Sunday, January 7, 2018

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas



Ingredients

2 tsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. finely chopped onion (I like to saute them first so they aren't crunchy)
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (I usually use frozen corn, thawed
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. salsa
1/4 tsp. rec pepper flakes
butter
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until softened. Stir in black beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Melt a small amount of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with cheese, then top with some of the bean mixture. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Melt more butter as needed, and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Notes: This is a recipe we have had since the beginning of 2013 and have made it several times when we needed something quick, or to share with friends. We finally got around to taking a picture. It's definitely a keeper.

Source: Somewhere on Allrecipes.com.

Braised Italian Chicken


Ingredients

1 1/2-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6-8 thighs)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
fresh cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, divided
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. To prepare chicken, rinse all pieces in cold water and use a pair of kitchen shears (or clean scissors) to snip off any remaining fat.  Blot dry on paper towels.  Season one side of chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and several cracks of black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat.  When hot, add olive oil and make sure it spreads across bottom of pot.  Place chicken salt side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.  While it’s cooking, sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt plus a few cracks black pepper on other side of chicken.  Flip chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove chicken and place on a plate.
  4. Add onions and carrots to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes, add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Add can of diced tomato (with all the juices), tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.  Stir ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Add chicken and all accumulated juices from plate.  Cover chicken with sauce and cover pot with lid.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and remove lid.  Use 2 forks to gently shred shred chicken into large chunks.  Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and chopped basil.  Add additional kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, or steamed vegetables, or on french rolls or slider buns and garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.
Notes: Tasty. This recipe was recommended by Brittany's sister, Kim. We tried it with quinoa, just for something different. Next time we would like to try it with pasta.

Source: Our Best Bites

St. Paddy's Day Patty


Ingredients


Pickled red cabbage
1 cup rice vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
Burger
1 lb ground beef (at least 90% lean)
4 slices corned beef, diced
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
Salt and pepper
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Spicy mustard
Arugula

Directions

Pickled red cabbage
  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and cabbage in a medium bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
Burger
  1. Combine ground beef, corned beef and cheese in a large bowl. Shape into 4 patties; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill burgers over medium heat until cooked to preferred doneness.
  3. Serve on toasted hamburger buns topped with spicy mustard, pickled red cabbage and arugula. 
Notes: These were very tasty! We originally found this recipe in a Kroger MyMagazine that was mailed to us. Upon looking for the magazine to post this recipe, we couldn't find it, and it appears that Kroger has also taken it off of their website. I did a search online and this recipe looks exactly like what I remember the Kroger recipe being. We will have to make it again and see if the flavors compare.

Source: Originally Kroger MyMagazine, but also found here.

Fresh Corncakes with Cheese | Cachapas




Ingredients
3 cups corn from fresh ears or frozen, thawed
1/4 cup masa harina
salt
pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella, (shredded) - OR - queso mano (shredded)
vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:
  1. Grind the corn kernels to a smooth pulp, along with the salt and pepper. 
  2. Add in the masa harina. Note: You can use a food processor or a blender for this step. If you use a blender, you’ll need a tamper or long spoon to push the corn into the blade (not while the blender is running, of course!). 
  3. Once the mixture is smooth, preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add on some oil, then spoon the batter onto the pan. With the back of your spoon, press the batter into a rough circle. 
  4. Cook the cachapas for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes, pressing the mixture flat if desired. 
  5. Sprinkle with mozarella and let melt. If necessary, keep warm in the oven until all cachapas are cooked. 
  6. Fold in half and enjoy!
Notes: These turned out a little bit different than expected. It is a traditional breakfast food in Venezuela, but we chose to eat it as a side dish. It is not sweet at all (like a cornbread might be). It was still a unique thing to try.

