Sunday, October 5, 2014

10/4/14 ChefElla's Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Bake

Casserole, Hot Dish, Gratin, Bake.  These are all names for a certain kind of cooking.  This type of cooking is where you put most or all of your ingredients in one dish to bake and serve.  But there is another tradition that goes along with making these one dish recipes.  The tradition of bakes is to serve them family style.  Family style is when you sit down to eat together with your family or friends.  There is nothing better than eating with you friends and family, and my Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Bake is one of the best ways to get everyone to the table together.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, the stove, and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, stove or oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a large sauté pan, a cutting
    board, a large baking dish, a small bowl, and a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula.
ChefElla's Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Bake (This recipe will make 6-8 servings)
Ingredients:
15 oz          White Meat Chicken, Boneless, Skinless (Breast or Tenders)
12 oz          Broccoli, Raw, Cut Into Bite Size Pieces
8 oz            Cheddar Cheese, Shredded, Low Fat
2 Cups       Skim Milk
3 Tbl          Butter
1/4 Cup     AP Flour
1 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp       Black Pepper

Topping:
1 1/2 Cups  Panko Bread Crumbs
1/3 Cup       Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbl            Olive Oil

3.  Pre-heat oven to 350F
4.  Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken to the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Flip
     chicken over and cook for 3 more minutes.  Put chicken on a small plate and let cool.
5.  Add butter to the pan and let melt.  Stir in flour and combine well.  Cook for 2 minutes and
     continue to stir.  This mixture is called Roux (pronounced roo).
6.  Add 1/2 cup of milk and stir well until roux and milk is a paste like mixture.  Add the remaining
     milk and mix until smooth.  Let the mixture (white sauce) come to a simmer.  Turn the stove to
     low add salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese.  Mix until the cheese is melted and combined into the
     white sauce.
7.  Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.  Mix broccoli and chicken into the cheese sauce and turn off
     the stove.
8.  In a small bowl mix oil, parmesan cheese, and panko bread crumbs.  Mix until the oil coats
     all of the bread crumbs.
9.  Spray baking dish with pan spray.  Add chicken broccoli cheese mix.  Sprinkle bread crumb
     mixture evenly over the top.
10.  Bake chicken broccoli cheese bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

Serve chicken broccoli cheese bake over rice or noodles.

Enjoy,

-ChefElla

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9/21/14 ChefElla's Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler

Fall is the best time for apples.  Every year my Grandmother takes me to an apple orchard to pick apples from the trees.  The orchard is so fun to visit and you can buy and try so many different apple foods while you are there, fresh apples, dried apples, apple candy, caramel apples, apple cider, and apple pies.  My Grandmother makes so many different kinds of desserts with her apples, pies, cakes, jams, cookies and more.  This year I wanted to make my own apple dessert.  I like apple cobbler.  The dough soaks up the syrup and the juice and everything tastes so good together.  This is my own version of apple cobbler.  I hope you like it as much as my family and friends did.  It is fun to use foods that are in season, and it is even more fun to make up your own recipes with them.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife
or the oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a whisk, a knife, a cutting board, a
    large mixing bowl, a small bowl, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, a cookie sheet, and an 8X8
    baking pan.

Cinnamon Roll Apple Cobbler (This recipe will make 8-10 servings)
Ingredients:
2 Rolls         Refrigerated Cinnamon Dough With Icing, 12.4 oz package
4 -5 ea.         Apples, Cored and Sliced Thin
                      -I used Gala apples for my apple bake, but you can use your favorite kind.
1/4 Cup        Caramel Sauce
1/4 Cup        Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbl              Butter, Melted
1/4 tsp          Cinnamon
1/4 tsp          Apple Pie Spice
2 tsp              Vanilla
1 Tbl              Cornstarch


3. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
4. In your large bowl, whisk together Caramel, Brown Sugar, Melted Butter, Cinnamon, Apple Pie
     Spice, Vanilla, and Cornstarch.
5. Mix sliced apples with caramel mixture.
6. Take 6 pieces of cinnamon dough and flatten with your hands.  Place in the bottom of your pan.
    The rolls should cover the whole bottom of the pan.

7. Add apple mix on top of the cinnamon rolls.

8. Press remaining cinnamon rolls flat and top apples making a crust.

9. Place cobbler on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  The cookie sheet will keep
    any brown sugar mixture that escapes the pan from burning to the bottom of your oven.
10.  Remove cobbler from the oven and cover lightly with aluminum foil.
11.  Return cobbler to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
12.  Remove cobbler from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Warm frosting and top cobbler.



Serve cobbler with ice cream, caramel, our your favorite topping.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Monday, September 15, 2014

9/15/14 ChefElla's Good Grains Granola

Last weekend I went to my sisters soccer game.  Everyone played a great game, but soccer games are so long.  As soon as my sister and her friends were done, all they wanted to do was eat.  I felt bad for the team because after playing so hard all they got was the same old snack, juice boxes and fruit snacks.  This week I made homemade granola for my sisters team.  But you can eat it anytime, at the movies, after school, or after soccer practice.  It is so easy to make and you can make as many kinds of granola as you want.

For this recipe you will need to use the oven and stove.  If you are not allowed to use the oven or stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a large mixing bowl, a small sauté pan,
    a cookie sheet, and a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon.

ChefElla's Good Grains Granola (This recipe will make 10-12 servings or about 12 cups)
Ingredients:
2 Cups         Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup       Flax Seeds, Raw or Toasted
1/4 Cup       Chia Seeds
1 Cup           Cashew Pieces, Raw or Roasted, No Salt
                     -If you do not like nuts you can substitute your favorite kind.
1/3 Cup       Apple Juice            
2 Tbl.           Vegetable Oil
1/3 Cup       Honey
1/4 Cup       Light Brown Sugar
2 tsp             Vanilla
1/4 tsp         Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup       Dried Cherries
                     -If you do not like dried cherries, you can use dried blueberries, cranberries, apricots,
                      prunes, raisins, golden raisins, or other dried fruit.
1/2 Cup       Dark Chocolate Pieces
                     -If you do not like dark chocolate pieces use your favorite kind.

As Needed   Pan Spray (Pam, etc.)

3. Pre-heat oven to 250F.
4. In your large bowl mix rolled oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, kosher salt, and cashews.
5. In your sauté pan mix apple juice, vegetable oil, honey, light brown sugar, and vanilla.
6. Heat your pan over low heat.  Mix with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon.  Let the mixture
    cook for 3-4 minutes but do not let it come to a boil.  Mix liquid into your dry ingredients.
    Mix well.
7. Spray cookie sheet with pan spray.  Spread mixture evenly over the cookie sheet.
8. Bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.
9.  Let granola cool down for 20-30 minutes.  Mix in dried fruit and dark chocolate pieces.

