Category Archives: Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray Wednesday – Reuben Mac and Cheese

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Hello and Happy Wednesday to you my foodie friends! With everything that has been going on lately my schedule has gotten all flubbed up and there hasn’t been a Rachael Ray Wednesday or a Food Star Friday in what seems like forever! So I sat down and put on my thinking cap to figure out what recipe I wanted to make.

Last weekend I had a houseful with Kevin, Seth, Dylan, and Dylan’s girlfriend. I knew I wanted to make something that would fill them up but also reheat well for leftovers. So I decided on one of Rachael’s many mac and cheese recipes.

I personally love mac and cheese and there isn’t much I wouldn’t like mixed in really, but this one is one of my favorites. I know the first time I mentioned this combination to my family there were a few faces that looked a bit skeptical. Not after I made it. It was eaten in one night! And trust me this recipe can feed quite a few. I always know when it is a pasta recipe that Rachael says will feed 6 there will easily be enough to feed 10….or MORE! I remember one time my father said, “Feeds 6 what? Linebackers?”.

Speaking of my father, as you know from my past posts he could be a very picky eater. Well not picky so much as he was from Iowa farm country so he liked meat and potatoes, not foo foo fancy stuff. Well he shocked me because he really liked this mac and cheese. So that was another reason I knew I wanted to make this one again.

Another great thing about this recipe is how simple it is to put together. Bing bam boom you’ve got dinner on the table!

Reuben Mac and Cheese

  • Salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi, hallow corkscrew shaped pasta or, other short cut
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter plus some for buttering toast
  • A handful fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown deli mustard (recommended: Gulden’s)
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar
  • 3/4 pound good quality deli corned beef, sliced as thick as bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
While pasta cooks, toast rye bread in toaster then butter hot bread. Coarsely chop bread and place in a food processor. Add parsley and paprika to bread and process into bread crumbs, reserve.
Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter to pot and melt, whisk in flour 1 minute then milk. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, thicken sauce 5 to 6 minutes then stir in mustard. Melt 2/3 of the combined cheeses into the sauce.
Preheat broiler.
Drain pasta and return to hot pot. Toss hot pasta with chopped meat and sauerkraut to combine, stir in cheese sauce and coat. Transfer mac n cheese to casserole and top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Brown under broiler 3 to 4 minutes, serve.

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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

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OK, I actually made this on the 14th. It was my daughters birthday and as usual I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner. That is the routine with my kids, and has been for years. She surprised me by telling me that whatever I wanted to cook was fine with her. She even told me to try the veal recipe if I wanted. I was shocked! She was really kinda nervous about trying veal. Like I said she is my Miss Picky. But I pointed out to her that she likes lamb so she agreed to try veal.


The first thing that surprised me when I started prepping to cook the recipe was, when I removed the the veal scallopine I bought from it’s packaging it was in thin strips. I have never cooked veal scallopine before, but I was expecting something more along the line of thin steak shaped pieces of meat, or rounds. That was just odd to me, but I kept on prepping. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make. The name makes it sound so, well, complicated I guess. Fancy name = lots of work, right? Nope, not true. Once I started cooking my biggest fear was overcooking the meat and making it tough but I cooked it just as is says in the recipe and it was perfect. 


I followed the recipe to the letter, like a good girl, and everything came out just as it was supposed to. I wasn’t sure how to place it on the plate so I did the best I could with Rachael’s instruction. Hopefully I was right. You can let me know how the picture looks.


As for the reviews, Jessi disliked it immediately. I think that could have been mostly in her head. She got herself psyched up that it she wouldn’t like it, I am not sure. Kevin and I were both on the fence with it. I liked the veal, but wasn’t jumping up and down about it. Kevin said he didn’t like it. He did love the sauce with the avocados and asparagus though. I kind of thought this was a weird combo when I was making it, but really when you eat it all together it really was good. I am thinking about playing around with this sauce and the avocados and some other meats. 


