Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

26 Aug

When I was growing up, my family often had fruit turnovers for breakfast or dessert.  It was a quick, flaky and it was straight from the freezer.  Perfect for two busy parents to feed two little girls with big sweet tooths!

I kept Mom and Dad in mind while creating this recipe, and saved them leftovers.  It was the daughterly thing to do.  This recipe combines buttery frozen puff pastry and a cinnamony fruity filling with the last of my ripe peaches and blueberries.  [Side note, always keep puff pastry in your freezer.  You can use it a zillion different ways for quick appetizers and desserts.]

Peach and Blueberry Turnovers

  • One box of puff pastry (2 sheets); make sure to thaw but keep cold in the fridge
  • 2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • flour to use for counter and rolling-pin
  • one egg white to brush on top of pastry at the end

Move puff pastry from the freezer down to the fridge the night before you make these turnovers.  This will allow the puff to thaw gradually and still remain cool, very important!

The morning of, peel and chop your peaches, and put in a medium mixing bowl.  I used three large peaches to yield two cups of chopped peaches.  Then add your blueberries to the bowl.  Add cinnamon, brown sugar and corn starch to the bowl and stir until combined.  You don’t need a lot of sugar here because you are using your last ripe and juicy peaches!  Speaking of juicy, the corn starch will help thicken up your filling so it stays put (hopefully) in your pastry.

Preaheat your oven to 400.  Sprinkle flour on a clean counter and roll out puff pastry.  Make sure to also flour your rolling-pin so that it doesn’t stick to the top of your pastry.  Cut the pastry into three sections, I used a pizza cutter to cut through the dough.  You need to do this rather quickly as the butter in the pastry gets a bit sticky as it melts.  Place your filling in the center of your pastry and fold the top of pastry over your filling.  Make sure to seal all of the edges with a fork so your filling doesn’t escape in the oven.

I repeat make sure to seal your edges properly unlike my photo below.  I made the textbook error of over-filling my pastry.  I recommend using two spoonfuls instead of my three. 

After you’ve stuffed your turnovers, separate an egg and lightly brush the egg white over the top of your pastry.  This will turn it a beautiful golden-brown.  Pop these into the oven for 10-12 minutes. 

Check out these beauties!  A perfectly delicious way to use up the last of that summer fruit.  Actually, it could also be perfect for the Fall with some apples.  Well what do you know, the recipe that keeps on giving.  AND it’s Mom and Dad approved.  They earned it, right! 

Citrusy Corn Salad

23 Jun

Ah summer!  I love this season of picnics and barbeques.  In fact, we’re having a McG family celebration tomorrow, and I’ve been asked to bring my Mac & Cheese.  Some of you might find this recipe a bit heavy for a hot day.  Never fear!  I’ve got a refreshing, light dish for you.  This Citrusy Corn Salad is the perfect side to a burger or rack of ribs.  I also think it’s amazing served on top of grilled fish.

Citrusy Corn Salad (serves 2)

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 8-10 cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Clean and cook 2 ears of corn in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  I like a firmer kernel, so feel free to cook your corn a bit longer if need be.  Ta-da!  That’s it!  You are finished with the stove.  Take a knife and run it down the side of each cob to cut off the kernels.  You should have honey comb-like wedges as seen in the picture above.  Separate the kernels and transfer to a bowl. 

Next take out your trusty cutting board and chop 8-10 tomatoes into quarters.  You’ll probably feel like a giant, but I think this is the perfect size to give another texture and some color to the dish.  Afterwards, zest a lime and then add the juice.  Add the salt and pepper and stir. 

Here’s the point where I’ll lose some of you.  Wait-come back!  Just hear me out.  I love cilantro and think it’s the perfect accent to the fresh citrus of the lime and sweetness of the corn and tomatoes.  I recommend you add a tbs of chopped fresh cilantro to the salad to finish things off.  I recognize that cilantro can be a polarizing herb (sorry Dad and Apres), but I like it so go on and add it. 

Now transfer your corn salad to a brightly colored bowl and pop in the fridge.  This can sit in there for a few hours, and this will allow the flavors to blend.  Now go grab a beer and get back to your party!

Decadent Mac & Cheese

14 Jun

Is there anything more decadent than a rich, creamy, cheesy plate of Macaroni and Cheese?  Nope.  It’s perfect for a backyard barbecue, and in the dead of winter by a raging fire.  Little and big kids alike agree it’s the perfect food. 