Remember to share with your friends.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Sunday, September 7, 2014

9/7/14 ChefElla's Mini-Pizza Pockets

I don't know about you, but when I get home from school I am soooo hungry.  There are so many good choices for snacks after school, apples, grapes, cheese and crackers, fruit and nuts, and smoothies.  There are also the afternoon snacks that are good, but not so good for you, chips, pizza rolls, cookies, candy, and many other options.  At my house we try to stick with the healthy snacks, but sometimes you want the snacks that are not so good for you.  I know that the not so good snacks are o.k. to eat every once in a while, but I would like to have them a little more often, so I made my own version of one of my favorites mini-pizza pockets.  I know they are better for me because I can use healthier ingredients in my recipe and because I bake my pizza pockets.  These pizza pockets are good for after school and for a friday night when you have your friends over to watch a movie.  If you don't like the ingredients I use you can substitute your favorite ingredients.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife
or the oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups, a knife, a cutting board, a medium mixing bowl,
    two small spoons, a small bowl or coffee cup, aluminum foil, and a cookie sheet.

ChefElla's Back To School Quiche Sandwiches (This recipe will make 48 pieces)
Ingredients:
1 pkg.           Wonton Wrappers
5 oz              Turkey Pepperoni (1 package is 5 oz.)
2 Cups          Pizza Cheese, Shredded
                     -If you do not want to buy pizza cheese you can make your own mix of cheese.
                      Good cheeses for making pizza include parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, and cheddar.
1 1/2 Cups    Pizza Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce
As Needed   Pan Spray (Pam, etc.)

3. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
4. Dice up your Turkey Pepperoni.  Make a small pile of pepperoni.  Slice pepperoni into strips.
    Turn strips 90 degrees and cut into small squares.
5. In your medium bowl mix pepperoni, cheese, and pizza sauce.
6. Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray foil with pan spray.
7. Lay out 4-6 wontons on your cutting board.  Make sure you keep your other wontons covered with
    a damp cloth or plastic so that they do not dry out while making your 4-6 pizza pockets.
8. With one spoon scoop up some of the mixture.  Using your other spoon scrape the mixture onto
     your wonton skin.

9.  Pour cold water into your small bowl.  Using your finger wipe water along the top two sides.

10.  Fold the wonton in half.  Make sure you keep the mix in the center.  Squeeze the sides of the
       wonton together.  Place wonton on your cookie sheet.
     
11.  Continue to make your pizza pockets until you fill up your cookie sheet.
12.  Spray the pizza pockets with pan spray.  Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges
       brown.
13.  Repeat the process until all of your mix and wontons are gone.
14.  Serve warm with warm pizza sauce.

If you want some for later let the pockets cool and put in a freezer bag and store in your freezer
until you are ready to eat them.  Reheat in the oven until pockets are crispy.

The fun thing about this recipe is that you can make as many different flavors of pizza pockets as you want.  Try different sauces, meats, cheeses, or vegetables in your pizza pockets.


Enjoy

- ChefElla

Sunday, August 31, 2014

8/31/14 ChefElla's Back To School Quiche Sandwiches

The first day of school can be so busy.  School supplies, new clothes, backpacks, lunch, waking up on time, and your little sister complaining can leave you forgetting the most important thing, breakfast.  It is so easy to skip breakfast when you are busy.  Everything else seems more important, and you just don't miss breakfast until you are sitting at your desk and your stomach starts talking to you and by then it is too late.  Eating breakfast doesn't only make you smarter it keeps you going all day long.  My breakfast quiche recipe helps you keep on track and on time while getting ready for school and it might even free up enough time for your parents to eat breakfast with you too.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the oven.  If you are not allowed to use a knife
or the oven by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a whisk, a knife, a cutting board, a
    large mixing bowl, a small bowl, and a 12 cup muffin tin.

ChefElla's Back To School Quiche Sandwiches (This recipe will make 10-12 servings)
Ingredients:
12 ea.           Whole Wheat or Multi-Grain Mini-Bagels
                     -You can use a small roll or biscuit if you prefer.
5 ea.             Eggs
1 1/4 Cup     Milk, or Milk Alternative (Use a non-flavored milk alternative)
6 oz              Ham, Small Diced
                     -For your mini-quiche you can use whatever kind of meat you like (sausage, bacon,
                     steak, lox, chorizo, or soy crumbles).  If you do not want meat in your quiche you
                     can substitute vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, or a
                     combination of vegetables).
6 oz              Cheddar Cheese, Shredded                
                     -For your mini-quiche you can use whatever kind of cheese you like (jack, feta,
                     pepperjack, colby, soy cheese, etc).
                     -If you are making a cheese only quiche just double the amount of cheese in the recipe.
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt
1 tsp             Hot Sauce
                     -The hot sauce is not for heat, it adds a nice flavor.  You can use any brand of hot
                     sauce, but I would recommend Tabasco Sauce or Franks Hot Sauce.
As Needed   Pan Spray (Pam, etc.)

3. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
4. In your medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, salt, and hot sauce.
5. In your small bowl mix ham and cheese.
6. Spray each muffin tin cup liberally with pan spray (liberally is a big word meaning use a lot).
7. In each cup add 1/4 cup (not packed) of your ham and cheese mix.
8. Pour about 1/4 cup of egg mix into each cup.  Do not fill pan with egg more than 3/4 full.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.  You can check to see if it is done by piercing the middle of the quiche
    with a skewer or knife.  If the skewer or knife comes out without liquid on it, the quiche is done.
10.  Let mini-quiche cool down for 20-30 minutes.  Remove min-quiche cover and place in
       the refrigerator.
       If you would like to freeze quiche for later put them into a freezer safe container or bag and put
       in the freezer.  Let frozen quiche thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
11.  Before school, toast a bagel in the toaster.  Take your quiche from the refrigerator put on a plate
       and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  If it is not warm heat for 20-30 more seconds.
12.  Put your quiche on your bagel top with the other half of the bagel and enjoy.  If you heat more
       then one quiche at a time just at 10-15 seconds to your reheat time.

The fun thing about this recipe is that you can make as many different flavors of quiche as you want at a time.  My little sister does not like anything I like so I made her some broccoli and cheese quiche when I made my ham and cheese quiche.

Try your favorite ingredients and create your own special quiche recipe.

