Tag Archives: quick and easy

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

15 Apr
Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

I saw this recipe on Food52 a few days ago, the daughter was gone for the night (she doesn’t like shrimp, crazy huh?) and it was a quick and easy recipe — especially since I had a bag of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer. No-brainer for me. Thirty minutes TOPS to make this if you have the stock. There are lots of great flavors going on in this. If you don’t have shrimp stock on hand, the original recipe here has the method to make it, which doesn’t take that long. Don’t forget the crusty bread to sop up the soup!

I was hoping to post my “big announcement” this weekend, but I’m still dealing with the logistics. Hopefully next week!

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup
Adapted from Shrimp and Chorizo Stew, by Josh Cohen at Food52

4 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh is better if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
Crusty toasted buttered bread, for serving

Chorizo and Shallots

Chorizo and Shallots

Remove the chorizo from its casing and cook in the oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet, until cooked through and a bit caramelized. Add the minced shallots and cook until translucent, then add the diced tomatoes and smoked paprika. Cook and stir gently until tomatoes just start to break down.

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Add the white wine and shrimp stock, then turn to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until just simmering, then add the shrimp.

Simmering Shrimp

Simmering Shrimp

At this point you can start toasting your bread.  When the shrimp are cooked through (about 5 to 7 minutes), turn off heat, taste for salt, and add if necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh thyme leaves, and serve with hot buttered crusty bread.

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

18 Mar
Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

This is a very quick and easy dinner to throw together, especially if you have your favorite homemade spaghetti sauce stashed in the freezer (nevermindthefacthatIjustgotlaidoffanddon’tneedtimesavingrecipesrightnow). And if you make the ricotta in the morning (or even use store-bought) then you are way ahead of the game! And pssst, did you know making your own ricotta is super easy? I sure didn’t!

Prior to my life-changing event on Friday, I was always looking for dinner shortcuts. When I saw my friend Debbie’s post for Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach, I knew it was something I totally wanted to make, but didn’t have the time to bother with making meatballs. So I did the next best thing and used the meatball ingredients as the base for the pasta. In hindsight, if I had made this in my large cast-iron skillet, I could have just popped it straight from the stove top into the oven! (I didn’t have the foresight, but I’m going to remember this for sure next time.)

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta
Adapted from The Mountain Kitchen

2 cups dried pasta (I used Mostaccioli)
8 ounces ground hot Italian sausage
6 ounces baby spinach
Ground pepper, to taste (some red chile flakes would be great too)
4 cups homemade spaghetti sauce, or your favorite jarred
1 cup shredded mozzarella (not bagged variety)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (homemade or store bought)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet (cast iron if you have one!) until cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Leaving the sausage in the pan, add 1/4 cup water and the spinach, stirring until wilted. Season with ground pepper, to taste.

Sausage and Spinach

Sausage and Spinach

Add the spaghetti sauce to the skillet, combine, and bring to a simmer.

Sauce Mixture

Sauce Mixture

Pour into a large casserole dish (or leave in in the skillet if using cast-iron), then stir in the cooked pasta, half the mozzarella and half the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella and place dollops of the remaining ricotta over top.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Place in oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook until golden brown on top, about 5 to 7 more minutes. Serve immediately. WOW, so much flavor for so few ingredients!

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

BONUS! Here’s Debbie’s recipe for Homemade Ricotta:

Homemade Ricotta

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Add 2 layers of cheesecloth (I used meshed cotton veggie bags) over a sieve or strainer on top of a bowl. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overboil! Turn off heat and stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Pour the mixture over the cheesecloth and allow it to drain for about 25 minutes. Then place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Store unused cheese in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Quick and Easy Posole

1 Jan
Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

Happy New Year my friends! I thought about freshening up my good ol’ black-eye pea recipe for today, but instead decided to give you a quick and easy posole recipe that can make good use of any leftover meat you may have hanging around from the holidays. This includes pork, chicken, turkey, or beef!

I delivered this meal to a friend as a pre-packaged “make it yourself meal” when she said she wished she had some easy dinners to cook for her family. All the ingredients were packaged up in a box along with pre-printed step-by-step instructions. She said it was a huge hit with her family so I thought I’d better try it out myself. (Yes, I sent her a blind, untested recipe.)

This posole is huge on flavor and does not even skimp in the filling factor. Plus it’s very versatile, too! Thumbs up all the way around!

