Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

19 Apr
Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

A quick disclaimer: These are not easy and do NOT take 10 minutes to make. So there, I said it. This is one of those appetizers that I see all the time on Pinterest being touted as “so easy!” and “takes just 10 minutes!” and other catchy LIES. ;)

Kidding aside, these do present well and were a big hit at our company potluck. There is really not much of a recipe, it is more of a “method” to get these puppies to turn out just right. I think one of the issues I had was I followed some advice to ask the deli to slice the prosciutto “as paper thin as they can.” In theory that’s good since prosciutto is very expensive, but the downside is that it makes it very difficult to work with.

But at the end of the day (a long one at that!) these did turn out beautiful and so very tasty. If you have patience, you will be rewarded. Start to end, this took me over an hour to make.

Trimmed Asparagus

Trimmed Asparagus

Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus spears (about 30 or so)
1/2 brick Neufchâtel cream cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
Ground black pepper
Lemon wedge and zest

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with olive oil. Wash the asparagus and lop off the woody ends.

Next, lay out slices of prosciutto on a cutting board, then spread a thin layer of cream cheese over them. This is one thing I messed up from the get-go, as I cut my first batch into thin strips then tried to spread the cream cheese over. Do NOT do it that way.

Cream Cheese and Prosciutto

What a disaster! Don’t do it this way.

Spread the cream cheese THEN cut it into strips. One by one, wrap the strips of prosciutto around each asparagus spear and place onto the baking sheet. This process takes a while.

Asparagus Ready to Bake

Asparagus Ready to Bake

Grind black pepper over the spears, then spritz the naked ends with olive oil. Place in a preheated 400-degree oven and bake for 15 minutes. At that point, bump the oven to broil and broil for about 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven, and place in a serving dish using tongs. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the dish, then zest the lemon peel over it. At this point you can serve immediately or put in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, warm the dish in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

Baked Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Spears

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Chickpea Bolognese

16 Apr
Chickpea Bolognese

Chickpea Bolognese

I entered one of my chickpea recipes in Food52′s most recent recipe contest, and was once again selected as a Community Pick Testing finalist! Here is the link to the finalists: Food52 Community Pick Recipe Testing

Mine is the “Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style” recipe in the list. My lovely photo of them for you viewing pleasure:

Toasty Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), Cajun Style

Toasty Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), Cajun Style

When I saw the other recipes that needed testing, I quickly glommed onto the Chickpea Bolognese. I just love chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and figured this would also be something my family would enjoy for dinner.

While I usually don’t test a recipe that is competing against mine, I thought well why not? We are all cooks in this together and I don’t mind at all offering my feedback to the other contestants.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to use only 3 tablespoons of olive oil instead of 4, I simmered it for an hour and a half instead of 1 hour, and did not add any salt since the pancetta and tomatoes added plenty of salt.

This was lick-your-plate good and quite easy to make! And don’t skimp on the fresh basil! I also got two thumbs-up from the family. Plus I have enough leftover for another meal for the freezer for our “nobody feels like cooking dinner” nights. Win-win!

My changes (and additional notes) to the original recipe are in italics below.

Chickpea Bolognese Ingredients

Chickpea Bolognese Ingredients (I forgot to include the dry herbs in the photo)

Chickpea Bolognese
From Food52 website Chickpea Bolognese by inpatskitchen

Author Notes: I love a good Bolognese and often make it with a variety of meats, including ground turkey as an alternative to pork, veal or beef. This time I gave it a shot with chickpeas and it turned out rather well…  — inpatskitchen

Serves about 6

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1 medium carrot, rough chopped (I only had baby carrots so used a handful of those)
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ounces pancetta (or bacon in a pinch) chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling (I used 3)
3 cups cooked chickpeas or two 15 ounce cans drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional but oh so good!)
One 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes (or other good plum tomato) (I used organic Muir Glen)
1 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup light cream or half and half
A nice handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
Parmesan cheese for finishing
Salt and black pepper to taste (I didn’t use salt)
1 pound dried pasta, cooked al dente (I used Mostaccioli)

Pour the cup of boiling water over the porcini and let “steep” for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and pancetta in the bowl of a food processor and process until not quite smooth. (I only have a two-cup processor so had to do it in batches.) You want a little texture here.

Food-Processor Vegetables

Food-Processor Vegetables

Heat the 4 (or 3) tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven and add the chickpeas. Saute over medium heat for a few minutes, making sure the chickpeas are coated with the oil. Add the processed mixture and continue to sauté until the vegetables soften and become fragrant.

Chickpeas and Vegetables

Chickpeas and Vegetables

Add the basil, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes and continue to sauté another minute or two. Remove the porcini from the soaking liquid and chop finely. Add them to the pot. Strain and reserve the liquid.

With your clean hands, crush the tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the wine and porcini soaking liquid. Bring up to a simmer and simmer, partially covered for about an hour (I simmered for 1 1/2 hours). Stir occasionally.

Tomatoes and Mushrooms Added

Tomatoes and Mushrooms Added

After an hour (or more) , use an immersion blender (I used a regular blender and blended about half of it) to break down about half of the chickpeas. Add the light cream and bring back up to a simmer. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Off the heat, stir in the torn basil leaves.

Serve over pasta garnished with Parmesan and drizzled with a little olive oil.

Note: If you want to make this vegetarian, omit the pancetta but you might need to add some salt.

Chickpea Bolognese

Chickpea Bolognese

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Seared/Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta

13 Apr
Seared Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta

Seared/Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta

I saw this recipe just a couple of days ago that Pioneer Woman posted, and just drooled. I said right then and there, “I am SO making this!” The other great thing is if you go to her website and pin her post on Pinterest, Land O’ Lakes will donate 9 meals to Feeding America®, up to 2.7 million meals! I’ll give you the link down below.

My hubs helped with some of the prep, which was nice, but really there is not a lot to this. I adapted the recipe by halving it for our smaller family, and by baking the meatballs after browning them, not only because I’m terrible meatball maker, apparently, but because they were falling apart in the skillet. So what I did was after they were mostly browned on the outside, I took them out of the skillet to cool a bit, preheated the oven to 400 degrees, compacted them back into sort of round, then baked them for 15 minutes.

Meatballs and Seasonings

Meatballs and Seasonings

The plus about doing it that way is that you won’t have all that extra grease in the pan. I also omitted the beef bouillon and salt. Believe me there is enough flavor and salt in the rest of the ingredients that you will not miss it at all!

Changes I will make next time: I would use 2 1/2 cups of beef broth total. Hubby said he would have liked more gravy with it. Second would be to use flour instead of corn starch. Even though the gravy was “glossy” like the original recipe said it would be, I think the flour would make it all stick to the noodles better.

Even so, the fam ate it up and I’m good with that. The hubs called it a “glorified hamburger over noodles.” LOL! He said he would eat it again with those additional changes, though. Although the Pioneer Woman called this Salisbury Steak Meatballs, I didn’t find it to taste anything like that. Yep, a glorified hamburger. But if you want a fairly simple recipe to feed the family with ground beef and pasta, this is a great change of pace. :)

Seared/Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman, Salisbury Steak Meatballs

SPECIAL NOTE: To help donate 9 meals to the hungry, click the following link and pin on Pinterest! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2014/04/salisbury-steak-meatballs. Thank You!

1 pound ground beef
3/8 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
1/8 cup ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Table Blend (or salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon corn starch (or flour) mixed with 1/2 cup beef broth
1 1/2 to 2 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon additional Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons additional ketchup
1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I used Stubb’s)
8 ounces wide egg noodles
Dried minced parsley

In a medium bowl, combine the first seven ingredients and mix well with clean hands. Roll and compact into meatballs. I didn’t do such a great job of compacting them, maybe you are better. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet, then sear over medium-high heat on all sides until browned. Remove to a plate to cool and meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees. This is also a good time to put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

Seared Meatballs

Seared Meatballs

Add one more tablespoon of butter to the skillet (with all the leftover browned burger bits) and add in the onions. Reduce heat to medium and saute them for about 10 minutes until fairly soft. While the onions are cooking, you can re-compact your meatballs up and place on a parchment or foil-lined pan in one layer and cook in oven for 15 minutes.

Baked Meatballs

Baked Meatballs

Remove and set aside if your timing is off, like mine was. It’s choreography, I tell you!

Cooking the Onions with Browned Bits

Cooking the Onions with Browned Bits

Once the onions are softened, add the cornstarch or flour slurry to the skillet, scraping up all the yummy browned bits. Then add the rest of the beef broth, the additional Worcestershire and ketchup and the Liquid Smoke, then mix well, bringing up to a simmer (lower heat once it does).

Onions and Gravy

Onions and Gravy

Now add your pasta to the boiling water. Cook pasta until al dente, drain, and pour onto a large plate or in bowl. The onions and  gravy should be nice and done now, so pour the mixture over the pasta, top with the meatballs, sprinkle some parsley over it, scoop into bowls, and chow down. Serve if you like with a side salad, French bread, and fruit.

Seared Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta 2

Seared/Baked Meatballs with Brown Gravy and Pasta

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

9 Apr
Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

After a busy and fun (OK, awesome!) weekend out of town, I’m finally getting around to cooking and blogging again! My husband had grilled up some pork and steaks over the weekend and I was faced with grilled leftover meat and not a lot of ideas for what to do with it.

When I opened the freezer to look for options, I spied a frozen pie crust and had an “AHA!” moment. Who said you can’t make pot pie with grilled steak or pork, huh? And with the meat already cooked, it became a simple and delicious dinner idea. I did not use the “Holy Trinity” with celery since my daughter does not eat celery (even though I cook with it all of the time), but I added peas for both color and taste. Two thumbs up from the fam, too! Here is what I did:

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup flour
2 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, or salt, to taste
1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and minced (or a pinch dried)
1/4 cup milk
1 pound leftover cooked steak and/or pork, cubed (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
1 frozen pie crust, thawed
1 egg, beaten with a little water

Grilled Beef and Pork

Grilled Beef and Pork

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the carrots, onion, and potato. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the flour, seasonings, and thyme and stir until mixed into the butter.  Add the beef broth, then turn up heat to medium, stirring constantly until it thickens and begins to simmer. Turn back down to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk and stir to combine. Last, mix in the meat and peas, then turn off heat.

Steak and Pork Pot Pie Filling

Steak and Pork Pot Pie Filling

Pour into a 1.5 quart casserole (or large deep pie dish — I don’t happen to own one like that). Preheat oven to 375 degrees, meanwhile letting the mixture cool for about 20 minutes.  Top with the thawed pie crust and crimp around edges to seal. Brush on egg wash all over crust, then cut a few slits on top for venting. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Dee-lish!

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Steak and Pork Pot Pie

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

3 Apr
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

About everyone and their brother has made this and posted it on Pinterest, BUT not everyone has made it with Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce! Paul whipped up another big batch of his sauce the other night, and I took the liberty of crafting these cute lasagna roll ups before the sauce got all bagged up for the freezer. Recipe here.

I do have a complaint of about 90% of the recipes I looked at. Most of them said to use 2 tablespoons of filling for each noodle. No-way, no-how would 2 tablespoons cover a lasagna noodle. I used at least 1/4 cup for each noodle before rolling them up. Just don’t roll them until you’ve exhausted all the filling, then you can rob Peter to pay Paul if the last couple of noodles are shy of filling.

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Spinach Cheese Mixture Spread on Lasagna Noodles

Cooking a lasagna this way isn’t necessarily a time-saver, but you do end up with an easy way to package and store leftovers for the freezer. My husband said “This is really good!” so I gathered he liked this version of lasagna. So did my daughter, but she wasn’t very hungry and only ate one. More for the freezer!

NOTE: This can be made vegetarian by subbing in a marinara sauce for the meaty spaghetti sauce.

p.s. I’m traveling out of town this weekend to meet up with about 15 wild and crazy friends, so there will be no weekend post.

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
3 cups Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, or other prepared sauce
1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella, for topping
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, for topping

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups Ready to Bake

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, combine the Ricotta, garlic, spinach, egg, pepper, salt or Mrs. Dash, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.

When the noodles are done, drain the noodles, let cool a bit, pat dry with paper towels, then lay them on parchment or wax paper in a single layer.

Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking pan. Spread 1/4 cup or so of the cheese and spinach mixture onto each lasagna noodle. Roll the noodles and place seam-side-down into the pan.

Pour 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top each roll with 1 tablespoon of Mozzarella and 1 teaspoon of Parmesan, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green side salad and garlic bread. You can freeze the remaining roll ups in Ziploc bags for a quick and easy future meal!

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

DIY Taco Mix (Large Batch)

30 Mar
Large Batch Taco Mix

Large Batch Taco Mix

I wanted to make some homemade taco mix seasoning, but it seemed most of the recipes I found were either for one or a few meals of tacos. I wanted a REALLY LARGE batch, as I figured if you were going to take the time to buy so many ingredients and then measure them all out, why not take care of it and one fell swoop and be set for the year?

One of our local stores has a huge bulk bin aisle of spices, grains, beans, and nuts. If you are going to attempt this, you would have to buy in bulk because individual pre-packaged containers would cost you an arm and a leg. I bought all the spices for this for about five dollars. I figure this makes enough for 12 or more pounds of burger. We are set a year of tacos!

Taco Mix Seasonings

Taco Mix Seasonings

DIY Taco Mix (Large Batch)

1 cup chili powder
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic granules
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl. Transfer to glass jars and store with a tight-fitting lid.

To use, add 3 tablespoons of mix to 1 pound ground beef and cook until burger is browned. Add 3/4 cup water and simmer for about 20 minutes until liquid is reduced.

Taco Mix Seasonings

Taco Mix Seasonings

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

26 Mar
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

How many of you have moms or grandmas out there that made this when you were growing up? (Or at least a version of it.) Lots of hands, huh? I am in that crowd of hands, except my mom made it with that red and white can of tomato soup. Yes, I loved it growing up, too. But tastebuds mature, and I fell away from thinking I would ever like Americanized Goulash again.

Until the night I made this from scratch! Wowee! What was I waiting for? I even got thumbs up from my teenage daughter and her friend spending the night, and that is AFTER they ate a value-meal Sonic hamburger (at their begging) at almost 4 pm in the afternoon as a snack. (My husband dutifully drove them to the fast-food drive-in, as I was still working. It’s Spring Break this week in my neck of the woods and the kids are restless and hungry all the time!)

I hauled out my old cookbooks from college where I figured there would be a version or two of this recipe to adapt. I was astounded I couldn’t find any variation of it, even in my trusty Good Housekeeping cookbook from 1981. Am I dreaming I ate this growing up? I wondered then if it was a Hamburger Helper version I was thinking of that my mom added the soup to. Or maybe she made it up herself? Nonetheless, I scraped together a recipe from all the online versions I found. I am happy to say that it’s a keeper, and definitely in the rotation for a quick weeknight meal made with ground beef. One cannot have too many of those on hand with a hungry teenager around.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash Just out of Oven

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

Browned Burger and Onions

Browned Burger and Onions

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Or you can be like me and forget the parsley until later. Next add the cheddar cheese (or perhaps parsley if you forgot) and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined.

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

 

French Challenge #2 ~ Mains

23 Mar
French Classics Cookbook

French Classics Cookbook

The second challenge using my new French cookbook covers what it entitles “Mains.” I have narrowed it down to three mains I’d like to present to you for voting. Some were easy eliminations, as I have to be able to feed this to my family for dinner. Calves Liver was right out. My husband won’t touch any form of liver with a 10-foot pole. The Pork Chops with Apples and Calvados looked interesting except an apple brandy would be not only be hard to come by in this area, but I doubt it would be worth it to have on hand for the very few dinner guests we ever have. Quiche Lorraine and Coq au Vin… been there, done that. Duck Confit or Fish Stew? I don’t think so with my daughter’s picky eating. So here is the short list, my friends:

Pot au Feu with Cabbage Rolls

Pot au Feu with Cabbage Rolls

Pot au Feu with Cabbage Rolls

Cassoulet

Cassoulet

Cassoulet

Bouef Bourguignon

Bouef Bourguignon

Bouef Bourguignon

You can comment below to vote or on my Facebook pages. You have through Wednesday, March 26 to give me your fave. Many thanks! I look forward to the results. :)

Chicken and Dumplings

22 Mar
Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings ~ A Big Bowl of Comfort

I craved this comforting meal when the wind and cold and yuck came back to our area, and then suddenly realized I had never actually made it myself! My mom made it, I’ve ordered it from country side-of-the-road restaurants, I’ve eaten barely edible frozen TV dinners of it, but what the heck?