Enjoy

- ChefElla





Saturday, August 23, 2014

8/23/14 ChefElla's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Food trucks seem to be everywhere these days.  The trucks are on the news, on television shows, and even at birthday parties.  I read about a food truck that makes the coolest thing; specialty ice cream sandwiches.  The thing that made this truck so special was that they used fresh baked cookies to make the sandwiches.  There were many different flavors of cookies to choose from, and when you ordered, you picked the cookie you wanted and the flavor of ice cream.  I thought this was such a great idea, but for my sandwiches, I wanted to mix my own ice cream to put on the cookie.  I have given you a few recipes for ice cream sandwiches, but the best part is that you can pick your favorite cookie, ice cream, and toppings to make your ice cream sandwiches.  Use your imagination and enjoy.

For this recipe you may need to use a knife and a stand or hand mixer.  If you are not allowed to use a knife or mixer by yourself, you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups, a knife, a cutting board, a stand or hand mixer
    and a large spoon.

ChefElla's Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches (This recipe will make 6-8 Sandwiches)
CHERRY CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
Ingredients:
2 Cups       Vanilla Ice Cream (12 oz)
                    -Any brand will work.
1/2 Cup      Maraschino Cherries (4 oz), Drained and Chopped
1/4 Cup      Chocolate Chip Pieces
                   -For this recipe you can use your favorite kind.  Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, etc.
1 doz.         Chocolate Cookies (I purchased mine from the store, but you can make your own.)

FUDGE PECAN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES
2 Cups       Vanilla Ice Cream (12 oz)
                    -Any brand will work.
1 Cup         Pirouette Cookies (Chocolate Fudge) (6 oz)
1/2 Cup      Pecans, Chopped
1 doz.         Chocolate Chip or Praline Cookies (I purchased mine from the store, but you can
                   make your own.)

3. To make the Cherry Chocolate Sandwiches, start by measuring out all of your ingredients except
    ice cream.
4. Spread 6 pieces of plastic wrap on your counter.  You will wrap up your sandwiches in the plastic
    wrap.
5. Put two cookies on each piece of plastic.
6. Measure out your ice cream and put into your mixing bowl.
7. Add the Chocolate Chip Pieces and Cherries to the bowl.
8. Mix on speed one with the paddle attachment.  As soon as the ingredients start to incorporate
    turn up the mixer speed.  Mix for an additional 20-30 seconds.  All of the ingredients
    should be mixed together.
9. Top a cookie with a large scoop of the ice cream.  Top with the other cookie.  Wrap the sandwich
    in your plastic wrap and place into the freezer.
10. Finish, wrap and freeze the remaining sandwiches.
11. Rinse your beater and bowl with warm water.
12. Repeat the process to make as many recipes or sandwiches as you want.

Freeze the sandwiches for at least 2 hours before serving.

Make your own cookies for your sandwiches, or try your favorite ingredients to make your own ice cream flavors.
   
Enjoy

- ChefElla

Sunday, August 10, 2014

8/9/14 ChefElla's Summer Salad Lettuce Wrap

I ate something interesting last week.  It was a bread salad called panzanella.  It was so good.  Panzanella originates in Tuscany, Italy.  It is a salad of stale bread soaked with tomatoes and dressed with oil and vinegar.  For my recipe I wanted to share the great flavors of the panzanella, but add other ingredients to make it into a meal.  While I used ham and chicken, you could use turkey, bacon, mushrooms, asparagus or even fresh corn.  You can follow my recipe for summer salad or you can use your imagination for yours.  Starting with traditional recipes and making them your own is a great way to experiment with unique foods and flavors.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a whisk, l large and 2 medium bowls, a knife, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Summer Salad Lettuce Wrap (This recipe will make 6-8 portions)
Ingredients:
2 heads      Romaine Lettuce, Pull off 8 large lettuce leaves
                    -Wash leaves and pat dry with a towel.
4 oz            Ham, Thick Sliced, Medium Diced
4 oz            Chicken Breast, Roasted or Grilled, Medium Diced
4 oz            Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 ea             Large Avocado, Medium Diced
                   -Slice avocado in half.  Remove the pit.  Make slits 1/2 inch apart.  Turn the avocado
                    90 degrees and make slits 1/2 inch apart creating squares.  Scoop avocado pieces out
                    of the skin with a spoon.
1 can           Garbanzo Beans, Drained, (14 oz can)

Bread Salad
4 oz             Crusty Bread, Medium Dice
                    -For this recipe use a baguette or hard sourdough bun.  If you are gluten free, use
                     a gluten free bread.  Toast the gluten free bread first before cutting up.
1/4 Cup      Olive Oil
1/4 tsp        Oregano, Dried
1/8 tsp        Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp        Onion Powder    
1/4 tsp        Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp        Parsley, Dried

Chive Dressing
1 Cup         Mayonnaise
                   -I use canola mayonnaise because it tastes like real mayonnaise but has less calories.
1/4 Cup      Milk
                   -You can use almond or soy milk.  Just remember to use an unflavored milk alternative.
1/2 oz         Fresh Chives, minced (1/2 of a package)
1/4 tsp        Tabasco
1/4 tsp        Vinegar, Apple, Red Wine, or Salad Vinegar
1/8 tsp        Onion Powder    
1/4 tsp        Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp        Yellow Mustard

3. Mix together all the ingredients for the bread salad dressing in a medium bowl.  Add the bread
    and mix well.  Let the bread salad sit for at least 30 minutes.
4. Mix together all of the ingredients for the Chive Mayo in a medium bowl.
5. Cut and mix all of the ingredients for the summer salad in your large bowl.  Mix the bread salad
    in with the summer salad
6. Lay out the romaine lettuce leaves.  Fill each leaf with the summer salad.  Top each salad
    with a spoonful of the chive dressing

Serve cold.  Eat your lettuce wrap just like a taco.

You can also wrap the summer salad in a tortilla or chop up the lettuce, mix with the summer salad, and serve as a dinner salad.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Saturday, August 2, 2014

8/2/14 ChefElla's Fennel Pork Kabobs

What is fennel you ask?  I will tell you.  It is that great flavor you love in your sausage.  For this recipe I took it out of the sausage put it in on my pork kabobs.  The fun thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever kind vegetables and meat you want to make your kabobs.  Kabobs are a fun hand held food great for picnics our outdoor events because you do not need a plate or utensils to eat them.  But be careful not to stick yourself with the skewer.  If you want to take your food off your kabob the best way is to slide it off with a fork.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, or grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, the blender, a cutting board,
    tongs, a loaf pan, and the grill.
ChefElla's Fennel Pork Kabobs(This recipe will make 6 kabobs)
Ingredients:
1 lb.            Pork Roast or Thick Cut Pork Chops, cut into 1 inch cubes
                   *If you do not like pork you can substitute chicken or turkey.
1 ea             White Onion, Large
                    -Cut onion in half.  Place onion flat side down.  Cut each half in half again lengthwise.
                     Cut each half into three parts leaving you with large onion squares.
                    -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute Monterey Jack Cheese
1 ea.             Gala or Fuji Apple, Large
                    -Cut apple in half.  Remove core and place apple flat side down.  Cut each half into again
                    lengthwise.  Cut each half into three parts leaving you with 12 large apple pieces.
                    *If you do not like fruit with your entree you can substitute button mushrooms.
                      Cut the stem flush with the bottom of the mushroom cap.
6 ea             Skewers, soak skewers in water

Fennel Marinade
2 ea              Shallots, Large (If you cannot find large shallots just use 3 smaller ones)
2 ea              Garlic Cloves, (If you only have minced garlic use two teaspoons)
1/2 Cup       Italian Parsley, also called Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Cup           Olive Oil
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt      
1/2 tsp         Black Pepper
1 Tbl            Fennel Seeds, Whole

3.  In your blender add all of the marinade ingredients and mix until they are smooth and the fennel
     seeds are ground up.
4.  Drain your skewers and begin to assemble your kabobs in this order.  For the onions use 3 or 4
     layers of the onion cubes for each layer.
     One piece of meat.  one piece of apple, one layer of onion, one piece of meat, one layer of onion,
     one piece of meat, one apple, one onion, one piece of meat.
5.  After assembling the kabobs rub each kabob with marinade.  If you can let the kabobs marinate
     overnight in a loaf pan.  If not let them sit in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
6.  Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
7.  Place kabobs on the grill but not over a direct flame.  If you do the oil on the kabobs will hit the
     flame and flare up on your kabobs, burning or causing a bad taste to occur.
8.  Cook on one side for 2 minutes.  Turn kabob 1/4 turn. and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn two more
     times until you have cooked kabob on all sides.

Serve kabobs over rice or with a nice salad.

*If you do not want to make kabobs just marinate the meat or vegetables of your choice and grill or
  roast whole.

Enjoy,
ChefElla

Saturday, July 26, 2014

7/26/14 ChefElla's Frozen S'MORES

Nothing says summer like S'MORES.  Getting your best friends around a campfire on a cool night, telling stories, and roasting marshmallows is the best part.  The problem is, that some of us don't have a place to make a fire, and sometimes you don't want to make a fire just to make S'MORES.  But I have the perfect solution.  My frozen S'MORES.  They are easy to make and you don't even need a fire.  So call your friends and enjoy your S'MORES.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need a whisk, a rubber spatula, a medium bowl, a knife, and a 9 X 9 pan.

ChefElla's Frozen S'MORES (This recipe will make 9 servings)
Ingredients:
1 box          Graham Crackers, Split In Half        
7 oz.           Marshmallow Fluff (1 Jar)
5 oz.           Plain Yogurt (1 cup)
                   -I used Greek Yogurt, and Greek Yogurt has a sour flavor to it.  If you do not like sour
                    flavors in your food just use regular yogurt.
1 Cup         Chocolate Chunks
     
3. Line your 9 X 9 pan with aluminum foil so that the foil comes up over the sides of the pan.
4. Break graham crackers into halves.  Place 9 halves into the bottom of the pan.
5. In your bowl mix marshmallow fluff, yogurt and chocolate chunks.  When the mix is smooth it is
    ready.
6. Pour fluff mix over the graham crackers.  Smooth the mix so that it is even.
7. Top fluff with 9 more crackers.  Try to put the tops over where each bottom is.

8. Place S'MORES into the freezer.  Let S'MORES freeze for at least 6 hours.
9. Remove S'MORES from freezer.  Lift S'MORES out by the foil.  Peel down foil and cut into 9
    sandwiches.

Now even if you do not have a campfire you can have S'MORES anytime.
Enjoy

- ChefElla

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7/19/14 ChefElla's Spicy Salmon Quesadilla with Grilled Corn Salsa

I know that making quesadillas can seem like a big task.  The recipe seems like it has a lot of steps, you have to use the stove and grill, and flipping a quesadilla seems like it is a little to hard for you.  I know how you feel. Sometimes when I look at a recipe I say the same things and then I do not make it.  What you miss is the experience of making something really good and learning how to make something different. This year you will make dinner around 300 times. The truth is that not everyone of those dinners will be perfect.  And not everyone will like everything you make, but you will get another chance tomorrow. If you skip all of the recipes that seem hard you miss the chance of finding a new favorite recipe and learning something new about cooking and yourself.  These quesadillas really are not that hard to make.  I know that the instructions look long, but that is so I can explain it, it is not because there are so many steps to make them. So learn something new this week and enjoy.

By the way if you do not like salmon, substitute beef, pork, chicken, turkey, mushrooms, or any of your favorites instead.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, the stove, and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, stove, or grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a cutting board, a large bowl,
    a large sauté pan, tongs, a large spoon, a spatula, and the grill.
ChefElla's Spicy Salmon Quesadilla (This recipe will make 4 quesadillas)
Ingredients:
8 ea             Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Tortillas (8 inch)
4 oz             PepperJack Cheese (Shredded)
                    -If you can only find whole pieces of Pepper Jack Cheese just crumble or shred
                     your cheese at home.
                    -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute Monterey Jack Cheese
8 oz             Cheddar Jack Cheese (Shredded)
8 oz             Salmon, Fresh, Boneless Filets
3 tsp            Olive Oil

Grilled Corn Salsa (This recipe will make about 4 cups of salsa)
2 Cups          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced (4 - 5 tomatoes)
1 Cup            White Onion, Small Diced (1 small white onion)
1/2 Cup        Poblano Pepper, Minced (1 pepper)
                      -Poblano Peppers are a mild chili pepper.  Cut off the stem end and cut the pepper
                       in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and white ribs.  Cut the pepper into thin
                       strips and cut the strips into tiny pieces.
                      -If you do not want your quesadillas spicy substitute a Green Bell Pepper.
1/4 Cup        Cilantro Leaves, (Chopped Fine)
1 tsp              Kosher Salt        
1/4 tsp          Black Pepper
1 ea                Lime Juice
                      -Roll lime on the counter with your palm to soften the lime.  Cut the lime in half
                       and squeeze juice into your salsa.  1 ripe lime will yield a little less than 1/4 cup.
2 pieces        Fresh Corn, Grilled (2 ears)

3.  Preheat grill to medium heat.  Remove husks and silk from your fresh corn.  Rub each ear of corn
     with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Rub salmon with remaining olive oil.
4.  Put salmon and corn on the grill.  Let salmon cook for 3 minutes on one side and then 2 minutes
     on the other side.  If you like your salmon well done cook for another minute on each side.  If you
     like your salmon less well done cook for a little less time on each side.  Remove salmon from
     the grill.
5.  Turn you corn every 2 minutes until the corn is browned all the way around.
      Remove corn from the grill.  Let salmon and corn rest until you need them.
6.  Cut up all ingredients for salsa and mix in your bowl.  When finished cut the bottom of your corn
      cobs to make them flat.  Stand up corn on the flat end.  Carefully, starting at the top cut downward
      removing the corn kernels from the cob.  Do not cut too deep, so that you do not cut off the hard
      parts off the corn cob.  Turn the cob as you remove the kernels.  Keep your hand on the top of the
      cob the whole time.
7.  Mix corn into the salsa.  Crumble salmon with your fingers and split into four equal servings.
8.  Preheat saute pan on medium heat.  Spray one side of a tortilla with pan spray.  Place tortilla in
     your sauté pan.  Brown one side of your tortilla.  If the tortilla puffs up just pierce it to let the air
     out.
9.  Put your tortilla cooked side up on your cutting board.  Top with 1/8th of your cheese mixture.
     Top cheese with 1/4 of your salmon. Top salmon with a heaping 1/4 cup of salsa.  Top salsa
     with 1/8 of your cheese mixture.  Heat another tortilla until it is crispy and browned.  Top
     your quesadilla with your second tortilla browned side against the cheese.
     -I pre-heat my tortillas because I want my quesadilla to be crispy inside and out.
10.  Spray pan with pan spray and return finished quesadilla to the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes on one
       side.  Carefully flip quesadilla over and brown for 2 more minutes on the other side.
11.  Remove quesadilla from the pan and cut on your cutting board.
12.  Repeat 3 more times to make your remaining quesadillas.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.
This recipe for salsa is great on its own and you can make it anytime to serve with chips, eggs, tacos, or nachos.

Enjoy,
ChefElla

   


Thursday, July 10, 2014

7/10/14 Chefella's Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

It is hard to cook vegetables for my friends because one of my friends only eats broccoli, and another one of my friends only eats corn, while another one of my friends only eats carrots.  I will admit that I use a sneaky trick to get my friends to try other vegetables.  I cook the vegetable with a food I know that they will really like.  I found that if I serve the vegetables with a food my friends already like they are more willing to at least try the new vegetable.  For this recipe paired my vegetables with bacon because everyone likes bacon.  I try not to hide vegetable in food because then when my friends see the vegetable the next time they will not know they ever ate it, and chances are they will not try it just because I said they have eaten it before.  I try to give my friends a positive experience with the food so that maybe next time they will want to try the vegetable by itself.  
Now if I could just find a food that would make me want to try brussel sprouts dinner with my Grandma would be more fun.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a blender, a cutting board,
    tongs, and the grill.

ChefElla's Grilled Bacon Wrapped Asparagus (This recipe will make 12 pieces)
Ingredients:
12 ea           Asparagus Spears, White Root Ends Removed
                    -Line up the asparagus so the tips are all at one end.  Cut off the root ends so
                     the asparagus spears are all the same length.
12 ea           Turkey Bacon
                    -If you prefer you can substitute pork bacon.
12 ea            Toothpicks

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (This recipe will make about 1 1/2 cups of sauce)
1 jar             Roasted Red Pepper (12oz jar, drained, do not rinse)
1 ea              Chipotle Chili in Adobo Sauce (one cooked pepper from the can)
                     -This product is a canned product that can be found in the hispanic section of your
                      local grocery store.  This product is a smoked dried jalapeño pepper cooked in a spicy
                      sauce called adobo.  It will add a nice smoky flavor to your sauce and some heat.
                      If you like really spicy sauce just add more peppers to your sauce.
1/4 Cup       Mayonnaise
2 ea              Garlic Cloves, Fresh (1/2 tsp chopped)
1/2 tsp         Kosher Salt          
1 tsp             Honey
                      -Dip the measuring spoon in oil first and the honey will not stick to the spoon.
Optional
1/4 Cup      Blue Cheese, Crumbles
                    - If you like blue cheese it is a great addition to this sauce.

3. Submerge toothpicks with cold water.  This will keep them from burning when you put them on
    the grill
4. Add all of the dressing ingredients to the blender and puree.  Store dressing in the refrigerator
    until you are ready to eat.
5. Trim asparagus.  Lay one piece of bacon on your cutting board.  Top with asparagus and roll up
     the asparagus and bacon.  Skewer each piece at the bottom with a toothpick.
 

6. Preheat grill on high.
7. Turn down grill to medium, and place asparagus on the grill.  Do not cook asparagus over a direct
     flame.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  
8. Flip asparagus over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
9. Move asparagus off the direct heat and let cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
10. Take toothpicks out of the asparagus and serve with red pepper sauce.


Enjoy

- ChefElla

Thursday, July 3, 2014

7/3/14 ChefElla's Israeli Couscous Salad

Everyone I know loves to eat this salad when I serve it, but they all complain about it while I am making the salad.  The reason is, that when you cook the dressing for the salad, you will stink up your kitchen.  The reason, is that the vinegar gives off a very strong smell when heated.  Just open a window or turn on a fan while cooking the dressing and it will not be as bad.  Eventually, the smell will go away, and no one will complain when they are eating this fresh salad with their dinner or at a picnic.  Enjoy your Fourth of July and enjoy your Israeli Couscous Salad.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife or stove  by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, a medium sauce pan, a large bowl, a small bowl, a small sauté pan, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Israeli Couscous Salad (This recipe will make 6-8 servings)
Ingredients:
8 oz.           Israeli Couscous, dried.
                   -Israeli Couscous is a larger pearl couscous.  If you buy the couscous from the bulk area
                   of the store the directions for cooking are as follows:
                    Cook 1 cup of couscous in 1 1/4 cup of water.  Simmer on low covered for 10 minutes.
                   Remove from heat and fluff (lightly mix) with a fork, let couscous sit for 5 minutes.
1 Cup         Cucumber, Small Diced (1 small cucumber)
                   -Cut cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a spoon.  Cut cucumber
                   into long strips and then into 1/4 inch long pieces.
1 Cup         Red Onion, Small Diced (1 small onion, or 1/2 medium onion)
1 Cup         Yellow Bell Pepper, Small Diced (1 medium bell pepper)
1 Cup          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced (2 Roma Tomatoes)
4 oz.            Feta Cheese, crumbled, or Parmesan Cheese, shredded
                    NOTE: If you do not like feta cheese substitute Parmesan

Israeli Couscous Salad Dressing 
1/4 Cup     Malt Vinegar or Salad Vinegar
1/4 Cup     Honey
                   -An easy trick to get honey out of the cup is to spread a little oil in the cup before filling
                   it up with honey.  It will keep the honey from sticking to the cup.
2 Tbl.         Dried Parsley
1 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp       Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
     
3. To make the dressing, preheat the sauté pan on medium.  Add vinegar, honey, and parsley to the
    pan.  Turn pan up to medium high heat.  Stir occasionally and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  In your
    small bowl add oil, vinegar and honey mixture, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Mix well with a
    fork.
4. Cook couscous according to instructions.  When finished pour couscous into your large bowl.  Top
    couscous with dressing and mix well.
5. Add all of the remaining ingredients to your mixing bowl and fold salad until it is blended.
6. If the salad tastes too bitter to you, add more honey until it is to your liking.

Serve as a salad or as a side with dinner.
Enjoy

- ChefElla

Thursday, June 26, 2014

6/26/14 ChefElla's Artichoke Chicken Salad

One of my secrets, is that I am always trying to make my favorite recipes a little better for me.  This does not mean that everything I make is completely free of fats, sugars, gluten, oil, or full of antioxidants, vitamins, lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables.  I just try to keep my recipes balanced, and even if I change one thing for the better I know I am taking a step in the right direction.  For this recipe, I took my favorite chicken salad, and took out one ingredient, mayo.  I know you are all saying, "How can it be chicken salad without the mayo?"  I say, "Just try my recipe," and you will see.  This week when you are making one of your favorite recipes, try to change one thing, or use a little less of an ingredient to make it a little healthier for your family or friends.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife.  If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    a blender or cuisinart,  a large bowl, a strainer, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Artichoke Chicken Salad (This recipe will make 4-6 servings)
Ingredients:
1 lb.            Chicken, Cooked
                   -For my chicken salad I buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from the store.  I let the chicken
                   cool down, I remove the skin, and I pick the meat from the bones for the salad.
1 Can         Artichokes, Drained (15 oz Can)
                   -You can buy the least expensive kind or brand.
1 Can         Diced Water Chestnuts, Drained  (8 oz Can)
1/4 Cup     White or Sweet Vidalia Onion (1/4 of a small onion)
1/2 Cup     Celery, Small Diced (2 small or 1 large stalk)
                  -Wash celery stalk.  Cut brown ends off of celery.  Cut celery in half lengthwise.  Cut each
                  half of celery lengthwise again.  You can continue to do this until the pieces are as thin as
                  you want them.  Chop the celery stalks into small pieces.  The thinner the celery is cut, the
                  smaller the pieces will be when you chop them.
1/4 Cup     Italian Parsley, remove leaves from the stems. (Not a packed cup the leaves should be loose)
                  -Italian parsley is also called flat leaf parsley.  Regular parsley is called curly parsley.
3 Tbl.         Olive Oil
1/2 tsp       Lemon Juice
1 tsp           Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp       Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Garlic Powder
Optional:
1/4 Cup      Red Pepper, Small Diced
1/4 Cup      Walnuts, Chopped    
     
3. Chop up chicken into bite sized pieces.  Chop up onions, celery, and mince parsley, keep separate.
    Drain Artichokes and Water Chestnuts.
4. Add artichokes, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic to the blender.  Puree
    ingredients into a paste.  There should be no lumps.  If the ingredients will not blend add one
    tablespoon of water.
5. Add all of the ingredients to your mixing bowl and mix well.
6. Let chicken salad cool and serve.

Serve as a sandwich, wrapped in a tortilla, or in a lettuce cup.
Enjoy

- ChefElla

Friday, June 13, 2014

6/13/14 ChefElla's Cowboy Calico Beans

I was invited to a picnic this week and I wanted to bring something a little different.  My Grandma told me about cowboy calico beans.  I told her I do not like baked beans because they are so sweet and syrupy.  My Grandma told me that recipes are not set in stone and that I could change the recipe to make it how I like it.  So I made my own version of cowboy calico beans.  I used turkey bacon and ground turkey meat so that there was less fat, and instead of using ketchup, bbq, sauce, and molasses, I used real tomatoes, brown sugar, and spices.  I guarantee you, you won't miss all the sugar, and with my recipe you can go back for seconds.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    sauté pan,  a medium sauce pot with lid, a strainer, and a cutting board.

ChefElla's Cowboy Calico Beans (This recipe will make 8-10 servings)
Ingredients:
1 lb.            Ground Turkey
12 oz.         Turkey Bacon
                   -Open the package and put bacon on the cutting board.  Do not pull the bacon strips
                    apart, leave them in a brick.  Slice the bacon into thin strips.  This way you will not
                    need to cut each individual piece of bacon at a time.
1 Can         Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed (15 oz Can)
1 Can         Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed (15 oz Can)
1 Can         Great Northern or Cannellini Beans, Drained and Rinsed (15 oz Can)
1 Can         Petit Diced Tomatoes (14 oz Can)
1 Cup        Onion, Small Diced or Chopped (1 small or 1/2 medium onion)
                  -Chop the onion first and then measure in your cup.
1 tsp           Garlic Powder
2 tsp           Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Cup      Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp        Black Pepper
2 tsp           Yellow Mustard
1 1/2 Cup   Water
1 Tbl.          Olive Oil

3. Heat sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add turkey bacon and break pieces apart so that there are no
    large chunks and the pieces are separated.  Cook until the pieces are nice and crispy but not burnt.
    Stir the bacon and spread around the pan at first.  As the bacon cooks, stir more frequently so that
    it does not sit for too long and get burnt.
4. Pour bacon into the medium sauce pot.  Return pan to the stove and add olive oil.  Add onions and
    stir occasionally.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.
5. Pour onions into the medium sauce pot.  Return pan to the stove and add ground turkey.  Mash
    and break up the meat as it cooks.  When the meat is no longer pink it is done.
6. Add the meat to the medium sauce pot.  Add all of the remaining ingredients to the sauce pot.  Heat
    mixture on the stove covered on medium heat for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
7. Serve warm.

