Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Steak Salad With Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing

Bleu Cheese and/or Gorgonzola Cheese Dressing

(3) 4-oz packages of bleu cheese or Gorgonzola cheese dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 tbsp prepared horseradish sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion

In a blender, add all ingredients except (2) packages of the crumbled cheese. Blend until everything is incorporated. Pour into a container that has a lid. Add the remaining cheese and mix well. Refrigerate over night.

Chicken Penne

Chicken Penne

1/2 box of penne pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1 package of sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 shallot, diced
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus some to sprinkle on top of finished dish

In skillet, bring 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 cooking wine to a boil. Add chicken breast and cook in liquid about 10 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove chicken so it can cool slightly. In the same skillet, add shallot and mushrooms and let them cook down in the liquid, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and cook until al dente. Add the peas to the skillet and let them cook in the liquid. Shred the chicken. In the skillet, add the tomato paste, cornstarch, basil, and remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock and mix well. Add the chicken back in and incorporate all ingredients. Mix with pasta. Add 1/2 cup of cheese and mix, then sprinkle some additional cheese on top of the finished dish.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taco Pizza

Two words - 1) Easy. 2) Tasty.

Taco Pizza

1 tube refrigerated pizza crust
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can (16 oz) fat-free refried beans
1-1/2 cups shredded blended cheese
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 bag of shredded lettuce
1 cup of baked tortilla chips, crushed

Unroll crust on a baking pan coated with cooking spray. Slightly build up edges. Bake at 425 degree until edges are lightly browned. In large nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add in water and taco seasoning. Stir in refried beans until blended. Spread meat mixture over crust and top with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted. Top with tomatoes, lettuce, and chips.

Chicken And Broccoli With Pasta

Chicken And Broccoli With Pasta

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
broccoli, cooked
5 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups Havarti cheese, shredded

Boil broccoli under tender. Dice chicken into bite size pieces. Remove broccoli and set to the side. Cook pasta 8-10 minutes until al dente. Over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add garlic, crushed pepper, and chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Add broccoli back in and sautee until broccoli is warmed through. On top of pasta, add chicken broccoli mixture and top with Havarti cheese.

Beer Battered Flounder Nuggets

Beer Battered Flounder Nuggets

3 medium-large flounder fillets, cut into bit size pieces
1 can of beer
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika

Mix one can of beer with the flour, salt, and paprika. Mix the flounder nuggets, in batches, until well coated. Drop into hot fryer and cook until golden and crispy.

I served these with mashed potatoes and corn.

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip
Recipe courtesy of Linda Torborg

10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
16 ounces sour cream
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 package of Knorr dry vegetable soup mix
1 small can of water chestnuts, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate the day before you plan to serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

1 lb ziti pasta, cooked al dente
1 lb HOT Italian sausage, cooked and chopped
1 package of button mushrooms, sliced
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
2 tbsp parsley
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (28 oz) jar pasta sauce

Cook ziti according to package directions, drain, and set aside. Mix ricotta, egg, parsley, 2 cups mozzarella, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Mix cooked sausage and pasta in ricotta mixture. Mix in 3/4 jar of sauce. Transfer to casserole dishes. Top with the rest of the sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. If freezing, prepare and freeze before baking. Thaw out and bake according to directions.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tyler Florence Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Chicken Noodle Soup

Grilled Cheese (Smoked Mozzarella and Basil Pesto)
Tyler Florence, Stirring the Pot

Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Prmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

4 slices white sandwich bread
4 thick-cup slices smoked mozzarella
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled

For the Basil Pesto, in a food processor combine basil, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and oil and pulse until well combined but still rough in texture.

Assemble sandwiches by smearing one side of each bread slice with pesto. Layer the mozzarella slices over the pesto on half of the bread slices. Season with few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Place the remaining bread slices, pesto sides down, over cheese to make the sandwiches.

In large saute pan melt butter over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from pan and rub toasted bread with the garlic clove.

**Heather's changes - My store did not have smoked mozzarella so I used regular mozzarella cheese. I also substituted Parmesan for the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, found at http://www.foodtv.com/

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 fresh thyme springs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock (recipe for his homemade stock also available online)
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

*Heather's change - I omitted the 4 springs of thyme.

Garlicky Chicken Cushions w/ Pasta

Garlicky Chicken Cushions with Pasta

6 chicken leg quarters
~10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
6 tbsp chicken stock
~1 cup stuffed olives, sliced
freshly cooked pasta, to serve

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make a slit between the skin and meat on each chicken piece. Lift the skin to form a pocket, being careful to lave the skin attached to the other side.

Place the spinach in a stainer and press out the water with a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ricotta and half the garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the spinach mixture under the skin of each chicken piece, then secure the edge of the sin with toothpicks (if needed).

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onion, and fry for 1 minute, stirring. Add the remaining garlic and red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, olives, and seasoning.

Bring the sauce to a boil, pour into a large casserole, and arrange the chicken on top in a single layer.

Cook, uncovered, in the preheated over for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and tender and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of meat. Spoon a little of the sauce over the chicken, then transfer to serving plates and serve with freshly cooked pasta.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Blue
Recipe courtesy of Christy Stafford

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 pieces of bacon
4 slices of cooked, smoked, or honey ham
4 slices of Swiss cheese
1 package of cream cheese, divided into 4 sections
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Pound out the chicken so it is thin and will be easy to roll. On chicken breast, lay one piece of ham, a slice of Swiss cheese and 1/4 of the cream cheese. Roll up and wrap one piece of bacon around the chicken, securing with toothpicks if necessary. Do the same with remaining chicken. Lay in a deep dish casserole and mix cream of mushroom soup with a little water and pour over/around the chicken. (It's at this point I refrigerate until I'm ready to cook.) Cook, covered, on 350 until chicken cooked through and sauce is bubbling. Uncover and broil 5 minutes or until bacon is kind of crisp on top.

*The ham will turn the chicken slightly pink where the two touch, so if you know the chicken is cooked through, don't worry if you see this pink color.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tyler Florence - The Ultimate Potato Gratin

The Ultimate Potato Gratin
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

1 head savoy cabbage, cored, cleaned, and shredded
1 (2-inch) piece slab bacon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the gratin dish
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped to 1/4 cup
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds baking potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8 inch), see cook's note*
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Finely shred the cabbage. Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch chunks. Place a small skillet over medium-low heat and fry the bacon, until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to bacon fat in frying pan. When it has melted add 1/2 the garlic and give it a quick stir with a wooden spoon to soften. Add the cabbage and coat it with the butter. Slowly let it wilt. Add the bacon. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and add most of the chives, reserving a little for the garnish.

Generously butter the bottom and sides of an ovenproof casserole dish.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 1-1/2 cups of cream, 1 cup of Parmesan, and the remaining garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using your hands, place a layer of potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and repeat with 2 more layers. Spoon the cabbage mixture on top and spread it out evenly over the potatoes. Top it off with 2 more layers of potato and Parmesan. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream over the dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and back for 30 minutes until golden brown. Leave for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chives.

*Cook's Note: Slice the potatoes immediately before using so they don't turn brown.

***Heather's changes - I bought a bag of cabbage already shredded, I sliced several potatoes until I cut myself (not sure it was a full 2 lbs), I used 2 cups whipping cream and 1/2 cup heavy cream, I used extra cheese (1 to 1-1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese and 2 cups of my expensive cheese from last week's recipe - Parmigiano-Reggiano)***

Crisp Meat Burritos

Crisp Meat Burritos

Flour tortillas
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning packet
shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and drain grease. Mix with taco seasoning packet and add just enough water to blend well, but not have too much extra juice in the pan. Cut the edges off the tortilla to make square. Heat deep fryer to around 350 degrees. Spoon meat mixture on tortilla with some cheese (your descretion of the amount). Roll tightly and secure edge with wooden toothpicks. Cook in batches until golden brown. Drain well. Serve with sour cream and side dishes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Buffalo Shrimp and Onion Petals

Buffalo Shrimp

2 lb bag of medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
minced garlic
Moore's Buffalo Wing Sauce (medium)

Saute shrimp in butter with minced garlic until it turns pink and is cooked. Toss in wing sauce. If you have a lot of butter, drain before tossing with sauce. Serve on top of lettuce with blue cheese dressing.

Onion Petals

1 large sweet valdia onion
egg wash (eggs mixed with milk)
bread crumbs

Dice valdia onion in chunks. Overnight, soak in fridge in water (you can omit this step, though they will not be as tender). Coat onion pieces in flour, dredge in egg wash, and toss with bread crumbs. Deep fry in batches until golden (about 2 minutes if your oil is around 350 degrees).