Chicken and Cheese Pockets

This is a Brazilian inspired recipe, where creamy cheese and shredded chicken are wrapped inside a puff pastry dough like little pocket pie.

My family Thanksgiving dinner is not very traditional, yes, we have turkey, yams, pumpkin pie, ham and all the other dishes that you normally see on a Thanksgiving meal, but we also have lots of fusion dishes as we all bring one of our favorite dishes to share. It is a real feast…

This year I decided to make these little pockets, they are simple and very easy to make. I filled the puff pastry with a creamy chicken filling with celery, carrot and cheese. It can be serve at room temperature or warm, as I prefer them warm.

These pockets are perfect when entertaining since they come in little bites and can be made ahead. Again, you can always use your favorite filling…how about some leftover turkey?

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded, or leftover from a roasted chicken
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into small cubes
  • 2 carrots, cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 to 5 Laughin Cow cheese wedges, which can be substituted by cream cheese
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • 2 boxes of puff pastry sheet
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

 

Method:

Chicken Filling

Boil the small cubes of carrot, just enough to soften a little, drain well and set aside.

Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil, add the shredded chicken, celery and milk. Let if cook for a few minutes and add the cheese wedges, mixing gently until all the cheese are melted into a thick sauce.

Add salt, pepper, carrot and let it cook for another minute. Add the parsley and stir so the parsley is well mixed into the chicken filling.

Remove from the heat and set aside to let it cool.

Assembly

Thaw the puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the cookie sheet by greasing or use a silicone mat.
Cut the puff pastry sheet into small squares of approximately 3 x 3 inches.

Spoon approximately 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the square and gather all the four corners of the square and bring them up to the center. Pinch the dough together to secure the filling inside of the pockets.

Transfer the pockets to the baking sheet and brush each square with the egg yolk wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, turning the baking sheet once to make sure that the pockets are evenly golden brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes approximately 36 pockets.

Make ahead Tips

The chicken filling can be made ahead. Once cooled store in a covered container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remove the filling from the refrigerator approximately one hour before filling the pastry pockets.

Another option is to have the chicken pockets completely assembled and frozen, unbaked. Once the unbaked chicken pockets are frozen transfer them to a freezer container. The frozen chicken pockets can be baked by placing them directly to a preheated oven. Make sure to bake a little longer.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for chicken and cheese pockets…

Have a great week and thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes!




Parmesan Tuiles

These Parmesan tuiles or crisp are very simple to make and they are sure very tasty and elegant when added to any salad, especially Caesar salad.

You can always add a variety of herbs to please your palate…and your eyes.

Ingredients:

½ cup to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Herb of your choice

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350oF

In a bowl mix gently the grated Parmesan cheese with the herb of your choice, I used oregano.

Spoon the Parmesan cheese mix on a silicon mat (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) making small circle of approximately 2 ½ inch in diameter.

Bake until slightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Cool for a minute or so and using a silicone spatula gently transfer the tuiles to a cookie sheet.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container for later use.

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Panko Crusted Panela Cheese

If you already are amazed by the large quantity of Costco products you will be speechless once you see the sizes of the cheeses, meat, and produce at their Business Center.
Well, I came back with a huge piece of panela cheese and I knew that we would not be able to finish the cheese before it started to turn bad, and decided to prepare it in a way that could be stored in a freezer…this was sure an experiment, but luckily it worked great.

First, I need to admit that I was a little nervous since I never froze this kind of cheese, so I prepared an extra batch just to be frozen. After a few days, I pan fried the panko crusted cheese and voila, I could not tell the difference from the freshly prepared ones, so I went ahead and prepared all the remaining cheese.

I like this cheese because it has a similar texture to paneer. Once you cook it, it holds its shapes, not like mozzarella which will, in this case, “leak” out of the crust. Moreover, you can serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish, paired with salad.

Ingredients:

Panela Cheese
Flour
Panko + dry oregano to taste
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Oil for pan fry

Method:

Slice the panela cheese into approximately ½ inch thick and 2 ½ by 1 inch size rectangles. Coat with flour and dip into the egg mix. Then cover with panko mix. At this point, you can pan fry with a little oil, until the panko crust turns golden or freeze for future use.
Serve hot/warm.

To freeze the cheese, place the cheese coated with panko in a tray, single layer. After a couple of hours in the freezer, remove the frozen cheese from the tray and store in freezer bags.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe using Panela cheese.

 

Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican dishes. When fresh, it has a similar texture to mozzarella, but once cooked, it carries a very different texture, since it does not melt like mozzarella cheese.

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Caprese Over Field of Greens

Am I cheating with this recipe? It is so simple that I almost feel embarrassed to post it. In spite of being such a simple recipe the salad looks very pretty and tasty with fresh basil. My basil plant by the kitchen window still very beautiful…no signs of Autumn yet. So here I am with the recipe…

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes (or any small tomato)
Fresh small mozzarella balls
Fresh basil
Virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Mix greens

Method:

For the Caprese, slice the tomatoes and the fresh mozzarella in half. Cut the basil leaves into strips.
In a medium bowl toss together the fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil and salt to taste.
In another bowl place the mix greens and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently.
To assemble the salad, place the mix greens in a plate and top it with the Caprese salad. Ready to serve.

Can anything be easier and simpler than this?

I hope you enjoy this very simple recipe and have a great week!

 

Did you know that Caprese Salad or Insalata Caprese is usually served as antipasto? Meaning “before the meal” in Italian, which indicates officially that the meal has start.

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Mochi Bacon Cheese Balls

A while ago, I posted a recipe for “mochi cheese balls”, which uses only Parmesan cheese. I adapted the previous recipe by adding Muenster cheese, which give the cheese balls more color and a softer texture due to the melted Muenster cheese. Moreover, bacon bites were added, so you can imagine the taste of these cheese balls. This is a very easy and simple recipe, whenever you want to enjoy a tasty snack or complement a meal, just place these frozen cheese balls in a pre-heated oven for about 25 ~ 30 minutes at 275F and you are ready to receive compliments.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ cup glutinous rice flour
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup chopped Muenster cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup homemade bacon bits

Method:

In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca and glutinous rice flour. Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot). Alternatively add the eggs, the Muenster cheese and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed. Add the bacon bits (check the recipe here) and mix until the bacon is well incorporated to the dough. Make small balls (you can freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 275F. Serve warm. Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.

 

Did you know that Muenster cheese was originally made by Benedictine monks in France? In US, this cheese in mainly used melted since it melts easily over low heat. Therefore used in grilled sandwich and hamburger.

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Jalapeno Cheese Bread

This is a very easy and simple way to make little bites of bread. The combination of jalapenos and cheese gives this bread a nice combination of flavors, it is great with any meal or just as an afternoon snack.

I used the bread dough from the Asian Sandwich Bread’s recipe, therefore the texture of the bread was very moist and soft.

Ingredients:

1 recipe of bread dough

Jalapenos from can/jar, drained and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten

Method:

Divide the dough into two balls. Open the dough in approximately 12 x 8 inches. With a knife make random horizontal cuts, spread the chopped jalapenos as you desire. Then cover with a cup of cheddar cheese. Roll the dough and cut into 12 small pieces. At this point, cheese will be all over, do not worry, just make a random form of dough and cheese. Place dough in small cups. Let them double in size. Just before baking the little bread, brush the top of the bread with the egg. Bake in a pre heated oven at 350F for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until slightly brown on top. Serve warm.

 

Did you know that when jalapeno is smoked dried is called chipotle?

 

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Spinach and Canadian Bacon Frittata

This is a very easy dish…it is a whole meal by itself. You have all you need in a meal tided up together. It is low in carbohydrates, has lots of protein and it is very simple to make. Another good thing… you just have one pan to wash :-)!

Ingredients:

½ red onion thinly sliced
6 slices of Canadian bacon (you can substitute with any cold cut)
1 bunch of baby spinach leaves
3 strings mozzarella cheese, sliced.
½ cup of frozen artichokes
4 eggs slightly beaten with ¼ cup of milk
½ teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

In a hot fry pan, sautee the onion with the Canadian bacon with the olive oil. When the onion starts to get soft, add the spinach and the artichokes. In the meantime add to mixture of eggs, paprika, salt and pepper, mix gently. Pour the egg mixture on the pan, and gently layer the mozzarella cheese. Cover and lower the heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. It is done when the egg settles. Flip the pan on a plate and serve warm.

 

Did you know that Canadian bacon is known in Canada as back bacon? Canadian bacon or back bacon is a cut that comes from the loin. It is more like a slice of ham which is leaner and tender than bacon.

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Baked Panela Cheese

This baked cheese can be served alone or with bread and crackers. It is tasty and easy, and makes a great appetizer dish.

Ingredients:

1~1 ½ lb Panela Cheese
3~4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Method:

Slice the cheese, about 1 inch thick.

Place the slices of cheese in a baking dish, top with the minced garlic and sprinkle with the oregano and top it with olive oil.

Bake in preheated oven at 375F for approximately 20~25 minutes or until the garlic turn slightly golden brown.

Serve hot.

 

Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican foods. When fresh has a similar texture of mozzarella, but once cooked carries a very different texture, since does not melt like mozzarella cheese by holding its shape.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!




Mochi Cheese Balls (Asian Style)

This is a version of the traditional Brazilian pao de queijo using glutinous flour. The texture is softer and lighter as compared to the the recipe using solely tapioca flour.

I posted a while ago, the recipe for “pao de queijo“, which uses tapioca flour as a base for this cheese bread. After researching different versions of these savory cheese bread/balls, I decided to make some change to add an Asian flavor to it. Instead of solely using tapioca flour, I added glutinous rice flour, known as mochi flour. Well, the consistency of this bread is slightly softer and slightly less chewy. If you like mochi you will enjoy this version. This version of cheese balls can be stored at the freezer the same way as the previous one. Whenever you want to enjoy a tasty snack or complement a meal, just pop the frozen cheese balls in a pre-heated oven for about 25 ~ 30 minutes at 300F and voila…you have a yummie and tasty cheese bread.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup tapioca flour
1 ½ cup glutinous rice flour
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Method:

In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca and glutinous rice flour.

Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot).

Alternatively add the eggs and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed. The trick is to add Parmesan cheese to form a big ball of dough.

Make small balls (freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 300F.

Serve warm.

Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.

 

If you enjoy this recipe you might want to try the Brazilian version or the Asian version with chives and bacon.

Did you know that glutinous rice is also called sticky rice, sweet rice? In spite of the being called “glutinous” does not contain gluten. Rice contains two types of starch: amylose and amylopectin. Glutinous rice contains high amounts of amylopectin and negligible amounts of amylose, therefore is very sticky.

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Cheese Balls (Pao de Queijo)

These cheese balls are called “pao de queijo” in Portuguese, which can be translated to cheese bread. They are very popular in Brazil and you even see this bread selling at the malls in small kiosks.

The interesting thing about this bread is the texture which is not the conventional bread texture therefore you need to acquire the taste. When I first introduced this bread to my American friends I need to admit that I was a little reluctant since I was not sure of the acceptance of it, but interestingly most of them liked it and even asked for the recipe.

The good thing about this recipe is that you can make the balls and freeze, so when you have guest the cheese balls can go from the freezer to the oven and be served in less than 25 minutes. I always make them in advance, as a matter of fact I always have them in my freezer.

Ingredients:

1 lb tapioca powder
4 eggs
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ½ teaspoon salt
Parmesan cheese

Method:

In a small pan add water, oil and salt, bring to boil and carefully add to the tapioca powder.

Mix gently until you can manage with your hands (be careful it is very hot).

Alternatively add the eggs and the Parmesan cheese until a dough is formed.

The trick is to add Parmesan cheese to form a big ball of dough.

Make small balls (freeze at this point if you desire), bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 300F.

Serve warm. Makes approximately 50 to 60 cheese balls.

If you enjoy this traditional recipe for the Brazilian pao de queijo, you might want to try the Asian version.

 

Did you know that tapioca powder is a starch from yuca? Therefore is gluten free? Yuca is known as “cassava”, “mandioca” and “aipim”. Yuca is native of Brazil (Amazon) and now is cultivated worldwide. Tapioca is well known commercially as pearl tapioca, where is commonly used in Southeast Asia in sweet drinks.

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