Sunday, December 9, 2012

Baked Ziti in a Mornay Sauce with Italian Sausage and Fennel

This recipe comes from Emeril Lagase and it is a winner. Here is the link Baked Ziti
 The picture did not come out as good as I wanted it to, but I may take a photography class so I can get better at this.  I have noticed that my pictures are lacking the appeal I want it to have.  That is a home grown tomato. Don't ask me how much it cost to get that one tomato.  I cut the recipe in 1/2, but I will give you the whole recipe.

Printable Version:   Baked Ziti in a Mornay Sauce with Italian Sausage and Fennel
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups of milk
Freshly ground white pepper
Pinch nutmet
6 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (I used the whole bulb with the outside taken off)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds hot Italian sausage links, but into 1/2 inch pieces (I took the sausage out of the casing)
1 pound ziti pasta, cooked al dente
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the sausage and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, sausage mixture and Mornay sauce. Mix well. Pour into a greased 2-quart oval baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese and place in the oven on the top rack. Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon onto serving plates and garnish with fresh basil.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter

This picture didn't turn out very well, so I will replace it when I make them again.  Jud liked them more than I did, but I would definitely make them again. I saw this recipe on Giada De Laurentis' show. Mini Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter

Printable Version:   Shrimp Cakes with Ginger Butter
Shrimp Cakes:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large button mushrooms, stemmed, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 large shallots, minced
1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg
zest on 1/2 large lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra as needed for frying shrimp cakes

Ginger Butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
One 1/2-inch long piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely grated (about 4 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons soy sauce

For the shrimp cakes--Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, 6-7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the shrimp, breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined but still chunky. For the mixture into 15 patties, each 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick, using damp hands. Place on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the ginger butter--Mix together the butter, ginger and soy sauce in a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, until combined. Place the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over and form the mixture into a log about 7 inches long and 1-inch in diameter. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, slice the butter into 1/4-inch thick pieces and place on cooked shrimp cakes.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bistro Stew

This came from our favorite soup book,The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt. We have been using this book for years, but decided to try something we had never tried before.  It is a very hearty dish with lots of beef cubes and chunky vegetables.  We gave it a 10.

Printable Version: Bistro Stew
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock or broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 cloves garlic, halved
4 medium new potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
3 cups baby carrots
6 baby pattypan squash, quartered I used zucchini
8 ounces mushrooms, halved
Mix flour, salt, and pepper on a piece of waxed paper. Roll meat in mixture to coat. Use all the flour.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add meat and brown in batches, about 5 minutes for each batch. Remove meat to a plate as it browns. Add onion and saute" until tender, about 5 minutes. Add more oil if needed to keep onions from sticking. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add stock, tomato paste, marjoram, and garlic. Return meat to Dutch oven. At this point, I put it all in the crock pot and cooked it on high for about 2 hours. Then I turned down the heat to low and added the potatoes and carrots and cooked it an additional 2 1/2 hours. Then I added the squash and mushrooms and cooked about 45-min. --1hour. Back to the recipe: Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Add squash and mushrooms and simmer, covered, until all vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Taste for seasonings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Menu white board

In making a menue for my refrigerator, I use an 8" X 12" white board. I use a permanent marker to make the lines for 7 days. I write Lunch and Dinner on the two sides. You could put the days of the week on the side, but I never make them the day it says. I just have my meals for the week and make them whenever I desire.

Then I use a white board marker that can be erased for my meals for the week. I put the page number and the recipe book at the bottom of the entry.  This is really a nice way to keep track with what's for dinner.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pan Fried Trout with Tomato/Basil Sauce 2

I have made this dish before, but I used the lazy way this time.  I had some roma tomatoes that were going to go bad, so I put a little olive oil with 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, and about 6 of the tomatoes.  I let them cook until they were nice and soft. Then I added about 1/4 cup of fresh basil. I poured this over the trout or in my case tilapia.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Clean-out the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes on each side.  Top with tomato mixture.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Printable Version:  Jambalaya

This recipe comes from Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meal--Comfort Foods recipe book. I think next time I may use a little less pepper sauce. We like spicy, but this was a little too spicy.

