Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

If you can’t have comfort food during the Apocalypse, when can you have it?

Do I really need to write something descriptive about chicken breasts stuffed with ooey gooey cheese and yummy jalapeño? Let’s talk instead about how long it took me to figure out how to get that little squiggley accent mark (it’s called a tilde, by the way) over the “n” in jalapeño. Good grief, and I have a degree in Spanish?

Anyway, this recipe was born out of a deep need for something yummy and different for dinner. Although this recipe is far from “different”, it’s not in our usual repertorio, so I am allowed to act like it’s brand new. It’s also great for people who are limiting carbs. I paired it with spaghetti squash mixed with peppers and onions and served it with a side of avocado (aguacate is one of my favorite Spanish words. Ask my husband.) and sour cream.

The instructions for this are very simple so I didn’t take photos of the process. Here is what ours looked like before it went into the oven. They remind me of little mummies:

jalapeno popper chicken

I did these in a square baking dish but hind site tells me they would have done better on a rack over a sheet pan. Next time, grasshoppah…..next time.

At the last minute I decided to drizzle maple syrup over the bacon to add a little bit more flavor.

IMG_0730

After they come out of the oven, let them rest before slicing, otherwise you will have cheese oozing out all over.

jalapeno popper chicken1

Hungry yet? (¿Tienes hambre todavia?)

I intentionally bought more jalapeño’s than I needed and I doubled my stuffing mixture so I could make some actual jalapeño poppers at the same time. When they were all made, I put them on a sheet pan and froze them over night. This morning I took them out and put them in a freezer bag so we’ll have them when we want them later.

Adios Amigos!


 

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken for Two

Ingredients:

Two large chicken breasts

Stuffing mixture:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream (optional)
2 large jalapeno’s, diced
¾ cup grated Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup chopped cilantro (fresh)
1 garlic clove, grated
S & P to taste
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (Use what you like)

1 lb. bacon (Use what you like although thin slices work best)
Maple Syrup (Optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Rinse and the chicken breasts dry. Cut a deep slit in each one to make a pocket for the cheese mixture. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of each breast. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine all of the stuffing mixture ingredients. I usually microwave the completed mixture and stir well to combine. If it’s too runny, put it in the refrigerator before trying to stuff the chicken with it. You want it to be pliable but not loose.

Stuff the breasts liberally with the cheese mixture but do not over-stuff. You want to be able to close them.

Wrap each breast tightly with as many strips of bacon needed to cover. (It’s bacon! Use a LOT!)

Brush maple syrup over all over the bacon. (You’re welcome in advance.)

For best results place the breasts on a greased rack over a sheet pan. IF you don’t have this, use a baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake 15 minutes more. If you are using a baking dish, you may want to use a turkey baster to suck out excess juices.

Finally, if you want the bacon to be very crispy, flip the chicken back over and broil it on high for 2-3 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY so it doesn’t burn.

Let rest 10 minutes or more before slicing.

 

Kicked Up Beef Noodle Casserole. Comfort Food, How we love Thee!

In case you didn’t get the memo, you are supposed to be eating delicious comfort food during the pandemic. Here is an easy recipe that’s relatively inexpensive, too.

Warning: This recipe isn’t keto friendly; this recipe isn’t low-carb; this recipe isn’t low fat; this recipe isn’t loaded with vegetables and it doesn’t pack a huge nutritional punch. Haven’t you heard? We are in the middle of a pandemic and the best food to eat in a pandemic is COMFORT FOOD!

This dish is so simple to make I put it together from start to finish in less than thirty minutes. If you have children, I am certain they will love this. What’s not to love?

Since I am pretty certain most of you know how to chop veggies, brown ground beef and mix things in a bowl, I am sparing you photos of all of that. Instead, here is what your layers will look like.

Bottom layer:

img_0330

Middle layer:

img_0331

Next layer:

img_0332

Top it with the Cheese:

img_0333

Here it is out of the oven garnished with basil:

img_0335

Now IF you really wanted to, you could add some extra veggies to the meat mixture. Spinach and mushrooms would be great in there–even frozen peas. Use your imagination.