I grew up making my own from the box or heating up the creamy Stouffers’ version as a side.  When I left for college, I realized I was the boss in my kitchen and upgraded to entree portions.  Here’s my take on this classic dish.  Feel free to have it your way, creamy or baked!

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 2 cups X-tra Sharp New York Cheddar Cheese from Trader Joes (1/2 cup extra for baked version)
  • 1 cup Cheddar and Gruyère Melange Cheese from Trader Joes
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • sprinkle of cayenne
  • 4 cups dry macaroni
  • crumbled bacon (optional but strongly encouraged)

Put a large pot of salted water on over medium high heat, and add the macaroni when it comes to a boil.  Cook pasta for 3-4 minutes and drain. 

In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk until combined.  Continuously whisk the butter and flour mixture for about 5 mins, or until your rue becomes a pale brown and starts to bubble up. 

Turn heat to low and gradually whisk in the cream to your rue.  Once combined, turn up the heat to medium low, and whisk your mixture for about 5 more mins.  You should start to see the beginnings of a gorgeous, thick cream sauce.   Add in your ground mustard, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a sprinkle of cayenne.  Once incorporated, turn up the heat to medium and whisk in a cup of your cheese.  After its combined, add in next cup of cheese.  Repeat with final cup of cheese.  Gradually whisking-in the cheese will give you a smoother sauce without the cheese clumps.

Isn’t that sauce gorgeous!  I love the pale orange color you get when mixing the two kinds of cheese.  This sauce is just dying to envelop those cute little macaroni noodles.  Stir your noodles into the gooey cheese sauce. 

You can choose to stop now if you are a creamy mac fan.  Or if you prefer the baked version, sprinkle a half cup more of the sharp cheddar on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. 

I strongly recommend you make this now…and then top it with crumbled bacon!  For the bacon, cook 3-4 strips over medium high heat.  Then add to the top your macaroni and cheeseEnjoy, I know I did.

Take Two: Roasted Chicken Enchiladas

11 Jun

This is one of my new favorite take two recipes!  These recipes use my leftovers (yuck) and turn them into something new.  Earlier this week I feasted on delicious Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken.  In fact, I snacked on it for two and a half days!  I just couldn’t bring myself to eat any more of my beloved chicken by the third evening, so had to change things up. 

These Roasted Chicken Enchiladas are so quick.  You already did the hard part by cooking the chicken, now all you have to do is chop and assemble the ingredients.  You can put an exciting dinner on the table in only 20 minutes.

Roasted Chicken Enchiladas (serves 4)

  • 2 16 oz jars of Old El Paso Thick and Chunky Salsa (medium heat)
  • 1 1/2 cups Roasted Chicken
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, plus sprinkle
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper, plus sprinkle
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5-6 flour tortillas

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl pour 3/4 of first salsa jar.  Add onion, jalapeno, 1 tbs of chopped cilantro, pepper, salt and red pepper flakes.  Stir and add in leftover shredded Roasted Chicken.  Set aside.

Pour remaining 1/4 of first jar of salsa into a glass 9×13 baking dish.  This will keep the enchiladas from sticking to the bottom of  your dish.  Feel free to add a bit more from the second jar if need be. 

Take a tortilla and fill it with a palm-sized amount of your chicken filling.  Sprinkle a little shredded cheese (you will use a 1/2 cup inside your tortillas), and roll up tortilla.  Put your rolled up tortilla with the flap side down in the baking dish.  Repeat until you have used up all of your filling, approximately 5-6 tortillas.  If you have any leftover filling pour over the top of your enchiladas, and then pour the rest of the second jar of salsa on top of your enchiladas.  Spread around so all of the rolled tortillas are covered, this will ensure they do not get dry.  Transfer dish to the oven and cook uncovered for 10 mins.  I know this doesn’t seem like much time, but remember we are using previously cooked chicken!  This is mainly to combine the flavors and warm up the dish. 

Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over top of the enchiladas and bake for 5 more mins.  Remove from oven and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro to finish. 

Now all I need is a nice chilled margarita!  Who’s buying?

Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken

9 Jun

I don’t think there’s anything better than the smell of roasting chicken, which is saying a lot since I’m generally a baked goods girl.  The only smell that can top it in my book is  Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken

You already know I’m not a fan of leftovers, but I can snack on a rotisserie or roasted chicken for days.  Things were busy again at work this past week, so that was exactly what I had in mind.  Here’s my quick and easy recipe for roasted, mouth-watering chicken that will feed you for days.

