Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Latest New (to me) Recipes: Hacked Butternut Ravioli with no butternut squash or pasta

The other night 7/19/2017, I made the best potato au gratin cake with what was in the house.  I had two sweet potatoes (the golden center type) in the potato bin for a few weeks at least, it is surprising how long they can last, a cup of heavy cream leftover from the Blueberry Muffin Top, a cup of Gruyere, some rosemary from the garden and this is what I came up with.  It was EXCELLENT especially for an on the fly, pantry, one drink in side dish. It was so scrumptious, it tasted like Butternut Squash Ravioli which is a bit odd considering the differences and that it would have sage instead but I LOVED IT and can’t wait to try it again to make sure my judgment wasn't clouded.

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
¼ t. coarse black pepper
2 (sm-med) white sweet potatoes
1 C. heavy cream
1 clove garlic, grated
4" sprig (1 t.) rosemary leaves, minced
¼ t. Kosher salt
¼ t. coarse black pepper
1 t. brown sugar
1 C. Gruyère, shredded
¼ C. panko crumbs
1 T. butter

Preheat oven to 375F. Peal and slice onion in half then thinly slice each half. Add to a 12" cast iron skillet with a drizzle of EVOO. Sauté 10-15 minutes till soft and slightly golden. To a 1 cup measure add cream, grated garlic, minced rosemary, salt and pepper. Place potatoes on top of sautéed onions, pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese, panko and butter cubes. Bake 30-40 minutes covered with foil. Cut into wedges. Serves 8.

New Recipe...simular but with a slightly different spin. Mexican Lasagna

Tonights dinner was called "Budin Azteca" with a note saying it was a Mexzican Casserole but I'm calling it Mexican Lasagna because of the Italian influences in this Mexican-ish dish.   It was a flavorful dinner even though my chicken was a bit dry.  Rotisserie would make it easier and moister since I over cooked the chicken a tad. The recipe is similar to my Enchilada Lasagna but I liked the twist using an Italian sauce and adding the roasted poblanos. I also liked that it only had the two layers, more layers, more calories and this one was already at 595 calories with 39g fat and 31g carb using their size slice and I'm sure my slice was bigger. Original recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens Aug 2017, pg. 160.


1 lb. chicken breast (1 lg.), cooked, shredded

10 (6") corn tortillas

2 poblanos (aka pasilla), roasted

1 C. heavy cream

2 C. Monterey jack cheese, shredded


28 oz. can whole tomatoes, pureed

2 chipolte in adobo, minced (2 t.)

Drizzle EVOO

½ onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 T. fresh oregano leaves, scissor cut

1 t. salt

Boil chicken breast 10-15 minutes till cooked, internal temperature is 165°F. Let cool then shred. Place poblanos over an open flame to char skin for 5 minutes each, turning with tongs until all sides are black. Place both peppers in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let sit to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile chop half an onion and scissor cut fresh oregano. Using a paper towel wipe off blackened skin of pepper, cut in half to remove seeds and stem and chop.

Sauce: Add tomatoes and juice to a blender, puree. Add chipoltes, puree. Add onion to a large skillet drizzled with oil. Cook till soft, 3 minutes. Add grated garlic, oregano and salt. Cook 30 seconds. Add pureed tomatoes. Simmer, stirring occasionally 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.

In a 13x9" pan layer in the following order:

  1. 1 C. sauce
  2. 5 corn tortillas
  3. 1 C. sauce
  4. 1 poblano, roasted, seeded, chopped
  5. ½ C. heavy cream
  6. ½ the shredded chicken
  7. 1 C. shredded jack cheese
  8. REPEAT steps 2-7

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake another 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Note: A pasilla is a wider pepper but some grocery stores, including mine use this to describe a poblano.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Recipe: Brownie Bark

I made these for yesterdays Warrior playoff game.  It was a winner, quick, easy, crisp outside edges giving you more of the "corner brownie experience" yet the center of the square was soft and chewy like the middle of a regular brownie.  I accidentally doubled the salt and since I didn't top it with  flaked salt it was salty but good. I'll back off the salt by 1/4 t. next time as indicated in my recipe but if you want to top it with flaked salt back off to 1/2 teaspoon as in the original recipe from The Chew's Carla Hall.


½ C. unsalted butter
½ C. semisweet chocolate chips
½ C. sugar
½ C. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
⅓ C. flour
¼ C. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
¾ t. Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Place 1-inch of water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until simmering. In a medium, heatproof bowl, add butter, chocolate, sugar, dark brown sugar, and vanilla. Place on top of the simmering water and allow to melt. Stir until smooth. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Stir in egg whites.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until smooth. Pour batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thick. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Break the brownie brittle into pieces and serve.

Note: Will keep in an airtight container for up to a week but believe me it won't last.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Recipes, this week: Jalapeno Fries and Spicy Coconut Chicken soup.