We served ours up with a drizzle of Sriracha and some more fresh herbs. I think a healthy dollop of sour cream (and even a little salsa) would be delightful as well.

 


Kicked up Beef Noodle Casserole (ala: Bahbah)

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:
8 oz. package egg noodles
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 ½ Lb. ground beef (can substitute ground chicken, turkey or pork)
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
(1) 15 oz. can tomato sauce
(1) 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced (more if you are a garlic freak like me)
2-3 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2-3 Tbsp. Fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
S & P to taste
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 Cups Mozzarella, grated (don’t be lazy, do it yourself)
1-2 Cups sharp cheddar, grated (see above)

 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Over medium heat, brown the ground beef in skillet with 2 Tbsp. Olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning and garlic.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to package directions.

In a bowl, mix together soften cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, 2 Tbsp. fresh chives, salt & pepper and a pinch of Italian seasoning.

When the meat has browned, add in the onions and peppers and cook about five minutes until softened. Then mix in the drained diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add another Tbsp. of Italian seasoning and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Simmer 2-3 minutes.

Remove meat mixture from heat and add in the drained pasta and 2 Tbsp. fresh basil. Stir well to incorporate.

Grease a 9 x 13” baking dish, add half of the meat and noodle mixture to the bottom as the first layer. Spread the cheese evenly over the layer, then add the rest of the meat and noodles over it.

Top with the remaining Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses.

Bake 20-25 minutes until brown and bubbly. Garnish with the remaining fresh Basil.

Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. (Tastes GREAT the second day and it freezes well too!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Tenderloin

Once upon a time I was shopping for groceries and I ran into a package of turkey tenderloins even though it WAS NOT Thanksgiving season. Experiencing a temporary bout of being sick of everything I was currently planning to make, I picked them up to see what new thing I could create.

Once home, I looked through a ton of recipes online and finally settled on an herb crusted roasted tenderloin but MY way.

Tuesday through Thursday of each week, my husband and I are busy until after eight PM, so I am always looking for healthy and easy, fresh, options for dinner. This recipe is so simple, you will gasp as you are putting it in the oven.

Ready?

I am going to spare you the commentary and get right to the recipe AND I will include your side items which can be prepared at the exact time you are cooking the tenderloins. The entire prep time takes less than ten minutes.

Here is a photo of what it looks like when it’s going into the oven.

img_0068


Herb Roasted Turkey Tenderloin (with lemon zest)

Ingredients:
1 package of Turkey Tenderloins (they come in two’s)
Salt & pepper
½ c. whole grain mustard (use whatever mustard you like. If you hate whole grain, use regular.)
1 Tbsp. honey
Zest of two lemons (If you hate lemon, leave it out, but you’re weird.)
¼ c. freshly chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. dried Rosemary
1-2 tsp. dried oregano

Instructions:

  •  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  •  Rinse and dry tenderloins
  •  Salt and pepper both sides
  •  In a separate bowl, mix together the mustard and honey and then brush it onto both sides of the tenderloins.
  •  Sprinkle on the herbs and finish with the zest.
  •  Finally, wipe your brow. This is so hard, isn’t it?
  •  Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  •  Let rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing.

img_0067


EASY SIDES?

Go to Trader Joe’s and buy a bag of their multi colored baby carrots. Coat them in olive oil and salt and pepper and put them on a small baking sheet. Throw them in the oven at the SAME time you put the Turkey in. They will cook perfectly.

img_0069

img_0284

SIDE ITEM #2

Fresh Asparagus! 

While your other items are in the oven, trim the asparagus and place in a microwave safe dish. I always use real butter but you can roll them around in olive oil and salt and pepper if you prefer. Cover in plastic wrap OR use a paper plate or covering of your choice.

Wait until just before your turkey and carrots are ready and then microwave on high for 1 and a half minutes.

Done!

Asparagus

ALSO, there are SO SO many frozen prepared (steam in bag) vegetables out there that are healthy. Just pick what you like and go for it. Below are some green beans I did the other night.

img_0282

Bobbe’s Asian Inspired Turkey Meatballs

This is by far one of my favorite things to do with ground turkey & ground pork.

