Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beef, Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas


Is there really a more beautiful sight?



I am so obsessed with this recipe and I hope you will be, too! These are Beef, Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas, and they are equal parts creamy, cheesy, spicy and dreamy.


Every now and then (read: fairly often) I get these random dinner cravings that will haunt me for days and days until finally I am speeding down to the grocery store to whip it up for dinner. This week, that craving was enchiladas! Who would have thought in the second week of May, when the sun is supposed to shining and spring fever is supposed to be upon us, I'd be craving this ultimate comfort food?!


Well, here in Boston the weather has been every bit as confusing. Warm and sunny in the morning, gray and cool in the evenings. To deal with this, I decided to load up my rich and wonderful enchiladas with one of spring's best vegetable bounties - zucchini!


When I make enchiladas at home, there are a few basic components I hardly ever change. First, I like to use whole wheat flour tortillas. There are two reasons for this - first, they have just enough extra girth compared to their white counterparts and are far larger and more pliable than corn tortillas, making them the perfect vessel for chunky, rich, saucy fillings. Second is, when using the taco size, I find that 6 enchiladas perfectly fill up my 9x13 pan. The other thing I always do is make a homemade enchilada sauce, usually a red sauce, that is so so easy it would be foolish to use those canned sauces from the store! Not only does this guarantee that the spice level is up to snuff for my family, but it also means I know exactly what my enchiladas are swimmin' in, and that is such a win-win these days!


As for the creamy and cheesy factor, this particular batch of enchiladas is not lacking in any way. If I may, a bit of cream cheese (*heart eyes emoji*) and sour cream get stirred into our beefy filling (which also happens to be PACKED with vegetables but trust me you could hardly tell). Then to top it all off - grated. pepper. jack. cheese. So much yes! No cheese melts as beautifully as a jack cheese, and the extra kick from the peppers in the cheese balances everything just right.


This makes 3 servings of 2 enchiladas each, that is if you're willing to share. If you snuck a third roll, your secret is safe with me - I know, they are impossible to resist.


Here's what you need for Beef, Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas* (Print Recipe!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large zucchini, diced
2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
4 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 scallions, sliced thinly (white and light green parts only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons up to 1 tablespoon chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, depending on your desired spice level (I use probably about a tablespoon but only use the sauce rather than an actual chili, which can also bump up the spicy factor)
1 14.5 ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
6 whole wheat flour tortillas, taco size
1 1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, divided
extra cilantro and sour cream for garnish

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 glass baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan with high sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 2 minutes until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until brown and crumbled, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and cook another 3 minutes or so until just starting to brown; toss in the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin. Remove beef mixture from the pan into a large bowl, straining out any excess water or fat. Immediately add the cream cheese, sour cream, cilantro and 1/2 cup grated pepperjack and stir until melted and combined.

Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel then add the garlic and saute for 1 minute over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add the chipotle chilis in adobo and stir just until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Prepare the enchiladas by spooning a couple of heaping tablespoons of the filling into each tortilla. Wrap tightly, being sure to keep most of the filling inside. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted, the sauce is bubbling and the edges are just starting to brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle over extra cilantro and serve immediately with generous dollops of sour cream on top.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe, sauce barely adapted from Skinnytaste

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Creamy Lemon Gnocchi with Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto


Internet friends!! Hi!!


Wow, it has been over a month since I shared my last recipe with you, which just happened to be this insanely delicious Sweet Chili Chicken Ramen that I am now officially craving again. Things have been a little crazy on the home-front and that's actually because we bought a home! Things moved at the speed of light, and between packing and moving I also took a quick but truly amazing trip to Sedona, AZ with my BFF. All I'm saying is, although I have been cooking and baking and eating and getting adjusted to my new kitchen, blogging took a bit of a back seat...but today, I am back!


It seemed fitting that I come back from my internet silence with this deeelicious recipe. My Creamy Lemon Gnocchi with Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto is the quintessential meal for these early spring days. Warmer temperatures always have me craving fresh, crunchy vegetables and bright, citrusy flavors. Asparagus is just ah-mazing right now, I love the super thin stalks so much that I'll sometimes just roast off a bunch with a bit of olive oil and plop a drippy egg on top for a simple and satisfying dinner. And who doesn't love a super lemony dinner to brighten up their day??


The thing is, I live in New England. And that means that one day, it can be 75 and sunny and the next it can be a chilly, rainy and raw. So while we may be craving bright and fresh , we also still need a bit of comfort food to warm us up from the inside out. Gnocchi are basically edible pillows. soft and starchy and chewy. They are the perfect candidate to be doused in an herby lemon cream sauce with copious amounts of parmesan cheese. For an extra special, decadent crunch, prosciutto gets baked in the oven until crisp then crumbled all over the top. It's fancy bacon. It's a necessity.


So there you have it. The perfect balance of fresh and decadence. This meal needs to be on your dinner menu ASAP!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sweet Chili Chicken Ramen


There is such a funny thing happening today...

It's a BLIZZARD. In the middle of MARCH. What a time to be alive.


Luckily, I have come armed and ready to face down this little big snowstorm. All we need is a warm blanket, a new show to binge on, and....and...and!

Sweet Chili Chicken Ramen!


Just look at this big bowl of happiness--I want to dive right in. There is so much to love, where do I even begin? When I first started imagining homemade ramen, I knew it had to start with beautifully charred, sticky chicken. A sweet chili marinade plus a super hot cast iron skillet get us exactly where we need to be. And what would ramen be without noodles? Well, it would be chicken noodle-less soup, but that's besides the point! We need noodles. I am partial to wide udon noodles, which you can find at any market or grocery store with a large international section. They are perfectly slurp-able but thick enough to hold up to the hot broth.


As for the supporting cast, it's all about big, bold flavors and crunchy, fresh veggies. Celery, ginger and garlic get the party started. A good, low sodium broth (vegetable, mushroom, beef, or chicken would all be great!)  gets amped up thanks to soy sauce, fish sauce and sriracha. Trust!


OH! Guys. I forgot the best part. I successfully soft-boiled a couple of eggs, right in the broth I was already cooking. It was scary, but I am confident that we can do it (because I did it! So you can too!)


Let me sum this up...I have been thinking about this ramen since the day I made it. I could eat it over and over again. It may not be perfectly authentic, but it is pretty darn close! Did you try this or another Gas Stove Girl recipe!? Be sure to show it off on Instagram using #GasStoveGirl!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Spiked Ginger Tea Lemonade


Who wants a cocktail!?


We are experiencing some super-chilly temperatures in Boston right now, and it is making me dream of sunnier days and relaxing by the pool.


This Spiked Ginger Tea Lemonade is the perfect way to transport yourself away from this late-winter cold blast to a warm, sunny locale of your choice! The cocktail combines one of the most refreshing beverages - iced tea lemonade - and adds a bit of spice with homemade ginger simple syrup plus an extra kick thanks to a bit of ginger liqueur and good 'ol vodka! I also finish it with a big glug of sparkling because I love the bubbly effervescence in each sip. This is a great cocktail to make for a party - everything gets mixed together in a big pitcher and can chill until you're ready to serve it. The longer it chills, the more enhanced the flavors become!


I created this cocktail in celebration of the 2017 "For The Love Of Cocktails" event in Las Vegas. This is a 72-hour fundraiser for breast cancer awareness that brings together the finest mixology enthusiasts for an epic 3 days of parties and events, showcasing some of the best craft cocktails Las Vegas (and the nation!) has to offer. The event supports the Helen David Bartender Relief Fund, which is an organization honoring its namesake Michigan bar owner--who amazingly beat breast cancer twice in her life--by providing bartenders in need with pre-cancer screenings. support, and more.


One of my favorite cocktail bars is Drink, located in Boston's Fort Point neighborhood. This concept is owned by Barbara Lynch, a Boston restaurant legend! One of the most interesting aspects of the cocktail menu at Drink is that they don't have one! Instead, patrons chat about their likes and dislikes with the bartender, who whips up something specifically tailored to that person. I think this creative style would make the team at Drink a great addition to an event such as For The Love Of Cocktails!


My Spiked Ginger Tea Lemonade is bright, vibrant, and a little spicy, much like the lifestyle is in Las Vegas. It is exactly the kind of drink I'd order on a Vegas vacation! If you are heading to Las Vegas for this event or any time, be sure to check out the Vegas.com travel deals page to help make your planning as carefree as possible! This site can help you with anything from flight deals to hotel packages.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Red Velvet Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze


Did you know I love you? If you didn't, can I bake you donuts to show you that I do?


What about Red Velvet Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze? I don't think I could possibly pack more love into a single recipe.


I have never been particularly good about posting recipes for certain holidays at specific times, maybe with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. But today, I am going all in celebrating Valentine's Day with the whole internet! We are so worth it. 


There are a lot of reasons I am obsessed with these donuts and you will be, too. Not the least of which is just how stinkin' cute they are considering tomorrow is Valentine's Day. BUT, please don't go away if you're bitter about this Hallmark holiday. These are just perfect to lift your spirits year round!


First of all, red velvet means cocoa powder and a good bit of it. Chocolate anything is my love language. Besides that, there is the fact that these are soft and pillowy and tender. They just melt in your mouth. The icing on the cake--no, literally--is that cream cheese glaze. What is red velvet without cream cheese frosting? It is nothing, don't even think about omitting it, please and thank you.

 Let's get baking - breakfast is served!



Monday, January 30, 2017

Twice Fried Buffalo Wings


The Super Bowl is less than a week away, which means we need to start seriously thinking about football appetizers and game day snacks!


I've recently had a hankering for classic Buffalo Wings - the type of wings that are hot, spicy and buttery, with a crunchy skin and fall-off-the-bone meat. I don't think that's too much to ask for, but there was the task of having to find really good buffalo wings in the greater Boston area. So, one thing led to another and I decided I should just make them myself.

With the big game around the corner, this past weekend seemed as good a time as any to give homemade buffalo wings a whirl. I enlisted the help of my friend, Lauren, who also proposed that we make homemade pretzels and mustard (and oops, we also made a cheese dip, wow what a great day).


Turns out, the talented J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats did quite a bit of buffalo wing research for us, so I used his post as guidance for what I assumed had to be a spectacular wing (considering they were twice fried!)


As for my method, it is essentially Kenji's, but generally at lower temperatures and with shorter cooking times on the second fry. I learned this weekend that I am very scared of big pots of a hot oil and Lauren had to coach me into just dropping the wings in for the second fry...hey, we all have our struggles!

So, how do we get perfect wings at home? First, we combine oil and lots of wings/drumettes into a big dutch oven. Over medium heat, we gradually bring the oil up to 225 degress farenheit, stirring the chicken occasionally until the chicken is cooked through and just beginning to have color on the outside.


After the initial fry, we remove the chicken from the oil to strain and rest it for at least an hour at room temperature. Next, more oil goes into the dutch oven and is heated to 375 degrees. Working in smaller batches, the wings are then deep fried until crispy, golden and ready to douse in sauce.


As for the sauce, it is nothing more than melted butter and Frank's Red Hot. Just before serving, the wings are tossed in the dip. Bleu cheese dressing is essential to have on hand for dipping, and some celery will calm your pallet between plate-fulls of wings. Jump to the recipe below for detailed instructions and tips on how to plan ahead for the Super Bowl Sunday!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Grilled Steak Greek Salad


I made you a big salad!


And this is one tasty salad, indeed. Whether you are an avid resolution-er or are just looking for a delicious and easy dinner, today's recipe has it all. 


Grilled Steak Greek Salad is one of our favorite meals. Since I made it for the first time a few weeks ago, we've had it at least 3 times! All you need is fresh veggies, salty feta cheese, a nice piece of steak and your favorite Greek dressing, and in 20 minutes dinner is served. That's a winning recipe in my book.


So, let's talk about the vegetables. When it comes to Greek salad, I like to keep it simple...the crunchier the better. For the base, we are going with classic romaine lettuce (though, of course, you could use any leafy green you want...spinach, kale, baby arugula, iceberg, et al). Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, tangy scallions and bitter radishes, sliced paper thin, are all a must. If olives are your thing, I'd throw a handful of those on top. If a red onion has found it's way into your produce drawer, swap in sliced onion for the scallions. So fresh!


All these crunchy veggies hold up well to a nice, strong protein. I love this perfectly grilled steak, just the right amount of golden brown crust to a juicy, medium center. I recently started sprinkling a bit of corn starch after patting my steak dry with a paper towel to help achieve the most beautiful golden brown grill marks. Be sure to give this a try, especially if you are working on an indoor grill pan. 


Oh my. I nearly forgot. The cheese! Feta cheese! A lot of it. It's necessary. Be generous.