Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

I have had some Orzo in my pantry for at least a year so I decided it was time to make a dish using the orzo. Here is what I found.

I would probably double the homemade tomato sauce. I did not have marjoram, so I used fresh basil.

Printable Version
8 ounces orzo
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed) divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1-9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed---I used canned
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8-10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
2. Make the tomato sauce--Mix 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.
5. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sweedish Meatballs

I thought Swedish meatballs had rice in it.  I never like those, but this recipe does not have rice in the meatballs. They were really good.  I had enough left-over from this recipe for 2 more meals. Next time, I will make some rice or buttered noodles to serve with these.

Printable Version
1 cup breadcrumbs                                 2 cups beef broth                                2 slices fine chopped bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar                             4 Tablespoons butter w/ divided use    3 eggs
salt and pepper                                       1 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon allspice                                  3/4 ob ground pork
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg                               1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup beef broth                                   2 Tablespoons flour

1. Mix together bread crumbs and next 5 ingredients (first column). Stir in 1/3 cup broth. Set aside.  Melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute' 3 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
2. Return to a clean skillet to heat and add chopped bacon.  When bacon is crisp remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the onion.  Reserve bacon grease.
3. Mix meats, eggs, onion, and bacon. Combine then fold in the bread crumbs and refrigerate 1 hour. ( I only had 30 min. and it worked fine). 
4. Roll into balls and add to skillet with remaining 3 Tablespoons butter. Brown on all sides then remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with all meatballs. (I made one batch like this but the other batch I baked at 450 degrees F on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
5.Add 2 Tablespoons bacon grease to a clean pan. When heated add flour. Stir one minute then add 2 cups broth. Simmer 5 minutes and stir in sour cream.

Coconut Curried Chicken

I know you will be surprised to hear that I did not make this according to the recipe.  You can find that recipe Here. They use the microwave to cook this. I used the stove-top. The following will be how I made it.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 T. tomato paste (I forgot this in my recipe)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons curry powder (The recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup canned light coconut milk (I used the whole can)
1 small onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Pour canola or vegetable oil into skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, curry powder, garlic, onion, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cook until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2. Add coconut milk and tomato paste and cook until sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pecan Chicken

I found this in my recipe box and I cut it out of the paper. It says that the source is Nancy Leonard, Big Valley Orchards/Knight Ridder.

We really like it on Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells. I used them the two nights ago and forgot to take a picture. So today I toasted some hamburger buns and put it over them. Love this recipe. Great way to use left-over rotisserie chicken.
Italic is what I do;  normal is like the recipe states.
Printable Version

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon (granules or powder)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
Hot toast, biscuits, or Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells, for serving.
Whole pecans, for garnish (optional)

Melt butter and mix in bouillon. At this point I cooked my celery for about 2 minutes just to soften it.  It is probably not necessary, especially is you like the crunch. Blend in flour and poultry seasoning. Gradually add milk and lemon juice; cook over medium heat , stirring constantly, until thickened.
Stir in celery, chopped pecans, and chicken and cook 2-3 minutes. Serve over hot toast, biscuits or Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells and garnish with whole pecans, if using.

Note from Author:  Makes 4-5 servings. Approximate nutritional values per serving, based on 4 servings: 520 calories, 39 g fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 28 g protein, 131 mg cholestrol, 641 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rocky Road Cookies

This recipe is from Carole Walker's "Great Cookies" cookbook.

Printable Version
2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk or sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almonds
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2- 2 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift or stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set Aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream and beat 1 minute longer. to combine well. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add vanilla.

Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk or sour cream. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almonds and chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out 6-8 cookies in mounds onto parchment lined cookie sheets Space them out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just starting to set on top. Remove from the oven and press nine or ten mini-marshmallows at random onto the tops. Return to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes or just until the marshmallows start to soften. WATCH CAREFULLY. Do not allow the marshmallows to become too hot or they will melt. These cookies are best slightly under baked.
Let rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes or until firm enough to handle before loosening with a large metal spatula. Remove to a wire cooling rack. I baked the cookies a total of about 10 min. removing the at about 8 min. to put the marshmallows on the cookies to return to the oven for another 2 minutes.

Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Melt together, stirring occasionally. Add the boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to a pouring consistency. Using a spoon or squeeze bottle, drizzle the glaze over each cookie. Let stand on the cooling racks until the glaze sets. Store in airtight containers, layer between sheets of wax paper for 5 days. Can be frozen.


It is hard to believe that I have never posted this recipe.  When Jud and I married over 40 years ago, one of my friends gave me this recipe for my recipe box and I have been making it often.  It is one of the few recipes that I can make w/o a recipe.  There are many times that I cut corners with this recipe and just use a jar of marinara sauce.

Printable Version
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove of garlic
1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
1- #2 can of tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 pound mozorella cheese
Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (I used ricotta cheese this time, but I really prefer the cottage cheese)
2 teaspoons salt
Cook lasagna noodles according to package. Brown ground beef. Add onions and garlic. Drain greese and add tomato products, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Simmer 15 minutes. Layer as follows:
1. Meat mixture
2. Noodles
3. Mozorella cheese
4. Cottage cheese
Repeat ending with meat mixture. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Crab Cakes

I did not make these as sliders like the recipe but Here is the link.
I will print how I made the recipe because I cut the recipe in 1/2 for the two of us.  It made 4 nice patties.

Printable Version
8 oz crab meat (get the best you can afford)
1/4 red bell pepper, small diced
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon, juiced
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon Worcstershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, combine all crab cake ingredients. Mix ingredients with your hands. Shape into small patties and place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook. ( Can be made 1 day ahead). When ready to cook crab cakes, drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on the other side until golden brown, another 4 minutes.  I made tartar sauce to have with my crabcakes, but I'm sure the spicy mayo would be great.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

This recipe was found in Eating
Well Magazine. Here is the recipe.
I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. The following, is how I made it.

Printable Version
2 slices bacon
1/6 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds potatoes--I did not use fingerling potatoes.
1 cup diced celery
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 sprig of dill, chopped
1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.
2. Take the drippings off the heat and add the vinegar to the pan. Scrap up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Whisk mustard and flour in a small bowl, add the vinegar mixture and whisk until combined. Whisk in salt and pepper.
3. Combine potatoes, celery, onion and the dressing in a 5-6 quart crock pot. Stir until the vegetables are well coated. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
4. To serve, stir in the dill and bacon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Caramelized Salmon

I found this wonderful recipe on Here
As you can see by my picture, we like salmon. I ate this whole piece by myself. So easy and fast.

Printable Version Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, pulsed gently in a food processor
a few dashes of freshly crushed black pepper
16 ounces salmon, cut into 4 pieces, with skin
olive oil
1. Combine the sugar, salt, and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Dip each filet into the mixture and coat the entire surface of the salmon with the sugar/salt mixture
2. Heat about 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the salmon, skin side down in the pan, and saute for about 5 minutes. If you're worried about the burnt sugar in the pan (or if there's too much oil/liquid) just drain it off or spoon it out of the pan. If there's a lot of oil splattering, turn the heat down. I would not recommend going higher than medium heat.
3. Flip each salmon filet (carefully! keep the skin on because it helps the filet hold together) and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Flip to the side and saute each of the sides for another 2-3 minutes, if the filet is thick enough.
4. Preheat the broiler to 450 degrees. Sprinkle the top of each salmon filet with a teaspoon or two of additional sugar/salt mixture. Transfer the pan from the stove top into the oven. Let the salmon broil for 5 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it is not burning. The sugar in the pan might look burnt, but that's okay as long as the tops of the salmon are looking golden brown. When the salmon is finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes (that sugar gets HOT). Gently peel of the skin and discard before eating. If you leave it on it will stick to your plate and you will have to scrub to get off the sugar.
Note-If you're using regular table salt, start with just 1/2 tablespoon and add more salt as necessary. As you can see, I cut the sugar/salt recipe in 1/2.