Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Baked Pepperoni Rolls

As we approach the end of this incredibly hot and humid summer, I am sooo ready for Fall.  Along with the cooler temperatures and shorter days, we can also look forward to something much more important, the start of football season!  So before the season gets into full swing, this is a great snack to serve at your next football party or as a delicious alternative to homemade pizza.

These tasty little Baked Pepperoni Rolls are like tiny finger-food sized pizzas that are as easy to make as they are to serve.  Add a spoonful of seasoned olive oil dipping sauce on the side and these will be an instant favorite, and the most requested item for future parties!

The Dough setting on my bread machine takes 90 minutes which allows the dough to rise twice.  During that time I have time to prepare the dipping sauce and a salad or other dinner items, and assembly of the rolls only takes about 15 minutes.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 TB Olive Oil
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
4 1/2 cups Bread Machine Flour
3 tsp  Bread Machine Yeast

Combine ingredients in your bread machine as outlined in your manual, using a french dough or regular dough setting.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

When the dough is finished, place the dough on a lightly floured cutting board.  Sprinkle the dough with a little extra flour and use a pastry cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into about 14 - 16 portions, depending on how large you would like the rolls to be.

For the filling you will need
1 12 oz pkg  Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
1 6 oz pkg  Large 3-inch Pepperoni Slices

Flatten each portion of dough into a 5 inch square.  Place half of a mozzarella cheese stick in the center of a pepperoni slice and wrap the pepperoni around the cheese.  (This will keep the cheese inside of the roll, preventing the cheese from oozing out.)  Place the pepperoni and cheese bundle in the center of a dough square, wrap the edges of the dough inward and roll the dough into a bundle.  Pinch the edges slightly to create a seal and place the roll on a baking sheet, seam side down.  Continue with the remaining rolls.

Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

1/3 cups  Olive Oil
2 TB  Fresh Minced Garlic
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Onion Powder
1/2 tsp  Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp  Cayenne Pepper

In a small glass bowl combine all ingredients, stirring until incorporated.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, or this can be prepared an hour in advance.

Brush the rolls generously with the olive oil dipping sauce, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and  bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with extra dipping sauce on the side and Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

During those endless back-to-school shopping trips to the mall, lots of Moms give in to the many, many requests for lunch.  After hearing "I'm hungry" a few too many times, how can we not succumb to all of those requests, especially when you see the Chick-Fil-A sign? Yum.

This is one of the few fast food sandwiches that I enjoy and yes, I know it's fried and not exactly a healthy sandwich, but they just taste so good!  And now you can make them at home.

This is a crispy and perfectly spicy sandwich that is so close, almost exactly, and maybe just a bit better than the mall variety.  With two layers of seasonings you get a combination of hot sauce, lots of pepper and just a bit of cayenne, to create a spicy sandwich with flavor that pops!

This sandwich starts with boneless skinless chicken breasts that are sliced in half horizontally, which allows the chicken fillets to cook quickly.  Next we marinate the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk, Frank's hot sauce and a few seasonings, which adds the first layer of flavor, followed by a quick dredge in seasoned flour.  The addition of a drizzle of buttermilk to the flour mixture adds delicious little crispy pieces to the finished sandwich.  All you need to complete this creation is a whole grain bun, (to keep it a little healthy!), a bit of mayo and a few sliced dill pickles.  Enjoy!!

1-3/4 lbs  Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced in half horizontally

1 cup  Buttermilk
2 TB  Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

Dredging Flour Mixture
1-1/3 cups Flour
1 tsp  Seasoned Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Paprika
1-1/2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1-1/2 tsp  Onion Powder
1/2 to 1 tsp  Cayenne Pepper, adjust according to preference
2 TB  Buttermilk

Canola Oil for Frying

Whole Grain Sandwich Buns
Sliced Dill Pickles for Garnish

In a medium glass bowl combine the buttermilk, Frank's sauce and the salt and pepper.  Add the chicken fillets to the buttermilk, turning to evenly coat each piece.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours, if needed, turning the chicken occasionally.

In a medium bowl combine the flour and the rest of the dry seasonings and stir to combine.  Drizzle the 2 tablespoons of buttermilk into the seasoned flour, stirring lightly with a fork to create small clumps in the batter.

