Friday, October 27, 2017

Gnocchi, Pancetta, Swiss Chard, Mozzarella, and Beans

Gnocchi, Pancetta, Swiss Chard, Mozzarella, and Beans. This was a dinner without a recipe.

Wash and chop the Chard. Saute the Pancetta. Remove the Pancetta and wipe out the pan. Add some olive oil to the saute pan and then add the chard and cook until wilted. Add some wine and let that cook down. Stir in the drained and rinsed beans. I used cannellini. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi. Add the cooked gnocchi along with some of the pasta water. You might want to add a knob of butter. I did! Stir in some Parmesan cheese and add more of the pasta water until you have a sauce. Stir in the Mozzarella. I used Perlini Mozzarella. That is all there is to it.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken

I am not sure how I found this recipe. I get a number of food-related emails with lists of the best recipes, the easiest dinner recipes, slow cooker recipes, chicken recipe, to name a few.  Remember when you had to read cookbooks to find recipes?!

The recipe is from Chef Savvy. Only 3 hours in the slow cooker set on low. The aroma was amazing. The taste was as good as take-out. Take out still has the advantage of fewer dishes to wash!
Slow Cooker General Tso's Chicken from Chef Savvy -

Ingredients-
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
green onions for serving, if desired 
     
Method-
Add chicken and cornstarch to a large ziplock bag. Toss to coat the chicken with the cornstarch.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok.

Saute chicken until golden brown on both sides about 2 minutes on each side. (Note the chicken will not be fully cooked and that is ok)

Add the chicken to the slow cooker.

Add hoisin sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil to a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Pour the sauce onto the chicken and stir to coat the chicken.

Cook on low for 2-3 hours.



Serve over rice with sauteed Broccoli or Zucchini. Sprinkle with green onions.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cheaters No Knead Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread

Another item checked off the bucket list. No, my bucket list does not have things like hang gliding or white water rafting. Macaroon Cookies,  Madeleine Cookies, Italian Rainbow Cookies (that was checked off a couple of years ago), Stuffed Breast of Veal. Making these are a few of my bucket list items. Sourdough Bread was a the top of this list. Then I found this recipe. 

 
Use the bread for breakfast or for grilled cheese. The post were I got the recipe suggested having it toasted with Apple Butter. I can imagine how good that must be.

The recipe is from Half Baked Harvest. I strongly recommend that you try this recipe.

Ingredients-
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup plain greek yogurt (any % fat will do, but I use full fat)

Directions-

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, honey, flour, salt, and yogurt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Alternately, you can mix the dough with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Cover the bowl with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 2 hours or until it doubles size.

 If time allows, punch the down, cover the bowl, and transfer the bowl of dough to the fridge and let sit overnight. This will help develop a stronger "sourdough" flavor.

Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl. It should be loose and sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place in a parchment lined 4 quart or larger dutch oven. Allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

Preheat to 475 degrees F.  Bake, covered for 20-25 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the hot lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep, golden brown, about 20-30 minutes more. Remove from the oven. Carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Don't slice into the bread right out of the oven, the bread continues to cook as it cools. Enjoy!






Slow Cooker "Melt in Your Mouth" Pot Roast

 
We have another Slow Cooker Recipe that will be on our Top Ten List.

I found this one on Joyously Delicious Blog. It was melt in your mouth. The meat was juicy and the vegetables were cooked perfectly. The gravy was delicious. I am not usually crazy about Pot Roast. This recipe has changed my opinion. And the leftovers will be featured later in the week.

Here is the link to the recipe and I also copied it here. The only change I made was not using a packaged seasoning mix.

 Slow Cooker "Melt in Your Mouth" Pot Roast

Yields 4 - 6 servings.

Ingredients-
1 chuck roast (I used a roast that was 2 1/4 #)
Olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon corn starch

My version of the Seasoning Mix-
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Method-


Combine together seasoning mix in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Coat both sides of meat with olive oil.  Sprinkle on a third of the seasoning mix onto each side.
Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.

Using a turkey baster, retrieve most of the cooking juices from the slow cooker.  Transfer juices to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.  Whisk together the cornstarch with a little water.  Blend into the pan juices while whisking.  Bring back to a simmer until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Transfer the roast and vegetables to a large platter.  Ladle the gravy over.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

I have been looking for a slow cooker recipe for Chicken and Dumplings for a while. All of the recipes I have found call for canned cream of celery or cream of chicken soup. NO. That is not what I want to put in my dinner. I finally found this perfect recipe on RecipeGirl.com. It called for chicken broth. I had homemade broth in the freezer. The finished product was amazing. I went back for seconds. It reminded me of something my Mom would have made. It was just pure comfort. We will have this again. It will be a perfect winter dinner.

My version of Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumpling -

Ingredients-
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Method-
In the bottom of the slow cooker, layer the onions, carrot, and celery. Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables and pour the stock over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with thyme, salt Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred into bite-sized pieces with a fork. Return to the slow cooker.

Whisk the half and half together with the cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt.  Work in the butter using your fingers until course crumbs begin to form.

Stir in the milk and combine well until a sticky dough begins to form.

Drop tablespoon sized dollops of dough over the stew in an even layer. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 1 additional hour or until dumplings are cooked through.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

I was not the only one who enjoyed this tonight. Chris is not a big Eggplant Parmesan fan. But this received high praise! I am sure it was the prosciutto that made this as good as it was.

The eggplant was peeled and sliced. The slices were placed on a paper towel lined cookie rack. Salt was sprinkled on top and the slices sat for 1 hour. After the hour the salt was wiped off and the eggplant was dipped in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs were seasoned with Oregano, Basil, Parmesan Cheese, and pepper.

The oven was preheated to 450˚. The breaded eggplant was baked for 25 minutes. I turned the eggplant over halfway through the baking time.

I had made tomato sauce using the tomatoes from my sister's garden. I coated the bottom of a pyrex baking dish with some sauce. Next a layer of eggplant. Then I added a small slice of prosciutto. That was topped with a couple of dollops of ricotta that had been mixed with oregano, and parsley. Some Mozzarella cheese, shredded, and some Parmesan were layered over the ricotta. More sauce and I repeated this until I ran out of the eggplant. More sauce and Parmesan on top.

That was all done on Sunday.

Tonight it went in the oven, covered with foil, at 350˚ for 35 minutes. The dish was uncovered for the last 10 minutes. The total time in the oven was 45 minutes.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mini Meatloaf Muffins

Not bad for a Monday night. I prepped these meatloaf muffins yesterday. Chris just had to put them in the oven for 25 minutes. I even made the mashed potatoes yesterday. Brilliant! Nothing but compliments for this dinner.
Ingredients-
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup ketchup, divided
1 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1/2 cup finely bread crumbs
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp horseradish sauce
Cooking spray
2 teaspoons ketchup
Method-
Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, and chopped carrot, sauté 4 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture,  ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except for cooking spray and 2 tsp. ketchup, in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 8 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup.
Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.