Monthly Archives: April 2014

Succotash

 

SuccotashI really love corn, but not really lima beans. So here is a version of succotash without the lima beans. You can make succotash with any vegetable you like as long as it has corn in it. That is what makes it succotash. I found some really fresh corn for early in the season at the market. I wonder where it was grown because it is so early in the season. At any rate, it was very good.

Succotash

Ingredients:

  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, medium dice
  • 1 medium  zucchini, medium dice
  • 1 medium onion, medium dice
  • salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cook bacon and dice it into pieces.
  2. Boil corn for about 10 minutes.
  3. Cut kernels from cob.
  4. Melt butter in a skillet.
  5. Add onion and cook until soft.
  6. Add rest of the vegetables.
  7. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
  8. Top with bacon pieces and serve.

 

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Glazed Ham

Ham#1

We made this for Easter dinner. Great with cheddar cheese biscuits!

Glazed Ham
Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fully cooked bone-in ham
  • whole cloves
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 bottle Coca-Cola from Mexico
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep.
  3. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond.
  4. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes per pound.
  6. Heat the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and soda in a small saucepan until bubbly.
  7. Cook until reduced and a bit thicker, about 15 minutes.
  8. When it is 2 hours befor ham is done, remove the foil and brush the glaze on the ham.
  9. Place the ham back in the oven uncovered.
  10. Do this every 20 minutes until ham is done.
  11. Remove ham from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.

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Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Noodles

SalisburySteakMeatballs

This dish is an easy variation on Salisbury Steak. Comfort food to the max!

Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 Tbsp instant potato flakes
  • 1 1/4 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Package of brown gravy
  • 1 pound egg noodles

Instructions:

  1. Whisk milk, potato flakes, salt and pepper in large bowl.
  2. Add beef and knead until combined.
  3. Shape into four ½ to 1 inch round meatballs and transfer to plate.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Cook meatballs until well browned.
  7. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  8. Transfer meatballs to oven safe serving platter.
  9. Keep warm in oven while cooking onions.
  10. Add onion and remaining butter to empty skillet and cook.
  11. Cook until onion is softened and brown, about 10 minutes.
  12. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  13. Cook gravy according to package directions.
  14. Add gravy to onions.
  15. Drain noodles and put on serving platter.
  16. Cover with gravy, onions, and meatballs.
  17. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.

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Hamburgers

Hamburger

I love hamburgers! I love them thick, juicy and grilled. Although, a burger on a flat top grill is pretty good too. There are so many variations you can choose in terms of cheese, toppings, and buns. Each of these variations can change the taste and character of the experience, but the beef is the star. Fresh ground is the best, especially if you do it yourself. But good quality 80/20 from your favorite butcher that was ground that day is hard to beat. If you choose one of these options, then cooking it medium rare is very safe. Medium rare is my favorite way to eat a hamburger! Cooked on a gas grill is my usual method since it is convenient, but if you have the time, a burger cooked on a charcoal grill is heavenly. Of course, butter or olive oil on the bun and grilled with your burgers is another tip for a fantastic burger. My “go to” burger is grilled on the gas grill with the buns toasted. I then mix sweet relish and ketchup for the bottom bun as a barrier to the juices so the bun does not get soaked. I then top that with the burger cooked medium rare with a thick slice of Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese. Next comes Claussen dill pickles with thinly sliced onions (Vidalia if they are in season). I like shredded iceberg lettuce on top of that. On the top bun goes a spread of Heinz mustard. This is my perfect burger! What’s yours?

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Tortellini Primavera

TortelliniPrimavera

This is a quick pasta dish with fresh vegetables. Use whatever is fresh or whatever you like the best.

Tortellini Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, small dice
  • 1 zucchini, small dice
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 whole basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
  • ¾ cups cooked ham, large dice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • extra parmesan, for serving
  • extra basil, for serving
  • 1 pound cheese or spinach tortellini

Instructions:

  1. Cook tortellini a couple of minutes less than package directions.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add the carrots, stir, and cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add the onions, zucchini, and garlic and stir to cook until softened.
  6. Splash in wine and broth, then cook for 3 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit.
  7. Stir in cream and Parmesan.
  8. When the mixture is hot, stir in peas, ham, salt, and pepper.
  9. Allow them to heat up in the sauce.
  10. When the sauce is hot, stir in the tortellini.
  11. Check for seasonings, add more if needed.
  12. Serve with extra Parmesan and basil.

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Pork Chop Casserole

PorkChopCasserole

The original recipe for this dish called for a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. I just could not do that, so I made my own quick version of mushroom soup. So much better!

Pork Chop Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless pork chops, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large red potatoes, cut into 1/8″ slices (use a mandolin if you have one!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings (use that mandolin)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pint mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parsley, for garnish
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Season both sides of pork with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the flour in a gallon plastic bag.
  4. Add the pork and shake to coat.
  5. Heat 2-3 Tbs. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  6. Place the chops in the pan and brown on both sides.
  7. Remove to a plate.
  8. Melt butter in skillet.
  9. Add diced onions and cook until tender.
  10. Add mushrooms and cook until well browned.
  11. Add chicken stock and deglaze pan.
  12. Add cream and cook until thickened somewhat.
  13. Remove from heat.
  14. Arrange the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with half the potato slices.
  15. Then arrange the browned chops on top of the potatoes, followed by the remaining potato slices.
  16. Then arrange the onion rings on top of the potatoes.
  17. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  18. Evenly pour the mushroom soup you just made over the casserole.
  19. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  20. Garnish with parsley and serve!

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Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

ChickenMozzarellaPasta

I cooked this last Saturday night, and it was delicious! Very hearty, cheesy, and filling after a long day at the robotics competition. Add a nice salad.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Penne or Rigatoni
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into half inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces, fresh mozzarella, cut Into medium cubes
  • ¼ cup parmesan, freshly shredded
  • extra parmesan, for serving
  • 12 whole basil leaves, chiffonade

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides.
  6. Remove to a plate.
  7. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.
  9. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until almost evaporated.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the crushed tomatoes.
  11. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan.
  12. Add the parsley and oregano, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  13. Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella.
  14. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.
  15. Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter.
  16. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.
  17. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!

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