Oct 6, 2010

Wonton Bites and Steak with Peppers over Rice

Todays’ recipe may seem a little daunting, but I promise it’s really not difficult. There are a lot of ingredients on the list, but most of it is prep work. As long as you follow the steps, you’ll be eating yummy food in no time! Most of the ingredients also don’t have measurements this time. That’s because it just depends on how hungry you are! All the measurements for tonight’s dinner are estimates. (Ignore the eggs in the picture, they didn’t make it in tonight.) And please ignore the dryer/prep table. Mine are in the kitchen and do double duty as counter space.

  • Cornstarch
  • 1 small can of beef broth
  • 1 small steak
  • Peppers (I used 4 peppers, one of each color, but you can use whatever kind you like.)
  • Instant rice
  • 1 lb sausage (I buy the frozen roll and let it thaw.)
  • 1 small can of mushrooms
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers
  • 1 package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • Crispy chow mein noodles (if you want them)
  • About 4 bowls

Start by cutting the steak into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside. Cut the stem out of the peppers, slice into thin strips (julienne) and then put in a bowl. Set this to the side to.

The way I cooked the rice was to heat water to boiling and then put with an equal amount of rice into a bowl with a tight lid. That way, the rice cooks on it’s own while I do the rest of the food and I don’t have to watch it.

Crumble and cook the sausage. Drain and place into a bowl with the cream cheese. Brown the steak in the same pan. I used my handy cast iron skillet for this one. While the steak is browning, you can mix the sausage and cream cheese together. After the steak is done, split in half. Add mushrooms to one half and leave the other half in the pan.

Use the wonton wrappers and place about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mix in the middle. Wet down the edges of the wrapper and fold in half to make a triangle. Place on a plate and set aside. With the egg roll wrappers, place about a tablespoon of the steak and mushroom mix in the middle. Roll up however you want it. Just be sure that with both the egg rolls and the wontons that you have the edges all closed so that the filling doesn’t come out while it’s cooking.

Boil water in a large pan. Heat your fryer up and set up your station. You’ll have the wontons and potstickers close to hand. The potstickers can be either boiled or fried. *Hubby likes them boiled, I like the fried crispy!* Drop a few of the potstickers in to boil, being careful not to crowd the pan. They will be done when they float to the surface.

Turn the pan with the steak onto medium high. Add the peppers to the pan and about half of the beef broth. While the peppers are cooking, you can start the wontons. They will only take about 30 seconds to fry. Cook on one side until it is very lightly browned, it will get darker after they are taken out. Flip them to the other side, cook. Remove from oil and place into a strainer or on a plate covered with paper towels.

Now that the peppers have had time to soften, add in the rest of the beef broth. Mix about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a coffee cup of cold water. Once the broth starts boiling, add the cornstarch and stir continuously until it thickens.

Serve the beef and peppers over the rice with wontons/potstickers on the side. This is an easy dish, even if it seems complicated.  

Oct 4, 2010

Cheater's Chicken Parmesan

I call this recipe “Cheater’s Chicken Parmesan” because it’s basically made using convenience foods. It’s really simple, really delicious, and easy on a budget.

1-2 boxes of penne rigata pasta (number of boxes depends on how much you need to make)
1 large bag of pre-cooked chicken nuggets
1 large can of spaghetti sauce
1 bag of your favorite shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella with Sun Dried Tomato and Basil from Sargento.)
Grated Parmesan (also known as parmesan powder in a can, usually labeled Kraft)

From your spice rack: Basil and Parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to directions. This means boil water in a big pot, add a touch of vegetable oil (keeps the pasta from sticking) and then add the pasta. Cook until al dente, or until it still has a little bite to it. It will cook a little longer later, so you can leave it just slightly underdone for this step. Drain pasta.

In medium to large casserole dish, layer ingredients in the following order; chicken nuggets, pasta, sauce. Continue to do this until all the pasta is used. You may have some chicken left over (yeah, lunch for tomorrow!) and that’s ok. You want the last layer to be sauce. Top with the shredded cheese.

Your not going to need to cook this very long and the times will vary. This is one dish you’ll have to keep an eye on. For me, it took about 20 minutes. The cheese will be just slightly browned and the casserole will be heated all the way through. You can test this by digging out a nugget somewhat close to the middle (from the top down, not the middle of the pan) and seeing if it’s all the way heated. Sweet! Chef’s get to taste test!

Serve hot and add parmesan to individual servings. This way, everyone gets the amount of cheese they like and it doesn’t turn all gluey from being in the sauce to long. This is a super easy meal that is absolutely tasty!


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