Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Broccoli Bacon Quiche


I posted this recipe last year, but didn't include a photo. It turned out so gorgeous I thought it was worth a rerun.
This recipe is very adjustable to use whatever is on hand. I had some white mushrooms so I sliced them thin and added them with the onions and garlic.

Ingredients:


3-4 strips of bacon
2 tbsp. Butter
1 Onion, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
2 cups Chopped Fresh Broccoli
1 (9 inch) Unbaked Pie Crust
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 Eggs, well beaten
3/4 cups Milk
3/4 cup Half and Half
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Fry bacon and allow to cool.  Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan (or use bacon grease) Add onions, mushrooms, garlic and broccoli. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Spoon vegetables into crust, break up bacon into small pieces and sprinkle over vegetables and then sprinkle with cheese. . Combine eggs, half and half and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over vegetables, bacon and cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until center has set.

*You could chop the broccoli finer, but I like leaving it in larger chunks so you can really tell what is in the dish.  I made it tonight for dinner and we are having leftovers tomorrow for breakfast.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I love pumpkin pie; definitely one of my favorites. If memory serves it is also the first pie I ever made. Lucky for me it was successful.

I found the recipe in my trusty old Betty Crocker cookbook and I have never deviated from it.

Ingredients:

9 inch unbaked pie crust
2 Eggs
¾ cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Ground Ginger
⅛ tsp. Ground Cloves
1 Can (15 Oz) Pumpkin
1 Can (12 Oz) Evaporated Milk

Directions:

Pre-Heat Oven to 425 degrees

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in all remaining filling ingredients until well blended. 

Pour filling into pie plate. Bake 15 minutes.   

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake about 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 4 hours or until chilled. Store in refrigerator.

*The hardest part of making this pie is getting the filling into the crust instead of the bottom of your oven. Pour half the filling into the crust. Pull the rack out the oven and carefully set the pie on it. Pour the remaining filling into the crust. ( A measuring cup works very well.)  Then very carefully push the rack into the oven.
Serve with whipped cream. This is essential. No pumpkin pie without whipped cream. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chicken Stew with Biscuits


The snow came last weekend and the cold arrives this weekend. Winter is coming. Yay. :P

It does make me want to turn on the oven and make dinners like chicken pot pie, meatloaf, lasagna and beef stew. I saw this a while ago on the Food Network website listed under one of Ina Garten's most popular recipes. EVERYTHING from Ina is great, so I knew this had to be wonderful. I was not disappointed.
Adapted slightly from this original.

Ingredients:

3 Whole (6 Split) Chicken Breasts, bone in, skin on
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
5 cups Chicken Stock, preferably homemade
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
12 Tbsp (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter
2 cups Chopped Yellow Onions (2 Onions)
¾ cup Flour
¼ cup Heavy Cream
2 cups Medium-Diced Carrots (4 Carrots)
1 10-ounce Package Frozen Peas (2 Cups)
½ cup Minced Fresh Parsley

For The Biscuits:

2 cups Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) Cold Unsalted Butter, diced
¾ cup Half-And-Half
½ cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 Egg Mixed With 1 Tablespoon Water, for egg wash

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions and carrots over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, peas and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to ⅜-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 ½-inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

*I made about half of this recipe; starting with two chicken breasts. It sounds complicated with lots of ingredients and long instructions, but it really isn't difficult. The stew has a few steps, but it's not hard and thickens beautifully. Making the biscuits was easy in the stand mixer. Be very generous with the flour as the dough is sticky, but with that tip in mind rolling out the dough wasn't difficult.
This recipe is lick-the-plate-clean good. You savor every bite.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Calico Beans



Some people call them Chuck Wagon Beans. I have also heard Cowboy Beans. Whichever name you prefer it means several kinds of beans, meat and a sweet tangy sauce.

Speaking of beans.....


I had a can of Bush's Grillin' Beans left over from grilling season. Since winter has all but officially started thanks to a major storm last weekend it wouldn't be grillin' season again for a while. So the grillin' beans found their way into the crock pot.
Great Northern beans would also work in this recipe, but I really like the Butter Beans. With their white color and larger size they are a nice contrast to the baked and kidney beans.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb of ground beef - I use lean
4-5 slices of bacon
1 onion
1 can baked beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can butter beans
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Fry bacon until crispy, drain on paper towel and cut into small pieces. Add hamburger to frying pan. Chop onion and add to hamburger and cook until hamburger is browned and onion is soft. Combine all ingredients. Place in casserole dish or crock pot.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour or put in crock pot for a least 3 hours on low.

I can't vouch for the oven baking method as I have always used the slow cooker for this recipe. The flavors melt together beautifully and the kitchen smells fabulous.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries


I follow a lot of wonderful food blogs. They are a great source of tried-and true recipes that people love and want to share. Occasionally I see a recipe that I know I must try immediately if not sooner.

This was one of them. Found on Simply Recipes

I first had sweet potato fries at a local restaurant years ago and got addicted. They were great by themselves but made extra good with a chipotle mayo dipping sauce.  Sadly the place is no longer in business. I have had sweet potato fries a few times since, but I must say, the original place made the best.

Husband doesn't care for them. When I told them I would be making them he said he wouldn't be partaking. Fine. More for me!

So I bought myself one big sweet potato and set out to try it. I wondered how to spice it and decided on salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice, Cajun seasonings and a bit of Spanish Paprika. The pumpkin pie spice sounded interesting, but I wanted more savory than sweet.

Ingredients:

2 pounds Sweet Potatoes, about 3 large ones
¼ cup Olive Or Other Vegetable Oil
1-2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Salt
1-2 Tbsp Spice Or Spice Combination Of Your Choice: Chipotle Powder, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, Cajun seasoning, etc.

Directions:

1 Preheat oven to 450°F.

2 Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges.

3 Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Use your hands to mix well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices.

4 Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan. I also used a non stick pan.

5 Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Since I made sweet potato fries I had to have some Chipotle mayo dipping sauce. I had some bottled Chipotle mayo and mixed it with a little sour cream. It did the trick and satisfied my craving for a while.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pasta with Spinach, Mascarpone And Parmesan


This is really good. I can say this for certain as I have eaten it twice in the last 24 hours. Last night I served it with broiled shrimp, which was terrific. But I forgot to get a photo. Today I made it again for myself for lunch, but without the shrimp. Delicious.
Adapted from this Jamie Oliver recipe. His version doesn't have the mushrooms or shrimp.

Ingredients:

1 pound Fettuccine Or Spaghetti
Olive Oil
2 tsp Butter
2 cloves Of Garlic, peeled and sliced
Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
14 ounces Fresh Spinach, washed thoroughly and finely sliced
Sea Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 fluid ounces whipping Cream
5 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
2 Handfuls Of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile get a frying pan or wok warm, add a drizzle of olive oil, the butter, and add the mushrooms. When the mushrooms have cooked down add the garlic, then add the spinach. After a few minutes it will have wilted down and will be nice and dark. A lot of the liquid will have cooked away and you'll have wonderful intensely flavored spinach. At this point season with salt and pepper until it tastes good, then add the cream, mascarpone and a little ladle of cooking water from the pasta. Let this come to a simmer and then season again.

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, then stir it into the spinach sauce. Add the Parmesan and toss everything together. Loosen to a nice silky consistency with some of the reserved cooking water, so it doesn't become too claggy. Check once more for seasoning and serve straight away.

Claggy. I like that word. :)
 I adjusted the ingredients and directions to reflect how I made the dish but I had to leave claggy. Which mine wasn't....it was awesome.