Thursday, October 27, 2011

ROCKIN' DINNERS

I'm back! Yes. I know. It's been FOREVER. Well, since Spring. Lots has happened. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in August, and thanks to her my motivation to seek out new recipes, fresh and organic foods, and to cook, cook, cook has returned! And I've rediscovered The Pioneer Woman, who's helped me - tremendously - to get on my way.

It's more important to us, now more than ever, to eat good food - organic, fresh - and a variety of different foods because of our daughter. We want her to have the best start to her life. We've focused on eating whole grains, wild caught seafood, no meat (maybe a juicy burger - grass fed - once in awhile) and lots of turkey and chicken.

This week has been eye opening for me. Before this new phase in my life, I think I had the equivalent to writers block. I can't even remember what I was cooking before now.... But enough about that. Here are three new recipes courtesy of The Pioneer Woman and a suggested "Web Delicious" recipe from another site. Both, a huge success in our household.

Saturday - Chicken Spaghetti


This dish is awesome. The recipe yields enough to make 8 servings. We enjoyed it on Saturday and then had enough to freeze. We've since finished it - enjoying for lunches and dinner on Wednesday night.
 

Ingredients

2 cups Cooked Chicken
3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper
1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

    Preparation Instructions

    Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

    Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

    See the Step-by-Step on thepioneerwoman.com.

    Tuesday

    Buy the following ingredients, if need be - especially the baguettes, the day you're making this. The first thing out of my families mouth was, "Wow. This is fresh." Fresh is always best, if possible. The baguettes were so soft and good. And the garlic that's rubbed on the toasted bread adds a much something, something to the sandwich. Again, follow the recipe to a "T." Although, we did add fresh spinach along with the basil.


    These can be made slightly ahead of time, and then wrapped tightly with tin foil. This will keep them warm and all of the cheese will be gooey and melted. Keep them in a warm oven, and serve them up with napkins! This sandwich is so incredibly full of flavor and textures, while still being a bit “heart healthy.”




    Turkey Meatballs, makes 8 sandwiches
    1lb ground turkey
    1 egg
    ½ cup finely grated Parmesan
    1 Tbs dried greek oregano
    1 Tsp kosher salt
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    3 cups fresh tomato sauce (or high quality jarred sauce)
    2 large baguettes, cut into 4 pieces
    1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
    fresh basil, julienned
    olive oil
    2 Cloves of raw whole garlic, peeled
    Mix all of these ingredients in a medium bowl until they are completely combined

    See the Step- by-Step here.


    Tonight (Thursday)

    Another winner! I've been working to perfect my grits recipe for sometime. Who knew, all I needed to do was follow this recipe. I bought organic yellow corn grits from the store, as opposed to the Instant Quaker Grits. I can't say this enough ... HUGE DIFFERENCE. Huge. And coming from a southern family - there is (almost) nothing more important than grits. :)

    Now this next recipe is a combination of 2 recipes. Salmon Burgers and cheese grits. Awesome, awesome, awesome together - for breakfast or dinner.






    Salmon Burgers
    Makes 6 salmon burgers

    1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
    1 1/2 pounds salmon filet, skinned and cut into 2" chunks
    1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt (1/2 teaspoon regular salt)
    zest of lemon
    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    couple sprigs of fresh parsley
    1 egg
    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    6 hamburger buns
    lettuce, mustard, tomato and other burger accompaniments

    See the Step-by-Step here.

    Pair the salmon burgers (or salmon cakes without the bread) with these DELICIOUS grits.

    Ingredients
    6 whole Boneless Pork Chops, About 1/2-inch Thick
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    2 Tablespoons Butter
    2 whole Gala Apples, Diced
    1/2 cup Dry White Wine
    2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
    3/4 cups Pure Maple Syrup
    1 dash Salt
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    Creamy Bacon-Cheese Grits (see My Tasty Kitchen Recipe)
    For the next delicious steps, go to www.thepioneerwoman.com.



    Mouthwatering yet? I sure hope so.

    Enjoy,
    Rani Robinson

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