Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mango Bell Pepper Chicken

One night I visited a couple who live near my house and when I walked in, I smelled the yummiest, sweet/spicey smell permeating from her kitchen.  It was mangoes.  And peppers.  Does anyone else LOVE mangoes?  I asked for the recipe, and she gave.  And it was very yummy and mango-y and also a little peppery, too!  I improvised a little for what I had, so here is what I ended up with.

Mango Bell Pepper Chicken
adapted from a cute girl in my ward

2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
pinch chili powder
2 small mangoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
4-5 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. minced, fresh cilantro (I didn't add this, but I bet it would add a lot)
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch squares
1/2 c. cornstarch

In a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onion and bell pepper 5-7 minutes. Doesn't that look pretty?
Stir in the garlic, allspice and chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.  Why 30 and not 35, or even 37, I don't know.  Just obey it.  Stir in the mango, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and cook it until the mango is soft-about 2 minutes.  Don't over cook your mango here.  I did and it made it a little mushy.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper. 

While your sauce is cooking, In a large ziplock bag, put chicken and 1/2 cup cornstarch and coat the chicken evenly.  Fry it in a large frying pan with a little oil until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Pour the sauce over the chicken and cook it for a couple of minutes (as you can see, I didn't do that, but I should have).  Serve it over rice.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brie en Croute

There are not many recipes that I make more than once, and few that I make often. This happens to be one of them. I have made it 3 or 4 times in the last few months for dinner parties that we’ve had, and everyone seems to have liked it as much as we love it! It’s an indulgence that I take every now and then and enjoy every bite! I don’t know how many calories are in this thing, but if calories were based on yumminess (which, sadly, they tend to be) I would be eating my weight in them.

Please, please try this recipe.

Brie en Croute

Adapted from


One 8 oz. wheel of Brie cheese (see note below)

one sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed to room temperature

2-3 tbsp. brown sugar

2-3 tbsp. chopped pecans

1-2 tbsp. Craisins

one egg, beaten


1. With a knife, gently cut off most of the white rind that is covering the cheese. (You can leave it on if you like, it’s edible. It’s a little easier to cut into if it’s off.) Try not to shave off any of the cheese.

2. Let one sheet of puff pastry thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before using. Roll out on lightly floured surface and pour brown sugar in the center of the rolled out pastry. Top it with chopped pecans and Craisins and place Brie on top.

3. Fold puff pastry up over the Brie and pinch the seams together to seal completely (you don’t want it to overlap too much to ensure it cooks evenly, and with an 8 oz. wheel of Brie I usually cut off a fair amount of the pastry and use it in a later dish). Flip the whole thing over so the seam side is down.

4. Brush beaten egg over entire wrapped Brie. (Helpful tip from Be thorough with all the seams- the egg will help seal them so that the cheese doesn’t escape while baking.)

5. Now grab a little of the extra pastry, flatten it out, and using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out any shape you want to adorn the top. Place on the wrapped Brie and brush with egg.

6. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° and cook for another 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with crackers if desired.

Side note: I use a small wheel of Brie (8 oz.) which serves about 4 people. If you’re having a larger party, you can buy a larger wheel (say 19oz.). You’ll end up using most of the pastry puff to cover the cheese. Double the brown sugar, pecans, and Craisins, and increase the baking time to 25 minutes at 400° and 20 minutes at 300°.