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Friday, October 30, 2015

Hashbrown Casserole


Hot, cheesy and delicious hash-brown casserole. This is always a favorite. Have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I've served it at holiday dinners too. It's easy to put together. This is so much better than what you'll find dining out. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 1 lbs Refrigerated Shredded HashBrowns Potatoes, (such as Simply Potatoes)
  • 1 10.25 oz can combo Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
  • 1 10.25 oz can Cream of Onion Soup
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 c Heavy Cream
  • 1  Onion, minced
  • 1/4 c Melted Butter (1/2 stick)
  • 8 oz Colby Cheese, grated
  • 8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder


Preheat oven to 350℉. 

In a large mixing bowl combine condensed soups, sour cream, melted butter, heavy cream, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder together.

Fold in shredded hash-brown potatoes and grated cheeses until combined. I save a handful of cheese to top the casserole.



Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and add casserole mixture.

Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly. 




See it at:






Thursday, October 29, 2015

Simple Lemon Butter Sauce


This is an easy Lemon Butter Sauce. So simple to make and so versatile. You can use this sauce for pasta, chicken or seafood. I like using it to toss pasta in and serving as a side dish. Shown here with a breaded chicken cutlet topped with capers. YUM! Best of all with dinner was cooked and ready to serve in 30 minutes. You can't beat that during the busy weekdays.

This sauce would be great with shrimp or lobster too. You could also use it to poach your favorite fish. The sauce is a little rich but don't let that put you off - It taste surprisingly light and fresh.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c White Wine (optional)
  • 1/2 c Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 c Heavy Cream
  • 3 tbs Lemon Juice
  • 2 Sticks Butter
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley (optional)

In a saucepan add chicken stock, white wine, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add heavy cream, butter, lemon juice and parsley. Stir until butter is melted. turn sauce down to low simmer until ready to use. 

If I use it with pasta - I cook my pasta, drain well and add to a mixing bowl. Then I pour over the lemon butter sauce and toss it together. I reserve just a little of sauce to drizzle over what I am serving with it, such as the chicken above. Garnish with capers and lemon slice. If you're using shrimp you could just toss that right in with the pasta. I love simple recipes that can be used in so many ways. Enjoy Y'all!



See it at:
Meal Plan Monday

Monday, October 26, 2015

Southern BBQ Pulled Pork


The South, land of barbecue, pig pickings, pulled pork, it's just good stuff no matter where you are. Not all of us have those fancy smokers. They are nice and great and all if you have them. This recipe is a "made in the oven" recipe. I've seen recipes using a crock pot but they don't save time truly, usually cooking just as long as the oven method. You have to work with what you have, right!?!

If you've ever been intimidated by making this goodness, don't be. Most of us aren't trying to be barbecue masters, just make good food. This is it and it's easier than you think. I can tell you, there have never been any complaints about this dish when served to a crowd. In fact, I would be surprised if you have any left over.

Pulled pork is made using a Pork Butt, also known as a Pork Shoulder or Boston Butt. It doesn't come from the derriere region of the pig as some might think. It is a shoulder roast.

So let's make some barbecue y'all!

Ingredients:
1 - 5-7 lb Pork Butt (Boston Butt, Pork Shoulder)
1/3 c Dry Rub
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Wet Sauce - your favorite barbecue sauce from the store - get a variety for guest. Some like sweet, some like spicy.
Aluminum Foil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Start by rinsing your pork butt and dry well with a paper towel. Sprinkle with the dry rub and kosher salt well on all sides and rub it into that pig! Make sure you keep a mental note of which side the fat side is on at all times as you begin to wrap the pork butt in foil. Wrap it well with several pieces of foil to make sure it's air tight. Place the wrapped pork butt, fat side up, into a roasting pan. Place in your preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and cook another 10-12 hours. I will sometimes start the pork butt the night before and finish it off the next day. Once your cooking time is over, unwrap and pull the pork apart. Cooking it low and slow will make the meat so tender it practically falls apart into the shredded pulled pork by itself.
Serve with Slaw and Baked Beans. That's a whole lot of goodness, just like you'd get in a restaurant! Have a few varieties of barbecue sauce to offer guests to top their sandwich with. This size pork butt will serve 8-10 people. 

You may also be interested in:
Homemade Old Fashioned BBQ Sauce

Friday, October 16, 2015

15 Bean Soup with Smoked Sausage - A One Pot Meal


A nutritious and economical one pot meal, 15 bean soup. Serve with a side of corn bread  . The fifteen varieties include: Northern, Pinto, Large Lima (Butter Beans), Blackeye Pea, Garbanzo, Baby Lima, Small Red, Yellow Split Pea, Lentil, Navy, White Kidney, Green Split, Cranberry, Small White and Black Bean. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package 15 Bean Soup Dry Beans
  • 1 Carton Chicken, Turkey, Beef or Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • 1 Onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 3 Stalks of Celery, diced
  • 2 Bell Peppers, I used a yellow and red but any color will do
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Flavor Packet from 15 Bean Soup package
  • 1 package Beef Smoked Sausage , sliced or diced
  • 8-10 cups Water for cooking


Although there are some beans in this mix that do not require soaking, I go ahead and soak them all. I mean who would want to pick out certain beans to soak, right?!? Soaking also gets rid of some of the, ahem, gases. The longer beans soak, the more gas producing compounds break down. Pardon me. Soaking also reduces cooking time.