Use tongs to remove the fillets from the marinade, letting the excess liquid drip off.  Dredge each fillet in the flour mixture, pressing down and turning to coat each side, then place the chicken on a platter.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken.

In a large skillet, heat 1/2-inch of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Carefully add two or three pieces of chicken to the pan, without crowding them, and fry for 4 - 5 minutes or until crispy.  Turn the chicken over and cook the other side for about 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear, being careful not to overcook the chicken. Remove chicken from the pan and place on paper towels to drain.  Serve on sandwich buns with mayonnaise and dill pickle slices.  Enjoy!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Yum!  This was a delicious way to use some of the last green peppers from our garden.  Although you could use any type of macaroni and cheese to stuff these peppers, we knew we wanted to use something with a little spice to blend with the bright fresh flavor of the green peppers, so we chose our favorite, Chipotle Gouda Macaroni and Cheese.

The peppers are super easy to make and this is not so much a recipe as just a guideline for making the stuffed peppers.  These make a great side dish, especially for anything grilled, but they are filling enough to be the main part of a meatless meal, served with a small salad on the side.

This is a also great way to get your kids to enjoy green peppers.  (If it's stuffed with a little mac 'n cheese they might just try it!)   Ideally for this dish try to find large green peppers if you would like to serve just one half per person, but if you can only find the smaller peppers, like the ones from our garden, they will work great, too.  My husband was more than happy to take 2 halves, and I think he even grabbed a 3rd before he was finished..lol.

Large or Medium Green Peppers, cut in half, tops cut off and seeds removed
1 TB  Salt
Your Choice of Prepared Macaroni and Cheese, homemade or packaged will work here too
1/2 cup  Panko Crumbs
1/2 cup  Shredded Parmesan  or Romano Cheese

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Add salt and then add the pepper halves to the water, pushing them down into the pot.

Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer the peppers until they are just flexible, but not overly soft, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the peppers from the pot and place them upside down on a paper towel lined platter to drain.  Allow to cool until easy enough to handle.

In a small bowl combine the panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese, stir and set aside.

Once the peppers are cool, spoon the prepared macaroni and cheese into the pepper halves, pressing lightly to completely fill the peppers.  Sprinkle with the panko and Parmesan mixture and place the peppers in a glass baking dish.

Place the dish of peppers under the broiler for 3 -4 minutes or until browned on top.  Serve immediately and Enjoy!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chicken Yakitori Skewers

During these hot summer months my favorite dinners are anything prepared on the grill.  Quick, easy and light dinners and you don't have to heat up the house?  Those are things that make every Mom happy and this meal is something the kids will like, too.

This is a twist on the Japanese classic Chicken Yakatori, which when translated literally means "grilled" (yaki) and "fowl" (tori), which refers to marinated pieces of chicken that are skewered and grilled.  By brushing the skewers several times with a glaze of soy, mirin, sake and just a bit of sugar, you get a light but flavorful coating on the chicken and veggies, and the glaze helps keep the chicken moist and juicy.

We included mushrooms, green onions, and green peppers on our skewers but you could easily change this to use whatever ingredients you already have on hand.  Chunks of regular yellow onion, red or yellow peppers or even slices of summer squash would taste great with the soy and mirin glaze.

The skewers tasted delicious served with steamed brown rice and a package of steamed edamame, which cook quickly in microwave packs and are the perfect finger foods for kids. Enjoy!!

1-1/2 lbs  Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2  Green Peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
8  Green Onions
16 oz  Mushrooms, any variety such as Portabello or White Button
4 TB  Mirin
4 TB  Soy Sauce
4 TB  Sake
1-1/2 tsp  Sugar
Bamboo Skewers - about 12

Thread the cubes of chicken onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers, alternating with pieces of green onion, green pepper and mushrooms.

In a small bowl combine the mirin, soy sauce, sake and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Heat a grill to medium-high heat and brush the skewers with the glaze.  Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 1 minute then turn and apply a second layer of the glaze.  Repeat this process until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, about 6 - 8 minutes.