Archive for ◊ September, 2010 ◊

30 Sep 2010 Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

In our recent taste tests, these were definitely the winners!   I think these won because they tasted the most like traditional  Rice Krispie Treats, but they were cranked up a notch, a big notch. The browned butter and the sea salt makes such a DIVINE difference. You’ll know when you taste them. Look at all that was left to photograph! My older daughter wants me to throw out the original recipe for Rice Krispie Treats and just use this one from now on.

I didn’t want to up this recipe to use a 9 x 13 pan, because there is quite a bit of butter in this recipe–and it has to be browned, which can be a tricky step.  I’d suggest making two batches, rather than one larger batch, if you are trying to feed a crowd.

I did put my batch in a 7×11 pan, rather than the specified 8×8 pan.

I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

4 ounces (¼ pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter
10 ounces mini marshmallows
Heaping ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt, I used Maldon Sea Salt (plus extra for sprinkling)
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (6 ounces)

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute. As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan, pressing firmly and evenly into the edges and corners (butter a spatula or use the paper from the butter for this job). Let cool and then cut into squares.

30 Sep 2010 Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

I looooove coconut so I HAD to make these. Had to. I am glad I did, too. This recipe is a keeper! I have coconut loving friends that are going to want to me to make these. I’ll offer to bring them to their parties.  I’ll get a lot of invitations to of parties! Maybe not grown-up cocktail parties (LOL), but that’s OK.  Down home, multi-generational, potluck parties are more my style anyway.

I found this recipe at the Craving Chronicles but had to change it up a bit.  I wish I had increased the recipe to fit into a 9×13 inch pan, but I wasn’t smart enough. You can though, just increase all the ingredients by 50% (don’t throw out the extra ounce of marshmallows, throw the whole pound bag in there).  One more thing, I’ve made these several times now.  I don’t think I will put a chocolate drizzle on the top again.  The coconut goodness does it for me.  I don’t need the chocolate.  It kind of gets in the way.  But you do what suits your palate best :).

One MORE thing, in the photo, I put the chocolate on top of the coconut. Ooops.  If you do use chocolate, don’t do this.  The chocolate and coconut fall off. Chocolate first, THEN coconut, K?

Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats

3 tablespoons butter
10 ounces mini marshmallows
½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon coconut extract
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
½ cup toasted shredded coconut*

3 ounces (about ½ cup) bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)

* To toast coconut, spread shredded coconut in an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 300F, stirring every few minutes, for 10-15 minutes or until coconut is golden brown. Don’t walk away from the oven! The coconut will brown very quickly, so keep an eye on it. Set aside to cool.

Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square dish by either buttering or spraying with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until melted. Stir in shredded coconut and coconut extract. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies and stir until thoroughly coated. Spread Rice Krispie mixture into prepared pan. With the back of a buttered spatula or using a sheet of waxed paper, press mixture firmly into an even layer. If desired melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the tops of the treats. Spread slightly, if desired. Sprinkle toasted coconut and press lightly to adhere to the chocolate and the top of the treats. Cool at room temperature until chocolate hardens. Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today…, and don’t forget to send me that invitation to the party!

30 Sep 2010 Chocolate-Chocolate Cherry Rice Krispie Treats

For years I had forgotten about Rice Krispie Treats (thinking of them as kid stuff) then a neighbor brought a batch to a block party.  I went wild. Rice Krispie treats are officially one of my danger foods now.  Don’t leave me in a room with a pan of them.  Ever.

Over the past few years I have amassed quite a collection of Rice Krispie Treat recipes, each one better than the last.  First it was Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats, then Toasted Coconut Rice Krispie Treats, then Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats and now, my current favorite, Chocolate-Chocolate Cherry Rice Krispie Treats. I HAVE tried some recipes that bombed, too…, the Butterscotch Rice Krispie Treats, a Chocolate Rice Krispie Treat and a Coffee Rice Krispie Treat.

In spite of the name, there is not much chocolate in these treats.  There’s white chocolate mixed in with the marshmallows, and some semi sweet chocolate drizzled on top, but that’s all.  The chocolates work very well with the exciting flavor of the dried cherries.

