Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Balsamic Cream Sauce, suggested by Amy

From Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals

1/2 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
6 ounces Pepper
2 tablespoons butter
12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
12 white mushrooms, sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves, a couple of sprigs, chopped
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, a couple turns of the pan
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the skillet to the heat, turn heat back a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.

To serve, pile orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cranberry Sauce, by Cara

1 pound frozen cranberries
2 cups orange juice
3 cups ginger ale
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 orange, zested
Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan (stainless steel), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
Carefully puree with stick blender or blender until smooth. Check for seasoning and serve in small ramekins.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Freezer Cheesecake, by Dani

1-8oz whipped topping
1-8oz brick cream cheese
1/2c sugar
1 to 1/5tsp vanilla
Prepared graham cracker pie crust

Basically pour everything into a bowl, use your hand mixer to mix it together, and then pour in the pie crust and freeze. It's a bitch to cut, but well worth it. Make sure you have a sharp knife, and some hot water handy when you go to cut it.It started out as a regular refrigerated cheesecake recipe, but after a full 24hrs in the fridge, it wouldn't set up right, so I stuck it in the freezer and it became freezer cheesecake.

For Chocolate I just used a chocolate crust and chocolate whipped topping. DH loved it. I dont' like the chocolate crust, so I can't tell you what I thought.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Grilled Peaches with Berry Sauce, an idea from Amy

from allrecipes.com
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries in syrup, slightly thawed
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 fresh peaches, peeled and halved
5 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter or margarine

In a blender or food processor, process raspberries and lemon juice until pureed. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and chill. Place the peach halves, cut side up, on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. x 12 in). Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle into peach centers. Sprinkle with vanilla; dot with butter. Fold foil over peaches and seal. Grill over medium-hot coals for 15 minutes or until heated through. To serve, spoon the raspberry sauce over peaches.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chicken Veggie Casserole, by Karli

3 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 medium carrots, cut into chunks
3 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
(Poster's note: I think next time I will only use half of the soup or even just a dry soup mix with some olive oil. It was a little too saucy.)

Place chicken in a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Top with the carrots, potatoes and celery. Combine the soup, water, salt and pepper; pour over vegetables. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-75 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Teriyaki Burgers, by Amy

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 c. teriyaki marinade
1 tsp. garlic salt
fresh or canned pineapple slices

Combine the teriyaki marinade with the ground beef and garlic salt. Form into patties. Grill. During the last couple of minutes of grilling, place pineapple slices on the grill until warm and brown. Place pineapple slices on burger add condiments (I used red onion, and the regular stuff) Eat.

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Apricots and Cardamom

From Bon appetit 2002
8 whole green cardamom pods*
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c apricot preserves
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 honey
1 6 oz package dried apricots, quartered
1 12 oz package cranberries
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
* 1/2 tsp ground cardamom can be substituted for fresh pods

Coarsely crush cardamom pods- discard skins. Bring next 5 ingredients to boil in large saucepan over med-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add apricots- cook 2 minutes. Add cranberries and cook until berries pop, stirring occassionally- about 9 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Mix in lemon peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight. seve at room temp

Can be made one week in advance

Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Shallots and Port, and idea from Jenifer

From Bon appetit 2002

18 large shallots
1 tlbs veg oil
5 tsp minced fresh thyme
5 tlbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbls plus 1/2 c sugar

1 2/3 c ruby port
1/3 c packed golden brown sugar
1 12 oz bag cranberries
1/4 c dried currants
1 tlbs chopped fresh marjoram

Preheat oven to 400. Toss shallots with oil and 3 tsp thyme on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden- about 25 minutes. Mix 1 tlbs vinegar and 1 tlb sugar in small bowl. Drizzle over shallots; toss to coat. Continue roasting until shallots caramelize, stirring occassionally- about 10 minutes. Remove from oven

Bring port, brown sugar, 4 tlbs vinegar, and 1/2 c sugar to boil in large heavy saucepan over med-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and currants; cook until berries pop, stirring occassionally- about 8 minutes. Mix in marjoram and 2 tsps thyme. Mix in shallots. Transfer to bowl- cover and chill overnigh. Serve at room temp.

Can be made a week in advace

Cranberry and Dried-Cherry Sauce, and idea from Jenifer

From Bon Appetit 2002
1 12 oz container cranberry juice cocktail, thawed
1 c water
1 c packed golden brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick broken in half
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 6 oz package dried tart cherries
1 12 oz package cranberries

Bring first 5 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over med-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add cherries; cook 2 minutes. Add cranberries; cook until berries pop, stirring occasionally- about 9 minutes. Transfer to bowl and chill overnight- discard cinnamon. Serve at room temp.

Can be made a week in advance

Spiced Cranberry Sauce, by Jenifer (via her friend Ursula)

12 oz bag cranberries, picked over
1/2 c honey
2-3 tlbs firmly packed brown sugar
2 3" cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 c water

In saucepan combine cranberries, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and water; simmer, covered, stirring occassionally for 5-10 minutes or until cranberries have burst and mixture thickens. Tnasfer to bowl and let cool.

Can be made 2 days in advance

Cranberry Sauce with Lime and Ginger, by Jenifer

Cranberry Sauce with Lime and Ginger:
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp shredded lime peel
2 tlbs lime juice
1 12 oz package cranberries
(3 c)1 tsp minced fresh ginger

stir water, sugar, maple syrup, lime peel and lime juice in a heavy medium saucepan; bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 3 mins or until sugar has dissolved

Add cranberries and continue to simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger- simmer uncovered for 6 minutes more or until berries have popped and mixture starts to thicken, stirring occassionally

Remove from heat and cool. (can be made 3 days in advance)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Okra Simmer, from Allison

Here we go on the okra recipe!

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. okra, stems trimmed off and cut into fair-sized pieces
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the okra and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the water and vinegar and simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes. Stir in the sugar and tarragon and boil, hard, until the until the liquid reduces by about half. Season well with salt and pepper.

Crab Corn Chowder, from Jenifer

Crab Corn Chowder by Chef Kent Rathbun
(tweaked by me)

4 ears of corn
2 tlbs olive oil
1 lb bacon (diced)
2 med diced onions (~2 c)
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced (we leave this out)
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 c flour
4 c whole milk
2 c heavy cream
2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (we use Yukon gold)
3 tlbs maple syrup
2 tlbs fresh thyme
2 tlbs fresh basil, chopped
2 tlbs fresh chives, chopped
1 lb fresh lump crab meat
1 tlbs salt
2 tlbs freshly ground pepper

(you can leave this first step out but it really adds something to the whole mixture! If you do simply leave corn in husks- gently pull bak husks w/otu breaking off and discard silks...put husks back in place and tie ends with piece of husk or string...place on heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast at 450 degress until corn is fragrant and husks are brown (~30 minutes)...then remove kernels from cob and follow recipe as stated)) Brush corn with olive oil- grill ears until kernels soften and develop grill marks (~15 minutes)...cut kernels form cob.

In heavy large pot (med heat) saute bacon until crisp (~14-16 mins) Add onions, garlic, shallots, celery & bay leaves. Saute until translucent (~7-9 minutes). Add butter- heat until melted (<1 min). Using wooden spoon, stir in flour- stir constantly until smotth (~3 mins). Lower heat to moderately low and continue to cook and stir constatntly until paste is color of peanut butter (~6 mins)

Whisk in milk and cream- then add potatoes. Raise heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat back to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until soup thickens and potatoes are tender (~17-19 mins) Stir in maple syrup, thyme, basil, & chives. Gently stir in crab meat, corn, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash and Pear Curry Soup, from Jenifer

Butternut Squash and Pear Curry Soup
(I got thisoff the 'net years ago and have tweaked it a bit)

1 1/2 lbs butternut squash
4-5 bartlett pears (RIPE-which means yellow or red NOT green)
medium onion
large clove garlic
1 tbls olive oil
1 tsp curry
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
6 c veggie broth (you could use chicken)

Prepare veggies: scoop seeds from sauash and cut in a/2 lengthwise; peel, core and cut pears into small pieces; dice onion; mince garlic. Put squash flesh side down in baking dish with 3/4" of water...cover and cook on high in miocrowave for 15 minutes- you want it soft but not shriveling. Saute onions in oil on med heat until golden- add garlic, curry, cumin, and brown sugar- mush around for about 45 seconds, Peel outer rind from squash and add flesh to pot with pear and broth. Simmer 10 minutes...let cool. Puree until smooth

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Carolyn's Famous Potluck Bean Dip, from Carolyn

The layered taco dip sounds a lot like my famous potluck bean dip, which I have not been able to eat in a long, long time. Sigh. It is only 4 layers: a can of refried beans, a brick of cream cheese, a layer of salsa, and shredded cheddar. Cream cheese on bottom, then salsa, then beans, then cheddar. (The beans can go under or on top of the salsa... either way works.) Nuke until everything is melty. Ohhhhh, I want some!

Taco Pie, from Stephanie

I made the Layered Taco Dip in an 9x9 pan last time and had some leftover beans and salsa mix. Together with our other random leftovers and lack of tortillas, I came up with Taco Pie (again, neither tacos nor pie).

In a shallow, microwave- or oven-safe dish, layer:

1 cup refried beans and salsa mixture
1/3 cup black beans, sprinkled
1 chicken breast, cooked, shredded, and taco seasoningized
1/3 jar nacho cheese dip
1/3 cup black beans, sprinkled
1/8 cup fresh minced onion

Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until hot, or cook in the oven until hot. Then add:

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and colby cheeses

And cook using desired method until cheese melts.

Serve each person a plate of chips and a little bowl of sour cream. No double dipping!

Layered Taco Dip, from Stephanie

Layered Taco Dip

1 can refried beans
1/2 cup salsa (ish... enough to make it spreadable, not make soup)

Mix and set aside.

1 brick cream cheese
1 packet taco seasoning

Mix and set aside.

1/3 jar nacho cheese dip (tostitos queso is good!)

8oz sour cream

8oz shredded cheese - mexican blend, colby jack, cheddar, whatever. Something with some color is nice. I used 50/50 cheddar and colby the last time I made this.

In a relatively shallow pan (9x13 works well with these amounts), spread the bean mixture, then the cream cheese mixture, cheese sauce, sour cream, and shredded cheese. You can add shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomato, olives, or other (disgusting) things that you personally like to the top... but I don't. Serve cold with scoop tortilla chips, sturdy tortilla chips, fritos scoops, ... whatever.

I'm all about minimizing bowls so I mix the beans and salsa in the serving dish. Also, it helps to pop the beans and salsa in the fridge for a while or the freezer for a few minutes and to make sure the cream cheese is soft before trying to spread it.

A sofrito idea, from Kris

Mmmmmm..... sofrito. My favorite way is with calamari (rings and tentacles).

Lightly coat the calamari with some flour mixed with a little bit of garlic powder, salt, black pepper and smoky paprika. Quickly fry the calamari (no longer than 45 seconds - 1 minute per batch). Heat the sofrito on the stove top with finely chopped good sausage (like andouille). Once it is nice and hot, spritz some lemon over it, mix it with the calamari and enjoy. Oh. So. Yum. BTW - this is an appetizer at Bahama Breeze, but they use calamari steaks, not the rings and tentacles...

Heather Takes on Bobby, from Heather

Here's the rub.... No, literally, here's the rub that goes on the chicken, very slightly altered from the Bobby Flay cookbook from whence I lifted it:

This makes more than enough for an average package of 3 chicken breasts:
1 1/2 Tbsp smoked Spanish paprika (I've used Hungarian sweet and that's great too)
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp ground mustard
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Rub it on, drizzle with olive oil, grill. YUM!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Dry Mexican Soup, an idea by Alison

Fideos -- A Mexican Dry Soupfrom Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 32 oz. box vegetable stock
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
one bunch cilantro
6 cloves garlic, charred in a skillet
2 guajillo chiles
2 Tbsp canola oil
8 oz. spaghetti, broken into 2- to 4- inch lengths
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack
1/2 cup sour cream

Put the stock in a saucepan and turn it to medium high. Add the diced tomatoes, the stems from the cilantro, the garlic, and the chiles. Let simmer 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet (preferably an ovenproof one, otherwise you're going to have to move this stuff into something ovenproof later) over medium heat. Add the noodles and saute until browned. Puree the stuff from the saucepan and strain it. Pour most of it into the skillet with the noodles. Simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. If the noodles aren't soft yet and they're getting dry, add a bit more stock.

Meanwhile, preheat your broiler.If you don't have this stuff in an ovenproof skillet, now is the time to move it to a short, wide dish that can stand up to the broiler. If you do, just keep going. Sprinkle the cheeses over top and broil until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Stir your sour cream with a fork and drizzle it over top, then sprinkle the cilantro over top. Serve.

Corn Salsa, by Mel

Corn Salsa
1 medium ripe red tomato, diced
1 - 1 1/2 ears of fresh sweet corn, cut from cob
1/8 cup small diced onion
1/8 cup small diced red bell pepper
splash (2 tbsp?) red wine vinegar
fresh chopped cilantro to taste
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 - 1/2 super small chopped jalapeno, if you'd like the heat (and/or ground cayenne pepper, to taste.)
Put everything in the same bowl. Best if made 3 hours before and refrigerated, to let everything mingle. (If adding any heat, know that it gets hotter the longer you let it mingle.)

Pretend Stirfry, by Dani

I just used the thin sliced pork chops that were in the fridge, and a bag of mixed veggies(brocc, cauli, and red peppers and corn) and threw in a few pinto beans to make it look like more food to DH, and used about a tablespoon of minced garlic and who knows how much soy sauce(a couple of squirts from the bottle?).

Mexican Lasagna III, by Kelly

1.5 lbs ground turkey
taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 cup tomato sauce1/2 can black beans

1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
4 cup shredded, seasoned taco cheese

4 large soft flour tortillas

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Cook and season turkey in seasoning, then add salsa and tomato sauce. Keep at a simmer and let any liquid burn off. Mix in beans.

In a large bowl, mix cottage & ricotta cheeses, egg, milk, and
1 3/4 c of taco cheese.

Lightly grease or spray a 13x9 casserole dish and cover bottom with 2 large flour tortillas. Spread 1/2 of meat across top and then 1/2 cheese mixture above that. Sprinkle with taco cheese. Cover again with 2 large tortillas, remainder of meat and remainder of cheese. Sprinkle taco cheese generously over the top and bake at 350.