Tag Archives: Sweet Onion

Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

20 Mar
Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

Having a mandoline slicer makes quick work of this easy side dish, but a good sharp knife will also work. I splurged and bought some nice Pecorino Romano (genuine Sini Fulvi) at Whole Foods last week and figured the nutty cheese would taste great in my standard scalloped potato recipe. The cheese had such a strong flavor that I used it sparingly, but cooking it really mellows it out. So feel free to use as much as you want in this dish, as it adds a subtle cheesy flavor to an otherwise rather plain potato dish. I also topped it with a scattering of crushed homemade garlic croutons for another flavorful kick. This is a very versatile potato dish, so feel free to use any kind of potatoes, onions, cheese, or croutons that you want! Serve this with any protein of choice and a salad or other vegetable.

Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

3 medium large russet potatoes, sliced thin
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced thin and quartered
3 heaping tablespoons flour, divided
1 1/2 cups half and half (or milk), divided
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano cheese or other hard cheese, grated, to taste
Crushed flavored croutons, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the potatoes thin, using a mandoline or very sharp knife.

Sliced Potatoes in Ice Bath

Sliced Potatoes in Ice Bath

To keep them from browning, place the slices in a bowl of ice water. Next slice the onion, then quarter the slices.

Humble Sliced and Quartered Onion

Humble Sliced and Quartered Onion

When done slicing, drain the bowl and pat the potato slices dry with paper towels.

Spray a small casserole dish with oil, then add one layer of potato slices. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour over top, followed by 1/2 cup of half and half or milk.

First Layer of Dish

First Layer of Dish

Season with sea salt and ground pepper to taste, then grate the desired amount of Pecorino Romano on top. Spread 1/3 of the onion slices last. Repeat layers two more times, then top with crushed flavored croutons.

Potatoes After Removing Foil

Potatoes After Removing Foil ~ Feel free to grate more cheese on top at this point!

Cover tightly with foil, and bake in oven for one hour. Remove the foil, then bake another half hour or more, until the potatoes are fork tender. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve with additional grated cheese, if desired.

Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

8 Feb
One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

Well it’s about time I have a new recipe for you! I’ve been cooking all week, but cooked some of my regulars in rotation, including a nice big batch of Inside-Out Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup and the family-favorite Garlicky Parmesan Chicken Tenders.

Today I bring you an easy one-pot meal loaded with some delicious roasted vegetables. The original recipe didn’t have any lemon or crushed red pepper flakes in it, but whenever I cook with spinach, those two ingredients sing to me! And lemon and artichoke? Why YES! I got a neutral rating from the family — but in my defense (and theirs) — when I plated dinner, both said they weren’t very hungry. They’ve both been fighting off the crud, it seems. But I found this very tasty!

One-Pot Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
Adapted from Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes at Diethood.com

1 pound chicken pieces, cut up if large
Fresh ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 large carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, rinsed and drained
1 8-ounce bag spinach
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 large lemon wedges
3/4 cup chicken broth

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Sliced Carrots and Onion

Preheat oven to 425. Meanwhile prep the chicken and veggies. Season chicken with pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash. The chicken can be boneless and/or skinless or not, but if the pieces are large be sure to cut them smaller.

Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the chicken in the Dutch oven on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side, depending on thickness. Remove from the pot and set aside, leaving the oil in the skillet.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Reduce heat to medium, and add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more spices if needed. At this point, add the artichokes and cook about another 5 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender, again stirring occasionally.

Sauteing the Veggies

Sauteing the Veggies

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and half the spinach. Squeeze one lemon wedge over the spinach and stir around until reduced a bit. Add the rest of the spinach and squeeze the other lemon wedge over it. Continue to cook until all the spinach wilts, stirring occasionally.

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Spinach Wilted with Veggies

Remove from heat, add the broth, and nestle the chicken around the vegetables. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. In the last 5 minutes, bump the heat to broil to finish the roasting. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles, if desired.

