Indian Style Spiced and Glazed Cashews

I thought of just posting photos of food, but that would just be Instagram or Facebook, right? There is a rhyme to my reason, and that being said is to have this as part of my virtual memoir for my family. It’s part of that story where one of them is going to say ‘what was that awesome food Dad made that one day?’. That’s what this is about. This particular is only due to the fact that I went to Costco (yep) and purchased a crap load of cashews. Not only were they great sampling, hence why I bought them, but I figured I was going to create something out of them. When I brought them home, my wife started snacking on them, like her daily dose of almonds. I knew I made the right decision, so when my family left to run errands, I decided to come up with a spiced up cashew snack that I knew she would love (my kids, not so much).  Indian style spiced and glazed cashews that were addicting.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Let’s get this started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of plain cashews
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (make your own)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of water

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

Next, on a medium heat on a large skillet, add the butter, and sugar. Toss in the water and nuts and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes. You want the water to pretty much evaporate, and the butter and sugar to caramelize those nuts.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Excellente. Toss those suckers as well as you don’t want those cashews to burn. Adjust the heat as necessary but keep them from burning.

Once you have a great glaze on those cashews, remove them from the heat, and add them to a large bowl (or whatever holds the amount of cashews) and toss in the spice mix.

Toss well, or use a spoon to make sure the glaze and spice gets all over those nuts.

Line a baking sheet, or in my case a cast iron skillet, with parchment paper, and layer the spiced cashews.

Place into the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until they look delicious and you cannot wait any longer.

You want to talk about great Indian spices, and an awesome nut, well sit around a small bowl of these and you have it going on. I hope you enjoy!

Baked Chicken Verde Chimichanga

Good Lord do I ever love a chimichanga. I think I may have first had one back in my high school days at a local American-Mex joint called Chi-Chi’s. You know this was the type of place where all of us gringos thought we were having real Mexican food, only to realize years later that it was totally not, but only catered to us gringos, and the place would pack it in. Regardless, that’s where my love for the chimichanga was born. It’s essentially a deep fried burrito, loaded with goodness.

Instead of deep frying, I decided I would load these large flour tortillas up with some awesome chicken verde I made, along with rice and beans, and bake them, you know… to be a bit healthier than deep frying.

The result was awesome. Still crisp as you may expect from deep frying with way less the hassle.

Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe
Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for the salsa verde:

  • 5 whole tomatillos, husks removed
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, skin on
  • generous pinch of salt, to taste
  • 3 serrano chilies, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 cup (or more of water)

Ingredients for the chicken chimichanga:

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 5 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican or Spanish rice, per chimichanga
  • 1/2 cup of cooked refried beans, per chimichanga
  • 8 oz bag of Mexican Chihuahua cheese
  • 8 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce, optional
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil

Start by making your salsa verde. Add the tomatillos, garlic, and chilies to a roasting sheet. Place in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until they are nicely charred. Once cooked, remove them from the oven, let cool, then remove the skin from the garlic cloves. They should pretty much just slide on out.

During this time, add the chicken breasts to a large pot of water, bring to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through, about 25 minutes or longer. Once cooked through, remove the chicken breasts to a plate to let cool.

Place all of the salsa ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a fine salsa. Taste and adjust any salt.

Clean out that chicken pot. Next, remove the skins from the chicken breasts and discard. Shred all of the chicken and return the shredded chicken back to the pot. Pour in the salsa verde, bring to a medium heat, stirring along the way, and cook for about 20 more minutes. TRUST ME, THIS CHICKEN BY ITSELF IS AWESOME.

Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe
Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Take a flour tortilla and warm it on a skillet or in a microwave just until it softens. Once it is softened and more pliable, then it is time for the chimichanga making.

Lay the tortilla onto a plate, spread on the refried beans, add about a cup of chicken mixture (I use a slotted spoon to remove any excess salsa) onto the tortilla, closest to you, then add on the rice. Roll over a bit tightly, fold in the sides, and continue to roll until you have it seam side down. Lightly brush on some canola oil, and then repeat with any remaining tortillas. I made five for the family, but there is still plenty of chicken to be used for any leftovers, and as in my case enchiladas.

Take a baking sheet, add the chimichangas, and cook for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven. The goal is to get them nice and crisp. After about 15 minutes, remove, top with as much Chihuahua and cheddar cheese as you would like, and if you want, a bit more chicken mixture on top, and place back into the oven until the cheese is nicely melted.

Remove and serve. I topped mine with some nice habanero hot sauce for some kick.

The end result is everything I love about a chimichanga, and my entire family would agree. I don’t think anyone spoke at dinner time that evening as they devoured these things. If you are looking for a great meal, loaded with great flavor and texture, then give these baked chicken verde chimichangas a try. I’m certain you will love them!

