Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oriental Chicken Skillet

I found this recipe in my "stash" of recipes; the date I printed it was January 16, 2009. Funny that it's almost 2 years later that I finally got around to fixing it. It's a Campbell's Kitchen recipe and pretty tasty too!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ready in 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
That's not what I loved about it but let me tell you, as hectic as things are around here - I love the simple prep & cook time!!

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Tyson always is best around here!)
1 (10.75 oz) can Campbell's cream of chicken soup (regular or 98% fat free)
1/3 c water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen cut green beans
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
Hot cooked rice

1) Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken & cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides.

2) Stir the soup, water, soy sauce, ginger, beans & onions into the skillet. Heat to boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover & cook 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.

I didn't use frozen cut green beans nor did I add it too the "skillet" but rather I opened a can of green beans and served as a side. Along with new potatoes. I also chopped my green onions rather than cutting them into 1 inch pieces. And, I added shrimp along with my chicken and it was SO tasty!!

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grilling Part 2 - Hobo Supper

Here's the recipe I was given some time ago & suggested that Larry cook some time while he's on the road...

1 pound ground beef
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into steak fries
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
garlic salt to taste

Preheat grill.

Shape the ground beef into patties, make a little well in the middle and place on aluminum foil. Layer the vegetables on top , starting with the potatoes, then carrots and finally onion rings. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.
Cover with aluminum foil and seal edges. Bake on grill for 1 hour, or to desired doneness.

You can add seasoning salt, beef broth or even Worcestershire sauce for additional flavor. In the picture above, Larry took a short-cut and bought the little can of corn & carrots then diced the potatoes so that it wouldn't take near as long to cook. He said it was awesome!

Grilling Part 1 - Chocolate Banana Boats

Some know, others may not but Larry travels quite a bit. His travelling slowed down at one point but lately it's picked up again. When he's on the road, he typically eats out every meal but when he's home he wants me to cook. Eating out = burn out so he purchased him a little gas grill the other day and has been cooking out...on the tailgate of his the motel parking lot! (Yes, he stays in motels!)

He was so proud of his grill that he just had to cook on it for me. Well, I hated to tell him but it didn't do anything for me. The steak was tough and dry. So he bought a "grilling" magazine and read all kinds of stuff online and after several attempts...he finally did it! I thought he did an awesome job on this T-bone! Matter of fact, I cut it with my fork!!! It was so good and I was so proud of him! He told me one night, I want to cook you something that's worthy of being posted on your food blog! I couldn't help but LAUGH OUT LOUD!!! He doesn't even read my blog but he knows it's something I enjoy!

Anyway, he had to go back to MS this week and already has fired up the grill. Here's what he's grilled so far...ENJOY!

Chocolate Banana Boats
2 -4 ripe bananas
Hershey Bar (or semi sweet chocolate chips - about 2 oz)
2 ounces miniature marshmallows, optional
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat barbecue Grill.
Using a sharp knife, make a slit along most of the length of the unpeeled banana skin and almost through the bananas.
Push chocolate chips and marshmallows (if using) into the slits; push the banana skins closed.
Wrap each banana tightly in aluminum foil. (He didn't wrap them in aluminum foil!)
Place the banana packets on the grill rack and cook for 10 minutes, turning the packets after 5 minutes. Remove from the grill.
Carefully open the banana packets (if wrapped in aluminum foil) and remove the cooked bananas from the aluminum foil.NOTE: You can serve in the aluminum foil.
If desired, serve with either whipped cream or ice cream. Serve with a teaspoon, to scoop out the cooked banana flesh covered in melted chocolate.
Make 4 servings.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cake Balls- Updated

After posting on my other blog about making cake balls & receiving requests for the recipe, I decided to go ahead with the post. So, here they are.

Now I love - she's a FANCY cake ball making gal! Mine are not so fancy but OH SO DELISH!!

You will need 3 things for cake balls: cake, frosting & coating. Here are some ideas:
- Devil's food cake with fudge icing & dark-chocolate coating
- Yellow cake mix with buttercream frosting & orange-flavored vanilla coating with green & black accents
- White cake with white frosting mixed with orange & yellow sprinkles and chocolate coating
- German chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing and milk-chocolate or light cocoa flavored coating
- Spice or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla coating
- Lemon cake with lemon frosting and vanilla coating
- Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and mint flavored coating tinted green.
- Strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and chocolate coating
- Carrot cake balls with cream cheese frosting and chocoate coating
- Red Velvet cake balls with cream cheese icing and vanilla coating
- White Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix with white frosting & vanilla coating. Decorate with sprinkles, etc...
Thought about this after I posted - take a bag of Oreos, crumble them up, add a block of cream cheese and mix well. Roll into balls, freeze them & then dip them into vanilla coating! OH YUMMY!!

Basic cake balls
1 (18.25 oz) boxed cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
1 (16 oz) can prepared frosting
Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating

Bake the cake according to package instructions. While warm, crumble the cake into a bowl with a hand mixer to a fine texture. Mix in frosting to make a paste, using 3/4 to a full can of frosting, according to taste. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.

Using a melon baller or your hands, form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on wax paper; freee for at least 6 hours. (Below is what you'll get...)

Working in small batches, remove balls from the freezer & dip them into warm, melted Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating, using toothpicks or forks to manipulate the balls. Remove balls & place on wax paper to harden.

Makes about 30 cake balls.

Almond Bark Coating: In a double boiler, melt one (20-oz) package vanilla or chocolate flavored almond bark, stirring constantly. Or, in a tall, narrow container, microwave almond bark for 45 seconds on High (100% power). Continue to heat in 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until melted. Be careful not to scorch.

When almond bark is melted, stir in 1 tsp vegetable oil. If desired, stir in oil-based coloring drop by drop until you achieve the desired color.

Confectionery Wafter Coating: Melt 48 oz confectionery wafers in a double boiler or microwave oven per instructions for Almond Bark Coating. Omit oil. If desired, stir in oil-based coloring drop by drop until you achieve the desired color.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream 8 oz cream cheese & 4 Tbsp softened butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy and smooth. Add 1 Tbsp vanilla extract & 1 c powdered sugar; beat at high until creamy.

Cake Ball Tips
Chill the cake & frosting mixture well - at least 2 hours before you shape into balls. Freeze at least 6 hours before dipping. However, before dipping, make sure cake balls aren't frozen solid because after being dipped, the coating has a tendency to crack when drying. Pre-dipped cake balls can be kept frozen for weeks.

To form ball, use a melon scoop for uniform size. Small balls are easier to eat!!!

For decoration, fill a narrow-tip plastic squeeze bottle with contrasting color of melted coating & paint stripes over the balls or sprinkel on rainbow sprinkles, sparkling sugar or chopped nuts.

Use your imagination and have fun! These are SO good!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Blackberry Cobbler

I know the recipe & the picture do not match. What you're looking at is a Blackberry Pie rather than a cobbler but I'm going to list the recipe I have for a Blackberry Cobbler! (Hope that made sense!) You see, I got some fresh blackberries the other day at work, came home, whipped this "pie" up and realized after it was done ..... I was supposed to make a cobbler! Oh I hate when that happens. I will say that I followed the instructions pretty much for the cobbler except that I put a pie crust on top instead of the one listed below. AND.....there weren't any complaints - it was pretty much all gone by 9:00!

3/4 c sugar
2 c plus 1 Tbsp self rising flour
12 oz fresh (or frozen) blackberries ...about 3 cups
4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces & chilled
2/3 c milk
Vanilla Ice Cream - for serving

Preheat oven to 450. Grease an 8 in square baking dish. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 Tbsp flour, berries & 1 c water. Bring to a boil, lower heat & simmer 2 minutes then remove from heat. (I added a shake or two of poppyseeds to mine & a little dab of nutmeg!)

In a medium bowl, rub the butter into the remaining 2 c flour. Stir in the milk until a soft dough forms. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat into a square then roll into an 8-inch sqare, cute into 6 long strips.

Pour 1 c of the berry mixture into pan. Arrange 3 dough strips an equal distance apart over the blackberry mix. Bake until golden brown - about 12 minutes - remove from oven & pour the remaining berry mixture over the baked strips. Arrange another layer of dough strips perpendicular to the first row & bake until golden brown - about 12 minutes more. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

If you use frozen blackberries, add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice to the fimmered filling.

Now, go get a toothpick so you can get all those seeds out of your teeth! (HA!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blueberry & Pear Pie

A group of ladies at work purchased some fresh blueberries and one made a comment to me about taking them and making her a pie. So, I brought them home and did just that.

I made a crust and then followed the below to assemble the pie.

6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
Roll dough out & fit it over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Put into the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. (As you can see from the picture, I cut the dough into little flowers & placed on top!) Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.
Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.
Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash. Score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking). Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over.

Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.
Makes 8 servings.

The reason the title is Blueberry & Pear Pie is because I didn't have enough blueberries so I added equal amounts of Pears. There were several who made it clear they did not like pears but loved the pie! I think the pears pulled the tanginess out of the blueberries and the blueberries added flavor to the pears! Super combination!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Possum Cream Pie

Also known as....4 Layer Delight! At this same little restaurant we ate at last week, they served up Possum Cream Pie! One look at it and I knew it was what we always called 4 layer delight and I've made it tons of times.
I decided since I was making the Pig Picken' Cake (see below) that I'd make this as well to take to work and share with my co-workers. One other time when I made this, I used coconut pudding so it was like a coconut cream pie! I think you can make it any flavor and it'd be just as good!

c. flour
1 stick butter
1 lg. container Cool Whip
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
2 tsp. vanilla
Grated chocolate
1 lg. pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 lg. pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese

CRUST: Mix flour, 1 cup chopped pecans and butter. Press in bottom of an 8x13 inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool crust completely.

Layer 1: Mix cream cheese, 1/2 cup Cool Whip and 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread evenly over crust.
Layer 2 & 3: Mix puddings separately according to directions using a little less milk so pudding will set thicker. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla to vanilla pudding. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar to each pudding. Gently spread each bowl of pudding over cream cheese filling.
Layer 4: Spread remaining Cool Whip over pudding. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans and grated chocolate on top.
Refrigerate long enough for pudding to set.

Pig Picken' Cake

Last week, a co-worker and I ate at a local restaurant we'd heard good reviews on. It was a little out of our way but the food was good. They serve Fried Green Tomatoes and that was the reason I was going!!! We'd heard about this Pig Picken' Cake so of course, we had to give it a try. One bite and I knew I could duplicate it! So, after work, I went by the store and came home to put together my version.
It goes a little something like this...

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges
4 eggs
1/2 c oil

Mix cake mix, oranges (with juice), eggs & oil with an electric mixer until oranges are "blended" and better is fluffy. Divide evenly into 3 round cake pans & bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins. Cool.

1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (8 or 9 oz) container of Cool Whip
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix

Blend pineapple (with juice), Cool Whip & dry pudding mix until well blended. When cake is cooled, ice between layers, sides & top of cake. Keep cake refrigerated.

After I made this, I thought it sure would be good to sprinkle coconut & pecans on top & maybe even decorate with mandarin oranges!


Monday, June 7, 2010

That Sauce

I am hesitant on calling it a seafood sauce or maybe it should be just a cream sauce...for now, I'll call it...That Sauce. It is a very versatile sauce can be coupled with just about anything. The original sauce calls for crabmeat with rockfish or striped bass fillets. Well, I used crawfish tails and combined it with pork chops. I think it would be good to use shrimp (or crabmeat or scallops) on top of steaks!
I served corn on the cob, twice-baked mashed potatoes and Hawaiian rolls. I think the side items will vary depending on your meat choice. We ended up dipping our rolls in the sauce and even placing it over our potatoes. I think the fish would be awesome served over rice with this sauce. Endless possibilities!!!
The original recipe calls for 1 ½ lbs rockfish or striped bass fillets but I used 8 center cut pork chops and there was PLENTY of sauce! I prepared the pork chops by coating them with flour that I seasoned with “Slap Ya Momma” Cajun seasoning, Garlic pepper & Cayenne pepper.

On to the sauce…
2 ½ tsps McCormick Old Bay with Garlic & Herb Seasoning, divided. (I omitted this since I had seasoned my flour)
3 Tbsp butter, divided (I used butter flavored Crisco)
2 Tbsp white wine (I used white wine cooking sauce)
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 c heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used horseradish Dijon mustard)
8 oz backfin or lump crabmeat (I used crawfish tail – can be purchased in the frozen section at Wal-Mart with the other frozen seafood items) & I added some Cajun seasoning to the tails

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat 3 minutes. (I used my electric skillet) Melt 2 Tbsp butter in skillet. Place pork-chop or fish in skillet. Cook until both sides are browned and when meat is done, remove from skillet; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium.

Stir wine into skillet, scraping bottom to loosen browned bits. Add remaining butter and green onions; cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in cream. (Because I used butter flavored Crisco, there was not a need for me to add more butter.)

Stir in mustard and remaining Old Bay with Garlic & Herb Seasoning. (Again, I omitted this step since my pork chops & crawfish meat was seasoned) Simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in crabmeat (or crawfish, shrimp, scallops, etc…). The original recipe suggests to return the “fish” back to the skillet & cook 3 minutes longer until fish flakes easily with a fork. Because I used pork chops, I cooked the sauce about 3 minutes after I added my crawfish and then used a ladle to top my pork chops on the holding platter!

In case you are wondering about the potatoes… I used the bagged potatoes that you stick in the microwave for 10 minutes and added a little cream cheese, green onions, garlic & shredded cheese and done! Talk about DELISH!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Poppyseed Chicken

I've always heard of Poppyseed Chicken but have never had it. So, I went out looking for the recipe just so I could see what the hype was all about. Basically, it's the same recipe no matter where you search - just a few variances. Here's my version!

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts - boiled & cut into bite size pieces
- I used boneless skinless tenders because that's what I had. One of the recipes I found used canned whatever works for you!)
2 cans - Cream of Chicken soup
- I saw some recipes called for cream of mushroom but since I don't do mushrooms, I stuck with cream of chicken!
1 16 oz container - sour cream
2 Tbsp Poppyseeds
1 sleeve (give or take) Ritz crackers - crushed
- I used the Roasted Vegatable Ritz crackers because well, I AM ADDICTED TO THEM and because I have more than 3 boxes of them in my pantry!
1 stick of butter

Mix together sour cream, soup, poppyseeds & chicken. Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish & cover with Ritz crackers. Melt butter and pour on top. Bake 20-30 minutes on 350.
Serve over rice or egg noodles! I combined my egg noodles with the chicken and baked it. Only because I made this for my friend who had the baby and was trying to limit the containers I carried to her house.

Add-on-options: slivered almonds, shredded cheese & green onions
Do you have a favorite Poppyseed Chicken recipe that you follow?

Green Bean Un-Bundles

I made dinner for one of my friends that just had a little baby and thought I'd make Green Bean Bundles. When Presley was born, a lady brought these to us and we loved them. Well, I unfortunately didn't have time to "bundle" the green beans due to my limited time so I'm going to call them Green Bean Un-Bundles! But I'll give you the receipe as if they were bundled.

2 cans whole green beans
1 stick butter (uh huh - the whole stick!)
1/2 lb bacon - cut in halves
1/2 c brown sugar (or more depending on how sweet you like your beans)
1 tsp garlic salt (I used garlic powder; figured there'd be enough salt in the bacon!)

Take 3 or 4 green beans & wrap with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick & place in pan. Mix together butter, brown sugar & garlic salt/powder & pour over bundles. Cook on 350 until bacon is done.

They are good...really good!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was brought by one of our PTA members for a luncheon we had for the staff during Parent/Teacher conferences. Matter of fact, it was my last luncheon for Asbell's staff. Was a sad day for me for two reasons - 1) because I have gotten to know and enjoy this group of teachers and 2) means it's my kids' last year in elementary school!!

On to the recipe....this salad was a huge hit so I had to get my hands on the recipe. I made it for our potluck at church on Sunday and again, huge hit!

1 lb box - bow tie pasta
1 pkg fresh baby spinach, stemmed
1 can black olives (whole or sliced)
1 can quarted artichokes, drained & chopped
1 avacado, chopped
grape tomatoes, halved
1 (4 oz) pkg feta cheese
1 bottle Girard's Romano Cheese dressing

Cook pasta, drain & toss with 1/2 bottle of dressing. (This can be done a day ahead) Refrigerate. Before serving, add vegetables & remaining salad dressing. Top with feta cheese.

NOTE: You're supposed to use Girard's Romano Cheese dressing and apparently the only place in NWA that carries this dressing is at Marvin's IGA on College/near Dickson because the manager special orders it. I used Girard's Italian dressing for my potluck and it turned out equally as good.

I also added:

1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, black pepper & red crushed peppers, to taste
1/2 thinly sliced red onion

I know you'll enjoy!!!

Sue & Gloria's Baked Beans

I found this recipe for Baked Beans in Paula Deen's recipes. It makes a lot so you might want to half the recipe if you're just making them at home for supper.

4 (16 oz) cans - baked beans (I use Pork & Beans and pick out the little fatty stuff!)
1 (20 oz) can - crushed pineapple; drained
1 c Molasses
1 c BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp yellow or brown mustard
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 (6 oz) can french-fried onions; crushed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine beans, pineapple, molasses, BBQ sauce, mustard, 1/2 bacon & 1/3 of the onions. Add salt & pepper to taste. Pour beans into 9x13 casserole dish & sprinkle with remaining onions & bacon. Cook in oven for 1 hour or until beans brown & bubble. Serve warm.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Divinity Salad

Larry loves Divinity! Every Christmas his mother gives him Divinity as a gift...that's how much he loves it! I've always wondered and still do...can you only get divinity during Christmas?

Anyway, I found this recipe and made it for him the other night! It's supposed to "set-up" overnight in the refrigerator but one bowl of it never even made it past the refrigerator door!

1 pkg. cream cheese
1 can sweetend Condensed milk
2 cups chopped pecans
1 large container cool whip
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
Mix together well cream cheese, milk, cool whip, and then fold in pineapple and pecans.
Let sit overnight!

Mozzarella Cheese Dip

I've been reading recipes lately trying to come up with different menu items & ran across Mother's Mozzarella Cheese Dip recipe. I can remember Mother making this recipe for the 1st time and telling me all the raves she got over it. This recipe card is a treasure to me because it's in her handwriting!!! Yes, I treasure anything & everything I have that's in her writing! Matter of fact, I found several of her recipe cards just like this that I will always treasure!

I used a combination of Mozzarella & Cheddar cheese to make up 5 cups. Mayo is mayonnaise not Miracle Whip! That's 1 tsp of Accent, 2 tsp of minced onion & 1 Tbsp minced parsley flakes...incase you needed that spelled out! Oh and I think it's much better if it's made the day before!

You can also add any or all of the following: dash of black pepper; dash of seasoning salt; 1 tsp Parmesan cheese and/or dash of garlic.

Serve with Fritos, any cracker, spread on sandwiches or with raw veggies!

This stuff is sinfully good & addicting! The picture doesn't do it justice! We had potluck at work so I took a picture of it after I got it to work since I didn't get one after I made it at home.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Peach Pie

Not long ago, I asked my Mamaw how to make fried peach pies. I want to be able to carry down the tradition of making her pies. She doesn't remember how to do much else, but surprisingly, she was able to walk me through how to make her pies. It took a little coaxing but I got it!

When I got home, I decided to make a large peach pie than the individual pies and it was so very good.

I just took my crust (store bought, even though I have her homemade recipe) and spread it over my pie dish. I took a large can of peaches, (drained) & added about 1/4 c sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg and then spread them out over my crust. I took another crust & spread it over the peaches & poked holes in it to let the steam out. I baked it for about 30-45 mins (or when crust was golden brown) on 325 degrees.

When I removed it from the oven, I spread some cream cheese icing over the top and just let it set. Oh it was good....real good!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ziplock Omelets

I've heard about them for years but have never given them a try until this past weekend. They are really easy to make and really good!

I used sandwich size Ziplock bags, added each girls initial with a Sharpie & added 2 eggs to each bag. I let them choose from shredded cheese, sliced/chopped turkey (lunchmeat), chopped onions & little tiny pepperoni. But the choices are you know!

Push all of the air out of the bag & seal up. Massage the mixture to combine & drop into a large pot of boiling water. The directions I had said to remove from water after 5 minutes but that wasn't long enough so I ended up leaving ours in for more like 15 minutes.

Remove from bag onto plate. Salt & pepper as desired. Top with salsa, chili or whatever you choose at this point!
I served ours with biscuits, hashbrown patty & sausage links.

I love quick & easy recipes like these. Do you have any you'd be willing to share?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Jalapeno Garlic Tilapia

(Portion sizes appear larger in picture!! Also, in this picture, I served with rice rather than over angel hair pasta as indicated below!)

This is one of Larry's favorite dishes from Johnny Carino's. So, when I stumbled upon the recipe, I thought I'd give it a shot. He loved it! Matter of fact, he wants me to make it for my father-in-law next time they come for a visit. I believe you can make this sauce to go over any type of fish, use with shrimp or just as a dip!!

2 (4 oz) tilapia filets
1/2 c flour
2 oz melted margarine
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 c diced jalepeno
1 c de-stemmed spinach, chopped
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 pinch garlic salt
4 oz heavy cream
1/4 c lemon butter*
5 oz angel hair pasta
1/8 c diced roma tomato
1 tsp fresh parsley

*Lemon Butter:
1 stick butter
1/4 c lemon juice
2 tsp garlic
Combine & refrigerate until ready to use.

Add margarine & garlic to medium temperature saute pan.
Dredge tilapia filets in flour & add to pan. Once tilapia has finished cooking on one side, flip them over and add jalapenos, spinach, salt, pepper & garlic salt.
In the meantime, prepare angel hair pasta.
As the filets begin to flake, add the heavy cream & bring to a slight boil.
Once the cream boils, remove pan from fire/heat and pour the lemon butter into the sauce.
Place the pasta on a plate, add a piece of fish & sauce on top.
Garnish with fresh roma tomato & parsley

I made Pioneer Woman's
Crash Hot Potatoes as a side item! Super yummy!!
You will not regret trying either of these recipes!

Chicken Parmigiana

In my quest to cook things outside of my comfort zone, I found the recipe for Rachael Ray's Chicken Parmigiana and naturally, it was awesome! I must admit though, I didn't follow her recipe completely. I used Prego's Roasted Garlic spaghetti sauce instead of making it from scratch (something Sandra Lee would do) and so it turned out "Semi-Homemade"!! (Wonder if I watch way too many Food Channel shows???)

1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/4 cup chopped parsley (about a handful)
2 tablespoons chopped oregano (about half a palmful)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 chicken breast cutlets, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus additional
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small, yellow-skinned onion, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand
1 cup chopped fresh basil (about 2 handfuls), plus additional for garnish
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat broiler.
Set up three dishes on your countertop: Fill one with the flour, one with the eggs, and the other with a mixture of the breadcrumbs, half the grated cheese, herbs, salt and pepper.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. While the pan is heating up, season the chicken cutlets with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and coat each one in the flour, then in the egg, and lastly in the cheesy breadcrumbs.
Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken cutlets until golden brown and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side depending on how thick they are. Cook them in two batches, transferring the cooked cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate while the others, adding more oil to the pan between batches if need be.
While the chicken is cooking, place a medium-size pot on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and chopped onion. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies have softened. Add the tomatoes and heat them through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the basil, then season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Layer the chicken with the sauce in a casserole dish. Top the casserole with the remaining grated Parmigiano and mozzarella. Brown the chicken parm casserole under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Garnish with some chopped basil before serving.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heart Healthy - Homemade Salsa

I'm joining Robin at Big Red Kitchen for National Wear Red Day Event... So, here's my Heart Healthy Recipe. I'll save this space for my recipe but check Life's Little Blessings for my (coming soon) post on the Heart!

4 large tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 green pepper, diced
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4.5 oz. can green chilis, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1 medium onion, diced
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Combine tomatoes, green pepper, chilies, onion, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Heat thoroughly on medium-high temperature for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool and add the cilantro. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cajun Saffron Rice

I hit the jackpot recently while attending services at Mineral Springs church of Christ in Mineral Springs. As most of you know, this was my Mother's church. It's an awesome place to worship - it's a place of help, hope & home. I love this place. Not only did they give Mother a new life but they let her be a servant for God which was her pride & joy of life. This is where I was baptized by our very close friend Mike Reese and where we held Mother's final celebration. I make sure I attend each time I'm home because I feel Mother's love & touch while I'm there. Oops...about the jackpot - it happened to be Potluck Sunday when I was visiting! YUMMY!!! Anyways, this was the first dish I came to & just had to make it for the whole family to enjoy.

2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces kielbasa, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (5 ounce) package saffron rice mix (I use Mahatma saffron yellow rice)
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium hight heat. Add the sausage and brown on both sides - about 5 minutes total. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Drain off the grease. Add the broth and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the shrimp, sprinkle with cajun seasoning, cover, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Season with salt and pepper

I served this with toasted/buttered whole-wheat Orowheat Sandwhich Thins as I felt that was plenty. I think a side salad might be good too! Let me mention, the white stuff you see in the picture is melted mozzarella cheese - I thought it was a wonderful addition. And the next time I make it, I'm going to add crawfish tails!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Funny thing...this is the ONLY picture I took! It's my chopped mushrooms, bamboo shoots (which was an add-in not listed below, onions & water chestnuts!

I finally got the ingredients to make Chicken Lettuce Wraps for Larry. He asked me for them weeks ago but for some reason, I had to get mentally prepared to make them. They were really good except that I felt like they weren't spicy enough for my tastebuds! As I'm writing out this post & reviewing the ingredients, I realize it's because I didn't follow the instructions very well! For the "special sauce" it calls for red chile paste and it just dawned on me...I didn't follow that step!!! I did add a lot more hot mustard to mine to compensate and would make them again! Next time, I would add either Chinese collophone noodles (cooked per pkg. directions) or chopped peanuts!

3 tablespoons oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c water chestnuts - minced to the size of corn kernals
2/3 cup mushrooms - minced to the size of corn kernals
3 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4-5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard
2 teaspoons water
1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.

Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done. Remove chicken from the pan and cool. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of corn kernals.

Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce"cups".

Top with"Special Sauce".

I'd really like to learn how to make Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls - if you have a recipe worth sharing, please do so!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

2nd week of menu items from the hubs. This week he asked for grilled chicken salad (done), chicken stir fry, deer meat & Cordon Bleu. (And he's still waiting on the spicy lettuce cups!) So, I ventured out on a misson to find the recipes to make these special request items. Sure, I could buy these little frozen Cordon Blue patties, bags of stir fry and bags of grilled chicken, but I sure have had a lot of fun cookin these requests all "semi-homemade"!! I was a little nervous about making Cordon Bleu but it was SO easy and did I mention....DELICIOUS!!!Sorry the picture is not all that good. As I was packing it up into my leftovers container, I realized I didn't get a picture. You know, sometimes, pictures do not do justice to the real deal!

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Tyson works best! Yes, I'm partial!)
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour (or more)
1 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c dry white wine or chicken broth
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 c heavy whipping cream
chopped basil, for garnish (optional)

1) Pound chicken breasts to 1/2 in thickness. Place a slice of cheese & slice of ham on each breast within 1/2 inch of the egde. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling and secure with a toothpick. Mix the flour & paprika in a small bowl & coat the chicken pieces.
2) Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine or chicken broth and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover & simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
3) Remove the toothpicks & transfer checken to a warm plate. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened and pour over the chicken. Serve warm!
I served this with green beans & cheese and spinach tortillini. I know it'd be so good with mashed potatoes too.