thesoupfairy: (turkey wrap sandwich)
I failed to get to the grocery store yesterday (or today) so I couldn't make the scheduled slow-cooker meal for dinner. I made this casserole from ingredients I had sitting around the house. My husband and our friend who happened to be over at dinnertime were very unhelpful with naming it: they came up with "Delicious Casserole" and "Nom Nom Nom." <shakes head & grins> So anyway, even though it doesn't have a name, I am sharing it with you. This recipe is all about "whatever you've got on hand."

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes (+ 30 minutes bake time)

Ingredients
  • 1 pound package pasta of your choice (I used wide egg noodles)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), divided

  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or other oil

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or diced (your preference) - it won't be a tragedy if you use canned mushrooms ;^)

  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 3 cups chicken broth (canned, made from bouillon cubes, or homemade, whatever you've got!)

  • 2 cups milk (if you want to be decadent, use half-and-half or even heavy cream for some or all of this)

  • seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, thyme, and "perfect seasoning")

  • 5 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

  • 1/2 cup Panko or other breadcrumbs


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 2 tablespoons of butter (and salt as directed on package). Decrease cooking time a bit - you want them just slightly firmer than al dente. Drain and toss with another 2 tablespoons of butter while still hot. Set aside.

  3. Heat bacon grease in skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and stir to break up and prevent sticking.

  4. When turkey begins to brown, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and bell peppers to the skillet. Continue to stir occasionally and cook until turkey is done and vegetables are tender-crisp.

  5. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour over the top of the turkey mixture in the skillet and stir in. Repeat with remaining two-thirds. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, for 1-2 minutes.

  6. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring after each addition until smooth.

  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring often (and being sure to scrape the bottom to prevent any spots sticking), until thickened. During this cooking time, season the sauce. I like to season a bit, simmer, taste, and then season again.

  8. Lower heat and stir half of the Parmesan into sauce until melted. Stir cooked noodles into sauce (or vice versa) and spread the mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish.

  9. Top the casserole with the Panko and the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, with golden brown cheese on top. (A few minutes under the broiler will help to brown the cheese and will also brown the breadcrumbs.)

  10. Serve and listen to the muffled noises of happiness from your family/friends.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Spicy Romaka Chicken

This is the maka version of the Spicy Romano Chicken i had at Johnny Carino's the other night.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 pound pasta of your choice (i've used bow-ties and whole-wheat penne)

  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 green onions, white and green tops

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, dry packed, cut into strips

  • 1 can artichokes packed in water, chopped

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup shredded romano cheese

  • salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste


Directions

Heat the broiler and broil salted and peppered chicken breasts 4-6 inches from heat for 6-7 minutes, then turn and broil another 8 minutes or so until internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Meanwhile heat a pot of salted water to boiling and cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done, drain and toss with 2 tablespoons butter.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet and sauté mushrooms, garlic, and bell pepper.

When chicken is done, slice thinly or dice and add to skillet.

Add green onions, sun dried tomatoes, and artichokes to skillet. Continue to sauté until everything is heated through and onions have wilted.

Add heavy cream to skillet and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by almost half, about 7 minutes. Add romano and stir until melted. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Well, folks, something's got to give for me! Between being in school full-time and taking care of my family full-time and trying to maintain my physical and emotional health, I need to find ways to cut myself some slack.

So I'm doing an "investment cooking" thing. I'm going to start off with cooking three meals tomorrow, and then four meals the day after that. You might choose to cook it all in one day, or you might choose to just cook any of these recipes for dinner one night, freezing half for another day. However you do it, the idea here is to minimize your efforts and maximize your output. It doesn't take twice as much effort to make a double-batch of something, which you can then freeze all or half of for another meal.

When serving these pre-cooked frozen meals, try adding a crisp salad, crusty bread, and a simple dessert like ice cream or fresh fruit... depending on what the meal is, of course. It just takes moments to add such a simple touch, but it will make a world of difference.

Investment Cooking: Plan Day 1


(Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Turkey Chili, and Chicken Milano)
  • Chop & Prepare:
    • Slice 2 pounds of sirloin steak into thin strips (if you didn't have it sliced at the store).
    • Slice 1 pound of fresh mushrooms thinly.
    • Seed 2 bell peppers and cut into strips.
    • Seed and dice 2 bell peppers.
    • Slice 2 medium onions.
    • Dice 2 medium onions.
    • Coarsely chop 14 cloves garlic.
    • Dice 4 medium carrots.
    • Dice 4 Anaheim chile peppers.
    • Dice 4 jalapeño peppers.
    • Chop one cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
    • Chop 4 tablespoons fresh basil.
  • Start the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the sirloin strips and cook until browned. Add the mushrooms, the bell pepper strips, the sliced onions, and 4 cloves of the garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.
    • In a slow-cooker, combine 4 cups of beef broth with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup dry red wine.
    • Transfer the beef and vegetables to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, until beef is extremely tender.
    • Clean and dry skillet for later.
  • Start the Turkey Chili
    • While beef and vegetables are cooking in the slow-cooker, get out your big heavy-bottomed soup pot.
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in soup pot over medium heat. Begin to brown 2 pounds of ground turkey in the oil. Add the diced onions, carrots, bell peppers, 6 cloves of garlic, and the chile peppers. Continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened (about 7 minutes).
    • Add 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder. Stir for 30 seconds, but be sure not to let the spices scorch.
    • Stir in 4 cans pinto beans, a 29-ounce can tomato sauce, a 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, 2 cups beef broth, and 3 cups frozen corn.
    • Bring to a high simmer. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • Start the Chicken Milano
    • While chili is cooking, in a large saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add 4 cloves garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add 2 cups heavy cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    • While sauce is simmering, sprinkle 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons oil and sauté chicken. Press on chicken occasionally with a slotted spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the meat feels springy and is no longer pink inside. Transfer to a cutting board; cover and keep warm. Discard the fat from the skillet.
    • In the same skillet, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a boil; stirring the pan juices. Reduce slightly and add to the cream sauce; stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
    • Clean saucepan for later.
  • Returning to the Turkey Chili
    • Remove bay leaves, divide into separate freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Turkey Chili for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
    • Clean soup pot for later.
  • Returning to the Chicken Milano
    • Divide chicken and sauce between two freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Chicken Milano for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • Returning to the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwich
    • Remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Divide the beef and vegetables between two separate freezer containers; divide broth between the two containers. Let cool, then freeze. (If you are serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • What are you serving for tonight's dinner?
    • If you're serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • An hour and a half before you want to serve dinner:
        • Preheat oven to 400°F.
        • Wash and scrub 4 medium baking potatoes with cold water; prick deeply with a fork several times and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
        • Increase oven temperature to 450°F.
        • Return beef, vegetables, and broth to a saucepan. Warm over medium until heated through.
        • While heating, slice a loaf of French bread lengthwise like a sub sandwich. Combine the 1/2 cup prepared horseradish and 1/2 cup brown mustard; spread onto the inside of the loaf. Overlap five slices of provolone on either side of the loaf.
        • Remove beef and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon. Fill the loaf with the beef and vegetables.
        • Cool for 15 minutes before cutting in half lengthwise and then into wedges.
        • Brush potato wedges with olive oil and place skin-side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.
        • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Sprinkle over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
        • Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Keep hot.
        • Close the loaf. For a sandwich with soft bread, wrap with aluminum foil; for a crustier bread, don't wrap. Bake for 10-15 minutes alongside the potatoes. Slice into servings and serve with the broth for dipping with your Saloon Fries on the side.
    • If you're serving Turkey Chili for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Heat in slow cooker or soup pot until hot enough to serve.
      • Serve with cornbread; or over noodles for "Cincinnati Style" chili; or with tortilla or corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese, etc. for "Frito Pie" chili.
    • If you're serving Chicken Milano for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Reheat chicken and sauce in covered skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often to avoid scorching. Add milk if sauce is too thick.
      • While chicken is reheating, prepare an 8-ounce package of dried fettuccine according to package directions.
      • Serve chicken and sauce over noodles, topped with freshly grated Parmesan.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Orange Cherry Chicken

This sweet and spicy chicken dish is different enough to make your tastebuds wake up and say, "Hmmmm!" It's delicious!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 4-6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen tart cherries, thawed

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger root

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 3-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or, if you're not as squeamish as I am about taking meat off bones, a 3-4 pound fryer chicken, quartered and skin removed)

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 1 pound bag wide egg noodles

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar


Directions

Stir together cherries, onion, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic in slow cooker. Place chicken on top. Pour orange juice over the chicken and top with orange zest.

Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions.

Meanwhile, use a slotted spoon to remove solids from sauce. Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour, a little at a time, until golden and bubbling. Add liquid from slow cooker a little at a time, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened. Stir in brown sugar and return chicken, onions, and cherries to the slow cooker.

Serve chicken mixture over noodles.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Bonus! You get three recipes here. The Pulled Pork, the Mac & Cheese, and the Scrapple I'm making with the leftovers today.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I generally serve this delicious pulled pork on whole wheat hamburger buns with a cold salad like coleslaw or pasta salad. Also fabulous (in my opinion!) with baked macaroni & cheese on the side. Other bread choices include pitas, tortillas, Kaiser rolls, etc. The leftovers make amazing nachos, burritos, enchiladas, and scrapple.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 9 hours
Stand: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3-4 pounds), netted or tied

  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French Onion Soup

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • dash (or more, to taste) of cayenne or habañero

  • 12 sandwich rolls


Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork roast (keeping the netting on) and cook until well-browned all over. While the pork is browning, combine the soup, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, and cayenne in your slow cooker. Whisk to combine well. Add pork and turn it to coat.

Cover and cook on low heat for 9 hours. Every hour or two, I like to use a pair of tongs to turn the roast over and spoon some of the sauce over it.

Remove the pork from the cooker and let stand in a large bowl for 10 minutes. Using two forks, shred the pork (that's the "pulled" bit) right in the bowl. Return to the cooker and stir. Spoon onto sandwich rolls.


Maka's Macaroni & Cheese

This is my personal favorite homemade baked mac & cheese. Everybody else seems to love it too.

Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces large elbow pasta

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 teaspoons spicy mustard (I like using a horseradish mustard)

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but about one minute shorter than the shortest recommended time.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour a little at a time until you have a thick golden paste. Slowly whisk in half of the milk, a little at a time, and continue whisking until you have a thick white sauce.

Place softened cream cheese and remaining cup of milk in a microwave-safe container (I use my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup) and heat briefly - don't let the milk boil - and then whisk until smooth. Whisk into the white sauce, adding the salt, pepper, and mustard. Cook until thickened.

Stir together pasta, 1-1/2 cups cheddar, Parmesan, and sauce. Spread in a 2-quart baking dish, top with the remaining cheddar, and bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for the last minute or two so the top gets a little more browned.


Damn, That's Good Scrapple!

Scrapple is an old Amish breakfast dish intended to use up leftover scraps of meat, especially pork. It's golden and crispy outside, soft and tasty on the inside. Delicious.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Chill: 4 hours or more
Cook: 30 minutes or so
Servings: 12

Ingredients
  • 1 pound leftover pulled pork, chopped fine

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water)

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried or 3/4 teaspoon fresh herbs of your choice - thyme & sage are traditional but you can totally get creative

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil, or as needed


Directions

Combine pork, cornmeal, broth, herbs, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to the lowest possible simmer and cook for 20 minutes or more - until very thick. You will need to stir almost constantly and be very watchful - it will scorch on the bottom very easily. Line a loaf pan with waxed paper, letting the paper extend several inches above the top of the pan. Spoon cornmeal mixture into the pan, spreading evenly. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. If you're serving the scrapple for breakfast, just chill overnight.

