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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

It's always fun to get creative with a vegetable.  It's also a good way to make a healthier meal more exciting.  Today, I'm dressing up a spaghetti squash, Italian style.

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

1 Spaghetti Squash
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 lb Mild Italian Sausage
1 large clove Garlic (minced)
1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
1 cup frozen Kale (thawed and patted dry)
1 (15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half and clean out the seeds.  Drizzle with Olive Oil and place face down on a cookie sheet.  Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes.
3.  Cook the Italian Sausage, Garlic and Bell Pepper in a large pan over medium heat until the meat is completely browned.  Drain the excess oil with a strainer and return to the pan.
4.  Scrape the Spaghetti Squash noodles out of each half of the squash and add to the pan with the meat mixture.  Also add the Kale, Tomato Sauce and Oregano.  Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring to combine all ingredients.
5.  Pour the meat mixture into the two halves of the Spaghetti Squash.  Cover with the cheeses.
6.  Return to the oven on the cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  Change the oven setting to Broil at the end and keeping a close watch, let the cheese become browned and bubbly.
7.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Copycat Kung Bo Chicken

I get really inspired when I find a tiny, whole-in-the-wall, hidden gem of a restaurant that serves up unique and amazing dishes.  One such place is Verti Marte in New Orleans.  If you haven't discovered it, look it up pronto!  And if you go, get the All That Jazz Po'Boy!

Today I'm talking about Chinese food in Tupelo, MS.   There is a place on Cliff Gookin Blvd. called Hong Kong.  Nothing about it stands out from the road and we almost didn't notice it.  I'm so glad we did and decided to try it.

It is my plan to systematically try every dish on the menu.  However, there is one dish that I've already eaten multiple times and is so far, my favorite.  It is called Kung Bo Chicken.  It is a beautiful blend of chicken, vegetables, peanuts and spicy sauce.  I was inspired to attempt my own version of it at home.  The attempt was a success and I want to share it with you!

Copycat Kung Bo Chicken

1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Sriracha
1/4 Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Zucchini
2 Carrots
2 Celery Sticks
1 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Peanuts
2 Chicken Breasts (diced)
1.  Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and chop all veggies.
2.  Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
3.  Add the vegetables and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to brown (7-10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
4.  Add a bit more oil to the pan if needed, and add the chicken.  Pour about 2 Tbsp of the sauce over the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is done.
5.  Pour the vegetable mix, along with the peanuts,  back into the pan with the chicken.
6.  Add the rest of the sauce to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes more, or just until the sauce thickens.
5.  Serve immediately over regular or fried rice.
(My Fried Rice recipe is here:  Basic Fried Rice)

So who's not on the "Gilmore Girl/Parenthood/This is Us" bandwagon lately?  It seems these emotion-grabbing, high drama/some comedy shows are taking over the airwaves.  And I have to say, I'm on board!  After solemn dedication to watching 154 episodes of the Sherman-Palladino masterpiece that is Gilmore, I (and my husband) are now hooked on Parenthood.  After a while, you start to think they are real people in your life.  This is probably not a good thing. Ha!  But alas, let's all watch the fictional drama unfold together.

We all know that Lorelai and Rory can't get enough Chinese takeout.  So if you want to have a Gilmore inspired night with your friends, make my Kung Bo Chicken and talk super fast.  Also, make sure to use plenty of obscure pop culture references that not many people have heard of.  Haha!  And when you do this, invite me!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Moroccan Meat Pie

There is a certain flavor blend that really inspires me.  An amalgamation of savory, sweet and exotic just really puts a dish over the top.  I kind of made this recipe up, based loosely on something my mother-in-law made.  The first time I prepared it, I did dumplings.  They would be perfect party food....(Link to recipe here).  Tonight, I made it in pie-form as dinner for my family.  It was quick and easy and a taste-bud pleaser for adults and kids.

2 thawed pie crusts-thawed
a little over a lb. Ground Beef
1/2 Red Onion (chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
 6 oz. water
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 Egg
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  While you are thawing the pie crusts, cook the beef (that is salt and peppered), onion and garlic until beef is browned.  Drain the grease off the meat and return to the pan.
3. Add the tomato paste, water, ginger, cumin and cinnamon.  Cook and stir until mixed well.
4.  Pour the meat mixture into a pie crust and cover with the second pie crust, smashing the edges together.
5.  Beat the egg in a bowl with a little water and brush the top crust with the egg wash.
6.  Bake until the crust is flaky and golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

I've been a little MIA from my blog lately.  There's a good reason for that and here she is:

We are over the moon about our sweet Phoebe!  She is a precious blessing.  I'm also ready to get back into cooking and blogging.  I'm always looking for inspiration and new recipes to try, in the hopes of inspiring you.  So tell your friends about 1cookingchick, because I'm back!