These chips are crunchy and packed with cajun bbq flavor! Since it would be silly to eat chips with my toast, I started pulling everything out of the fridge to find a reason to eat them.
I started with my toast then added a scrambled egg, pastrami, and colby jack cheese. Then I added my favorite deli mustard and zesty dill pickles. Originally I was just going to eat the chips on the side, but then I decided just to top my sandwich with them. SUCH. A. GOOD. IDEA. I’m a sucker for anything with a crunch and this was such a satisfying topper to the sandwich.
Zesty egg sandwich packed with traditional lunch goodies then topped with kettle chips!
2 slices of whole wheat bread (or your favorite)
Spicy deli mustard
2 slices of pastrami (or your favorite lunch meat)
1 slice of colby jack cheese
2 slices of zesty dill pickles
1 small tomato
a handful of kettle chips
Toast the bread.
Heat a sauce pan over medium low heat.
Add cooking spray or oil.
Cook the egg into a slow scramble.
Season with salt and pepper if you choose.
Slather the toasted bread with the deli mustard.
Add the egg, meat, cheese, pickles, and tomato.
Top with chips then smash down top slice of bread for optimum bite!
I know this seems like an embarrassingly simple recipe. Well, it is. But it is THAT good! When I was in elementary school my dad used to make me ham, cheese, hot sauce, and Doritos sandwiches. I blame him for this elevated version. Usually when I make myself weird meals I don’t share them with the world, but in this case I’m pretty sure everyone needs to start smashing some kettle chips on their breakfast sandwich!
These chicken thighs are the easiest Monday night recipe! This dish comes together in 30 minutes or less. No more Monday moody blues! Now you have this dish to look forward to! No one will ever know how fast you threw this meal together once they taste this sauce. The prosciutto and olives add a saltiness to this lemon cream sauce that mimics sauces that simmer for hours.
On Mondays I work a very late shift. Patrick always waits for me to eat so I have to get creative with our dinners. I need something that I can cook very quickly, but still has that great comfort food vibe. Usually I will save our pasta night for Monday since you can boil noodles in under 15 minutes.
You start out with boneless skinless chicken thighs tossed lightly in corn starch. In a saute pan I heat up a little olive oil and brown the chicken thighs. I cook them to about 95 % done. Then remove from the pan. Then all the remaining ingredients are tossed in the pan and cooked down before adding the chicken back in. I used angel hair because I think this cut of pasta soaks up the sauce a little better then some other cuts. This dish really is all about the sauce!
Crispy chicken thighs over angel hair pasta, smothered in a salty lemon cream sauce with olives and prosciutto.
1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ cup of corn starch
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ cup of marinated olives (or your favorite olive)
5 slices of prosciutto
¼ cup of cream
1 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper
4 servings of cooked pasta
Prepare pasta and strain.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
Toss chicken in the corn starch.
Tap off excess.
Brown the chicken in the sauce pan.
Cover to cook through. ( Takes about 10 minutes depending on how thick they are)
Remove the chicken.
Brown the prosciutto and garlic.
Add ½ cup of the chicken stock to the pan and turn up the heat.
Whisk or scrap the bottom to get everything up from the bottom of the pan.
Add the olives and lemon juice.
(If the chicken stock reduces down too quickly just add the remaining ½ cup)*
Lower the heat to medium low and add in the cream and stir.
Season with the paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the chicken back into the pan and cook until no longer pink.
Serve over pasta.
* I used 1 full cup of stock. I started with half a cup then after the stock cooked down and I scrapped all those beautiful brown bits up I felt like it was reducing too quick and added more. It is honestly your preference to how much sauce you want over the pasta.
Thanks for stopping by! I’m going to go recreate this again now. These pictures brought back too many memories :p
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!
Where we live there is a fantastic Asian restaurant on every corner. Korean BBQ, Hot Pot, Chinese dumplings, Pho- seriously everything you could dream of is within a 2 mile radius from our house. I wanted to try recreating a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle bowl that can be served within an hour. Honestly you can probably serve this in 30 minutes, but I wanted to have a very flavorful broth.
I started with a lean top round steak that I sliced very very thin. You can use any beef that you like, the more fat the more flavor. Since I was adding noodles to the dish I used a leaner beef to cut some calories. I marinated the sliced beef in soy sauce and garlic while my broth was simmering.
The broth starts with sauteing chopped onion and garlic. Then adding pureed ginger, sriracha sauce, and beef broth. Simmer until the broth begins to reduce then add the marinated beef. These bold flavors are so fragrant and spicy. My whole kitchen smelled so warm and cozy. Plus my favorite thing about rice noodles is the cook time. You just boil some water and pour it over the noodles. Letting them sit until soft and thickened.