Tag Archives: garlic

Chicken Salad with Greens

I apologize for the lack of posting in the last week.  Unfortunately, we caught the flu that has been lurking around, and there hasn’t been much cooking in this kitchen.  But we’re all better now and excited to share some delicious meals.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I like to make our own vegetable and chicken stock.  It’s healthier- you know what ingredients you’re putting in, especially the amount of salt.  Throughout the month I save odds and ends of various vegetables, and add them to a bag in the freezer.  Using up these scarps (asparagus ends, broccoli stems, celery ends or parsley) also helps with less garbage, and better use of all of your groceries.  The broth or stock is then frozen, and can be defrosted any time we need it for soups.

My favorite part is actually taking the chicken meat, and making something with it.  The last time I posted a recipe like this it was the Indian Chicken Soup, which is a top 3 most viewed post on this blog.  To make the Indian Chicken Soup, or this Chicken Salad, you can also use cooked chicken breasts or leftover rotisserie chicken.

This is a perfect recipe for an easy lunch, or dinner.  And with the weather getting nicer by the day (spring, where are you?!?) hopefully you’ll be attending cookouts and get together with friends soon enough.  Eat it with a fork, or enjoy it between two slices of fresh bread.  It’s light, refreshing and it’s got a little crunch.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad with Greens
A Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

4 cups of shredded chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup green peas
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add all of the ingredients into a large bowl, then stir together.  Taste test if the salad is wet enough for you, if not add a little more mayo/yogurt mixture.  Also, check on the salt and pepper amounts if they are to your liking.

*The wetness and salt amounts will differ on what kind of chicken you’re using- rotisserie or fresh, or one that has been used to make broth.

Food Matters Project #34: Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce

It’s another Monday post of the Food Matters Project.  This week we’re hosting the recipe, and have chosen Mark Bittman’s Brown Rice and Lamb Burgers with Spinach, from The Food Matters Cookbook.

To catch up all of our readers, we joined the Food Matters Project with these fellow bloggers last winter.  Each week we have a new host, who chooses a recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  The recipes are your own interpretation, and it’s great to see the creativity from all of the blogging participants.  To read more about the project, check out the web site here, and this is our schedule.  We’d love to have you join in!

Sam and I had hosted one dish so far on Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Almost exactly a year ago we hosted the Vegetables au Vin with Coq.  If you’d like to see the rest of our recipe interpretations, check out this list.

To host our 2nd recipe we chose another delicious one, although as always, we did make some changes.  As you all know, we recently moved from a condo to a house.  One of the bigger changes (aside from having more space and a bigger kitchen), is that we can finally have a grill!  Our fantastic realtor, Peter Raia, got us a wonderful housewarming gift- a new grill! What perfect timing to enjoy a burger, especially since yesterday DC had amazing weather- sunny and in the 60′s!

Tzatziki Sauce

How did we change the recipe from Mark Bittman’s original?  First, we added a tzatziki sauce, rather than using feta cheese.  We also used less rice (he had 1 cup) and more onion (1 whole one).  The biggest change is he did not use burger buns as we did, instead he placed each burger on the bed of spinach (and more of it, 1 lb).  Check out what creative ideas other bloggers came up with here.

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Inspired & Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook

Servings: 4 patties

Tzatziki Sauce
16 oz plain Greek yogurt
9 sprigs of mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 cucumber, peeled

Spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Burger Patties
1 1/4 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup cooked rice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

4 burger buns

To make the tzatziki sauce, blend together the Greek yogurt, mint, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Also add in 3/4 of the cucumber and puree it.  Scoop out the tzatziki sauce into a bowl.  Chop the remaining 1/4 cucumber, and add it into the bowl, stir.  The sauce can be made ahead of time, and actually tastes great when it’s served cold.

To make the spinach, add the olive oil to a large skillet and allow to heat up.  Once the olive oil is hot, then add the spinach to the pan.  Stir occasionally until the spinach begins to soften and wilt, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan.

To make the burgers, mix the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: ground lamb, cooked rice, garlic, red onion, cumin, sumac, salt, and pepper.  Mix the ingredients together and form 4 patties.  These can be made ahead of time, or be added onto a grill right away.  Grill to 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on your preference of cooked meat.  If you do not have a grill, you can still make these on a skilled over medium-high heat, cooking the patties for about the same time until they are cooked through.

To make the burgers, place some spinach on the bun, then the burger patty.  Lastly, drizzle with tzatziki sauce.  Feel free to add tomato or onion slices.  Enjoy!

Food Matters Project #31: Polenta with Mushroooms

It’s another Food Matters Project post!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Sandra, of Meadows Cooks.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she had chosen the recipe for Polenta Cakes with Garlicky Mushrooms.  Check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.  For the original recipe, check out Sandra’s post.

Sam and I have been trying to clean out (and by that I mean eat everything) from our pantry, freezer and fridge.  It’s a good way to start 2013- with some organization!  So when I read the recipe and didn’t have all of the ingredients, I decided to use what I did have.  Fortunately, Mark Bittman’s recipes are flexible and forgiving!  The only problem is, the recipe might just not turn out like you had thought.

As you check out everyone else’s posts, you’ll see that everyone has polenta cakes.  Unfortunately, ours did not settle and harden.  So we were left with just polenta- but that did not stop us from eating it.  So this version is slightly different than the original recipe, but I think it’s equally delicious and worth a try!

Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta with Mushrooms
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook & Honest Fare

Polenta:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 shallots, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mushroom Topping:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 bacon strips
1/4 red onion, chopped
10-15 mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the mushrooms and shallots.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, next add in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Then remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat 4 cups of water until it is boiling.  Lower the heat and add the corn meal, while stirring so no clumps form.  Continue to stir the corn meal until it creamy and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the salt, pepper and mozzarella cheese.  Continue to cook and stir for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.  Add in the mushroom mixture, stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, then add in the bacon strips.  Allow them to cook until they are crisp.  Remove them from heat, and set aside.  Once cooled, chop the bacon into smaller pieces

In the olive oil and bacon grease, heat the onions, mushrooms and jalapeño for about 5 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and toss in the chopped bacon.

Pour the cooked polenta (corn meal) into a bowl, top with the mushroom topping, and serve.

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar

Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!).  First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.

As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes.  Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make.  Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!

Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work.  The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used.  With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!

Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!

Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories

You can use lamb, beef or tofu crumbles- all would be great with this dish.  If there are other veggies you’d like to add in here, definitely do- we stuck with the traditional version the first time around.

3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them.  In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer).  Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.

First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars.  Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).

The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

Food Matters Project #27: Summer Tabbouleh Salad

It’s another Food Matters Project recipe!  This weeks host is Sarah from Simply Whole Kitchen.  From the Food Matter Cookbook, she chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh.  Check out Sarah’s version, and what everyone else had made!

Mark Bittman suggests a different version of tabbouleh, which is usually made out of bulgur, tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  He recommends making this dish with quinoa, and adds more veggies.  We didn’t have an quinoa in our pantry, so we used bulgur.

Summer Tabbouleh
Adapted from: The Food Matter Cookbook (page 164)

3/4 cup bulgur
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped parlsey
1/4 cup roughly chopped mint
15 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
5 radishes, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
15 oz can black olives, drained & chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pita bread (optional)

Cook bulgur per package instructions.  Once it’s cooked, add to a big  bowl.  Next, add all of the other vegetables, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir all of the ingredients together.

Finally, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.  Pour over the salad, stir well.  Serve with warmed pita bread.