Tag Archives: swiss cheese

Carnitas Cubano and Logo Reveal!

13 May
Carnitas Cubano

Carnitas Cubano

With an over-glut of carnitas on hand from recipe testing, I settled on whipping up some Cubano sammies, carnitas-style! No recipe really needed for this. Slather both sides of of two slices of bread with butter (I used Seattle Sourdough) and skillet grill one side of each. Spread mustard on grilled side, then layer carnitas or any other cooked pork, sliced ham, dill pickle slices, and Swiss cheese. Add the other grilled side face down on top, then press and grill until browned, using either a panini-style press or another heavy skillet on top. Oh my, decadent and finger-licking good!

And…

Here is the logo for my new taco food cart!

Austin Street Tacos Logo

Austin Street Tacos Logo

I’m still deciding on colors and what-not, but my temporary white sign really pops on the cart. One more inspection and permit to go, then I’m in business!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

11 May
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

First off, Happy Mother’s Day! And, wow, what a hit this recipe was with the fam! They really liked this a lot. I had some fun on Pinterest yesterday and glommed together two different recipes for this one, among other tweaks. It was quite easy to make and I think this will be a new meal for the rotation.

I am dancing the happy dance, as it’s sunny today and we are slowly warming up to 80 degrees by Wednesday! Spring has finally arrived. I’m looking forward to sharing some new grilling and salad recipes to pull you through the warmer months ahead.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole Cooked

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1/2 cooked rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 cups), shredded
1/4 pound thin sliced deli ham, chopped (I used Virginia Smoked)
5 thin slices Swiss cheese

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste

For the topping:
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with oil. First layer the shredded chicken.

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Then add a layer of ham.

Chopped Ham Layer

Chopped Ham Layer

Then a single layer of Swiss cheese. My husband ate the half slice that didn’t fit.

Swiss Cheese Layer

Swiss Cheese Layer

Next, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste, then pour in the milk and chicken broth, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add in the mustard, Worcestershire, and Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. Stir until the cheese is melted and the ingredients are combined.

Dijon Sauce Layer

Dijon Sauce Layer

Pour the sauce over the casserole from one end to the other, lifting the slices of cheese as you go to get some of the sauce underneath. This is a bit tricky, but don’t pour the hot sauce over your fingers, for gosh sakes!

Panko and Parsley Layer

Panko and Parsley Layer

Last, melt the butter in the microwave in a medium glass bowl. Stir in the Panko and seasoned bread crumbs, seasonings, and chopped parsley. Mix until well combined. Sprinkle it over the top of the casserole evenly.

Bake the casserole uncovered for 30 minutes until the topping is lightly browned hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cooked broccoli, or perhaps a light green salad. Creamy and delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.s. We have a family of Great Horned Owls in one of our downtown local parks! I made a visit to them today so though I’d share a photo of the owlet. Awwwww.

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet

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!

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

6 Dec
Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

First, I want to thank the Ranting Chef for the honor of being in his online competition “Diced!” I was so excited when I got the email saying I had been accepted into the next round of competition, and was quite pleased with the list of three required ingredients: Corned Beef, Canned Corn, Corn Flakes cereal.  Yes, we can stop with the “corny” puns now…

Being from Texas, one of the first things that popped in my mind to make was corned beef corn fritters. I told my husband what I was thinking of making, and him, being from the Northeast, suggested a Reuben-type recipe. I angsted for over a week trying to decide which one to make, and when I couldn’t make up my mind I thought “heck, why not make both and see which one you like better?”

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups Ingredients

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups Ingredients

Well these Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups won out, and darn it I had to give credit to my husband for winning out over my idea. After taking the photographs, I sampled one then called him over to try one out. He took a big bite and said, “Hey, these are great! He sat it down on a plate then went off to get a glass of milk. I took a look at the one he bit into and thought “wow, I put a lot of corned beef in that one! I bet that would make a great photo.” I grabbed his roll-up and put it back on the appetizer plate to snap a few shots.  Next, from the kitchen I hear, “HEY, where’s my roll-up?!”  Oops! I quickly gave it back to him to finish eating.

