Jerk Chicken Plantain Patties

Ingredients:

 

Plantain Dough

Flour

 

2 chicken breasts

Seasoning (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, smoked paprika)

 

½ head of a small green cabbage

1 small red onion

1 small sweet onion

1 serrano pepper

1 red jalapeno pepper

 

1-2 tbsp Grace Jerk Seasoning

Low-sodium Chicken Broth

2-3 tbsp brown sugar

Squeeze lime juice

1 tbsp butter

 

½ cup black beans

1 egg for egg wash

(Yields about 20 medium sized patties)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 420
  2. Butterfly and season chicken breasts (or boneless skinless thighs)
  3. Heat cast iron (or heavy bottom) skillet on medium-medium high, sear chicken on both sides, cook mostly through
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Deglaze pan with ½ cup chicken broth

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  1. Dice onions, slice cabbage, chop peppers, chop cilantro
  2. Set 2 tbsp of red onion to the side
  3. Sautee remaining peppers and onions until softened, season lightly with s&pplantain8
  4. Remove a tbsp of cooked onions and peppers and put in a small bowl
  5. Add cabbage to peppers and onions, add reserved red onion and toss together

 

  1. In the small bowl, mash beans together with the onion and pepper, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juiceplantain11

 

  1. Set chicken to the side

 

  1. Bring the deglazed pan to a boil, add jerk seasoning, squeeze of lime juice, butter and brown sugar

 

  1. Stir and taste, adjust seasoning if necessary (I added additional clove to pump up the jerk)

 

  1. Chop chicken and add to the jerk sauce, sprinkle a little corn starch and stir, sauce should thicken

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  1. Toss with cabbage mixture and set aside to cool

 

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  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment
  2. Flour surface and roll out plantain dough to about 1/8-1/4”
  3. Using a round container (I used the small soup container from Chinese take out)
  4. Place discs on parchment
  5. Assemble:
    1. Flour surface
    1. Gently elongate disc using rolling pin/tool
    1. Black bean mixture, shredded cheese, chicken and cabbage
    1. Fold shut and press to secure
    1. Gently crimp using a fork
    1. Place complete patties on second lined baking sheetplantain21plantain23plantain24plantain26plantain27
  6. Brush finished patties with egg washplantain28plantain29plantain30plantain31
  7. You can freeze on baking sheet then store in a freezer bag
    • Bake from frozen at 400 on lined baking sheet
  8. If serving right away, bake at 420 until golden brown, edges will be crispy
  9. Store in the fridge in an airtight containerplantain32plantain33plantain34plantain35plantain36

 

 

 

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Gorgonzola Chicken Pizza with Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I was craving pizza and I knew it was an activity that my kid would enjoy. So, I grabbed a bunch of ingredients and surprised him after his summer program. He made a pepperoni pizza. I made a pizza topped with chopped chicken, shredded Brussel sprouts, gorgonzola, sun-dried tomatoes and a balsamic reduction. It is SO good.

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I contemplated buying pizza dough but I wound up making the dough as I usually do. I amped it up by seasoning the dough with garlic and herbs. A nice béchamel serves as the perfect anchor for the cheese and toppings.

 

Pizza Dough:

 

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 packets of yeast (I use Hodgson Mill Fast Rise Yeast)
  • 1 ½ c warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ olive oil

Pizza:

For a medium (thick) white sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian herbs

 

Toppings:

  • 2-4 shaved Brussel sprouts (I use a mandolin slicer)
  • 4-6 sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 chicken thighs, sautéed and chopped
  • Generous handful (to taste) mozzarella
  • Handful (to taste) italian blend cheese
  • 1/4c to 1/2c of gorgonzola
  • Balsamic
  • Olive oil to coat the crust

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare your dough
  2. Proof your yeast with the warm water
  3. Add the seasonings and oilpiz
  4. Slowly add the flour
  5. The dough will be a little sticky but your fingers should be mostly clean to the touch
  6. Knead once or twice then add to a greased bowl and top with a greased plastic wrappiz2
  7. Allow to rise for about an hourpiz4
  8. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F
  9. Punch it down and knead once or twice
  10. You can use it all or divide, the recipe yields about 2lbs of dough (I used half for my pizza and half for my son’s)
  11. Roll out your dough and spread it in an ungreased cast iron skillet, pizza stone or cast iron griddle
  12. Use a fork to puncture the center of the dough, leave at least ½” space for your “crust”piz3
  13. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the crust starts to rise then remove

 

For pizza:

  1. Slice your chicken and cook it on high heat, season with salt and pepper
  2. Remove from heat to rest
  3. Slice your Brussel sprouts, tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoespizz
  4. In a small pot, melt your butter and add flour
  5. Add milk and whisk to remove lumps
  6. Season to your preference

 

  1. Spread the white sauce on your doughpiz5
  2. Top with some cheese
  3. Top with tomatoes and Brussel sprouts
  4. Top with chicken and sundried tomatoes
  5. Top with cheese
  6. Brush crust with olive oilpiz6piz7
  7. Put back into oven until its bubbling and the crust is brown

 

  1. In a small pot, bring a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to a boil
  2. Add a half tsp of sugar and stir
  3. Bring to a simmer until it coats the back of a spoon
  4. Remove from heat! (Overdone balsamic reduction is no good. Trust me!)
  5. Remove your pizza from the oven
  6. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction

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© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chicken and Pork Dumplings

No frills. This is a very easy recipe. Once you get the technique down, you can start playing with different flavors and different fillings.

 

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Ingredients:

 

Wonton wraps

Roughly chopped scallions

¼ c shredded carrots

4-5 oz ground pork

4-5 oz ground chicken thigh

Small splash of sesame oil

1 tsp of oyster sauce

½ tsp of fish sauce

2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce

 

  1. As you are working, keep your wontons covered with a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
  2. In a large bowl, combine your ingredients using a spatulawontonwontonnnnjnn3
  3. In a sauce pan, cook a small amount of meat to taste your seasoning. Adjust as you see fit.wonton4
  4. Using a spoon, scoop a small amount of meat on to your wonton wrapper. Don’t over fill.wt5wt7wt8
  5. Dip your finger in water and rub it along the edge
  6. Fold the opposite side of the wontons and seal them
    1. You can totally do a more fancy seal. This is the easiest one in my book.
  7. I steamed these dumplings using a steamer basket
    1. Bring a little bit of water to a boil then reduce to a simmer
    2. Spray basket with cooking spray
    3. Place several dumplings at a time
    4. Steam for 5-6 minuteswt9wt10
  8. I seasoned mine impeccably and they didn’t need a sauce, however, if you want a sauce I whipped one up here

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© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Super Loaded Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

I was messing around in the kitchen yesterday evening trying to find something quick and easy. I had some bleu cheese leftover from buffalo bacon cheeseburgers (omg) last week. I noticed that I had some mondo-potatoes in my batch. They were obscenely large. If I grow a third ear, we’re going to blame it on the potatoes.

 

These are super indulgent and also super easy to make. I didn’t sub any low-fat ingredients this time so this is full of fat ergo perfect and hella delicious.

 

This was an improvised meal so the ingredients are not exact. It’s not so much a recipe as it is a template. Honestly, just use what you have and adjust proportions to suit your taste. It can be easily scaled as well.

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Ingredients:

Potatoes

1-2 c shredded chicken

3-4 strips of crispy bacon

About a tbsp of cream cheese

About ¼ c of bleu cheese

½ cup of shredded cheese, extra for topping

4 scallions, whites and greens

About ¼ c of pickled jalpenos

1 habenero

½ medium red onion, finely chopped

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Chili powder

 

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425
  2. Clean potatoes
    • Rub with oil and season with s&p
    • Pierce with a fork or knife
  3. Place bacon on baking sheet and place into the oven as well
    • (you can do this on the stove if you prefer).
  4. Bake potatoes for about 45 to 60 minutes
    • Remove the bacon once its crispy
    • DO NOT BURN YOUR BACON. It’s like treason or something.
  5. Meanwhile, you can chop and prep your veg and other fixinsPS
  6. Allow to cool
  7. Chop your bacon, reserve some for topping
  8. Carefully scoop out the insides and place into a bowl
  9. Add cream cheese and bleu cheesePS2
  10. Using a fork incorporate ingredients, add salt and pepper
  11. In large bowl, combine the chicken, seasonings and fixins using a silicon spatula
  12. Fill the potato skins with the fillingPS3
  13. Top with shredded cheese
  14. Place back into the oven until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are warmed through
  15. Top with more bacon and more scallions

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Lazy Buffalo Sauce for a drizzle:

Using a 1:1 ratio, add hot sauce to melted butter and whisk until combined.

Optional: Jazz it up with Worcestershire, granulated garlic, cayenne and a little white vinegar.

 

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Simple Pizza Dough

When I was younger I lived in Long Island, NY. We had amazing pizzerias. I have fond memories of walking to the pizzeria and asking for a little bit of dough to play with. When I began cooking, I was queen of the Semi Homemade. I’d try store bought dough that came in the canister like biscuits (bleh). I’d tried a certain powder dough mix that came in a bag (also bleh). Occasionally I’ve lucked up on bagged fresh dough at the supermarket and that’s not too bad. I’ve come to prefer homemade dough. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh dough in the kitchen.

 

It’s easy to make and it yields enough for two smedium pizzas or several calzones or a shit ton of garlic knots. You can make this recipe ahead of time and store the dough in the freezer. Simply thaw it overnight in the fridge and you’re ready to go when it’s time to cook. Or you can use it straight away as I did this evening.

 

Ingredients:

 

3-4 Cups of AP flour

1 ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp of olive oil (plus extra for brushing)

1 tbsp of sugar

1 pack of fast rise yeast (2.5 tsp)

1 1/3 cups of very warm water

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and turn it off.

 

  1. In the bowl of your mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and the warm water.
  2. Add the yeast.pizzadough
  3. Allow it to proof for about 10 minutes. It will become frothy and fragrant.
    • If nothing happens, you’re yeast is dead. Scrap it and try again.

 

  1. Combine the flour and salt.

 

  1. In your mixing bowl attach your hook attachment, add the oil and turn the mixer on low.
  2. Carefully add your flour+salt mixture.

 

  1. Mix on low until combined well.

 

  1. If the dough is sticky add flour one tbsp a time. If you touch it, it should spring back without sticking to your fingers.

 

  1. Beat for 5 minutes on medium-low

 

  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute.

 

  1. Form into a bowl.

 

  1. Oil a bowl, place ball into bowl. Turn so it is coated in oil.

 

  1. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

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  1. Place in oven (make sure you have turned it off after it preheated to 200). Keep the door ajar.

 

  1. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes then punch it down.pizzadough3
  2. Place back in oven and allow to rise until it is doubled in size.pizzadough4
  1. You can portion this for freezing, use right away or both.
  • If you’re going to freeze, carefully and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a ziplock bag for up to a month.

 

Crispy Ginger Lime Sticky Wings

Tonight is Saturday night and mama really did not feel like cooking. I was pleased to hear a simple request of “asiany wings with the ginger and stuff”. This is a simple recipe with simple methods that can be applied to any flavor wings you’re going for.

 

This sauce is packed full of flavor and super easy to make. It’s easily adjustable; if it’s too sweet, use less sugar. If it’s not spicy enough, add more sambal (or peppers). More or less ginger? Easy fix.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

For the chicken:

Chicken wings

Water

 

For the sauce:

¼ cup soy Sauce

2 tbsp of oyster sauce

2 tsp sambal oelek

3 cloves of garlic, grated

Thumb of ginger (about 1.5”) grated

3-4 tbsp of light brown sugar

juice and zest of one lime, a pinch of zest reserved

 

For the chicken:

 

  1. Using kitchen shears, cut your wings into flats and drumssw1
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  3. You’re going to boil water like you’re making pasta aka heavily salted and a rolling boil.
  4. Boil the chicken for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Drain thoroughly.
  6. Pat dry with paper towel.sw2
  7. Place the chicken pieces directly onto a cookie sheet (no added oil, no foil).sw3
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  9. While your chicken is in the oven, start your sauce.sauce1
    • Grate the garlic and the ginger
    • In a sauce pan, over medium heat, add all of the ingredients and stir.
    • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
    • Keep an eye, the sauce will bubble and start to reduce.
    • Taste and adjust as you see fit.
    • When it’s perfect, remove from the heat.
  10. The wings will begin to turn golden brown.sw4
  11. Flip the wings and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  12. Toss the wings in the sauce.sw6
  13. Sprinkle reserved lime zest over sauced chicken.

