Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Instant Pot Orange Ginger Chicken

I found another great Instant Pot recipe - Orange Ginger Chicken from Our Best Bites.  This was one of the best Orange Chicken recipes I have made.  It is a very easy recipe to make and one the family will ask for again and again.

Instant Pot Orange Ginger Chicken
Our Best Bites
Ingredients
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen OR thawed)
1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons water, broth, or orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons cornstarch
Cooked rice

Instructions
1. Place chicken breasts in pressure cooker (see notes below for alternate cooking methods).
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together: marmelade, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, water, ginger and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken. Secure lid on pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (15 minutes is the cooking time once under pressure.) When finished, release steam according to pressure cooker instructions and use an instant-read thermometer to make sure meat has reached 165 degrees. (If it has not reached temperature, simply return shredded chicken to sauce and simmer until cooked through.)
3. Remove chicken breasts and place on a cutting board. Bring remaining sauce in pan up to a simmer (use the saute feature on an electric cooker). Combine cornstarch with 3 teaspoons cold water and then pour mixture into pan. Simmer until sauce is thickened and the turn off heat.
4. Shred chicken and return to pot with sauce.  Serve over rice.

Yields about 4 cups shredded chicken




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Asparagus Frittata

I found the best recipe for an Asparagus Frittata on the Simply Recipes website.  It is so easy and absolutely amazing in flavor.  The only change I made was using onion powder instead of sliced scallions.  The family isn't that found of onions.

Not only is this recipe great, I love the fact it is cooked in one pan.  Yeah - hardly any clean up.  Great for busy nights or when you had a long day and you are just low on energy.

This Frittata is great for dinner - just serve it with a salad, or a nice brunch dish.

Asparagus Frittata
From Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound thin spear asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
6 large eggs
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Directions:
1. Heat butter into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium heat.
Add asparagus and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Beat the eggs and cottage cheese together, stir in the chives and tarragon.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until almost set, but still runny on top. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.
3. Sprinkle Gruyere cheese over the eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, and the center is set, about 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Remove pan from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4







Monday, May 1, 2017

Beef Noodle Stir Fry

Stir Fry is a wonderful quick meal to make for dinner.  My family loves having Stir Fry.   You have veggies, meat or fish, all cooked together in a wonderful sauce.  You can serve it over noodles or rice.

This recipe for Beef Noodle Stir Fry has beef, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots cooked in a sauce of soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper.   You then add in some cooked udon noodles and stir.

Deliciousness in every bite.   Noodles with a flavorful sauce clinging to them with tasty bites of beef, broccoli, and mushrooms.  A meal you will be proud to serve your family and friends.

Beef Noodle Stir Fry
Damn Delicious

INGREDIENTS:
2 (7-ounce) refrigerated udon noodles, seasoning sauce packets discarded
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces beef top sirloin filet, thinly sliced across the grain
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces broccoli florets
2 carrots, diced

FOR THE SAUCE:
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, red pepper flake and ground black pepper; set aside.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook udon noodles according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and cook, flipping once, until browned, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.
Stir in mushrooms, broccoli and carrots to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in udon noodles, beef and soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4









Friday, April 28, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini

I made the most amazing dinner last night in my crock pot.  Chicken Tetrazzini - so creamy, cheesy and just delicious.  This is a very easy recipe to make - just put the majority of the ingredients in your crock pot and set it on low and cook for 8 hours.  After the 8 hours, put in some cream cheese, shred the chicken and add some cooked pasta.  Top with some mozzarella cheese, cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Dinner is ready.  I served the Chicken Tetrazzini with a small salad and some French Bread.  A dinner so simply, easy and best of all delicious.



Slow Cooker Chicken Tetrazzini
The Magical Slow Cooker

INGREDIENTS
1.5 lbs. chicken breast fillets
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1½ tsp. dried tarragon
1 cup diced white onion
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken broth
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, ⅓ less fat or regular
½ pound dried spaghetti noodles (1/2 a box), cook according to package directions
1 (8-oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese, grated (reduced-fat or regular)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add the chicken, sea salt, garlic powder, pepper, tarragon, onions and mushrooms. Pour over the chicken broth. DO NOT ADD THE CREAM CHEESE OR SPAGHETTI YET. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
2. Cut the cream cheese into squares and add the slow cooker, cover. In the meantime cook the spaghetti according to the package directions.
3. After the cream cheese has had some time to melt. Take 2 forks and shred the chicken. Stir the sauce and chicken together. Add the cooked and drained pasta. Stir. Add the mozzarella cheese over the pasta and sauce. Cover for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6









Thursday, April 20, 2017

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops are a very quick and easy dinner to prepare.  There are two types of scallops you can purchase at the market.  Wet (soaked) or dry  scallops. This recipe calls for dry scallops.   "Soaked"  scallops have been soaked in a bath of phosphates. Soaked scallops are a bright white in color.    Dry scallops have not been soaked in phosphates.  They are superior in taste and they also caramelize beautifully.

This recipe is from Alton Brown, one of my all-time favorites.    It is an easy and delicious recipe.

Seared Scallops
From Alton Brown

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Instant Pot: Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs

I made another great tasting recipe in my Instant Pot.  Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs.   They are tender, flavorful and better that you can get in any restaurant.  As with most Instant Pot recipes, this was easy and quick.

You begin by placing some oil in your Instant Pot and place on the sauté  setting.  Cook some garlic and ginger for about 1 minute.  Add some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion white and cayenne.  Stir well and then add the beef. I turned my beef so both side could be coated with the sauce.

Set your Instant Pot on high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.  Once the ribs are cooked naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Vent the remaining pressure and transfer ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Strain the sauce and return to the Instant Pot.  Set on sauté and add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl.

Serve the ribs with the sauce, rice and top with the scallion greens if desired.

Asian Boneless Short Ribs
From Copycat Recipes Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Special Equipment:  Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 scallions, white parts coarsely chopped, green parts thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 (8 ounce) boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons water
Cooked rice
Directions:
1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting.  Add the oil to the pot.  Heat for about 1 minute and the add the garlic and the ginger.  Sauté for about 1 minute or  until fragrant.  Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion whites, and the cayenne pepper.
2. Place the short ribs in the sauce and turn to coat both sides.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to the Sealing setting.   Set the pressure on high and cook for 35 minutes.
3. Naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Move the valve to venting position to release the remaining pressure. Once the pressure is released carefully open the lid away from you.
4. Remove the ribs and place on a platter.  Tent with foil.  Strain the sauce and return to the pot.  Place Instant Pot on Sauté setting.
5. Place the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Mix well and gradually add to the pot.  Stir until the mixture comes to a boil  Cook for 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl and serve with the ribs.
6.  Place some rice on a plate.  Top with a rib and some sauce.  Sprinkle with scallion tops.

Makes 6 servings




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Crockpot: Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Peas and Bacon

Spaghetti squash is a fun squash to cook and eat.  When the squash is cooked these veggie strands of spaghetti are scooped out.  Usually, I just put my normal sauce over the squash, toss and serve.  Today's recipe is different.  It is a "cousin" to one of my favorite recipes of "Pasta With Peas and Ham."

This recipe is very easy to make.  Start by washing a spaghetti squash.  Poke it a few times with a fork and cook on high in a crockpot for 3 hours with a cup of water.  When the squash is done, scoop the spaghetti out.  In a bowl combine some bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix it well with the squash and place back in the crockpot for about 45 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, stir in the Parmesan cheese and cook for the remaining 25 minutes.  When done, serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

This is a delicious side dish or a main dish.  Enjoy.


Creamy Spaghetti Squash With Peas and Bacon
From Cooktop Cove

Special Equipment:  Crockpot

Ingredients:
1 (about 5 pounds) spaghetti squash
1 cup water
5 slices of bacon - diced
2 cups fresh or frozen petite peas
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup  powdered Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping


Directions:
1. Clean squash and poke with a fork throughout the skin.  Place the spaghetti squash and the cup of water in the crock pot. Cover and set on high and cook for 3 hours.
2. Add the bacon to a skillet and cook until soft.  Set aside.
3. Remove the squash from the crockpot when it is cooked.  Cut open with a knife lengthwise.  Carefully remove the seeds.  Scoop out the spaghetti strands.  Place the squash back in the crockpot.
4. Stir together the bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add to the crockpot.  Stir and mix well.
5. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on high.  Add the Parmesan cheese, stir, cover and cook for another 25 minutes.  Serve and top with additional cheese if desired.  

Serves 6 main servings






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skillet Chili Mac

I love Chili Mac.  Macaroni cooked in a nice semi spicy sauce with ground beef and beans.  A great meal for the family or for a pot luck.  It is one of my favorite quick meals to prepare.

Start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet.  Stir in the green chile and spices.  Be sure the meat is covered with the spices.  Add the liquids and bring to a boil.  Then add the pasta and cover.  Cook until the pasta is tender.  Add the beans and cook until heated through.  Top the chile mixture with cheese and cover skillet for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Remove from the stove and serve.

Your family is in for a delicious and hearty meal that they will enjoy.


Skillet Chili Mac
From Our Best Bites adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients
1 lb. extra-lean (93%) ground beef
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups V8 juice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
8 ounces  dry  elbow macaroni
1 can pinto beans, drained
4 ounces shredded Mexican Cheese

Instructions
1. Heat a 12" skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently. Stir in  the green chile and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the chili powder, onion powder,  cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  Mix well until the meat is throughly coated. a

2. Add the V8 juice, tomato sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to combine and then cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15-ish minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Add the beans and heat through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese, and replace the lid for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve.

Makes 6 servings



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Biscuits

Who can resist nice flaky tender biscuits?  I sure can't.  I love eating  them for breakfast with butter and jam,  or when I am eating a rich and hearty soup/stew.  They are great for getting the last bite of that good broth.  And how could I forget that delicious dish biscuits with gravy.  Biscuits are just great and so easy to make.

I found this easy biscuit recipe on the NYT Cooking website.  Instead of using a food processor, I combined the butter and the flour with my fingertips until the mixture resembled corn flakes.


Biscuits
From NYT COOKING

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, preferably European style
1 cup whole milk

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat it down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
4. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 6-8




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Another great Instant Pot recipe - Beef Stew.   Beef Stew is your classic Comfort Food.  It is great for chilly days or when you are feeding a crowd.
Tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and an assortment of veggies cooked in a delicious broth flavored with wine, thyme, and spices.   A rich, delicious, and hearty meal for your family or guest to enjoy.  I served mine with biscuits to get every drop.

Instant Pot Beef Stew
Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless beef short ribs cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces sliced  white mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 stalk sliced celery
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 cup green beans cut into 1 1/2-inch length
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional Thickening:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


Directions:
1. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a Ziploc bag.  Add the meat a small amount at a time to the flour mixture and shake until the meat is coated.  Shake off excess flour mixture and place meat in a bowl.  Repeat until all the meat is coated.
2. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the beef and brown on all sides.
3. Remove the beef to a bowl.  Add the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 2 minutes.  Add the carrots and celery.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the Instant Pot and place in the bowl with the beef.
4. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the red wine.  Add the meat and vegetables, the beef broth, green beans, potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well.
5. Place the top on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select the Meat/Stew setting.  When the stew is done let it rest for 10 minutes.
6. Move valve to venting.  When done venting open the lid carefully and away from you.  Stir the stew.  If the stew broth is too thin set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.   In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water.  Be sure it is mixed well.   Add the cornstarch mixture  to the stew and cook until thickened.
7. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings






Sunday, February 12, 2017

Slow Cooker Carne Asada

Carne Asada is my favorite meat for making burritos and tacos. It is very flavorful and tender.  When making Carne Asada, I usually use flank steak and marinade it.  You can also use skirt steak.  This is the first time I have made it in a slow cooker and it was delicious.  The meat was tender, moist, and had a wonderful flavor.  I usually serve the Carne Asada with tortillas, sliced radishes, cilantro, avocados, and lime wedges.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada
From Slow Cooker Gourmet Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 (2.5-3) pound flank steak
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Flour or corn tortillas
Garnishes: Cilantro,  lime wedges, sliced radishes, avocado chunks

Directions:
1. Place flank steak in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Add the olive oil, orange juice, garlic, lime juice, honey, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
3. Pour the marinade over the flank steak.  Cover and set the slow cooker to low.  Cook for 8 hours.
4. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks.  Place the meat back in the slow cooker and coat with the juices.
5. Serve on tortillas and garnish with lime wedges, sliced radishes, and avocado chunks.

Serves 6







Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Instant Pot: Roast Beef

Another great Instant Pot recipe.  I know I have said it before but I will say it again - I love my Instant Pot.

The other night, we had a very moist and flavorful roast for dinner cooked in my Instant Pot.  I first browned the roast on the sauté setting  and sautéed some mushrooms.  Deglazed the pan with some red wine and then added some broth and spices to the pot.  I placed the roast in the pot and scatted the mushroom, potatoes and carrots over the roast.  Locked the top and cooked for 50 minutes.   I let the pot do a natural release for about 20 minutes then unlocked the lid very carefully.

I placed the roast on a platter with the veggies and covered loosely with foil.  I added some cornstarch and water the the juices in the pot to thicken up the natural sauce a bit.  I served the sauce with the beef.



Roast Beef
Special Equipment:  Instant Pot

Ingredients:

1 (2 1/2 - 3) pound beef eye of round roast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
1/3 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 carrots cut in chunks
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons water

Directions:

1. Mix the kosher salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Pat the roast dry and rub the salt and pepper mixture over the roast.  Set aside.
2. Set the Instant Pot on the Saute setting.  Add one tablespoon olive oil to the pot.  When hot brown the roast on all sides.  When brown remove the roast to a platter.
3. Add the remaining oil - 2 tablespoons to the pot.  Sauté the mushrooms.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms to the platter with the beef.
4. Deglaze the pot with the red wine.  Add the broth, onion powder, thyme, parsley flakes, salt and pepper to the pot.  Stir well.  Add the roast, mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots.
5. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes.
6. Naturally release the pressure for 25 minutes.  Move the valve to the venting position   to release remaining pressure.  Open the lid carefully.
7. Remove the roast and vegetables to a platter.  Cover with foil.  Set the Instant Pot to the Saute setting.
8. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water.  Stir well.  Add  to the the Instant Pot and stir.  Continue cooking until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Taste and season if necessary.
9. Slice the roast crosswise and serve with gravy and the vegetables.

Makes 6 servings






Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

I love a nice bowl of hot soup on chilly days.  Not only does soup warm you up but it is a nice hearty meal for a light dinner or to go with your favorite sandwich at lunch.  This soup has a wonderful flavored broth loaded with beans,veggies and pasta.  Top it off with some grated Parmesan cheese and you have a great tasting bowl of soup.    This is a very easy  soup to make.  Start by browning the pancetta in some olive oil.  Next add the onion, salt, carrots, and celery.  Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, both types of beans, pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, Parmesan cheese rind, (if using), and crushed red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook.  Ladle the soup into some bowls, top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.



              
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth 
1 (15- ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1(15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
Rind of Parmesan cheese - optional
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry  Ditalini pasta
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. In a Dutch oven heat the oil and add the pancetta.
2. Brown the pancetta and then add the onion, carrots, celery, and salt.  Cook for 10 minutes.
3.  Add the celery and cook until fragrant.  Next place the chicken broth, tomato sauce, both types of beans, pepper, Italian seasoning bay leaf and rind of Parmesan cheese if using. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until pasta is cooked.
5. Remove the Parmesan cheese rind. Taste and season if  necessary and ladle soup into the bowls.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8














Friday, January 27, 2017

Post From The Past: Salsa Verde



Salsa Verde is one of my favorite condiments.    I use it as a dip with tortilla chips, spoon it on my tacos,  use as a topping for my eggs,  cook with it.  It has endless possibilities in my kitchen.      I love the tanginess and just the hint of saltiness of the salsa.  The tanginess comes from the tomatillos.

Tomatillos belong to nightshade family like tomatoes. In fact, when husked the tomatillo resembles a green tomato.  Tomatillos are small fruits enclosed in a husk.  The husk is inedible.

When choosing tomatillos for this salsa, they should be firm and bright green
           

Salsa Verde



Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds tomatillos
½ cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 Jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
Salt to taste


Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.
2. Remove husks from tomatillos.  Wash under cold water.
3. Cut the tomatillos in half and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Place under a broiler until the skin of the tomatillos is slightly blackened, about 5 minutes.
4. Place the roasted tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro leaves, lime juice, sugar, ground cumin, and Jalapeno peppers in a blender.  Blend until ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.
5. Season to taste with salt.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with chips or with your favorite Mexican food.

Makes 3 cups






Inside of a Tomatillo

Ready For Roasting

Slightly Blackened


Ready to Blend



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers

The other day at the library I found Sara Moulton's latest cookbook, Home Cooking 101 How to Make Everything Taste Better.  As I was thumbing through the book, I found a recipe that caught my eye - Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers.   It looked delicious and was so easy to make.  I set to work. 

