Tag Archives: mushrooms

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

1 Apr
Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

I know this beef man from Ireland, and Conor Bofin is his name. He’s the closest I know to a connoisseur of any part of the damned cow that I know, even the unusual and sketchy bits. But he can cook the most amazing meals with that lowly bovine, so I jumped on the chance to sort-of copy-cat this wonderful braise of beef shanks with some nice meaty ones from our quarter cow.

While my photos won’t do it justice — and I wasn’t about to try and plate it for a shot — I think anyone who makes this will be satisfied with the most delicious gravy and tender beef. I served mine with some Parmesan risotto, but pasta or potatoes would work fantastic too. One of my deviations from the original recipe was to reduce the mushrooms (not enough on hand) and add a couple of almost-overripe tomatoes to the braise, which added a wonderful color and flavor to the gravy. (The long braise makes your house smell dreamy, too!)

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes
Adapted from Daub of Beef from One Man’s Meat

2 meaty beef shanks, seasoned with pepper and salt
1 tablespoon high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Half of a very large onion, chunked up
4 ounces whole white mushrooms, quartered
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
Half head of garlic, peeled and sliced thick
2 1/2 cups homemade or high-quality beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup good red wine (I used an Oregon Pinot Noir)
2 bay leaves
Handful of thyme sprigs
Black pepper and salt, to taste

Beef Shank Ingredients

Beef Shank Ingredients (Mostly)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season the beef shanks with pepper and salt, then score the membrane in several places on the sides. Heat a Dutch oven to medium high heat and add the oil, then sear the beef until very browned on all sides. Remove and set aside to a plate.

Browned Beef Shanks

Browned Beef Shanks

Add the butter, then toss in the onions and mushrooms. Reduce heat a bit. Cook and stir until the mushrooms have browned and onions are softened.

Veggie Madness

Veggie Madness (I like to dose my dishes with pepper at random moments)

Top with the tomatoes and garlic, then pour in the beef stock. Grind more pepper over if your feeling it. Stir in the tomato paste until combined. Now pour in the red wine and bring up a a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Nestle the beef shanks into the liquid, then add in the bay leaves and thyme.

Braise Ready for Oven

Braise Ready for Oven ~ Time to read a book now. I did. Really.

Cover and cook in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is fall-apart tender. Remove the beef to a plate, then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and gently stir gravy to combine. Taste for additional seasonings and add, if needed. Serve each shank with risotto, pasta, or potatoes, topping the shanks with a generous amount of gravy and veggies.

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Sous Vide (Sorta) Beef Bourguignon

26 Nov
Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

I say “sorta” because I only cooked about half the ingredients via the sous vide method, as I was concerned my gallon zip-lock baggie would not hold it all. This also turned out to be an accidental birthday dinner for my husband, as when I started the process 24-hours earlier it hadn’t dawned on me I’d be serving it the night before his birthday.

Don’t have a sous vide machine? No worries, you can make this on the stove top in a Dutch oven. Simply cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours until beef is tender.

This made an elegant dinner, with beautiful rich flavors and fork-tender beef. I served this over a cauliflower puree, but it can also be served over mashed potatoes or noodles.

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus more if needed
4 slices thick-cut bacon (reserve 1 tablespoon grease)
1 1/4 pounds stew meat (chuck beef) cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons flour, divided
2 carrots
2 thick slices from a large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 bottle of good dry red wine, such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir
1 cup beef broth, homemade or low sodium
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
8 ounces baby bella (or cremini) mushrooms, sliced if large
8 ounces thawed frozen pearl onions
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided

The Main Players

The Main Players

Set your sous vide in a large pot of water to 149 degrees F (65 C).

Cut the bacon into lardons and cook in the oil in a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels to cool. Reserve one tablespoon of grease and refrigerate it.

Browning the Beef

Browning the Beef

Dry the beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons of flour to coat. In the same pot with the remaining hot bacon grease, cook the beef in batches until browned on all sides. Add the beef and bacon to a 1-gallon zip-lock bag.

Peel the carrots and cut into cross-wise slices and slice the thick onion slices in half. Cook in the remaining oil in the pot (add more if needed) for about 10 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add the vegetables to the bag.

Veggies and Beef in Bag

Veggies and Beef in Bag

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef broth and tomato paste, stir to combine, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced a quarter in volume, about 15 minutes.

