Monday, April 18, 2011

Creamy tomato and basil soup

Recipe taken from Pioneer Woman cookbook

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
Two 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
One 46 ounce bottle/can tomato juice
3-6 tablespoons sugar
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil

1. Melt butter in large soup pot, saute onion.

2. Add tomatoes and stir. Add tomato juice, combine.

3. Add sugar (I used 4 tablespoons), chicken bouillon, black pepper. Stir to combine and heat until almost boiling.

4. Turn off heat and add cream, parsley, basil and more pepper to taste.

I served this soup with grilled cheese on sour dough and it was perfection.

Gnocchi with ricotta and tomato sauce

Adapted from Good Housekeeping: Vegetarian Meals cookbook

1 package gnocchi (16 oz)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 medium tomatoes (1 1/2 lbs) chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 - 10 fresh basil leaves chopped
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Cook gnocchi as directed on package.

2. In nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Stir in tomatoes, salt, basil, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break up slightly - about 5 minutes.

4. Drain gnocchi; transfer to warm serving bowl. Stir in ricotta and permesan.

5. Pour tomato mixture on top; toss before serving.

Serve with a leafy green salad and bread sticks or garlic bread. Use an olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper dressing on the salad.

Lemon-ginger chicken

Recipe taken from Betty Crocker: Bisquick II cookbook.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup original bisquick mix
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Lemon sauce:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger

1. Flatten each chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thickness.

2. Mix Bisquick mix, bread crumbs, lemon zest and ginger.

3. Dip chicken into water and then coat with Bisquick mixture.

4. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.

5. While chicken is cooking, make Lemon Sauce by combining all the sauce ingredient in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat; stirring occasionally, until thickened and bubbly.

Serve chicken over rice. Drizzle sauce over chicken and rice - you might want to double or even triple the sauce recipe.

You could even make an orange version of this and it would be divine!

Monday, January 24, 2011

French onion soup

This recipe is not fast but surprisingly, it's little hassle. It's also extremely delicious.

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
6 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
1 can (14 1/2 ounces | 1 3/4 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 slices (1/2 inch thick) french bread - I used french sour dough
4 ounces (1 cup) Gruy√®re, swiss or muenster cheese

In a large pot melt butter over medium heat.
Add onions and salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very tender and begin to caramelise - about 45 minutes.
Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring often, until onions are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Put onions in a bowl.
Add 1/2 cup of water to pot; heat to boiling over high heat, stirring until browned bits are loosened from bottom.
Add broth, thyme, and remaining water.
Heat to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until onions are very tender.

Meanwhile pre-heat over to 450'f.
Place four 2 1/2 cup oven safe bowls in jelly-roll pan.
Spoon onion soup in bowls; top with bread pressed lightly into soup.
Put cheese on bread.
Bake until cheese melts and begins to brown, 12 - 15 minutes.

*I use larger oven proof bowls than the 2 1/2 cup ones. Mine are big enough to top with 2 slices of bread.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chidester Pot Roast

This is how we make it in the Chidester household. Please comment on how your recipe differs.

1 4-5 lb roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup with garlic
2 envelopes beefy onion soup mix
1-2 lb baby carrots
1 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
about 1 c water

Put the roast in your crock pot.
Add the vegetables.
Top it with the soups and water.
Cook on low for 6 hours, or until done.

We make ours with mashed potatoes instead of cooking them in the crock, because there is never enough room for them. I just got a bigger crock, but I'll probably still mash because I can never get the potatoes to cook all the way through.

According to my crock pot cookbook, you shouldn't take the lid off while your meal is cooking.

Also, you're only supposed to fill you crock pot 2/3 of the way because that's how high the heating coils go. (I always fill to brimming, and my food cooks just fine.)

BeQui's Non-Greasy Fried Chicken

Chicken tenderloins (Whole breasts take too long to cook.)
vegetable oil
2 T margarine/butter

about 1/2 c flour
any spices you like. I prefer chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon herb seasoning, salt, and pepper. It is next to impossible to put too much seasoning in your flour.

Mix flour and spices in a bowl or bag.

Pour just enough oil into a frying pan to cover the bottom. Add the margarine. Heat over medium-high heat. Watch out, this stuff splatters.

Dry your chicken tenderloins with paper towels, then dip in the coating. (I read somewhere that you can put the spices on the chicken first, THEN the flour, and the seasonings will stay on better. I think it tastes fine without the extra step.) Fry in the hot oil. I usually cook for 2 minutes on one side, flip, 2 minutes, and then repeat. This will get the coating really crunchy and golden.

Drain in a metal strainer or on paper towels.

We like it best with mashed potatoes, and broccoli or steamed green beans.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pumpkin Enchiladas

1/2 red pepper, diced 1/2 white onion, diced
1 T olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic (I used the refrigerated kind in a jar)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more or less - according to your taste)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin (maybe more)
1 tsp cinnamon (I used more of this, too)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 large can pumpkin puree

small corn tortillas (I used about 17)
1 bag Mexican mix finely shredded cheese
2 cans medium red enchilada sauce (I think I used Old El Paso brand)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onions and peppers. When onions become translucent. Stir in garlic. Add remaining spices. Reduce heat to med-low. Add black beans and pumpkin. Mix all ingredients together and remove from heat.

To assemble enchiladas:

Spray 9"x13" or a few 8"x8" baking pans with non-stick spray. Place about 1/2 T of cheese mixture on a tortilla. Add 1/4 - 1/3 C of pumpkin mixture on top and roll tortilla - not too tight - corn tortillas tend to be fragile. Place folded side down in baking pan. Repeat, placing enchiladas closely, side by side, until pan is full or you run out of ingredients. Pour some sauce over enchiladas. Don't drown the enchiladas. You should still be able to see them under the sauce. You'll need more than one can, but still have a lot left over. Sprinkle more of the cheese over the sauce and bake for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy.