Friday, September 4, 2015

Red Chile Crusted Chicken Fried Steak with Red and Green Chile Cream Gravy

Some days, weeks, and even months are harder than others and nothing makes your soul feel better than a big dose of comfort food! Clearly I have been on a hiatus but what better way to kick off some new posts than a true South meets Southwest hearty and delicious, all time comfort recipe?! This recipe was requested after I posted it in a recipe group and I didn't take pictures along the way so I will just have to make it again for preparation pictures...darn.

Growing up in New Mexico I was lucky enough to have Red and Green Chile pretty much every day of my life. I am pretty sure my mom mixed it into our baby food, just like I did for my son! My mother gave me my love for New Mexican cuisine and I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that introduced me to Southern food in all of it's creamy, buttery, just plain decadent glory. They both had so much influence the way that I cook and taught me that layering flavors is probably the most important key to a delicious meal.

Red Chile Crusted Chicken Fried Steak:
4     Cube Steaks (pounded thin with a meat mallet)
3     Cups Flour 
1     Cup Red Chile Powder
2     T. Dried Onion
2     Cups Milk
Salt and Pepper 
Vegetable Oil (or bacon grease, or lard) <--- ;)
Three shallow baking dishes (pie pans also work great)
Meat Mallet (a meat cleaver or frying pan will work too)
Large Frying pan
Baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Pound the steaks thin, but not too thin that they fall apart (I like to place them individually in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and use my meat mallet to get out any pent up aggression)
  • Separate one cup of the flour into a shallow baking dish
  • Combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, red chile powder, dried onion, salt and pepper in another shallow baking dish
  • Pour the 2 cups of milk in the remaining baking dish
  • Preheat a large frying pan on medium/a little over medium heat with enough oil to fill the bottom of the pan with about a half an inch of oil and test if it is hot enough by dropping a little bit of flour into it, if the oil sizzles/bubbles it is ready
  • Dredge (dip and coat) the first steak in the plain flour, submerge it into the milk, then dredge it in the red chile flour
  • Fry until brown on each side then transfer to the foil lined baking sheet and reserve the cooking oil and red chile flour for the gravy
  • Repeat with the remaining steaks and transfer the baking sheet into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes

Red and Green Chile Cream Gravy:

Oil Reserved from the Chicken Fried Steak (or equal parts oil to flour)
Red Chile Flour Reserved from the Chicken Fried Steak (or equal parts oil to flour)
1    Cup Beef Stock 
1    Cup Heavy Cream 
2    Cups Water
3    Green Chile's, diced
Reserved Oil from Chicken Fried Steak
Reserved Red Chile Flour from Chicken Fried Steak
Salt and Pepper
Wire Whisk
  • In the large baking pan that the Chicken Fried Steak was prepared in, lower the heat to medium or medium/low
  • Add the red chile flour to the oil and whisk to combine then allow it to brown for a couple of minutes watching carefully so that the flour does not burn
  • Add Beef Stock and whisk vigorously so that the mixture does not clump
  • Add a  small amount of the hot liquid to the cream to temper it and add it into the mixture still whisking as you go to prevent those dreaded clumps
  • Add water as needed to maintain a gravy-like consistency then add the green chile
  • Allow the gravy to cook down and thicken for about 5-7 minutes stirring/whisking regularly, add water as needed to thin out if necessary
  • Once the gravy has reached a desired thickness remove from heat and using an immersion blender, blend until the green chile is incorporated and the gravy is a smooth texture
 I really hope you love this as much as my family did and please comment down below to let me know what you thought. Check out some of my other recipes and I promise to post more deliciousness more often!

Food is Love and I Love Food!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

Some days you just need a super comforting meal and this is perfect! I made this last night and it was a big hit with my 2 year old, it's the first thing he woke up talking about this morning. I always make my biscuits from scratch but for this recipe I took some help from a boxed biscuit mix since I was in a hurry but feel free to use your own biscuit recipe or stay tuned because I am sure I will post my favorite one soon.


