Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Boeuf Bourguignon adapted from Julia Childs' recipe

Boeuf Bourguignon
(adapted from Julia Childs recipe)
Ms. Childs recipe calls for pearl onions, which my family doesn't care for, so I omit them. Also her recipe calls for a 6 oz. chunk of bacon that you boil first before sautéing-I use thick-cut strips of bacon instead-no boiling needed.
There is a lot of prep work for this recipe, but it is so worth it!
 9 to 10 inch stove top and oven proof casserole
extra virgin olive oil
5-thick slices of bacon (I use Wright Brand-naturally Hickory Smoked); cut width-wise 1/2 inch thick
3 lbs. Rump Roast-trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
kosher/coarse salt & freshly cracked black pepper
6 carrots; peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion; small dice
2 Tablespoons flour
1 bottle of Beaujolais red wine-find in the French wine section (average size wine bottle)
2 to 3 cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
10-inch enameled skillet
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 lb. baby bella (cremini) or button mushrooms; quartered
opt: chopped chives or parsley for garnish
Mashed potatoes; 6 servings
Adjust the racks in your oven so that the covered casserole dish can fit in the middle position of your oven. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  1. Sauté the bacon in the casserole dish with a little olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper toweled side dish and reserve for later. Turn off the heat. Set the casserole dish with the bacon drippings off of the heat to prevent burning; meanwhile prepare the beef.
  2. This next part is VERY important!- Drying each cube of beef: place 2 layers of paper towels on a large sheet pan. Tear off about 6-7 sheets of paper towels. Place 1 paper towel square in the palm of your hand and place one cube of beef in the center, press lightly around the entire surface area with your paper toweled hand. Place the dried cube on the paper towel lined pan; repeat with another cube using a different area of the paper towel, changing the towel for a new one once it is used on both sides, until all the beef is dried. (The beef will not brown if it is damp).
  3. Reheat the casserole dish with the bacon drippings until it is almost smoking. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of salt and about 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper over the beef cubes and then sauté a few pieces at a time.  Don't over crowd the beef. (4 to 5 cubes at a time)- in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the reserved bacon dish.
  4. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables stirring occasionally until they release their moisture and pick up all the dark brown bits on the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a pinch of salt and 1 grinding of black pepper to the vegetables.
  5. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and sprinkle the meat and veggies with the 2 Tablespoons of flour, toss to coat. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and place back onto the stove,  turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  6. Pour entire contents of wine over the meat, add enough beef stock until the meat is barely covered. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and the bay leaf. Bring to simmer on top of the stove, Then cover the casserole and set in the lower third of preheated oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork tender. Meanwhile prep the mushrooms.
  7. Mushrooms: Place the enameled skillet over high heat with the 2 Tablespoons of butter and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During their sauté the mushrooms will at first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat and set aside until the beef is done.
  8. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Find the bay leaf and discard it. Wash out, clean and dry the casserole dish and return the beef, bacon and vegetables to it. Distribute the cooked mushrooms over the meat; set aside.
  9. Simmer the sauce in the sauce pan until it thickens enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly, If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of beef stock. Taste carefully for more seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
  10. Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve over mashed potatoes and garnish with fresh parsley or chives.
Serves 6


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ghostly Shepherd's Pie

Ghostly Shepherd's Pie

A layered casserole with beef and vegetables in a tomato-beefy gravy, topped with potato ghosts.
  • olive oil
  • 1-large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1-12oz. jar Heinz Beef Gravy
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-16 oz. frozen bag of classic mix vegetables (carrots, green beans, peas and corn). 
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 cups (48 oz.) cooked mashed potatoes-(To save time I bought 2-24 oz. packages of pre-made mashed potatoes at my local grocer deli).
  • Black sesame seeds or caraway seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds-broken in half (as seen in picture) for the eyes.
 Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften.
  2. Add the beef and turn heat to medium high, break up beef. Leave the beef alone until beef begins to brown, turn the meat over and cook until brown on other side.
  3. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, until well blended, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth, gravy, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil for 3 minutes scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Stir in the frozen bag of vegetables until vegetables are heated through.
  7. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  8. Spray a 9x13 cooking dish with nonstick spray.
  9. Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with cheddar cheese. 
  10. Spoon the 3 cups of mashed potatoes, (heat cold mashed potatoes in microwave to more easily handle), on top of meat mixture and spread evenly with a spatula.
  11. Put the other 3 cups of mashed potato in a Ziploc gallon bag, snip of one corner and pipe the ghosts on. You can help the shape of their heads with your fingers or a small spoon dipped in hot water. Add the broken in half pumpkin seeds or black sesame or caraway seeds for the eyes.
  12. Place the dish on a foil lined sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the ghosts are browned on top.
Let rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.

"Bone Marrow Bites" -a Halloween appetizer-

Bone Marrow Bites
-a Halloween appetizer-
(Sliced Sweet Shredded Pork Tortilla Wraps)
The original recipe is from the Sugar-n-Spice Gal's crock pot Sweet Pork Dippers recipe I found on Pinterest, similar to a Taquito. (So yummy!).  I sliced up the left overs and fried them in canola oil and freaked out my kids, because they look like slices of bone marrow. "Light Bulb Moment"! This would be a great Halloween Party appetizer, with a label in front that reads: Bone Marrow Bites.
 Serve them along with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and/or your favorite ranch dressing.
4 lb. pork tenderloin roast
salt and pepper
1 cup salsa (I used Jacks Special Medium Salsa)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup Coca Cola (not diet)
7 inch flour tortillas (2-22.5 oz. pkgs. about 40 tortillas)
2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
Canola oil-for frying
Dipping sauce recommendations:
Sour Cream
Lite House Jalapeño Ranch Dressing (find next to the bagged salad greens in your local grocer)
Ranch Dressing
Put pork roast into a medium sized crock pot. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper around the entire surface of the loin. Cover with salsa, brown sugar, and coke.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours until the pork is fork tender.
Once pork is cooked, remove from crock pot, discard fatty parts and shred. Remove half of the sauce in the crock pot and return the shredded pork. Mix thoroughly with the remaining sauce.
Lightly spray a shallow cookie sheet.
Place 1/4 cup of shredded pork on to a tortilla and roll tight like a taquito. (Don't worry if a little juice leaks out). Place seam side down on the cookie sheet.
Sprinkle the tops with cheese and place in a 375 degree oven till the cheese melts. About 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool before making the "Bone Marrow Bites"-baking them as a taquito first helps hold their shape better before frying.
Bone Marrow Bites:
-You'll need-
Large fry pan
Canola Oil
Paper toweled lined cookie sheet
Once cool, slice taquitos into 1  1/4 inch thick discs. Use a very sharp knife so not to smash the round shape.
In a large fry pan add enough canola oil till the oil depth is 1/2 an inch.  Heat oil on Medium High. Once oil is hot turn heat to Medium and add the bites, placing them disc sides down. Do not over crowd them, you will definitely have to cook them in batches. If the oil gets to dark, discard and start with a new batch of oil. Fry until golden (turn heat down if discs are browning to quickly). Turn over and fry the other side until golden, place on paper toweled lined cookie sheet. 
Arrange on a platter with a folded card sign in front that reads "Bone Marrow Bites".
Serve with above mentioned dips.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Slow-Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli

Serve this over cooked rice or omit the chicken, double the broccoli and serve over baked potatoes.
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used frozen-no need to thaw)
  • 1-14 oz. can cream of chicken soup
  • 1-16 oz. Velveeta cheese block; cut into small cubes
  • 1-14.5 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime salt free seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1 large head of broccoli; cut into small florets and steam for 3 minutes or until crisp tender-Don't over cook the broccoli!
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Inside the slow cooker whisk together cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, salt, Fiesta Lime seasoning, and garlic salt.
  2. Place frozen chicken breast in next, submerging them into the soup mix.
  3. Add cubed Velveeta on the top then cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours. (My crock pot finished cooking the frozen chicken after 5 hours on low).
  4. When chicken is done remove from slow cooker and shred into bite size pieces. Add and whisk in sour cream until sauce is smooth. Add the steamed broccoli, shredded cheddar cheese and shredded chicken and fold gently into the sauce.
  5. Serve over cooked rice.
Makes 6-8 servings