1 cup enriched white rice, following directions on package
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast meat, diced
1/2 pound andouille, chorizo, or linguica sausage, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery from heart of stalk, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
A few drops cayenne pepper sauce
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 round teaspoon chili powder
1 rounded teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 drops each cayenne pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
4 springs fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stemp and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
4 scallions, sliced thin.
Cook rice and keep covered.  Place a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and melt butter into it. Add chicken and brown 2 minutes. Add sausage and cook 2 minutes more. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper sauce. Saute' veggies until tender, another 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and chicken and cook a minute more, stirring to incorporate flour. Add tomatoes and broth to pan and combine ingredients well. Season with cumin, chili powder, Old Bay seasoning, Tabasco, and Worcestershire.  Scatter shrimp into pot and cook until shrimp are pink and firm and sauce thickens a bit, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, ladle jambalaya into bowls. Scoop rice with an ice cream scoop and place 1 scoop in the center of each dish of jambalaya. Top rice and jambalya with chopped thyme and scallions. I put the rice in the dish first, and then topped it with the jambalaya.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Poblano Sauce

This is great on chicken, pork tenderloin, fish, or anything else. I haven't tried it with cardboard, but I think it would be good.

Poblano Pepper Sauce:

  • 3 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Place peppers, vinegar, cilantro and honey in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified.

Oven Fried Chicken

This is a great way to make fried chicken. The dijon mustard is a great addition to the flavor of the chicken. We loved it.  The brussel sprouts are just coated with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and cooked at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 " thickness
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste. In a separate shallow dish, combine mustard, water, salt and pepper, to taste, and remaining olive oil. Coat each chicken breast with mustard mixture; dredge each in bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared rack in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Serve immediately. I cut this recipe in 1/2 because I only made 2 chicken breasts.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a great recipe for chicken pot pie and it comes from Ina Garten of food network. Chicken Pot Pie

I forgot to take the picture until the next day when we had it for left-overs. I warmed it in a 350 degree oven until it was nice and warm.  I think the microwave would have made it too soggy for my taste. I like the pastry to be light and crisp.

Printable Version: Chicken Pot Pie
3 whole chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on (I used rottisserie that I took off the bone)
3 tablespoons olive oil (you don't need this if you use the rotisserie chicken)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferable homemade. A little trick that I use is have one meal with the breast of the rottisserie chicken, take the rest off the bone to use later. Then I put about 6 cups of water in a stock pot and make chicken stock from the bones, meat left on the bone, an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery and any other vegetables I might have that I can use to make the stock.  I also scrape the jelly-like stuff that is left in the rottisserie chicken plastic container into the stock pot
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 4 minutes
1 (10oz) package frozen peas
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (I didn't use these)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 - 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper for the top of the crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into a large dice. You will have 4-6 cups of cubed chicken. 
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley.  If you want to add pre-cooked diced potatoes, this would be the time to do that as well.
Mix well.
For the pastry: Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among  4 ovenproof bowls. I just used one 8" X 8" baking dish. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8" circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circles to 1/2 inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is glden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Boeuf A La Forester

This sounds like a really fancy dish, but it is really just swiss steak. It does have a few additions that swiss steak doesn't have.  The recipe on the right is company green beans.  I really like making these. I usually use canned whole green beans, but I had some fresh green beans, so I used those.
Ingredients for Boeuf A La Forester:
2 pounds round steak
flour, salt, butter
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 cans mushrooms I used 16oz. fresh mushrooms
1 bay leaf
6 whole allspice
1 cup red wine
Slice meat in 1/2 inch strips and dredge in flour. Melt several pats of butter to cover the bottom of the heay skillet and brown the meat. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes longer. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole and add bay leaf, allspice, and wine. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. After pouring the meat into the casserole pan, I deglazed the skillet with the wine. Then I poured that in the casserole baking dish.