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups Assembly

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups Assembly

His initial idea was to roll up the corned beef, thousand island, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese as a cold appetizer. I reminded him it needed corn and cornflakes too. I then started thinking about how I could incorporate those two and came up with the idea to mix the corn in with the dressing, roll up the ingredients in an egg roll wrapper and coat it in crushed cornflakes, then bake it. I was quite pleased with the results, and I hope you will be too! This recipe makes enough for about a half a dozen roll-ups, but I only made three since I wasn’t sure how they would turn out. Now I wish I made them all!

Now for the exciting part… you can VOTE for this recipe by going to the competition page (voting starts December 7 and lasts one week) and click the voting button for this recipe.  The recipe with the most votes in one week moves on to the next round. I am nervous and excited to see if I make it, as who knows what three special ingredients I’ll get next for the Main Dish entry…? So what are you waiting for? Vote Now!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE! ———> Diced! Voting now open!

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1/2 cup white shoepeg corn
Egg roll wrappers
Sliced deli corned beef
Sliced deli Swiss cheese
Sauerkraut
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes cereal

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the dressing and the corn to a food processor, and blend until the corn is incorporated. Set aside. Place an egg roll wrapper on a plate, then top with sliced corned beef (the first one I made I only used one slice but it came out skimpy so added more to the next ones). Then add one slice of Swiss cheese, one tablespoon of the corn dressing mixture, and one tablespoon of sauerkraut to the middle. Roll up the egg roll wrapper according to package directions. Seal with a bit of the egg/milk wash. Brush the egg/milk wash evenly over the entire roll-up, then coat with the crushed corn flakes.

Spray a foil-lined pan with oil, and place the roll-ups on the pan. Spray them lightly with oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Serve with the remaining corn dressing.

VOTE NOW! —–>Diced! Voting now open!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Sneak Preview ~ Diced! Competition

4 Dec
Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

I have just found out (because I am so behind on my emails) that my entry for the Diced! online food cooking competition will be posted on Friday. So stay tuned. The most “Likes” on each recipe’s post for the week will move on to the next round. So I will wait until Friday to post that recipe and the link to the blog that you must “Like” in order for me to gain a vote. Please vote for me! This is an unabashed self-promoting post, lol.

Back story on this: I had to write a few sentences in an email to the host of this why I wanted to enter the competition. In short, I was selected to be a contestant. You are given three ingredients to cook a specified genre of food. The first was an appetizer, soup, or salad. The three ingredients to make something out of were Corned Beef, Corn Kernels, and Corn Flakes. So that is how I was inspired to make these Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups. And they were actually quite good! But you will have to wait for the Friday contest post to “read all about it.” 🙂

But do not go to that website and “like” any posts until you have reviewed all the recipes after Saturday, which is when the last recipe for the contest is posted. I mean, fair is fair, right? If you like someone else’s recipe better then by all means vote for that one. But, hey  c’mon. Vote for mine? XO

Sloppy Joes Sliders

27 Mar
Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Sloppy Joes Sliders Fresh Out of Oven

Until I made these last week, I had not had Sloppy Joes in upwards of 30 years, seriously. My mom always made them from the stuff out of a can, and it was one of my least favorite meals she made us as kids. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is a fantastic cook, but when you have six kids in soccer and the various games and practice schedules, sometimes dinner just had to be quick and easy. I was inspired to make these after making Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders for Super Bowl, but wanted to make it from scratch and had to rely on what was in the fridge and pantry, (except for the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which I insisted hubby drive to the store to get for me after he dropped our daughter off at piano lessons). First off, the variations to make these are off the charts. So I printed out two of the recipes combined them to give me the basis for the sauce. My daughter was gone for dinner that night, so I only prepared a half-rack of rolls, but made enough Sloppy Joes so that we could just heat up the Joes and plop on the rolls for a quick lunch/snack later in the week. I am happy I made these, and now have another ground beef meal to add to the rotation. Feel free to leave off the roll-topping sauce at the end, but it does add a wonderful dimension to the flavor.