It was time to figure it all out myself. Do you realize how many recipes for this are “THE BEST” chicken and dumplings? And most of those I clicked on used the red and white “cream of” can. Many others had you rolling out your own dumpling noodles, which I might have attempted but I do try to steer clear from a rolling pin when I cook. But in the end, I had the core ingredients to work with and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Simmering Chicken and Dumplings

Simmering Chicken and Dumplings

Hubby was pretty hungry by the time this was cooked, but no fault of my own. He wanted to eat a late dinner after he picked up our daughter from her two-hour dance practice, but I was more than willing to prepare it earlier for him before that. Nonetheless, he said it was “too soupy.” Well let me tell you. If you let it rest for a spell, it’s nice and thick and not soupy at all! Either way, if you eat it straight away or let it rest to thicken up, it’s sure to please all who dig into it. I hope you think so too. The hint of the poultry seasoning, the bright specks of parsley in the dumplings along with the creamy broth and vegetables screamed comfort to me.  It’s a big bowl of comfort!

(p.s. Hubby went back for seconds, and he also ate some the next day. I had no complaints then.)

(p.s.s. I will post French Challenge #2 tomorrow for you to decide the Main French Dish you want me to cook! One down, three to go!)

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized-pieces
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced/diced carrots
1 cup onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups biscuit mix (I used Bisquick)
2/3 cup warm water
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Season the chicken pieces liberally with pepper and Mrs. Dash (or salt). Add the tablespoon of oil to a Dutch oven or soup pot over on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken and add to a bowl, and set aside.

Dumplings Before Turning Over

Dumplings Before Turning Over

Add the butter, all the vegetables and bay leaf, and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Season the mixture with the poultry seasoning. Add the  flour to the pan and whisk for a minute or two, until a paste forms. Stir in the chicken broth, whisking more until smooth. Add the chicken and frozen peas to the pot and bring up to a boil. Turn down to a low simmer and cook for about 1/2 hour.

Dumplings After Turning Over

Dumplings After Turning Over

Meanwhile, add the biscuit mix to a bowl, and combine with 2/3 cup warm water and the chopped parsley until mixed through. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover the pot tightly after it comes back up to a simmer. Steam the dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover and turn each dumpling over to let the tops cook in the broth for another 10 minutes or so. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so to thicken more, or serve immediately if your family demands it!

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Baked Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

19 Mar
Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 1

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

I am so pleased with this! Although it’s another “what to do with your leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day post,” I promise you this one is over the top. My husband and daughter raved at how good this was. I am tickled pink. We ate half of this “sandwich” and my daughter said she wanted to take the entire other half to school for lunch the next day. (My husband put his foot down on that, as he wanted some for lunch too!)

I’m astounded that I actually baked a bread-type item without it being a total failure. Believe me, I had my doubts. My prep shots looked like I had a disaster in the making, but I am so happy with how it turned out — not only in taste, but in appearance. The crescent pastry puffs up nicely and hides most of the defects from squishing the seams of the dough together, cutting it up, then braiding it. (I also added some sesame seeds on top at the last minute, what a great idea!)

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 3

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid ~ Uncut

Another bonus: Super easy to make and only 6 or 7 ingredients. Probably 15 or 20 minutes prep time, then in the oven it goes for 25 minutes. If you still have some leftover corned beef in the fridge, I highly recommend making this. (Or just go out and buy some deli-sliced.) I doubt you will be sorry.

Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

6-ounce bag fresh spinach
2 8-ounce canisters refrigerated butter-flavored crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups cooked corned beef, sliced/chopped
Yellow mustard
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1 egg white, beaten
Sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Steam the spinach with a few splashes of water in the microwave (or other method) covered in a bowl for a few minutes. I used a smallish bowl and had to do two batches. Strain all the water out by pressing on it with paper towels in a colander to get as much moisture out as you can.

Spinach and Zak Spoon

Turn that Frown Upside Down! I love my new Zak Spoons and Serving Tray

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking oil). Roll out the crescent rolls and press the seams together as shown below on top of it. Feel free to brag how you can do that better than me.

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Add the sliced/chopped corned beef down the middle.

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Squirt yellow mustard all over it. A pattern is optional.

Mustard on Corned Beef

Mustard on Corned Beef

Top evenly with spinach.

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spread the grated cheese over the spinach.

Swiss Cheese Over Everything

Swiss Cheese Over Everything!

Next cut the pastry dough on both sides with kitchen scissors in about 1/2-inch slices just up to the filling, as shown below.

Cresent Dough Cut

Crescent Dough Cut

“Braid” the dough slices over the filling. Don’t panic halfway through braiding when it looks a mess.

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Brush the egg white over the top, then sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) over the loaf.

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into some delicious hot sandwiches! I’m not a big sandwich eater for dinner, but this was even guest-worthy!

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 2

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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