The original recipe for these Rice Krispie Treats was from a 2009 Cooks Country magazine, but it only made enough for an 8″ x 8″ pan.  Where’s the fun in that?  I upped the quantities to use an entire 1 lb bag of miniature marshmallows so the mixture would fit into the traditional Rice Krispie Treat pan, the faithful 9″ x 13″ glass pan.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cherry Rice Krispie Treats

4 tablespoons butter
1  16 oz. bag mini marshmallows (the white ones, of course)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 1/2  cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Prepare a  9 x 13 inch pan be buttering, spraying with Pam or lining with foil, whichever method you are most comfortable with (I spray with Pam).

Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until entire mixture is melted and smooth, about 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat.

Off heat, stir in Rice Krispies and cherries.  Make sure all the cereal is evenly coated with the marshmallow mixture.  This will take some stirring.

When mixture is fully combined and there are no dry pockets of cereal, pour into prepared pan.  With greased paper (I use the paper off the butter) or a greased spatula, press on the mixture to even out the top and to eliminate all air pockets.

Melt semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave on low at 30 second intervals until smooth. Pour melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag (preferably a freezer strength Ziploc), move the chocolate into one corner of the bag. Using scissors, clip a tiny piece off the corner and drizzle chocolate over the Rice Krispie Treats in the pan.

Allow chocolate to cool and harden (if you are in a hurry, put the treats in the refrigerator) before cutting treats into serving pieces and serving.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  I’ll be busy transferring the other Rice Krispie Treat recipes from my “Polly, Julie, and Julia” Facebook page soon!

29 Sep 2010 Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

It’s HOT.  Crisp salads and iced tea are what we are clamoring for.

Here’s my version of  “Chinese” Chicken Salad.  It’s crisp and tasty. It’s made with cabbage, two kinds, which hold up better than lettuce–and lettuce is boring, and it’s in almost every other salad.  How many chances do you have to eat raw cabbage?  Not many, right?  I can only think of this salad and coleslaw.  So try this, with cabbage…, and carrots, cilantro, green onion, sesame seeds, and shredded chicken.  You might even want to add some chopped celery and/or sugar snap peas.  Sometimes I even add a can of mandarin oranges, which makes this so not a Chinese Chicken Salad (but it’s good!)

This recipe makes enough for a small crowd.  (I often take it to potlucks.)  If you’re not the Duggars, and are not going to a potluck, you might want to consider making half a recipe. Leftover Chinese Chicken salad doesn’t keep all that well (the noodles and the cabbage loose their crunch), although teenage boys have been known to devour soggy leftovers up to 24 hours after serving…

Chinese Chicken Salad

  • 1 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts, optional (I use dry roasted peanuts)
  • 4-5 cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded (Use leftover chicken, or marinate chicken breasts in teriyaki sauce for a few hours, then grill, broil or pan-fry-let cool before using.  You could also use the chicken from a cooked rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 packages of Top Ramen noodles (that soup mix stuff, the rectangular package!), crumbled (any kind, you will not be using the seasoning package)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds, optional (To toast seeds, place them in a hot, dry frying pan and swirl around a bit over medium high heat.  As soon as the seeds begin to take on a color, remove from heat.  Keep stirring, the residual heat in the pan will continue to toast the seeds for another few minutes.)
  • Optional additions: chopped celery, sugar snap peas, one can, drained, mandarin oranges

For the Dressing

4 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil (a light vegetable oil)
1/2 cup sesame oil
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients for dressing, blend or shake to mix.  Set aside.

Toss remaining ingredients together.  If you are making this to serve later, do not add the dressing or the noodles until just before serving.

Pour desired amount of blended dressing over veggies, chicken, peanuts, and noodles.  I don’t always use all the dressing (extra dressing keeps for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator); I like a lightly dressed salad.  Plus, heads of cabbage come in different sizes…, you will need more or less dressing depending on how much cabbage you have in your salad.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  Hope this helps you deal with the hot weather.  Hopefully it will cool down soon and we can get some soup on the stove and some bread in the oven.  If you’d like to receive an email when I post a new recipes, please subscribe.  To view other recipes, just click on the “In The Kitchen With Polly” box on the upper left hand side of the page.  If you are looking for an even quicker side dish or pot luck dish check back soon, I just made a no fuss Southwestern Pasta Salad.  I’ll post it just as soon as I get a good picture!  I cook so much better than I take photographs.