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Ground Beef, Peppers, and Onions

Sloppy Joes Sliders

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup hot water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon dried ground mustard
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or regular)
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 6-ouce can of tomato paste
1 12-count package King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Shredded Swiss Cheese

Sloppy Joes Mixture

Sloppy Joes Mixture

For the roll topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Sloppy Joes Ready to Top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic with ground black pepper to taste. When cooked through and starting to stick, drain the grease and deglaze the pan with the hot water.  Reduce the heat to medium, then add the rest of the ingredients except the rolls, cheese, and roll topping. Mix well and simmer until heated through and thickened, about 10 or 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix all the roll-topping ingredients and microwave for 30 seconds. Next assemble the sliders. Cut the rolls in half lengthwise, add the bottom of teh rolls to a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, then layer the Sloppy Joes on the bottom of the rolls. Next top with Swiss cheese. Last, add the roll tops, then brush the roll-topping over the rolls. Cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, and broil for just a few minutes. Keep an eye on them! Mine started to burn pretty quickly, so ended up with a few slightly more than browned on top. Good thing my hubby likes burnt toast, he got the darker ones. These sure were good, and way better than that stuff out of the cans!

Sloppy Joes Slider

Sloppy Joes Slider

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

23 Mar
Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

I wanted to try a new spin on my standard Chicken Enchiladas, and a fresh bag of spinach in the fridge armed me with the perfect ingredient for this filling dish of creamy Tex-Mex delight. This can easily become a meatless main by tripling the spinach and adding a bit more cheese to the filling, if you so desire. I was quite satisfied with the outcome of my first try at these, but next time around I’ll make them spicier by adding another can of diced green chiles, or perhaps adding some fresh diced  serrano pepper to the onions when they are cooking. If you’re not into spicy, then this probably has the perfect balance of heat and cream.

I almost always cook the chicken for this ahead of time during the day, debone and shred the chicken breast, then add the bones back to the pot and simmer for another hour or so to make another batch of chicken broth for the freezer. I did do this as I was getting short on chicken broth in the freezer, but by all  means, if you are pressed for time, feel free to use a rotisserie chicken or any other leftover cooked chicken you may happen to have available to shorten the prep time.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or regular)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste
9 to 10 corn tortillas
Spray oil

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter or substitute
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup light or regular sour cream
1 or 2 6-ounce cans diced green chiles
Additional sour cream and cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add the shredded chicken, ancho chile powder, cumin, 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese and the sour cream, combine, and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and chopped onions. Cook for a few minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the minced garlic and stir for a minute more. In batches, add the chopped spinach until wilted through. Take off heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes, then add to the bowl of chicken then stir to combine.

Sauteed Spinach and Onions

Sauteed Spinach and Onions

Lightly spray one side of a corn tortilla, then set on a plate oil side up. Spray the next tortilla and stack on the first one. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Cover with a paper towel, then microwave for 45 seconds. Spray a casserole dish lightly with oil. Now assemble the tortillas by spooning about 1/4 cup chicken and spinach filling down the center, roll up, and place seam side down in the dish. Repeat until casserole dish is full. Mine can only handle 9 tortillas.

Now time to make the sauce. Melt the butter in the same skillet, then add the flour to make a paste. Slowly whisk in the half and half, and keep whisking until creamy. Here is where I had a brain glitch, and forgot to pour in a little of the warm chicken broth to the sour cream first and mix it in so that the sour cream wouldn’t curdle. Alternatively, you could slightly warm it in the microwave. The main thing is not to add the sour cream cold to the mixture. Ah well, my sour cream curdled, but once I added the other half cup of shredded Swiss cheese, it smoothed out. Oh, yeah. Add the Swiss cheese now, plus the diced green chiles. Stir until mixed well, then pour on top of the assemble enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until bubbling and starting to brown on top. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes, then plate and serve with additional sour cream and cilantro.

Dish of Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

Dish of Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas

Upcoming Blog Preview: Enchiladas Suizas!