If you like veal you will love this recipe. Rachael says “this dish is one buttery, delicious, edible ode to spring” and it really was very buttery. Like I said, I liked it but just that, liked it, wasn’t head over heals in love with it. 

Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

Ingredients

 Coarse salt
1 lemon
1 pound very thin asparagus tips
2 ripe Haas avocados
EVOO for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 pounds veal scallopine
Coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus more for dredging
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cream or half and half
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add a couple of curls of rind from the lemon and the asparagus tips. Cook the tips for 3 minutes, then drain and reserve.


Cut into and around the pits of the avocados. Scoop the flesh from the avocados, and slice. Dress the slices with a little lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and a pinch of salt, reserve.


Preheat your largest skillet over medium heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the scallopine in a little flour. Add the two tablespoons of the EVOO and the two tablespoons of the butter to the hot skillet. WHen the butter melts into the oil, add the veal and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until evenly light golden in color. Place the veal on a platter under a loose tent of foil.


Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of flour to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the wine and scrape up the pans drippings. Whisk the stock into the wine and add the thyme, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir in the cream, then remove from the heat.


Arrange the asparagus and sliced avocados over the veal and pour a line of sauce over the top. Garnish the dinner plates or platter with chopped chives and serve.


Serves 4

Veal Scallopine


Asparagus


Avocado
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Super Mashers with Steak and Pepper Hash

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Since I missed my Rachael Ray Wednesday due to this lingering yuck I have, I went in search of a meal to fill that gap and found this one. I really liked the sound of this recipe. I mean it has peppers in it and I LOVE peppers! Any heat in a recipe is just a huge plus for me, actually for most in this house not just me. If you add mashed potatoes to the mix you will please the whole family. My Dad has been known to, on numerous occasions, make a meal out of just mashed potatoes! 


I know it seems that I am obsessed with peppers, but for some reason later in my life I have developed a love for them. Maybe part of it is that I read the spicier the food, the more calories your body burns. So bring on the heat as far as I am concerned! 


I was a little nervous because, as I have mentioned before, Kevin is VERY picky when it comes to red meat. If it isn‘t rib eye he doesn’t want it…PERIOD! But I have been breaking him in slowly with the main reason being that who can afford to cook rib eye for every steak meal you make? This one calls for thinly sliced sirloin. When I was at the grocery store I saw a package of thinly sliced beef and it said “great for stir fry” on it. I asked the butcher if it was comparable to the sliced sirloin my recipe called for and she told me yes. So I grabbed three packages (the recipe calls for 1 1/3 pounds but I just grabbed a little over 1 1/2 pounds). I grabbed all my yummy peppers and away I went.


Now I get ready to cook and as I am reading down the recipe I realize that, once again, my ADD obviously kicked in and I somehow overlooked 2 items on the ingredient list! ARG!! I am going to have to make sure and read the ingredient lists three times each just to make sure I don’t do this anymore. Maybe I can blame this one on my Nyquil clouded brain? I can try right? 


To be honest I was worried about the meat being tough. While you are cooking the recipe instructs you to slide the beef off to one side of the pan and cook the veggies on the other side. I stole a bit of the meat to take a taste and it was really chewy. I was so bummed. I knew that would get a less than favorable review. But I went back to the business of cooking the whole meal  before I passed judgement.


After the veggies cook a bit it calls for you to mix the meat and veggies and cook for a few more minutes “like a stir fry”. Evidently the amount of cooking that took place between sliding the meat to the side and stir frying was the perfect amount. The meat was just right! I was so happy, and relieved.


I missed the scallions and the lime on the recipe so I used a little bit of lemon juice to add some citrus flavor and just had to do without the scallions. I will say the potatoes were good and I think the scallions would have made them even better. I couldn’t taste the lemon juice, but again I agree it would have been better with the lime. All that aside, this really was a good meal. The mix of peppers gave it a sweet/spicy thing going on, and eating it with potatoes in the same bite really just set everything off. I of course reserved my opinion until I heard from the other diners. Kevin immediately said he really liked it. Color me shocked!! My response to that was “Really?”. I was just completely prepared for him to hate it he really caught me off guard. Ok, now I am waiting for Miss Picky Pants to weigh in. She of course didn’t eat the peppers, but the steak still had the pepper flavor, and there is a bit of Franks Red Hot in it to boot. She said SHE loved it. WOW what a pleasant surprise. It went from a recipe, in my mind, that no one would want a repeat of, to one that can get marked down as a keeper. Nice!!


Oh, a small side note, I went ahead and mixed the cheese in with the mashed potatoes rather than sprinkling it on top. Just a personal preference for me. Also, the recipe calls for 10 ounces of shredded cheddar. Well, it comes in 8 ounce bags so I only used the 8 ounces and it tasted just fine.

Super Masher with Steak and Pepper Hash

Ingredients

4 large starchy potatoes, such as Idaho
coarse salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tables spoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 1/3 pound 1 inch thick beef sirloin, trimmed and thinly sliced
coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 Anaheim or poblano chilies (Anaheim are a bit hotter), seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
several drops of hot sauce, such as Franks Red Hot, to taste (I add a couple of tablespoons!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk depending on how soft you like your mashers.
10 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Peel the taters and cut them into small chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Uncover, add salt to season, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

In a small pot over medium low heat, add about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the garlic. Saute the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the scallions and remove the pan from the heat. Reserve.

Heat a large non stick skillet over high heat. Season the sliced steak with salt and pepper, then heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. The oil will smoke–don’t freak out, just add the meat and start searing it up. Brown the strip on all sides, hit with some Worcestershire sauce, then push it off to one side of the pan and add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the peppers, chilies, and onions, season with salt and pepper, then toss them around, searing all the edges, for another minute or two before combining all the meat and veggies together. Add the thyme and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, keeping everything moving around like a stir-fry. Turn off the heat and drizzle some hot sauce and the lime juice over the steak and veggies. Adjust the seasoning.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the hot pot to evaporate some of the water content. Add the reserved garlic and scallion mixture to the potatoes along with the sour cream and start smashing away with a masher. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk if needed. Season the super mashers with salt and pepper.

Pile up one fourth of the potatoes on each plate. Top with a generous handful of cheddar cheese. Pile up meat and veggies on top of the super mashers and serve. The heat of the meat and veggies will melt the cheese.

Serves 4




Mashed Potatoes


Pepper Sirloin Steak
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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets and Asparagus with Orange and Sesame

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Monday I had a Dr’s appointment and I realized I had gotten out of the house without my shopping list so I could pick up the ingredients for my next Rachael recipe for you all. Even though the store I needed to go to was all the way on the other side of town, and my house is somewhat in the middle, I just didn’t feel like driving back home. So off to the store I go with an idea in the back of my little brain.

I have this free app on my iPhone that is for Food Network. I got my shopping cart, whipped out my phone, and started searching. The planets must have aligned or it was fate or whatever you want to call it, but I went to the recipe section and clicked on the “Main Dish” tab up pops a few recipes. I had been really wanting to cook fish so I thought wellllll maybe I will just grab a fish recipe now and then come back out tomorrow to get the things I need to make a Rachael recipe. The first fish recipe that came up was this one and it sounded really good. Although I had never cooked Mahi Mahi I was feeling adventurous and like I said I really wanted fish. I clicked on the recipe and SURPRISE it was a Rachael Ray recipe! YAY I did the happy dance. People looked at me strange but since I was close to the pharmacy the must have figured “Aww poor girl needs her meds”.

The next thing that happened that made me know this was meant to be was when I got to the fish counter and asked for Mahi Mahi. I couldn’t see any and was beginning to feel bummed that I would have to substitute another fish or look for another recipe. WALA the fish girl pulls out 5 fillets DING DING DING I needed exactly 5 fillets! OK so maybe I get excited about strange things but this had me very very happy. She wrapped up my little beauties and, since I had already picked up everything else, I made my mad dash for the checkout and scooted home with my treasures.

