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Chicken and Rice Casserole

December 24, 2009 Leave a comment


Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network – Paula Deen

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Total: 40 min
Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (6-ounce) box long-grain wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • Pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl and mix together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Notes & Comments: One of the biggest changes I would make for next time is to season the chicken when you cook it. I chopped up three chicken breasts and just cooked them in EVOO. Next time I will add some spice to the EVOO while they’re cooking – the chicken was sort of bland.  It was good though – we served it to guests and the two kids (4 & 2) both ate it. I will make this again with a few tweaks to the recipe. It was good!

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Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment


Recipe & picture courtesy of Southern Food

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Serves: 6

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard or country-style
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  1. Wash and trim the pork and pat dry; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place pork in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine garlic, mustard, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme; pour over the pork. Turn pork to coat thoroughly.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove pork to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm. Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until reduced by about one-third.
  5. Combine the cornstarch and cold water; whisk into the reduced juices and cook for 1 minute longer. Serve pork sliced with the thickened juices.

Notes & Comments: This was really easy to make (slow cookers are the best!) and the pork loin was suuuuper tender!  Jason was in love with this recipe and inhaled the leftovers the next day!

Categories: Dinner, Pork, Serves 6, Slow Cooker

Winter White Burger

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment


Recipe & picture courtesy of Rachael Ray

4 Servings
Prep 20 min
Cook 25 min

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 4 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ripe bartlett pear, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons hot pepper jelly or jalapeño jelly
  • 4 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
  2. In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon hot pepper jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

Notes & Comments: This was very quick to make – I got home late and wanted to throw something together quickly.  It was a very easy recipe to follow as well.  I did add some breadcrumbs to the turkey mixture because our ground turkey was very soft when mixing everything together – the breadcrumbs allow the meat to stick to itself when cooking and not fall apart when you turn them.  Just be careful to not add too much or you’ll dry the burger out.  You’ll also want to watch how much lemon zest you add to the mixture as well – I added the zest of one large lemon and BIL commented that it was a little too lemony for his taste.  Jason & I liked it as is though.  I did not use hot pepper jelly or jalapeno jelly because I didn’t know where to find it, I didn’t know if we would like it and I didn’t know when I would use it again so I didn’t see the point in buying it.  It tasted great without it though!

Skillet Pork and Peppers

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time : 22 min
Total Time: 42 min
Serves 4

  • 1 large pork tenderloin (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, sliced into wide strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled pepperoncini, plus 2 teaspoons liquid from the jar
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler. Slice the pork on an angle into 1-inch-thick pieces; season with salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and bell peppers; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Add the pork and sear over high heat until browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to the plate with the onion and peppers.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, sage and tomato paste to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste turns brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the pepperoncini slices and their liquid, then pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Add the broth and return to a simmer. Arrange the pork in a single layer in the skillet; add the onion and peppers and sprinkle with cheese. Transfer to the oven and broil until the pork is cooked through, 4 to 7 minutes.

Notes & Comments: I used dried sage and skipped the wine because I didn’t have any and this still turned out amazing.  I’m always a little nervous when cooking pork because it’s so easy to overcook it and make it tough and chewy.  But I loved the idea of searing it on each side and then throwing it in the oven to broil the rest of the way.  It was very tender and I was pleased with it.  Jason said it would be great next time served on a bed of rice as well.

Sudden Quiche Lorraine

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Rachael Ray

Makes 6 Servings

Prep 30 min
Bake 40 min

  • One 9-inch frozen deep-dish pie shell
  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a fork, prick the inside of the pie shell, then bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven; lower the temperature to 325°.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 5 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the bacon fat in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the onion is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the onion to the pie shell.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the half-and-half; stir in the cheese and the cooked bacon. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Bake until set, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes & Comments: This is really easy to make and it turned out amazing.  I added red & yellow bell pepper to the onion mix as well.  It said it would make one pie but I had enough filling to make two – I also had jumbo eggs so I used 5 instead of 6.  I’m glad I ended up making two because Jason chowed through the first one, leaving the second one for leftovers today.  I also used marbled cheddar cheese instead of Swiss cheese.  A Quiche is like an omelette – add whatever you prefer in yours and you can’t go wrong!

Croque Monsieur Mac and Cheese

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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Recipe & picture courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 55 min

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1/2 pound ziti
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread, roughly diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced deli-boiled ham
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup milk.
  2. Meanwhile, combine both cheeses in a bowl. Beat 1/4 cup milk and the eggs in another bowl; fold in the bread and add half of the cheese.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until just brown, 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, cayenne, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 3/4 cup water and the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk; bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk to cool slightly. Whisk in the remaining cheese, then add the pasta and toss.
  4. Butter a shallow casserole dish. Add half of the pasta, top with some of the ham and cover with the remaining pasta. Top with the remaining ham, then cover with the bread mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Notes & Comments: This came out wonderful, it takes a little juggling in the kitchen to have everything going at the same time and coming together at the correct time but it tasted wonderful.  I added crushed cornflakes on top of the casserole just before putting it into the oven to create a crispy topping.

Layered Fiesta Casserole

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Layered_Fiesta_Casserole
Recipe & picture courtesy of Kraft Foods

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 1-1/2 cups KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Brown meat with peppers in large skillet; drain. Return to skillet. Stir in salsa, tomatoes and corn.
  3. Spread 1 cup meat mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; top with 6 tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Cover with layers of half each of the remaining meat mixture and cheese; top with remaining tortillas and meat mixture. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese; let stand 5 min. or until melted.

Notes & Comments: This is a great one dish meal, I chopped up half of an onion and added it to the mix as well.  I also used canned corn instead of frozen corn because I dislike frozen corn.  It’s great as leftovers too!