There are basically four important steps to using any dry beans:
1) Clean 2) Rinse 3) Soak 4) Cook

Clean and rinse the beans and place in a bowl, add 1/2 of the stock and fill the rest with water until the beans are covered. Reserve the rest of the stock for cooking the beans. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight. 


Remove your beans from soaking and pour into a colander and rinse well. 

In a large pot add 1 tablespoon of butter and heat over medium heat. Add diced onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute until onions begin to become translucent. 

Add the remaining stock to the pot along with the salt, pepper, onion powder, bay leaves. Add  your beans, water, and flavor packet. Stir to combine all and bring to a boil. 

Reduce and cover pot leaving a vent. You may have to add more water during the cooking process due to evaporation. Cook 1 hour on a medium low heat. 

Add the smoked sausage and cook for 1 more hour. Remember to remove your bay leaves when done. 


You can serve this along with corn bread or 

This soup can be served over rice as well. 

This is definitely a hearty meal, no matter how you choose to serve it. 





Sunday, October 11, 2015

Simple Chicken Casserole



This is an easy chicken casserole that you can put together and have on the table in an hour. Perfect for busy week nights. It's also an economical dish, costing around $10 and easily serves 6-8 people. Leftovers, no worry, it's great the next day too. I have always said that recipes are merely a guide. Follow a recipe the first time and you may decide, hey I think this would be good if I add a little heat (spicy) too and switch it up to suit your taste. I do that all the time, even with recipes from well known chefs and cooks. I'll make it and think to myself, that was good but I want to add this or that. This is one of those versatile dishes that can be changed in many ways and it will still be just as good. The canned chicken helps make this recipe a quick dish but you can certainly use fresh chicken breast, cooked and cubed. It will just add a few minutes to the process. If using fresh chicken, I would use 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast. Simple, easy, and delicious!

Ingredients:
4 - 10 oz cans of Canned Chicken Breast
1 - 12 oz package of No Yolk Noodles
1 - 10 oz can of Cream of Chicken and Mushroom
1 - Egg, beaten
1 - Cup of Whole Milk
1/2 - Cup of Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise, I use Dukes
1 tsp Salt for Casserole, Salt for boiling pasta
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1 Cup Grated Colby/Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 Sleeve Buttery Crackers, like Ritz
Water to boil pasta

In a large pot add water and salt for pasta. Bring to a boil and add pasta, cooking for 10 minutes. 

While the pasta cooks open chicken, add to a colander, give a light rinse and drain well. In a large mixing bowl beat one egg, add milk, heavy cream, cream of chicken & mushroom, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, thyme, and onion powder and mix together. Mixture will be like a thick creamy liquid.

Crush sleeve of crackers and reserve for topping.

Once pasta is done, pour into a colander and drain. Add to wet mixture and combine. Add chicken and combine.
Spray a casserole dish. Add layers of the casserole mixture and sprinkle with cheese between layers.



Add casserole to a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes.  

Add crushed cracker topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Casserole will be hot and bubbly. 

Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.









Monday, October 5, 2015

Chicken & Dumpling Soup


So why do I call this Chicken & Dumpling Soup and what makes it different from my regular Southern Chicken N Dumplings recipe? Three things - diced carrots, diced celery, and diced onion. This version I leave vegetables in and it's almost like a chicken and noodle soup, just with dumplings.

Ingredients:

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Package of Anne's Dumplings
3 Stalks of Celery, diced
3 Medium Carrots, diced
1 Onion, diced
1/3 tsp Dried Thyme
Dash Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Carton of Chicken Stock
1/4 c Heavy Cream
1 tbs Butter
4 c Water

In a medium pot add the skinless chicken breasts. Partially cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken breast are done. 

Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and allow to cool. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred or dice the chicken. 

While the chicken is cooling, in a large stock pot add 1 tablespoon of butter and melt over medium heat. Add the diced onion, celery, and carrots. Add the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and thyme.  Saute until onions and celery become translucent. 

Add 1 carton of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer vegetables about 15 minutes. After the vegetables have simmered a few minutes add four cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the dumplings.

TIP: Do not use the entire box of dumplings - you don't need them and it will thicken the liquid too much.

I promise you cannot get any better of a shortcut than using Anne's Dumplings. They are frozen dumplings just like you would roll out at home.

Once you've added your dumplings allow to simmer - about 20 minutes on a medium-low simmer.

Add the chicken back to the pot with the dumplings and add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and stir to combine.

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