Chicken breast cutlets are seasoned with salt and pepper and coated with flour.  They are then fried until lightly golden on both sides.  When the chicken breast cutlets have been cooked, they are transferred to a plate.  Next  lemon slices are dipped in sugar and lightly caramelized.  The lemon slices are transferred to the plate with the chicken.  Now a delicious lemony sauce is prepare with shallots and chicken stock.  The chicken and lemon slices are returned to the skillet and simmered until the chicken is heated through.  The sauce thickens as it cooks.

Serve the chicken with some sauce and lemon slices over the chicken and top with the fried capers.  Wow -  this is the best lemon chicken I have ever tasted.  So tender and flavorful with just a hint of citrus.  The capers add some extra zing.  A very nice addition to the recipe.


Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers
Home Cooking 101 How to Make Everything Taste Better By Sara Moulton

Ingredients:
1 pound skinless chicken breast cutlets, preferably thin sliced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and dried very well
Flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lemon, sliced very thin crosswise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock

Directions:
1. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, pound the chicken until it is 1/8 inch thick and transfer to a plate.  Pat the chicken dry and cut the pieces in half if they are too large to saute easily.
2. In a large skillet, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with the capers and heat the pan to medium-high.  Cook, stirring until they are crispy, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the capers to a small bowl with a slotted spoon.
3. Spread out the flour on a piece of parchment on the counter.  Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.   Working with half the chicken at a time, season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper and coat them lightly with the flour, lifting the parchment paper on both sides to help coat the chicken and shaking off the excess.  Add the chicken to the oil in the pan and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate.  Add 2 tablespoon oil to the pan.  Season and flour the remaining chicken and saute, transferring it as it is done to the plate.
4. Dip the lemon slices in the sugar, coating them lightly on both sides, and add them to the skillet.  Cook over medium heat until they are lightly caramelized, about 1 minute per side.  Transfer to the plate with the chicken.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring 1 minute.   Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken and lemon slices to the pan, along with any juices from the plate.  Simmer gently, turning the chicken over several times until it is heated through.
5. Transfer the chicken to 4 plates and simmer the sauce until it has thickened slightly.  Spoon the sauce and lemon slices over the chicken and top with the fried capers.  

Servings: 4
 
 



 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-Up

Tamale Pie  is a great tasting casserole full of southwestern flavor.  You have green chili, chili powder, corn, garlic, and black olives  just to name a few ingredients that make this casserole delicious.   This recipe is very easy to prepare.  All of the ingredients except the cheese are combined together and baked for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and  sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 5 more minutes and dinner is done.   Perfect for large gatherings or when you need something easy and quick for the family.

Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-Up
From Southern Living Magazine Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen
Ingredients


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 garlic cloves) 
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 2 cups tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup frozen or drained canned corn 
  • 1 cup cup drained canned sliced black olives 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. chili powder 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups) 
  • Sour cream (optional) 
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional) 
Directions:
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together milk and cornmeal; set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add beef to skillet and break the beef up as it cooks. Cook until all pink is gone. Add  garlic,  onion powder, and green chile.  Cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.  
    3. Stir beef mixture into cornmeal mixture. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives,chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased 13x9inch glass or ceramic baking dish. 
    4. Bake in preheated oven until set and well browned around edges, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven; sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven, and bake until cheese melts, 3 to 4 minutes. If desired, top servings with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro.

    Serves 8







Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna Salad is one of my very favorites.  Whether I use it to make a sandwich, or just enjoying a scoop with some rice crackers.   Usually I make the familiar recipe of tuna, mayonnaise, celery, and seasoning.  Recently, I found a tasty recipe on Simply Recipes website.

In this recipe, canned tuna is combined with mayonnaise, celery, cottage cheese, capers,  parsley, and some lemon juice.   At first I wasn't too sure about the cottage cheese but it gave the tuna salad flavor and texture.  The  one change I made in this recipe was substituting onion powder (1 teaspoon) for the diced onions.  I am not a fan of onions in my sandwiches.

This was one of the best recipes for tuna salad.  In fact, it has become my go to recipe.  Try it, I think you will enjoy it.

 Tuna Salad
Simply Recipes 

Ingredients

1 (5 or 6 ounce) can of tuna fish (drained, if packed in water, drain it, and add a teaspoon of good quality olive oil to the tuna)
1/3 cup of cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 celery stalk, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp of capers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch or two of dill
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Directions:

1. Mix all of the ingredients  together in a mixing bowl.  Serve on bread for a sandwich or serve on a lettuce leaf with some crackers.