Roasted Lemon Herb Chicken

  • 4 1/2 lb roasting chicken
  • 1 1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut in half
  • 2 lemons, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper, plus sprinkle
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus sprinkle
  • 2 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and chop onion into small wedges.  I ended up having three sections for each half onion I chopped.  Next cut two unpeeled heads of garlic in half, the cut lemons into quarters.  Reserve two quarters of the lemon for inside the chicken.  Afterwards, peel and chop carrots into medium chunks, about 2 inches thick.  Transfer all of these ingredients into a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove all giblets from inside the chicken cavity.  Place your bird on top of the chopped ingredients.  Sprinkle the top of the bird and inside the cavity with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Stuff remaining two lemon quarters, rosemary, and thyme inside chicken cavity.  Melt 2 tbs of butter in the microwave and spread evenly all over the chicken, making sure to get the legs and wings.

Cook in the oven at 425 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 behind the chicken leg.  The juices should also run clear from the holes.  Let your chicken rest for 20 minutes before serving with roasted onions (yum) and carrots.  Behold my gorgeous bird!

Oh and I bet mashed potatoes would be the perfect accompaniment.  Stay tuned for a perfect take two recipe with my leftovers!

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me

7 May

So anyone who has ever read my blog knows about my love of food.  All kinds of food.  But, here are the top five things you don’t know about me.  Unless we are already friends or family, in which case, love you!

1.  I am absolutely obsessed with breakdancers.  I will watch every dance movie, show, or documentary about breakdancing.  Favorites include Step Up, So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew.  One of my good guy friends bought me a t-shirt that says “In Case of Emergency Breakdance” to which I replied by doing a tripod.

2.  I crave hot and sour soup every time I’m sick.  There is no more perfect food in my mind to restore me to health.  Spicy so you can still taste it and the perfect cure for congestion.  Plus I can get it in 20 minutes or less for takeout.  Mmmm, I’m eating it now because, well I haven’t had it yet this week.

3.  I am 5 feet tall.  No seriously, I’m really short.  All of my nicknames include something about my diminutive size.

4.  I am a voracious reader and often read three to four books at a time.  I love being able to switch between them depending on my mood, and sometimes read more than one in a night just because I want to change things up.

5.  I love to sing and secretly want to audition for The Voice.

Namesake Brunch Burger

6 May

Every now and then I attempt something in the kitchen that just doesn’t turn out according to plan.  Usually, it’s the result of serious improvisation combined with my incessant need to multitask (even though I should be paying attention).  Textbook Megan…

Take today for example!  I had a great idea for a tasty-but-healthy brunch burger.   It included a well-seasoned beef patty, and was topped with a fresh yellow heirloom tomato, slices of fresh avocado, and a runny over-easy egg.  Everything was going well until I tried to document my efforts with a photo.  As I grabbed my camera, the whole burger fell over leaning tower style, causing the yoke to run everywhere.  At that moment I cursed, and figured it was an act of karma for trying to create a burger without cheese.  I mean who wants a burger without cheese?  Needless to say today’s post will not feature images.

But, you know what happened?!  In true Imperfectly Delicious fashion, I ate the burger anyway, and it was completely awesome.  It was fresh, filling and full of flavor.  Who said that things had to look perfect or follow a recipe exactly to taste perfect?  Certainly not me.  I say go with it and try out this recipe!

Imperfectly Delicious Brunch Burgers (serves two)

  • 2 4 oz grass-fed beef patties
  • 2 burger buns
  • 2 tbs of shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbs of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 ripe yellow heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs

First chop up your shallots and garlic.  Combine 2 ingredients and separate into 2 even piles.  Add 1 pile of garlic and shallot mixture to your first patty, then repeat with the second patty.  Mix gently until incorporated, and season each patty with 1/2 of salt and 1/2 pepper mixture.  Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  When warm transfer your burger pattys to pan and cook 3 to 4 mins on each side.  This would also be delicious if you throw these burgers on the grill.

While burgers are cooking, cut half of a yellow heirloom tomato into 2 slices.  Also, cut an avocado in half, and slice half into thick slices.  Take your burgers off the heat and let them rest on the bun for a few minutes.  The bun will soak up the yummy juice while the pattys rest. Top each burger with a slice of tomato and a few slices of avocado. 

Spray another medium pan with butter and turn on medium heat.  Crack 2 eggs into pan and let cook for about a minute.  Use a spatula to separate egg whites and flip eggs.  Cook for 30 more seconds then take off the heat.  Top each burger with an egg and pray everything stays upright.  This burger is clearly messy, but the perfect summer brunch item. 

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