2 T. Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
3 Celery Stalks, chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 lb. Andouille Sausage, diced
1 lb. Chicken Breast, cubed
2 T. Garlic Powder
2 T. Old Bay or Cajun Seasoning
1/4 cup Flour
1 cup White Wine
1 cup Milk
4 cups Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dumplings: Prepare biscuit mix according to package instructions and add 1 T. Paprika, 1 T. Parsley, 1 T. Garlic  Powder into the dry ingredients before adding the milk. Set aside until needed.

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender. Add the sausage, minced garlic and chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. 

Mix the flour, Cajun seasoning and garlic powder together.

Add the flour mixture, stir thoroughly and cook for a minute or so. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan trying to get all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan then add the chicken stock and return to a simmer. Temper the milk by ladling a small amount of the simmering liquid from the pan to the milk then incorporate it into the mixture.

Drop the dumplings by spoonful into the pot depending on your preference of size making sure not to let each dumpling touch.  I make each dumpling about the size of a golf ball. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Do not remove the lid in order to allow the dumplings to steam. Leave the lid on and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. 

I hope you love this super easy and comforting meal as much as we did. 

Food is Love and I Love Food!



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Coconut Curry Stir Fry

If you have never tried a Curry dish you are missing out!! This is super simple and  I threw it together in about 25 minutes. This has so many delicious favors of curry, ginger, garlic and coconut. It's sure to please.

Being versatile in the kitchen is definitely a strong suit of mine and I am a fan of all types of cuisine however this Curry dish is mild enough that even someone that is timid when it comes to trying new things is going to love it. Don't be afraid to try something new and if you are already a fan of these flavors you are going to love this.


4    Chicken Breasts, diced
1    Medium Onion, halved and sliced
2    T. Fresh Ginger, minced
2    T. Garlic, minced
1    Bag Frozen Mixed Veggies
1    Can Pineapple Chunks (juice set-      
1    Can Coconut Milk
1    Cup Chicken Stock
8.   T. Curry Powder
2    T. Granulated Garlic
2    T. Red Chile Powder
3    T.Honey
1    T. Cornstarch (if needed)
4    T. Coconut Oil
Prepared Rice or Quinoa (keep warm until ready to serve, prepare with chicken stock instead of water according to package directions)

Toss diced chicken in a bowl with 4 T.  of the curry powder and a pinch of salt and set aside. 

Heat coconut oil over medium heat, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add the fresh, minced garlic and ginger and sauté an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the chicken and and cook for about 3 minutes until browned slightly. Add pineapple chunks, remaining curry powder, chile powder, granulated garlic and honey. Stir until combined then add coconut milk, juice from pineapple chunks and chicken stock. 

Stir until everything is incorporated then add the frozen vegetables. I use a blend of peas, carrots and green beans. Cook until the sauce reduces by about a third and thickens. Add salt to taste. 

If you like a thicker sauce whisk together about 2 T. of your sauce with 1 T. Cornstarch and add it back in to your sauce. 

Serve over rice or quinoa. Enjoy!

Hope you love this super delicious and nutritious curry dish! Did you know: studies have shown that the turmeric found in curry has numerous health benefits including the prevention of Alzheimer's and other diseases! Here's to your health!

Food is Love and I Love Food



Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken with Apricot Pan Sauce

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken
Stuffing variation, recipe at bottom of post.
This delicious dish is always a hit with my husband and son. In fact after this picture was taken my little guy ate this serving plus one more for lunch, he's 2. The second picture is another variation. Ingredients for stuffing will follow but the technique is the same. 

Not only is this a family favorite, it is fast enough for a weekday meal and elegant enough to impress your friends if entertaining. I love to make healthy and nutrient rich foods that are so full of flavor and look beautiful on the plate because we eat with our eyes first after all. I hope this becomes as much of a hit in your home as it is in mine.

Chicken Ingredients: 

4     Large Chicken Breast, halved
1     Medium Onion, finely chopped
4     Cloves of Garlic, minced
2     Large Tomatoes diced
1     Bunch of Kale, chopped
2     Cups Plain Bread Crumbs
3/4  Cup Feta Cheese
1     Egg
1/4  Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2     T. Honey
1     T. Brown Sugar
Granulated Garlic
Lemon Pepper
Olive Oil

Pan Sauce Ingredients:

1   Cup White Wine or Chicken Stock
4   T. Apricot Jam
2   T. Dijon Mustard
2   T. Honey
1   T. Brown Sugar

Start with the filling, heat 2 T. Olive Oilin a  large oven safe skillet at medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. 

Add a dash of salt, a couple of tablespoons of granulated garlic, a tablespoon of dried basil or Italian seasoning and the minced garlic and continue to sauté, stirring constantly. 

After a few minutes add diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar and kale. Allow this mixture to cook and reduce by at least half, approximately 8-10 minutes. 

While this is reducing prepare your chicken by patting it dry with paper towels and seasoning on both sides with a little bit of salt, lemon pepper, paprika and granulated garlic. Remember that seasoning every layer of your dish will make 
it flavorful and delicious.

Your stuffing mixture should be reduced. Remove it from the heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes. In the meantime clean your pan because you will be using it to cook the chicken. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once the mixture has cooled a bit add the bread crumbs and feta cheese and stir then add the egg, be sure the mixture is not too hot otherwise it will cook in the mixture instead of combining with it. Stir the mixture until combined and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to evenly distribute it on the chicken about an inch from the widest end. 

You will have left over stuffing, I used mine to make a meatloaf!

Heat the oven safe skillet on medium/high with enough olive oil to coat the bottom and start rolling up the chicken. 

Now that the chicken is rolled and the skillet is hot start adding the chicken and brown on each side, approximately 2 minutes per side. If it is easier for you, you can secure the rolled chicken with toothpicks. After both sides are browned transfer the entire skillet to to oven for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven and make sure to keep your oven mitt or pot holder handy because you will be making the sauce in the same pan. 

Place chicken on a serving platter and tent foil over the top to keep it warm 
while you make the pan sauce. 

Place pan over medium/high (be careful not to grab the handle without an oven mitt, ouch) heat and add wine or chicken stock to deglaze the pan, use a whisk to get all of the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add jam, Dijon mustard, honey and brown sugar. Keep stirring/whisking to incorporate all of the ingredients and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until thickened/reduced. Salt or season to taste.

Plate the chicken with your favorite side dish and spoon the sauce over the top and enjoy. This dish goes perfect with a crisp white wine. 

Here is another variation:

Stuffing Ingredients:

1/2  Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2  Cup Feta Cheese
1     Bunch Kale, finely chopped
1     Onion, finely chopped
1     Red Bell Pepper, finely    
1     T. Granulated Garlic
1     T. Italian Seasoning
1     Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. This filling doesn't need to be cooked before stuffing the chicken. Follow stuffing and rolling instructions and prepare the chicken and sauce according to above recipe. 

Please leave feedback in the comments section! I am always looking for ways to improve and ideas on new dishes that you want to see. 

Food is Love and I Love Food



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eggplant Parmigiana!

I absolutely LOVE Italian food and now that I have married my very own Italian Stallion I am officially an Italian housewife! The bar has been set high by my husbands grandmother who came to America as a 12 year old from Salerno, Italy and by his aunt that learned everything there is to know about authentic Italian cooking from his grandmother! I have really been trying to hone my skills and perfect my sauces. I'm happy that I have great cooks on both sides of my family and that I can help carry on that legacy by continuing to make distinctive and enjoyable dishes. 

I still have a lot to learn and I can't wait to make my own pasta from scratch but my kitchen is one that will never see a pre-made sauce and I stay away from excessive amounts of cheeses and oils. Just because it's delicious and comforting doesn't mean it has  to be heavy in fat and unhealthy!

Having never cooked with eggplant or even eaten it, this recipe took a few tries to perfect but found a way to make it super easy and I am confident that even the novice cook can accomplish it. I have learned that cooking with eggplant takes a little bit of preparation so allow at least two hours for the eggplant to rest before cooking.

The texture of the panko crumbs mixed with fine ground bread crumbs give it a little bit of extra crunch. Angel hair pasta is a great accompaniment with it's super-fine light mouth feel accentuating the textures of the eggplant rather than overpowering it. This easy and delicious eggplant parmigiana is sure to please! 


1 large eggplant
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 cup panko crumbs
1 cup bread crumbs (plain)
1 T. granulated garlic
1 T. parsley
1 T. Paprika
2 t. pepper
2 T. olive oil
Basic Marinara (recipe to follow)
Feta or Mozzarella cheese
Angel Hair Pasta

  • Prepare the eggplant at least 2 hours in advance by slicing about 3/4-1 inch thick. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, arrange the sliced eggplant in a single layer and lightly salt both sides. Cover with another layer of paper towels. The salt will pull the excess moisture from the eggplant and the paper towels will absorb it.
  • You will need 3 shallow dishes such as pie or cake pans, one for the milk, one for the flour and one for the bread crumb mixture. 
  • Combine the panko crumbs, bread crumbs, granulated garlic, parsley, paprika and pepper in one of the shallow dishes. Mix together by hand to combine the ingredients evenly. 
  • Pour the 2 cups of milk in another shallow dish. 
  • Place the flour in the last shallow dish and add some salt and pepper and mix together. 
  • Start an assembly line beginning with the flour and ending with the bread crumbs and line a baking sheet with wax paper.
    • Dredge the eggplant in the flour mixture
    • Dip both sides in the milk
    • Dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture making sure to press down firmly and coat completely. 
    • Set aside on the wax paper lined baking sheet and repeat this process with each piece of eggplant.

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Heat olive oil in a medium to large sauté pan on medium/high heat. 
  • Once the oil is heated through add the eggplant making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes per side. Once browned transfer back to the wax paper lined baking sheet. 
  • Continue until all of the eggplant is browned adding olive oil to the pan as needed. 
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes while you prepare the sauce and place water on the
    stove to boil for the pasta. 
  • Once the sauce is prepared spoon sauce over each of the eggplant slices, top with your choice of cheese and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Add the pasta to the boiling water during these last fifteen minutes and follow package instructions for cook time. 
  • After the pasta has finished combine with the remaining sauce in a large bowl until ready to serve. 
Sauce Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil
1 onion diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
2 t. salt
1 T. Italian seasoning ( I use Tone's "No Salt Added" version ---->)
1 T. granulated garlic
3/4 cup red wine (use a wine that you would drink)
1 can diced tomatoes (I like to buy the "no sodium added" version) 
1 large can tomato sauce
1 T. honey
1 T. sugar (if using San Marzano tomatoes the sugar can be omitted)


  • Heat a large sauce pan or sauté pan to medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Add onions and saute with a pinch of salt until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or so. 
  • Add the salt, italian seasoning and granulated garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Turn heat up to medium-high stirring constantly. 
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine by simply pouring it in and scraping anything sticking to the pan into the sauce with your spatula or spoon. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. 
  • Reduce heat back to medium. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, honey and sugar stir until combined. Add salt and granulated garlic to taste and warm through. If the sauce is bitter you can add a bit more sugar or honey to taste as well. 
  • Cook for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry together. 
Serve the Eggplant Parmigiana on a bed of the angel hair and sauce and a mixed green salad. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do. Please leave comments or suggestions on recipes you would like for me to add. Thanks for visiting!

Food is Love and I love Food!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Fruit Pizza Station

This Fruit Pizza Station was such a huge hit at my sons 2nd birthday party, thankfully I had made 4 dozen cookies so I had plenty for the crowd! This is so easy and such a fun way for your guests to interact and choose their own toppings. The soft chewiness of the cookie combined with the creamy sweet frosting and fresh fruit make for an irresistible combination that will impress even the pickiest of eaters. 

As you can see the display is quite beautiful and colorful. This is definitely going on the list of necessities  at all of my parties and I will be sure to find fruit that is in season and fresh. Peaches will be lovely in the late summer when our peach tree is in full bloom. I recommend preparing the cookies and frosting in advance, at least the night before so that all you have to do on the day of the party is frost the cookies and prepare the fruit and display.

I wanted this to be as easy as possible but if you feel ambitious feel free to make the cookies from scratch. Let's get started:

Sugar Cookie: 
  • 3 packages of Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 sticks of softened butter (room temperature and soft but not melted)
  • Follow package instructions for drop cookies and drop a rounded tablespoon of the mixture onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  • For high altitude (ie: NM) add a tablespoon per package of flour and increase cooking temperature by 15 degrees.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely and place in gallon sized Ziploc bags for storage until you are ready for them. 