New England-Style Home-Corned Beef and Cabbage


Ingredients
Corned Beef
1/2 c. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp. paprike
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 (4- to 5-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, trimmed (leave a little fat attached for better texture and flavor)

Vegetables
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and halved crosswise, thick end halved lengthwise
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
1 small rutabaga (1 pound), peeled and halved crosswise; each half cut into 6 chunks
1 small head green cabbage (2 pounds), uncored, cut into 8 wedges

Directions

  1. For the corned beef: Combine salt, peppercorns, thyme, allspice, paprika, and bay leaves in bowl.
  2. Using metal skewer, poke about 30 holes in each side of brisket. Rub each side evenly with salt mixture. Place brisket in 2-gallon zipper-lock bag, forcing out as much air as possible. Place in 9x13-inch baking dish, cover with second, similar-size pan, and weight with 2 bricks or heavy cans of similar weight. Refrigerate for 5 to 7 days, turning once a day.
  3. Rinse brisket and pat it dry. Place brisket in Dutch oven and cover brisket with water by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat, skimming any scum that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until skewer inserted in thickest part of brisket slides in and out with ease, 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Transfer meat to large platter, ladle 1 cup cooking liquid over meat, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven to keep warm.
  5. For the vegetables: Add carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes.
  6. Add cabbage, increase heat to high and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 13 to 18 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, remove meat from oven, transfer to carding board, and slice against grain into 1/4-inch slices. Return meat to platter. Transfer vegetables to meat platter, moisten with additional broth, and serve.
Notes: This requires a lot of planning ahead, but it is worth it if you are wanting tasty corned beef on St. Patrick's Day. We have never been fans of the seasoning that comes with the corned beef at the store, so we were excited to try this recipe when Brittany's sister, Kim, shared the recipe with us. The first time we made it, we didn't get a picture. Then next time, Brittany couldn't eat cabbage so she just steamed carrots and potatoes to go along with the brisket. This is something we will have each year, I think.

Source: The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2016




Sweet Shredded Pork Enchiladas with Chili Verde



Ingredients

Mexican-Style Sweet Shredded Pork
4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder roast
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 (10-ounce) cans enchilada sauce
1 c. brown sugar, divided
1/2 c. salsa
1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. apple juice

Chile Verde
1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, husked and quartered or halved
2 green peppers, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and membranes removed, if desired
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2-3 Tbsp. sugar

Tortillas
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Trim the visible fat from the roast and sprinkle with salt, pepper, chili powder, and onion powder. Use your hands to massage the spices over all sides of the meat.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the pork roast for about 1 minute on all sides or until meat surface is golden brown.
  3. While the meat is searing, combine the enchilada sauce, 2/3 cup brown sugar, salsa, Worcestershire sauce, and apple juice in a slow-cooker. Add the pork, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours with lid on the entire time.
  4. Remove pork and shred, discarding any pieces of fat. Add the additional 1/3 cup brown sugar to slow cooker and turn heat to high. Add shredded meat. Simmer with lid off for 30 minutes.
  5. While meat is cooking, prepare chili verde sauce: Combine tomatillos, green peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro in a blender. Process until smooth; you may have to do it in batches and/or add some of the chicken broth to make the sauce easy to blend. Pour the tomatillo mixture into a saucepan and add the remaining Chili Verde ingredients. Simmer on stove top for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the consistency you want. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.
  6. To assemble enchiladas: Place shredded pork into tortillas and roll up. Place in 9x13 baking dish. Pour chili verde sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese, and bake at 350 degrees F. until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Notes: These were tasty. The recipe for the pork makes a lot, so I had to freeze the leftover to use another time. 

Source: Our Best Bites cookbook

Spring Stew



Ingredients

5 c. water
3 large carrots (2 c. diced)
3 large potatoes (2-3 c. diced)
1/4 c. chopped onion or 1/4- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
8 oz. frozen peas (1 1/2 c.)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk or 2 c. instant dry milk
1/4 c. butter (optional)
1 c. cold water
4 Tbsp. cornstarch

Directions

  1. Place 5 cups water in a large pot and bring to boil.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, peel and dice carrots, potatoes, and onion.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add carrots, onion, and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and simmer another 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add peas when potatoes and carrots are soft.
  6. Add evaporated milk and butter.
  7. Mix 1 cup cold water with 4 Tbsp. cornstarch. Add to soup. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Ready to serve.
Notes: We added chopped ham to make this soup heartier.

Source: This is a recipe Brittany's mom made often when Brittany was growing up.

Chicken Fajita Pasta


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco or fajita seasoning
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.
  3. In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!
Notes: Quick, easy, and tasty! Another recipe from 2016 that we need to try again.