Once I got home and began getting things ready to go a bit of panic set in. Mahi Mahi is a firm white fish. I could tell by the feel of it that it would be very dry if I over cooked it. If you have ever had over cooked Swordfish you will know what my fear was. But I told myself that I have gotten very good at cooking fish by sight and knew I just needed to keep an eye on it.

Kevin helped me get all the veggies prepped and I got the fish in the marinade. I didn’t heat the pan as quickly as she said to because it said to preheat it before the fish was even in the marinade. So I waited and preheated it as the fish was ready to come out.

There is a lot of ginger in the recipe and I was worried that Kevin wouldn’t like it because he really dislikes ginger. When we go for sushi I like to torment him by eating the pickled ginger and then trying to get him to kiss me. I am bad, I know.

I have to say that this recipe rated, out of the 5 people that ate it, well lets see, Jessi gave me a two thumbs up and a toe up, she said it would have been 2 toes up but she was sitting on her other leg. Seth barely made a positive ID check on his, Kevin’s son Dylan was all smiles, and Kevin said he loved the orange with it even though he had thought he wouldn’t. Everyone agreed that this one was a keeper and we wanted to have it again.

So I think that pretty much sums it all up. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

Again, not the best picture but trust me you will love love LOVE this one!!
Grilled Mahi Mahi Fillets and Asparagus with Orange and Sesame

4 portions, 6 to 8 ounces each, Mahi Mahi fillets
salt and pepper
2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons dark Tamari soy sauce
2 inches fresh ginger root, grated, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
20 blades fresh chives, chopped, or 3 scallions, thinly sliced
For the asparagus:
1 to 1 1/4 pounds asparagus
2 navel oranges
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Preheat grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Season mahi mahi with salt and pepper. Combine the Tamari, lime juice, fresh ginger, and a little vegetable or canola oil in a shallow dish. Turn the mahi mahi in the citrus soy marinade and let it hang out for about 10 minutes. Grill on grill pan for about 6 minutes per side for 1 inch thick fillets. Or until fish is firm and opaque.
Take one spear of asparagus and hold it at each end. Bend it until it snaps and breaks. Use this spear as the guide as to where to trim the ends of your bundle of spears. Using a vegetable peeler to cut long thin strips of zest from the oranges. Cut the ends off the zested oranges and stand them up on the cutting board. Remove the pith with a sharp knife cutting down from the top of the orange. Discard pith. When the oranges are both peeled and trimmed turn them on their sides and cut them into 1/4 inch disks. Set the disks aside. In a skillet with a lid, bring 1 inch of water to a boil with the zests of the oranges and the grated fresh ginger root. Allow the zest and ginger to simmer for at least 1 minute then add salt and asparagus spears. Simmer the spears 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain the asparagus. Discard the orange zest and ginger. Assemble a few spears on each plate layering them back and forth, crisscrossing the spears over orange slices. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the asparagus and oranges and top with one portion of the grilled mahi mahi. Garnish the assembled fish with the chopped chives or thinly sliced scallion.
Serves 4

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Big Beef Balls with Bucatini

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I chose this recipe because Kevin’s daughter was coming for dinner and she had told me she like spaghetti. I was excited to find something that I could cook that would not only make her happy, but also be from the “365 No Repeats” book. Unfortunately she didn’t make it for dinner, but we liked what we had.


Sometimes the ingredients that Rachael puts in her recipes drive me crazy. I know she says that she lives in a small town and her store carries these things but my stores a lot of the time DON’T, and that makes me nuts. I mean nuttier than I already am. The one in this recipe was the bucatini pasta. I had seen her use this pasta on 30 Minute Meals and thought it would be interesting however, I hadn’t been able to find pappardelle pasta anywhere until just recently. I was determined to not be negative about the hunt for this elusive pasta and off I went into the gray skies and drizzle to complete my quest.


As I began to scour the pasta isle of the store, I started getting more and more depressed thinking I was not going to be able to find a major part of this meal (I mean it is in the name of the recipe for God’s sake!) I had to be able to find this pasta! Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a pasta that looked like spaghetti but much thicker. Ok I knew bucatini is this hollow spaghetti so I snatched up the bag like it was a pot of gold. Much to my dismay, when I turned the package over the pasta was called perciatelli. My smile fell and my frustration grew. I must have gone through every single type of pasta they had at the store, and was just about to give up and buy regular spaghetti and issue my apologies when a light bulb went off in my head. I grabbed my trusty iPhone and jumped on Google. I did a search for perciatelle pasta and the very first one said perciatelli a fun spaghetti like noodle with a tiny hole running through it YAY!!! DING DING DING I found it. After I did my little happy dance, and the lady down the isle looked at me like I shouldn’t be drinking this early in the day. I purchased my little treasure and away we went, home to make a wonderful meal with this exciting new treat. I know it is crazy that I am this excited about pasta right? I need to get out more.


I followed this recipe very closely. I think that the meatballs need another egg or less bread crumbs because mine had a hard time staying together. They also need to cook longer in the oven. I cooked mine for the exact amount of time the recipe said and they were not cooked all the way through. My answer to that was to place them in with the sauce and cover the pot so they could finish cooking that way. It didn’t help the problem of them not staying in one piece, in fact it probably added to the problem, but they were nicely cooked and took on a lot of the sauce, which we all really liked. All in all we felt it was very tasty. The bucatini pasta was fun. We all acted like little kids slurping sauce through the noodles. I like any recipe that makes you have fun!


I really need to get some different plates, the plain white is getting boring for all of the pictures. Although it does make the food the focus, so we will see.



Big Beef Balls with Bucatini


  • coarse salt
  • 1 pound bucatini (thick hollow spaghetti)
  • 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground  beef
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs ( a couple of overflowing handfuls)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • fresh black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano variety if available
  • 1/2 fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
  • 12 cremini (baby portabello) mushrooms caps, chopped
  • 1/2 beef stock

Directions


Preheat the oven to 400. Heat a large pot of water to a boil.


Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Cook onions in 1 tablespoon of the EVOO for 5 minutes. Remove the onions and set them aside to cool.  In a large bowl, mix the meat with half of the onions, 3 cloves of the chopped garlic, the egg, bread crumbs, cheese, allspice, capers, sage, a handful of chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and a healthy drizzle of EVOO. Score the meat into 4 sections and make three very large balls from each section. Arrange the 12 balls on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes until firm, but not hard.


Add salt to the boiling water and drop the bucatini in, cook to al dente. Drain the pasta.


While the pasta and meatballs are cooking, heat another tablespoon of the EVOO in the skillet in which the onions were cooked. Add the pancetta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the remaining garlic and the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add the remaining onions back and deglaze the pan with the red wine, cook for 1 minute, add the beef stock, and whisk up any brown bits. Stir in the tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining parsley. Simmer for 5 minutes.


Toss the pasta with half of the sauce. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add to the remaining sauce, turning to coat. Serve 3 meatballs per person alongside the pasta. Spoon any remaining sauce over the pasta. Pass extra cheese at the table. Serve with a green salad.


Serves 4
Ground Beef on Foodista

Rachael Ray Wednesday – Turkey Club Super Mashers

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This past week I have been pretty out of it due to my surgery. Pain meds and fire do NOT mix so I have had to pass the cooking baton to Kevin. Bless his heart he has taken it up without complaining, and even taken requests from me (I wanted a tuna melt soooo bad last night). But I will be much happier when we can resume our normal position in the kitchen ans get back down to the business of cooking some terrific food. Luckily I do  have a few posts in my arsenal. I tend to cook  a lot so I have several posts that I have not shared yet. This is one of them, and it just happens to be a RAchael Ray one too so I am able to keep up with the plan!!


