Leftover Tuesday: Butter Chicken With a Twist

I had some leftovers that needed to be used up:  cooked rice and a cooked chicken breast.  The tomatoes on the counter were ripening quickly.  It had been a while since I’d made a curry.  All these things inspired me to make Butter Chicken.  This took little time because of the leftovers. To save time, you could buy a roasted chicken breast from the deli. Watch for the “twist!”

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 pepper, chopped

4 small Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 c. tomato sauce

1/4 c. water

1 cooked chicken breast, chopped

1/4 c. tub-style cream cheese

Splash or two of 10% cream

1 T. curry powder or an Indian spice blend

Brown onion and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a simmer on medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cream cheese (the “twist”) and chicken.  Continue to heat until the cream cheese is fully incorporated into the tomato mixture.  Remove from heat, add the curry powder/Indian spice blend and splash or two of cream.  Serve with rice. Naan bread would also be good. Serves 2 – 3.


Pomegranate and Feta Salad

1 head romaine lettuce

1 bunch spinach

Seeds of one pomegranate

1/4 c. toasted pine nuts or pecans

1/2 c. crumbled feta

1/3 c. olive oil

1 T. red wine vinegar

2 T. maple syrup

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp oregano

salt and pepper

Rinse and spin dry the lettuce and spinach. Rip or chop and place into a large bowl. Toast nuts in a non-stick pan on medium low until they brown. Add to the bowl of greens along with the feta and pomegranate seeds. Combine dressing ingredients in covered jar or container, shake well.  Serve dressing on the side or pour onto the salad.

Serves about 10

Tips and Notes:  Buy a package of the pomegranate arils (the little seeds). Getting the arils out of the pomegranate is a major pain in the butt.  I’ve used packaged baby spinach and romaine in place of the head of romaine and bunch of spinach. I’ve also walnuts in place of the pecans or pine nuts.

Fish Chowder

1 onion chopped

2 T. oil

4 small carrots, diced

1 large potato, diced

1 fish filet (I used sole)

1 can salmon, drained and bones picked out

1 c. frozen corn

2 c. milk

1 T. dried dill and 2 T. Old Bay Seasoning

salt and pepper

Place potatoes and carrots in microwave-safe dish and microwave in a bit of water until a bit tender.  Brown onion in skillet until soft, then add fish filet and cook for a few minutes more.   Drain potatoes and carrots.  Combine potatoes, carrots, onion, fish fillet and salmon in a medium pot with milk and spices and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring so that the milk doesn’t burn.   Stir in frozen corn and heat through.  The chowder may be thickened at this point with 1/4 c. flour dissolved in water and stirred in.   Makes 4 – 6 servings. Great with crusty bread or buns.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

My husband, after 15 years of marriage, and many, many bowls of soup served for dinner, announced last week at a potluck that he isn’t a big soup fan. I was a bit gobsmacked. My girlfriend replied that “women like soup” and I think it’s true. There’s something comforting about soup. I’m not fond of the cream-of-something canned soups however.  Here’s a quick Cream of Mushroom soup. Add some crusty rolls and salad-in-a-bag and you’re good to go.

Adapted from:  http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/02/11/day-42-creamy-mushroom-soup/

1 small package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 – 2 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 T. each dried rosemary and cilantro

1 T. flour

3 c. chicken or vegetable stock

Splash of red wine

1/2 c. whipping cream, sour cream or half and half

Brown mushrooms and onions until moisture evaporates and mushrooms turn golden. Add flour, cook two minutes. Add spices, stock and wine and simmer on low 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cream (I used sour cream.) Serves 4 – 6

Spanish Rice Skillet

1 lb. ground beef

3 small ham slices, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 c. green pepper, chopped

1, 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 c. rice

2 c. water

1/2 c. chili sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. pepper

Brown beef, onion and pepper in skillet. Add cooked ham, tomatoes, rice, chili sauce, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 25-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  6 servings  Time saving tip: Buy frozen diced onions.