Ricotta Stuffed Shells



Ingredients

24-25 jumbo pasta shells
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (475 g) ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh chives

For sauce:
4 medium tomatoes, grated on the small holes of a box grater
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Then add the grated tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, thyme, crushed red pepper and salt. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and set aside.
  2. To make the Filling: combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the mozzarella cheese and chives, mix well. Set aside.
  3. Cook the shells according to package instructions in salted water until al dente (don't overcook shells or they'll tear apart). Drain and set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 11x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/3 cup sauce over bottom of the baking dish.
  5. Fill each shell with ricotta mixture.
  6. Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.
  7. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells.
  8. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Serve immediately.
Notes: We made this way back in 2015....so we don't remember much about it! I guess that means it's time to make stuffed shells again.


Tomato Spinach Chicken Spaghetti



Ingredients

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, drained of oil
2 tablespoons olive oil, drained from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 pound chicken boneless, skinless (preferably, boneless skinless thighs), chopped
salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
8 oz fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 oz spaghetti or angel hair pasta
(OPTIONAL) 3 tablespoons high quality olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar

Instructions
  1. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, drained from sun-dried tomatoes, to a large skillet, on medium-low heat. Add chopped chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and prefer to use them, but you can use chopped chicken breast, as well), red pepper flakes, and salt over all of the ingredients in the skillet, and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil leaves, fresh spinach, and chopped garlic to the skillet with chicken, cook on medium heat about 3- 5 minutes until spinach wilts just a little, and tomatoes release some of their juices. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt to taste, if needed. Cover with lid and keep off heat.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain, and add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Reheat on low heat, mix everything well, add more seasonings (salt and pepper), if desired. Remove from heat.
  4. At this point, when the pasta and vegetables are off heat, you can add more high quality olive oil, which is really tasty. Or you can add more olive oil from the jar from the sun-dried tomatoes. 
Notes: It has been long enough that I don't remember much about this recipe, but I am sure it was tasty!

Source: Julia's Album

Pressure Cooker Japanese Curry


For more detailed instructions, visit the source listed at the bottom.

Ingredients

3 onions
carrots
3 Yukon gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger
lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
3 cups chicken stock/broth
1 package Japanese curry roux (1 package = 8.4 oz) (See Notes for homemade curry roux recipe)
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Furkujinzuke (red pickled daikon) (for garnish)

Directions
  1. Gather all the ingredients.
  2. Cut the onions into halves and cut the halves into 5 wedges.
  3. Peel the carrot and cut into bite sizes.
  4. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Soak in water to remove starch.
  5. Mince the garlic and grate ginger.
  6. Cut the meat into bite size pieces. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Press the “Sauté” button on your Instant Pot and heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.
  8. When the pot is hot, add the onion, minced garlic and ginger.
  9. Add the chicken to the pot and coat with oil.
  10. Add carrot and potato to the pot and mix well.
  11. Add 3 cups chicken broth and curry roux. Use spatula to push down some ingredients but keep the curry roux blocks on top. If you use homemade roux, add it after pressure cooking is done. Homemade roux is more runny and it goes to the bottom of pot easily and can burn while cooking.
  12. Cover and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle points at “sealing” and not “venting”. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button on the Instant Pot to stop sauté. Press the “meat/Stew” button to switch to the pressure cooking mode. Press “minus” button to change the cooking time to 15 minutes.
  13. If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, you won’t have the buttons to press. Just cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then reduce the heat to low but maintain high pressure for about 15 minutes.
  14. When it is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to a “Keep Warm” mode. Slide the steam release handle to the "Venting" position to let out steam until the float valve drops down, OR let the pressure release naturally (takes about 15 mins).
  15. Unlock the lid and add 1 Tbsp ketchup and 1 Tbsp soy sauce (if you use homemade curry, add it before ketchup and soy sauce. Change to saute mode for additional 5 minutes until homemade curry roux blends well). Mix well and make sure all the curry roux has been dissolved. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with Fukujinzuke (red daikon pickles).

Notes: We made this while doing an "around the world" summer theme with the kids. John's brother and his family are currently living in Japan and shared this recipe with us. It was quite tasty, a great addition to our unit of study, and a fun way to help break in the new-ish electric pressure cooker.

We couldn't find curry roux at any of the stores we looked at, so we ended up making our own, using the linked recipe above. 

