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Ellen's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Posted on 2007.12.06 at 14:21

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (shredded)
1 10oz jar enchilada sauce
1 14oz. can whole tomatoes
1 4oz. can chopped green chiles
1 package of frozen corn
1 large chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups of water
1 14oz. can chicken broth
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
Some freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf


I make mine in my Crockpot. I just simply add all of the ingredients and let it simmer on low for 6-7 hours. As far as the chicken goes, I put the chicken breasts in the Crockpot whole and then after a few hours, I take them each out individually and shred them using two forks, then I stir the shredded chicken into the soup mix in the Crockpot.

 

I eat it with tortilla chips, but some times I just take some round tortilla shells and slice them into strips. I then fry the strips in a large frying pan in some canola oil, then once they are brown and crispy I drain them on a paper towel and top the soup bowls with the tortilla strips.  



Baked Ziti Ellen-Style

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:28
 

I am LOVING the weird mixture of autumn and winter that Philly is getting lately. For whatever odd reason, autumn kind of completely skipped Philly this year and instead decided to give us a hybrid of autumn/winter --- something I like to refer to as Auter or Wintumn.

 

Auter.... or Wintumn has thus far consisted of overcast skies without the rain (my favorite kind of skies), dry, cold air that energizes my whole system, and weather perfect for layering all of my favorite clothes. I also got to break out the fingerless gloves (my favorite kind of gloves) and my fancy hat!

 

This weather also motivates me to cook like a madwoman and feed the people that I love. Yesterday, I decided to dig for a baked ziti recipe online, as I lost the one I used to have. I found one on www.allrecipes.com, but after reading through it I decided that it needed some Ellen-ifying --- some tweeking, if you will.

 

The Ellen-ified recipe came out to be the best baked ziti I have ever made. I was able to feed myself, Jim, my sister, and her boyfriend and each person received massive, comfort food portions. I decided to post my recipe below. ENJOY!

Baked Ziti Ellen-Style:

1 16oz. box of ziti pasta

15 oz. ricotta cheese

1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese (I tweeked this and used an Italian three-cheese blend instead. It had much more flavor.)

1 egg, beaten

5 cloves of garlic, minced (I like garlic. You can use less if you want.)

1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce (I used tomato, onion, and garlic sauce. You can use less sauce or more sauce depending on what you like.)

1 small chopped red onion, sauteed in olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs

As much of the following as your little heart desires ---

Parsley

Oregano

Basil

Freshly crushed black pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook your ziti noodles in a pot of salted, boiling water for about 8 minutes or until they're al dente. In a large bowl, mix your ziti, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, egg, and about 3/4 of one of the jars of spaghetti sauce. Also add your spices. Stir everything together very well.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and scoop your mixture from the bowl into the pan. Press it down lightly so that you have a nice, even layer on top to pour more sauce over. Top with the remaining spaghetti sauce. In a small bowl, mix together breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle this mixture over the top layer of sauce.

Bake for 30 minutes in your 375 degree oven. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

 

I made a simple side salad with cucumbers, tomatos, carrots, and iceberg lettuce for the side. For the dressing, I mixed some olive oil with some balsamic vinegar and added about 1/4 tsp. of sugar, a pinch of salt, a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and about 1/2 tsp of grated parm cheese to it and stirred it very well. This is actually my favorite dressing (courtesy of Emily.)



Ellen's Crap-Ass Weather Chicken Chili

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:28
 So, I woke up this morning around 7:30am and realized that just like yesterday --- It was raining outside. I hate nothing more than soggy weather and I refuse to go outside in it if I don't absolutely have to. I actually wasn't too disappointed today because I didn't have any solid plans, so after sending Jim off to work & school with a cornbread muffin and a banana, I decided to make another Crockpot full of something that would warm my tummy on this crap-ass day. I went to the store and gathered ingredients for a hearty chicken chili. It's still simmering in the Crockpot, so I decided to post the recipe. This recipe makes enough chili to feed an army, so you will have enough to share with friends:

Broadzilla's Crap-Ass Weather Chicken Chili:

About 1.5 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
1 can of white corn or hominy (you can use either)
1 15oz. can of Great Northerm beans
1  15oz. can of garbanzo beans
1.5 (15 oz.) cans of chicken broth
2 10 3/4oz. cans of Campbell's cream of chicken soup
1 4.5 oz. can of chopped green chiles
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of taco seasoning or 1 package of taco seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Adobo seasoning
1/2 cup of sour cream

As Crockpot recipes go, just dump all of your ingredients inside of it and let it simmer for 6-8 hours on the low setting. Stir regularly. Stir in the sour cream just before you're ready to serve the chili. This stuff makes your home smell like Mexico. I wouldn't have it any other way!