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One word. BOOM!

 

 

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

I wanted a really yummy side for this meal that I’ve been daydreaming about for a week (post coming soon). I wanted something crunchy, but after the holiday, I couldn’t bear the thought of something heavy or deep-fried.

 

Enter crispy, baked zucchini fries. Now, before you raise and eyebrow- these were so delicious I haven’t stopped talking about them. However much you plan to make? Double that. Freeze what’s leftover and thank me later. I bet you you’ll love them and I bet you’ll use these techniques on whatever veggies you have laying around (string beans, peppers- hello!)

 

You want to season the fries generously. You will be doing the three-stop dredge (flour, egg, panko). Instead of frying these, we will line them on a baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake them on high heat until crispy and golden brown.

 

These taste so good you will forget that they are good for you! Low-carb, baked vegetables.

 

Insert heart-eye emoji.

Throw in the pig emoji too.


Ingredients:

(This recipe can easily be scaled up or down, there are very few precise ingredients here. This is just what I did for dinner tonight.)

 

1 large green zucchini

1 large yellow zucchini

Flour

Egg

Panko

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Paprika

Cooking spray or olive oil


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425.
  1. Cut the ends off of your zucchini.
  2. Cut the zucchini in half.
  3. Slice them length wise into about four slices ¼” to ½” thick.zucfrieszuchfries2
  4. Slice these into about 3-4 “fries”.
  5. Place your “fries” into a container and season them generally.
  6. Allow them to rest as you continue to prep your dredging station. Flour, panko and egg are not measured. I eyeball it. But always, ALWAYS use less than you think you will need. You can always add more if you need it. However, if you use too much you’re not pouring that flour back or that panko back into the containers. That’s gotta go in the trash. I try to minimize waste where I can. Use less, you can always add more-rule of thumb. Note: Liquid will likely accumulate in the zucchini container due to the salt; if so, simply drain the liquid.zucfries3
  1. A few at a time, place the “fries” into the flour and coat evenly.
  2. Then place them in the egg and coat evenly.
  3. Toss them in the panko and coat evenly. Press the panko gently into the “fries”.
  1. Place them on the baking rack until you are ready to go.zuchfries4
  2. (Note: if you do a large amount, these can be frozen (and kept frozen) until you are ready to use them. If you are baking these from the freezer, simply follow the remaining steps. Do not thaw.)
  1. Before baking, spray generously with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Optional: sprinkle with sea salt or coarse kosher salt.zuchfries5-copy
  1. Place the baking rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.zuchfries6zuchfries7zuchfries8

These are best fresh, piping hot from the oven.

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing and Crispy Garlic

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is RAW! You don’t have to cook everything and they’re just as delish. Last year I came across a recipe that called for shaved brussel sprouts. I was a strictly roasted-garlicky type of girl but that changed that evening.

I grabbed a bag of sprouts at the market last weekend and I was reluctant to just toss them in the oven. This week has been full of balsamic, so it seems, and I continued with this recipe.

It’s pretty quick and you customize it as you wish! Add carrot, nuts, herbs- use what you have! 

Note: I made a small batch, you can easily adjust this to make a larger batch.

 

2 1/2 cups of whole brussel sprouts, shaved on a mandolin slicer

4-5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp of olive oil

 

Dressing: (again, this was a small batch- if you need help making a larger portion, shoot me a comment)

1/8 cup of olive oil (plus leftover from the garlic)

pinch, each, of kosher salt, pepper and crushed pepper

tsp of dijon

tbsp of honey

2-4 (matter of preference) balsamic vinegar

 

Using your mandolin slicer, carefully shave your brussel sprouts. (If you’re like me and you hate to waste food, pop the stumps into a ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer. Use them the next time you make veggie broth!)brusselbrus8brus2

Preheat a pan over medium-low heat, add your olive oil and your garlic.

Stir frequently. Do not take your eyes off of the garlic, it can burn quickly. Browned garlic? Big yes. Burned garlic? You’ll never forgive yourself.

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Once the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon. The garlic will crisp up!

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In a small tupperware container, or a Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients (don’t waste that leftover oil from your garlic. It is loaded with garlic flavor, add that in too!!). Shake up thoroughly. Easiest way to make a dressing, hands down.brus6brus7

Pour over your shaved brussels and toss to coat.

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Serve  topped with the crispy garlic.

Thank me, later!

 

NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Fresh-Picked Apple Danish

Autumn is my favorite season. This weekend my family and I went apple picking at Larriland Farms in Maryland. It was a wonderful afternoon and we got a lot of goodies. Including a ton of fresh-picked apples. Pink Ladies, Granny Smith and Stayman were the varieties that my little boy picked.applesapples2apples3

I spent two days trying to figure out what to make and I settled on an apple danish. This recipe was super fun to make and actually really relaxing. I can’t wait to play around with this again with a different filling.

These were so tasty fresh out of the oven. Will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Ingredients:

5-7 apples (I used Pink Ladies and Granny Smith)

Half stick of unsalted butter

¼ cup of white sugar

1/3 cup of light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt.

 

Egg Wash

1 large egg, room temp

2 tbsp of milk, room temp

 

Follow the recipe for homemade Danish pastry dough.

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Preheat oven to 400 deg

While the dough rests in the fridge, slice your apples.danishh6danish6

Melt butter, allow it to brown not burn over medium heat.

Add apples

Add Add ¼ cup of white sugar and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar.

Simmer until crisp-tender. The apples will be soft but have some bite to them. A sauce will form.danish7danish8

Remove apples from pan and allow to cool in a small bowl.
Pour the sauce that formed into a a bowl and allow it to cool.

Remove dough from fridge

Flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 12×6-12×7”.

Slice the corners off of one side and two small triangles off of the other side.

Place dough onto your parchment lined or cooking sprayed baking sheet. (It will be very hard to move the braid if you form the braid on the counter.)

Using a sharp knife or pastry blade, create angled slices. This will form your braid.

Spread the sauce down the center of the rectangle and layer your apple slices.danish13danish14danish15

Alternate dough-strands to form a braid

Fold up the end and create a seal

Brush braid with egg wash

Bake the Danish for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You will want to rotate the pan every 4-6 minutes to ensure the Danish browns evenly.

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The Danish will be crispy and flaky on the outside and moist on the inside. For a bit of added decadence, brush any remaining sauce onto the Danish fresh out of the oven. Super NOM!

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

I love a flavor-packed dish with these flavors. You really can’t go wrong with garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy, sesame, etc. Tossing these ingredients together with brown rice noodles and veggie noodles (carrot and zuchinni), you’ve got a super light salad that can be eaten hot or cold.

It’s delicious as part of an entree, a side or a light lunch!

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

 

Noodle Salad

1 package of brown rice noodles, cook as directed

1 large zuchinni julienned, (invest in a mandolin slicer w/ attachments or vegetable spiralizer)

2 carrots, julienned

 

Sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, grated

1-2 inch ginger, grated

2 tbsp water

juice and zest of 1 large lime

3-4 tbsp of peanut butter, creamy or chunky

2 tsp of sambal

1 tsp of fish sauce

½ tsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

½ tsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

 

¼ cup chopped cilantro, to finish

 

 

  • Cook rice noodles following package directions.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk vigorously until well combined. Taste and add ingredients as needed (I wound up adding a bit more ginger and crushed red pepper).peanutpeanut3
  • Using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable spiralizer), shred your zucchini and your carrots.peanut2
  • Drain noodles and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Put noodles back into pot, add shredded vegetables and sauce
  • Using tongs, toss to combine
  • This can be served hot, warm or cold.mealmeal2meal3

 

Leftover sauce can be loosened with more lime juice or water and used as a salad dressing! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved