Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pineapple Risotto

Pineapple Risotto
Serves 4
Roughly 248 Calories per serving

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped into small bits
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup Barefoot Chardonnay
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple

  1. In a medium pot, cook the chopped onions with the butter until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the arborio rice and coat well. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the Chardonnay and cook down.
  4. Add the pineapple juice and cook down.
  5. Heat the chicken broth in either a pan or in the microwave and add.
  6. Cook the risotto down until tender and soft. A little give in the middle is alright, but cook to taste. Add more broth as needed until cooked down.
  7. Finally, add the pineapple and mix thoroughly. Then add in the cheese and mix until fully combined.
  8. Taste for seasoning (salt or pepper).

Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken
Serves 4
About 172 calories per serving

From Rachael Ray Online.

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into strips)
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the coconut milk and cook until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.
  3. Toss together the chicken, five-spice powder and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil) over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry the chicken until just cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in the coconut curry sauce, simmer down.

Salsa Egg Toast

Salsa Egg Toast
(about 420 calories per serving. Serves 1)

  • 1 container (1/2 cup) Egg Beaters
  • 2 TBSP Tostitos Chunky Salsa (mild)
  • ¼ cup Finely Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 1 slice Whole Wheat Toast

  1. In a pan, use your preferred non-stick method (spray, butter, whatever). 
  2. Heat the pan and then add the Egg Beaters, Salsa, and Cheese.
  3. While this is cooking in the pan, toast the bread. 
  4. Once done, put the egg mixture on the toast.
And just a loving bit of pimpage:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Serves 6-8

Inspired by a recipe from Rachael Ray's website for Creamy Enchilada Soup, but I made some of my own changes. I've made this before and was trying to channel what I did that time to really infuse good flavor.

  • 1lb chicken breast sliced in long thin pieces (or shredded chicken if you have it)
  • 1 yellow onion sliced thin in halves
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 TBSP Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 TBSP Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Mrs. Renfro's Jalapeno Green Salsa Hot (or preferred green salsa, such as Salsa Verde)
  • 4 cups crushed tortilla chips (save some for garnish)
  • 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese (save some for garnish)
  • 1 cup of shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sour Cream (for garnish)

  1. In a large pot, sweat down the onions and garlic with a small splash of Olive Oil.
  2. While they sweat, cut the chicken up and season with half of the Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  3. Put the chicken in with the onions and garlic until they brown.
  4. Add the can of green chilies and cook for about a minute, incorporating into the mixture.
  5. Then add the 6 cups of chicken broth and add the sea salt and the last TBSP of Montreal Steak Seasoning.
  6. Let cook on medium for about 8 minutes.
  7. Add the Salsa and let cook for another 8-10 minutes. Check the chicken to make sure its the consistency that you want. If the pieces are too big, take some out and shred them yourself with a knife.
  8. After 10 minutes, add the cheese to the pot and stir until incorporated.
  9. Once the cheese is incorporated, add the tortilla chips. Then let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, until a consistency that you prefer. If you think it is too thick, add a little more chicken broth or water.
  10. Serve in bowls with extra cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream as garnish.

Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crab Egg Rolls

Crab Egg Rolls

This recipe was inspired by one from Emeril Lagasse on foodnetwork.com. My store did not have any wonton wraps, so I used egg roll wraps instead, which turned it into an egg roll, instead of a Fresh Crab Spring Roll. These turned out beyond delicious and I would definitely make them again.

  • 2 ounces Chinese cellophane or glass noodles, cooked
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped into strips
  • 8 egg roll wrappers (or just a package, depending on how much you fill them)
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat (imitation works well, too)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chili paste
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienne carrots
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • Sweet Chili Sauce (for dipping)
  • Vegetable Oil (or preferred frying oil)

  1. Cook the cellophane noodles by directions. It should say boil water, then remove from heat and let noodles sit in water until ready. Should only take 5-10 minutes, depending on how firm you want your noodles.
  2. Once the noodles are done, spread them on a cookie sheet to dry and drain off as much water as possible. They will still retain moisture, which is ok. Spread 1 TBSP of Sesame Oil and 1 TBSP of Soy Sauce over the noodles and let them continue to sit.
  3. Fill a high pot with enough oil to cover your egg rolls (so about 3-5 inches). Heat on almost high (so 8-9 on the nob) until a test piece of egg roll covering crisps.
  4. In a bowl, mix the crab, mayonnaise, chili paste, and salt and pepper. It should be a thin coating on the crab.
  5. Make sure your carrots of thin and the proper length of the egg roll. Then cut thin strips of the green onions so that they fit in the egg roll. Halve the green tops, quarter the whiter bottoms.
  6. Form an assembly line of your ingredients. First the cellophane noodles, then the crab, then the carrots and onions and lastly some of the parsley (just add as is to the roll).
  7. Have your egg roll wrapper face you like a diamond. About an inch from the corner closest to you, lay some of the cellophane noodles, then 1 tsp or 1.5 tsp of the crab mixture, then layer or vegetables and herbs. Take the corner closest to you and roll/fold it over the mixture. Then fold in the left and right sides and roll to the other corner. Use a little dip of water to close the flap if just rolling it does not.
  8. Test the oil with an imperfect piece of egg roll. When ready, put 1-2 egg rolls in at a time and watch them. Cook for about 5 minutes or until a deep golden brown on all sides. 
  9. Take out and put on a paper towel to soak up any leftover oil. 
  10. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. A Peanut Sauce or a Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.
Storage: a Tupperware or other airtight container. Keeps for about 5 days.