Monday, February 28, 2011

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

Nothing fancy here...just slow cooked, melt in your mouth stew. Beef, carrots and potatoes make Tom very happy..and so he was.

4 lb boneless chuck roast cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes ( or beef stew meat)
3 Tbl olive oil
1 large onion chopped in large pieces
1 stalk celery sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups beef broth ( plus more if needed)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt and pepper ( to season the meat)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
4 medium carrots cut into thirds
4 medium potatoes cut in large pieces
2 Tbl cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water for thickening

Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven sear the meat in the olive oil until well browned. ( do this in batches). Place the meat in a bowl and set aside.  Add the onions, celery, and garlic to the pot and lightly brown.  Add the wine and broth and with a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.  Return the meat to the pot and add the bay leaf and crushed red pepper.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered for about 1 1/2 hours. If needed add a little more broth to the mixture while simmering. Add the carrots and potatoes and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and let simmer for a few more minutes until the stew thickens.  Get out the bowls!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Seafood Pasta

Get out your spoons and crusty bread!  This shrimp and scallop pasta is really garlicky and brothy...and soooo good!

1 pound raw medium to large peeled and deveined shrimp
1 pound raw sea scallops, halved crosswise if very large
3 Tbl olive oil
8 cloves minced garlic
1  15-16 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups clam juice
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 -8 julienned basil leaves
8 ounces dried pasta

In a dutch oven, saute the garlic in the olive oil on low heat for a minute or two, until the garlic gets fragrant and softens a bit. Add the tomatoes, wine clam juice, black pepper, and red pepper, bring up to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the scallops and shrimp, bring back up to barely boiling, stir in the basil, and turn the heat off.  Cover and let "steep" while preparing the pasta according to package directions. Serve the sauce over the pasta in bowls. 
Note: The Chuck Muer House Bread is perfect with this! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pudding that Tastes Like Mom's Cheesecake

Last week I turned my mom's cheesecake recipe into a pudding-like dessert...on purpose! This is so easy and because it's so rich, a little goes a long way.  This makes 10 to 12 small servings.. and even has a graham cracker crumb topping.

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbl butter, melted
2 tsp sugar
Combine all the ingredients and bake at 350F in a small baking dish for 20 minutes.  Set aside.

1 cup masarpone cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp gelatin powder

Sprinkle the heavy whipping cream with the gelatin and the whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Thoroughly beat the mascarpone, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Fold in the whipped cream, cover and chill for a few hours.
Serve in small dessert dishes sprinkled with a teaspoon of the graham cracker mixture.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baked Pilaf

The other night when we had the Greek salad, I slow roasted the lemony Greek chicken, but didn't have any potatoes in the house, so I thought rice would make a great side.  I guess you could call this a slow baked pilaf because I added the rice mixture to the roasting pan after the chicken had cooked at 250F for about 3 hours.  I did turn up the heat to 350F the last half hour.  The juices from the chicken intermingled with the rice and made a great addition to the meal.

2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 stalk celery, diced
1  1/2 cups raw rice
2 cups chicken stock ( plus more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, celery and mushrooms in the olive oil until they soften.  Add the rice, stock and a few shakes of salt and pepper.  If making this with slow roasted chicken, add the mixture to the bottom of the roasting pan at about the 3 hour mark. Stir occasionally. At the 4 1/2 hour mark raise the oven temp to 350F.
If you're just making the rice on its own, bake it at 350F for 45 to 60 minutes, adding more broth if the casserole starts to get too dry.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Greek Salad...Detroit Style

I did some research on Greek salads recently and found that basically only in the Detroit area do restaurants put sliced beets in them.  You can find Greek salads with or without lettuce but always feta cheese, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and onion.  So go ahead and put whatever you like in them.  Here are some suggestions:

Red onion
Kalamata olives
Feta cheese
Green or red bell pepper

Here's a quick dressing recipe:
Combine the juice of 1/2 a lemon,1/2 cup olive oil, one clove of crushed garlic, 1/4 tsp dried oregano and salt and pepper into a jar with a lid or the mini food processor.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stuff Some Peppers

Almost Ready To Bake
I got a buy on multicolored bell peppers last week and decided to stuff 4 of them... I usually use ground beef or lamb, but this time decided to use ground turkey..they were great..enough for dinner and lunch the next day.