One Pot Chicken Alfredo



Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1¼ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup half and half (I used fat-free) or heavy cream
½ pound spaghetti or fettuccine noodles, uncooked
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated (fresh is best)
for garnish: parsley and/or bacon crumbles

Directions
  1. Warm olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or pot. Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of garlic powder, and add to warmed oil to brown, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add pasta, chicken broth and half-and-half. Bring the mixture to a boil; then cover pan and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. If the mixture is too thick, add more half-and-half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and bacon crumbles, if desired.
Notes: It's always nice to have one-pot meals on hand, though, aside from that aspect, there wasn't anything about this specific recipe that made it stand out from other Alfredo recipes. It was nice for a quick and easy meal. Brittany added cooked chicken instead of bacon to make it a bit more substantial.

One-Pan Chicken Fajita Rice


Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 white onion, diced about 1/2 cup
1/2 red bell pepper, diced about 1/2 cup
1/2 green bell pepper, diced about 1/2 cup
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups rotisserie chicken
1 (4.5 ounce) can Old El Paso diced green chiles
Juice of one lime about 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Toppings: sour cream, guacamole, diced tomato, cilantro

Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes or until they start to get soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes.
  2. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the rice to the butter and toast for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add the chicken broth, sour cream, chicken, diced chiles, lime juice, seasonings (salt, cumin, chili powder). Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more broth as needed if the rice is not done yet. 
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with lid to melt the cheese. 
  5. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Notes: Tasty and easy. Another recipe we have had a couple of times. Don't forget the toppings!

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps



Ingredients

1¼ lb. fat-free lean ground turkey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce (green top)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp. roasted red chili paste
⅛ tsp. salt
12 Boston lettuce leaves


Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes or until turkey is browned. Stir to crumble.
  2. Combine turkey mixture, onions and chopped water chestnuts in a large bowl, stirring well, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together hoisin, soy sauce, rice vinegar and roasted red chili paste and drizzle over the turkey mixture. Toss to coat completely.
  4. Add about ¼ cup turkey mixture to each lettuce leaf, serve and enjoy!
Notes: Brittany has made these a couple times and really enjoys them. The second time she made them, she used Romaine lettuce, since it is less expensive, and it still tasted just fine. This is a nice light, yet satisfying meal.

Egg, Bacon & Avocado Quesadilla



Ingredients

3 rashers of streaky bacon , chopped
4 flour tortillas (Note 1)
4 eggs
1 large avocado , halved and sliced
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the bacon and cook until cooked to your liking. Remove bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Drain excess fat from the skillet and wipe away/scrape off any black bits. Return to the stove over medium heat.
  3. Place a tortilla in the skillet. Place avocado slices around the rim of half the tortilla and thinner slices across the middle to form a "ring" to hold the egg - as per the photo below. Squish the pieces close together to seal them so egg does not leak.
  4. Crack an egg into the centre, sprinkle with bacon, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Fold the tortilla over and cook for 4 minutes or until golden and crisp. I usually cook 2 in the skillet.
  5. Flip, turning over the folded edge (i.e. slide the flip under the curved edge and flip over the folded edge). Cook the other side for 3 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the skillet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. Serve immediately, while hot!
Notes: Brittany liked this more than anyone else in the family. It was a challenge to keep the egg white contained in the tortilla, even when lining the edge with avocado. Okay for a quick and easy meal! Would be a good savory breakfast idea.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili



Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (any color)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, minced
20 ounces ground turkey breast
8 ounces mushrooms, minced (about 2 heaping cups)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 28 ounce can tomatoes (not drained)
2 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
32 ounces beef broth (one box/carton)
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (make sure you're not using pumpkin pie filling :))
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
optional: sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro or green onion, and fresh lime juice for serving.

Instructions


1.Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos. Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant.  Add to slow cooker.
2.In same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine. Sprinkle in cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika. (Note: the meat will taste very seasoned when done. Keep in mind these seasonings are not to flavor just the meat, they will season the entire pot of chili, so they are intentionally strong!) Add turkey mixture to slow cooker.
3. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir til combine. Place lid on pot and cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low, until sweet potatoes are tender.
4. When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt to taste before serving. If desired, serve with sour cream, sliced avocados, and a small squirt of fresh lime juice, and any other toppings desired.

Notes: We first made this in March 2017 and have made it a few time since. We will have this many more times, I am sure. The lime juice is a must and all the suggested toppings really make this chili pop!  Our kids gobbled it down quite quickly and loved it! Ever since they found out that there are sweet potatoes and mushrooms in the chili, they have been a bit more hesitant to eat it. But for that first time, ignorance was bliss! I have shared this recipe with multiple people and they have all loved it. Can be made vegetarian by omitting the turkey.