 

Egg in a Bagel

A handful of years ago I came up with a recipe known as ‘spicy egg in the basket with sausage‘. It was essentially a pretty awesome breakfast recipe where a piece of bread was cut out and topped with an egg and some cooked breakfast sausage. After thinking about it, I could probably eat that every morning. IT WAS THAT GOOD. This time was a bit different though. As I watch my wife eat her daily, morning bagel (Yes, she eats a bagel every single morning), something lit up, and it came to me to come up with this recipe. The egg in a bagel. As much as my wife loves her morning bagel, I’m a total sucker for making a McMuffin for breakfast. That’s my morning jam and I could probably eat something along those lines every day to get my morning going. This egg in a bagel was no different, but a nice little spin on a mcmuffin.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 plain bagel (or use your favorite style)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1 slice of deli ham
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ring cutter, or serrated knife

Start by cutting out the center of your bagel. I use my handy, dandy ring cutter, about 2 inches in diameter, something wide enough to house the egg and get an even cook on it.

Do the same with with the cutter, or knife on the American cheese and ham.

Next, heat your skillet on medium heat, and add in the butter. Lay the bottom bagel down onto the melted butter, crack the egg into the hole, the top with the cheese, and ham. Top with the top side of the bagel.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Season the top of the egg with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper, then top with the lid, steaming the egg a bit so that it cooks through to your desired doneness.

Once the egg is cooked through, plate and serve.

Egg in a Bagel Recipe
Egg in a Bagel Recipe

Not only is this thing a joy to look at, it’s a thing of beauty to eat. That American cheese is crispy on the edges, along with the ham, creamy on the inside, the bagel lightly toasted from the butter, and the egg is perfectly cooked and creamy making this breakfast sandwich one to step up to any contender.

If you are looking for something fun to make, something pretty to look at, and more importantly something super delicious then give this one a try. Hope you enjoy and everyone have a great New Year!

Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

I have mentioned this in the past, but my wife is a total fan of crab rangoon, and now my middle son is as well. What’s not to love about a crab rangoon? A little wonton purse loaded with cream cheese, crab, scallions, and simple seasonings, all bursting into your mouth in a couple of bites. I’ll admit, I love them to, and it is something we commonly default to as an appetizer if going out for American-Chinese food. Lately I had a real hankering for some crab rangoon, but I did not feel like making a bunch of wontons. It can be time consuming, so after I gave it a couple of seconds of thought, I decided I would come up with the crab rangoon egg roll.

Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls Recipe
Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls Recipe

These crab rangoon egg rolls take a lot less time to make, and yield one whopper of an egg roll. It’s a one and done type of egg roll due to the richness of the cream cheese, but that one is so darn good.

Let’s get started. Keep in mind that you can half this recipe for about 8 egg rolls, however I doubled as I knew I would reuse the mixture for an upcoming holiday get together.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 sticks of imitation crab, chopped
  • 7 oz claw crab meat, drained
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • sweet and sour sauce, hot mustard sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce

Start by getting a medium sized mixing bowl ready. Add the bars of cream cheese, add the worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, crab meats, and scallions. Using a form or spoon, mix thoroughly. Just make sure everything is nicely incorporated before putting into your egg roll wrapper.

Ingredients for Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls
Ingredients for Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

Next it is time to wrap your egg rolls. Get a couple of plates out.

One one plate, add the egg roll wrapper, diamond style, meaning the points facing you. Add a heaping tablespoon into the lower center of the wrapper. DO NOT over stuff these babies. Next, take the point nearest you and fold over the mixture, gently pulling back to you. Roll one time, then fold over the side points. Continue to roll just until about done, leaving about an inch or so, then brush on some of the beaten egg onto that point. Continue to roll, sealing the egg roll.

Repeat with however many egg rolls you desire.

To a medium size pot, enough to house a few egg rolls to cook, add the canola oil, and bring to a medium heat, just until about 350 degrees.

Add a few egg rolls, being careful not to overcrowd, and cook until golden brown. This only takes a matter of minutes. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate, and repeat. Let these cool for a few minutes before biting into them. They are piping hot.

Once you are ready to dig in, give a dunk into your favorite dipping sauce, and prepare yourself to an unreal crab rangoon experience. Creamy, rich, crunchy, and just down right delicious. This one really lives up to its name, but in egg roll form. My wife and I joked and said ‘this egg roll probably equates to 4 regular crab rangoons, right?’. If you are looking for something neat, and a one and done, give this one a shot. It’s a great appetizer, and perfect this holiday season.

Keep in mind that any leftover mixture can be stored or frozen and used in other things such as a crab rangoon grilled cheese, or a cranberry crab rangoon, you get the idea. Hope you enjoy!