Serve this dish at a picnic, when you grill, or bring to a pot luck.  Your friends will never know you made a good for them bowl of cowboy calico beans.
Enjoy

- ChefElla

Friday, June 6, 2014

6/5/14 ChefElla's Asian Chicken Satays & Asian Noodle Salad

After a long day of playing in the sun, nothing tastes better then something off the grill.  My cold noodle salad and chicken satays are just the thing.  Satays are small pieces of marinated meat, skewered, and grilled.  The noodle salad is so light and tasty you will feel cool just looking at it.  My recipe is not a traditional asian recipe, but it has many ingredients that you can find in asian cuisine.  There have been many times in the past when I have tried to make asian foods, but there were just too many specialty ingredients to buy for one recipe.  This recipe is easy and only requires a few new ingredients.  So keep cool and enjoy.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    medium sauce pot, a strainer, a blender, a cutting board, the grill, and a large mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Asian Chicken Satays & Cold Noodle Salad (This recipe will make 4-6 servings)
Ingredients:
6 oz            Buckwheat Noodles, Dried
                   -If you would like to make this recipe gluten free use a gluten free spaghetti.
3-4 ea.        Green Onions, Thin Sliced
1/2 ea.        Red Pepper, Thin Sliced
                  -Slice off the top and bottom of the red pepper.  Remove the core and seeds.
                   Stand the pepper up on one end.  Cut the pepper in half.  Cut out the white ribs of the
                   pepper and lay the pepper flat.  Cut into thin strips and then cut the strips in half.
11/4 Cups  Carrots, Julienned
                   -You can purchase these in the produce department of the grocery store.
1 Cup         Sugar Snap Peas, Cut in Half
14-16 oz.    Chicken Tenders, Sliced in Half Lengthwise
                  -You can also purchase whole chicken breasts and slice into thin strips.
12-15 ea    Skewers
Asian Dressing
1 cup            Vegetable Oil
4 Tbl+1 tsp   Soy Sauce, Low Sodium
                     -If you are making this recipe gluten free you can substitute Gluten Free Tamari.
4 tsp              Rice Vinegar
4 tsp              Garlic, Fresh Minced
4 tsp              Ginger, Chopped (About 1/2 oz)
                      -Peel ginger with a potato peeler.  Cut the ginger into thin coins and then chop into
                      small pieces.            
Dash             Cayenne Pepper
4 tsp              Honey
                      -Dip the measuring spoon in oil first and the honey will not stick to the spoon.

3. Submerge skewers with cold water.  This will keep them from burning when you put them on
    the grill
4. Add all of the dressing ingredients to the blender and puree.  If you do not cut your ginger down
    before putting it in the blender is will leave little strings in the dressing.
5. Cut chicken into strips, put into a plastic bag with 1/4 cup of dressing.  Mix the chicken and
    dressing well.  Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for later.
6. Slice up vegetables put into your large bowl and mix with 1/2 cup of dressing.
7. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Drain and rinse with cold water until cool.
8. Add pasta to the vegetables and mix well.
9. Pre-heat one half of the grill.
10.  Skewer the chicken strips.  Make sure to thread the meat onto the skewers so that the chicken
       does not slide off the grill while cooking.
11.  Put the skewers on the grill when it is hot, with the wood side away from the heat.  Cook for  2-3
       minutes on each side over direct heat but not over a flame.
12.  Drizzle a little of the remaining dressing over the satays when they are done.

Garnish satays and asian pasta salad with fresh cilantro and cucumber strips.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Friday, May 30, 2014

5/30/14 ChefElla's Quinoa Burgers

Some of my friends at school told me they do not eat meat.  I was a little surprised by this because I have never met a vegetarian before.  I was even more surprised to find out that there are different kinds of vegetarians.  Some vegetarians do not eat anything but fruits, grains and vegetables.  While others eat fruit, grains, vegetables and dairy products.  My friends explained that there are many different kinds of vegetarians and they can all eat different foods.  I wanted to have my friends over for a bbq this weekend so I came up with this quinoa burger.  I normally do not eat foods like this, but I have to admit these quinoa burgers were really good.  So enjoy your quinoa burgers, and now you can have your vegetarian friends over for a bbq.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    sauté pan,  small sauce pot with lid, a strainer, a blender, a cutting board and a medium
    mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Quinoa Burgers (This recipe will make 6-8 servings)
Ingredients:
1 Cup        Quinoa, Red, White or Mixed
                   -Quinoa is a grain high in protein.
1 Can         Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed (15 oz Can)
1/4 Cup     Onion, Chopped
                  -Chop the onion first and then measure in your cup.
1 Cup         Mushrooms, Chopped
1 tsp           Garlic, Fresh Minced
2 ea.           Eggs
1 1/2 Cup  Panko Bread Crumbs
                  -Panko bread crumbs are a Japanese bread crumb.  It does not have any crust it is just
                  the white part of the bread.
                  -If you are making a gluten free recipe, substitute a par cooked steel cut oatmeal.
2 Tbl.         Walnuts, Chopped
2 Tbl.         Olive Oil
1 tsp           Browning Liquid
                  -I use a brand called Kitchen Bouquet.  I use this one because it does not have MSG in it.
1 Tbl.         Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp       BlackPepper

3. Rinse quinoa in a strainer with cold water.  Heat 1 cup of water in your small sauce pot.  When the
    water comes to a boil add the quinoa.  Turn heat down to medium low cover the pot and cook for
    10 - 15 minutes.  When it is done remove from the heat and pour quinoa in your medium bowl.
4. Heat sauté pan on high.  Add olive oil.  Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 3-5
    minutes stirring frequently.  Turn off heat and let vegetables cool in the pan.
5. Add 2 eggs to the blender.  Add drained and rinsed beans, salt, pepper and browning liquid.
    Add sautéed vegetables and blend until the mixture is a puree.
6. Add the mixture to the quinoa and mix well.  Add panko bread crumbs and mix well.
7. Line a plate or cookie sheet with foil.  Spray foil with pan spray.
8. Using a 1/2 cup measure, scoop out some of the quinoa mix.  Form into a patty and put on foil.
    The mixture will be sticky.  You may need to wet your hands.  If the mixture is not firm enough
     to make into a patty add another 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.
9. Scoop out the remaining mixture and make into patties.
10.  Pre-heat the grill to medium.
11.  Put patties on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side not over direct heat.

Top each patty with ketchup, mustard, onions, tomatoes, avocado, cheese or any of your favorite burger toppings.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Friday, May 23, 2014

5/23/14 ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage

It is hard to mention ratatouille without thinking of the cute little rat from the movie with the same name.  The truth is, there really is a dish called ratatouille.  It is a French stew of vegetables, sometimes served with pasta and meat.  For my dish we will use the traditional zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and a few other vegetables that are not so traditional but taste good.  Sometimes we think that just because a dish has a fancy name it is hard to make.  Ratatouille sounds hard to make but it is not.  The hardest part  of the dish is the amount of vegetables you will have to cut up, but in the end it is worth it.  So impress your friends and tell them you know how to make Ratatouille.