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

Chicken Ready to Finish in Oven

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

19 Oct
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I love it when I come across a recipe that inspires me to buy the ingredients on my next shopping trip and make it for lunch or dinner. This was such a recipe, and a big shout out to Seana at Cottage Grove House, who makes beautiful, easy-to-make homemade fresh dishes and shares them for people like me! Please go check out her site, if you would, here.

Although it’s been the warmest fall I can remember in the 20 years I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, October means it is soup-making time. Who cares if I’m still wearing capris and t-shirts?

A 3-quart pot is the largest pot available in this tiny temporary kitchen, so I had to make some quantity adjustments to the original recipe. In addition, the store I went to did not have creme fraiche, so I had to use a homemade substitute for that.

This was a perfect, light supper for another beautiful sunny, fall day. And as luck should have it, my husband fried up some extra bacon when he made a BLT sandwich for lunch today, so I added some extra flavor to the soup by subbing one tablespoon of olive oil for bacon grease, then garnishing the soup with some of the bacon bits. The bacon part is totally optional, so this would be a great meatless meal for any day!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
Adapted from Luscious Cauliflower Soup by Cottage Grove House

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade or low sodium
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream whisked with 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded)
Snipped chives or green onion, for garnish
Chopped cooked bacon, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Chopped Onion, Cauliflower, and Potatoes

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or 1 tablespoon bacon grease and 1 tablespoon olive oil) in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and potatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 more minutes. Remove from heat

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

Simmering Cauliflower and Potatoes in Broth

In batches, blend about half the soup until desired consistency. Stir in the cheese, half & half and sour cream mixture. Garnish with snipped chives and bacon bits (optional). Pass with salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly, depending on garnishes used. Serve with warm crusty, buttered bread.

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

6 Oct
Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Whoa! This got four thumbs up from my family. So good and so filling. AND as a bonus, you can make it vegetarian by using Soyrizo. However, I made it with bonafide pork Chorizo, but I didn’t use a lot of it considering all the other ingredients. I used half of a 10-ounce tube/casing of it, However, the seasonings in Chorizo sure packs a lot of punch.

I have eaten Mexican Chorizo at least as long as when I first attended college at the University of Texas at Austin. It was a staple at about every Mexican food stand that sold breakfast burritos, as well as most breakfast house restaurants. I was wanting to use some for soup and not make it too watery.  Since most of my experiences with Chorizo included potatoes, I went on the hunt on the intewebz for black bean, Chorizo, and potato soup.

Black Bean, Potato, Chorizo Soup Ingredients

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup Ingredients

Well, I got a  bunch of hits,  but they were all for a Spanish version of Chorizo, which is the cured version that is hard and kind of like a smoked sausage. NOT. I had the crumbly Mexican Chorizo, that you remove from the package and cook like breakfast sausage, only it’s really red and spicy. So, just like I usually do, I just made up my very own recipe. I hope you enjoy this. We only had one serving leftovers, and I think I’ll have to fight my husband and daughter for it for lunch. My husband suggested I double this next time I make this, and I will.

Chorizo and Vegetables

Chorizo and Vegetables

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 ounces Mexican Pork Chorizo
1/2 large sweet onion, diced 1/4 inch
2 stalks celery, diced 1/4 inch
2 medium to smallish potatoes, peeled and diced 1/4 inch
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 to 3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 large lime, squeezed
Crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, for garnish

Dice all your vegetables first and set aside. In a dutch oven or soup pot on medium high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Remove the casing or wrap from the Chorizo, and add to the pot, using a spoon or spatula to separate and crumble it as it cooks.  After about 5 minutes, add the diced onion, celery, potatoes, garlic and the other tablespoon of oil and stir to combine. Turn the heat down to just a tad below medium, then cover the pot with a lid. Continue cooking the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the cumin, Mexican oregano, and Hungarian paprika. I threw in the paprika at the last minute, well, just because.