Source: Our Best Bites

Curried Chicken Pitas


Ingredients
6 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp curry powder
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
1 ripe but firm pear, diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
4 4- to 5-inch whole-wheat pita breads, cut in half
2 cups sprouts

Directions
  1. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a large bowl. Add chicken, pear, celery, cranberries and almonds; toss to combine.
  2. Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup chicken salad and 1/4 cup sprouts.
Notes: This one is another one from August 2016. I'd forgotten about it but now that I see it I'm wanting to have it again. I remember liking it.

Source: Zipongo

Vietnamese-Style Beef & Noodle Broth

Ingredients
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb beef flank steak, very thinly sliced against the grain
4 cups chopped bok choy, (1 small head, about 1 lb)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 oz wide rice noodles
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil, or to taste

Directions
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring often, until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate using tongs, leaving the juices in the pot.
  2. Add bok choy to the pot and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add broth and water, cover and bring to a boil. Add noodles and soy sauce; simmer until the noodles are soft, about 4 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with bean sprouts and basil. Serve hot.
Notes: Well, I obviously haven't been very motivated to spend time posting recipes and missed all of 2017. But maybe I'll get a few up in 2018. It is convenient to have everything in one place. This one is actually from August 2016. We haven't had it again and I don't remember it well. I think I liked it.

Source: Zipongo

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chickpea & Chorizo Fideos

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 package whole-wheat angel hair pasta , (7-8 oz), broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped Spanish chorizo , or pepperoni (about 2 oz)
  • 1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 scallions , (1/2 bunch), sliced
Directions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pasta pieces and cook, stirring, until toasted and browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and chorizo (or pepperoni) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water, wine and the toasted pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and scallions and cook 1 minute more.
Notes: Brittany used whole wheat pasta and substituted water for the dry white wine, which we did not have. Brittany and I both thought this recipe was good, but not necessarily great. Nice for variety but probably won't become a regular at our house.

Source: Zipongo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spicy Roasted Ratatouille with Spaghetti

Ingredients
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (or orange or yellow), diced
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) whole grain spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with two racks in the middle positions. On a quarter pan or small baking dish, toss the whole baby tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion. Whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, a few generous twists black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Drizzle it over the vegetables and toss with your hands or a large spoon until the vegetables are evenly coated.
  3. On a half-sheet pan or other large, rimmed baking sheet, arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Place the tomatoes on the lower oven rack and the vegetables on the upper rack. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large post of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about 1 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer the cooked pasta to a large serving bowl.
  5. After 20 minutes, remove both pans from the oven. The tomatoes should be bursting and juicy by now, in which case, they’re done cooking. Use a spatula to toss the vegetables, then arrange them in a single layer again and put them back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or so, until they are cooked through and golden.
  6. Pour the cherry tomatoes and their juices over the spaghetti into the serving bowl. If you want your pasta to be pretty cheesy, now’s the time to sprinkle on a generous handful of shredded Parmesan. Add a baby splash of pasta cooking water and toss until the pasta is coated with a light tomato sauce.
  7. Add the cooked vegetables to the bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs and season with additional salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until the flavors really sing. Serve with Parmesan on the side.
Notes: When Brittany was expecting our first child she made ratatouille and it made her feel ill. It took 7 years for her to be willing to try a ratatouille recipe again. I'm glad she did. This one was delicious.