This recipe went over really well. Everyone liked it and although I was a bit nervous about the potatoes with the fire roasted tomatoes in them, even my picky one liked them. She told me she likes fire roasted tomatoes now, just not raw tomatoes. OK, note taken. Seth said the potatoes had a pizza flavor to them, but Kevin and I both just felt they really did remind us of a club sandwich. I wasn’t sure about the watercress since I have never had it before, but it added a nice flavor. Something different from spinach. I think arugala would be nice as well. It would give kind of a peppery kick to the potatoes.


Whatever the potatoes tasted like, we all really loved them. The chicken was so tender we didn’t even need a knife to cut it! This is a great recipe, nothing fancy, but nice and satisfying.


Turkey Club Super Mashers

Ingredients
  • 8 slices applewood smoked bacon
  • 4 large Idaho potatoes
  • salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds turkey breast cutlets
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups, stemmed and chopped watercress (1 bunch)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, or for extra smoky mashers, use 1 14 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Directions


Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange bacon on a slotted broiler pan and bake it for 15 minutes, or until evenly crisp. Cool, chop, and reserve.

While bacon cooks, peel the taters and cut them into small chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling add salt, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cutlets with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add the EVOO to the skillet. Add the cutlets and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until golden but not firm and dry. Transfer the cutlets to a platter and cover with foil. return the skillet to the heat and melt the butter in it. Add the flour and cook together for 1 minute, then whisk in the chicken stock. Bring to a bubble and reduce the heat to simmer. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. The sauce will take about 5 minutes to become thickened gravy.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the hot pot. Add the sour cream and start mashing. Add enough milk to get the potatoes to the desired consistency. Season the super mashers with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, watercress, and tomatoes (“BLT”) into the potatoes.

Pile up one fourth of the potatoes on each plate. Slice the cutlets and arrange on top of the potatoes. Cover the meat with pan gravy. Top the turkey club super mashers with chopped scallions and serve.

Serves 4

Italian Style Garlic Shrimp

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I picked up last night where we left off with the Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti (remember I didn’t have all the ingredients to make it the other day?). I have to admit I was a bit nervous that I would over cook the shrimp. I have done all kinds of fish, clams, muscles, scallops, but for whatever reason I get nervous when I cook shrimp. I know that if you overcook it they are rubbery and awful, so I just was a bit worried. But this is a recipe that, if you follow the directions, you can’t mess it up. It was great! My nerves gave way to a very hungry tummy as I was cooking.


I had a houseful last night. Kevin, Jessi, Seth, and Melissa were all here for dinner. Everyone gave this recipe their seal of approval, even Jessi, my pickiest eater. My Dad just doesn’t like seafood so he was out of this one. All of us, except Jessi of course, thought the addition of some red pepper flakes would be fantastic in this. But as it stands it is still a terrific meal. You know we just like things a bit hot in this house.


I actually followed the recipe very closely, believe it or not. Like I said I was nervous so no going crazy for me this time. The only things I did were, used two pounds of shrimp instead of one. Which if you do make sure and double the lemon zest and juice. I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes because I think they are sweeter. I think I have told you that I am not the biggest fan of tomatoes, at least raw tomatoes, but grape tomatoes are great.


So in my wrap up here I will say MAKE THIS RECIPE!! This was a master recipe too and the variations sound just as yummy, Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp, and Greek Style Garlic Shrimp……stay tuned for those, I know I am excited!


Oh, and I know that you are not supposed to use cheese with seafood, but I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on mine and it was fabulous!


Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti



Ingredients

  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound small shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails removed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus the juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (4 times around the pan)
  • salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 cup white vermouth or 1/3 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
  • course black pepper

Directions
Heat a large pot of water for the pasta, when the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta al dente.