4 large bell peppers( any color), tops cut off and cleaned of seeds and membrane
1 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground turkey ( or beef or lamb)
1/2 cup raw rice
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper ( or more if you like spicy)
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 cup chopped parsley

Saute the onion and turkey in the olive oil until the onion softens and the turkey looks almost cooked.  Add the rest of the ingredients off the heat and combine thoroughly. Divide the mixture into the 4 peppers and cover and bake for 1 hour at 350F.  Uncover and bake 15 more minutes.
Note:  If you want the peppers a little saucy. combine a can of diced tomatoes, 2 minced garlic cloves, a little paprika, salt, and pepper and pour over the peppers before baking.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Zucchini Corn Saute

It was another day to get those odds and ends out of the vegetable bin and come up with a tasty side.  I think this one would be good roasted as well.

1 heaping cup zucchini, diced small
1 heaping cup corn kernels
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 plum tomatoes, seeded cored and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper (or the whole thing if you're adventurous) finely diced
2 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

Bake the sausage early in the day and then put it all together just before serving.

4 to 6 Italian sausages (any flavor you like..turkey would work too)
2 Tbl olive oil 
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seed
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound broccoli florets, steamed for a few minutes(or thawed frozen)
salt and pepper
8 ounces pasta
parmesan for garnish

Bake the sausages at 350F for 45 minutes, turning halfway through.  If using turkey sausage, bake for only 30 minutes. Cool and cut into half inch rounds. In a large saute pan, saute the garlic and sausages in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, along with the crushed red pepper and fennel. Add the broth and wine and simmer for a few minutes. The broth will be watery.
Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes (less than done).  Drain and add it to the saute pan and continue to simmer for about 2 more minutes.  The pasta will soak up the broth, giving it great flavor.  Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Next time you roast beef, make this light red wine mushroom's easy and really doesn't have to be made at the last minute.

3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2  to 1 cup dry red wine
3 cups beef broth
1 Tbl butter kneaded with 1 Tbl flour (beurre manie)
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pot, saute the garlic in the oil for about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they start to brown a bit.  Add the wine and broth, bring to a boil, and simmer until the mixture is reduced by about a third.  Add the beurre manie and whisk vigorously to incorporate.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  This sauce is thin...if you'd like a thicker one add more butter kneaded flour.

Note: When your beef roast is resting after coming out of the oven, add 1/2 cup of beef broth to the pan drippings, whisk them up over heat, and add the mixture to the sauce for added flavor.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creamy Cheesy Spinach

Ready for the oven
I made beef tenderloin for our Valentine's Day dinner and wanted a side that would be reminiscent of steak house dinners, so I decided on creamed spinach with a twist...adding cheese and then baking the casserole. I really like to prep food early in the day and then finish it off just before serving.  This dish fit the category.

1 Tbl olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 lb fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup half and half
3 Tbl mascarpone or cream cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste
panko or fresh bread crumbs for topping (optional)

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 30 seconds.  Start adding the spinach by handfuls until all are in the pan and wilted. Add the half and half and mascarpone or cream cheese and continue to cook, stirring until incorporated.  Stir in the parmesan or asiago.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Place the mixture in a small casserole dish, top with crumbs if using, and bake at 350F for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Red Chicken Chili

Yesterday was cold and we wanted soup ( or something like it ) for dinner.  I thought of chili, but didn't have any ground meat.  I did have skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, so I took two out, defrosted them and then browned and baked them for the chili.  Adding zucchini and corn gave us a complete meal in a bowl.  This made about three to four quarts.

1 Tbl olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup diced green pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 Tbl chili powder
2 Tbl ground cumin
1  14 to 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1  12 ounce can V-8 or tomato juice
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced zucchini
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 14-16 ounce can white beans, with the liquid
1 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, saute the onion, green pepper, garlic, and serrano or jalapeno until the onion softens a bit.  Add the chili powder and cumin and continue to saute until the spices become aromatic. Add the diced tomatoes, juice and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the chicken, beans and corn and simmer for another 10.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE: Garnish with green onion, shredded cheese, black olives, and sour cream if desired.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


When you can find fresh asparagus for under $2.00 a pound you know that Spring is on its way....I found it this week and served it with our baked scallops. I've steamed it, grilled it, boiled it, wrapped it with prosciutto, put it in soups, but my favorite way to cook it is to simply drizzle it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then roast it at 400F for 10 to 15 minutes and then shave a little parmesan over it.  Crunchy and soooo much better than that canned stuff my mom used to serve us....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baked Scallops

Scallops are probably the sweetest seafood of all...buttery and creamy whether baked, fried, or added to a seafood stew, they're one of my favorites.  This is a recipe I made often when I had access to super fresh sea scallops.  Now I find that this dish is just as good with individually frozen ones. I have found that Costco sells a great 2 pound package that are nicely sized.  The important thing to remember is whether fresh or previously frozen, you have to make sure that the scallops are as dry as possible.  Use paper towels to blot them dry.

For the crumb topping:
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic, crumbs, salt and pepper, and while stirring constantly, cook until very lightly browned.  Remove the pan from the heat, but continue to stir for a couple of more minutes. The residual heat will continue to brown the crumbs.  Let the mixture cool.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the crumbs in the bottom of a baking pan large enough to hold about 1 1/2 pounds of sea scallops ( I used a 10 inch quiche pan).
To the remaining bread crumbs add:
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Place about 1 1/2 pounds scallops in a single layer in the pan over the half cup of crumbs.  Sprinkle the parsley cheese flavored crumbs over the top covering completely. Dot the top with 3 Tbl butter.  Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bake a Potato

Whenever I used to bake potatoes, I'd either wrap them in foil or microwave them or just throw them in the oven in a pan.  The potato skin was never crunchy and crisp.  At a restaurant a number of years ago, I asked the waitress what they did to their potatoes.  She told me to wash and dry the potato, prick it a few times with a fork, slather the whole thing with margarine(NOT BUTTER!), and then liberally cover it with kosher salt.Let it rest for a couple of hours and then bake at 350F uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size. Try this works!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pot Pie

Last week I pulled one of the fried turkeys from Thanksgiving out of the freezer and we had "turkey week"...turkey dinner, hot turkey sandwiches, cold turkey sandwiches, and finally with all those small pieces I pulled off the bone...turkey pot pie.  I wanted to make this one as easy as possible so combined a few recipes that I had found and came up with this one. I must say it was delicious!  Obviously you can use chicken for this or maybe even beef by substituting mushroom soup for the cream of chicken.  I did put a bottom crust on this but it's not necessary...Here we go..

1 package puff pastry( 2 sheets to a pack)
6 mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbl butter or margarine
1 medium onion, diced
1 lb frozen mixed vegetables, thawed ( I used the one for soup)
4 cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp black pepper
2 cans cream of chicken soup(condensed)
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbl flour

Thaw the puff pastry and take one sheet and roll it large enough to fit on the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. Once in the dish cover the pastry with foil and bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil.
Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter until they soften a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Cut the 2nd sheet of pastry into about 6 strips lengthwise and cover the top of the casserole in a lattice pattern (like the picture) use any excess to make a rim around the casserole.  Bake at 400F for about 40 -50 minutes or until the crust browns and the pie is bubbly.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Just a note to let you know...the stuffed mushrooms were wonderful!  I prepped them in the morning and then baked them just before company arrived.  Had a couple left for breakfast this morning..Thanks Meechee!!

I also served the cheese puffs that I posted earlier this week and added about 1/4 cup of finely diced pepperoni...they were good.I'm thinking about giving them a Mexican twist next time

And finally, regarding my November 10, 2010 post on Greek Lemon Roasted potatoes, I forgot to mention that sometimes I add a generous 1/2 cup of pitted kalamata olives to the mix. The olives really mellow out giving the dish a wonderful flavor.  They really complement the slow roasted chicken or the brick chicken.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ready for the oven!!
Family friend Meechee e-mailed me last week about these wonderful sausage stuffed mushrooms from Ina Garten.  Since Dad, Marge and Anne are coming for dinner tonight, I thought they'd be a perfect appetizer for my little pasta bar dinner. I've just finished making the stuffing (it tastes GREAT!), stuffed the mushrooms, and now will keep them covered and chilled until tonight.  I know they'll be delicious!

