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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque

Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
1 4-oz can diced green chiles, preferably hot, drained
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 15-oz can vegetable broth
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
* Freshly ground pepper to taste
* Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions
  1. Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger and allspice. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Add half to the pot. Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter. Puree until completely smooth. Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine. Thin the bisque with water, if desired. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Notes: I found this recipe while perusing a recipe site related to a new wellness program at work and requested it for the menu. Then I ended up making it. It was no surprise to me that I really really liked this recipe. I'm pretty sure I ate all the leftovers by myself. My kids don't like sweet potatoes (crazy!) so we didn't tell them what was in this until they had tried it. They still found it a bit too spicy. 

Source: Zipongo

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

L.A. Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients
1 lb 2 oz ground pork
1/2 onion, grated
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt

To serve
hamburger buns
arugula leaves
roasted red pepper
1 red onion, thinly sliced
sweet potato fries (see below

Directions

  1. Put the pork, onion, fennel, breadcrumbs, egg, and parsley in a large mixing bow. Season well with salt and pepper and then use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. Shape the mixture into four patties, then cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the patties and cook 4-5 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.
  3. Place the patties in hamburger buns and top with arugula, roasted pepper and a few slices of red onion. Serve with sweet potato fries.
----------

SWEET POTATO FRIES
Ingredients
2 lb 4 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into strips
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Toss the sweet potato with the olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Scatter them in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the fires are golden brown.

----------

Notes: I think this was my first pork burger. I liked it. Maybe not as much as southwestern chicken burgers, but still tasty. We didn't have arugula, but it worked with lettuce.

Source: Simple Honest Food, pg 109.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chicken a la Gloria

Ingredients:
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and filleted in half lengthwise 
1/3 cup of flour 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons of butter 
1 (8 oz) container of sliced fresh mushrooms 
1/2 cup of sherry wine 
1 small can of condensed cream of mushroom soup 
1/2 cup whole milk 
6 slices of Muenster cheese 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish 
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Spoon flour onto shallow dish or pie plate. Coat both sides of chicken with flour; shake off excess.
  3. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides. (You don’t need to cook the chicken completely because it will finish cooking in the oven.) Transfer chicken to 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
  4. Place butter in same skillet; let melt over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown. Stir in sherry; cook and stir for additional 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in soup and milk; mix well. Cook until thoroughly heated.
  5. Pour mushroom sauce over chicken; top each piece of chicken with one slice cheese. Fold cheese in half if it is too wide for chicken piece.
  6. Cover dish with foil; bake 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn oven to broil setting. Remove foil from dish; broil 1 to 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven; set aside to cool slightly.
  7. Top with parsley.
Notes: I made this for Mother's Day 2015 and am just now getting to posting the recipe. I remember really enjoying this and we need to have it again. Soon. We don't have sherry wine so I imagine I just used water instead. Also, I don't remember if I had Muenster cheese or used something different.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

Ingredients
2 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb fresh or frozen spinach-and-cheese ravioli
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions
  1. Put a pot of water on to boil. Place sliced zucchini in a large colander and set it in the sink. Cook ravioli according to package directions. Pour the ravioli and cooking liquid over the zucchini in the colander.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic and salt together in a small bowl with a fork to form a coarse paste. Combine half-and-half and flour in another small bowl and place near the stove.
  3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and the garlic paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost completely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the flour mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Gently stir in the ravioli and zucchini, basil and pepper. Divide among 4 plates. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
Notes: I think Brittany liked this one more than I did. The sauce ended up being a bit too thick and didn't have quite enough flavor for me. But it was still good. We don't have dry white wine, so I'm not sure what Brittany used instead (if anything).

Source: Zipongo

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb flank steak, trimmed of fat and sliced thin against the grain
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce, or to taste
½ cup beef broth (or chicken broth)
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets

Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, sherry, honey, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, Sriracha sauce and beef broth. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the steak until it starts to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add sauce and stir in with the steak, it should start to thicken immediately. Add broccoli and cook for an additional 2 minutes until broccoli is tender and sauce is thickened.
  3. Serve over rice or noodles.
Notes: I'm not a big fan of beef and broccoli from restaurants, but I enjoyed this. I think I enjoyed this recipe more, though.

Source: Jo Cooks. I think I heard Brittany tell one of the kids that our neighbors, the Algers, recommended this recipe.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sausages with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan Mash

Ingredients
4 red onions, quartered (or cut into eighths if large)
2 1/2 Tbsp soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp chili flakes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
8 good-quality sausages
Parmesan mash (see below)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Put the onions in a baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and bake for 35 minutes.
  2. Cook the sausages in a frying pan over a medium-high heat for about 15 minutes until well browned. Serve with the caramelized onions and Parmesan mash.

Parmesan Mash

Ingredients
1 lb 12 oz waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
1 oz butter
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, then drain and mash. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted and then beat into the mash until smooth. Add the Parmesan and beat well. Season with salt and pepper.


Notes: We realized after cooking this that we were supposed to use the smaller breakfast sausages. The photo in the cook book was a bit misleading and we used large sausages instead. Still, a tasty meal.

Source: Simple Honest Food, pg 250.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Chorizo, Potato, and Red Pepper Frittata

Ingredients
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
1 red-skinned potato, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
10 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a 8 inch frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the chorizo, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes or until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the remaining oil, the potato, and the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the pepper and cook for 5 minutes before returning the chorizo to the pan. 
  3. Preheat your broiler to hot.
  4. Whisk the eggs and pour in the the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until the eggs have almost set. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese and then put the pan under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the frittata is golden and puffed.
Notes: I really enjoyed the flavors in this recipe and prefer it to the other two frittata recipes we've tried in the past. We had a bit of a hard time getting the top to cook without the bottom burning.

Source: Simple Honest Food, pg 83.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Orange-Beef Stir-Fry

Ingredients
12 oz. beef top round steak
1 tsp finely shredded orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant beef bouillon granules
2 Tbsp cooking oil
4 green onions, bias-sliced in 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups coarsely shredded fresh spinach (5 to 6 oz)
1/2 of an 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 cups hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. If desired, partially freeze beef for easier slicing. Trim fat from beef, across the grain into bite size strips. Set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together orange peel, orange juice, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, and bouillon granules. Set aside.
  2. In a wok or large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of th eoil over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic; cook and stir in hot oil for 1 minute. Remove green onion mixture from wok using a slotted spoon. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok or skillet. Add beef to hot wok. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or to desired doneness. Push beef from center of wok.
  3. Stir sauce. Add sauce to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return green onion mixture to wok. Add spinach and water chestnuts. Stir all ingredients together to coat with sauce. Cover and cook for 1 minute more or until heated through. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.
Notes: We had this nearly a year ago. I remember liking it but not as much as what I've had in restaurants.

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