Ingredients for Green Beans:
Wrap 6-8 green beens in 1/2 slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place in a baking pan.
Simmer 1/2 stick oleo and 1 clove garlic. Take off the burner and add 1/3 cup brown sugar. Pour this mixture over green beans. Bake uncovered 1 hour. When it is just Jud and me, I usually only make about 6 bundles. If you are making it for more people you will probably need to use a whole stick of butter and bake it for 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

This was the best Chicken Parmesan I have ever had.  Stacy gave me The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook's Illustrated. It is probably one of those time-consuming recipes that I wouldn't make unless I had time and interest to go above and beyond.  But I would definitely make it again; it was that good.

Printable Version: Chicken Parmesan
Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce:
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and ground black pepper
Ingredients for the Chicken and Pasta:
1 recipe of Breaded Chicken Cutlets ( recipe follows)
2 teaspoons salt
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
12 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Getting Started:
1.  Dissolve 2 teaspoons of table salt in one quart of water and place in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag.  Add the cutlets and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until the cutlets are fully seasoned, 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels.
2.  Remove the cutlets and lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press firmly to absorb the moisture. Allow the cutlets to dry for 10 minutes. Carefully peel the paper towels off the cutlets; sprinkle the cutlets with pepper to taste and set them aside.
3. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle posistion, set a large heatproof plate on the rack, and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish or pie plate. Spread the flour in a second shallow dish. Beat the eggs with the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a third shallow dish. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
Breading and Cooking Cutlets:
1. Pound the boneless, skinless chicken breast to 1/2" thickness
2. Dredge the cutlet throughly in flour, shaking off the excess
3. Dip both sides of the cutlets in egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the dish. Using tongs helps keep the breading from coating your fingers.
4. Dip both sides of the cutlets in the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs on with your fingers to form an even coat.
5. Place the breaded cutlets in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and allow the coating to dry for about 5 minutes. I think all the drying helps get the cutlets crispy.
6. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Lay 2 cutlets gently in the skillet and cook until deep golden brown and crisp on the first side, gently pressing down on the cutlets with a wide metal spatula to help ensure even cooking. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the meat feels firm when pressed gently and the second side is deep golden borwn and crisp, 2 1/2-3 minutes. Line the warmed plate with a double layer of paper towels and set the cutlets on top; return the plate to the oven.
7. Discard the oil in the skillet and wipe the skillet clean using tongs and a large wad of paper towels. Repeat step 6, using the remaining 6 tablespoons oil and the now-clean skillet to cook the remaining cutlets. After draining on paper towels, serve all the cutlets with the lemon wedges.
For the Sauce: 1. Heat the garlic and oil together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, a pinch of salt, and 2 grinds of pepper. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a bit and the flavors meld, 10-12 minutes. Taste the sauce, adjusting the salt if necessary. Cover and keep warm.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler.
3. Meanwhile, bread the chicken cutlets, place them in a single layer on a wire rack set over baking sheet, and allow the coating to dry about 5 mintues.
4. Add the salt and spaghetti to the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles. At the same time, cook the chicken cutlets according to step 6.  When the cutlets are done, transfer them to a clean wire rack set over a clean baking sheet. Top each cutlet with 3 tablespoons mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheeses melt and are spotty brown, about 3 minutes.
5. Drain the spaghetti. Transfer a chicken cutlet and a portion of spaghetti to each of 4 plates. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons sauce over part of each cutlet, then sauce the spaghetti as desired. Serve immediately, passing more Parmesan separately at the table.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Jud and I love lemon pound cake. The one at Starbucks is awesome.  This is pretty close. It is very lemony. The recipe is for a cake, but I decided to make lemon cupcakes instead. I made some of them tiny and some of them regular size.  We can't possibly, or should I say we shouldn't, eat a whole cake, so I froze the little ones and saved the larger ones.  I will pull them out of the freezer in a couple of weeks.