Source: COOKIE + Kate

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Horchata French Toast


Ingredients
  • 1 good-quality French baguette or loaf of ciabatta, preferably day-old
  • 8 to 12 tablespoons (4 to 6 ounces) butter (divided use)
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons uncooked white rice
  • A 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican canela, broken up or 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
  • Salt
  • Toasted slivered almonds (optional)
  • About 1 cup warm Piloncillo Syrup (recipe at source), Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, or maple syrup, for serving
Directions
  1. If using a baguette, slice off and discard the end pieces. Holding the bread knife at a 45-degree angle to the loaf, cut off one 1-inch-thick slice (it should be roughly 4 inches long). Repeat until you have 8 similar slices. If using ciabatta, no need to slice on the diagonal; simply discard the end pieces and cut eight 1-inch slices. If the bread is very fresh, arrange the slices on a baking sheet and place in a 300-degree oven until they feel slightly hard and stale, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Combine the almond milk, rice and cinnamon in a blender and process for several minutes, until the rice no longer feels very gritty when the liquid is rubbed between your fingers. Add the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, melted butter and ½ teaspoon salt to the rice mixture and blend again, covered, until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Lay in the bread and let it soak until the bottom of the bread feels heavy with liquid but isn’t disintegrating, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the bread and soak the other side. (If it’s more convenient, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.)
  3. Heat a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl it around the pan a few times until it has completely melted and the foaming has subsided. Use a spatula to transfer 3 slices of bread to the hot skillet. When they are richly browned underneath (about 5 minutes), flip the slices and cook until browned and crispy but custardy on the inside (about another 5 minutes). Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Add more butter to the pan (usually another 2 tablespoons per batch) and cook the remaining slices the same way. Top your French toast with slivered almonds if you like, and serve right away with warm syrup.
Notes: Brittany asked me what I wanted for breakfast on Father's Day. I had recently had horchata and the thought crossed my mind that horchata flavors would go well with French toast. I searched the internet and found only 2 or 3 recipes. This one looked the most interesting. I enjoyed this, but the horchata flavor didn't stand out as much as I'd like. 

Source: Men's Journal

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mom's Macaroni Salad

Ingredients
1 pkg. (1 lb) pkg. macaroni (or shells)
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1 c. ham steak, cut into small cubes
1 c. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
2-3 carrots, shredded

Optional mix-ins:
cucumber, peeled and diced
dill pickles, chopped
tomato, diced
red bell pepper, diced
celery, chopped

Instructions
  1. Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once macaroni has cooled down, drain well.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.
  4. Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.
  6. If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.
Notes: We enjoyed this pasta salad. More flavorful than others I've had.

Monday, May 16, 2016

South African Bobotie

Ingredients
1 slice white bread
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 lemon, juiced & zested
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in a little warm water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 spoonful mango chutney (apricot jam may be substituted)
salt & pepper

For the topping
milk (from soaking bread)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt
pepper
bay leaves

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Soak the bread in milk. Set it aside. Meanwhile, fry onion, ginger and garlic in butter until softened and beginning to brown.
  3. Continue adding ingredients to the pan — or, treat it like meatloaf: in a large bowl, mix beef, curry, lemon juice, zest, raisins, almonds, chutney, salt, pepper, and the soaked bread (squeeze out and reserve the milk). Add in the cooled onion mixture. Combine well.
  4. Fry mixture in a hot pan, adding butter as needed. Adjust seasonings to taste. 
  5. Once happy with the flavor, prepare the custard. Whisk the eggs into the reserved milk with a bit of turmeric, salt,and pepper. Pour over the meat mixture.
  6. Dot with bay leaves and bake about 20 minutes, or until the egg is set. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then slice and serve with yellow rice.
Notes: Certainly different than most recipes we've tried, but I found it interesting, refreshing, and tasty. The kids didn't care for it as much, probably because we don't often serve them meals that include cooked raisins and almonds and it was different. My great great grandfather was born in South Africa so it is interesting to think that he might have eaten something like this.

Source: Global Table Adventure. (I've enjoyed every recipe we've tried from this cite so far, and they are interesting!) 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Southwestern Three-Bean and Barley Soup

Ingredients
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
9 cups water
4 cups (32-oz carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup dried great northern beans
1/3 cup dried kidney beans
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt

Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.

Notes: Lately I've been liking anything southwestern, and this recipe was no different. It was tasty. Brittany soaked the beans overnight because she didn't think they'd be soft enough after only a couple of hours of cooking. Slow-Cooker Variation (from the source): Use 2 cups water (instead of 9 cups) and combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

Source: Zipongo

Thursday, April 28, 2016

World's Best Chicken

Ingredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Rosemary

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar.
  3. Place chicken breasts into 9×13 greased baking dish. Season with salt & lots of pepper. Pour mustard mixture over chicken. Make sure each breast is coated.
  4. Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Season with chopped rosemary.
Notes: Not the world's best chicken if you don't care for Dijon mustard. To be honest I'm not even sure I'd choose this recipe over any of the other baked chicken recipes we've tried. But maybe you'll like it more. Check out the photos at the source - they are more appetizing than what I was able to capture. We didn't have any rosemary to garnish it with.