Next add the black beans, then the chicken broth, eyeballing how much you want to add depending on how thick or soupy you want this to be. Bring up to a low simmer, uncovered, for about 5 more minutes. Last, add the juice of 1/2 of a large lime and stir. Scoop half the soup into a blender and puree, then add back to the pot. Bring back up to a simmer until heated through. Serve with crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for garnish. So very good!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Recipe

Black Bean, Potato, and Choriz Soup

Black Bean, Potato, and Chorizo Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

7 Oct
Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

“Mom, this is the best soup you’ve ever made — and I don’t even like soup that much!” Wow. That was a surprise comment from her as she was finishing her first bowl of this tasty, filling soup while sopping up the last of the broth with a thick slice of crusty French bread. Fall has arrived and the nights are getting downright brisk (read freezing) and this is my soup-making time of year. I had a package of Italian-seasoned ground turkey in the freezer that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. My husband was certainly skeptical of this particular purchase, since the very first meal I ever made for him was a complete disaster using this type of meat. I had unfortunately bragged up front to him about how much I loved to cook and was going to make him a delicious “healthy” dinner. I also decided to use our trusty old grill back then too, and at that point in time I did not have much grilling experience either. Long story short, he was served a meal of burnt, crumbled turkey burgers, of which half the burger fell through the grill because I didn’t use any binder in the meat. I was also unaware that turkey burger is so lean that it does not grill up well without it. ANYWAYS, last night his confidence was restored in my ground turkey-making skills with the soup. He also went back for seconds. This is definitely one soup I will keep in my rotation. The flavors just explode in your mouth and the varying textures make every spoonful a delight.  I hope you agree.

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Italian-seasoned ground turkey (I used Jennie-O brand)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
5 to 6 cups homemade beef broth (or low sodium if using box/canned)
1 can low sodium petite diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 6 to 9 ounce bag of spinach, coarsely chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high and add the ground turkey, onions, carrots, garlic and pepper to taste. Cook and stir until all the meat and vegetables have released their moisture and the ground turkey starts sticking a little,about 15 minutes. This ensures the turkey is cooked all the way through, as it doesn’t really “brown” much like burger does. Add the beef broth, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Now add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese, and bring back to a simmer for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted. You can eat this now, or cover and keep warm until ready to serve. I made this a couple of hours before dinnertime because my husband was out golfing and wasn’t quite sure when to expect him home (the course had a “frost delay”), but I knew he’d be mighty hungry when he got in. He barely made it back before dark, and just as I suspected, he was ready to eat! We sliced up some warm, buttered French bread and added shredded Parmesan cheese to the soup for garnish. Heavenly delicious!

Grilled Sausage and Vegetables in Foil Packet

18 Jul
Sausage and Veggies Ready for Foil Packet

Sausage and Veggies Ready for Foil Packet

First off, I didn’t use a lot of seasoning in this since I figured the smoked sausage would impart a great deal of flavor along with the grilling. (It did) Second, I was quite surprised at how big my foil packet ended up. It was the size of a watermelon! I had already laid out the large piece of foil (doubled up since I didn’t have heavy-duty) and was still surprised how large it got. Next time I think I’ll try two smaller packets so it won’t take so long on the grill. The smoked sausage I used is one that looks like a Kielbasa — it comes in the horseshoe-like shape in a shrink-wrapped package, not the fresh sausage you find in casings.