Printable Version: Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt ( I used Brown Cow- vanilla)  ( I had a hard time finding an 8 oz plain whole milk yogurt.
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided use
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (syrup to pour over baked cake)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 1 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan. I just sprayed the mini-muffin tins with cooking spray. I used paper liners in the larger muffin tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. I baked the larger muffin tins about 20-25 minutes and the mini-muffins about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze:
Combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creamy Pico de Gallo Shrimp

This is served over rice and all that creamy goodness seeps down into the rice to make it amazing.  This sauce would be good on pork tenderloin, chicken or fish.  You get the idea that we really liked the sauce.  You are right. Jud was convinced that we needed a pound, but 1/2 pound would have been plenty for us.  He ate about 1/2 a pound himself so I guess he was right. I got the recipe from Becky Upchurch. We are hiking buddies, and she likes to cook as much as me. She found in the Express News' May 2012 issue.

12 large wild-caught (16-20 count)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
juice of 1 lime, don't leave this out
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
In a hot pan, melt butter and sear shrimp for 30 seconds on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside. In same pan, saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno until onion becomes soft- 4 min.  Deglaze pan with wine. Let wine reduce by 1/2 then add tomato, cilantro, cream, lime juice, salt, pepper, and shrimp. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Taste for seasoning. Serve over rice.

Bowtie Pasta in Cream Sauce with Sausage

This is an old recipe book that belong to one of my friends. When she was cleaning out cookbooks, she gave me this one. It was good, but I'm not sure I will be making it again. It is by Lisa Kurek in Fine Fighter Fare.

1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup whipping cream (or substitute half and half)
6 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 pound bow tie or penne pasta, cooked and drained (I didn't think it needed that much pasta so I only cooked about 1/2 a pound
1 cup grated Paremsan cheese
Melt butter and oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until golden brown and tender. Add sausage and saute until cooked through, breaking up with the back of a spoon. Drain excess drippings from skillet. Add wine to skillet and boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices and simmer 3 minutes. Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and combine with the pasta. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce

I read a book a while back called A Slice of Murder by Chris Cavender.  It had these two recipes in the back of the book and I have really enjoyed making it.  Once you have the dough and pizza sauce recipe you can make it your own by adding whatever topping you like. 

Printable Version: Pizza dough and Sauce

For Pizza Dough:
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pkg yeast
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
2 cup bread flour (I just used unbleached all purpose flour)
cornmeal for dusting

Combine water, sugar, yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and oregano. Let cure 3 minutes. Add flour and mix with dough hook 3-4 minutes or until it forms a ball.  Knead on counter 3-4 minutes longer.  (I didn't do this) Form into a ball. Spray clean bowl with cooking spray. (I put about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the bowl instead) Place ball of dough in bowl and turn to coat the top. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise at least 1 hour. Punch down and it is ready to use. I made 1/2 for tonight and will use the other 1/2 one day later this week. You can refrigerate it for a couple of day.  Lightly dust the work surface with cornmeal. Shape dough with hands to size desired. Makes 1-14" pizza or 2-7" pizzas. Bake 425 degrees 10 minutes.

Pizza Sauce:

8 oz tomato sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon diced basil leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper

This sauce does not need to be cooked. Just mix ingredients and add 3-4 tablespoons per pizza.

I topped my crust with Canadian Bacon, sliced tomatoes, mozarella cheese, and 4 cheese blend (cheddar would be fine)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Braised Short Ribs

This was taken from Pioneer Woman's Blog. It is an amazing dish.  Braised Short Ribs  This is the second time I have made this dish.  This time, after browning the short ribs, I put them in a slow cooker with all the ingredients and cooked them for 7 hours on low.
Printable Version: Braised Short Ribs


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Potato-Leek Soup (Vichyssoise)

It's not  Fall in Texas yet, but we made our first soup of the season declaring Summer over.  We will still have some 90 degree days, but hopefully the 100 degree weather is in our past for the year. This went really nice with the corn dog poppers.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped
2 cup chicken stock or broth
1 - 11/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Minced chives for topping
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add vegetables and saute' for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add more stock, if necessary. Transfer to a blender or food processor in batches and puree. Return to pot and add remaining stock, half-and-half, salt, and white pepper. Simmer 5-10 minutes longer. Blend again for extra creaminess, if desired. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chives.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

I found this recipe for the corn dog muffins on pinterest from Iowa girl eats. Mini corn dog muffins  I really like this recipe.  It was so easy, except that Jud had to run to the store for corn meal. He thought he could get it at Walgreens, but no luck.  He had to go to H.E.B. and it took much longer than he anticipated.  It was so worth the wait for me.  The Creamy Leek soup will follow on the next post.

Ingredients (makes 48 mini muffins)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8-10 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1″ bites
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Add eggs and whisk to incorporate. Add buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Whisk into wet ingredients in two batches.
  • Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and spoon 1 Tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes (oven temperatures vary), or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and re-heat for 20-30 seconds before serving.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pull-Apart Pumpkin Bread  I found this recipe on pinterest and can't wait to eat it tonight after dinner and tomorrow morning for breakfast.  I will probably take it with me to New Braunfels  for breakfast on Sunday morning.

Printable Version: Pull-Apart Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Buttered Rum Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp rum *

Directions:  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black). Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through.**** Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer (fitted with a dough hook) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.** Making sure sugar evenly absorbs the butter. Set aside. Next, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.*** Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand. Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds). Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan. Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes. After rolling the dough out, I cut it into small rectangles. I put one layer down and sprinkled the sugar and cinnamon mixture on top. I continued adding layers of dough and then layers of cinnamon mixture.

In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took 37 exactly) or until top is a very deep golden brown.

After the bread is done, pour the glaze over the top of the warm bread.
To make the glaze add the butter, brown sugar, and milk in a small pan on top of the stove.  Bring it to a boil.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and rum.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sauteed Broccolini
I bought some broccolini this week at the grocery store and found this recipe on foodnetwork from Ina Garten.  It was a winner.


  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving. 

Strawberry-Chicken Salad

What a great lunch we had!  Jud and I each had two big helpings of this salad. It is a winner.  I know I have made it before, but I'm not sure I ever put it on my blog.
I found this in Cooking Light magazine in March of 2004.

Printable Version:  Strawberry-Chicken Salad

4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves (I had one chicken breast that Jud grilled earlier this week. One was plenty for the two of us.
Raspberry Vinaigrette, divided
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 quart strawberries, sliced ( I had about 6 strawberries left-over and used that)
2 pears, sliced (I used one)
2 avocados, peeled and sliced (I used one)
1/2 small sweet onion, diced (I didn't use an onion)
1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted ( I had these, but I forgot to use them)
Combine chicken and 1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette in a large zip-top freezer bag. Seal and chill 1 hour.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 degrees to 400 degrees) 4 minutes on each side or until done. Let chicken stand 10 minutes; slice. Since I already had my chicken grilled from earlier this week, I didn't do these steps.
Placesalad greens and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, and gently toss. Divide mixtureevenly between 4 serving plates; top with grilled chicken slices. Serve with remaining Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Raspberry Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup pear nectar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients in a screw-top jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously until blended. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, shaking before each serving. (I put all my ingredients in a blender and let it Frappe (my highest setting).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

I love green enchiladas and I put extra chicken in these and they were wonderful.  Great recipe.
I only used one rotisserie chicken 1/2 of the other ingredients as well.  I still had enough for two meals.

