12.19.2010

Red Hot Fried Chicken

My little brother, Chad, is obsessed with this meal! It is amazing, I won't lie about that... but he really really loves it! He is in town right now, and today is my youngest daughters 3rd birthday, so for her birthday dinner I made Chad's favorite (because when I asked her she said "I just don't know") and it was a hit!
4 Chicken breasts
1 lg. bottle Frank Red Hot Sauce
1 C. Egg Beaters (you can use regular egg too, but it doesn't work as well)
3 C. flour
1. C. Milk
Vegetable Oil

Place each individual chicken breast in a gallon zip loc baggie and pound chicken until it is the same thickness throughout being careful not to tear the chicken. Place in a separate ziploc baggie, continue with the rest of the chicken. Add enough franks red hot to the baggie of chicken to coat all the pieces heavily. Let it marinade overnight or at least 6 hours.
Divide the flour in 3 separate shallow dishes (pie plate work well), put the egg beaters and milk in shallow dishes too and put them in the following order on the counter: flour, milk,flour, egg beaters, flour. Salt and pepper the flour between the milk and egg.
In a large pan with high sides heat several cups, about 2 inches, of vegetable oil over med-hi heat (I actually prefer to use the burner on our BBQ grill because the flame gets big and hot and then my house doesn't smell like fried food)
Using one hand (keep one hand clean so you can turn on the sink to rinse your other hand) take the chicken from the bag and immediately dredge in the first flour pan, coating everything, then into the milk, then flour, then egg, then flour. Place on a baking sheet that has been covered with wax paper and a sprinkling of flour. Continue with all chicken.
Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked throughout, using a meat thermometer if needed. When it is completely cooked place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while the other chicken is being cooked.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a simple white gravy (we like to add about 1/3 c. Franks to our gravy.)

12.18.2010

Lightning Spicy Chili

I am sad to say that I don't remember where or who I got this recipe from (so if it is you, let me know!) but it is of course quite yummy.
 
Ingredients:
1 lb. mixed beans   (I use white, garbanzo, and kidney)
2 cloves garlic
1 med. Onion
olive oil
4 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. chili powder (or more)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
dash or two of cayenne pepper
1 T. parsley
2 T. lemon or lime juice
fresh cilantro (maybe 1/3 a bunch chopped?)
¼ c. sour cream (optional)

Directions:
Cook beans*.   After beans are cooked, drain and rinse them gently.

Use a pot big enough for all the beans here.   Sauté garlic and onion in a small amount of olive oil.   Mash 1-½ cups of the beans.   Add to pot with the rest of the beans and the rest of the ingredients.   (Except sour cream.)   Cook until warmed through.   Stir in sour cream and serve.

Spicy and yummy!   ***Play around with the spices.   I never measure

*my favorite way is to sort and rinse them and put them in a crock-pot with at least 6 cups of water.   Cook on high till done.   Which is about 4-6 hours, depending on your crock-pot.   If you are only doing 1 pound of beans, perhaps use only 1 tablespoon of salt.  

12.17.2010

Corn Chowder


 
Ingredients:
6 ears fresh sweet corn
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in dice
2 cups milk
salt/pepper to taste
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 in dice
1/4 pound slab bacon (rind removed) cut into 1/4
 inch dice
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut
 into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil

Directions:
1.   Strip corn form cobs, set aside (I did this by opening a kitchen towel and cut the pile right on it.   Easy to handle this way).   Bring the broth to a boil, turn down to simmer the cobs and garlic, partially covered for 10 min.   Discard the cobs and garlic.   Stir in the potatoes and half of the reserved corn (divide pile with long knife and spoon in one half).   Simmer partially covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 min. Puree: transfer to a bowl (if you don't have a way to do this you can use a potato masher in the pot).   Add the milk, salt and pepper, stir and set aside.   2.   Cook the bacon in a pot over low heat to render the fat, about 6 min.   Add the onion and cook for 10 min.   Add the reserved soup and remaining corn; simmer for 8 min.   Stir in the tomatoes and basil.   Serve immediately
Number Of Servings: Eight
Preparation Time: 40 min beginning to end

12.16.2010

Oahu Salad



Add sliced Grilled Chicken breast for a more hearty meal.
 Ingredients:
Dressing (combine and chill while making salad):
1/2 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper
1/4 C, vegetable oil
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Dash of Tabasco sauce

Salad:
1/2 C. sliced almonds
3 Tbs. sugar
-In a small pan over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar is dissolved.   Cool until needed.

1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
2 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 c. chopped celery
1 green onion, chopped
1 (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, well drained (and/or sliced strawberries)
-Combine in a large bowl.   Do not add dressing until serving
.

12.15.2010

Ham and Potato Casserole

 I am not generally great friends with the casserole. I have long felt that it was purely a Hodge-podge of ingredients that were never meant to go together with a 'cream of' soup mixed in. Generally they are just gross. This one is an exception! My oldest daughter LOVES this recipe and in fact, for years she requested this dish for her birthday dinner - but this year, she just informed me,  is going to be something different so I can post this now!

Ingredients:
10 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and cooked
1 10-¾ oz can Cream of Chicken soup
¼ cup butter, softened
1-½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-pint sour cream
          Chopped ham

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour into a 9 x 13.  Bake for 45 at 350*.  Put extra shredded cheese on top before baking.



12.14.2010

Pizza

 Okay, this recipe is actually for the dough, but I think you are smart enough to figure out how to get it to pizza form. This recipe is our family favorite, and we consider ourselves pizza connoisseurs. The hotter you can get your oven the better it will turn out. When my family had the pizzaria we could cook a pizza in less than 6 minutes because the oven got so hot, don't be afraid of that! Crank that baby up! Also, if you can get a stone for your BBQ, that works AWESOME!
Ingredients:
1 envelope dried yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 c lukewarm water
1 3/4 c bread flour (high gluten)
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil

Directions:
Stir yeast and sugar into warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until "bloomed". In food processor or mixer with a dough hook add flour and salt. Slowly pour in water mixture and mix until dough forms a ball. Dough will be sticky. Remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface until smooth and no longer sticky. Divide into 2 balls and place on oiled cookie sheet turning to oil the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at least one hour. Form pizza's using a small amount of flour and place onto a board covered with corn meal. Top with sauce and   ingredients and gently slide onto a pre-heated baking stone in a very hot oven (450-500) baking until crust is brown and crispy, approx 10-15 minutes.

12.13.2010

Cori's Kalua Pork

My Aunt made this for a family get together several years ago and it was absolutely delicious. The Hawaiian sea salt can be purchased online, and really is needed for this recipe, don't attempt regular sea salt, it won't be the same.
 
Ingredients:
5 lb. boneless pork roast
1 Tbs. Liquid Smoke flavoring
2-1/2 Tbs. Hawaiian sea salt, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325° F. Rub Liquid Smoke and 1-1/2 Tbs. sea salt into pork roast.   Wrap well in heavy-duty foil, and seal completely.   Place in roasting pan.
Roast in preheated oven until an internal temperature of 160° F is reached; about 5 hours.   Remove from oven and let cool slightly before shredding.   Sprinkle meat with remaining 1 Tbs. sea salt.

Number Of Servings: 12 servings

12.12.2010

Lemon Chicken Picatta

Lemon isn't the first word in this recipes title for nothing! The flavor of lemon is strong and, I think, delicous. My family is a hung jury on this one. Some like the lemon flavor and others find it too overpowering.


Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts

“A”
½ c. dry white wine
½ c. lemon juice
“B”
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 lemon – sliced paper thin


Directions:

Sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked throughout. Set aside. In a saucepan cook ingredients “A”, reduce to ½ cup, add “B” then add the chicken lay lemon slices on top of breasts, cover and simmer for 15 more minutes.

12.11.2010

Deep-Fried Turkey

 Okay, okay... So I have to admit - I have never actually made a deep-fried turkey. My dad always does it. I do know, rest assured that it is absolutely delicious. Also, get online and read some deep-fried turkey tips before you start. Every single year geniuses across this great land burn down their house and the neighbors house by doing this indoors or on their dead grass lawn. So read up - so you know how to do it properly. please.

Ingredients:1 (10-pound) turkey
2 tablespoons House seasoning, recipe follows
2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
3 to 5 gallons peanut oil

Directions:
Cooks Note: To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, place turkey in fryer, add water to top of turkey, remove the turkey and the water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added.
Wash bird inside and out, and allow to drain. Rub turkey all over with House Seasoning. Coat turkey with dry rub. Allow the bird to sit until it reaches room temperature.
Heat peanut oil in a turkey fryer or a very, very large stockpot to 350 degrees F. Lower turkey into hot oil, making sure it is fully submerged. Fry turkey for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes per bird. Remove turkey from oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve with favorite Thanksgiving sides and salads.