Grilled Foil Packet

Grilled Foil Packet

Grilled Sausage and Vegetables in Foil Packet

1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 medium red potatoes
1 yellow, red, or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 carton grape tomatoes
5 large white mushrooms, quartered
1 large green onion, chopped
1 Smoked Sausage or Kielbasa link, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon butter, cut into tiny chunks

In a rather large bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon, garlic, Mrs. Dash, and black pepper until well combined. Add all the veggies and let them marinate while you pre-heat a grill to medium heat. I didn’t want to marinate the sausage in the oil since it already has enough fat in it. Prepare a large piece of aluminum foil — heavy duty if you have it or double up if you don’t — about 18-inches square, or two small pieces to fit everything in it. When ready to cook, add the sausage chunks and lightly toss around to distribute evenly. Evenly spread the food over the foil, leaving enough room to close and seal the packet. Distribute the tiny chunks of butter over the top, then seal the foil packet(s). Just make sure you crimp everything really good so you don’t leak and get a flare-up on the grill. Place the packet on the grill and close the lid for one hour, turning halfway through. If you use two packets I’m sure it would greatly reduce the cooking time. Both my husband and daughter raved at how good this was! We had enough leftovers for two people, so this will easily feed four to six people, depending on appetites. Happy Grilling!

Grilled Sausage and Veggies Plated

Grilled Sausage and Veggies Plated

Lemony Ling Cod at the Coast!

13 Jun
Lemony Ling Cod

Lemony Ling Cod, Prepped for Oven

So we spent three days at our river property on the coast, then these past two days at work have been brutal. Ya’ take a Monday off and you might as well take a week with what I came back to! However, we had the most beautiful, pleasant, sunny weather. And we worked our hineys off weedwacking the lawn and perimeter. The guy who we share the riding mower with “accidentally” left the keys in his pocket instead of leaving them in the hidden place, and since we won’t be back until Fourth of July week we had to settle for weedwacking the lawn. Very time consuming and back-breaking, but we treated ourselves with some delicious fresh-caught Ling Cod that we bought at a road-side stand. That alone made it all worth it! I must confess I enjoy Ling Cod better than Halibut (gasp!). While Halibut is a wonderful white, flaky fish, I find that Ling Cod has just the right amount of oil in it to keep it from drying out like Halibut does, but not enough to ever have that “fishy” taste so many other fish do.

With that, I present you my very simple recipe to bake Ling Cod. This fish just doesn’t need that much to make it a gourmet meal. So sweet, so tender. Drool.

Lemony Ling Cod

Milk and water mixed for marinating
1 pound Ling Cod
Mayonnaise
Lemon pepper
Sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
Black pepper to taste
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Baked Lemony Ling Cod

Baked Lemony Ling Cod and Red Potato

First thing we did after buying the fresh Ling Cod was rinse it off, then soak it in the fridge for about 6 hours in a mixture of half milk and water. We have a convection oven in our RV at the coast, so I had to kind of guess on the heat and timing. I just don’t use it enough to know how convection ovens really bake, as we usually grill or do stove top cooking out there. However, I preheated it to 350 degrees to start with. Next, I lightly sprayed a foil-lined pan with olive oil and placed the fish on top of that. I then spread a layer of mayo over it, then liberally sprinkled with lemon pepper. Next I layered the sweet onion, lemon slices, and tomato. I used a cooking brush to sop up some of the lemony mayo juice to spread over the tomatoes too at this point. I sprinkled black pepper over that, then arranged the green onion on top of that. I initially baked it for about 20 minutes at 350, but it wasn’t quite done so bumped it up to 375 and did 10 more minutes. When cooking fish, just keep checking the thickest part until it’s white and flaky at the thickest part. I served this with a baked red potato, and an unpictured, unnamed vegetable. (Tee hee). We ate well, though. The fish was so fantastic, that just the two of us wiped out nearly that entire pound of fish that night!

We also got our dock launched back into the water after weedwacking all around that too. (It had lost some barrels and was deposited on the bank after the winter floods last year.)  Our last trip out there we got some more barrels under it, but apparently we need another one under one side of it. Well it floats! Now if we can only get our ramp straightened out to actually get out to it, lol. Our work never seems to be done out there, but I confess we get plenty of relaxing, fishing, and crabbing in every year out there.

Dock Launched June 2012

Dock Launched June 2012

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