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little salt. Add the EVOO to the the hot pan and then the shrimp. Cook for a minute, then add the garlic, tomatoes, and scallions and toss, cooking for another minute or two until the shrimp are firm and pink. Add the white vermouth and the herbs. Turn off the heat. Drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss and combine the sauce with the pasta and season with salt and black pepper.


Serves 4 (very very hungry people)

Food Star Friday – Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

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I was watching 30 Minute Meals, like I always do, and saw a recipe that sounded so good. Rachael said it was like a warm hug for your tummy. With the weather being so chilly at night here now I figured this was just what we needed.


I liked the sounds of this recipe because it is a sort of risotto made with spaghetti. It just sounded so interesting.. Plus I love white beans. Once she threw the word “creamy” in the mix I was already salivating!



It is a super simple recipe to make, not very many ingredients, it just takes time. You need to be on top of things and watch your pot so you can add the chicken stock when needed. 


I always have cannellini beans on hand so I substituted those for the Roman beans the recipe called for. I also left the carrots out. Since I am a huge bean fan I added 2 cans rather than the one can the recipe called for and it was a good thing because I kept nibbling on beans the whole time the meal was cooking!


Rachael really did hit the nail on the head by saying a bowl of this was a nice warm hug for your tummy. I know the weather is getting warmer so it may not seem like you need a “warm hug” but if it is cool or you just feel a bit under the weather, make this one. You won’t be sorry you did!

Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

Ingredients

5 to 6 cups of chicken stock
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound pancetta chopped into small dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound spaghetti
i medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into a small dice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 (15 ounce) can Roman beans or small white beans (recommended: Goya brand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
a generous handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the stock in a sauce pot and warm it over medium heat then reduce to a simmer.

Heat EVOO and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Next add the garlic and the spaghetti and toast noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay leaf, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit, 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans and then a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquid to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto. When liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al-dente, 12 to 15 minutes, stir in cheese. Adjust salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.

Serves 4

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Switching Things Up In A Curry

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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Mostly Green Curry Over Coconut Jasmine Rice


Well dinner was supposed to be Italian Style Garlic Shrimp. Sounds yummy no? Well, we still don’t know since Miss Forgetful over here forgot one of the ingredients for the recipe. Well actually I didn’t forget it I eerrrrrr I drank it. It called for white wine and I, not realizing I needed it for this recipe, drank the last glass of it a few nights ago. I guess that will teach me to pay attention right?


So here I am, in a bit of a panic, it is time to start cooking and I have no idea what I am going to make. My son Seth was here and his answer of course was to order pizza, ummm no. 


Now I grab my cookbook and see what recipe I have the ingredients for. OK, Mostly Green Curry Chicken over Coconut Jasmine Rice. Do I have everything I need for it? BINGO gang we have a winner!! 


This was a wonderful finish to a crazy chaotic start. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one. I have only cooked with coconut milk once before, a parchment wrapped chicken with veggies in coconut milk, and it just didn’t do anything for me. But I jumped in feet first to get this one done, determined it was going to be good. WOW was I right! Not only was it good, it was fantastic! Kevin ate all of his bowl and finished mine, and Seth had quite a bit as well. 


I stayed close to the recipe on this one. I switched a yellow bell pepper for the green one, but hey the recipe said “mostly” green right? I used a large jalapeño pepper and finely chopped it. I am not sure if it was a typo or the step was just omitted for some reason, but it only says to cut it in half and seed it. Possibly I was supposed to use it in the cooking and then remove it before serving, but it didn’t say that either so I made a judgement call. You know most of us here like things spicy so I was more than happy to have that jalapeño in there. 


I also added 1/2 cup cilantro instead of the 1/4 cup it called for. That was just because, well, I love, love, love cilantro so I couldn’t help myself. With the scallions, I sliced about 5 or 6 because I used the green tops in place of the chives for the Aussie Meat Pie recipe. I like onions, so it worked well.