I normally don't deep fry things at home, too messy, time consuming, not good for me and what to do with the leftover grease, painful.  Ignoring all that I gave these a try.   I cut the recipe in half using and only used ⅓ C. flour & cornmeal since I was testing it but if your going through the effort and mess do them all. I cooked them in a small cast iron fry pan and only used about 1/4 inch of oil, enough to go half way up the jalapeño which made it a bit harder but less oil waste even though I had to add more oil as I cooked more. I also used Greek yogurt vs. sour cream since it was what I had on hand. The coating didn't stick very well which made them look a bit messy since they were naked in some spots but also homemade and it didn't effect the taste. They were not too spicy and the dip cooled them off but I think the dip needed more time to sit so that the flavors could meld. I more than likely won't make again only because they were messy and time consuming and it is not something you can do too much ahead. Original recipe came from Valerie Bertinelli's Home Cooking show.

vegetable oil for frying
10 jalapenos, seeded and cut in strips
1 head garlic, roasted
¼ C. buttermilk
¼ C. mayonnaise
2 T. Greek yogurt
Kosher salt
Coarse black pepper
Plate 1:
½ C. buttermilk
1 egg
Plate 2:
¾ C. flour
¾ C. cornmeal
½ t. paprika
¼ t. Kosher salt

Garlic: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place bulb on a piece of heavy duty foil, enough to wrap around bulb. Cut the top off of the bulb, drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper, replace top and gather foil around bulb. Bake 35 minutes.
Dressing: Mix buttermilk, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper. When garlic is done, remove garlic from paper wrapping, mash up with a sprinkle of salt then add to dressing. Refrigerate.
Jalapeños: Add oil to a deep fry pan. Heat oil to 360°F. Seed and cut into strips. Dip in buttermilk then in flour mixture. Add to hot oil, fry till golden brown. Remove to a paper lined plate to drain. Then place on a rack in a 200°F oven to keep warm until you fry them all.

Although I didn't take a picture I will the next time I make it.  This soup is a touch spicy which I loved, brothy but creamier than chicken soup because of the coconut milk.  Even though I doubled the mushrooms it was still more brothy but the bonus was that I made the stock from my rotisserie chicken bones, free be. I got the recipe from the newspapers Parade magazine, Jan 22, 2017. It was quick and since I made it the day before I needed, it made it even easier the next day.

1 T. coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 T. ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. (1 qt.) chicken stock
13.5 oz. can light coconut milk
2 T. Bragg's liquid amino
1 T. chile garlic sauce
1 t. sugar
1 C. rotisserie chicken
1 lime, juiced and zested
Garnish: Cilantro

Add oil to large sauce pot or fry pan with high sides. Add onion, sauté 3 minutes, add mushrooms and sauté till browned. Add ginger and garlic, sauté another minute. Add coconut milk, liquid amino (or soy sauce), chile garlic sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer, cook 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken, heat through, 5 minutes. Stir in zest and juice of lime. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime. Makes 4 servings.

New Recipe Testing: Bloody Mary Salad, Spicy Coconut Chicken Soup, Jalapeno Fries

It's been awhile since I wrote up some new recipes I've been testing so here goes.  One is a hands down winner, a new family favorite.  I've made it three times since the first time, each time slightly different, discovering what I can and can't do.  Another one was spicy but comforting, quick and easy and the third, good but messy and more of something I would prefer to eat out and not very often.

The Bloody Mary Steak Salad is an explosion of flavor in your mouth. Best new salad this year even though it's only April. It was quick and easy to make. It is a total goober salad. Sometimes raw onions are overpowering so I'll pick around them but I cleaned my plate so don't be afraid. If you don't care for blue cheese stick with the ¼ cup. I used a half cup and it was good but a bit strong since blue cheese isn't a favorite. Original recipe came from the Sunday paper originally from "Mighty Salads" cookbook from Food52.com. It didn't have spinach but since I had some in the fridge I added it and it could have handled more. The next time I made it I used a head of romaine with more hot sauce, also excellent. Final test I added two heads of romaine lettuce and although good my goobers and dressing got a bit lost but for a crowd it is a good stretch but I'll stick with the spinach or only one head going forward.

½-1 lb. skirt steak
1 pint grape tomatoes
¼ red onion (½ C.), thinly sliced
2 stalks (½ C.) celery, sliced
¼ C. (6 lg.) green olives, sliced
2 T. pickled jalapeños, diced
Lettuce: 2 large handfuls spinach or 1 head romaine
¼ C. picked parsley leaves
¼-½ C. blue cheese
2 T. horseradish
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dry sherry
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ t. - 1 T. Franks hot sauce
1 T. lemon juice
¼ t. coarse black pepper
¼ t. Kosher salt
Grill steak in a grill pan or on the BBQ, 3 minutes per side. Remove. In a large glass bowl (plastic will stain) mix dressing ingredients. Slice steak across grain into thin bite size slices and add to dressing, let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cut tomatoes in half, thinly slice onions, slice celery, olives and jalapeños. Add to bowl, stir. Pick leaves of parsley. Toss in parsley, spinach and blue cheese before you serve. Makes 2 servings.

  • Meat: Try Extra lean loin strips of beef, Beef Loin Top Sirloin, NY, your favorite tender steak, or even shrimp.
  • Add pickled green beans or asparagus, cut in thirds.
  • Add thick cut cooked bacon, chunked.