Sunday, November 19, 2017

"16 Bean" Pasta E Fagioli

I found this recipe in Food Network's magazine in March and had it in my folder to try.  I decided with the colder weather, a nice pot of soup in the crockpot would be great to come home to after church so I tried this one.  DEFINITELY a keeper!  Very flavorful and pretty easy to put together!  The modifications I made was to do the quick soak for beans (put in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour then drain and rinse), mashed the 1/3 of the beans with a potato masher and only got up to cooking the onions and pancetta then adding in the garlic and red pepper flakes and then stored that in the fridge.  I also cooked the pasta separately so I could dump that in when I got home so it wouldn't be soggy or soak up too much broth.  On Sunday morning, I added the beans, pancetta, garlic and red onion mixture to the crockpot, added the tomatoes, wine and chicken stock and then left it on low while we were gone (5 hours).  When I got home, I added just the pasta and the vinegar and left the cheese for adding at the table since one of the girls can't have dairy.  I also forgot the basil leaves but that was OK!  :)  It made a nice amount and the kids will be taking some in thermoses for lunch tomorrow!  This is absolutely going into the rotation!

Food Network Magazine March 2017

1 (1 lb.) bag Goya 16 Bean Soup Mix
2 Tbsp. good olive oil plus extra for serving
6 oz. pancetta, 1/4” diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 cup dry red wine
4-6 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup miniature pasta, such as dilating or tubettini
1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 Tbsp. good red wine vinegar
Julienned fresh basil leaves for serving

The day before you plan to make the souop, place the bean mix in a large bowl, add cold water to cover by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, drain the beans, rinse under cold running water and drain again.  Place the beans in a large pot with 8 cups cold water.  Bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top.  The beans should be very tender and the skin will peel away when you blow on a bean.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10”) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and onion and saute over medium to medium-high heat for 12-18 minutes, until browned.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for one minute.  Add the tomatoes, wine, 4 cups of the chicken stock, 1 Tbsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and turn off the heat.

Drain the beans and add two-thirds of them to the soup.  Pass the remaining beans through a food mill, discarding the skins.  Stir the bean puree and the pasta into the soup, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender.  Add up to 2 more cups chicken stock if the soup is too thick.  Stir in the Parmesan and the vinegar.  Ladle the soup into large shallow bowls and add a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and some basil.  Serve hot with extra Parmesan on the side.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Beef Bourguignon

I found this recipe 3 years ago in the Rachel Ray magazine (Oct. 2014) and held on to the page in a file and finally found it again as I was decluttering.  Since it was getting chilly, I figured I'd try it out and I was so glad I did!  Definite keeper according to the family!  What a wonderful, hearty stew for the fall and winter!


4 slices bacon, chopped
2 lbs. beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1.5” cubes
4 cups white mushrooms, quartered
1.5 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped into large 1/2” pieces
2 large onions, chopped
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. butter 
4 Tbsp. flour
2 cups beef stock
1.5 cups dry red wine
4 Tbsp. fresh thyme

In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high until crisp, 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the pot in a single layer.  Cook, stirring, until browned all over, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occoasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cooked meat, carrots, onion, tomato paste and butter.  Season and cook, stirring 1 minute.  Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Stir in the stock, wine and 2 Tbsp. thyme; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens, about 1.5 hours.

Stir in the cooked bacon; season.  Divide among bowls, garnish with the remaining thyme.  

*Serve with a nice crusty bread and a salad.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quick and Easy Chicken Chow Mein

I got this recipe YEARS ago from a Pillsbury cookbook.  It is easy to make and tastes pretty much like regular Chow Mein!  

Quick and Easy Chicken Chow Mein

2 cups uncooked regular long grain white rice
4 cups water
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg (3 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (14.5 oz.) can ready to serve fat free chicken broth
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 (2 oz.) jar diced pimientos, drained
8 oz. fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
1/3 cup cold water
1-2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Crunchy Chinese noodles to serve

Cook rice in water as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in large non-stick skillet, combine chicken, celery, onion, mushrooms, broth, soy sauce and pimientos.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  

Stir in bean sprouts.  In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup water and cornstarch, blend until smooth.  Over medium-high heat, gradually add cornstarch mixture to chicken mixture, stirring constantly until thickened.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with crunchy noodles as desired.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Chicken and Corn Enchilada Casserole

This came from Wholly Guacamole and it is really good!  Very easy to put together and a great way to use leftover chicken!

Chicken and Corn Enchilada Casserole

1 15 oz. can corn
1 15 oz. can creamed corn
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 package corn bread mix
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup enchilada sauce

Mix all together the two corns, the sour cream, ricotta cheese and corn bread mix.  Pour into greased 2 quart casserole.  Bake at 350 degree for 50-60 minutes or until firm.  

Remove from oven and poke holes in the mixture with a fork.  Pour 1/2 cup of the red enchilada sauce over the casserole then top with the shredded chicken and cheese.  Top with the other 1/2 of the enchilada sauce.  Bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and chicken is hot.

Serve topped with salsa and guacamole.

Pasta Primavera

I got this recipe years ago in our local paper, Newsday.  It has even been requested as a birthday dinner, it is that good!

Pasta Primavera

16 oz. penne or bow tie pasta
1/2 lb. bite size broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
1 medium zucchini (about 3/4 lb) cut lengthwise into quarters then sliced in 1/2” pieces
1/2 lb. Canadian bacon, cut in 1/4” dice
1 cup light sour cream
4 Tbsp milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 (7 oz) jar roasted peppers, cut in 1/2” strips
2 carrots, grated

Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes.  Add the broccoli and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook another 1-2 minutes.  Drain.

Meanwhile, salute the bacon over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream, milk and Parmesan cheese.  Toss the sauce with the pasta, tomatoes, roasted peppers and carrots and serve immediately.

Pork Cutlets with Creamy Garlic Sauce and Spinach

I got this recipe from Woman's Day way back in 2002 and it was a standard here for a long time but it fell off the radar.  I made it last week and it is making it back on the rotation again!  I forgot how good and easy it is!!  Plus with pork so cheap now, it is a perfect way to feed the family for not a lot of money.

Pork Cutlets with Creamy Garlic Sauce and Spinach

3 Tbsp. seasoned dried bread crumbs
4  4oz boneless thin cut pork chops
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bag (12 oz) fresh spinach
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup garlic and herb spreadable cheese (Alouette is one brand)
1 Tbsp. milk
1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimientos, drained
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Spread bread crumbs on wax paper or place in a bowl; dip cutlets in crumbs to coat on both sides.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet.  Add cutlets; cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.  Remove to a plate; cover and keep warm.

Add half the spinach and all of the tomatoes to skillet.  Cook, tossing often, 1 minute or until spinach starts to cook down.  Add the rest of spinach; cook, tossing, 2 minutes or until spinach wilts and tomato skins begin to split.

Microwave cheese and 1 Tbsp. milk in a covered small bowl on high 45 seconds or until melted.  Stir in pimientos and parsley; drizzle over pork.  Serve with spinach and tomatoes.

Crockpot Chinese Orange Beef

This is a nice easy recipe for a busy day.  Very yummy over rice!

Crockpot Chinese Orange Beef

2 lbs. cubed beef stew meat
1/2 cup thick teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup orange marmelade
1 tsp. each minced garlic and fresh ginger
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2" thick strips
6 oz. snow peas, strings removed
4 scallions, thinly sliced

In crockpot, add beef, teriyaki sauce, orange marmalade, garlic and ginger.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until beef is tender.

Turn to high.  Stir in pepper strips and snow peas; cover and cook on high 10 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender.  Top with scallions and serve over white rice.