Add the wine mixture, the thyme sprigs, and bay leaf to the bag. Seal using the water immersion technique, add to the sous vide pot and clip it to the side. Cover the water bath with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Sous vide for 24 hours.

Sous Vide

Sous Vide!!

After 24 hours, melt 2 tablespoons of butter plus the one tablespoon of reserved bacon grease to a Dutch oven. Saute the mushrooms until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the thawed pearl onions and cook for an additional five minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Baby Bellas and Pearl Onions

Baby Bellas and Pearl Onions

Melt two or more tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Remove bag from sous vide pot and carefully pour the liquid from the bag into the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking constantly until sauce is thickened.

Beef Bourguignon Ready to Serve

Beef Bourguignon Ready to Serve

Add the mushrooms and onions and the rest of the contents of the bag to the pot and stir to combine. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Serve over cauliflower puree, mashed potatoes, or noodles. Bon Appétit!

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

Sous Vide Beef Bourguignon

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Chicken Dumpling Casserole

5 Nov
Chicken Dumpling Casserole

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

The last time I made chicken dumplings the hubs complained it was too soupy, so decided to make it into a casserole where it would thicken up nicely for him. Typically I would make this with celery in it, but since I didn’t have any and trips to the store are few and far between for me, I substituted some fresh mushrooms we had on hand instead. And to make it a tad fancier, I added some basil that I dried from my garden to the dumplings too.

I precooked the chicken with my sous vide immersion circulator earlier in the day, but you can substitute rotisserie chicken instead. I have been experimenting with that cooking method and FINALLY cooked a pork tenderloin that was juicy and tender as any beef tenderloin you could have!

Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Juicy Pork Tenderloin

Yes, pork is safe to eat when pink in the middle! My husband was a little put off by the pink, so he pan-seared his slices in a hot cast iron pot for a few seconds on each side. No sous vide recipe as of yet until I have a solid recipe for you.

But back to the dumplings. This is thick and hearty, yummy comfort food, perfect for welcoming in the winter!

Chicken Dumpling Casserole

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cups cubed cooked chicken

Dumplings

1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté onions, carrots, and mushrooms in the olive oil and butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic in the last minute.

Carrots, Onions, and Mushrooms

Carrots, Onions, and Mushrooms

Stir in flour, salt and pepper, basil and mix until blended. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add peas and chicken and mix to combine. Pour into an oil-sprayed 2-quart casserole dish.

Chicken Dumpling Filling

Chicken Dumpling Filling

For the dumplings, combine baking mix and basil in a small bowl. Stir in milk with a fork until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls over the chicken mixture.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Cover and bake 10 minutes longer. Serve in bowls with a side salad.

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Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

14 Aug
Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

I follow some fantastic food blogs, and many of their recipes are the inspiration for our meals. The past couple of days yielded a bonanza for me for a meal that had everything I already had in the pantry, garden, or freezer. The hubby thought it was quite good!

Huge thanks to Linda at Fabulous Fare Sisters and to Mimi at Chef Mimi Blog for providing the motivation to make this super-tasty meal. Go check out their blogs when you have a chance!

On to the preparation!

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms
Inspired by Linda at Fabulous Fare Sisters

Garden Sage Plant

Garden Sage Plant

8 ounces sirloin tips
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
2 tablespoons fresh chopped green onions (green part only) or chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Fresh ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste

Finely Chopped Sage and Green Onion

Finely Chopped Sage and Green Onion

Place the chopped sage, green onion or chives and garlic in a shallow dish. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, and whisk to combine.

Add the sirloin tips, mix well, then marinate at room temperature for a half hour.

Sirloin Tips in Herby Maridade

Sirloin Tips in Herby Maridade

Meanwhile, add another tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and mushrooms have browned. Remove from skillet and set aside and turn off heat.

Cooking the Mushrooms

Cooking the Mushrooms

Next, prepare the Cacio e Pepe (recipe below).

When pasta is cooked, reheat the same cast iron skillet on high. Drizzle a little olive oil into the hot skillet. Add the sirloin tips and sage mixture and sauté 3 to 5 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Steak Tips in Sage Sauce

Steak Tips in Sage Sauce

Add the mushrooms and stir until heated through. Remove from heat and serve immediately with the Cacio e Pepe.