I also picked up my sticks and started the knitting season off with a BANG! Soon to come... earwarmer/headband thing-a-ma-bobs. We'll see how this turns out...


Ellen's Non-Recipe Mac n' Cheese Recipe

Posted on 2007.12.04 at 09:27

Last night, Jim and I had the pleasure of hanging out with our good budz, Dave n' Catherine, and eating yummy, homemade food on a crap-ass weather Sunday.

broadzilla's Blog Thought on The Side: (And hey, Philly --- What is up with all the crap-ass weather Sundays you've been giving us lately?! Oh sure, it's given me a great opportunity to cook and bake my brains out but I'd like to do some fun outdoor activities as well without getting spritzed all over by the sky. Thanx.)

Dave n' Catherine made vegetarian "meat"ball hoagies, and I decided to try my hand at a different, fancier twist on mac n' cheese. Normally, I use a recipe as a reference when making anything. I tend to not follow the recipe exactly and just wind up adding or deleting things from the recipe to what suits my taste and (hopefully) the tastes of others. This time, I used no recipe and totally winged it and shockingly, the mac n' cheese came out tasting fantastic! I decided to do my best at typing up the "recipe" that I used, because I basically just threw a bunch of stuff into a pot and then tossed it in the oven. This dish was such perfect comfort food that I had to share it with my friends, so here it is:

Ellen's Spicy Mac n' Cheese Non-Recipe

1/2 of a box of rotini pasta
1/2 of a box of gemelli pasta
A little over 1 1/2 cup of shredded jalepeno jack cheese
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese
About two standard-sized coffee mugs of milk
A little less than 1/2 cup of butter
About 1/3 cup of flour
Salt n' pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook your rotini and gemelli until the noodles are al dente. While your noodles are cooking, prepare your cheese sauce by first melting your butter in a pan. Once your butter is melted, gradually whisk in about half of your flour. Once mixed, add the milk. Continue stirring these ingredients together until the mixture begins to simmer, then gradually stir in your cheese. The sauce will thicken as you are stirring it, but if you feel that it needs to be thicker, gradually add your remaining flour until it reaches the thickness and consistency where you want it to be.

Drain your noodles well. Once your cheese sauce is piping hot and the cheese is completely melted, throw your noodles back into the pot they were cooked in and gradually dump your cheese sauce over your noodles while stirring the sauce and pasta together. Add as much salt n' pepper as you'd like.

Once everything is mixed, evenly spread it into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Shred a bit more of either or both cheeses over the top. Bake for 25 minutes in your 350 degree oven.

There you have it!



Ellen's Pumpkin-Nut Bread

Posted on 2007.11.03 at 10:01

I made this for a potluck at work two days ago and it went over quite well --- so well that I sent some friends home with extra pieces of bread and I handed out the recipe to another good friend who asked me for it. Here's the recipe for all of you!

You will need…

 

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp cinnamon (I don’t follow this part of the recipe. I like to use lots of cinnamon so I use a LITTLE less than a tablespoon and a half of cinnamon. I don’t even measure it out.)

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of canned pumpkin

4 eggs, beaten

1 ¼ cups of cooking oil

1 cup of chopped walnuts

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a big bowl, then set it aside. Grab another bowl and mix together your pumpkin, eggs, oil and nuts. Combine both mixtures and blend thoroughly. Pour your mixture into your two loaf pans and pop them into the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

 

There ya go! ENJOY!  J





Ellen's Spicy Peanut Thai Creation

Posted on 2007.10.24 at 10:29
I have really been in the mood for Chinese and Thai food lately. However, a few months back I read an article that reported on the nutritional facts of Americanized Chinese and Thai food and it scared me off of Americanized Asian food for the rest of my life (of course with the exception of sushi). I was craving an Asian noodle dish, but didn't want to order greasy noodles from the local Chinese delivery place, so I decided to concoct my own. The only thing that I would do differently the next time I make this dish is to cook my noodles beforehand (that afternoon, the night before, whatever --- and storing them in the fridge until I make this meal.). Between cooking the noodles, frying the tofu, and chopping and sauteing the veggies there was just too much going on at once last night. Here's what you'll need:

About half a box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
One package of extra firm tofu that has been frozen, then thawed, drained, and sliced into little bite-sized squares 
Half of one chopped red bell pepper
Two big handfuls of bagged, premade cole slaw mix
About one and a half handfuls of peanuts
Two big handfuls of sliced mushrooms
Some peanut sauce (you can make your own but I didn't have the time to do that last night, so I just used House of Tsang's Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce)
Some crushed red pepper, as much as you like depending on taste
Some wok oil

1.) Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add a little oil and then your spaghetti noodles. Allow them to cook until they're al dente. Drain them and keep them in a colander until they are ready to be stir-fried up with the rest of this goodness.

2.) In a wok, heat your wok oil over medium/high heat. Make sure you use enough oil to coat the bottom of the wok. Once it is nice and hot, add your tofu. Fry your tofu in the wok oil until it is light brown and crispy on the outside.

3.) Add your chopped red pepper. Saute it for about two minutes. Then add your peanuts. You will not need to add anymore wok oil to your pan because the peanuts will produce some extra natural oil for your stir-frying. Then add your mushrooms. Saute those for about two minutes. Finally, add your handfuls of cole slaw mix. 

4.) Sprinkle as much peanut sauce over your tofu and veggies as you want, but don't drown them in the sauce. You want everything to simply be evenly coated. Once the tofu and veggies are all mixed together, add your noodles, more peanut sauce until the noodles are coated, and as much crushed red pepper as you like. I love spicy food so I add a lot. 

Mix everything together well and keep stir-frying everything together for a few more minutes until everything is piping hot and evenly coated in tasty peanut and spicy goodness. Grab a bowl, some chop sticks, and chow down!


I made these for Jim and I last night because I had a craving for some little kid food. My sister and I both went to a Catholic grade school and I used to go crazy for the pizza burgs that they served in the cafeteria. In retrospect, who knows what kind of mystery food was used in their pizza burgers. My pizza burgers, on the other hand, are just fucking SCRUMPTIOUS and cheesy as all hell. To make these monster-sized pizza burgs, you will need:

2 large kaiser rolls, preferably from a bakery or just bought from the bakery at your local grocery store
Two and a half big handfuls of EXTRA LEAN ground beef
Three pieces of white American cheese
About half of a jar of your favorite marinara sauce
Some shredded cheddar cheese
Some shredded mozzerella cheese

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet that's been heated over medium heat (don't use any oil. The meat is greasy enough), crumble your ground beef and allow it to brown, crumbling it with your spatula as it cooks. Once it is browned, drain the grease. Since you are using extra lean ground beef, you will only have a very little bit of grease. Add your marinara sauce to the meat. You do not want your meat sitting in a pool of sauce. You want it to be a nice equal consistency of meat and sauce so that the mixture is allowed to thicken. Simmer the meat and sauce over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring. Tear apart your pieces of American cheese and stir the pieces into the meat sauce mixture. Turn the heat down to low and keep stirring until all of the cheese is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat. This will allow the sauce to thicken. Let sit for about five minutes. 

Split your kaiser rolls apart with a knife and lay them cut-side up on a baking sheet. Stir your thickened cheese and meat sauce mixture and scoop into heaping helpings on the rolls. Finish them off by sprinkling them with a bit of cheddar and mozzerella cheese on top. Put in your 375 degree oven and allow them to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and chow down on your pizza burgs!


Ellen's Creamy Spicy Pasta

Posted on 2007.10.17 at 09:35
This is one of my signature pasta dishes. When I say "signature" I mean "totally ghetto". But you would never know that everything in this recipe is premade/store-bought because it is seriously (maybe) the best pasta dish that you will ever eat. Now that's a spicy meat-a-ball!!!!!!! 

Here is the recipe for the pasta dish I made last night. I made this once before and used penne pasta. I used vermicelli pasta last night and it turned out just as delicious, so use whatever kind of pasta you want.