You can find the recipe here:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This is a great sandwich made popular in New Orleans. It can be made early in the day and then enjoyed while watching that big game, which we did this past Sunday. It's traditionally made on a round loaf of Italian or sourdough bread, but I think it's easier to use a rectangular loaf of ciabatta sliced the long way . The most labor intensive part of this recipe is chopping up the olive salad ingredients.  I thought of using the food processor but was worried I'd end up chopping everything too fine.

For the olive salad, combine the following and refrigerate for an hour or so:
1  1/2 cups kalamata olives, chopped fine
1  1/2 cups green olives, chopped fine ( pimiento stuffed are fine)
1 cup giardiniere, chopped fine (pickled mixture of peppers, carrots, cauliflower, etc)
1 Tbl chopped capers in brine
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley

To assemble the sandwich:
Slice the ciabatta the long way and brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning. Start layering salami, ham, and provolone cheese on the bottom side of the bread, finishing with a thick layering of the olive salad ( or sprinkle the olive salad between each layer of meat and cheese-No Rules!)
Place the top of the loaf on the sandwich, wrap the entirety in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge with some weight on it. Let the flavors mingle together a couple of hours before serving.
Note: This is traditionally served cold, but I like to warm my slice in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Glazed Pork Tenderloin

I took some of the apricot jam that I made a while back and used it for a glaze and dipping sauce for a roast pork tenderloin that I bought on sale last week.  The addition of dijon mustard gave the glaze the spicy touch that I was looking for.

For the tenderloin:
1 1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
1 clove garlic, sliced as thin as possible( you want 8-10 slices)
olive oil
salt and pepper
Make small slits in the meat all over and insert the garlic slices
Rub the meat thoroughly with the salt, pepper, and olive oil and bring the meat to room temperature

For the glaze:
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbl olive oil
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 Tbl brown sugar ( optional..remember, my jam wasn't very sweet)
Over medium heat, cook the garlic in the oil for just a minute until it becomes fragrant.  Add the remaining ingredients and heat through.

In a tablespoon or two of olive oil, sear the tenderloin on all sides in a large frying pan.  Place the meat in a roasting pan and coat with some of the glaze. Roast at 350F for 30 -45 minutes or until the meat registers 160F with an instant thermometer. Warm the remaining glaze and serve as a dipping sauce if desired.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cheese Puffs

Here's an easy light appetizer that's based on savory mini cream puffs(profiteroles). Basically eggs, flour, milk and butter with cheese and seasoning added, it takes minutes to mix and only about 15 to 20 minutes to bake.Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping. ( I think I'm going to add some finely chopped pepperoni to the dough the next time I make them for added zip)

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs at room temperature
scant 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
scant 1/4 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
3/4 cup Asiago or Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a small sauce pan , bring butter, milk, garlic and Italian seasoning to a boil.  Add the flour and beat thoroughly to incorporate (batter will be dry).  Take the pan off the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, thoroughly incorporating the first before adding the second.   This might take a couple of minutes. Stir in the cheese.
Drop by scant teaspoons on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes until a little puffed and golden brown.  Makes 24 to 30 puffs. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Easy Stove Top

This is an easy stove top one dish meal that I used to make often on Saturday nights in the winter when I was working and didn't get home until 7:30 or later. You basically throw everything in the pot and let it simmer.  I use kielbasa for this because I like the garlicky flavor, but any smoked sausage will do.

1 large onion cut in large pieces
2 Tbl butter or margarine
4 - 5 medium potatoes, halved
1/2 medium cabbage cut in large pieces
1 cup water
1 1/2 lbs kielbasa or smoked sausage cut into 2 inch pieces
2 to 4 Tbl red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the butter until softened. Add the potatoes, cabbage and water.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the sausage and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, adding the vinegar during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Easy and very filling on a cold night!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter BBQ?

