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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Summer Barbecue Condiment Recipes – Bon Appétit

Summer Barbecue Condiment Recipes – Bon Appétit.

Store-bought condiments can be great and are simple if you are doing a lot of grilling in the summer, but there is nothing quite like having your own homemade ketchup, mustard, mayo, salsa or other condiment. You get to control the ingredients, the freshness and the taste to get just the perfect addition to any meal. Bon Appetit has put together 27 condiment recipes for all of your grilling and summer barbecue parties, dinners, and meals. Check it out!

 

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Getting Back to Business with Chicken Noodle Casserole

After being busy for weeks it seems that things have finally slowed down a bit where I actually have the time and energy to do some blogging. After writing for 10 hours a day sometimes I just don’t have the energy or will to sit in front of the computer anymore and blog even though I really enjoy it. Hopefully I can have some more time to do some in the coming days and weeks. We’ll have to see what the work schedule brings along. With the craziness behind me for now, I have had some time to cook a few new things lately, including this recipe from Cook’s Country that I made last night for chicken noodle casserole. Granted, this dish combines two ingredients I personally don’t eat myself – cheese and noodles – but Michelle and Sean both love them and I had all of the right ingredients on hand to have a go at the recipe and see what I could do with it. It seemed simple enough to make so it was worth a shot.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

12 ounces (7 3/4 cups) wide egg noodles

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons butter

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 onion, chopped fine

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and trimmed

4 ounces deli American cheese, chopped coarse

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

25 Ritz crackers, crushed coarse

 Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the noodles and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until the noodles are just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water until they are cool, about 2 minutes. Drain the noodles again and set them aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the now empty pot over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set them aside. In the now-empty pot, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes.

 Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the pot from the heat, transfer the chicken to a plate, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces once it is cool enough to handle. Whisk the American and cheddar cheeses into the sauce until it is smooth. Stir the shredded chicken, noodles, bell pepper mixture, peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of pepper into the cheese sauce.

 Transfer the mixture to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and top with the Ritz crackers. Bake the casserole until it is golden brown and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let the casserole cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.

It was very simple to make and the whole dish comes together in about 45 minutes. I actually used some leftover chicken that we had on hand and sped the process up even more, just warming it in the sauce for 2 minutes instead of having to cook it all the way through. even though I personally didn’t eat any, I have to admit that it looked pretty good and Michelle and Sean both had seconds so I guess it tasted good too. This recipe makes a lot, with a suggested serving of 8 to 10 people, so if you don’t want a lot of leftovers you can cut it down to half. While they had the casserole, I had a soft shell crab sandwich and slaw, which I will share the recipe for tomorrow.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

chickennoodlecasserole

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Pasta, Poultry

 

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Summer Fruits and Vegetables Recipes – NYT Cooking

Summer Fruits and Vegetables Recipes – NYT Cooking.

It’s turning to that farmer’s market time of year when you can get the best of the fresh vegetables and fruit in your area and make all kinds of fantastic dishes for everything from breakfast to dessert and all the meals and snacks in between. New York Times Cooking has put together 300 great summer fruit and vegetable recipes so you are all set with everything you could need for any occasion. Check it out!

 

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Dishes to Bring to an Outdoor Party

Dishes to Bring to an Outdoor Party.

My apologies for not posting as regularly as I would like lately. Work has gotten the better of me and I just have not had enough free time to get to everything. I am still cooking away and trying new recipes and accumulating them to put on, so I will be back to it when I get the time again. In the meantime, since it is coming up on that outdoor party and barbecue time of year where you may be going to different places, here are 36 recipes from Bon Appetit for great dishes that you can bring to any outdoor party as your contribution. You will find all kinds of great ideas listed here that can make a great addition to any buffet or party. Check it out!

 

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Make it Simple, Make it Fast – Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

The mantra for me right now has been busy, busy, busy. It seems like every time I might have an easy day coming up something pops along to disrupt it. I guess it’s a good thing when it’s work because it at least means I am staying busy instead of trying to scrounge around for more work. Anyway, all of the busy days means trying to find fast and simple dinners more and more, especially when Michelle is away and it is just Sean and I for dinner. I try not to do takeout dinners if I can avoid it, which makes dinners like this one great because they are easy to do with just a few ingredients and cost less than getting fast food, pizza, Chinese or going to some other casual restaurant. This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma and is for stir-fried shrimp with snow peas and mushrooms and makes use of really basic ingredients and is done in under twenty minutes, including time to make some rice to go with it.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari

Salt

2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

1/2 pound mixed fresh mushrooms, such oyster or cremini

1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved crosswise

2 green onions, white and tender green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cooked white rice for serving

In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shrimp, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari and 1 teaspoon of salt. toss the ingredients gently to coat the shrimp.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut or canola oil over medium-high heat until it is just smoking. Add the garlic, ginger and shrimp and stir-fry the ingredients until the shrimp are evenly pink on both sides, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer it to a separate bowl.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry them over medium-high heat until they are softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry until the peas are a bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green onions and the rice wine or sherry. Cover the pan and cook until the snap peas are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir-fry the shrimp just until they are heated through, about 1 minute. Garnish the stir-fry with the cilantro leaves and serve with the white rice.

It is a great, fresh dish that comes together very quickly. Shrimp cooks very quickly when you stir-fry it so you want to watch it carefully so you do not overcook it and make it rubbery. The sauce gives some great flavor to the shrimp and the simple mix of the snap peas and mushrooms are all you really need to round out the dish. Sean and I both really enjoyed it and I was able to have the leftovers for lunch the next day and they seemed even better after the shrimp had a chance to really absorb the sauce. I think it would be great with chicken or pork as well or even just with some extra vegetables and use the mushrooms as your main source of protein.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

shrimpsnowpeasmushroomstirfry

 

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood, Stir Fry, Vegetables

 

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Head Into Cinco de Mayo with Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa

There never seems to be enough hours in a day anymore to get to blog like I want to, so I am going to take some free time while I have it right now to share a recipe I just tried recently that fits perfectly for Cinco de Mayo if you want to try something with a Mexican flair for the night. I got this recipe from Bon Appetit when I was looking for something quick and easy to make for dinner one night for Sean and myself (Michelle has been away on business, so it’s been just the two of us lately). This is a very simple dish when it comes to making the steak for the meal but the real winner here is going to be this unique salsa that you can put together with radishes, cilantro and scallions for a real nice bite and crunch for your tacos.

Steak Tacos with Cilantro-Radish Salsa

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound skirt or flank steak

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided

4 radishes, trimmed and chopped

2 spring onions or 4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

1/2 Serrano chile or jalapeno pepper, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed

2 ounces queso fresco or Cojita cheese, crumbled

Sour cream, for serving

Sliced avocado or guacamole, for serving

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper and cook the steak in the skillet for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove the steak to a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop half of the cilantro and toss it with the chopped radishes, sliced onions or scallions, Serrano chile or jalapeno, lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Season the radish salsa with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the steak thinly and serve it on the tortillas topped with the radish salsa, queso fresco or Cojita cheese, sour cream, avocado or guacamole and the remaining cilantro.

It is a very easy recipe to put together in about 15 minutes or so and gives you some great flavor. I did make a couple of changes myself by sprinkling the steak with a little bit of cumin and coriander before cooking it to get some extra flavor and I did add a diced tomato to the salsa as well for some extra flavor, but other than that everything else was the same. It was great flavor from the steak with the cilantro and the slsa had a really nice bite to it from the radishes, scallions and jalapeno and it went really well with the dish. You could do this same dish with chicken or shrimp and I think it would turn out just as well.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

steaktacosradishsalsa

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Salad

 

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