Let's Cook: Spicy Chicken & Bacon Noodle Soup

by Aaron Hutch of TheHungryHutch.com 
*singing* “[Spicy] chicken [and bacon] noodle soup/[Spicy] chicken [and bacon] noodle soup /[Spicy] chicken [and bacon] noodle soup with a soda [or a nice glass of wine] on the side.”
Whatever happened to DJ Webstar and Young B.? Talk about your one-hit wonders! Well this is a dish that will surely stay in your taste buds’ memory for the long haul. This recipe offers a great variation on an age-old classic with the addition of a little heat, the use of chicken sausage, and bacon (which makes everything better). Some might be intimidated by the idea of making soup at home, but a delicious bowl is easier to come by than you may think.


Let's Cook: Steak, Onion & Mushroom Quesadilla

by Hutch of The Hungry Hutch

“Knock it off, Napoleon, just make yourself a dang quesadilla!” If you were anywhere between the ages of 10 and 20 back in 2004, then I’m sure you too used to jokingly mispronounce “quesadilla” with your friends and did extensive research into if ligers really existed (and apparently they do).

Everyone has his or her own personal preferences when it comes to the quesadilla. What type of tortilla to use, the kind of cheese, the filling components, and the choice of accompaniments are all up for debate. I prefer corn tortillas to flour ones when it comes to this usage because they provide a much crispier texture to the outside. I don’t really discriminate when it comes to the cheese, but the standard Mexican shredded cheese blend from the grocery store works just fine for me. You could stop at just the tortilla stuffed with melted, gooey cheese and find yourself completely satisfied. However, if you go a step further by adding in some combination of meat and/or vegetables, then you have a complete meal! Last but not least, I enjoy a big dollop of sour cream for dipping. This “recipe” is a little more vague because the amounts depend on personal preferences and how much or how little you wish to make. (A good plan ahead tip is that if you do make a lot of the filling, then you can use it to assemble freshly toasted quesadillas later in the week.) Think of it more as an outline for what you could do and then go come up with your own creation.


Let's Cook: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Almonds

by Aaron Hutcherson of TheHungryHutch

Fact: We’re all busy people. As lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, students, writers, parents, accountants, chefs, and just overall active people, it is imperative for us to provide fuel for our bodies to function productively throughout the day. They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most mornings we don’t have five seconds to grab a breakfast bar on the way out the door, let alone five or more extra minutes to actually make breakfast. I’m serial offender numero uno for choosing to hit the snooze button one more time before work instead of grabbing a bite to eat, but I know that whenever I choose breakfast then I will be better prepared for the day ahead.

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Let's Cook!- Sautéed Lamb Chops w/ Green Beans

by Hutch of The Hungry Hutch

Hi ladies! “Allow me to (re)introduce myself. They call me” Hutch, or The Hungry Hutch if you want to get formal. I’m a chef, writer, lover-of-all-things-food, and CurlyNikki’s newest guest food blogger. Now your first question might be, “What is he doing here?” No, I do not have long locks and share in your trials/tribulations/triumphs/struggles/successes related to being a natural woman in a sometimes over processed world, but I do know a thing or two about food (and it doesn’t hurt to be good friends with Nikki’s sister Syl).

Here’s a brief synopsis of my food story: I’ve loved food and all that is involved with a good meal (friends, family, laughter, love, and all that jazz) for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think it’s those meals of my childhood that made me fall in love with food and drink (I love a good cocktail too). I sidetracked my gustatory passion by studying engineering and finance before working on Wall Street for a few years. Shortly into my professional career I realized that my finance job was for the birds—so I went to culinary school, quit my job, and started my food journey. Now I cook at one of NYC’s hottest restaurants, share recipes and musings on my blog, and perform an assortment of random odd jobs to keep myself occupied. I hope you like what you see and come back often for more recipes!

Now onto the food: Sautéed Lamb Chops with Roasted Green Beans.

This dish is stupidly simple, wickedly delicious, and rather impressive. (I mean… just look at it.) It’s merely a handful of quality items done right. You’ll notice in the ingredient list that I have two types of oil listed. Why? You NEVER want to use olive oil for high heat sautéing because it will burn and impart an unpleasant taste to your dish. Therefore, we’re going to use a neutral oil (i.e. vegetable oil) to sear the meat and use the olive oil for roasting the green beans in the oven. You may think I’m a little crazy by roasting green beans, but roasting is by far my absolute favorite method of preparing just about any vegetable. Trust me on this one. Feel free to bulk up the meal a little by adding some roasted potatoes or brown rice.

• Olive oil
• Fresh green beans, stems removed
• Salt
• Black pepper
• Garlic powder
• Lamb chops
• Neutral oil (i.e. canola, corn, vegetable, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 450˚F.
2. In a roasting pan, drizzle the green beans with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; toss to coat; place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes so that the beans still have some crunch, but have started to brown slightly.
3. Place a skillet over medium-high flame and add a couple tablespoons of neutral oil. (NOTE: When sautéing most meats you want to get your skillet SUPER hot—probably hotter than you think you should actually. You want to get your pan to the point where the oil starts to shimmer and you can just barely begin to see a few whiffs of smoke rising from the skillet; this will allow you to get a great sear, which is the hallmark of a well cooked piece of meat.)
4. Season both sides of the chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; place in skillet and cook until you get a good sear on the first side; flip over, turn down heat, and cook until desired doneness.
5. Get your grub on!

For more recipes and random tales, be sure to check out thehungryhutch.com and follow me on twitter @thehungryhutch.

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