Printable Version: Salsa Verde Enchiladas

2 rotisserie chickens
2 jars (16-17.6 ounce)
6 green onions ( thinly sliced)
1/4 cups fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
16 corn tortillas
1 container (8oz) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (8oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1. Remove meat from chickens and coarsely shred; place in medium bowl (you will need 5 1/2 cups; reserve any extra for use another day). Discard skin and bones. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa verde into chicken to evenly coat.
2. Prehead oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 13" X9" glass or ceramic baking dishes; set aside. In 12" skillet, heat remaining salsa verde, green onions, and lime juice to boiling on medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro; keep warm over very low heat.
3. With tongs, place 1 tortilla in salsa verde mixture; heat 10 seconds. Place tortilla on waxed paper; top with about 1/3 cup shredded-chicken mixture. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil; skrimkle with 1 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Meanwhile, sprinkle remaining cheese and cilantro over second casserole and prepare for freezing.

Warm Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

Jud really liked this potato salad.  I could not find the goats milk fromage blanc so I used mascarpone cheese instead. I thought it tasted fine, but I guess I don't really know what fromage blanc is.  I asked in the grocery store, but they couldn't tell me either.

Printable Version:
Warm Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

2 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 (3oz) package goat cheese
1/2 cup goats milk fromage blanc
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Place potatoes in saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and sinner 15 minutes until tender. Drain. Combine warm potatoes, wine, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss. Add onions, parsley, and goat cheese. Combine fromage blanc and remaining ingredients stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add fromage mix to potato mixture. Toss and serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chicken Perigourdine

This is a really easy dish that only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  I cut this recipe in 1/2, but I used a whole carton of mushrooms.  We love mushrooms, and they wern't wasted. I will write the recipe how I got it, and then put my measurements in italics.  I just realized that I already have this recipe on my blog.  I have heard that when you hit 60 you start repeating yourself.  Get ready.

1/2 cup butter (3 T)
8 chicken breasts (3)
8 mushrooms, sliced (1 pound)
1/3 cup flour
1 can chicken broth
2 Tablespoons light cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter in skillet. Add chicken breasts and cook over medium heat until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Place remaining butter in skillet (I did not add extra butter) and saute' mushrooms. Remove mushrooms and stir in flour and salt. I left the mushrooms in the skillet and added the flour to the mushrooms. Stir until blended and add chicken broth and cream. Allow to thicken. Place chicken and mushrooms in sauce and simmer covered 20 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lemon Pound Cake

Jud and I have gotten hooked on the lemon pound cake at Starbucks.  We go get a cup of coffee and 1/2 a piece of this wonderful cake.  I found a recipe courtesy of Gale Gand on Food Network, and it is just about as good.

Printable Version: Lemon Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for icing
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice, plus 1/3 cup for icing

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan and line it with parchment or waxed paper. (I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray and it came out fine). In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer), cream the butter. Add 1 cup of sugar and mix. With the mixer running at low speed, add the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla.
3. Working in alternating batches, and mixing after each addition, add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice to the butter mixture. Mix until just smooth.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until raised in the center and a tester inserted into the center comes out dry and almost clean (a few crumbs are OK), 65-75 minutes.Mine was ready in 65 min.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze; In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. I used powdered sugar and lemon juice so you don't need 1/3 cup of the lemon juice.  Just add the powdered sugar and then add a little lemon juice at a time until it is the consistency you want.
6. When the cake is done, let cool in the pan 15 minutes (it will still be warm). Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan with sides (to catch the glaze) and turn the cake out onto the rack. Peel off the waxed paper.
7. Using a turkey baster or pastry brush, spread glaze all over the top and sides of the cake and let soak in. Repeat until the entire glaze is used up, including any glaze that has dripped through onto the sheet pan. Let cool at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator (Well wrapped, the cake will last up to a week). Serve at room temperature, in thin slices.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork

1 (3-3 1/2 pound) lean pork roast
1 teaspoon BBQ rub
1 (12oz) bottle root beer ( not diet)
1 (18oz) bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
12 whole wheat hamburger buns, sliders, or (I bought Flatout Foldit Artisan Flatbread)
1. Rub pork with 1 teaspoon barbecue rub and place in a slow cooker; pour root beer over the meat.
2. Cover and cook on low until tender and pork shreds easily, about 8 hours.
3. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred. Pour drippings into container and set aside.
4. Place shredded pork back into slow cooker, add barbecue sauce and desired amount of drippings to get moist consistency; cook on low until heated through.
Jud said he would be ready to have this again next week.  