Cacio e Pepe
Inspired by Chef Mimi Blog

2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
4 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving

Finely Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Finely Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Place a large pot full of salted water on the stove over high heat and cook spaghetti according to package directions.

When the pasta is done to your liking, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water in a bowl. Drain the pasta and return the pasta to the pot. Immediately add about a half cup of pasta water to the pot, stirring gently.

Add a teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper and the grated cheese, along with more pasta water as needed, (I kept having to add about a 1/4 cup at a time throughout and did end up with some clumpy cheese at the bottom, but that’s OK).

Pasta, Cheese, and Pepper

Pasta, Cheese, and Pepper

Stir vigorously through out this process until cheese is melted and pasta is creamy. Keep warm until steak tips are done, and add a little more pasta water to loosen up just before serving. Serve with additional ground pepper, if desired (recommended!)

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Beef Tenderloin with Porcini and Pepper Sauce

23 Jul
Beef Tenderloin with Porcini and Pepper Sauce

Beef Tenderloin with Porcini and Pepper Sauce

Once again I am dashing off to another trip to the coast, this time to our RV river property for four days. I made this a couple of weeks ago, with HUGE THANKS to Conor Bofin of the delightfully funny and delicious food blog, One Man’s Meat. I take zero credit for this recipe. In fact I copied his recipe so exactly (other than having a more inferior steak and wine than his) that I will simply link you directly to his site for it.

Beef Tenderloins and Oregon Porcini Mushrooms

Beef Tenderloins and Oregon Porcini Mushrooms ~ The tenderloins weren’t near the quality we got with last year’s cow

The pictures are my own on this page, but his photos are a feast for the eyes! I served this with my Smashed Roasted Little Potatoes and asparagus. PLEASE do hop over to his site and read his witty writing, delightful photography, and mouth-watering recipes. This particular recipe is not only drool-worthy, but worth a good chuckle. You won’t be disappointed!

Peppercorns and Mushrooms

Peppercorns and Mushrooms ~ I clearly need work on my fine chopping skills

Even if you don’t eat meat, his way with words will be sure to delight you. DO read the photo captions too. They are particularly clever. Enjoy!

Click for the recipe here ——> The Truth about Fillet Steak with Porcini and Pepper Sauce

 

Marcos Pollo Tacos

3 Apr
Marcos Pollo Tacos

Marcos Pollo Tacos

We have a local restaurant that serves an amazing Mexican chicken dish called Marcos Pollo. It’s a creamy/spicy dish filled with chicken and mushrooms and served with rice and beans and tortillas. I decided to recreate this as best I could, and my husband thought it was spot on! Aside from telling me it was delicious, he wants me to add more mushrooms, increase the sauce, and make the chicken cubes smaller next time. Ever the critic, isn’t he? 😀 But I did agree with him except the chicken chunk size. I like a nice mouthful of chicken with each bite!

Marcos Pollo Tacos

3/4 to 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock, reduced to 1/4 cup
1/2 sweet onion, cut and sliced in quarters
4 to 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thick
1/2 cup heavy cream, Mexican crema, or Half and Half
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water
Cilantro, for garnish

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes, then mix with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the paprikas and minced chipotle in adobo in a non-reactive bowl or zip-top baggie. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan, then lightly boil until the stock has been reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and set aside. This took about 20 minutes.

Chicken and Onions Browning

Chicken and Onions Browning

Meanwhile, slice the onions and mushrooms. After chicken stock has reduced, add the chicken and onions to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a clean bowl and set aside.

Deglazing Mushrooms

Deglazing Mushrooms ~ I haven’t quite mastered an in-focus pouring shot…

Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet then cook the mushrooms until golden brown, about another 5 to 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the reduced stock.

Add the chicken and onions back to the skillet, then stir in the cream and sour cream until combined. Next add the corn starch/water slurry, then simmer and stir until the sauce has thickened.

Creamy Spicy Chicken and Mushrooms

Creamy Spicy Chicken and Mushrooms

Remove from heat and serve over cooked rice, black beans in warmed corn tortillas. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Marco Pollo Tacos

Marcos Pollo Tacos

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

12 Mar
Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

I had a hankering for Tex-Mex last weekend, and when I get a hankering for something there is no stopping me! Of course I wanted to use some of my roasted Hatch chiles and Mexican chorizo sausage from the freezer, and lots of ooey-gooey cheese.

The supermarket has started carrying “artisan-style” tortillas in a variety of flavors, so I picked up some whole wheat/corn blend in a “New Size!” I wonder what the old size was as I had never even seen them before. The new size turned out to be 8 inches, which made it tricky fitting them into my existing casserole dishes, and I wasn’t planning on making a huge batch for a 9 x 13 dish. Placing them length-wise in my 2-quart casserole did the trick!

Rolled Enchiladas

Rolled Enchiladas

I ended up with 5 rather large enchiladas, which was almost a perfect amount for the three of us.

One thing to note: These did not seem to reheat well the next day (too dry), so plan on adjusting the amounts or eating the entire dish! If I weren’t trying to cut my calorie intake recently I certainly could have eaten more than I did. I got thumbs up all the way around from the fam for this, and my hankering was well-satisfied. The flavors were just fantastic and the perfect blend of spices, chiles, and cheese.

Chorizo and Beef Enchiladas with Cheesy Hatch Chile Sauce

3/4 pound (12 ounces) ground beef
2 to 4 ounces Mexican chorizo
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 roasted Hatch chiles, diced and divided (or 6-ounce can diced green chiles)
1 3/4 cups of low-salt beef or chicken broth, preferably homemade, divided
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 8 corn and/or flour tortillas
Vegetable oil, as needed for tortillas
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced avocado and cilantro, for garnish

Enchilada Ingredients

Enchilada Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the ground beef and Mexican chorizo and brown.

Sausage, Beef and Veggie Mixture

Sausage, Beef and Veggie Mixture

Add the mushrooms, onions and chile peppers into the mixture. Add the smoked paprika, then salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then add 1/2 cup of broth. Simmer for a minute or two more until the broth reduces, but don’t let the mixture dry out. Turn off heat and set aside.

Heating a Tortilla

Heating a Tortilla

In a cast iron or other skillet, heat up a small amount of oil over medium-high heat. One at a time, heat each side of a tortilla until pliable and just starting to brown. Don’t overcook or the tortilla will be difficult to roll. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding a small amount of oil as necessary.

Filling a Tortilla

Filling a Tortilla

Spoon the meat mixture into a tortilla, then roll up, placing seam-side-down in the in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish. Repeat until mixture is gone.

Melting Butter in Same Skillet

Melting Butter in Same Skillet

In the same skillet the meat mixture was in, melt the butter over medium heat. You don’t need to wipe out the pan first. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter, whisking continuously until the mixture is light golden brown.

Chiles in White Sauce

Chiles in White Sauce

Add the remaining broth and whisk until starting to thicken. Add the rest of the chopped green chiles, stirring to incorporate.

Adding the Cheese to the Chile Sauce

Adding the Cheese to the Chile Sauce

Reduce the heat and mix in the sour cream, then add the cheese to the sauce. Stir until combined and melted.

Cheesy Enchiladas Ready to Bake

Cheesy Enchiladas Ready to Bake

Pour the sauce evenly over the rolled tortillas.

Bake the enchiladas at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling. Remove and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve enchiladas garnished with avocado and cilantro.

Garnished Enchiladas

Garnished Enchiladas

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Coq Au Vin ~ Rare Recipe Challenge

24 Jan
Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

I recently joined in with a group of fun foodie blogger to participate in a recipe challenge. Lina over at Lin’s Recipes “challenged” us to choose from a list of exotic recipes from around the world we had never made before so that we could all expand our food horizon’s beyond our own country. I read through the list then sheepishly asked if I could use a post from a couple of years ago, because hey, at that time it WAS new to me! She graciously agreed. Thank you Lina!
Rare Recipe Challenge

Head on over to the Rare Recipe Challenge to see what others have made!  The cooks have a week to add their entry, so check back often to see new recipes added throughout the week.

Thank you Lina for creating this fun challenge for the month of January (new year, new recipes!), and a great big thanks to Jhuls for judging the entries. She can be found over at thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com .

So without further adieu, I bring to you my story of cooking the French dish Coq au Vin!

__________________________________________________

After feeding our foreign exchange student a healthy (or unhealthy you might say) dose of American food, I decided to surprise her one night with a traditional French dish. She walked into the kitchen and I motioned her over to the crock pot. I lifted the lid and said, “Tah Da! I made you Coq au Vin!” She had a very puzzled look on her face. I said it again nice and slow, like this: “COKE UHH VEEEEEN.” Blank look. “You know, chicken in wine!”

