Posts tagged ‘Lunch’

May 29, 2012

French onion burgers

Campbell’s

Serves: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed French Onion Soup
  • 4 slices cheese
  • 4 Pepperidge Farm® Sandwich Buns with Sesame Seeds, split

Shape the beef into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) burgers.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the burgers from the skillet. Pour off any fat.
Stir the soup in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the burgers to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the burgers are cooked through. Top the burgers with the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve the burgers on the buns with the soup mixture for dipping.

*Chef’s note: This is one of Rex and I’s favorite go-to meals for when we don’t feel like cooking but want to feel like we’re cooking…. Super easy, super flavorful, and you can dress up the base however you’d like.

May 25, 2012

The best crock pot chicken tacos

Budget Savvy Diva

Serves: 4

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds of skinless chicken breast – frozen or thawed
  • 1.5 ounces of taco seasoning ( about one packet worth)
  • 1 can ( 10) ounces of Rotel
  • All your taco fixings – corn or flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, Chipotle guacamole , lettuce, tomatoes
Set your crock pot to low and place taco seasoning, chicken, Rotel together – mix. Set aside for about 6 hours if chicken is frozen; If thawed, it will be done in about 3 -4 hours. Take two forks and pull-apart the chicken and mix into the awesome juices. If there is not enough liquid use a little chicken stock. Enjoy — Simply scoop up the chicken in that tortilla and go topping crazy.
*Chef’s note: This was just OK. Still not super moist with a bit of added chicken stock, but I think this is a good base recipe to start with and play with. I added some sauteed onions and red pepper that I had leftover from making some guac that afternoon, along with some Southwestern Chipotle Mrs. Dash (a.k.a. Senorita Dash) in place of some of the taco seasoning. Next time I might add some green chiles and some red enchilada sauce for more liquid/flavor. Mmmm.
May 16, 2012

Sweet and sour chicken

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 3

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 325.

Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken in egg and then in cornstarch. Pan fry in oil until golden brown, but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.

Sauce

3/4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken. Bake chicken for 6o minutes, turning every 15 minutes. You can also make extra sauce – add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer until thick.

*Chef’s note: This tasted just as good as restaurant sweet and sour chicken! This is my boyfriend’s favorite (a.k.a. only) dish to order at Asian restaurants, and I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out just as delicious! He especially liked that there were no peppers in this sauce. Two breasts were plenty for the two of us with brown rice. I wouldn’t change anything except maybe try to crisp the breading a bit at a higher temp for the last few minutes (our chicken was cooked through after 45 minutes because of the pre-cooking in the skillet).

May 16, 2012

Croque monsieur pockets

Food Network

Makes: 4

  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup deli-sliced ham, chopped (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 11-ounce tube refrigerated French bread dough
  • 1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the gruyere, ham, mustard, nutmeg and cayenne in a bowl until combined. Squeeze the mixture together with your hands to make it compact.

Brush a baking sheet lightly with vegetable oil. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and fill the dinner pockets. Step-by-step directions.

Place the pockets seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush the pockets with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

*Chef’s note: My gosh were these good. And the hardest part was finding the seam in the dough to unroll it. Definitely spring for the gruyere here; it is perfect! A fancier, much better-tasting Hot Pocket. Mmmm.

April 10, 2012

Chicken salad

Pioneer Woman

Serves: 6-8

  • 2 cups diced or shredded chicken
  • 2-3 stalks Celery, Chopped
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cups (to 3 Cups) Grapes, Halved
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt Or Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • A Small Handful Of Fresh Dill, Minced
  • 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Sugar
  • Juice Of One Lemon
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Chop all of your fruits and veggies and place them in a bowl with the chicken.

In another bowl mix mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro…whatever makes your skirt fly up) and if you’re feeling a bit brazen throw in a dash of cayenne pepper!

When the dressing tastes just right (you must taste test for appropriate saltiness especially), pour 3/4 of it it over the chicken/veggie/fruit mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly mixed. If you are feeling naughty add a sprinkling of bacon bits. Add more dressing if you want.

Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or even overnight). Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich or heck, eat it straight out of the bowl with a serving spoon.

*Chef’s note: This was chicken salad just the way I like it! Another reason I should meet Ree Drummond? Although I left out the dill and almonds. halved the recipe, using red grapes, all 3 green onions, the yogurt and plenty of salt and pepper, and I used only 3/4 of the dressing.

April 2, 2012

Bacon-wrapped pineapple shrimp

Rachael Ray

Makes: 4 appetizer servings

  • 12 jumbo shrimp, deveined
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple cut into bite sized chunks or 1 (14-ounce) can pineapple chunks in natural juice, drained
  • 6 slices center-cut bacon, cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • 12 wooden toothpicks

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Holding a shrimp, nest a chunk of pineapple in the natural curve of the shrimp then wrap bacon around the shrimp and pineapple and secure with a wooden toothpick. Wrap and secure all 12 shrimp then add to the hot pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp and shrimp are opaque and firm.

*Chef’s note: Tasty, tasty, tasty. I used a whole 1.5 pounds of medium shrimp, 7 or so pieces of low sodium bacon and fresh pineapple chopped in small pieces. It was a bit tough to assemble these with smaller shrimp and short bacon, but I decided the bacon didn’t need to go all the way around; as long as everything was in one bite, who cares?! I also marinated the shrimp for about 20 minutes in Trader Joe’s “Soyaki” sauce first, which I definitely recommend, as I think it completed the dish. After reading negative reviews, I decided to precook the bacon a bit first in a skillet (until cooked a bit but still pliable), and then I finished the whole thing in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Easy peasy, no flipping involved! When I ran out of bacon I just used the marinated shrimp and pineapple, then just the marinated shrimp. All tasty stuff. [Another lovely plate by Ms. Kay, by the way.]
April 2, 2012

Sloppy Joes

Pioneer Woman

Serves: 8

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Kaiser Rolls
  • Butter

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls, topping with a slice of cheese if it makes your skirt fly up. Serve hot with kettle cooked chips!

*Chef’s note: Can I first just say that I love the Pioneer Woman? She is so funny! I feel close to her, redhead-to-redhead, now that I know she likes kettle chips with her Sloppy Joes, too. Just the perfect vessel to scoop up that Joe that falls overboard! This homemade version was very tasty, and, to me, a lot different from the canned Manwich sauce I grew up on. It had a nice kick to is and was more sweet than anything else. I think I missed the extra tomato flavor; next time I might add some crushed tomatoes, a plain tomato sauce or the optional tomato paste (not more ketchup because I don’t want any more sweetness). I don’t think the recipe from her cookbook I was working off of listed the paste like this online version does. But I would still recommend the recipe as is! I didn’t butter my toasted hamburger buns, but I knowww it would add to this sammie. Butter always does. Please note that this serves 8!

April 2, 2012

Oven-grilled bacon cheddar sandwiches

Food Network

Makes: 4 sandwiches

  •  6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices potato sandwich bread
  • 8 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices crispy cooked bacon
  • 4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place 4 slices, buttered-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Layer half of cheese slices on bread followed by bacon and scallions. Place remaining cheese slices on top. Cover each sandwich with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered-side up.

Bake sandwiches until bottoms are a toasted golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip and continue to bake until cheese melts and other side is toasted, 8 to 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.

*Chef’s note: These were a great accompaniment to some Whole Foods conch chowder. Mmmm. I used sourdough bread, which was tasty but probably a little too bready and crunchy; if you use a crusty bread like sourdough, be sure to use plenty of cheese to balance it out. I liked the new “grilled cheese” method! (I also used Publix lower sodium bacon, which tasted just fine with the salty cheese. Actually, cheese aside, it tasted the same to me…. Win!)

March 24, 2012

Cheddar-crusted chicken fingers

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 2-3

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup seasoned regular bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 ounces of cheddar, freshly & finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

2-4 hours before serving (or even overnight), add chicken to a baking dish and cover with buttermilk. Let soak.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, flour, salt (quantity should be adjusted to taste given the amount of salty cheese), pepper, mustard and paprika and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk (it should have a think layer of milk around it), and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and repeat. Before baking, hit each chicken tender with a spray of non-stick spray or mist of olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with dips of choice.

*Chef’s note: I think these could have benefited from a dipping sauce, as suggested on How Sweet It Is (LOVE this blog. Thanks to my gal Alyssa for introducing it to me!). (She used a bacon ranch with added chili powder.) And I should have cooked them longer to get them nice and browned and crispy.  That would have made the dish. I was afraid they would dry out, but the buttermilk really does keep that from happening. Otherwise pretty tasty. I may have even added more sharp cheddar! NOTE: This amount of breading (said to serve 2-3) coated 2 pounds of tenderloins for me with almost half left over, so plan accordingly.

March 24, 2012

Pioneer Woman quiche

Pioneer Woman

Makes: 2 standard pies

  • 3/4 pounds Thick Cut, Peppered Bacon
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Large (or 2 Medium) Onions, Very Thinly Sliced
  • 2 boxes (5 Oz. Each) White Mushrooms, Washed And Sliced
  • 1 can (14 Oz.) Quartered Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 whole Pie Crust, Or Half A Recipe Of “Sylvia’s Perfect Pie Crust”
  • 7 whole Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Grated Swiss Cheese
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Fresh Parsley, Fresh Chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Pour out excess grease but don’t clean the pan.

Melt butter in the same skillet. Add onions and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and artichokes and cook for a few more minutes. Salt mixture to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Roll out pie crust and press into deep dish tart pan. (May also use 2 standard pie crusts for this recipe.) In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper, and set aside. (Add cayenne pepper if you’d like a little kick.)

With a slotted spoon, add mushroom mixture into egg/cream mixture. Stir together. Add bacon and stir. Add parsley or chives, if desired.

Pour into pie crust and press to submerge ingredients. Cover loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Bake for slightly longer if quiche is overly jiggly.

Remove from oven and allow to set for ten minutes before serving. Remove quiche from pan and slice into wedges.

*Chef’s note: Gosh, I love quiche. A true BLD (breakfast, lunch or dinner – Rachael Ray) meal. I used half and half in place of cream and added one egg, and this recipe was great for 2 standard pie dishes (I just used Pillsbury crust). If you don’t like artichokes, just leave ’em out! That’s the beauty of a quiche (besides its BLD versatility) – you can throw in whatever veggies or proteins you like, and it probably will still taste great.