Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creole Contessa: Creamy Stove Top Mac with Bacon

Creole Contessa: Creamy Stove Top Mac with Bacon

Monday, May 6, 2013

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala
Why go out for Indian when you can make this spicy, creamy dish at home? 
I got this from a friend’s husband who discovered the original recipe on
I finally decided to try it myself and it was so easy!  It rivals any restaurant Tikka Masala that I have ever had……at least here in Denver.  Your friends and family will be dying to get the recipe!

I love the flavors of the jalapeno and cumin in the sauce, combined with the delicate flavors of cinnamon, lemon and cumin in the chicken marinade.  The sauce is a deliciously complex and subtle blend of spices, with the heat of the cayenne and the jalapeno behind it.  This recipe makes about 6 servings – or four servings for very hungry peeps…lol!

Chicken Marinade:
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
Salt to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed into ½ inch to 1 inch pieces
4 long skewers or a grill basket for holding the chicken while grilling

In a medium to large bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger and salt.  Stir in the chicken pieces, cover and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.   

Preheat the grill on high heat, lightly oiling the grill grate if using skewers.  If using a grill basket, spray the inside with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken in basket, discard marinade.  Place the chicken pieces on skewers if using skewers.  Grill the chicken about 5 minutes on each side over high heat until juices run clear. 

Sauce Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
Salt to taste
1 (8ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute.  Stir in 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and salt.  Add in tomato sauce and cream, stirring to combine well.  Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until sauce thickens, being careful not to let it boil or scald. 

Add in grilled chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes.  Serve over Basmati rice and garnish with cilantro, if desired.  Warm Naan or pita bread goes great on the side!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole
It’s May 1st and we have snow AGAIN here in the Denver area!  Ugh!  Will Spring ever come to stay?  If I hear one more person say, “We need the moisture”, I’m gonna be ill.  

So, instead of grilling ……….today is a casserole day.  It just feels right.  LOL.  I was looking for a way to use the stuff I have on hand, and needed a recipe that required little prep time and was inspired by a recipe at Mommy’s Kitchen (

I made a few adjustments to the original recipe and added garlic powder to give it some extra flavor.  I basically cut the original recipe in half because it’s just me and the hubby here at our house.  I did keep the original amount of shredded cheese because you can never have too much cheese! 

This casserole is a creamy, cheesy batch of comfort in a dish!  I love the crispness of the green peas mixed in with the garlicky cream sauce and noodles.  Enjoy!

1-2 cups cooked chicken, cut up into bite size pieces
(boneless chicken breasts or tenderloins)
1 cans cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz can)
2/3  cup milk
1 (6-oz) pkg frozen green peas
1 (6 oz) - package wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
2 - cups shredded Cheddar Cheese or Mexican Cheese blend
1- tablespoon melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
Ground black pepper to taste
Cook the noodles just until al dente because they will spend more time baking in the casserole and we don’t want the noodles to get overcooked and mushy.   Pour warm water over the peas in a colander to thaw slightly.  Do not soak the peas in water.

Mix the cream of chicken soup, milk, garlic powder, butter and 1 cup of the shredded cheese in a bowl until well blended.  Gently stir into the mixture the cooked noodles, chicken and peas.  Stir in black pepper to your taste. 

Spread the mixture into an ungreased 8x8 baking dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese.  It is up to you how much cheese you put on top…..I like a lot on top of mine!  J
Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Please leave a comment if you like what you see!