Well, Halloween is nearly here, and whether or not you celebrate, you’re probably being inundated with sweet treats and more candy than is humanly possible to ingest. Because of this, I’m going to do a rare blog post where all of the recipes are of a savory nature. I’ll get back to the regular balance next time, but today I’ve got 3 delicious savory delights to share. By the way, if you do celebrate or you just like to dress up, you can stop by Krispy Kreme in costume on Halloween and receive a free glazed doughnut. Yum!
Let’s start with a fast and easy meal that takes just a few minutes to whip up. This Thai chicken and noodle dish had a lot of flavor and was very customizable. Another great plus to this recipe is that you probably have most of the ingredients in your house already. (The only thing I had to pick up was the rice noodles.) Since this is basic with just the chicken, sauce, and noodles, I hope to mix it up next time by adding in some tasty veggies (like edamame!). Here’s how to make this dish in no time at all.
Thai Chicken & Noodles (from Robin to the Rescue by Robin Miller)
8 oz. rice noodles
1 tbsp. peanut oil (I just used vegetable oil.)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. peeled, minced ginger
1 1/4 lb. cubed, boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 dash hot sauce
1/4 c. chopped scallions
4 lime wedges
1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. When they’re done cooking, reserve 1/4 c. of the cooking water and drain the noodles.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook til golden brown on all sides, 3-5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook 2 minutes (to heat through), stirring frequently.
3. Remove the dish from the heat and stir in the scallions. Dish up in 4 bowls and garnish with a lime wedge.
This next dish is super flavorful burritos with a delicious sauce. The beauty of this dish is that you can prepare the burrito filling and sauce ahead of time, then just put it together and bake it later in the week when you don’t have as much time. (By the way, if you’re wondering what makes these different from enchiladas, it’s mostly about the way the tortilla is folded. You could roll these, cook them in the sauce, call them enchiladas, and they would still be delicious!)
Baked Burritos with Sour Cream Poblano Sauce (from the Dainty Chef)
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 diced onion
1 lb. ground beef
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 15 oz. can drained, rinsed black beans
1/4 c. beef broth
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 c. shredded cheddar or monterey jack
4-10 whole wheat tortillas (depending on the size)
2 tbsp. butter
1 diced serrano or jalapeno
2 tbsp. flour
2/3 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a rimmed baking sheet. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook 3-5 minutes or til they slightly soften. Add the beef and cook til done; drain the fat.
2. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook til fragrant, 30 seconds. Add in the beans, broth, cumin, oregano, chili powder cayenne, brown sugar, and 1 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat and simmer til most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Place 2-4 tbsp. cheese (depending on the size of your tortilla) near the end of each tortilla. Top with some of the filling and fold like a burrito (first 1/3, then tuck the ends, then the rest of the way). Place seam-side down on the prepared pan and spray the burritos with Pam. Bake 20 minutes or til golden and crispy.
4. To make the sauce, start by charring the poblanos. (If you have a gas stove, you can char them in the flame. Otherwise, you can broil them on a sheet tray.) Let them cool til you can handle them, then peel, de-seed, and dice them. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Saute the serrano or jalapeno for a minute, stir in the flour, then cook, stirring, for a minute. Slowly whisk in the broth, then stir in the poblanos and simmer the sauce til it thickens, whisking frequently. Add the sour cream, let it warm through, then season the sauce with salt and pepper. Serve over the burritos.
The last meal I’m going to share tonight is the ultimate easy meal, a slow-cooker dinner. This tex-mex chicken requires very little prep work (a little dicing and stirring) and delivers a filling entree when served over some rice.
Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken (from Kraft)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1 inch strips
2 tbsp. taco seasoning
2 tbsp. flour
1 green bell pepper cut in 1 inch strips
1 red bell pepper cut in 1 inch strips (I just used 1 red, because I felt like 2 peppers was too many.)
1 c. corn
1 1/2 c. chunky salsa
1 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
1. In the slow-cooker, toss the chicken with the taco seasoning and flour. Stir in the peppers, corn, and salsa; cover with the lid.
2. Cook on low 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours). Stir just before serving and top with cheese.
Hopefully there’s enough warm goodness here to keep you going for the rest of this sugar-filled week. Personally, I’m hoping to pick up some Halloween candy on sale come Friday. I’m hoping Reese’s cups!! What’s your favorite candy?