Meatballs

For those who asked for my recipe, it’s below. Truly this is one of my favorite things to make for dinner. It’s one of those recipes that just gets better the longer it sits, so I usually make double so I have some to take for lunch the following day.

There are two things I like to serve it over. The first is cauliflower fried rice which is basically just fried rice subbing riced cauliflower for actual rice. Use your favorite recipe or click here for mine. The other thing that is absolutely insanely delicious is green rice, which is basically rice made with a whole lot of green herbs (think cilantro, parsley, spinach) combined with other things like Poblano and jalapeno peppers and onions that have been pulverized and blended with liquid until smooth. (I will post that recipe soon.)

Until then, enjoy and if you try this recipe, please let me know how you liked it!


Bobbe’s Asian Inspired Turkey/Pork Meatballs (Makes about 14 meatballs)

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of one lime (or 3 Tbsp.)
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro finely chopped (use more if you love cilantro like I do!)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh chives finely chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. freshly ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. finely diced garlic
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ C. Panko bread crumbs Use what you like. Regular bread crumbs work as well as crushed pork rinds (keto)
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper

Meatball Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • Combine all ingredients, mixing well by hand.
  • Form the meat into 1.5” balls (or whatever size you like)
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until juices run clear

Meatball Drizzle Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ C. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C. Soy sauce
  • ½ C. brown sugar
  • ½ C. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh garlic
  • Salt & Pepper

Drizzle Directions:

  • Put all ingredients into a small saucepan
  • Stir well to combine
  • Bring to boil. Stir until brown sugar melts.
  • Reduce to simmer
  • Simmer until reduced by at least half.
  • Drizzle over meatballs.

meatballs1

Hot Brown Casserole ala Bahbah (That’s Me!)

Here in Louisville, Kentucky, it’s Kentucky Derby week. Hubs and I are catering a Derby party next weekend, so last night we tested and perfected one of my new favorite dishes, The Hot Brown Casserole.

For those who are not from here, The Kentucky Hot Brown is a famous dish born long ago at Louisville’s historical “Brown Hotel”. (Google it, if you are interested.)

I confess that I have not been a fan of this dish in the past. I think when it was originally made by it’s Chef creator, it was probably delicious. Every rendition I have ever had, however, has left me feeling like something was missing or “watered down”. For this dish to be truly great, one really needs not to skimp on or take short cuts on the ingredients. This means taking the time to grate your own cheese, bake a fresh turkey breast (or a whole bird if you wish), seek out the best thick bread slices and seasonings!

Hot Brown Casserole ala Bahbah

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices thick bread, toasted (I used Texas toast)
  • 2 lbs turkey thinly sliced
  • 8 slices bacon crumbled (I used Wilson’s thick cut BBQ)
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup butter (real full fat butter!)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Lots of freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (I used Bourbon smoked)
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly diced tomato
  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour and let the flour cook about two minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in milk and cream. Stir 6-8 minutes until it lightly boils and becomes thick. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, beat the egg then whisk in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sauce. Return to pan whisking constantly. Add in 1/2 the cheese, salt and pepper and keep whisking until incorporated. Add in 1/2 the remaining cheese & repeat. Return to the heat, but Do NOT BOIL. IMPORTANT: Taste this until you get the desired cheesiness /creaminess. Also, If it gets too thick, add more cream, but remember to season again if you do. Remove from heat.

Grease a 9 x 13″ casserole dish. I pre-slice the toast on the diagonal, then arrange it in the bottom of the pan. Layer the turkey slices over the toast, sprinkle some of the tomatoes and the bacon over the turkey, salt and pepper, add the sauce all over. Sprinkle with Paprika, bacon crumbles and the remaining cheese.

Bake 20-25 minutes uncovered.

Top with freshly chopped tomatoes and parsley.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Roll-ups ~ Lasagna-style!

If you liked my Chicken Alfredo Zucchini Roll-ups, you will love these zucchini lasagna roll-ups!