Posole Ingredients

Posole Ingredients

Quick and Easy Posole

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon flour
Posole Seasoning Mix (divided, recipe below)
3 ounces tomato paste
1 cup water
4 cups chicken stock (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
4-ounce can chopped green chiles
15.5-ounce can hominy (gold or white, drained)
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded (can also use turkey, pork, or beef)
1 fresh lime
Fresh cilantro
Crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, Mexican sour cream, for garnish (any or all optional)

Posole Seasoning Mix
Hint: Make a double or triple batch to store for future use!

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon New Mexico Red Chile powder (or sub with regular chili powder)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Finely dice the onion, then add it to a soup pot or Dutch oven along with the oil. Sauté the onion in the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until tender and transparent. Add the flour and a tablespoon of the seasoning mix and continue to sauté for two minutes more.

Posole Soup Base

Posole Soup Base

Add 1 cup water, tomato paste, and the rest of the seasoning mix to the pot. Whisk the ingredients together until the tomato paste is dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.

Big Ladle of Posole

Big Ladle of Posole

Finally, add the stock, shredded meat, diced chiles, and hominy. Stir to combine and then heat through for about 10 minutes.

Cut the lime into wedges and roughly chop the cilantro. Top each bowl with chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips and cheese and a wedge of lime to squeeze over top.

Quick and Easy Posole

Quick and Easy Posole

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

10 Dec
Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

This soup has keeper written all over it! (Plus my hubby told me so.) I made this soup a couple of weeks ago, and the only photo I took while making it was from my iPhone, so sorry for the lack of prep photos. But who needs them when this is so quick and easy to make? You can easily have this on the table in less than 30 minutes. This soup is full of flavor, and hearty and filling enough to satisfy even the hungriest of eaters.

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package smoked sausage, cut into slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 9-ounce package fresh cheese tortellini
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the smoked sausage and onion until sausages have slightly browned and onions are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute.

Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, turkey or chicken stock, tortellini, and pepper and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Serve with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

21 May
Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Recently my meals have taken on a “keep-it-simple” theme, which includes finding and making new meals that only use one pot, pan, or skillet. One day I was surfing Pinterest, pondering what to make with some fresh spring asparagus I had bought and came across this delightful food blog that offered just the ticket for a quick and easy meal. I scaled it down for two people as my daughter wasn’t eating at home that night, and also added some Neufchâtel cream cheese to double the creaminess. The meal offered everything it claimed, including only one pot to clean after. And the bonus? It only took a half hour to make! Two thumbs up all the way around!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two
Adapted from The Nourished Peach, original recipe here

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 to 6 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup milk, any kind
6 to 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon or 1/2 large)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chees
2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or regular cream cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken on both sides with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes on one side, then turn chicken over and cook for another 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Browning the Asparagus

Browning the Asparagus

Meanwhile add the asparagus to the pot and cook for several minutes, stirring to evenly cook it. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a couple teaspoons of the chicken broth and scrape up the yummy browned bits from the chicken.

Pasta and Cooking Liquids

Pasta and Cooking Liquids ~ I broke the spaghetti in half to fit the pot

Add the thyme, additional ground black pepper, chicken broth, milk, and pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and gently boil, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Boiling the Pasta

Boiling the Pasta

Simmer for 8 to 15 minutes (we live at high altitude so pasta takes longer) until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Adding the Chicken

Adding the Chicken

Meanwhile slice the chicken into strips then cut into bite-sized pieces. When pasta is done, add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese, and chicken. Stir to completely combine then top with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls along with a side salad. So delicious!

Note: This recipe can easily be double or tripled, use size of pot accordingly.

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Greek Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

25 Jul
Greek Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

Greek Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

When it’s hot outside, you’re tired of grilling, but want something quick and easy, these Greek Rotisserie Chicken Wraps are just the ticket! My family eats only half a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and when I was faced with the leftover half the next day I wracked my brain what to do with it. Then I remembered I had a Greek grilled chicken pocket bread recipe that would work, and I wouldn’t even have to grill the chicken! We always have flour tortillas on hand, so chicken wraps it would be! This was a wonderful light dinner to eat on our back deck on a warm week-day night. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Chicken Wrap Ingredients

Chicken Wrap Ingredients

Greek Rotisserie Chicken Wraps

 Tzatziki with Dill
1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
Small amount of ground sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

 For the Wraps
Flour tortillas
Thinly sliced peeled English cucumber
Sliced rotisserie chicken
Diced tomato
Thinly sliced red onion
Tzatziki with Dill

Greek Chicken Wrap Ready to Roll Up

Greek Chicken Wrap Ready to Roll Up

Prepare the tzatziki by blending all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.

