Best. Appetizer. Ever.

0-1I’m not ashamed of my title. These are the best appetizers ever. So I’ll keep my post like these Prosciutto bites, quick to go!

There are plenty of prosciutto, melon and mozzarella recipes and apps out there. However, the prosciutto in most of these recipes is uncooked. Personally, I prefer prosciutto cooked and crispy.

I made these yummy little bites for a party and they were a hit! They were gone in a flash and everyone agreed they were addicting.

The saltines of the cooked prosciutto pairs perfectly with the smooth creaminess of the mozzarella and the slight sweetness of the melon. They would be good with honeydew, too.

A Delectable Endeavors original

12 strips of prosciutto

12 small cubes of cantaloupe

small container of bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)

Spray a mini-muffin pan with canola oil. Place prosciutto into the cups so they make little cups. Place them into the oven for only about 10-15 minutes, or until prosciutto is crisp.  Drain cups on a paper towel until cool. Place one small ball of mozzerella and one small piece of cantaloupe in the cup. Enjoy!

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Quick and Healthy – Greek Turkey Meatballs

My husband and I have been looking at new places to rent and I keep running into the same problem – Small Kitchens!  Some places have less counter space than we have now, which I thought was impossible! When will builders begin making what I want? A house that is half kitchen! I don’t need a bigger bedroom – all I do is sleep in there! Give me a big kitchen.

Sigh. In the meantime, I continue to bake away in the tiny kitchen we have now.

I have been making these meatballs a lot lately. Mainly because they are so versatile. You could easily double this recipe for a small family and use the leftovers to make, meatball sandwiches, toss with pasta, or eat with some roasted vegetables. They are packed with flavor too. Really, these should be called healthier-than-sausage meatballs because they taste a lot like pork sausage, but with much less fat. I like to eat them with tzatziki and pita.

And just wait to see how easy they are to make.

A Delectable Endeavors original

0-31 lb of ground turkey

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (I like panko)

1 large egg

1/3 of an onion finely minced

red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp cracked oregano

1/4 cup of crumbled feta

Mix everything together with your hands. Form into 1 inch large balls.

You have 2 choices for baking. 1. Lightly spray a baking pan and bake them at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. 2. Lightly spray a saute pan and cook them until nicely brown on all sides and cooked all the way through.

Quick and Healthy Series – Chipotle Turkey Tacos with Avocado Creme

I’m starting a new series based on how I’ve been cooking lately.  Fast. Easy. Healthy.  Between finishing up a post-doc, doing side projects, studying for licensing exam, well . . .  you get the idea.  While I still love cooking, I don’t have nearly as much time to cook anymore, so I’ve needed to find some ways to fit cooking into my schedule.  Of course, my tastes haven’t changed just because my cooking habits have, so these dishes also be delicious and seem like I spent hours cooking when I really only spent 20-30 minutes.

This is a great kick off to the series because it is a wonderful combination of delicious and complex flavors.  You would think that this would take someone hours of simmering, but takes very little time and effort.  The creme can be made ahead of time as well, cutting down your prep time even more!

I would like to preface this recipe with a note.  These are not real tacos.  Real tacos are a magical thing everyone should experience.  My favorites were from a food cart outside my old work place in the city.  If you have never had tacos from a food cart, don’t be afraid, they could change your life.

1 lb of ground turkey

3 chipotle peppers, in sauce, chopped

1 small (15 oz) can of chopped tomatoes

All Recipe taco seasoning mix

corn tortillas

Avocado creme (taken from Two Peas & Their Pod)

1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 small Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Make Avocado creme by adding cilantro, Serrano pepper, and garlic to food processor.  Pulse a few times until combined and pepper is thoroughly chopped.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate.

To make tacos

Season raw turkey with All Recipe taco seasoning mix.  No need to let sit.  Add seasoned turkey to a pan heated over medium heat.  Once meat begins to brown, add chipotle peppers and canned tomatoes.  Let simmer until cooked through.  You can add a little slurry of cornstarch and water if you want to thicken the mixture up a bit.

Serve over warm tortillas and top with avocado creme!

Pulled Pork Tacos

For me, tacos are a standby.  Anytime I don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking, but I want a filling meal with lots of flavor, I make tacos.   This recipe in particular is a standby for me because it’s quick, easy and delicious.  I have been making these for years, but only recently it occurred to me that I should post them.