House Seasoning:

Ingredients:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Directions:
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

12.10.2010

Fry Bread

I chose to post this recipe today because it is the perfect companion for yesterdays, Pinto Beans. mmmm.....


Ingredients:
4 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ c. low fat powdered milk

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients. Add enough water to make a soft, but not sticky dough. Pinch off golf ball size balls and flatten with a rolling pin or by hand – until about ¼ inch thick. Fry in HOT oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. For a desert treat sprinkle with powdered sugar or for dinner top with homemade pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa.

12.09.2010

Pinto Beans

Beans are universally delicious. They are fantastic in many different ways. This is a basic recipe for Pintos that can be eaten as is, or mashed for burritos, or topped on Fry Bread... plus this makes a ton - and unless you are a family of 12 you should have leftovers for several more meals.

 

Pinto Beans


Ingredients:
1lb. Pinto beans
1 small onion – diced
½ package salt pork
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes

Directions:
In a large stockpot combine the beans, pork, and onions cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer, stirring often and adding more water if necessary, for several hours (about 5 hours) when beans are almost soft add salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.  Beans take about 2 seconds to burn! So watch them carefully and simmer on a low heat, and make sure you have plenty of water in the pot to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

Note: If you are not a fan of the whole beans, then mash them (like you would mashed potatoes) until they are the consistency that you desire. First remove some of the liquid though, but keep it near by just in case you need to add some back in, because gluey beans are a no-go. 

12.08.2010

Beef & Barley Stoup

Ingredients:
1 (12oz) can beef chunks
6 cups water
1/4 cup carrots
3 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp celery
2 tbsp red or green pepper
2 tbsp beef bullion
2 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup pearl barley

Directions:
Combine all ingredients except barley in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add barley and simmer, covered for 45-55 minutes until barley is tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Can be adapted to the crock-pot and or pressure cooker.

12.07.2010

French Onion Soup & Pressed Caprese Sandwiches

What goes better together than soup and sandwiches? This is a great quick dinner, and no complaints from the kids (well at least no complaints about sandwiches). The french onion soup is a recipe that I have been using for a while, straight from the Food Network - Tyler Florence's recipe actually, and I have found very little that needs to be changed. In fact, I would recommend leaving it as is, but sometimes it is nearly impossible to find or afford Gruyere cheese, if that is the case then just go with Swiss (if you like the sharp flavor) or Muenster (if you like it a little more mild).

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Directions

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.
Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Pressed Caprese Sandwiches

These are also called Pannini's but since I don't have a pannini press I prefer to call them "pressed". I am weird I know. I love the simplicity of the caprese match up - thick ripe tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil..... mmmm... For the bread - you need a heartier bread than a french or Italian loaf. Look for a pugliese or something similar in the bakery department of the grocery store and the bakery people will slice it for you with their handy dandy slicing machine if you ask nice.

Ingredients:

1 loaf crusty artisan bread
3 Ripe red tomatoes (never refrigerate, unless you like mealy flavorless tomatoes)
1 pkg FRESH mozzarella (don't buy precious brand, it is strangely bitter, and mozzarella should be almost     sweet)
12 Leaves of fresh basil
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Heat a George Foreman grill, or whatever you would use to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella to the same thickness, about 1/8" thick. Wash and dry the basil leaves. Using a basting brush lightly coat one side of a slice of bread and set on the hot pan or griddle. Layer the cheese,then basil then tomato, lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes, then put on the top slice of bread, that has also been oiled. Press the sandwiches with the lid of the foreman or with the back of a heavy spatula. You want then to look a little flat and semi-smashed. Cook until both sides are a beautiful golden brown. Cut down the middle and enjoy. 
Small variation: One day, I was feeling especially creative and I put these sandwiches on our gas BBQ, and let me just tell you - it was the best way I have ever had these sandwiches! If you are up for it - try it!

12.06.2010

Shredded Beef Tacos

I love love love shredded beef tacos and find them especially enjoyable when eaten away from the house. For whatever reason I have never loved a recipe from home. They always seem so watered down and bland. This recipe is the exception to that rule. I swiped this recipe from the website http://gimmesomeoven.com/ and I am excited, after trying this, to check out some of her other recipes.
Ingredients:
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds beef (boneless chuck roast)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup beef stock
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Flour tortillas
Favorite taco toppings (**ideas below**)
Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.
Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly. Once the oil is hot (it will shimmer a bit in the skillet), place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side.
Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Leave the pan on the heat, and add in the beef stock to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomato paste and minced chipotle and whisk into the pan sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.
Add the diced onion and minced garlic on top of the seared beef in the slow cooker.  Pour the pan sauce down over the onions, garlic, and beef.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the slow cooker, and mix into the shredded beef.
Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.
Some topping ideas include:
guacamole or avocado
fresh salsa
Mexican rice
grated cheese
fresh lettuce
tomato
onion
cilantro
squeeze of lime juice

12.05.2010

Flounder with Lemon and Fresh Herbs

You know... I am not much of a fish eater, I think it is more of a textural dislike than a flavor dislike, unless it is really fishy - then it is a flavor thing. That being said, occasionally I will come across a recipe for fish that is actually quite delicious, and this is that case. You can also substitute the flounder for talapia or halibut.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 flounder fillets, about 4 to 6 ounces each
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
flour for dredging
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or fish stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives

Cooking Instructions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet until hot. While the oil is heating, season the flounder with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour.
2. Sauté the flounder over high heat, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a warm platter and keep warm.
3. Quickly add the chicken broth or fish stock to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced by half. Add the lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the flounder, sprinkle with parsley and chives and serve.
NOTE: You may have to sauté the flounder in two batches. If so, use a clean pan for each batch. Make the sauce in one of the pans.

12.04.2010

Party Chicken

I really really love this dinner, the only bummer about it is that it takes 2 days to make! But don't be alarmed - it is actually really simple to make, you just have to plan ahead because it has to sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients:
4 Chicken breasts
4 bacon strips
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix


Directions:
Pound the chicken flat and roll up with a strip of bacon, poke a toothpick through it to keep it tight. Mix the soups, and sour cream together and pour over chicken. Cover and refrigerate over night or AT LEAST 4 hours. Bake at 275* for 3 hours.

12.03.2010

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pesto Butter

6 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 C. fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C. butter, room temperature
1/3 C. all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 egg, well beaten
3/4 C. fine dry bread crumbs (made from french or Italian bread)
2 T. butter
2 T. olive oil

Place the chicken between sheet of wax paper and pound with a mallet until very thin, being careful not to tear meat.

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, cheese and garlic. Mix until a thick paste is formed. Add butter and blend. Shape into a 3 inch square. Chill until firm. Slice chilled butter into 6 sticks - 1/2" thick and 3" wide.

Lay out the flattened chicken breasts. Place a stick of the pesto butter on one side of the of the meat (preferably to the larger side). Fold the remaining side over butter, then fold down the two ends. Press meat together on all sides to securely enclose butter.

Using 3 separate pie plates, place seasoned flour in one, beaten egg in another and bread crumbs in the third.

Dredge each chicken breast in flour and shake ff excess. Dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs. Firmly press bread crumbs into chicken.

Refrigerate chicken rolls for at least 1 hour to allow crumbs to adhere. At this point chicken rolls may be frozen, but thawed completely before cooking.

In a large saute pan, heat butter and olive oil. Saute chicken on medium heat for about 15 minutes, turning chicken until golden brown on all sides and meat is white all the way through.

Put cooked chicken in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while the others are being cooked.

12.02.2010

Burgandy Beef Stew

AHHH....stew. The ultimate if comfort. What is not to love. Okay, when I was a kid I HATED stew, but I think it was because the ratio of vegetable to beef is lopsided. But I love it now!

1/2 C. olive oil
3 lbs. top round, cubed
3 C. full-bodied red wine
8 C. beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt
2 large carrots, washed and sliced
4 small (pearl) onions, cut in half
3 large quartered potatoes (Yukon golds are best)
3 stalks of celery, washed and chopped
In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add beef and brown evenly on all sides. Add wine, 2 cups of broth, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, until beef is tender and liquid is thickened and dark. Add in the rest of the broth and the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.
If broth needs additional thickening, mix 3 T. water with 1-2 T. flour and whisk until smooth. Add to stew. Let boil until thick.
Serve.

12.01.2010

December Goodies

There is something about the holiday season that allows cookies and treats out on the counter at all times - the whole month long. It isn't the same when you go to someones house and all they have is a bowl of M&M (red & green) and a dish of holiday Oreo's. It has to be homemade goodies. So - I have decided to post a yummy treat everyday in Decemeber.

Happy Holidays!

Cilantro Chicken

Eleven years ago when I got married I receive a cookbook from my new in-laws. It was full of recipes from their city that they love so much. Portland, Oregon. I really like this cookbook in the 3 months that I can cook out of it (December, January and February). Unfortunately Oregon has this weather that promotes warm, comfort foods - not so much in Arizona. Most of the year I am looking for recipes that require little or no oven/stove use and this cookbooks requires much of it. However, with December being tomorrow and the weather unusually cool lately, I decided to bust the book out early. So the next three days are all from Portland's Palate.

1 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1/2 C. dry white wine
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, washed and dried
4 garlic cloves
4 T. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 tomato, skinned, seeded and diced.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat, brown chicken on both sides. Transfer chicken to a casserole dish with a cover or a dutch oven.

Pour white wine into saute pan and scrape pan to remove any browned bits. Bring wine to a boil. Pour over chicken.

In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro and garlic. Mix well. Sprinkle over chicken and add lime juice and tomato. Bake. covered, for 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

11.30.2010

Pasta with Garlic-basil Cream Sauce

This recipe if from Cooks Illustrated, if you have never picked up a copy of this little magazine before then do it this month. This magazine is a gem. I love it! They have so many great ideas and tips about different products - plus totally simple recipes.  Also, this sauce doesn't save well. So use it immediately - don't try cooking ahead of time or saving the leftovers. Also, with a recipe like this, where the pasta is the star, it is usually a good idea to splurge a little and buy the fresh pasta from the grocery store rather than the dried kind from the shelves.

1 C. packed fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 C. half-and-half
1 C. low-sodium chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. minced fresh basil
1 lb linguine or spaghetti
freshly grated Parmesan

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil for the pasta. When boiling add in 1 T. salt and the pasta, cook, stirring often until al dente. Drain - reserving 1/2 c. pasta water. Return to pot
While waiting for the water to boil: Blend the basil, half-and-half, broth, and cornstarch together in a blender until completely smooth, about 30 seconds.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and 1/4t. salt and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Briefly re-blend the half-and-half mixture to redistribute the cornstarch, then stir into saucepan and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in minced basil and salt & pepper.
Add the sauce to the pasta using pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.

11.29.2010

Beer Boiled Bratwursts

The hardest days for me to come up with a new recipe are Monday and Wednesday. I have school until 7pm on these days and therefore I have to find meals that I can prepare in advance for reheating, a crock-pot meal or something totally elementary that my husband that tackle all on his own (if it has more than about 5 ingredients or steps he opts for fast-food). This is a struggle for me because I still want them to be delicious and comforting. So tonight we are having brats - good old German Sausages. Everyone loves them and they are super easy.


6 Fresh German Pork Bratwursts (I usually buy them from the deli section of Sprouts, but I am sure that most supermarkets offer fresh bratwursts at the deli counter - they are WAY better than the prepackaged ones. Just go for it!)
2 Cans of Fosters Beer (I buy the fosters because it is cheap and I can buy it in an individual HUGE can, since I don't need it for anything else. You can use any beer really, but we have found that there is not much difference in flavor between them in this recipe)
6 Hot dog buns
2 yellow onions
1 T. Olive Oil
Brown mustard
Sauerkraut (heated)

In a large stockpot pour the beer over the bratwursts. Boil on high for a minimum of 30 minutes. The beer will foam up, so be sure to have a large stockpot. When the brats are cooked through remove them from the liquid and take them to the outdoor grill and kiss them on each side with the hot grill. Crisp-up the outside.

While the brats are boiling, cut the onion in half length wise and them slice into 1/8 inch half-rings. In a medium skillet over med-high heat, warm the oil. Add in the onion and a dash of salt & pepper. Saute until the onions are golden and caramelized.

When brats are done on the grill. Put them in the bun with the mustard, onions and kraut. enjoy.

11.28.2010

Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy

This is one of those recipes that are on the Campbell's soups - or on the website (in this case). I have a bunch of leftover Thanksgiving stuff (stuffing, festive potatoes...) and I needed to use them up - plus I have had a whole chicken in my freezer waiting for me to use it. So this worked perfect, it is a yummy, delicious, easy Sunday dinner that uses everyday pantry items. Perfect.

 

Ingredients

1 lemon
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 pound) roasting chicken
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grate 1 1/2 teaspoons zest and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from the lemon.
  2. Stir the lemon zest, lemon juice, soup, rosemary, thyme and garlic in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 cup soup mixture for the gravy. Place the chicken into a shallow roasting pan.
  3. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Brush the chicken with 1/4 cup soup mixture.
  4. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.
  5. Spoon off any fat from the pan juices. Stir the wine in the roasting pan and heat over medium-high heat to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the reserved soup mixture and water and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Serve the gravy with the chicken.

11.27.2010

Saucy Chicken

This is an old Weight Watchers recipe that is a keeper (even when we are not as good at watching the weight). It is yummy and easy and thankfully a healthy meal (which is good on days like today when you are contemplating a gym membership...or using that gym membership you have been paying for since last year at this time!)

Ingredients:

2 C. Chicken broth - divided
1/4 C. Flour - seasoned with salt & pepper
4 (4oz each) chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 16oz can stewed tomatoes
3-4 scallions, chopped

Directions:

Pour 1/2 cup of broth into a wide bowl; place flour on a plate.. Dip each chicken breast in broth, then flour, turning to coat on all sides.
Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook the chicken over medium heat, turning once until crowned on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.
Add any remaining flour to the skillet; cook, stirring constantly until browned. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup of the broth; cook until thickened. Gradually stir in remaining broth, cook stirring constantly until thicker. Add tomatoes and scallions to the skillet, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, return chicken to skillet and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

*for those of you keeping track - 4 points per serving (this recipe is 4 servings)

11.26.2010

Amalie's Orange Chicken

I am so excited for this recipe because it is my first viewer submitted recipe!! I was so excited to get it - even if it was from my cousin...and the best part of the recipe was - IT WAS DELICIOUS! The house smelled so good while I was cooking it too. Thank you so much Amalie for introducing this recipe to us - it will definitely be on the menu again (although, I suppose not for another 11 months :( )


Ingredients
1 1/2 C. Water
2 T. Orange Juice
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/3 C. Rice Vinegar
2 1/2 T. Soy Sauce
1 T. Grated Orange Zest
1 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 t. Minced Fresh Ginger Root
1/2 t. Minced Garlic
1/4 t. Red Pepper Flakes
3 T. Cornstarch
2 T. Water

Chicken:
2 - 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1 C. Flour
1/4 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
3 T. Olive oil

Directions
Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over white rice (or brown!) and steamed snap peas and broccoli.

11.25.2010

Thanksgiving Post

So hopefully today will be filled with thanks and giving with family and friends and you won't need a dinner idea because you have known what you are having for dinner for the past... 300 years. Therefore I am posting a bunch of recipes today that I LOVE to have with my turkey dinner. I can, of course, think of about 5 other things that I would add as well (but they will also work for Christmas - so I am going to save them) and they do not include a green bean casserole (sorry weird-o's).

Here is the Menu:







Happy Thanksgiving!

Frog-eye Salad

ummm, I love this stuff. My husband has issue with the texture of it, and you may too - but you can't deny the flavor is awesome! I love the texture - I love everything about this dish. mmmm....

1/2 C. sugar
1 T. flour
1 1/4 t. salt
1 C. pineapple
1 egg - well beaten
1/2 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. coconut flakes
1/2 T. oil
8 ounces Acini de pepe pasta
1 can mandarin oranges-drained
1 can pineapple chunks - juice reserved
1/2 can crushed pineapple - drained
4 ounces whipped topping
1/2 c. mini marshmallows

In a saucepan combine sugar, flour and 1/4 t. salt. Gradually stir in pineapple juice and egg. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until thick. Add lemon juice. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cook acini de pepe according to package instructions. Drain, rinse and drain again. Combine with the lemon juice mixture and store in an airtight container in the fridge over night. The next day add the remaining ingredients and mix lightly.

Gramma Eddie's Dinner Rolls

Okay - first of all my grandmother's parents did not name her Eddie! I did, actually. Her real name was Nellie, but when I was a toddler I was not able to say Nellie - and Eddie came out and it stuck forever and ever. All her grand kids call her Eddie. This is her recipe for rolls and they are the best. I love them so much that I don't ever want anything different. They are practically perfect in every way - just like she was.

1 package yeast
1/4 C. warm water

Soften the yeast in the warm water for 10 minutes.

1 C. milk - scalded
1/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 C. flour

During standing time, scald the milk. Add sugar, shortening and salt. Mix well. Cool to lukewarm. Ad 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix well. Add yeast mixture and eggs mixing quickly and thoroughly. Gradually add the rest of the flour until you have a soft dough. Cover and let double. Form into roils and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Tops may be brushed with butter while still warm. makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen.

Festive Potatoes

I am not going to lie - these are AWESOME! I love them, but my love for them is pathetic compared to my husbands love of these. He will actually take the leftovers and put them between two slices of bread and have a festive potato sandwich! These are always a crowd pleaser, and while it is important to have the option of mashed potatoes and gravy on the Thanksgiving table, no one is going to eat them if these are there!

8-10 large baking potatoes - rinsed
              - OR 1-1/2 packages (30oz pkg) Ore-Ida frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 cube + 2 T. Butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese - shredded
1/4 c. finely diced onion ( I stress - FINELY)
1 pint sour cream
1 cup crushed cornflakes

Boil the whole potatoes until fork tender, trying not to poke them too often because they will start to break and fall apart. When done, let potatoes cool until you can handle them. Peel off the skin and grate with a cheese grater.(That entire step can be skipped by purchasing the shredded hash browns) In a sauce pan over medium heat melt the cube of butter, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes until translucent. Add in the cream of chicken, cheese and sour cream until melted. Pour the cheese mixture onto the shredded potatoes and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Melt the remaining 2 T of butter and add it to the crushed cornflakes. Sprinkle on top of the potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Note: This recipe can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in the fridge, just don't bake it until you are ready to serve. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before you put it in the oven.

Spinach Salad

I don't know why I feel like this recipe is a Thanksgiving recipe, maybe because it is the only time of year I can justify the calories of the dressing, regardless it is yummy and always a fan favorite. You can cut down time by buying the pre-washed and trimmed baby spinach leaves

Spinach leaves – stems removed and leaves torn
Bacon – cooked in bite size pieces
3 eggs – hard-boiled, sliced

Dressing:
½ C. Mayo
3 T. Red Wine vinegar
1/3 C. Sugar
1/3 C. Whipping Cream
½ C. Ketchup
¾ C. Oil
½ t. Worcestershire sauce
¼ t. salt
¼ t. oregano
¼ t. dry mustard
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of dill weed

Blend until thick and creamy.


In a large serving bowl layer the spinach, then bacon, and finally eggs. Top with the dressing (don't use all of it - because it makes a LOT) and toss with tongs. Serve.

11.24.2010

Quick Pork Loin

I love no fuss recipes. The only problem with them is that they often taste like they were no fuss. This one is different. The raspberry chipolte sauce can be purchased at costco and fresh & easy. I have never looked anywhere else for it. It is found over by the barbecue sauces at those stores.

1 pork loin
1 bottle raspberry chipotle sauce
salt & pepper
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the pork loin, then rub with a small amount of olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Put on a baking sheet in the oven. Cook until the internal temperature reaches about 150 degrees. Take out of the oven and rub it down with a lot of the chipotle sauce. Add more than you think you should - trust me. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 170. Guides say that it will need to be cooked for 20 minutes per pound of meat - I don't think that is entirely true, so just keep an eye on the temperature.

11.23.2010

Beer Can Chicken

I know this is called Beer Can Chicken but it is just as amazing with cream soda instead of beer. I know that sounds like a weird switch but it works (and in all actuality, I think I prefer it with the cream soda). But this is delicious.

1 whole chicken

Make rub in a small bowl with the following ingredients:
1 t salt
1 t paprika
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
1/2 t lemon zest
1/2 t pepper


Open the beer can and pour out about half the beer.  Put the following ingredients into the beer can so they will flavor the steam



Put the bird on the grill, balancing the bird on its two legs and the can, like a tripod.  Grill over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature registers 170 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. (1  to 1 1/2 hours).  Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill (do not spill the contents of the beer can, as it will be very hot).  Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting from the beer can and cutting into serving pieces.
Using a can opener, make 2 more holes in the top of the can.  Place the beer can on a solid surface.  Plunk the chicken cavity over the beer can.
1 T rosemary
1 clove of garlic
Juice of one lemon
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
remove the neck a giblets and any excess fat from the chicken.  Lightly rub the chicken all over with 2 T. olive oil.  Season the chicken inside and out with the rub.  Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back