Slice and dice the vegetables for the wraps and place in separate bowls/containers. Dry-heat the tortillas in a skillet for about 30-seconds each side to make them more pliable. Place tortilla on a plate, add the wrap ingredients to taste, then tightly roll up. Easy Peasy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup

25 Jan
Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Kale Lentil and Bacon Soup

Did I ever mention I love soup? Oh, yes, probably a hundred times by now. I am an avid reader of the Food52 website, and when I saw this soup offered up to test for one of their recipe contests, I immediately signed up to be a tester. Kale, lentils, and bacon? What’s not to love?

Paired with my super-yummy golden homemade chicken broth and a nice big splash of dry sherry makes this such an easy, but VERY tasty and filling soup. Don’t forget some thick slices of crusty bread to sop up every last bit of tastiness in your bowl.

I slightly adapted this by baking the bacon, and then using some of the clear, rendered bacon grease in lieu of olive oil for added flavor. And make sure you use the Puy (French Green) lentils, as they hold up well in a soup and don’t get mushy at all. I found these in the bulk section at Whole Foods Market.

Kale, Lentil, and Bacon Soup
Adapted from Anna May’s Recipe for Kale, Lentil and Bacon Soup @ Food52.com website

4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon rendered bacon grease
3/4 cup chopped
onion
1 large splash dry sherry
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 bunch Lacinato
kale, woody stems removed and chopped
1
sprig of thyme, leaves picked
3/4 cup Puy (French Green) lentils

Baked Bacon

Baked Bacon

Bake the bacon on a rack in a 400-degree preheated oven for 25 or so minutes until done. (I cooked the entire package and saved the rest for breakfast the next day.) Add 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease to a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Rendered Bacon Grease

Rendered Bacon Grease

Saute the onions for several minutes until translucent. Break up the bacon and add it and the lentils to the pot, then pour in a nice glug of the dry sherry.

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Cooking the Lentils and Onions

Let it sizzle briefly then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring up to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the lentils are done, about 40 minutes.

Wilting the Kale

Wilting the Kale

Stir in the kale and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is wilted and tender. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

18 Jan
Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

This is the second pressure-cooker recipe I made in one week, although you can certainly cook this over the stove in a Dutch oven. This was a very satisfying, quick and easy meal on a cold winter’s night! There are a lot of great flavors going on in this. I had an unexpected guest the next night, and he practically inhaled the rest of the leftovers!

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough-chopped
1 cup rough-chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed Mexican oregano
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast(s)
1 to 2 cups canned hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 7-ounce cans Salsa Verde (I used Herdez)
1 to 1/2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
Ground black pepper, to taste
Handful of chopped cilantro leaves
Avocado, lime slices, and additional cilantro, for garnish

Onions, Garlic, and Spices

Onions, Garlic, and Spices

Sweat the onions and garlic with the oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, then add the spices.

The Rest of the Ingredients

The Rest of the Ingredients

Add the rest of the ingredients, cover with the cooker lid, and bring up to pressure. Cook 5 minutes rocking under pressure, then release naturally. Shred the chicken in the pot with two forks. Serve in a bowl with garnishes.

Cooked Chicken Posole

Cooked Chicken Posole ~ with another handful of chopped cilantro for good measure

Note: If using a Dutch oven, cut the chicken into bite size pieces and brown with the onions and garlic. Then add the rest of ingredients and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak

14 Jan
Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak

Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak

I don’t use my pressure cooker nearly enough, but during my winter staycation I used it twice! Once for this flavorful, tender Swiss steak and another time for a spicy Mexican stew/soup. (Look for that recipe in an upcoming post.)

Have no fear if you don’t own a pressure cooker, as these recipes can also be made in a Dutch oven. The cooking times will be much longer over the stove or in the oven. That is the beauty of a pressure cooker — dinner can be served in about a half hour for something that can typically take up to two hours!

I call this “old-fashioned” because it reminds me of the Swiss steaks my mom used to make for us growing up, and I imagine her mother also made this meal. It was common practice for depression-era cooks to tenderize tough cuts of meat with a heavy meat mallet. Pre-tenderized top or bottom round steak are now widely available, but if you have a good old-fashioned heavy meat mallet, you could certainly tenderize the steaks yourself.