Whenever I make meatballs, I always seem to make enough sauce for an army of people. Since it’s just Charlie and I (and I hate left-overs), that’s not a great thing. Because I loved the Chicken Alfredo Zucchini Roll-ups  I made a few weeks ago, I decided to make up some zucchini lasagna roll-ups using the additional sauce. I did look around Pinterest for recipes but in the end, I made up my own.

These little things are really tasty and you will not miss the pasta. However, be warned, they are a little bit of a pain in the butt to put together. This time I ended up doing them “assembly line style”, which meant I figured out how many I would need to fill a row (four for my little dish). I then laid my zucchini out across the counter top so I would be making four roll-ups at a time. It shaved off some time and made it easier to get them into the baking dish. Try it.

First make the zoodles and yes, if you follow my blog you’ve seen this photo before. I didn’t feel like taking a new one since a zoodle is a zoodle is a zoodle. They always look like this.

img_5664

Here are two of them before I spread the mixture out across the zoodles. I did four of these at a time.

7193F363-D308-4FDE-B845-33AFCEACC953

Here is what they looked like in the pan. The red flecks you see are sauteed red peppers I had leftover in the refrigerator. They were an after thought because I wanted the dish to look prettier. I did NOT include the peppers in the recipe below, but if you want to, feel free.

4DEC9C13-6CF1-4E17-B086-7FEF0371DDF7

At this point, I just filled in the empty spots with more sauce.

707350F6-BC7C-4AB0-B40F-CF59151E7D1E

Then the last step is the cheese. What you see here is just a thin layer. I wasn’t sure how much cheese I wanted at this point, so I baked it with a little bit, then I took it out and added more. (You don’t have to do what I did. I am a freak. I own this.)

77438642-EC81-4DB0-B9E7-55B400B940AE

Poof. When it comes out of the oven, it smells spectacular and it looks like this:

And THEN, it looks like this:

img_6713


Ingredients:
5-6 medium zucchini
1 (15 oz.) can artichoke quarters, drained and chopped
10 oz. fresh spinach, sautéed. (Frozen works well too. Thaw and drain it.)
3-4 cups prepared marinara sauce
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon pepper (or to your taste)
½ Teaspoon salt (or to your taste)

Directions:
Preheat Oven to 375
Using a vegetable peeler, create the zucchini ribbons. (You can use a mandolin set on “thin”, but the peeler really works best for me.)

Drain and chop the artichokes and the sautéed spinach. Place both into a clean dish towel, twist tightly and smash out as much liquid as is humanly possible.

Mix together the ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, 2 cups Mozzarella, 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce, eggs, and seasonings. Add the artichokes and spinach to the bowl and mix again. IF it is too wet, add a little bit more Parmesan & Mozzarella.

Spread about ¼” of sauce into your baking dish. Keep in mind that you will need this much sauce to support the roll ups vertically.

On a clean surface, lay 2-3 pieces of zucchini down slightly overlapping each other. I made mine to be about 2 & ½ inches across, so depending on the size of the zoodle, I either used two or three slices. Spoon & spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture over the slices. Roll up tightly and place vertically in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini.

Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is brown and bubbly.

NOTE: I had leftover sauteed red peppers and onions in my fridge, so I cut up some of the peppers and stuffed them into the tops of the rolls to make them look pretty. You do not have to be as crazy as I am OR you can make these rolls your own and add whatever else you like to them. They are very forgiving!

PS-If you like my recipes, I would love for you to please subscribe to my blog. Thank you in advance!

Chicken Charlie Alfredo w/ Bacon & Sun-dried Tomatoes!

The recipe has ruined me for all other Alfredo dishes!

Okay people prepare to be dazzled. Prepare to have your spouses and your family and friends drop to their knees and bow their heads in your presence. This dish delivers everything but dollar bills from your Grandma’s purse. I promise!

By the way. Meet Charlie Alfredo. He really has nothing to do with this recipe. I just like to call him, “Charlie Alfredo” and share this photo whenever possible. (hee hee. HI CHARLIE!)

