Tag: cheese

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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Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Mac n Cheese

I can’t believe I hadn’t posted this recipe yet, because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made, in my opinion.  Warm and comforting, delicious even on hot days.

I modified the recipe found for Grandpa John’s Mac n Cheese found here.

And a note, this is a double recipe, but it feeds Jeff and I for about 3 days, if that gives you any indication of how quickly the leftovers disappear.

Ingredients

1 lb elbow macaroni
1 package (abt 15 oz) ricotta cheese
10 oz (a bag and a half ) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 (10 oz) cans condensed tomato soup
15 oz (roughly a tomato soup can and a half) milk

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees- Place ricotta in a large (and I do mean LARGE) mixing bowl
– Cook pasta in boiling salted water for half of the cook time listed on the box (generally around 5 or 6 minutes)
– Drain pasta and pour over ricotta
– Mix together
– Stir in one bag of shredded cheese, followed by the tomato soup and the milk
– Mix until fully incorporated

Now pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  When this time is up, switch the oven to broil, layer some more cheddar cheese on top, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and a little crispy.

Depending on the amount of milk put in, the inside will still be a little liquidy, but it sets up as it cools.
Below is the finished product.
And I’m stuffed.  🙂

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Large Meatballs with Cherry Peppers and Potatoes

Another recipe from Rocco Gets Real.  I will say I could not find the bottle of sliced hot cherry peppers, so I used a jar of roasted red peppers instead.  It still tasted really good.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 large potato
2 – 13.5 oz jars pasta sauce
1/2 cup sliced hot cherry peppers, drained (again, I substituted a drained jar of roasted red peppers)
1/2 cup chopped parsley or basil (I used dried parsley)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Divide mixture into 8 portions.  Roll each portion into a large meatball.

2. Peel potato and shred it on a box grater.  Wrap the shredded potato in a clean cotton kitchen towel (or paper towels).  Hold it over the sink and squeeze as much water out as you can.

3.  Combine the pasta sauce and cherry peppers in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until hot, 3 to 4 mins.  Stir in shredded potatoes.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

4.  Pour the pasta sauce mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add the meatballs to the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 mins.  Turn each meatball over.  Continue to bake until meatballs are cooked through and potatoes are tender, another 20 to 30 mins.

5.  Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.

 

These do make HUGE meatballs, so I am of the opinion you get two meals out of this recipe.

Tiny Meatballs and Tortellini with Broccoli Rabe

This is a recipe from Rocco DiSpirito‘s cookbook Rocco Gets Real, which, I’m happy to say, has fairly quick recipes that are easy to figure out.  This cookbook also uses packaged or canned stuff when appropriate, so the recipes aren’t as expensive as they could be.  Anyway, on with the recipe!

 

Ingredients

1 lb frozen mini meatballs
salt
pepper
2 – 13.5 oz jars of pasta sauce
1 – 16 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped (broccoli rabe is also known as rapini)
1/3 cup basil (fresh chopped if you have, if not, enough dried to add to sauce)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1.  Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, microwave meatballs in a large bowl until hot, according to package directions.  Add pasta sauce to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and continue to microwave until sauce is hot, about 3 more min.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package instructions (in the boiling water, obviously).  About halfway through the cooking time, add the broccoli rabe to the water.  Continue to cook until tortellini are done and broccoli rabe is tender, about 3 mins.  Drain.

3.  Toss tortellini and broccoli rabe with the meatballs, sauce, and basil.

4.  Top with cheese and serve.

I will say that I almost like this recipe better without the meatballs, so it can be a great vegetarian option, too!

Two more recipes to come from Rocco, so stay tuned!

Improvised Turkey Tetrazzini

With the leftover Thanksgiving turkey last week, I wanted to make something quick and easy, since it was on a night Jeff had to eat and run.  I didn’t have everything for a traditional turkey tetrazzini, so I made up a recipe with what I had, and I think it turned out pretty good.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

1/2 box of pasta, any kind (I used penne)

1 cup cooked turkey, cut up or shredded  (you may want to reheat in the microwave to make sure turkey is cooked well)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

about 2/3 cup of milk (enough to make the mushroom soup into a sauce)

1 can peas

about 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Boil water and cook pasta, taking out one minute before the box directions say to.  The pasta will get finished in the sauce.

In a high sided skillet, combine mushroom soup, milk, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the mixture is well combined.  Add turkey, peas, salt, and pepper.  Stir until combined again, keep over low heat.

When the pasta is done, add to sauce.  Combine and cook for approximately 2-3 more minutes.  Serve.

It is a simple recipe, but it’s tasty and filling, and perfect for leftover turkey.

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.  🙂

Marinated Grilled Top Round Steak with Bacon “Smashed” Potatoes and Roasted Mini Carrots

Amy's Fall Feast
Marinated Grilled Top Round Steak

I wanted to use up some of the items leftover from the week’s shopping and this is what I came up with. The recipes came from two different locations as noted and the dinner took about an hour to make prepping everything before starting. Enjoy!

Marinated Grilled Top Round Steak (Classic Rachel Ray 30-Minutes Meals) – the recipe calls for flank steak but I used what I had

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced (I used pre-minced garlic from the fridge)

1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspooons Frank’s Red Hot (eyeball it)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (2 splashes, I used balsamic vinegar that gave it a more robust flavor)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Directions:

Mix Garlic, grill seasoning, paprika, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and 1/3 cup EVOO in a shallow dish. Place meat in dish and coat it evenly in merinade. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat a grill pan or cast-iron pan over high heat. Grill steak on hot pan; about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare to medium, and 6-7 minutes on each side for medium-well. Remove steak from grill and let it sit a few minutes before slicing. The internal temperature of the steak will continue to rise while it sits. To ensure your meat is cook use a cooking thermometer. Internal temperature should reach 145 degrees fahrenheit for medium-rare.

Bacon “Smashed” Potatoes (Classic Rachel Ray 30-Minutes Meals)

Ingredients:

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

4 slices thick-cut bacon (the recepie called for chopping this up before cooking, but I found it easier to cook whole than break apart with my fingers)

1/2 chicken broth

1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Cover pot. Bring water to a boil, remove lid, then cook potatoes until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Smash potoates with chick broth and add bacon and cheese. Season with sale and pepper to taste.

Roasted Mini Carrots (Food Network Magazine – October 2011)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups mini carrots halved

1 sprig fresh Rosemary (I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 1/2 tablespoons EVOO

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix ingredients in a shallow baking dish. Roast, stirring once, until veggies are tender and golden brown, about 25 minutes. After I took the carrots out of the over I put them into the pan that I cooked the steak in for some additional flavor and moistened them as well.