Monday, November 16, 2009

Lazyman's Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

I came across this recipe many moons ago, cut it out, and tossed it in with my other recipes that I make when I'm looking for something simple for dinner.  It's easy to throw together unlike real stuffed cabbage rolls but has the same overall flavor.  With only 5 ingredients, it doesn't get much easier.

Lazyman's Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

1 medium cabbage, cut up
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
10-1/2 oz can tomato soup
1 soup can water

Place cabbage in greased 2 qt casserole.  Brown beef and onion.  Stir in rice and place on top of the cabbage.  Season to tast with salt and pepper.  Combine soup and water and pour over all.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

I thought this was a really good, creamy macaroni and cheese and was easy to throw together.  I didn't care too much about the bread crumbs on top, felt it didn't add much to the overall flavor, and will omit them in the future. 

Macaroni and Cheese

1-1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk
16 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add macaroni, and cook until not quite done, about 6 minutes.  Drain.  In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Blend in the flour, mustard powder, and pepper until smooth.  Slowly stir in the milk, beating out any lumps.  Add the cheese and stir constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Stir noodles into the cheese sauce.  Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.  Cover the dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

1 cup white rice
2 cups water
1/2 bag of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
olive oil (3-4 Tbsp)
small onion, diced
1-1/2 cup frozen vegetables, thawed (I used a bag that had green beans, corn, peas, and carrots)
3 eggs
1 Tbsp sesame seed
splash of toasted sesame oil
soy suace (to your liking)

Cook your rice a day before makng dish (trust me, if you do the rice when you are preparing the meal, it will turn out like mush).  On the day of cooking recipe, sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.  In a hot saucepan, heat olive oil in pan, add sprimp and cook about 2 minutes on one side,using spatula, flip and cook a couple of minutes on the other side.  When they are about completely cooked, remove onto plate. Add a tad more oil to pan and cook onions until tender (about 3-5 minutes), remove and also place on another plate.  Rinse pan and crack 3 eggs, and cook and scramble.  When cooked through, remove and place on plate.  Add a little olive oil and add rice and sesame seed until you hear it sizzling; stir.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetables, eggs, and shrimp; stir until incorporated.  Serve warm and with soy sauce.

Tilapia with Lemon Butter Shallot Sauce

This is a great meal for a weeknight~  Served with garlic mashed potatoes.

Tilapia with Lemon Butter Shallot Sauce

3 tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
lemon juice (1 lemon cut in half, squeezed)

Salt and pepper both sides of the tilapia fillets.  Dredge into flour.  Heat oil over medium high heat.  Drop fillets into pan and cook until browned, flipping to brown other side (fish is done when it easily flakes).  Remove fish and put on a plate.  In same pan, melt better and add shallots.  Cook about 5 minutes until shallots are tender.  Squeeze in lemon juice and let cook about 2 minutes.  Spoon sauce on top of fish fillets.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meatball Sub Casserole

Meatball Sub Casserole
Adapted from Taste of Home recipe

1 loaf crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced

Heat oven to 250 degrees and put bread pieces on a baking sheet and put in oven for 1 hour to dry out (I did this the night before).  You can also cut the bread and leave it out overnight.  This will allow the bread to be very crisp so when you bake it in the casserole, parts remain crusty and parts get soft, just like a meatball sub.  In a bowl, combine onions, crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Add beef and mix well.  Shape into 1-in balls, place on a rack in a shallow baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until no longer pink.  Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, arrange bread in a single layer in an ungreased 13x9x2 baking dish (all of the bread may not be used).  Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Italian seasoning and pepper; spread evenly over bread.  Be sure to spread the bread because it helps seal out the moisture from the tomato sauce so the bread doesn't turn to mush.  Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese.  Combine sauce, garlic, and add meatballs.  Pour over cheese mixture; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Greek Marinated Beef Pita Pockets with Tzatziki Sauce and Greek Salad

This was very, very good!!!


4 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Marinate for at least 2 hours or throughout the day.  Either skewer and grill or saute.  Do not use alot of oil when preparing on the stovetop because the meat will release liquid.

Tzatziki Sauce

(2) 7 oz. containers Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
1-1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1-1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Lay grated cucumber on a plate lined with paper towel, allow to drain 1 to 2 hours.  Combine the Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Cuban Sandwiches with Black Bean and Salsa Soup

Cuban Sandwiches

1 loaf Cuban bread (Italian or French bread may be substituted)
Prepared yellow mustard
1/2 pound baked ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pount roast pork, thinly sliced
8 thin dill pickle slices
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Slice the bread horizontally to open.  Spread a thin layer of mustard on top and bottom halves of bread.  Arrange ham, pork, pickle slices, and Swiss cheese evenly over the bread.  Cover the sandwichese with the top halve of bread.  Cut into 4 sandwiches.  In a heavy pan, spray cooking spray and using another pot as a press, over medium-high heat, press down on sandwiches to flatter.  Flip once.  Sandwiches are done when, flat, outside is flatten and golden, and cheese is melted.  (If you have a flat press, you can easy do this step.)

*Sunday night, I cooked a self-basting pork roast on 250 for about three hours when internal temp reached 165 degree.  Tonight, I thin sliced the roast for the sandwiches.

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

2 (15 ounce ) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chunky salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

In an electric food processor or blender, combine beans, broth, salsa, and cumin.  Blend until fairly smooth.  Heat the bean mixture in a saucepan over medium high heat until thoroughly heated.  Ladle soup into individual bowls, and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and 1/2 tablespoon green onion.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beef Wellington with Bordelaise Sauce

Here is the Beef Wellington that I tackled tonight.  It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it. 

Beef Wellington
Simply Recipes

1 lb beef tenderloin fillet
Salt and pepper
Canola, grapeseed, or olive oil
1 lb mushrooms (half cremini, half shittake)
4 thin slices ham (Parma ham if you can get it) or prosciutto
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
7 ounces puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen)
2 egg yolks, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat.  Season the fillet generously with salt and pepper.  Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned (hint: do not move the fillet until it has had a chance to brown).  Remove the fillet from the pan and let cool.  Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard.  Chop the mushrooms put them into a food processor and puree.  Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat.  Scrape the mushroom puree into the pan and let cook down, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture.  When the moisture released by the mushrooms has boiled away, set aside the mushrooms to cool.  Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap.  Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap.  Spread the mushroom misture over the ham.  Place the beef fillet in the middle and roll the mushroom and ham over the fillet, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly.  Wrap up the beef fillet into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef fillet.  Unwrap the fillet from the plastic wrap and place in the middle of the pastry dough.  Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten eggs.  Fold the pastry around the fillet, cutting off any excess at the ends (pastry that is more than 2 layers thick will not cook all the way, try to limit the overlap).  Place a  small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top.  Chill for 5-10 minutes.  Place the pastry-wrapped fillet on a baking pan.  Brush the exposed surface again with beaten eggs.  Scor the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, not going all the way through the pastry.  Sprinkle the top with course salt.  Bake for 25-35 minutes.  The pastry should be nicely golden when done.  (To ensure that your roast is medium rare, test with an instant read meat thermometer.  Pull out at 125-130 degrees for medium rare.)  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Slice in 1-inch thick slices.

Bordelaise Sauce

In a heavy 1 quart saucepan over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter.  Add 1 tablespoon minced onion until tender.  Stir in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; cook until lightly browned.  Add 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.  Slowly stire in one 10-1/2 ounce can condensed beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine, and 1/4 cup water.  Increase heat to medium-high' cook mixture, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens.

Individual Scalloped Potatoes

Individual Scalloped Potatoes

Vegetable spray
2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray.  Layer potato slices, cheese and onions into each muffin cup.  Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time.  Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

*I used 4 medium potatoes, 1 to 1-1/2 cups of swiss cheese, 3 green onions, and 2 Tbsp of cream per muffin cup.  I kept covered for the full 30-40 minutes, then when I warmed on 400, I kept uncovered to brown.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 to 1-1/4 pounds medium sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (can leave tails on), thaw if frozen
Pinch of salt, more to taste
Pinch black pepper, more to taste
3 ounces feta cheese (about 2/3 cup, crumbled)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet on medium high heat.  Add the onions and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the juices thicken a bit.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Place pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Serve with crusty French or Italian loaf bread, pasta, or rice.

*I omitted the dill because I didn't have any in the cabinet.  Also, served on top of pasta.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stove Top Pork Chops with Gravy

I served the chops with brussel sprouts and rice, to use up the gravy from the chops. 

Stove Top Pork Chops with Gravy

Garlic powder
Dried basil
2 boneless pork chops (I used thick cut chops that were about 1 inch thick)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk

Hot cooked rice

Sprinkle pork chops with garlic powder, paprika, and basil.  Heat the oil in skillet.  Cook chops 10 minutes or until browned.  Add onion and cook until browned and slightly tender.  Mix soup and milk and add to skillet.  Cover and cook over low heat until chops are done, flipping throughout (amount of time will depend on thickness of chops).  Serve with rice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Whole Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Whole Chicken with Potatoes and Onions

Whole Chicken
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Black pepper
One lemon, cut in half
Garlic cloves, whole (I used about 10)
5-6 russet potatoes, washed and diced
2 onions, diced
Splash of chicken stock

In the bottom of the crockpot, place diced potatoes and onions, sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Add a splash of chicken stock.  Rub the chicken with olive oil.  Mix all the seasonings and generously spread under the skin and on top of the skin of the chicken.  Tuck garlic cloves and lemon in the inside of the chicken.  Place chicken on top of potatoes and onions.  Turn on crockpot for 4 hours on High.
I served this with buttered broccoli.