  • 1 large/13 ounce container of Marshmallow Creme or 2 small containers
  • 2 packages of cream cheese softened (I normally like to take the cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator at least 1-2 hours before starting)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Combine Marshmallow Creme and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and whisk, stir or use a hand mixer to combine until you have achieved a creamy texture and have no lumps of cream cheese. 
  • Add powdered sugar a little bit at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You want the frosting to be firm but creamy so it will stay on the cookie and withstand the addition of fresh fruit. 
  • Place frosting in an airtight container or cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to frost.
Fruit Preparation: 

Choose fruit according to what you like as well as what is in season and available. If using canned or frozen fruit make sure to allow for time to thaw and drain. Fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries go really well with this as well as canned or frozen pineapple chunks. I got my pineapple chunks in the frozen section of Trader Joes.
  • Cut strawberries, kiwi, mango or any larger fruit into pieces about the size of a blueberry. 
  • Place all of the fruit in individual containers or serving dishes and Place a serving utensil with each dish.
  • Fruit can be prepared just prior to the party or event.

Putting it all together:
  • Frost the cookies and place in a single layer on serving trays the day of the party. Store in the refrigerator until ready to display. 
  • Layout your display with the beautiful fruit being the focal point. 
  • Make sure to instruct your guests that this is a "Make-your-own Fruit Pizza Station" a sign would be helpful so that you can tend to other areas of your party. 
  • Bring the cookies out as needed so that you have more counter space available. 
  • Here is what the finished display looks like:
I hope this helps to make your next party absolutely amazing. Please comment below if you have any questions or requests for future blog posts. Happy party planning. 

Food is Love and I Love Food! 




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fruit and Veggie Smoothie

It sure is fun cooking comfort foods that are high in fat and calories and heavy in butter and cheese but it can be just as fun and delicious to make nutrient rich foods that are easy on your waistline, super fast and delicious. I like to make smoothies for breakfast or even a quick nutritious snack. My husband is very health conscious and I try to be as well so he enjoys the fact that I can make him really healthy food that doesn't taste like health food.

This smoothie is one of my favorites and most of the fresh ingredients can be frozen ahead of time so that you can have it ready any time you have a craving for something sweet. This smoothie has some of my favorite fruits and berries as well as kale and spinach which add a ton of nutrients while their subtle flavor is completely hidden behind the huge flavor punch of the yummy fruit. I sometimes like to add protein in the form of egg whites or pea protein powder. (Yes that is pea as in two pea's in a pod)

Let's talk a little bit more about kale. This super green and gorgeous cruciferous  vegetable is packed to the brim with antioxidant rich vitamins A, C and K! Adding antioxidant rich foods to your diet on a daily basis can help reduce your risk of cancer. So many of the foods that we consume do just the opposite and are so full of carcinogens so it is great to fill your plate or in this case your smoothie with cancer fighting ingredients! I will have many more preparations of my favorite veggie in blogs to come so keep your eyes pealed. 

Let's get blending! 


  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup mangos (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh kale removed from stem and washed
  • 1 to 2 cups almond milk (or any milk you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I prefer vanilla)
  • 1 T. honey or to taste
  • a handful of ice

  1. Get out your favorite blender and start layering the ingredients. I like to start with the wet ingredients and go from there pulsing a little as I go. Make sure that you replace the lid and securing each time BEFORE turning on the blender. I know it's not rocket science but I don't want to be responsible for a fruit and veggie explosion. 
  2. Keep adding the ingredients and blend until you reach your desired consistency. If you like it a little sweeter you can add honey and if not omit that ingredient. 
  3. If the smoothie is too thick add a little more milk and if it is too thin add more ice. 
  4. Fill up to four glasses with this recipe and enjoy! 
Of course any fruit combo will work and you can adjust the amounts to your serving requirement. This amount is perfect for my little family of four! It is o much fun coming up with smoothie recipes and this sure beats the super sugary and expensive smoothies you see popping up on fast food menus. This is so fast and so delicious! Enjoy!

Food is love and I love food! 

XOXO, Aimee