Somehow I failed to get a photo of the actual tenderized steaks without the sauce, but yes, there is a steak under all those vegetables! My family was duly impressed with this old-fashioned meal, and I hope you will be too!

Prepping Swiss Steak Ingredients

Prepping Swiss Steak Ingredients

Old-Fashioned Swiss Steak
Adapted from Alton Brown/Food Network

1 to 2 pounds tenderized top round steak (or cube steak)
Ground black pepper
Mrs. Dash or salt
Flour to coat the steaks
2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (freeze the rest for another use)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with garlic)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium

Cut the tenderized steak into serving size portions. (That would be three in this household.) Season the meat with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Dredge the steaks through flour and set aside.

Add the oil to the pressure cooker set on medium-high heat, and cook the steaks, one at a time, on both sides until browned. Remove each to a plate and set aside. Add a little more oil, if needed, in between steaks.

Sauteing the Veggies after Browning the Steaks

Sauteing the Veggies after Browning the Steaks

Add the chopped vegetables and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Return the steaks to the pot, submerging them in the liquid as best you can.

Tomato Sauce Mixture with Steaks

Tomato Sauce Mixture with Steaks ~ Yes the steaks are under there!

Secure the lid, add the pressure rocker, and turn the heat to high. When the pressure regulator begins to rock, reduce the heat to medium so that it rocks steadily for 15 minutes. At the 15-minute mark, remove from heat. Let the pressure reduce on its own before removing the lid. Serve steaks over cooked rice with a side salad or vegetable.

Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make this in a Dutch oven. Follow the same steps, except cover the Dutch oven and cook on the middle rack in a 325-degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Beef Sirloin Tips with Mushrooms over Hot-Buttered Noodles

10 Jan
Beef Sirloin Tips with Mushrooms over Hot-Buttered Noodles

Beef Sirloin Tips with Mushrooms over Hot-Buttered Noodles

I made this dish the same day I made my Black-Eyed Pea Risotto. Yep, the lunch my hubby never even tasted. His loss! It was New Year’s Day, and I wanted him to go get some take-out from a local Italian chain restaurant with my “Carino’s Cash” cards from buying gift cards there.

We were all set to order, then I read the fine print. “Only good for dine-in orders.” Oooh, bummer. So what is one to do? I didn’t want to get dressed (hey, I was still in my jammies/sweatpants — who isn’t on New Year’s Day?) and I needed to make dinner STAT!

I quickly scoured my fridge found an entire package of fresh mushrooms ready to go south, and a one pound package of boneless top sirloin I forgot I had put in there a couple of days before to defrost. These two items armed me with the makings of a delicious meal made in under one hour!

So let’s get straight to it on how to make a simple, filling meal on a short notice:

Beef Sirloin Tips with Mushrooms over Hot Buttered Noodles

8 ounces dried pasta, any kind
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound top sirloin steak
1/4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
8 ounce package sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth
Chopped green onions, for garnish

First get the pasta cooking according to package directions. Any time during the below cooking process, remove and drain when it’s cooked al dente , then add two tablespoons of butter and keep warm/hot.

Seasoned Beef Tips

Seasoned Beef Tips

Cut the steak into bite-sized pieces (hence the “tips”), then toss with the paprika, thyme, mustard, and black pepper, to taste.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the steak. Saute for about 5 or more minutes, browning the steak on all sides. Remove steak from pan to a plate and set aside.

Browning the Beef Tips

Browning the Beef Tips

Melt the remaining butter in the same skillet and add the onions and mushrooms.  Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the mushrooms start to release their liquid.

Sauteing the Mushrooms and Onions

Sauteing the Mushrooms and Onions

Next add the garlic and Worcestershire Sauce and mix to combine. One tablespoon at a time, whisk in the flour until a paste forms and no dry flour is left.

Slowly add the beef broth to the mixture. Continually whisk the mixture to remove any lumps during this process. Bring it to a boil and cook until it thickens.

Steak Tips and Mushroom Sauce

Steak Tips and Mushroom Sauce

Add the cooked beef back to the pan and mix to coat.  Continue to cook until the meat is reheated. Serve over the hot buttered noodles and garnish with chopped green onions. Dinner is ON!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

%d bloggers like this: