Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

I love making Chinese take-out dinners at home.  I have always wanted to try making General Tso’s Chicken. When I saw this recipe for a slow cooker version I knew it was time to finally try it.

It turned out great! It was full of flavor, nicely spicy. It was great!

What you need,

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper

4 tbsp. hoisin sauce
4 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. water
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy you can up it too 1 tsp)
¼ cup chopped green onion for serving
White rice for serving

Heat the oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. In a large zip lock bag combine the cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.

Place the pieces of chicken in the bag and shake well to coat.

In a bowl whisk together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, water and red pepper flake.

Brown the chicken for 1-2 minutes per side until brown and crisp.

Place the browned chicken in the slow cooker. Pour half the sauce over the chicken and cook on low for 3-4 hours, until the chicken is tender.

Just before serving stir in the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the green onions.

Serve over the rice.

I would highly recommend this chicken, it was really fabulous!



Recipe adapted from Favourite Family Recipes

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rhubarb Snacking Cake

It is one of my all-time favourite times of the year…Rhubarb season!
I do love me some rhubarb.

This snacking cake is simple and wonderful. It is like 2 desserts in one, it has that wonderful crumb topping that love about rhubarb crisp and a moist tender cake just like this classic rhubarb cake.

What you need,

For the rhubarb layer,
2½ cups rhubarb, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest

For the cake layer,
½ cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt (I used salted butter so I cut back the salt, if you use unsalted butter you can increase the salt to ¾ tsp.)
1/3 cup sour cream

For the crumb topping,
1 cup flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter, melted

In a large bowl toss the chopped rhubarb with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.

In a bowl beat the butter with the sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.  Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add ½ the flour mixture to the batter and stir to just combine. Add half the sour cream and stir to combine, and then repeat with the remaining flour mixture, ending with the last of the sour cream.

Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish well with nonstick spray.  Spread the batter in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. 
Spread the rhubarb over the batter.

In a small bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Pour in the melted butter over the mixture and stir with a fork until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the topping all over the rhubarb layer.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until the edges pull away and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan. 

Cut the cake into small squares and serve as is or if you are like me cut yourself a very large slice and top it with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I loved this cake; it is a wonderful way to enjoy rhubarb!



Recipe very slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ham and Scalloped Potato Casserole

I was having a hard time deciding what to make for Easter dinner last week. Growing up we always had ham and scalloped potatoes.

I have done that a few times; I have also made a full turkey dinner a few times. I just didn’t really want to cook a huge meal for just the two of us. So I had a flash of brilliance and decided to just put the ham and the scalloped potatoes together in one dish.

It turned out wonderfully‼ I started by making a simple white sauce. I decided that very thinly sliced ham would work best, and then adding the sharp flavored Gruyere cheese would really add a nice kick.

The potatoes were tender and the sauce was full of flavor, it was so rich and creamy. It really was wonderful.

What you need,

1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
1½ tbsp. butter
½ cup finely diced onion
½ tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
½ cup milk (I used 1%)
½ cup heavy cream
¼ tsp. each salt and pepper
3-4 drops of sriracha sauce, or any hot sauce you like
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. dry mustard
8oz (1c.) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. (1/2c.) Gruyere cheese, grated
6oz. thin sliced deli ham

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a small casserole dish and set aside.

Slice the potatoes with a sharp knife or mandolin. Keep the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water.

In a pot over medium heat at the butter until it melts.  Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the onions begin to soften.  Stir in the thyme and parsley.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir for 1-2 minutes.

Whisk in the milk and cream until well blended.  Season the mixture with salt, pepper, sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg and mustard. 
Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken, 1-2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in ¾ cup of the cheddar cheese until fully melted.

To assemble the casserole, spoon a little of the sauce onto the bottom of the prepared casserole dish, then layer on 1/3 of the potatoes.  Layer on 1/3 of the ham and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Gruyere cheese.
Spoon on 1/3 of the remaining sauce and spread it out to coat the layer.

Repeat the layering process with the remaining ingredients.  Once you get to the top sprinkle on the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the top is bubbly and brown.

Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before you serve. This will help it thicken up a bit, and also save you from burning your tongue!

I really cannot even tell you how amazing this casserole was. So creamy and cheesy. Absolutely fabulous!

We both really loved it. I have a feeling it is going to be my go to Easter dinner from this year forward!