“Ohhhh, yes, yes. It’s Coh ah Vah,” she replied. There is barely a hint of the k and n sound, but I could not seem to quite get that part right and we had a few giggles at my poor attempts. So after I thoroughly corrupted the French pronunciation, I was hoping I didn’t do the same to the meal. For one, I couldn’t find a true Burgundy wine at the store, so settled on a Pinot Noir. I also knew my daughter wouldn’t eat the mushrooms in it, so added some baby carrots. I did, however, ask Caroline what the French typically served the dish over — potatoes or noodles? She said potatoes, so then I asked her if they were boiled or mashed? Another puzzled look from her then had me pantomiming round circles for boiled and banging my fist on the table to simulate mashing. Ahh, the second one, mashed potatoes!

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

After her bowl was filled twice and mopped dry with thick slices of French bread, I can say that the meal was a success! This dish is typically made with skin-on chicken thighs and legs, but all I had were large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. So I lopped them in half, and hoped they wouldn’t come out too dry. I think using a slow cooker helped retain some of the juiciness but I think next time I would cook them only about 3 hours on high instead of 4 hours. But I was very satisfied with the results, and now I know how to properly pronounce this lovely meal even if I can’t actually say it right.

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken, skin on or skinless
1/4 cup flour, divided
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
8 ounces frozen pearl onions, thawed
8 ounces small button mushrooms
2 cups whole baby carrots
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley, chopped
Mashed potatoes and French bread, for serving

Vegetable Medley

Vegetable Medley

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, remove from heat, and drain bacon on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet, or if you used lean bacon then add some vegetable oil to make up for it. Season the chicken with pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Dust the chicken pieces with 1/8 cup flour, reserving the rest, and add the chicken to the skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken for several minutes on each side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Chicken Vegetables and Bacon

Chicken, Vegetables, and Bacon

Add the tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium heat, stir in the rest of the flour, then add in the pearl onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the baby carrots, then return skillet to heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken broth, scraping up all the yummy brown bits.

Wine Mixture

Wine Mixture

Whisk in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes and turn off heat. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the crock pot, add the bacon on top, then pour the wine mixture over all. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours.

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Make your mashed potatoes in the last half hour or so of cooking and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Spoon mashed potatoes into bowls, top with the chicken and vegetables plus juices, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Have lots of thick-sliced French bread for sopping up all the savory juices. Enjoy!

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

23 Jan
One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

This is a recipe I have made since college repeatedly. Surprisingly, I have never posted it as it is just “one of those meals” in my rotation. When both hubs and I stare at each other after a long day at work with those glazed eyes and say “what’s for dinner,” this recipe is usually one that comes up in the replies.

Back in the college days (and even early married days) I used to make this with that canned “cream of” soup. Any flavor I pretty much had on hand. After the hubby got diagnosed with high blood pressure, that was the first thing out the door. So I learned how to make my own “cream of” soups, and it is surprisingly simple! (And certainly healthier too but it does have butter and flour.) But never mind that. It just TASTES better too! It’s a plate full of comfort, I tell you! We typically serve with a small salad or steamed green veggie on the side.

This can make enough for anywhere from 2 to 6 people, if you have a large enough skillet. I had some huge pork chops, so depending on your family’s eating habits you’ll have leftovers, or not. Don’t worry about the amount of “soup” you end up with, there’s always enough creamy sauce for the amount of meat, potatoes and onions, even if it looks sketchy at best at first. No lie!

p.s. I originally called this simple and easy, but after looking at all the steps after writing it up, I realized I only “think” of it that way, as I swear I could make this blindfolded! If you make this enough times (as I hope you will) then I think you’ll feel the same!