 

Charlie Tortellini

This recipe starts off in the most delicious way possible! Let’s fry some bacon! Six pieces will definitely do!

img_7208

While the bacon is cooking, I grate almost a full cup of Asiago cheese and chop up about 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes. You may wish to add more tomatoes, but they have carbs, so I limited them in my recipe.

Once this bacon has delivered on making your home smell delightful and it’s reached the desired brownness, remove it from the pan and set aside but do NOT do a THING with that bacon grease! You want that!

img_7211

Here are my ingredients (bacon, cheese & sun-dried tomatoes) getting ready to be added to the pan. This is prior to my crumbling the bacon. I find if I do this at the last minute, it keeps the bacon crumbles from detouring to my mouth.

img_7209

To the grease, add in a couple of garlic cloves, minced. They will sizzle quickly, so be prepared to add the chicken almost immediately. Prior to cooking this chicken, you will want to rinse it and pat it dry, then season liberally with Salt and pepper and I also used Trader Joe’s “21 Season Salute” (I adore that stuff!), but you don’t have to. Here you are just aiming to brown the chicken on both sides. No need to try to cook it through. This takes about 2 or 3 minutes on each side. When it’s brown, remove it and set it aside.

img_7212

When the chicken is removed from the pan, add in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and with a wooden spoon or whisk, scrape up all the lovely bits of flavor. Here is where I cheated and used store-bought Alfredo sauce rather than make my own. Hey. This is a week night dish. Cutting corners is totally acceptable except for one thing. IF you are keto or low carb, you will want to read the label of your preferred sauce. Most of them have too many carbs for my taste, so I choose to use Rao’s because it doesn’t. (It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it to me.)roas

Whisk continually while you add in the sauce and then keep whisking as you add in the cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and all but one piece of chopped bacon. IF the sauce appears to be too thick, add in some more chicken stock. Bring up to a slow simmer.

img_7210

While your chicken is simmering, spiralize three zucchini. I pulled out another large cast iron skillet and sauteed the zoodles in butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Just as they were getting tender, I sprinkled in half a cup of Parmesan cheese to give it body.

img_7207

Lastly, season again with salt and pepper. Add the chicken back, cover and let simmer for twenty minutes. When you are ready to serve, stir in one Tablespoon of butter (use the real stuff!), sprinkle the remaining bacon and whatever fresh herb you prefer. Here I have added basil and parsley.

img_7213

All that’s left is to dish up your zoodles and top it with a piece of chicken and lots of sauce. I don’t add my zoodles to the sauce prior because I feel the zoodles get soggy. By all means, do what you like to do here. This would be delicious over Alfredo noodles, too.

Bonus: If you eat bread, a nice, crusty piece of garlic bread would be wonderful!


Chicken Charlie Alfredo with Bacon & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 pieces of bacon, crumbled
1 15oz jar of Rao’s Alfredo Sauce
¾ cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (more if you don’t care about carbs)
1 cup chicken stock (possibly more if your sauce is too thick)
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
½ teaspoon salt (Asiago cheese is very salty)
2 Tablespoons freshly chopped Basil
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 Tablespoons butter

Optional: If you have it, you can add additional seasoning your chicken with Trader Joe’s “21 Season Salute”, but it’s not necessary.

For the zoodles:
3 medium zucchini spiralized
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions:

Prepare the chicken by rinsing, patting dry and seasoning both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assemble the ingredients: grate the Asiago cheese, chop the sun-dried tomatoes, chop the garlic, chop the herbs and then set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet set to medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, then remove and set aside. Quickly stir in the chopped garlic letting it sizzle only for about 30 seconds, then add in the chicken.

Cook until browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). No need to cook the chicken all the way through at this step. Brown it and remove it from the pan. Do NOT drain the bacon fat.

Deglaze the pan by whisking in ½ cup of chicken stock making certain to pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the jar of Alfredo Sauce, then whisk in the cheese, tomatoes and all but one piece of the crumbled bacon. Bring up to a simmer and then add the chicken back to the pan making sure to coat both sides. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

When the chicken is cooked through, just prior to service, stir in 1 tablespoon butter and the fresh herbs and then top it with the remaining bacon.

Serve over zoodles or pasta or alone with a side of lovely Asparagus!