Thats right, they look delicious too!  This is another “one pot meal” I make.  In fact, I take it step further and make it even easier by cooking the pork in a slow cooker.  Delicious.  I’m also a little partial to this recipe because I only cook it with Iowa pork.  Every time I go home, my parents give me pounds and pounds of Iowa pork, because they know what I know – Iowa pork is best.  I am an Iowa girl and I get a little misty-eyed thinking of the hometown butchers, rich with fresh, quality meat . . .  ahhh memories.

Needless to say, when I have leftovers from the stock of pig I bring from home, I like to make tacos.  You can easily change the amount of seasoning and reheat some leftover pork roast to make this as well.  Pork roast or pork butt is the typical cut used for pulled pork.  I would advise using one of these cuts.  They fall apart when you cook them which makes it amenable to making tacos.  Any other cut just won’t be the same.  This recipe also makes a LOT of servings, so unless you have a family of 8, be prepared for leftovers.

Seasoning (from All Recipes)

2 Tbl chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 Tbl ground cumin

2 tsp salt

2 tsp black pepper

Tacos

2.5 lbs of pork roast or pork butt

2 10-ounce cans of diced tomato and green chile

corn tortillas

Pat pork with taco seasoning.  Turn slow cooker on to your desired heat and time.  I usually use a probe to cook it to the right temperature.  When its done, or about 30 minutes from being done, drain the fat and break up the pork.  Add it back to the slow cooker, or a large pan.  Add the tomato and chile.  Warm through.  It’s that easy!  I like to heat up the tortillas and top  with cheese, lettuce, and salsa.  Enjoy!

Tomato Skillet Chicken

I love meals you can make in a skillet.  They are usually quick and simple, so they are great for those days you don’t feel like working hard to make a good meal.  This recipe is especially nice because I utilized lean meat (chicken) and brown rice with vegetables – so it is good for you too!

Skillet chicken

Although this is a skillet recipe, you cannot just throw everything in at once.  There is a special order that makes the meal work.  I have outlined the steps below to make it even easier.  It usually takes 30-40 minutes to make, depending on your rice.  You can also marinate the chicken for longer if you prefer, I simply didn’t have time to leave it set overnight.  It is easy to personalize this dish as well.  You could easily swap out a different type of meat or a different type of vegetable.

Approximately 1 lb of chicken strips of breast (usually 2-4)

1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette

1 Tablespoon of oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes

3/4 cup of brown rice

1 cup of water

1 Tablespoon fresh cut basil

1/4 cup of grated low-fat swiss or mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Place chicken in a plastic bag with vinaigrette.  Let marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Warm oil in a large skillet or saucepan.  Cook marinated chicken in the pan.  The pan should seem too large for the chicken.  It’s ok, there is a reason for this.  Place chicken to the side when it is fully cooked.

Step 3: Place garlic and canned tomatoes (juice and all) in the pan.  It’s alright if there is still some drippings from the chicken.  That makes it more delicious! Cook until fragrant.  This should only take a minute.  Add rice and water.  Bring to a boil.  Then, add basil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook and let rice absorb the liquid.  This will take a different amount of time, depending on the type of the rice you have. Mine took about 30 minutes.

Step 4: When rice is nearly done, uncover and add chicken.  Sprinkle cheese over top and let melt.  Serve and enjoy!

Cake in a cup?

Today I am reviewing a recipe going around the internet called Cake in a Cup.  The e-mail, which I received from my aunt, describes a way to “bake” chocolate cake in a coffee mug.  Cake in a Cup Initially, I had my doubts.  I mean, come on cake? In a cup?  Thee whole idea behind the recipe is that you put a little dash of this, a splash of that, mix it all up and nuke it in the microwave to make your own single-serving instant cake for those late night cravings.

Brilliant, right?  Wrong.  While this did take a mere 5 minutes for me to whip up, I wouldn’t exactly call it “cake”.  As you can see, the end product looked more hardened lava rather than fluffy cake.  The taste was just as disappointing.  It had a tough, spongy texture.  It tasted bland and faintly of plastic.  I blame it on the egg to dry ingredient ratio.  After all, most cake recipes have a couple of eggs and couple of cups of flour.  This recipe calls for one egg and only a few tablespoons of flour.

I wouldn’t recommend this speedy treat to anyone; if you have a late-night chocolate craving, I’d stick to the Oreos.  However, just in case you want to experiment with it on your own – here is the recipe. (Since no one is credited in the e-mail, I don’t know who to credit with inventing it)

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (make sure its microwave safe)