Archive for the ‘Comfort Food’ Category

Mediterranean One Pan Dinner

February 1, 2016

YES is all you need to say. 

Ingredients

1 small red onion

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes

1.25-1.5 lbs chicken, cubed (or you could do bone-in thighs)

1 14oz can of marinated artichoke hearts, quartered

1 14 oz can of white beans, drained & rinsed

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 c calamata olives, pitted & chopped

8 oz fresh mozzarella or feta

6-10 fresh chopped basil leaves

MUST HAVE either fancy deelicious bread or pasta. 


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the red onion into smaller individual slices and put on the pan with the tomatoes and EVOO and S+P.  Mix well and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes split and the red onion is soft. 

While that’s going, marinate the chicken chunks in just enough of the juice from the artichoke can to coat the chicken – you’ll want the rest later. 

While that’s sitting, chop the rest of your stuff, get the beans ready, etc. 

Cook the chicken mostly in a frying pan, set aside. 

By now your roasting should be done. Add the chicken, artichokes, beans, olives, garlic cloves to the pan and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 

Remove and add cheese and basil. Serve over pasta, with bread, whatever carb you choose. 

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Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

October 5, 2015

These are really rich just by themselves so pair with tomato soup.

Ingredients

1 large loaf of chiabata bread

1/2 block of sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

1/2 block of havarti cheese, sliced

1/2 stick of butter

4 cubes or 1/2 cup pesto

Instructions

Heat your griddle to medium heat. 

Lightly butter the inside of the sandwich and place butter side down. 

Butter the outside of the bread as the insdie cooks. 

After you flip the bread put pesto on the inside of one piece of bread and put slices of cheese on both sides, one of each kind and put the pieces together. 

Cover with a lid to meldd the cheese and squish the sandwich. 

Flip and cover with a lid. 

Cut and serve!
Adapted from willcookforfriends.com 

Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

October 5, 2015

When someone throws tomatoes at you, make this and pair with grilled cheese.  It’s knock-your-socks-off good and perfect for a fall football day. 

Ingredients

3 lbs fresh tomatoes, any kind (no need to seed or peel)

1 red bell pepper 

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 yellow onion, diced

4 T fresh basil, chopped

2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1 T balsamic vinegar

EVOO

S+P

A pinch of sugar if your tomatoes aren’t sweet enough

1/3 – 1/2 cup of heavy cream to your liking

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Seed and cut the red pepper in half and add to the baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and some salt. Roast for 45 minutes. 

Cook the onion and garlic in the pot you’d eventually like the soup in.  

Add the onions, garlic, and all tomatoes to a blender or food processor and make it smooth.  

Pour back into the pot and add the herbs, balsamic vinegar, cream and S&P to taste.  You won’t even need to heat it back up.  

Serve!

From willlcookforfriends.com 

Zucchini Bread

September 20, 2015

Healthier version of a garden classic.

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

–Dry 

1.5 c White Flour

1.5 c Wheat Flour

3 t cinnamon

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

–Wet

4 eggs

1 c sugar

Total 1 cups of greek yoghurt (flavor or plain), apple sauce, milk and/or vegetable oil. Do not use all Greek yoghurt or the dough gets gummy.

3 t vanilla

–Fold in

3 cups shredded zucchini

1 c walnuts (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 and grease two bread pans. 

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, whisk. 

Combine wet ingredients in another bowl, whisk. 

Combine the dry and wet until they’re consistent and fold in the other ingredients. 

Bake for about 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Benihana Fried Rice

September 1, 2015

Tastes exactly the same.  Exactly. The. Same. Serve with Shrimp Sauce.

Makes 4 dinner servings

Ingredients

3 cups UNcooked rice, (brown, white, quinoa or a mix of these) cooled to room temperature

4 tablespoons butter (softened)

2 garlic cloves, pasted (use 1 if you want a lighter garlic flavor)

3 eggs, beaten

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed

1⁄2 cup frozen peas, thawed (may omit)

1⁄2 cup frozen carrots, thawed

1 cup onion, diced

1⁄4 cup green onion (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

The rice and chicken could be pre-cooked the night before.  If you haven’t done this, start cooking the rice and bake the chicken to make things easier on yourself!