I's the middle of one of the coldest winters we've had recently, but Tom and I grill year round...I had a slab of baby back ribs in the freezer, so I pulled it out and we grilled.  My rib recipe isn't anything fancy...I usually cut the slab in 4 pieces, season them with a creole seasoning salt, bake them tightly covered at 300F for about 2 hours and then throw them on the grill and baste them with BBQ sauce until they char up a bit.
The shrimp and macaroni salad is another thing, however.  This was mom's recipe, very retro (and fattening), but oh so good. Here it is:

1 lb. macaroni, shells, or other small pasta
1  1/2 lbs. cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped if large
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
6 slices  American cheese, cut in small squares
1 - 2 cups mayo
2 Tbl white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse and then sprinkle the vinegar over and stir.
Add the chopped onion, green pepper, celery and shrimp and combine.
Add the cheese and mayo( start with one cup of mayo and add more if you want the salad creamier)
Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wedding Soup

Many of you may have made various versions of this Italian Wedding Soup...some include eggs mixed with parmesan and then swirled in the soup just before serving and others using escarole instead of spinach. I've made them all, but like this one the best:

For the meatballs:
Combine 1 1/2 pounds ground veal (may use beef, turkey, pork or a combination) with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, and 1 tsp black pepper.  Refrigerate the mixture for about and hour and then form tiny meatballs.

For the soup:
In a large soup pot saute
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 cloves minced garlic
in 2 Tbl olive oil until the onions soften

To the pot add
10 cups chicken stock and one tsp each of salt and pepper

When soup comes to the boil start adding the meatballs, a few at a time( you want the soup to keep simmering).  Let the meatballs simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 to 1 cup small pasta (ditalitini, stars, even orzo) and simmer for about 8 more minutes.  Stir in 4 to 6 cups fresh spinach leaves.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese ( I like a lot!) 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baked Hash Browns

This is a good side if you have some bakes for about 90 minutes (or longer depending on your oven).

4 peeled medium potatoes sliced on a mandoline or on the side of a box grater  that has the three openings

3 Tbl olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup finely diced green pepper
1 minced clove garlic
2 Tbl butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Soak the sliced potatoes in a bowl of water, while prepping the rest of the ingredients.  Drain and dry them as thoroughly as possible with paper towels.
Start sauteing the sliced onion in the olive oil over medium heat and when they start to caramelize, add the green pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. ( this will take 15 to 20 minutes) Continue to saute for a few minutes more. Combine the onion mixture with the potatoes and press into a quiche pan or pie pan, making sure that the potatoes are lying flat on the top. Dot the top with the 2 Tbl butter. Place a round of parchment paper over the top  that's been cut to fit inside the pan and press firmly on the potato mixture. Bake at 300F for 60 minutes.  Remove the parchment and continue baking at 350F for about 30 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vegetable Stock

Make your own vegetable stock without spending extra money on the vegetables! For about a week and a half I collected all my vegetable trimmings (carrot ends, onion ends, potato peels, mushroom stems, cabbage leaves, celery ends, etc) and threw them in a freezer bag and stashed them in the freezer as I collected them. When I had enough to half fill an 8 quart stock pot I covered them with water, added salt, peppercorns, and a bay leaf and then simmered the whole mixture until the water was reduced by half.  This took a couple of hours, but now I have stock in my freezer for soup, stew, whatever....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken, Mushroom, Spinach Alfredo

I roasted a chicken last week and as always, had about half of it left over, so I thought about chicken alfredo and decided to boost it up with spinach and mushrooms (2 of our favorite ingredients). I lightened the jar of alfredo sauce that I had on hand with chicken broth.

2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbl flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1  15oz jar alfredo sauce (I used Classico 4 cheese)
3 - 4 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 - 5 cups fresh baby spinach
Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil, and saute the onions, mushrooms and garlic until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir while still cooking for a couple of minutes.  Slowly add the chicken broth, alfredo sauce, and then the chicken and bring up to a boil.  Add the spinach leaves, a handful at a time and cook until the spinach wilts.  Add the pepper and serve over cooked pasta, garnished with parmesan cheese if desired