Last but certainly not least, the hot sauce. To me curry needs to have a bit of a bite. I don’t mean it needs to bite your head of, but a little nibble at least is needed. The recipe says to use Tabasco to taste but, like I said in Aussie Meat Pie posting, I use Franks Red Hot or Sriracha. I used the Franks this time and a good amount. Probably about 10 to 12 shakes of the bottle. I made sure and salted well too. 


End result……total YUMMINESS!!! Kevin said this is definitely a keeper and I 100% agree. The picture isn’t the prettiest but trust me the taste is GREAT!



Oh oops I also doubled the rice part of the recipe, we like starch in this family! I think it was a good idea and you will still have enough coconut milk.

Mostly Green Curry Chicken over Coconut Jasmine Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 13 1/2 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 6 to 8 ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite sized pieces.
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, cut in half and seeded
  •  3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (a handful), chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls), chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • hot sauce, such as (I say Franks Red Hot) Tobasco, to taste


 Directions
In a sauce pot combine 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, and the jasmine rice. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 18 minutes. Turn the heat off and keep the rice covered until ready to serve.


While coconut jasmine rice is cooking, preheat a large non-stick skillet over high heat with about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces, spreading them evenly across the the pan, and brown chicken on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and reserve. Add the last tablespoon of the vegetable oil to the pan. Add the green bell peppers, onions, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, and broccoli florets. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the veggies start to wilt. To the skillet add the remaining coconut milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet, and return it to a simmer for about 2 more minutes. add the lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, scallions, parsley, and frozen peas. Stir to thoroughly combine. Simmer a minute more to heat the peas, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add some hot sauce if you like heat. Serve over coconut jasmine rice.


Serves 4

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Food Star Friday – Aussie Pies Made Quick

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Boy, when Rachael said made quick she really meant it! These “pies” are super easy and super quick to make. Again, not so many ingredients, so not a lot of slaving away to be done over the meal. I did add some minced garlic to the recipe, as per Jessi’s request. I don’t think there is much we cook with out onions and garlic in it!


The meat smelled great after cooking with the onions and garlic and then you add the brown sugar, tomato paste mixture and it went from great to YUM. I love it when the food smells so good you want to just eat it out of the pot! I do suggest that when you bake the pastry dough sheets that you do it on parchment paper or a very good nonstick cookie sheet. I had a bit of a “stickage” issue with mine.


I think this would be great if you added some spice to the ketchup on top too. I mean if you don’t like things spicy by all means the regular ketchup is great. But for those that like it a bit hot I would add some of your favorite hot sauce to it. I use Frank’s Red Hot a lot or Sriracha hot sauce (you can find it in the Asian isle at your market).


Last impressions on the recipe are that it tastes great, it is easy to make, and my kids gave it two thumbs up, oh so did Kevin too! I will say I think this makes a great lunch recipe more so than a dinner one though. But either way, bring your appetite!

Aussie Meat Pies, Made Quick

Ingredients
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted but kept chilled (recommended brand: Pepperidge Farms)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning as in McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • ketchup for garnish 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions


Preheat the over to 400

With a sharp knife, cut the thawed but chilled puff pastry sheets into 4 square, 8 squares total, and arrange on cookie sheet. Season the squares with a little salt and pepper. Bake the puff pastry according to the package directions or until golden brown all over, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Let it get really hot so the meat will caramelize when it hits the pan. Add the EVOO, then the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the beef and really work at breaking it up as it browns-get the bits all nice and tiny. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook mixture a minute more. In a small bowl combine the Worcestershire sauce with the tomato paste and brown sugar, then whisk in the stock. Whisk the seasoned stock into the pan. Stir into the meat and combine. Season the meat with grill seasoning and reduce the heat to low.

When the pastry squares are ready, assemble the pies. Place a square of pastry in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with one quarter of the meat mixture and another square. Place a large dollop of ketchup in the center of the top pastry and sprinkle the “pies” with chives to garnish, then serve.

serves 4

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