Tag: butter

Trying to Make Thursday Supper a Thing

Recently I swapped my hours at work on Thursdays to the morning, so I found myself with more time to actually plan and execute a meal, instead of the usual leftovers we tend to have when both my husband and I get home between 5:30 and 6 pm and both feel not especially like cooking.

This week I made pan-seared salmon and broccoli gratin, and I felt weirdly empowered by cooking the salmon myself.  Generally I make the husband grill it.

Anyway!  Recipe links follow with pictures.

I don’t know if you could call it a recipe so much, but this lovely tidbit from Food & Wine made cooking the salmon super easy.

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I put a little bit of the marinade the salmon had been sitting in (just an equal mix of olive oil and lemon juice) in the pan as the oil.  I love my cast iron.  😀

The urge to try broccoli gratin came as I was flipping through my copy of Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for All Seasons.  There is a recipe for broccoli gratin that sounded good, but I didn’t have some of the ingredients.  The description of the recipe, though, said it was a more gourmet version of regular broccoli gratin, which I proceeded to look up and find an awesome recipe on Food Network’s website that I had everything for and turned out deliciously.

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The breadcrumbs maybe got a little too toasty in the pan before I put them on top, but still great.

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The hubby’s finished plate.  A healthy meal that feels like cheating because, well, cheese.  No need for a starch!  🙂

You can combine with a salad if you’d like…I had a veggie blend after dinner because I forgot, or if you’d like the salmon would be great on top of some couscous or rice.

Happy eating!

 

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Crock Pot Sunday

Being that there was still football this weekend, we decided to stay in and make dinner and dessert in the crock pot.And it was glorious.

Here’s what we made!

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Crock Pot Pork and Beans
(from http://busycooks.about.com/od/porkentreerecipes/r/cpporkbeans.htm)

Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 8 hours
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
6 boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
1 onion, chopped
2 large cans of pork and beans
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tbsp of mustard (or more to taste)

Preparation
In a 4 quart crockpot, combine onion, pork and beans, ketchup and mustard and stir to blend.
Add pork chops to crockpot, pushing some down into the bean mixture.
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender.

We ended up shredding the pork, which made it kind of a stew-like consistency, but it was still delicious.
And I’d recommend putting salt and pepper on each side on the pork chops before they go in the crock pot, to give them a little more flavor.

 

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Old Fashioned Slow Cooker Baked Apples
(from http://www.southernplate.com/2011/09/old-fashioned-slow-cooker-baked-apples.html)

Ingredients
4-5 Apples (whatever will fit in your slow cooker)
1/2 Cup water

For Each Apple you’ll need:
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon allspice (just a smudge of allspice)
1 Tablespoon (or pat) of butter

Instructions

    1. Core each apple and peel a small strip from around the top of each one (about 1 inch). Place in bottom of slow cooker.
    2. Combine brown sugar, spices, and dried cranberries in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
    3. Stuff each apple with filling, all the way to the top, pressing down with your finger to make room for more filling. Top each one with a pat of butter.
    4. Pour water into bottom of slow cooker.
    5. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours, or until tender. Serve on their own or with ice cream. Also great over oatmeal.
We didn’t have cranberries or raisins, but it turned out really well still without them.
And now we’re all super full of delicious, warm football food.  🙂
Try it yourself!

Pork and Potato Dumplings with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

Rocco cheats in this recipe by using packaged potato gnocchi for the dumplings.  Still awesome.
Also, I would recommend, if you have any of the sauce left, to use it within the next couple of days for chicken.  It does not keep terribly long.

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops (about 4-6)
salt
pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh potato gnocchi (sold in packages in the pasta aisle)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (also called pimenton)  (I used regular paprika, works just as well)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions

1.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat.  (I had to reduce to medium-high: know your burners.)  Season pork chops with salt and pepper; add to the pan.  Cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 mins per side.  Remove from pan; cover lightly with foil to keep warm.  Turn heat down to medium-high.

2.  While pork is cooking, bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil and cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water when gnocchi are done.

3.  After pork chops are cooked, add butter to the pan over medium-high heat.  When butter is hot, add onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender are caramelized, about 12 mins.

4.  Add the paprika, sour cream, and reserved gnocchi cooking water to the pan; toss to coat.  (Or stir, because I sure as heck can’t toss in a cast-iron pan).  Stir in chives; season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.

5.  Serve porks chops with gnocchi mixture.

Fried Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Tater Bake, and Baked Mac and Cheese

Three completely unrelated, though delicious, recipes I made on three different nights this past week.

The first one I made as a companion to some chicken and mashed potatoes, liberally stolen again from Michael Symon and The Chew.  I left out the capers, because neither Jeff nor I are fond of them, but you can include them if you’d like.
Michael Symon’s Fried Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Capers

Ingredients

canola oil for deep frying
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/2 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb Brussel sprouts (trimmed and quartered lengthwise)
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

1.  Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that the oil comes 3 in. deep up the sides.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees, or until you see the snakey lines.

2.  While the oil is heating, whisk together serrano, honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil in a bowl large enough to toss all the Brussel sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Keep the bowl near the stove top.