Monday, July 29, 2013

Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
A Cuban shredded Beef dish. Ropa Vieja means "old clothes", I guess the shredded beef looks like old clothes.  If your tired of the same old burrito/taco dishes try this.  It's tangy, spicy, and savory.  This hearty steak dish served over rice makes a complete colorful meal that includes crushed tomatoes, red, yellow, orange & green bell peppers, onions, carrots, jalapeno and pimiento-stuffed green olives. 
2-15 oz. cans or 1-30 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
3 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 heaping teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
2-bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper (about 6 turns)
1-large white onion, diced
2- large carrots, peeled and diced
2-jalapeno peppers, diced with half the seeds and membrane removed; slice the jalapeno in half and remove the seeds and white membrane with a spoon from 1 half of the jalapeno (or keep all the seeds if you like it hot, or if you're a spicy lightweight-remove all the seeds and white membrane from both halves)
8-bell peppers; (two in each color) red, green, yellow & orange; sliced into matchstick lengths, 1/2 inch thickness
2 lbs. flank or skirt steak
To add after cooking time is done:
3 Tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives, plus 1 (optional)
 Tablespoon brine from the jar (optional)

Serve on top of:
 Cooked white rice
  1. Combine the crushed tomatoes, broth, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leafs and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add to a large oval slow cooker the onion, carrots, jalapenos, and bell peppers.
  3. Pour half of the sauce on top of the vegetables.
  4. Lay the steak on top of the vegetables and pour the remaining sauce on top.
  5. Cover and cook on low, undisturbed for 8 hours. (Your house is going to smell so good!)
  6. After 8 hours, remove the meat to a cutting board and find the bay leaf and discard. Cut the meat in half length wise and then against the grain into 3 sections, then shred with 2 forks, add the shredded meat and also the olives and olive brine back into the slow cooker, stir, check if it needs more salt and pepper and serve over rice.
Serves 6-8 large servings 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ranch Cheese Burgers
 This recipe is so easy. All the seasoning you need is in the salad dressing packet, and the cheese is inside! These burgers are moist and flavorful and can be grilled outside or cooked on an inside griddle. This recipe make 8 medium sized burgers.
  • 2 lbs. (80/20) ground beef
  • 1-1 oz. packet of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix-(original flavor not buttermilk)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • your favorite hamburger condiments and toppings.
  1. Gently mix together the ground beef, ranch mix and cheese
  2. Form into burgers and grill until meat is no longer pink inside and juices run clear (about 5 minutes per side).
  3. Toast your buns on grill or indoor griddle and serve with your favorite condiments and toppings:
red onion
avocado slices.....whatever you think is good!!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
One of my favorite comfort foods!
All Ingredients:
  • 1 small cooked roast chicken; meat removed from bone and chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 3-4 oz. cans diced mild green chilies; 2 for filling, 1 can for sauce
  • 1-8 oz. package cream cheese; cubed and softened
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream; divided (1/4 cup for the filling, and another 1/4 cup for sauce)
  • 1-15 oz. can of Great Northern White Beans; rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese; divide in half-1 cup for filling 1 cup for topping
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper; 4 turns of the grinder or a generous pinch. 
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion; minced
  • 1 clove garlic; minced
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1-15 oz. can green chile enchilada sauce; mild
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a half a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, 2 cans of green chilies, the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sour cream, white beans, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper; set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced onion and stir occasionally until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the minced garlic and stir for about a 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic; stir and cook for 3 minutes to cook out the raw flour. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Keep whisking until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Add the enchilada sauce and the remaining can of green chilies, cook over medium heat stirring constantly; turn the heat down once the sauce starts to bubble. Simmer the sauce until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon; remove from heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup of sour cream (taste test and add more salt & pepper as needed); set aside.
  4. Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spread about 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  5.  If needed microwave all the tortillas together for 30 seconds or more if too stiff to roll up. Place all eight tortillas on a clean surface and spoon each tortilla with an equal amount of the chicken/bean filling, Roll the tortillas up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Fit 6 rolled tortillas width-wise and 2 rolled tortillas length-wise down the side of the 9x13 pan.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolled tortillas, spreading evenly with a spatula. Top with remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake for 30 minutes or more until bubbling, hot and lightly browned on top.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro. 
Serve with chips and salsa.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks

Never heard of Hawaiian Haystacks? Its sort of similar to a Chicken-a-la-King dish but better!
   This is my own recipe version of Hawaiian Haystacks using coconut milk and ginger root- *(if you have never used ginger root, try it, it makes all the difference in this dish). 
   This dish is a favorite of ours because you can customize your own dish by adding as many or as little toppings as you like. The dish consists of layers; the first being the "haystack"=cooked rice then you add your favorite toppings (suggestions at the end of recipe), the chicken sauce, and last garnish with pineapple and crunchy chow mien noodles.
   *In using fresh ginger, try this trick I learned from Rachel Ray. Break off the root pieces and peel them, place individual pieces on wax paper and wrap tightly securing ends by twisting like candy pieces, place all wrapped pieces in a freezer bag and freeze up to 6 months (don't forget to label the bag and add the date). I do this when I bring home ginger from the store because it is so much easier to cut or grate frozen ginger. Just cut off the frozen piece that you need for your recipe and wrap the rest before it thaws, back in the wax paper and put back into the freezer for next time: Other ideas for using ginger: grate into soups, stir-fry or teas; it's so good for you.

Ingredients for Chicken Sauce:
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon of butter

1 small onion-about 3/4 cup minced
1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger root
2 cloves garlic minced
13.5 oz. can Coconut Milk
1-10 3/4 oz. can Cream of Celery soup
1-10 3/4 oz. can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce (hot chili sauce)-add more if you like it spicy.
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 small cooked rotisserie chicken; meat removed and chopped into bite size pieces.

 Directions for Chicken Sauce:
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot; add onions and cook until translucent.
  2. Add minced ginger and garlic; cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Add to the pot the coconut milk, cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, chicken stock, soy sauce, sriracha sauce and rice vinegar and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat so not to scald the sauce and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the cooked chicken pieces and again cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. 
Serves 6

Assemble haystacks:
Place cooked rice in the middle of plate forming a nest; add suggested toppings (see below), pour Chicken Sauce over the top and garnish with chow mien noodles, pineapple and scallions (see below other suggested garnishes). Add more soy sauce and sriracha on top if you like!

Suggested haystack toppings: to place on top of rice "nest"-no need to heat the toppings. I serve them room temperature. Pouring the hot chicken sauce over the top heats them up.

Suggested garnishes: to place on top of chicken sauce.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

No Crunch Potato Salad

   When I was a kid my Mom, for the first time, made the standard potato salad with crunchy things in it like onions and relish. My siblings and I didn't like it one bit, too bad because we all love potatoes and boiled eggs, so she made it again with out the crunchy stuff, and we inhaled it! 
    Usually tastes change when you become an adult, like I now prefer mustard and relish on my hot dog instead of the standard kid favorite-ketchup.  But I still prefer the in unencumbered, simple, smooth texture of my Mom's Potato Salad.
    The following recipe is my version of this family favorite summer salad. 
  • 5 large Baking Potatoes-(I prefer baking potatoes because you only have to remove the skin of 5 instead of 10 small/medium potatoes).
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups Real Mayo like Best Food's or Hellmann's (no Miracle Whip).
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • Juice from half a Lemon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Salt
  • Paprika for garnish
  1. Clean potatoes to remove dirt and place in a large stock pot, cover with cold water and cook on high heat until it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium high and cook until very tender about 60 minutes. Drain cooked potatoes, put back in pot and run cold water over them to aid the cooling process but make sure that they are cooked enough because the cold water will stop the cooking process. Peel the skins from the potatoes and dice into small bite size pieces placing them in a large mixing bowl. If some of the potato flesh falls apart while cutting them up, even better, you want the combo of potato dice and an almost mashed potato quality that aids in the creamy texture of this no crunch salad. Season potatoes with kosher salt, about 2 generous pinches; gently stir potatoes.
  2. Place eggs in medium sauce pan and cover with cold water 1 inch from the top of the eggs, add a generous amount of kosher salt (1 Tablespoon) and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the water, cook on high until it boils, then cover with lid, remove from heat and set timer to 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add cold water or ice to pot to stop the cooking process and cool the eggs slightly (keep the eggs in the water, do not take eggs out). Once cool enough to handle for peeling, tap the egg all around its side on a hard surface and set back into the water in pot. This helps the water/salt/oil get into the egg and aids in easier peeling. Peel all eggs while frequently dipping back into the water; and set aside in the fridge.
  3. Dressing: mix together mayo, mustard, milk, agave nectar and lemon juice, cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Mix together in a small bowl the following seasonings: 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt, Fresh Cracked Pepper (I use about 8 turns of my pepper grinder-less or more to your liking), Celery Salt and Onion Salt. Pour mixed seasonings over cut up potatoes and mix well.
  5. Reserve 2 eggs for garnish and chop up the remaining 6 eggs and add to the potatoes.
  6. Pour the prepared dressing over the potatoes and eggs; stir till combined, then pour into a serving bowl and flatten the top with the back of a large spoon. Slice the 2 reserved eggs into round discs, garnish the top of the salad and then dust the top with paprika.
  7. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours (the longer it chills and sits the better the flavor).
Serves 10-12  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Crockpot Tortellini Soup with Turkey Sausage and Spinach