Source: Freshdreamer

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Russian Cabbage Pie

Ingredients

For the filling:

1 head cabbage (medium), cored and chopped
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs (hard-boiled)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg (raw)

For the batter:

3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
pinch salt

Instructions
For the Filling:
  1. Cook the cabbage and onion in butter over medium-high until softened. A large wok works best. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper as you work (if it's bland now, it'll be bland later!). The wilting process takes about 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat as you go to prevent burning. Stir occasionally.
  2. Set the hot mixture aside to cool. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375F and grease an 11x9-inch baking dish.
  3. Once the filling has cooled to luke-warm, stir in the chopped hard-boiled eggs and the raw egg to bind.
For the batter:

Add the eggs, sour cream, and mayonnaise to a medium bowl. Stir until smooth, then add the dry ingredients.

To assemble and bake:
  1. Spread a little less than half the batter evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spoon on the filling.
  2. Top the casserole with the remaining batter, adding it in dollops evenly across the surface and smoothing it with the back of a spoon or spatula to cover the entire surface.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and shiny. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing so that it holds its shape.
  4. Serve room temperature or warm. Serving suggestion: serve with a bit of sour cream on the side.
Notes: We all really liked this! Similar idea to the Cabbage Buns recipe we have occasionally. The recipe calls for a 11x9 dish, but since we don't have that size, we used a 9x13. I think ours turned out a little flatter than the source for that reason. Check out the source link for step-by-step photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chicken Mole Poblano

Ingredients
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
1/2 dried chipotle chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (scant tablespoon)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 oz. bittersweet, semisweet, or Mexican chocolate, chopped coarse
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish, toasted
Salt and pepper
Sugar
3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts, legs, and/or thighs), skin removed, trimmed

Directions

  1. Toast anchos and chipotle in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 2 to 6 minutes; transfer to plate. Add oil and onion to now-empty skillet and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and toasted chiles and cook until chocolate is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, tomatoes, raisins, almond butter, and sesame seeds and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sightly thickened and measures about 3 1/2 cups, about 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to blender and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; loosen with water as needed before continuing.)
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in shallow baking dish and cover with mole sauce, turning to coat chicken evenly. Bake, uncovered, until breasts register 160°, and thighs or drumsticks register 175°, 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from oven, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds and serve.
Notes: I had a Mexican roommate in college that used to make a delicious mole. Not sure if I enjoyed this one as much as his, but it was still tasty. More flavorful, I think, than our other mole recipe we've tried.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Skillet Lasagna

Ingredients
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
Water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
Table salt
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb meatloaf mix* (or ground beef)
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

* meatloaf mix = combination of ground beef, pork, and veal, sold prepackaged in many supermarkets

Directions

  1. Pour the tomatoes with their juice into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 4 cups.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the onion begins to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  3. Scatter the pasta over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juice and the tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover, and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.
Notes: Not to be confused with Easy Skillet Lasagna. I think we liked this one better.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Scrambled Egg Pizza

Ingredients
1 16-oz loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
1 cup chopped zucchini or green sweet pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp cooking oil
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled.

Directions

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll bread dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer dough to a greased 13-inch pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Prick dough generously with a fork. Bake in a 375° oven 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook zucchini, mushrooms, and crushed red pepper in hot oil about 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender. Remove zucchini mixture and drain.
  3. In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and milk. In the same skillet melt butter over medium heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge. Using a large spatula, lift and fold partially cooked egg mixture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but is still glossy and moist. Remove from heat.
  4. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the hot crust. Top with scrambled eggs, zucchini mixture, bacon, and remaining cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes more or until cheese melts.
Notes: Interesting pizza recipe. I really liked it. Another variation to add to our options when making homemade pizza.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Ingredients
For the casserole:

1 whole cooked chicken, bones removed, meat diced or shredded (rotisserie chicken is excellent, should have 5-6 cups)
1/2 pound very thinly sliced deli-style honey ham, rough chopped
1/4 pound thin sliced baby Swiss cheese

For the sauce:

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the topping:

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Put cooked shredded or diced chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Rough chop the ham and scatter it over the top of the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.
  3. To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Do not brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and white pepper. Bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.
  4. To make the topping: Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium sized microwaveable bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and stop once it’s melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir in the panko bread crumbs, seasoning salt and crushed dried parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.
Notes: Not quite as tasty as regular style chicken cordon bleu or the slow cooker variety, but still an interesting dish. And a lot easier to make.