28 Sep 2010 Chinese Pasta Salad

Chinese Pasta Salad?  Is there such a thing?  I doubt it.  So what is this?!  I don’t know what else to call it! Chinese Pasta Salad is the name it came to me with and I welcome all suggestions for a new name 🙂 This cold pasta side dish is good.  Very good.  I made it for a potluck last night, and three people asked me to post the recipe.  Always glad to oblige! Cold noodles, in a sauce of sesame oil, maple syrup (Chinese?  I think not!), and soy sauce with chopped dry roasted peanuts (again, Chinese?  I think not), green onion and cilantro. I wouldn’t have made this if I hadn’t tried it first.  Believe me, with this dish, the whole is better than the sum of it’s parts!

An old coworker of mine, Mary Lou Stuart, brought this to an HR potluck at LifeScan on Tuesday, September 20, 2005.  I know the date because I still have the email with the recipe (and that horrible name).

I changed the method a bit, just to make it easier, but other than that, I made no changes. Please forgive me for mixing up my cultures and photographing this Chinese Noodle Salad (which isn’t) on a Japanese cloth.  Also, the cilantro looks a little old, in the picture, doesn’t it?  It is.  I forgot to take a picture the day I served this. This is a picture of what was left in the refrigerator container because it wouldn’t fit into the serving container.  So that cilantro has been sitting in the dressing for three days.  Yours will look much better. The world is out of alignment today.

Chinese Pasta Salad (not..)

1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B, if you can find it)
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (I have also used teriyaki)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 bunch chopped green onions (6-8)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts.

Blend the maple syrup, sesame oil, and soy sauce in the blender.  Pour over cooked and drained noodles.  Add in chopped cilantro and green onions. Refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving stir in the chopped dry roasted peanuts.

Mary Lou said she sometimes adds about 2 cups of chopped cooked chicken to the salad (she uses a cooked rotisserie chicken).  I’ve done this once or twice (with a chicken breast poached in a bit of soy sauce and water/broth), but actually prefer this salad without the chicken.  Plus, it’s always nice to have something on the table for the vegetarians and vegans in the group.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  If you know Mary Lou Stuart, please forward this message to her. I have lost track of her.  If she is uneasy with her name being on this post, I will use a pseudonym.

25 Sep 2010 Baked Chicken Taquitos

Yes!  You can bake taquitos!  Who knew?  My kids loved taquitos when they were growing up.  They were always happy when there was a box of them in the freezer. I wish I knew then what I know now.  I could have made batches of these and had them in the freezer for them to reheat.  I could have been my own Costco!  I could have served them real food, and it could have been baked, rather than fried.  Oh well.  I can make these now and my daughter is heading back to her college apartment with two dozen of them (frozen), and the knowledge of how to make them for herself.  Hey, I AM my own Costco!

I was afraid this would be a bit spicy for my tender palate.  Not at all.  In fact, if you want a bit of a kick you should probably add in a few chopped chilies.  We made most of these with corn tortillas, but tried a few with flour, too.  We didn’t like the flour ones nearly as much. BTW, I’ve found a really good brand of corn tortillas, they don’t crack when folded (even when taken right out of the refrigerator).  They are  “La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style Corn Tortillas”.  Here in San Jose they are at both Lucky and Safeway. I found this recipe at Our Best Bites.

Promise me you won’t skip the sprinkling of Kosher salt before baking.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

4 oz cream cheese
1/4  cup Salsa Verde (green salsa)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1  cup grated pepperjack cheese

16-20 small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray (Pam) or oil placed in an oil mister

Heat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir (but not melted).

Stir salsa verde, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, cilantro, green onions, chicken and grated cheese into softened cream cheese and combine well. You can easily prepare  this mixture ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Working with a few tortillas at a time, place between damp paper towels and heat in microwave (20-30 seconds) until soft enough to roll without cracking (not necessary if you are using La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style Corn Tortillas!)

Place 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll tortilla as tightly as possible.  Secure with a toothpick if desired, but it’s probably not necessary (Now would be the time to freeze, if you want to save and bake at a later time). Place rolls seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. The rolls should not touch each other.

Spray taquitos lightly with cooking spray or oil in a mister.  Sprinkle tops lightly with kosher salt. Don’t you dare skip this!

Place taquitos  in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Serve hot, with dips that suit you–guacamole, sour cream, salsa…

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today, I hope you enjoy this recipe!