3.  Working in batches, deep-fry the Brussel sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 mins.  Add the walnuts and capers to the last batch.  If using capers, stand back because the capers will pop and sputter.  Give the contents of the pot a stir, remove with a skimmer and place directly into the bowl of dressing.  Toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious and crunchy!
This picture is what was posted on The Chew’s site… mine didn’t look quite so elegant, but were just as tasty.

Chicken Tater Bake

This is a recipe from Jeff’s Aunt Carol.  It’s extremely easy, but extremely awesome.

Ingredients

1 3-4 lb chicken or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 32-oz package of tater tots
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 tbsp margarine
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
1/2 to 1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
Topping
2 cups corn flake crumbs
1/2 cup margarine (or enough to coat crumbs)

Directions

Cook chicken until done.  Remove from bones if using a whole chicken, and cut into bite size pieces.  Grease a 9 x13 pan and place tater tots in bottom of pan.  Cover with chopped chicken.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine.  Stir in flour and make a paste.  Add milk, onion and soup.  Stir until thick and pour over cheese layer.  Melt 1/2 cup of margarine, add corn flakes and stir to coat.  Pour over casserole and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until bubbly.

This last recipe was a variation of baked mac and cheese that I took from Alton Brown, because I needed a quick Sunday lunch before some work.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp salt
pepper
Topping
3 tbsp butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five mins.  Make sure it’s free of lumps.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.  Simmer for ten mins and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg.  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Melt butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 mins.  Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Please enjoy these recipes!   …Though not necessarily all together.  🙂

Italian Breaded Pork Chops, Honey Glazed Carrots, and Ice Cream Bread

I was more ambitious yesterday in the kitchen than I’ve been in a week or so, so you get to enjoy the (recipe) fruits of my labors.  I actually made the ice cream bread first yesterday, but I’m going to put the recipe last so you get more than dessert.  🙂

Main course I modified a bit, because it’s a recipe that I’ve done before.  I made the pork into medallions, as you’ll see in the picture, instead of keeping them as chops.  I found the pork stays more moist and is easier to eat that way.

So, onward!

Main Course: Italian Breaded Pork Chops
(allrecipes.com)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I made my own by blending regular bread crumbs with Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you can use the stuff in the container, you don’t have to grate yourself)
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 pork chops  (I’ve used 2 cut in half, or pork medallions.  Actual pork chops tend to be kind of thick.)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2.  In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.  In a separate small bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet (if you don’t have one, that’s fine, just use a regular skillet.  I’ll explain later.)  Stir in the garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Remove the garlic, reserving for other uses (or chuck).

4.  Dip each pork piece into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly.  Place coated pork chops in the skillet, and brown about 5 minutes on each side.  (until golden brown)

5.  Place the skillet in the preheated oven.  If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, transfer the pork to a casserole dish large enough for them, then place in oven.  Cook for 25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

They should look like this (if medallion style):

 

Veggie: Honey Glazed Carrots

This one’s rather short, because I glanced at a recipe by Sunny Anderson and did it on the fly.  These are done in no time at all.

Ingredients

Can of carrots, sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Directions

1.  Cook can of carrots in their own juice in a medium saucepan.  They will become tender.  Drain off liquid.

2.  Add the butter, honey, and lemon juice, cooking until the carrots are coated.  Cook about 5 more minutes for a glaze to form.  Finish with salt and pepper, and serve.

 

And now the piece de resistance, which Jeff can’t stop eating –

Dessert: Ice Cream Bread

Yes, I stole this liberally from The Hungry Housewife, because she’s so amazing.  And this recipe is so fool-proof even I got it to rise, and I am not the best baker on the planet.  And you should read what she wrote for the entry on Ice Cream Bread anyway, because it’s hilarious.
…Anyway.

Ingredients

2 cups of ice cream, any flavor, softened
1 1/2 cups Self-Rising flour (Self-Rising flour is for every 1 cup flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.)

Directions

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray and flour an 8×4 loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl mix the ice cream and flour together until just combined.  Scoop into the pan and smooth out.

3.  Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the loaf comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.

4.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.

I used Cookies and Cream ice cream, and it was AWESOME.  I cannot say enough how good a balance between ice cream and bread this is.  You’ll just have to try it for yourself.

Behold, the loaf in all its glory:

 

 

That’s about it for this time.  Next week I think I’m going to try an American Goulash I saw Michael Symon make on The Chew.  🙂

Quick “Box” Mac and Cheese

Stolen liberally from the good people at Naturally Ella, because I was lazy last night and didn’t want to make an indepth dinner.  And yes, Jon, more cheezygooeycarb goodness.  We’re fans around my house.  🙂

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients

6 oz pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder (I used garlic salt because we didn’t have garlic powder, and omitted the salt.)

 

Instructions

1. Prepare pasta according to box, drain and set aside.

2.  In a small pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted.  Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Continue to whisk until mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more mins).  Once thickened, remove from heat and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted.  If cheese sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.  Stir into pasta and serve.

You can add any favorite type of vegetable to this, like broccoli, squash, onions, or anything else you can think of.

 

Anne made, Jeff approved.  That’s really all you need to know, because that man likes his cheese.  🙂