Use waxed paper to help remove molded scrapple from loaf pan. Cut into 3/8-inch thick slices. Heat oil in large skillet. Combine flour and pepper, dredge each scrapple slice in flour and fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.

Serve with butter and maple syrup, applesauce, ketchup, or fried eggs.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Immediately after dinner last night, we went to a friend's house for her birthday (for which I made this cake). I didn't have time to get these recipes posted, so here they are a tiny bit late. :)

Pesto-Topped Chicken Breasts

Delicious and tender and perfectly flavored! This takes just a tiny amount of pesto - most pesto recipes make pretty large quantities by comparison.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • cooking spray

  • 4 teaspoons pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts


Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.

Place pint nuts in food processor with S-blade. Pulse a few times. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Add garlic and pulse a few times again. Now, with processor running, add olive oil in a constant fine stream. Stop to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.

Place chicken breasts in prepared casserole dish. Divide pesto evenly among chicken breasts, spreading on top of each. Cover dish with foil and bake 45 minutes.

When oven timer goes off, turn off the oven but leave the chicken in while you make the fettuccine.




Creamy Fettuccine

This is delicious and lovely for a light lunch all on its own, or as a side dish or even a vegetarian main dish.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup ricotta

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, cut into ribbons

  • salt & pepper to taste


Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine melted butter and ricotta. Add Parmesan and mix well. Toss with tomato, basil, and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with drained but still hot pasta.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Mushrooms & Ravioli Alfredo

Hey, folks. This is creamy perfect comfort food for me. It's also ridiculously easy. This works as well with fresh pasta as with frozen, and it's lovely with tortellini, too.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 family-size package frozen ravioli

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped roughly

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté mushrooms in melted butter for a few minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté until mushrooms are golden. Add peas and stir for a couple of minutes until peas are softened. Remove sautéed veggies from pan.

Melt remaining butter in same saucepan. Whisk flour into butter, a little at a time, until smooth and golden and bubbling. Add cream, in very small amounts at first, whisking all the time. Add salt and pepper and continue whisking and tasting until the sauce is thick and creamy and tasty! Stir in Parmesan, then return vegetables to the pan and stir until well-mixed. Toss with pasta and serve.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tuscan Baked Rigatoni

Creamy and delicious!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 16-ounce package rigatoni

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound bulk turkey sausage (or use any bulk sausage you like)

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 cups torn fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 2 cups shredded Gouda

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large casserole dish and set aside.

Put water on to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

While water is boiling, heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. (If using pork sausage you may not need any oil for this step.) Brown sausage in oil, stirring to break up. When sausage is about half-way cooked, add onions and garlic to the pan. Cook until all meat is browned and onions are tender. Add tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, beans, and pine nuts. Cook until heated through. Stir in Gouda and pasta, toss to coat.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Spaghetti Not-Quite-Bolognese

My real Bolognese Sauce recipe is in my cookbook. This was just something I cooked up today because it was lunchtime and I was hungry and out of leftovers. If you want to put in a little extra effort, you can dice and sauté any number of veggies while browning the meat - onions, celery, and carrots are particularly nice.

Prep: Nada (unless you have to defrost the meat)
Cook: 15-20 minutes
Servings: probably 6

Ingredients
  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease

  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, whatever)

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup beer

  • 1 cup heavy cream, half & half, or milk

  • 1 tall can Hunt's spaghetti sauce, whatever flavor you like

  • salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste


Directions

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Meanwhile, melt bacon grease in big pot and brown meat in the hot bacon grease. Add garlic just before meat is done and cook briefly. Increase heat to moderately high and add beer. Cook, stirring often, until beer has evaporated. Stir in cream and repeat. Stir in sauce and seasonings and cook until thick and bubbly. Serve over cooked spaghetti or toss together.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Pasta with Peas and Bacon

Creamy and delicious, and my family loves it!

Prep: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • 24 ounces bow-tie pasta

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 12 oz bacon, julienned

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped roughly

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • salt and pepper


Directions

Prepare pasta according to package directions, dropping peas into the cooking water just before draining.