21 Mar

ImageNo I didn’t forget to to cook this week, but since I wrote three posts last week I decided to take midweek off since my “real job” has been so busy. I’ll be dishing up some delicious Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas Suizas this weekend, so stop on by for the recipe on Saturday or Sunday!

Roast Beef and Swiss Grilled Cheese with Grilled Red Pepper

24 Sep
Roast Beef and Swiss Grilled Cheese with Grilled Red Pepper

Roast Beef and Swiss Grilled Cheese with Grilled Red Pepper

Where have I been, you ask? Well I went to the most amazing concert of my life up at The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington this past weekend. It was a five and a half hour drive so we left Friday after work and drove about halfway and camped on the Columbia River. Then made it to the concert the next day, had the time of our lives, then drove the entire trip back on Sunday. Oh, who did I see, you ask? Jason Mraz, with Christina Perri as the opening act. We took our daughter, too, and this was her first concert. This was an experience she’ll never forget either! If you don’t know who he is, just Google his videos on YouTube. You’ll probably recognize a few of his songs.

Now on to the food. With getting ready to camp for a few days last week, our menu consisted of a lot of leftovers. But my husband made a delicious hot sandwich for us one night. I decided to use it in the blog because it was such a different “take” on a grilled cheese than I have seen in awhile. It’s pretty simple but it was nice to have a new combination for a hot sandwich. We used a five-grain whole wheat bread, but any bread of choice would do. We also used our Cuisinart “Griller” appliance. I personally would have used the grill side of it for the striped effect, but my husband used the flat griddle side so it was more like a Panini. Either way, it was delicious!

Roast Beef and Swiss Grilled Cheese with Grilled Red Pepper

One red bell pepper
Spray olive oil
Sliced bread of choice
Butter or substitute
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Swiss Cheese, sliced
Sliced deli roast beef (we used black pepper roast beef)
Black pepper to taste

Cut the bell pepper into large sections so it lays somewhat flat, discarding top and seeds. Lightly spray with olive oil, and grill for about five minutes each side, until starting to blister. Cut the sections into strips and set aside. Spread all the slices of bread on one side with butter, then flip over and spread mayo over half of them and mustard over the other half. Add the roasted red peppers to one side, then the cheese and roast beef to the other side. Season with black pepper to taste. Cook the sandwiches on a heated skillet, or other grilling device, until browned on both sides and the cheese is nice and gooey. Cut it whichever way you want, or don’t cut it at all. It’s all good.

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts

18 Apr
Spinach, Mushroom, Swiss Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This was actually a fairly quick meal to make when I prepared it the other night, and for that I was thankful because I had it in my head it was an hour earlier when I went to actually cook it. My daughter’s piano lesson was moved to an hour later because of her school track practice, and when we got home I thought I had another hour to relax before starting dinner. However, several things I did made this fairly quick. I stuffed and rolled the chicken breasts during my lunch break, then put them in the fridge for later. Second, I kind of cheated on the breading and used a half packet of Shake and Bake I had on hand. Otherwise I probably would have made a homemade coating but just simply didn’t have the time when it came down to it. Lastly, I used 5-minute quick-cook herbed couscous and microwaved the asparagus instead of steaming or baking it. After all that, I had dinner on the table within 40 minutes, and the entire family thought it was delicious! I thought so too myself.

Prepping the Chicken

Prepping the Chicken

Spinach, Mushroom, and Swiss Stuffed Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 green onion, sliced thin and chopped into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 slices of Swiss cheese, halved
1/2 packet of Shake and Bake coating, or any other breading

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting through the middle of them lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through. Lay the chicken down flat on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet until about 1/4-inch thick. In a skillet, add the butter, mushrooms, green onion, garlic, and pepper. Sauté on medium heat for about five to seven minutes. Add the chopped spinach and stir until wilted, just a minute more or so.  Lay the slices of Swiss cheese down one side of each chicken breast, and spoon half the spinach mixture over each. Fold the other half of the chicken over that then secure with toothpicks. Dredge the stuffed chicken in the breading until fully coated. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 35-40 minutes until done. About 10 minutes before the chicken was done I made the herbed couscous and asparagus, and we all sat down to eat at a decent hour!

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