So here is what we have going on:

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

3 to 6 small potatoes, depending on the mouths you feed, washed and scrubbed
1/2 to 1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of pork chops, either bone-in or not
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
Several splashes of wine, stock, or water, for deglazing
1 recipe of “cream of” soup (ingredients and recipe to follow)
Pinches of dried or fresh herbs that you like, to taste (I prefer thyme and spicy oregano for this)

Cream of “Anything” Soup Recipe

3 to 4 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup of finely diced “of” ingredient (mushrooms, cooked chicken, celery… you get the idea)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium stock (any kind)
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
Ground pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash , to taste

Sliced Patooties

Sliced Patooties

First thing to do is get out the mandoline and slice up all those potatooties and onions thinly. If you don’t have a fancy (like 9.99 Walmart or Amazon) device, then slice thin with your sharpest knife. It’s OK if you don’t have a mandoline. I’m a newcomer to that game and scoffed until I bought one. I totally get it. Cut the onion rings in half with a knife (optional).

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Next season up those chops nice and good, however you want. Nobody is judging you on your spice preference.

Seasoned Pork Chops

Seasoned Pork Chops

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large hot skillet (that has a cover to fit) and sear the pork on each side, until nice and browned. I forget how long that takes as I just eyeball it. A few minutes each side, at least. Once browned, remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Browned Pork Chops

Browned Pork Chops

Add more oil to the skillet and toss in the sliced potatoes and onions and lower heat to medium. Season, to taste. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or so, stirring here and again.

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Meanwhile, make your “cream” of soup. The pans will be side by side, you can do it!

I had ‘shrooms on hand that day, so cream of mushroom soup it was! I also used some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving batch of carcass stock.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add your “of” ingredient (in my case the mushrooms) and cook until soft and the butter is foaming. Pre-cooked chicken is not such a big deal to worry about softening.

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Add the flour then whisk until it’s all incorporated and turns into a weird paste. That’s OK too, it’s supposed to do that.

Making Paste

Making Paste

Add the stock all at once, then whisk like a whirling dervish until it’s all incorporated and smooth and creamy. Strange how it suddenly happens, huh? You’ll know after you try it. Then add the milk and whisk some more until it’s all combined and creamy again. Once again, season to taste and stir in. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Now. Now is the time to put it all together. Deglaze the skillet of veggies with wine or more stock or water to loosen up the yummy crispy bits.

Place the browned pork on top of the potatoes and onions.Pour the cream “of” soup over the pork and spread around. Sprinkle your preferred herbs over top. Please, do not freak out at this point that you don’t have enough soup or gravy or whatever. Trust me. See my photo?

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Bring the skillet up to a slow simmer, then cover, and turn down to medium low. Then walk away. WALK AWAY! Leave it alone for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover and smoosh everything down into the gravy because OMG where did all that gravy come from??? Ha, told you so. This photo is only after 20 minutes.

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Cover the skillet again, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pork is at least 145 or more degrees, anywhere from 10 to 20 more minutes depending on the thickness of the chops and potatoes.

Once potatoes are softened and pork is safe to eat, turn off skillet, cut pork into serving sizes and scoop amount of potatoes and onions and gravy on to your plate that you want. Serve with some kind of green veggie or salad or whatnot. Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

10 May
Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

Busy, busy, busy! That’s what I’ve been lately, and when you’re busy it’s so nice to have a fairly quick and healthy casserole to whip together, just like this one. This is even something I wouldn’t mind cooking myself on this Mother’s Day (as long as I don’t have to do the dishes!). And Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there, be it mothers of humans, fur-kids, or nature! I hope you enjoy this recipe, this was a thumbs-up in my family all the way around.

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

5 ounces uncooked linguine, snapped in half
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup Half and Half, or milk
1 ounce Neufchâtel cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup frozen peas
2-inch thick chunk French bread baguette, torn into chunks
1 teaspoon oil

Shred that Chicken Breast!

Shred that Chicken Breast!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and whisk for a couple of minutes until all combined. Pour in the chicken broth and milk, whisking constantly.

Stirring the Cheese into the Sauce

Stirring the Cheese into the Sauce

Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Stir in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the cream cheese until combined, then turn off heat and set aside.

Suateing the Mushrooms and Onion

Sauteing the Mushrooms and Onions

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the rest of the butter. Add the mushrooms and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the onions, garlic, and thyme and saute for 5 more minutes. Add the sherry, then cook for a minute more.

Combining the Casserole

Combining the Casserole

Pour in the saucepan of milk/cheese mixture, the pasta, chicken, and peas. Toss to combine. Spoon the mixture into a 2-quart casserole coated with oil spray.

Casserole Ready for Bread Crumbs

Casserole Ready for Bread Crumbs

Place the torn bread pieces and the rest of the Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

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