 

You will need:

 

One box of your favorite pasta

Two cans of artichoke hearts (the ACME brand are only $1.99 and they are just as good as a name brand, which can cost you double)

One big package of sliced mushrooms

One large jar of your favorite tomato spaghetti sauce (I use tomato and garlic sauce.)

One jar of Ragu alfredo sauce (the jar is really small – Much smaller than the jar of tomato sauce you should use.)

Five cloves of fresh garlic, pressed (chopped or grated would work, too. I just have the press so it makes it easy.)

Some olive oil

Some dried basil (to taste)

Some dried oregano (to taste)

Some crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)

 

 

First, bring a big pot of water to a boil and add your pasta with a little olive oil so the noodles don’t stick together. While your pasta is cooking, heat a little olive oil in a large skillet and add your garlic. Sautee it up until it starts to turn golden-brown. Add your artichoke hearts and split them apart with your spatula. Let them simmer and stir in your oregano and basil. Then add your mushrooms. Let everything sauté. Keep an eye on your pasta while cooking your veggies. Once your pasta is done and your veggies are simmering on very low heat, drain your pasta and keep it in your colander. Mix your sauces together very well in the empty pasta pot. Let the sauce simmer on medium heat and keep stirring. Add your crushed red pepper and keep stirring until the sauce starts to bubble. Then dump your veggies into the sauce and stir it very well. Then add your pasta, stir until the pasta is saturated in the delicious sauce/veggie mixture! Keep stirring on low heat until it is piping hot and then serve it up!

 

It would also be delicious with grilled chicken!

 

It is super easy and SUPER cheap to make. It also makes a TON. Seriously, Jim and I are going to have leftovers for the next two days at least.

 



Mama Emily's Pasta Recipe

Posted on 2007.10.17 at 09:33
This recipe is from none other than the tiniest Metro sister, Emily. Emily is also quite talented when it comes to tossing together delectable treats and this pasta dish is one of them!

 

One box of your favorite pasta (I always used linguini)
One jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used TJs Garlic and Basil Marinara) SO GOOD!
½ of a red bell pepper
½ of a green bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
½ red onion
2-3 Roma tomatoes
Some olive oil
Basil
Oregano
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper
Garlic (crushed cloves or garlic powder)

And if you wanna be saucy about it:

Grill up a whole chicken breast. Make sure you get all of the fat off beforehand.  Rub a LITTLE bit of the Asian garlic crushed red pepper sauce on the outside of the chicken breast, some basil, salt and pepper and grill it up SLOWLY until its tender on the inside, but grilled on the outside so it gives it a nice texture with the soft pasta.

When you turn on the gas to heat up the water, start Slowly grilling your chicken making sure it doesnt get seared too quickly.  You should also be dicing your peppers, onion, and tomatoes at this time.  Do not get rid of the inside of the tomato because that will combine with the sauce. Put some olive oil in the water for the pasta.  When the water starts boiling, add your pasta.  In a separate smaller pan, add a tiny bit of olive oil and water, your chopped peppers, onion, and tomatoes with some basil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mix that all together and cook at a very low heat.  To make the chicken grilled on the outside, put the lid of a pan on top of it to trap the air.  Once the chicken is done, put it on a cutting board and cut it into strips.  Once your pasta is done, drain it in a colander, put enough pasta sauce on the bottom of the pot your pasta was cooking in, add some basil, garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper, your chicken, and then re-add the cooked pasta.  Mix it all together and get yoself some BREAD!

 

So GOOD I want it right now! I just seriously made myself hungry. J



Natalie's Pumpkin Bisque

Posted on 2007.10.17 at 09:30

My good friend Natalie threw a Fall Feast at her home this past Saturday and I must say that it was the gala event of the year. There was talk of Cat-a-holics, a crunk sing-a-long, and much devouring of delicious food. This soup was one of the yummiest things my tummy has ever had:

1-1/2 teaspoons dried ground small red chiles such as Piquins (I used chili powder because I'm a spicy-food wimp)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 16-ounce can pumpkin puree
4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/4 cup dry sherry 
grated nutmeg

Instructions!

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and transparent.
Add the pumpkin, stock, chili pepper, ground pepper, allspice, sugar, and sherry. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Whisk until very smooth. Add the half-and-half, and simmer until heated through. Garnish with the nutmeg and serve.
This soup can be served either hot or cold.
 
Makes 4 servings.. or 1 serving, depending on how hungry you are ;)


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