  • 32 oz. box of chicken stock
  • 2-15 oz. cans of Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1-8oz. block of cream cheese; cut into small chunks.
  • 1/8 cup agave nectar (find in the sugar aisle)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes-omit if your using hot Italian sausage.
  • 1 parmesan cheese wedge with rind-need the wedge for two reasons- 1. Shred enough parmesan cheese for garnish. 2. Slice off the rind and reserve to add to the crockpot.
  • 1 & 1/4 lb. Ground Italian turkey sausage hot or regular
  • 9 oz. package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • a large handful of ready to eat baby spinach or chopped kale
  1. To a large crockpot add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, cream cheese chunks, agave nectar, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and cheese rind. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, brown sausage with a little olive oil in a medium high skillet. With a slotted spoon remove sausage from skillet to a paper toweled plate, let cool and then keep in fridge until the soup base is done.
  3. After 5 hours, remove the cheese rind and discard. Add to the soup base the cooked sausage, tortellini and the handful (or as much as you want) of spinach or kale; stir and replace lid and cook for 30- 40 minutes more until the pasta is cooked.
Garnish the soup with parmesan shreds.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

     This is my short-cut recipe to Asian Lettuce Wraps.  They are just as good as PF Changs.  This recipe is also great minus the lettuce and just served over sticky rice with all the toppings as well!
     The Sun*Bird seasoning mix has the recipe on the back but I add more mushrooms and chestnuts than what it asks for and it is just as good. The packet makes about 8 lettuce wraps. My recipe is doubled for 16 or more wraps, because we like it as a main course.

What you need:
  •  2 packets of Sun*Bird chicken lettuce wraps seasoning mix (Smiths/Kroger grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • 3 tsp of brown or white sugar
  • 3 1bs of ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 cans (5 oz. each) sliced chestnuts; drained and finely diced.
  • 12oz. package of sliced button mushrooms; finely diced or 2-6oz. packages; finely diced.
  • 6 green onions; sliced
  • 2 large heads of iceberg lettuce
  • Cooked white or brown rice
  • chopped peanuts
  • (opt. carrot shreds and bean sprouts)
  1. In a large glass bowl, blend together season packets, water, soy sauce and sugar. Add all the other ingredients except for the lettuce and rice. I mix it all together with my hands. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinade mixture. 
  2. Cut iceberg lettuce heads in half; wash and drain well. Separate whole lettuce leaves.
  3. In an oiled large skillet, cook half the marinade mixture at a time on high heat for 1 min. Reduce heat to medium, cook 7 min. stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and keep warm. Cook the other half of the marinade mixture.
Ready to Eat:
        Fill lettuce leaf with cooked rice and meat mixture. Serve topped with chopped peanuts, soy sauce, hot chili sauce and or chinese hot mustard, as desired.  Its also great with carrot shreds and/or bean sprouts.