Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Avocado Tortilla Roll-Ups

The top 4 are singing songs from the Golden State tonight on American Idol so I thought I  would do something easy and healthy(ish). After last week’s culinary brit invasion I needed something simple and quick. When I think California I think about the beach, beautiful people, and keeping your waste line  in check. So what better snack is there then some creamy avocado wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla. Of course I had to add some cheese and sour cream to make it that much better (I told you healthyish)!

There’s only a few weeks left until the finale but you can still check out my recipes on Yahoo Music’s own, Lyndsey Parker, and her Reality Rocks blog! Okay, sales pitch over, make this shiz…it’s super tasty!

Check out tonight’s recipe feature HERE!

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas, or 3 super sized tortillas
  • 1 cup colby cheddar cheese blend, shredded
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, rough chop
  • Cholula chili garlic hot sauce

Make sure you get some perfectly ripe avocados.

In a large bowl mix together the avocado and next 5 ingredients, through the chile powder.

Add the jalapeno.

Mix until smooth.

Smear the avocado mixture onto the tortilla leaving a small border.

Sprinkle with the cheese.

Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Drizzle with the hot sauce.

Roll the tortilla up.

Repeat with the remaining 5 tortillas. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Cut the chilled tortilla rolls with a serrated knife into 1″ pin-rolls.

Bon Appétit!

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Stir-Fry

I am terrible about reusing left over ingredients. I usually run by the store on my way home from work, mistake number one, so I don’t have a chance to glance over what I’ve got sitting in my fridge. So inevitably I end up throwing away loads of produce every month. I would hate to see what that equals out to monetarily.

So after last week’s Fish and Chips Redux I challenged myself to utilize what I already had in the fridge. With a ton of veggies left over from a few other recipes I thought a stir-fry would be the perfect choice. Hence, the name, Everything but the Kitchen Sink. I literally grabbed everything I had, chopped it up and threw it in a wok.

I wasn’t planning on documenting this recipe so the measurements and photos are a bit sparse. The point is, you can take whatever you have leftover and make a perfectly easy and healthy week night meal.

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • salt and pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 mini red and yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp hoisin sauce

Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper, and cayenne and saute until almost cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Add the onions and next 5 ingredients through the carrots. Saute until veggies are softened but with a bite.

Add the cabbage and saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce and hoisin. Add the chicken and sauce and heat through. Serve with a side of basmati rice.

Bon Appetit!

Check out my beautiful Lilies! Spring is quickly leaving us here in Texas so I’m buying up all the gorgeous flowers I can get!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Fish Bites with French Fries & Summer Slaw

Last night was 60’s/Britpop night for the remaining 5 contestants on American Idol so I decided to cook up a hodgepodge of traditional pub grub (think Bangers and Mash and Shepards Pie), for Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog. I’m keeping the English theme going for tonight’s recipe with a take on (in my opinion) the most popular dish to come from across the pond.

One of the fondest memories of my trip to England when I was a kid was sitting on a park bench with a grease soaked newspaper, filled with crispy cod and beautifully fried chips (french fries to us here in the states). That moment I now blame for my obsession with deep fried potatoes, flaky white fish and tangy fried fish dips –  i.e. tartar sauce, malt vinegar and of course, cocktail sauce.

So tonight, I’m busting out the Canola Oil and filling up the dutch oven. Time to fry some sh**!!

Check out tonight’s recipe on Yahoo! Music’s Reality Rocks HERE!

Ingredients

Slaw

  • 1/4 head red cabbage (around 1 cup), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head green cabbage (around 1 cup), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 mini red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 mini yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 mini orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sugar

Fish and Fries

  • 1 12oz can shiner bock
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • canola oil for frying
  • 2 russet potatoes, cut into steak fries
  • 1 pd cod, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • cocktail sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Soak the cut potatoes in a large bowl of cold water.

To make the slaw combine the red cabbage and the next 8 ingredients, through the lemon zest, in a large bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and dash of sugar. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.

Pour over the slaw mixture and mix until well combined.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

In a large bowl whisk the shiner bock, 1.5 cups of the flour and the old bay until smooth.

The batter shouldn’t be too runny, but make sure it’s not too heavy for the fish.

Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

Fill a large dutch oven with the canola oil around 2 inches from the bottom (roughly 3 cups). Using a candy thermometer heat the oil to 375 degrees. Drain the potatoes and make sure to thoroughly dry them. Fry the potatoes in badges.

Fry until golden brown.

Remove from the oil and place on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

Keep warm in the oven.

Season the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with salt and pepper. Working in batches dip the fish in the beer batter, shaking off any access batter.

Dredge in the flour.

Drop in the hot oil (using a slotted scoop) and fry until golden brown.

Put the fish on a paper towel to drain access oil.

To serve make little cones out of parchment paper and place in highball glasses. Fill with the slaw, a few french fries and 4-5 nuggets of fish.

The perfect bite: a giant fork, some slaw, a piece of fish, and dip it into your favorite cocktail sauce!

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Bangers and Mash Mini Pies

First things first, I GOT A NEW CAMERA!!!! Now does this mean I know how to operate said camera, not really. It means me and a few glasses of Pinot are going to tackle the inch thick manual this weekend. It’s a gorgeous Canon T3i Rebel with a Speedlite flash and zoom lens. I’ve been using my mom’s Nikon which is WAY more technical but I was just starting to understand some of the main settings. So bare with me on the photos, I’ll get the hang of it pretty soon [fingers crossed]!

This week on Idol the remaining 5 contestants are tackling British tunes so I’m sticking to some traditional English fare for Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks Blog post. Tonight’s recipe is a bit more time consuming then a normal snack, but I promise you your taste buds will thank you.

Check out tonight’s recipe feature on Yahoo! Music HERE!

Ingredients

12 pies plus extra

Mash Potatoes

  • 4 yukon gold potatoes (around 1.25 pd), peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • salt and pepper

Pies

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pd hot (or mild) italian sausage, ground
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2.5 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 pieces pie crust, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup French’s fried onion strings

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan cover the potatoes with water.

Heat over high, covered, until the water comes to a boil. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, in a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high and add the sausage. Crumbling with a wooden spoon saute until no longer pink.

Add the onion and next 4 ingredients, through the rosemary, and cook until the veggies are soft.

Add the flour and cook for one minute until the meat starts to slightly stick together.

Add the beef broth and simmer for 6-8 minutes.

While the meat is simmering, using a 4-inch cutter, cut 4-inch circles into the dough.

Roll out any scraps to make 12 circles. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and press the dough into each muffin cup, covering the bottom and sides.

Poke the bottoms with a fork to avoid bubbling.

Bake in the oven until nice and golden brown, around 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Once they are cool enough to handle gentle pop them out with a knife.

Drain the potatoes and return to the warm pot for a few minutes to remove any access liquid. Stir in the butter, garlic powder and milk.

Mash with a potato masher and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the green peas to the sausage mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Layer each mini pie with a dollop of mash potatoes.

Top with the sausage mixture then add the fried onion strings.

Use any leftover sausage for some yummy pasta the next night!

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Herbed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Wrapped Grissini’s

Last night the final 6 Idols sang songs from the legendary band Queen, plus a tune of their choice. Since Freddie Mercury was quite the fan of Indian food, I kicked off last night’s performance round with some Spicy Indian Kebabs with a Masala Dipping Sauce. Tonight, a rich appetizer and bubbling toast to the legendary rock band.

For tonight’s recipe I reached out to one of the best cooks I know, my best friend. Back in college, whether it was a late night post “studying” snack or mid morning breakfast, she knew how to hook a roommate up. So here’s to Melanie and her inspired appetizer dish!

Check out tonight’s recipe, featured on Yahoo! Music’s Reality Rocks blog, HERE!

8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pd prosciutto , thinly sliced
  • 2 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 16 Grissini Breadsticks
  • Bottle of your favorite champagne/sparkling wine for toasting

To assemble the breadsticks set up a mini assembly line. Start with the Prosciutto, followed by the goat cheese, thyme, then the Grissini.

Using a butter knife smear a small amount of goat cheese on each piece of Prosciutto.

Sprinkle with the thyme.

Place two Grissinis, starting at the top, on the prosciutto…

Wrap around until sealed.

Sprinkle the breadsticks with the remaining thyme and serve with a cold glass of bubbly.

Sparkling wine pairs beautifully with rich food, especially cheese. For tonight’s recipe I went with Crémant De Bourgogne from the Burgandy region in France. It wasn’t too dry or too sweet, it paired beautifully with the rich proscuitto and goat cheese.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Indian Spiced Kebabs in a Spicy Masala Sauce

The top 6 are performing on American Idol so in honor of tonight’s theme I’ve cooked a “Queen” inspired dish for Yahoo! Music editor Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Apparently the British front-man, Freddie Mercury, loved Indian cuisine so I came up with a spicy and delicious snack in his honor!

One of my favorite Indian (some argue it’s more English) dishes is Chicken Tikka Masala. Cooks Illustrated has an amazing recipe for  the popular entree so I’ve used a version of their Masala sauce as the foundation for my dish. The rub for the chicken turned out way better then I expected. I have a multitude of Indian spices tucked away in my spice drawer so I thought, what the hell, I’ll let my nose guide me…and it worked!

Word to the wise, if you don’t remove the seeds from the Serrano it is VERY spicy, but if you’re in to burning your face off like I am, I would leave them in.

Check out tonight’s recipe on Reality Rocks HERE!

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 pd boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, large chunks
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, bite size pieces
  • wooden skewers

**The picture is missing the cream.

Masala Sauce

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 serrano, minced (seeds removed for less heat)
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, minced ( around 1 tbsp)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 (15oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes. To prep the chicken combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl until the chicken and veggies are coated in the spice mixture.

Starting with a bell pepper skewer the meat and veggies going from veggie to chicken until there are 4-5 pieces of chicken on each skewer.

Cover and marinate in the fridge while the sauce cooks.

Prep the veggies for the sauce.

The make the sauce heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Saute the onions until translucent, around 4-6 minutes.

Add the chile, ginger and clove and saute until fragrant.

Add the garam masala, tomato paste, sugar and salt and cook until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

While the sauce simmers heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill top over medium high heat and add the chicken skewers.

Cook for around 6 minutes on each side or until completely cooked through.

Add the cream to the sauce and heat through.

Sprinkle with some cilantro and serve with the skewers.

Bon Appétit!

Soy Lime Marinated Chicken with Balsamic Corn Relish

I made this chicken recipe the other night and had to share it with you guys. I’m not really sure where the recipe originated but it was passed on to me by my brother. I made a few changes of my own and it turned out absolutely delicious. The balsamic vinegar in the corn relish pairs beautifully with the soy lime marinated chicken and cilantro rice.

I didn’t plan on documenting this meal so I don’t have pics for every step, but once I starting smelling all of the amazing flavors in the dish I had to post it.

Give it a whirl. It’s healthy, easy and delicious!

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 10 oz container less sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (around 6 limes)
  • 2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 40z honey
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast (around 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Corn Relish

  • 1 can sweet corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cilantro Rice

  • 1 cup Indian basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced

To make the marinade combine the soy sauce and the next 5 ingredients, through the honey, in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Trim the chicken of any fat and place in a large baking dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

While the chicken is marinating combine the rice, water and chicken broth in your rice cooker or sauce pan and cook according to package directions.

In a medium bowl mix all of the ingredients for the corn relish together and season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken. Cook until completely cooked through, around 4-6 minutes on each side.

To plate place a mound of rice in the center of the plate and top with the chicken. Serve the corn relish on top of the chicken.

I served a Caesar salad on the side to round out the entire meal. Pair a light and fruity Pinot Noir to bring out all of the amazing flavors.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Citrus Ceviche in Mini Fillo Shells

Last night on American Idol the top 7 had a Redux and I was serving up a “Redo” of a classic snack with my Nacho Popcorn. For tonight’s results show and the theme, Then and Now, I decided to take a classic seafood dish and add a little twist.

I didn’t get the chance to check out all of the performances, just those from leading ladies Hollie, Elise, and of course Jessica. I thought all three gave strong performances but my girl Jessica blew it out the park. She has depth and soul to her voice that you absolutely would not expect just by looking at her. Absolutely amazing.

Who do you think will be sent home tonight? Let me know in the comments below.

Check out tonight’s recipe on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog HERE!

30 shells plus extra

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bay scallops, quartered
  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, rough chop (save some for garnishing)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roma tomatoes
  • 1 large avocado, small dice
  • 30 mini fillo shells

Place the scallops and shrimp at the bottom of a non-reactive container (I used a large glass bowl).

In a medium bowl combine the orange juice and next 9 ingredients, through the pepper, and whisk until well combined.

Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. The seafood will turn opaque and firm. Using a slotted spoon move the seafood to a clean bowl. Set the liquid to the side and add as you go if needed (I didn’t use any extra).

Fold in the cilantro, tomatoes, and avocado. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Place a spoonful of the mixture into the fillo shells and sprinkle with some cilantro.

Side not: Use the leftover ceviche over some shredded romaine lettuce or by itself!

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Nacho Popcorn

The past week has been one of those non-stop, no time to be stressed out, coffee chugging type of weeks. From 5 year old birthday parties in San Antonio to full time jobs and full time hobbies…I needed a snack I could literally make in under 15 minutes.

This week on American Idol the top 7 (redux) will be singing songs from “Then and Now”, and I’m cooking up snacks for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Tonight’s recipe is a classic snack (then) with a modern twist (now). My only comment from last week’s results show is….Jessica Sanchez….REALLY??

I have to apologize for the low quality pics this week. I didn’t have the Nikon camera with me in San Antonio so the old reliable point and shoot had to work. This recipe turned out insanely  delicious and it took everything for me not to eat the entire bowl by myself.

Check out tonight’s recipe on Reality Rocks HERE!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp green chiles
  • 12 cups original popcorn, 94% fat free, popped (1 bag)
  • 3/4 cup 2% 4 cheese Mexican blend, shredded

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the butter and next 5 ingredients, through the chiles in a medium bowl. Place the popcorn in a large bowl and drizzle with the seasoned butter.

Put the popcorn on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil and sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted, around 10 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Last night the remaining 7 Idol contestants sang songs from the last decade. My question is, why haven’t they been doing this the entire time?? I actually listened to the contestants and asked myself, would I buy their album. Watching a teenager sing songs from the 50’s, 60’s, etc does nothing for me in regards to thinking about them beyond the Idol stage.

With that said nobody really blew me away. There were no bombed performances by any means but nobody gave me goosies either (yes I’m channeling my inner JLo). Jessica and Elise were my favorites of the night by far.

On to the food…

Since the contestants were singing modern songs I’ve been cooking up fun, current snacks for Lyndsey Parker and her Reality  Rocks blog. I was trying to find some inspiration for tonight’s recipe and saw the most beautiful, adorable bag of mini bell peppers at the store. I’ve been completely obsessed with red bell peppers lately and couldn’t resist. They’re sweet with just a hint of spice and perfect for a light dinner or appetizer.

Check out tonight’s recipe featured on Yahoo! Music HERE!

6-8 according to size of peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 sweet italian turkey links, lean, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 6 mini bell peppers, seeds and stems removed
  • salt and pepper

Heat an outdoor or indoor grill pan over medium high heat.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute the onions until tender then add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, around 30 seconds.

Add the turkey sausage and thyme and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the heat and slightly cool.

In a large bowl combine the sausage and bread crumbs…

cheese…

then the egg.

Mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Slice the top of the peppers and reserve for plating. Remove the seeds.

I picked up this handy-dandy little pepper seeder from Sur La Table and finally got to use it!

Stuff the peppers with the turkey mixture.

Grill (stuffed peppers and tops separately) until the skins are slightly charred.

For presentation purposes secure the tops back on the peppers with a toothpick.

We actually ate this for dinner with a tomato and mozzarella salad!! It was the perfect amount of food. Of course I ate two peppers, but only one made it to my plate.

Bon Appétit!

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