Make your garlic and butter compound. Put softened butter in a bowl large enough to allow you to mix the garlic into the butter. Needs to be well blended. Keep the bowl next to the stovetop for when you’re ready.

Scramble the eggs in a frying pan with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Then cut the cooked eggs into small pieces and put aside in a large bowl (that you’ll serve the rice in).

Sautee the onions, carrots, peas for 5 minutes in sesame oil.  When almost cooked, add 1 tablespoon of the garlic butter compound. Leave in pan.

Add 2 tablespoons of garlic butter compound and add the cooked chicken and then rice a handful at a time. Carefully stir everything together and keep adding rice until all the rice is added and well mixed together. At this time add 1 more tablespoons of the garlic butter compound. Cook rice for 5-7 minutes stirring often. 

Add the cooked eggs, stir well carefully. Now add your soy sauce. Mix well to distribute evenly. Add remaining salt and pepper to taste.

If you wish to add the toasted sesame seeds do so now and stir and serve. Since we used sesame oil in the recipe the seeds are optional.

Adapted From: http://www.food.com/recipe/best-copycat-benihana-japanese-chicken-rice-514982

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 17, 2015

These puppies are rich so grab some milk! Very good and healthy…….yes!

Makes about 2 dozen tiny cookies. But again, they’re rich!

1 c creamy peanut butter
1/3 c honey
1 egg
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt *may need to reduce?*
1/2 c chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the first 5 ingredients until a gooey batter forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Using a tablespoon scoop, put the cookies onto the parchment and flatten with your hand to the desired shape. They will not expand.

Bake for 8-10 minutes and allow to rest for 10 minutes ON THE PAN! Once they are cool and firm enough to handle, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

From: http://detoxinista.com/2012/02/flourless-peanut-butter-chip-cookies/

Thanksgiving

February 14, 2015

Here’s what we did in 2014. It worked well, but the turkey needed to cook a bit more and the gravy was AMAZING.

This makes turkey, stuffing and gravy for 25 people.
22 lb turkey
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs sage
4 gallons water
4 cups ice
1/2 c canola oil
2 c milk
2 c flour
1 half pound loaf of stuffing bread (half white and half sourdough or all sourdough is preferred), cubed and dried out from the air or oven
1 stick butter
2 onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 granny smith apples, diced
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
3/4 lb Italian sausage, browned
1 c chicken stock
1 c Craisins

lots of S+P on hand

Day before Thanksgiving
Turkey 22lbs for about 25 people.
The night before, put the turkey in a brine. Use the blue cooler and keep ice in it as well as keeping it in the garage.
Brine:
2 c salt
2 c sugar
4 oranges, quartered
4 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
4 gallons of water
4 cups ice

Dissolve the salt and sugar in hot water over the stove. Add to the cooler and put outside to get cold. Add the rest of the water cold into the cooler. Tie up the herbs in twine so you can place them in the turkey when cooking.

Once the brine is ready in the cooler, remove the giblets and stuff. Rinse the turkey in cold water and submerge the turkey breast up until you go to bed. Just before bed, turn it breast down. Make sure it’s as submerged as you can get it.

Chop the bread and toast in the oven and leave it out.
Chop the rest of the veggies, herbs for tomorrow. Brown the sausage for the stuffing.

Thanksgiving Day!
1. 8am Remove the center rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse in cold water.
3. Pat dry with paper towels while still in the sink.
4. Insert the herbs and a couple lemons and oranges into the cavity from the brine.
5. Take out a triangle of aluminum foil and fit it to the breast of the turkey for later. Grease with canola oil and set aside. 6. Grease the outside of the turkey liberally with canola oil and tuck the wings underneath.
7. 8:30am Roast the turkey at 500 degrees for 20 minutes to crisp the skin.
8. 9am Insert probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and set to 165 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and put on the aluminum breast plate.
— DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN OR TOUCH THE TURKEY until the alarm goes off–
> 12:30pm Make the stuffing: (turkey should be around 130 degrees)
Melt the stick of butter in a large pan with tall sides. Add 2 c chopped onion, celery, apples, parsley, 1 T salt and 1 t pepper. Sauté until soft, then pour that over the dried bread cubes already in a bowl. Add the sausage browned, 1 c chicken stock and 1 c craisins and mix in the bowl. Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish. Ready to go into the oven!

> Get ready for gravy time: 2 c Flour, 1 c Milk, salt, pepper, 3-4 c chicken stock and 2 stems chopped sage and 1 stem chopped rosemary ready to go.

2pm people start arriving (turkey is at about 155 degrees)

9. About 2:15pm When the turkey hits the 165 degree mark remove from the pan onto a cutting board and cover with a large aluminum foil tent for 15-20 minutes before carving.

–> 2:15pm This is when you can put in the stuffing and any other dishes that need to be warmed. Stuffing is 30 minutes at 300.

10. Take the pan drippings and put them into the gravy maker to separate. Pour the drippings with only a little fat back into the large pan over low heat (2 burners). You don’t need that much.
11. Stir in the herbs first, then thicken with flour until it’s a paste. Add the milk and stock until it’s the desired consistency and taste. S+P as necessary.

2:45pm Carve turkey, take other dishes out of oven
3pm EAT!

From:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe.html#lightbox-recipe-video
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/brined-herb-roasted-turkey-recipe.html
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sausage-and-herb-stuffing-recipe.html

Butternut Coconut Curry Recipe

October 18, 2014
  • Prep: 35 min
    Cook time: 4 hours
    Makes 9 servings

    Ingredients

    1 small onion, chopped

    1 T EVOO

    1.5 t brown sugar

    1.2 t curry powder (or 4 T curry paste)

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1/2 t ground cinnamon

    1/4 t ground ginger

    1/8 t salt

    1 medium butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs), peeled and cubed

    1 cup chicken/veggie broth

    1 can coconut milk

    1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice, jasmine rice or quinoa (or cook separately)

    3 cooked, cubed chicken breasts

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, saute carrots and onion in oil until onion is tender. Add the brown sugar, curry, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  2. In a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the butternut squash, broth, coconut milk, rice and carrot mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until rice is tender.

Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/butternut-coconut-curry#ixzz3GX37wGql

Quiche

April 12, 2014

This is great for bringing to friends that need a meal.

Ingredients
Stuff that goes into the eggs (you can sub whatever you want, most people do cubed ham and cheese but personally that bores me).
6 strips bacon
1/2 onion diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 t diced garlic
2 handfuls of fresh spinach and some kind of cheese (1/3 cup).
14 Eggs
2 cups heavy cream
S+P
Crust: I used 1 sheet of puff pastry that was in my freezer, but you can make your own or get a pie crust from the grocery store (frozen). In the last case you would only do 6 eggs and dial it back on the bacon, etc.
Pan: 9×11″

Directions
Cook the and chop the bacon.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Make sure you leave a little grease to sauté the onion and pepper for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until wilted (less than a minute!). Transfer to a bowl to cool in the fridge.

Put your crust in the 9×11″ pan. Spray any place where the crust doesn’t cover where you think the eggs may touch. Put the sautéed goodies (that have cooled) and cheese in the bottom.

Stir up the eggs, cream and S+P and pour over your crust and goodies. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the middle does not jiggle.

Freezes, refrigerates and transfers well.

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

March 2, 2014

Ingredients
1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese/goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon straight chicken base or bullion (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Directions
Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.

Per Serving: Calories: 149; Total Fat: 11.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 7 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Total carbohydrates: 8 grams; Sugar: 4 gramsl; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 31 milligrams; Sodium: 170 milligrams

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mock-garlic-mashed-potatoes-recipe.html?oc=linkback