Saturday, March 31, 2012

Garlic Lime Chicken

Garlic Lime Chicken
Spice mixture:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teasp pepper
1/8 teasp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teasp paprika
1 teasp garlic powder
1/2 teasp onion powder
1/2 teasp thyme

6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, tenderized and pounded thin to cutlets (I split reg. B/S breasts in half)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
juice from one whole lime, quartered
1/2 cup chicken broth (low salt, no fat)
about 1 Tbsp of brown sugar

Mix all spice mix ingrediants.  Sprinkle on chicken (both sides).  Heat oil and butter in electric skillet at 350 till melted and bubbly.  Saute' chicken till golden - about 5 min per side.  Use all spice mixture.  Remove chicken.  Add lime juice, chicken broth, and whisk together.  Cook till reduced slightly.  Add chicken back to pan, sprinkle with brown sugar, and coat with sauce. Really tasty!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Orecchiette with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe

Orecchiette pasta with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe

1 large bunch of rabe, washed, trim stalks, and chop (can use 2 bunches of fresh spinich)
12 oz of orecchiette pasta (gemelli is good, too)
1 lb. spicy or Italian pork sausage, casings removed
1/4 of small onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, pressed
red or black pepper to taste 
1 cup red. sodium, no fat chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teasp. ground nutmeg
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

Spray electric skillet, and brown sausage.  After sausage is brown, I add a 1/2 of water and steam it, to make sure it is cooked through.  Drain all but 1 teaspoon of fat, and saute onion and garlic briefly.  Puree' sausage in a food processor.  Meanwhile, heat large pot of boiling water - cook pasta for about 9 minutes, and add rape or spinich for last 1-2 minutes of cooking time.  Drain in a colander.  Add chicken broth to skillet with onion and garlic, then ground sausage.  Toss pasta and greens in with the meat.  Stir well, then add cream.  Season with peppers, nutmeg, and top with cheese.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dawson Recipe Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Recipe - The Dawson Family Recipe

3/4 cup of sugar
1 stick of softened butter
1 egg, beaten
3 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 cup of buttermilk
1 cup (about 3 large snack boxes of raisins)
1 teaspoon of caraway seed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Blend in dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.  Fold in raisins and caraway seed, or sprinkle seed across top when dough is placed in a greased 8-9 " cake pan.  Cut a cross over the top of the bread in the an. Bake for 45 min- 50 min or till done.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cajun Pan Fried Tilapia (or Flounder)

Cajun Pan Fried Tilapia
(originally from Southern Living Magazine)

5-6 Tilapia fillets (or flounder - I used flounder tonight, but usually use tilapia)
1 1/2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's Bayou Blast)
3 Tablespoons of Wegman's Pan Searing Flour
3 Tablespoons of cornmeal
1 Tbsp of butter, 1 Tbsp of olive oil

Rinse and pat fillets to just moist.  Mix cornmeal, flour, and spice in a 9 inch pie plate.  Dredge fillets in flour mixture.  Heat butter and oil in a large non stick skillet (heat 350 degrees) and fry a few minutes per side, turning once.   Squeeze with fresh lemon generously before serving.   I served mine with red beans and rice, steamed asparagus topped with bread crumbs and pecorino romano cheese, and a salad.  Even David likes this fish!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cut Out Sugar Cookies for Holidays

Cut Out Cookies
1/2 cup of softened butter, and 1/4 cup of softened margarine
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
(can be doubled for Christmas time)

In large bowl, beat butter/margarine and 1 cup of sugar till creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, mix well.  Roll up in a dough ball, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.  On a floured surface, roll out dough, cut out with cookie cutters, and place placed apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in a 400 degree oven (preheat) and cook 8-10 minutes.  The insulated baking sheets usually take a little longer - 10 minutes.  Cool one minute on sheet, then transfer to wire racks.  Frost and decorate when cool. Makes about 4 dozen small shapes. Don't forget to make a sugar cookie pretzel with the end of the dough! My favorite part!

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Flounder

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Flounder (McCormick Spice Recipe)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Marjoram leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6-8 flounder or tilapia fillets
salt to taste
1/3 cup of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of finely chopped spinach (see photo)
3/4 Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3 Tablespoons of grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Spray a large, shallow pan with sides with PAM, or line with foil.  Place fish on pan.  Mix all the spices with the melted butter.  Brush each fillet with the butter/spice mixture.  Stir spinach, bell pepper, panko, and cheese in remaining butter sauce.  Divide mixture evenly atop each fish fillet.  Bake for 15 minutes, or till fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.  I served this with a wild rice mixture, and fresh asparagus.  Very good!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Asian Peanut Noodles (a Kraft Foods Recipe)
8 oz of thin spaghetti (I use Ronzoni Smart Taste)
3 cups of pea pods, halved, carrots sliced, and red pepper strips (can add broccoli,too)
optional 1 can of mini corn, drained, or water chestnuts, sliced and drained
1 lb. of sirloin beef, trimmed of fat, and sliced thin
1 cup of light Catalina dressing
4 Tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
4 Tablespoons of light low sodium soy sauce
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped in food processor

Boil a large pot of water, cook spaghetti, and toss in fresh veggies to blanch for the last several minutes of cooking time.  drain all.  heat a small amount of peanut oil in an electric skillet.  Stir fry beef till brown (350 degrees).  Season with garlic and pepper.  Lower temp to 200-250 degrees.  Add Catalina dressing, peanut butter, and soy sauce.  Stir till blended and bubbling.  Add drained pasta and veggies.  Garnish with peanuts and green onions.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

French Toast

French Toast!
Sliced white bread, challah, Italian, etc. usually 4-6 slices per batch
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or orange!)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Beat egg, add milk, vanilla and cinnamon is 9 inch pie plate.  Heat about 2 Tablespoons of butter in an electric skillet until sizzling.  Dip bread in egg mixture (both sides), then drop in skillet.  Cook 3 minutes per side.  Serve with powdered sugar, fruit, and maple syrup.  Yum!  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mexican Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Soup

Mexican Chicken, Corn, and Bean Tortilla Soup
1 Lg 48 oz can of low fat, low salt chicken broth
3 cooked chicken breast (about 3 cups of meat) shredded or diced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh tomato salsa
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

chips and cheese to top off the bowls!

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, combine stock, chicken, onion, garlic, bell pepper, zucchine, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes,.  Reduce heat to medium low, add corn, black beans, salsa, and simmer covered until flavors are blended, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes max.  Stir in cilantro, ladle into bowls, top few crushed tortilla chips and shredded mexican blend cheese. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mommy's Homemade Meatballs and Italian Green Beans

I have a secret to tell you.  When I was growing up, my mom used to make spaghetti and meat sauce.  It consisted of regular spaghetti, one pound of ground beef browned in an electric skillet, and a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce.  My mom was an awesome cook, but didn't really do meatballs.  When I married your father, Nonna taught me how to make my own meatballs, and she introduced me to all the different shapes of pasta to eat!  I have adapted Nonna's recipe to suit my own tastes, but the basic methods used are the same.  You will need:

1 pound of very lean (95%) ground beef
1 egg, beaten
garlic powder, pepper, salt, and freshly minced parsley
about 1/4 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
(Nonna adds some clove powder to hers - just a dash!)

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray a large 15 x 10 pan (with sides) with PAM.  Next, beat the egg in a large bowl.  Add the meat, seasonings, and cheese.  Dump the breadcrumbs in a pie plate, and moisten with water until they are soft and sort of lumpy.  Mix the moistened crumbs in the meat mixture, and blend thoroughly.  Shape into meatballs, and place on the baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart.  Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the meatballs after 10 minutes.  To make a simple sauce:  Use a 28 ounce can, plus an 8 ounce can of Hunts tomato sauce.  Add a bay leaf, a nice handful of dried basil, about 1 tablespoon of sugar, two garlic cloves, pressed, some cooking sherry or wine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and more garlic powder.  Simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.  Add the meatballs when done, and allow to cook through.  Stir gently, so you don't break them up!  I like to serve meatballs now with Penne pasta.  Pop Pop liked rigatoni the best in his later years.  You can used whatever you like!  I like to serve meatballs and sauce with Italian green beans.  Take about one pound of fresh, trimmed green beans, steam them in water until bright green, but tender. Drain.  Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan, and coat the green beans.  Sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs in the pan until they are nicely coated.  Top with grated Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese.  Cover, and turn off heat. We almost always had this meal before your swim meets or soccer games! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Claire's Classic Chili

I think everyone has a favorite Chili recipe, and I am no exception. As a matter of fact, I have several!  This is my Classic, go to Chili recipe.  One thing I love about it is it makes a lot, so you can freeze a batch for another meal.  Nights like tonight, when I work all day, then run, it's great to have something in the freezer to defrost for a relatively quick meal.  I love to serve my Chili with a salad, (I serve almost everything with a salad) that has a mixture of fruit, greens, pepper strips, cucumber, celery, carrot, and candied pecans.  I used blood oranges and strawberries for the fruits tonight.  I also had roaster cauliflower and biscuits.  Here's a good tip - Pillsbury's frozen buttermilk biscuits are pretty close to homemade!  When I have time though, I really love Chili with homemade cornbread or muffins.
Claire's Classic Chili
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of lean ground beef
2 large onions, diced
2 large green peppers, seeded and chopped
2 15 1/2 oz. cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 1/2 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4 oz can of chopped green chilies
1 28 oz can of Hunts tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 - 1 cup of water
1 can of chili seasoned diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
dash of cinnamon
1 square of dark baking chocolate
1 heaping teaspoon of black pepper
dash crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of oregano
dash of cilantro
Brown beef with one chopped onion, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  Drain well. Throw all ingredients in a large pot (8 Quart size) - cook over low to medium low heat for several hours.  Keep stirring every fifteen minutes or so to keep it from sticking to the bottom. You could probably throw it in a large crock pot for 8 hours on low. Serve with cooked rice, top with shredded cheddar or cheddar jack cheese. 

Feather Light Breakfast Puff Muffins

This morning at the Talbot house - Feather Light Breakfast Puffs!
On the weekend of my fortieth birthday, my husband surprised me and took me to Canandaigua to spend the night at a bed and breakfast and see the Christmas Light display at Sonnenberg Gardens.  In the morning, our hostess served these muffins along with homemade sausages - Yum!  She graciously shared the recipe with me.
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
topping:  1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 3 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and egg.  Combine all dry ingredients and beat into egg mixture alternating with milk. Batter will be stiff. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Immediately brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Serve warm.