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain. Pour off all the bacon grease except 1 tablespoon. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden. Add cream and simmer until slightly thickened. Add bacon and Parmesan to sauce.

After draining pasta, toss with bacon cream sauce, adjust seasonings.
thesoupfairy: (spices)
Creamy Chicken Pasta

My casserole-hating son liked it!!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Bake: 35 minutse
Servings: 8

Ingredients
  • canola oil cooking spray

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cubed

  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 bag frozen cut spinach (not the kind that's frozen into a brick)

  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles or other similarly sized/shaped pasta

  • 1 can mushroom pieces and stems

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated

  • 8 oz sour cream

  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Directions

If your chicken breasts aren't cooked yet, you can simmer them in water for about 30-40 minutes or wrap them in foil and bake them at 350°F for 45 minutes. (The latter will make them more tender.) This is not included in the times posted at the beginning of the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9x13" casserole dish with cooking spray.

Put water on to boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Stir frozen spinach into cooking water just before draining noodles.

While water is coming to a boil, heat oil in skillet and sauté onion, red pepper, and garlic until onions are translucent. Stir together diced chicken, onion-pepper mixture, noodles & spinach, and mushrooms.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Stir in grated Swiss and sour cream. Mix well with the chicken-noodle-veggie mixture.

Spread in prepared casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.

Heat broiler. Remove foil, sprinkle top with Parmesan, and place under broiler until Parmesan is bubbly.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
This is my "I don't want to cook"/"Oops! I didn't get to the store yet" dinner. I almost always have the ingredients on hand.

I browned a pound of ground turkey with a diced onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. Added two cans of spaghetti sauce - Hunt's brand, any flavor or combination of flavors you like - and a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes. Then 1/4 cup or so of cooking wine and some seasonings to taste - salt, pepper, basil, oregano, cayenne.

While the sauce is simmering to reduce the liquid, I cook up a pound of whatever pasta I have on hand.

That's dinner, folks.

If you want to get a bit more fancy with it, adding a couple of diced carrots and a couple of stalks of diced celery with the onion and garlic will veg it up a bit. Bell peppers are also a nice addition. But really, just the fact that you didn't just open the can and pour it over the pasta will make it a hit.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
Tonight's Dinner: Rosemary Cashew Chicken with Pasta and Sauteed Grape Tomatoes


Rosemary Cashew Chicken

Super-easy to do in your slow cooker/Crockpot. This is delicious, really. Truly.

Cook: 5 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
  • item

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 white onion, sliced very thinly

  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, snipped (use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed, if you can't get fresh)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • dash or two of cayenne/habañero powder


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached/all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cashews (pieces or whole, as you like)

  • 1 pound pasta - I used rotini because it's what I had on hand - cooked according to package directions


Directions

Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. If you've thawed it from frozen, make sure it's fully thawed before putting it into the slow cooker. Cover with thinly sliced onion. Combine orange juice concentrate, rosemary, salt and cayenne; pour over chicken and onions. Cover and cook on low head for 5 hours or until chicken juices run clear. Remove the chicken to a serving platter. Strain out the onions with a slotted spoon and top chicken with them. Keep warm.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour, a little at a time, until you have a thick, smooth paste. Add the cooking liquid from the slow cooker a little at a time, whisking all the while, until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Stir in cashews and pour over chicken. Serve with pasta on the side.

Sautéed Grape Tomatoes

So delicious! This is prepared slightly differently than the version in my cookbook. Comparing them might help those of you who've mentioned that you can follow a recipe but you don't know how to improvise. In this version, I used butter for the oil, green onions, and rosemary. This may seem like a small 6 servings, but these are really rich and delicious - a filling serving can be pretty small.

Be sure to pick over your grape tomatoes - I often find a few moldy ones in the bottom of the container.

Cook: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 6 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne (to taste)


Directions

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté tomato and onion until onion wilts. Add water, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and raise heat back to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have softened and water has evaporated. Stir in rosemary and seasonings just before removing from heat.
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The Soup Fairy

October 2012

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