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Scott's Short Ribs

These are really delicious short ribs in Barefoot Contessa's Family Style cookbook.  I didn't take a picture with gravy, but it is amazing. It just didn't look good in the picture so I took this one instead.
I cut the vegetables quantities in 1/2 since I only made 4 ribs.

6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat  There were 4 in the package and it was plenty for Jud and me because they were very meaty.  I didn't trim the fat.
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups large diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large diced
1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 750- ml bottle burgundy or other dry red wine ( if you prefer, you can use all beef stock)
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temp to 300 degrees.  I cooked mine in the crock pot instead of the 300 degree oven.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel, and leek. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the wine over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.  This is when I added it to the crock pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven (or crock pot) and add the beef stock and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. After adding the beef stock and brown sugar, I put the lid on the crock pot and let it cook all day.  The meat was falling off the bones by 5:00 p.m. I cooked it about 8 hours on low.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf

This comes from Healthy Meals for Hurried Families by Jan Tilley.  I really liked this meatloaf. This will probably become my go-to meatloaf recipe.  I cut this recipe in 1/2.

1 tablespoon butter
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs (I used plain breadcrumbs and added 1 teaspoon Itallian seasoning
1/3 cup ketchup
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce; reserving 1/4 cup
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon Cavender's Greek seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon ketchup
1. Melt butter in medium skillet; add celery and onion and saute' until just tender.
2. In a large bowl, stir together celery mixture, ground beef, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, ketchup and tomato sauce (reserve 1/4 cup) and next 4 ingredients.
3. Shape into a 10" X 5" loaf pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Stir together remaining 1 tablespoon Wostershire sauce, remaining 1/4 cup tomato sauce, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon ketchup until blended; pour evenly over meatloaf, and bake 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  This helps it set so it is easier to get out of the pan w/o falling apart.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This comes from Barefoot Contessa Family Style.  Jud grilled some chicken to have with this.  It was a real winner for a side-dish.  

Printable Version: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1/2 pound fusili (spirals) pasta.  I had bowtie pasta and just used that
Kosher salt
Olive oil
1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
For the dressing:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. I did not do this. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monterey Chicken

When Jud grills chicken, I usually have him grill some extra so I can have a quick easy meal like this one at my fingertips. I found this on one of the people I follow on pinterest. 
 Monterey Chicken  As usual, I changed the recipe because I didn't have the rotel tomatoes.  Her picture looks so good, I will try that next time, but this was great.  I'll report it how she made it and give my changes in (  ).

Printable Version:  Monterey Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup bacon bits
1 cup colby cheese, shredded
1 - 14oz can Rotel tomatoes (I used a sliced tomato)
sliced green onions
avocado (my addition)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts and grill .  We marinate our chicken for several hours in Italian Dression. Top each cooked chicken breast with 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, green onions, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup rotel tomatoes. Place in oven and bake until cheese melts. This is such a winner. I love easy meals that I can put together quickly.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hasselback Potatoes

We finally got to have our anniversary meal.  We were suppose to have it Tuesday night and decided to go see the Silver Stars play basketball. Then we were suppose to have it Wednesday night and we had 3 people come look at our house so we went out to eat instead. We finally got to make it tonight. Jud grilled the steaks, I made an awesome salad in our awesome bowls from Oregon myrtlewood. I found the recipe for these potatoes on Pinetrest and tracked down the link. Hasselback Potatoes
I had a hard time getting the potatoes soft.

Printable version:
Hasselback Potatoes

8 long baking potatoes
1/4 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
5 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 teaspoon paprika
coarse salt, to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley (garnish), optional
(for best results, choose oblong potatoes of uniform size.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a large shallow glass baking dish

Peel the potatoes. Place the peeled potatoes on a cutting board and cut a narrow 1/4 inch slice from the bottom of each potato. Discard the slice (this helps the potato lie flat and not roll).

Place two long handled wooden chopsticks on each side of the potato lengthwise. Use a sharp knife and slice each potato crosswise, making 1/4 inch apart slices, cutting down vertically. The chopsticks will prevent the knife from cutting entirely through the potato. You need to leave 1/4 inch of the bottom of the potato intact.

As you finish cutting each potato, drop them into cold water to prevent discoloring. Gently flex the potato fans open while rinsing under cold running water. This rids the potatoes of excess starch that can impede fanning. Dry potatoes well before baking.

Note: Potatoes may be prepared in advance to the above point. Place potatoes in cold water until ready to bake. To bake, dry potatoes well. Place the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon melted butter, paprika, and salt in a food processor; process until blended.

Brush prepared potatoes with 2 tablespoons melted butter (making sure some gets in the potato cracks), and pat the bread crumb mixture on top of each potato.

Place potatoes in the oiled baking dish; cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until they turn crispy and the flesh is soft. Remove from the oven.

To serve, drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle minced parsley over the tops of the baked potatoes.  Jud's potato was bigger and it could have used an additional 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chicken Artichoke Casserole

This is a recipe that I got from my mother. I cut this recipe in 1/2 and it was just about perfect for us.

Printable version:   Chicken Artichoke Casserole
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-prpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
3 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
5 pounds chicken breast
12 oz. mushrooms sliced, canned is fine
2 cups artichoke hearts
Make a sauce out of the first 8 ingredients. Boil the chicken, and you may use chicken with or without the bone. My mom prefers chicken with the bone because she thinks it has more flavor. I took the lazy way out and baked the boneless skinless chicken in a 400 degree oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 15 -20 minutes.  Cut the chicken in large chunks. Place in a 9" X 16" casserole dish that has been oiled. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Cover with sauce and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Mom says you can substitute lobster, shrimp, or crab meat.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

Found this on Pinterest Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
It made enough for 3 meals.  Loved it.

Printable recipe:    Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 carrots, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
2 cups steamed white rice, prepared
16 oz prepared wild rice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Cheese Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Top with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute onions, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.  Cook until carrots are cooked through.
2. To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9" by 13" baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Serves 8-10 people

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicken in Basil Cream

The cheese grits are from a recipe I got from Stacy and I have posted it before.  cheese grits
 Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce  This is a recipe that I got from pinterest.  I had some left-over grilled chicken and some left-over grilled pork tenderloin. Neither were enough for Jud and I, so I used both.  We decided that the grilled pork was even better than the chicken. I only took a picture with the chicken. I decided to cut the chicken in strips and put it over the cheese grits. Then I poured the sauce over it all.

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 4 halves
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 can (4 oz) pimento; sliced
1/4 cup basil; fresh, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan; grated
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1. Heat skillet over medium high heat
2. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls.
3. Dip chicken in milk, and then coat with crumbs
4. Add chicken to skillet with 1/2 of the butter and cook about 5 minutes
5. Add remaining butter, flip chicken and cook another 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
6. Remove chicken and keep warm.
7. Add broth to skillet, bring to boil over medium heat to remove food bits.
8. Stir in cream, and pimientos; boil and stir for 1 minute.
9. Reduce heat, add Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper; cook and stir until heated through.
10. Serve chicken with sauce poured over.
Since I already had the chicken cooked, I only did 7-10 in the directions. I cut the recipe in 1/2.