For this recipe you will need to use a knife and the stove.  If you are not allowed to use a knife and stove by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons, a knife, a rubber spatula or wooden spoon,
    sauté pan,  medium stock pot with lid, a strainer, a sauce pan, a cutting board and  2 medium
    mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Ratatouille with Italian Sausage (This recipe will make 10-12 servings)
Ingredients:
16 oz         Italian Turkey Sausage, ground
                  -You can use any kind of italian sausage you want, but I like turkey sausage.  It has less
                 calories and fat.  If you cannot find ground turkey sausage, just buy the links.  Cut through
                 the outer casing of the sausage links and remove.  You will be left with the ground meat.
16 oz.        Orecchiette Pasta, Dried
                  -Orecchiette is Italian for little ear.
1 ea.          Red Onion, Medium Diced, (1 Medium Sized Onion)
1 ea.          Zucchini, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Zucchini)
1 ea.          Yellow Squash, Medium Diced (1 Medium Sized Yellow Squash)
1 ea.          Eggplant, Medium Diced (1 Small Eggplant)
1 ea.          Red Bell Pepper, Medium Diced (1 Large Pepper)
1 ea.          Portobello Mushroom Cap, Medium Diced (1 Large Cap)
                 -Remove stem before cutting and discard.
4 ea.          Roma Tomatoes, Medium Diced
1 tsp          Garlic, Minced, Fresh
1 Tbl         Tomato Paste
4 oz.          Red Wine, Any Flavor
1 tsp          Kosher Salt
1 tsp          Black Pepper
1/4 tsp       Oregano or Marjoram, Dried
2 Tbl.        Olive Oil
8 ea.          Basil Leaves, Fresh, Chopped
                 -Layer the leaves of basil one on top of the other.  Cut into thin strips and then chop.

3. Pre-heat sauté pan.  Cook ground sausage.  Make sure to mix and break the meat into little pieces
    while it cooks.  Put ground sausage in your strainer to remove the excess fat when it is thoroughly
    cooked.
4. Cut up onions, peppers and garlic and set aside in a bowl.
5. Dice up remaining vegetables and mix together in a bowl.
6. Pre-heat stock pot on high.  Add olive oil.  Add peppers, onion and garlic.  Turn pot to medium high
    heat.  Cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
7. Add remaining vegetables, spices, wine and half of the chopped basil.
8. Simmer on medium to low heat for 15 minutes covered.
9. Cook pasta following the directions on the box and drain
10.  When ratatouille is done mix in cooked sausage and cooked pasta.
11.  Garnish with basil.

This is a great recipe to make for all of your friends and family.

Enjoy

- ChefElla

Saturday, May 17, 2014

5/16/14 ChefElla's Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza

When it gets warm outside cooking can be a challenge.  You want to eat good food, but you do not want use your oven our stove because it can warm up the house.  At my house we grill a lot in the summer so that the house does not get warm.  Because I do not want to give up any of my favorite foods when the temperature is high, I decided to use the grill to make one of my favorite foods, pizza.
Using the grill like the oven is a great way to keep the heat out of your kitchen and the grill gives your food a great flavor.  Using the grill for foods other than hot dogs, steak or hamburgers can be different at first but with a little practice I know you will be able to do it.

For this recipe you will need to use a knife, the stove and the grill.  If you are not allowed to use a knife, the stove or grill by yourself you can have a grown up help.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring spoons and cups, a knife, a spatula or wooden spoon,
    tongs, a sauté pan, a large spoon, a cutting board and a small mixing bowl.

ChefElla's Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza (This recipe will make 4-6 servings)
Ingredients:
   Grilled BBQ Chicken
8 oz           Chicken Breast (One Large Chicken Breast)
1/8 Cup     BBQ Sauce (To Marinate Chicken), Use your favorite kind of tomato based BBQ sauce.
   Caramelized Onions
1 ea.          Red Onion, Cut Into Strips (1 Medium Onion)
                  -To cut an onion into strips, first take the dry paper like skin off of your onion.
                  Then cut off the root and plant ends.  Onions are round and they can roll so
                   be very careful.  Place the onion on one of the flat sides and then cut it in half (2 half
                   moons).  Put the onion on cutting board flat side down.  If you cut the onion into strips with
                   the curve you will have half moon strips.  If you cut against the curve you will have strips.
1 tsp           Butter or Margarine
1 Tbl.         Olive Oil
1 tsp          Boullion Base, Chicken Flavor
                 -I choose base over powder because I do not like to use products with MSG, and dried
                 boullion usually has MSG in it.
1/4 tsp      Kosher Salt
Pinch        Black Pepper
2 Tbl.        Sherry or Port Wine
                 -Cooking the wine will remove the alcohol from the wine.  If you do not want to cook with
                 alcohol you can leave it out.
    Other Ingredients
1 ea            Pizza Crust
1/4 Cup     BBQ Sauce
3/4 Cup     Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1/4 Cup     Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola

3. Pre-heat grill.  If you are using charcoal pile the briquettes on one side of the grill.
4. Coat your chicken in BBQ sauce.  Put chicken on the grill close to the heat but not directly over
    the flame.  If you put the chicken directly over the fire it will burn the sugar in the BBQ sauce and
    turn your chicken black.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Turn chicken 90 degrees to the right and cook
    for 3 more minutes.  Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes depending
    on the thickness of the chicken.  If you are checking with a thermometer the chicken should be
    cooked to 165F.  Remove the chicken from the grill and let cool.
5. Pre-heat your sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add butter and olive oil to the pan.  When the butter
    melts add the onions.  Stir the onions so that they do not burn 2-3 minutes.  When the onions begin to
    brown and start to turn translucent (a little see through) add the salt, pepper and base, and mix well.
    Cook for another 2 minutes stirring frequently.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the Sherry.
    Mix well.  Cook on low for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit.
6. Cut up chicken into strips.
7. Put pizza crust on a large plate or cutting board.  Spread 1/4 cup BBQ sauce on the crust using the
    back of a spoon.  Spread the caramelized onions over the crust.  Add sliced chicken to the crust.
    Top with both kinds of cheese.
8. Slide pizza off of your plate or cutting board onto the grill.  Do not put over direct heat or flame.
    Cover the grill while cooking the pizza.  Turn the pizza about every 5 minutes to heat evenly.  Cook
    for about 20 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.  Using your spatula lift up
    one end of the pizza and slide it back onto your plate or cutting board.

Enjoy

- ChefElla