A Phantastic Philly

July 24, 2012

So, a phew weekends ago, the Braves were playing sweeping the Phillies and during the Sunday game, the t.v. announcers were tossing out some interesting facts.  Apparently, the Braves hold the record phor the most Philly Cheesesteaks ordered while at the Philles’ stadium than any other team. Well, they went on and on about it and within a phew minutes, my hubby and I were drooling over the idea of a cheesesteak of our own.  So, I phound a couple of recipes, blended them…and added some slices of jalapenos (a secret phrom a chef at a restaurant I used to work).  What I ended up with is enough to make your phamily turn into philly phanatics!

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Cooking it up

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Toasty, mayo slathered bun

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You hit a home run when you serve this!

Philadelphia Cheesesteak with Garlic Mayo

  • 4 whole wheat hoagie rolls
  • 1 lb.deli roast beef, sliced thin
  • 1 tbs evoo
  • 1 tbs light butter
  • 1 onion (I’ve been using Vidalias for everything lately and they work great!)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (control the heat by including, or omitting seeds)
  • 4 slices american cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 garlic glove, finely chopped

Heat a pan on the stove on medium.  Add butter and evoo.  Once butter has melted, add onions and peppers.  Cook for about 10 minutes until all the veggies are soft.  Season with salt and pepper. Pushed vegetables to the side and add roast beef to pan and heat through until no longer pink.  Meanwhile, toast the hoagie rolls very lightly, smear them with the garlic mayo and top with the pepper, meat, cheese mixture.  Serve hot and with hot sauce, salt, pepper and extra mayo.

 

This is by far, the best Chicken Noodle Soup I’ve ever had in my life.  Jim thinks so too.  I don’t know what I’ve done in the past that’s made mine a bit on the bland side, however, I think the addition of lemon pepper seasoning to the stock is genius.  Also, I prefer organic carrots.  They are much more tender and sweet and aren’t much more expensive than the “regular” carrots at the Farmer’s Market.  Whole wheat egg noodles make it a little healthier, and if I have a lemon around, I’ll squeeze the juice of one into the finished soup at the end.  The citrus has special healing powers and if I’m making this for someone  under the weather, I feel it helps to get them on the mend that much quicker. 

Tip:  I like to make a bit extra so I have fresh broth for later in the week.  This Thursday, for instance, I’ll use the stock in my Thanksgiving Stuffing. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Stock:

  • 1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soup:

  • 2 cups sliced organic
  • 2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked wheat egg noodles
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup cooking sherry
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
  • 3/4 cup half and half, optional
  • Seasoning salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the stock: add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.

For the soup: bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper. If using fresh lemon, now’s the time to squeeze in the juice.  

On Top of Old Smokey…

November 11, 2011

Not everyone {my fiance included} knows this old children’s song about the meatball rolling out of the door. I’m not sure if it’s because he grew up in the north, or just because I love food so much I grew up singing about it.  Anywho, if you have kids, it’s a supercute little jingle to sing when making and serving any dish involving meatballs. 

Lyrics to On Top of Spaghetti {sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”}

Although I serve this meatball dish on top of brown rice, this meatball and gravy recipe could certainly be served over spaghetti noodles, or you could finish cooking them in a traditional marinara instead of the gravy.  The link below suggests stuffing meatballs into a large pasta noodle, which also sounds interesting. Either way, this is sure to make a warm, comfort food dish that your family will request again and again.

Turkey Meatballs and Gravy

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • evoo cooking spray
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • s & p to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Mix together turkey, onions, parsley and salt.  Shape mixture into meatballs and set aside. 

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and set over med-high heat.  When pan is hot, add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add meatballs to hot pan and brown on all sides.  Return mushrooms to pan and add thyme and salt and pepper.  Stir.  Add 3/4 cup of broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer untilmeatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup of broth.  Add mixture to pan and simmer 1 minute.  Serve hot over brown rice (or pasta).

Not Your Mama’s Lasagna

October 26, 2011

This comforting dish not only looks and smells like fall, it tastes like it.

The sweet aroma of roasting root vegetables with maple syrup and nutmeg wafting from your oven will let your family know that it’s not just October outdoors, but that it’s arrived in your kitchen, as well.  Although, it’s not the traditional lasagna recipe with ground beef and marinara, it’s sure to be a family favorite and has certainly been added to my fall menu rotation.

A warm slice of heaven

Roasted Carrot and Butternut Squash Lasagna

Printable Recipe

Serves 8-10

  • 1 butternut squash, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 1 bunch carrots, chopped into 1″ dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour, AP or whole wheat
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 amaretti cookies (amaretti is the Italian word for macaroon)
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Italian fontina
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 package lasagna noodles, regular or whole wheat
  • 18 basil leaves  

 1.Combine the squash, carrots, half the olive oil, brown sugar, half the nutmeg, maple syrup, half the salt and pepper on a sheet tray. Roast at 450 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

Goin' in the oven

2.Meanwhile, make the bechamel by combining the flour and butter in a pan for a couple minutes. Add the milk and the remainder of the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

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Whisk away!

3.Combine the roasted vegetables with the remainder of the olive oil, amaretti, and sage leaves in a blender. Blend into a thick puree. You can thin it out with the stock until it’s the right consistency, but don’t make it too watery.

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The food processor works great for blending

4.Put a thin layer of the vegetable puree on the bottom of a buttered lasagna pan. Put a layer of noodles and then a layer of puree and a layer of bechemel sauce. Sprinkle some of each grated cheese on top and spread out some basil leaves. Continue to layer in the same order until you have finished the puree and bechemel. Sprinkle more cheese over the top and drizzle some additional olive oil over the top. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes until serving.

You can even serve a small slice of the leftovers cold as a dessert…or a late night snack ;0)

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On the way back from the beach {sniff} I scoped out recipes.  I wanted something simple, delicious, and  that I didn’t need to make a big grocery trip for.  I opened an email from Saveur (God bless technology) and this mouth-watering looking Rosemary Chicken looked simple enough. I made a quick stop at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market to pick up what I needed…chicken and a lemon (which came to $5.88.  Not bad for dinner for two), and headed home to throw together this super-quick meal.

I served the chicken and pan juices over whole wheat linguine.  (I also made a side of Roasted Broccoli, but thought the plate looked prettier sans the veggies :0)

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An amazing meal

Rosemary Chicken

Printable Recipe

  • 4 whole skin-on chicken legs and thighs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup flour, for dredging
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
1. Heat oven to 425˚. Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and season generously with salt and pepper. Dump flour into bag and shake chicken so it’s totally coated. Heat oil in an iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add wine, rosemary, and bay leaves. Return pan to heat and cook until wine reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1⁄2 cups water and bring to a boil. 
2. Cover skillet, transfer to oven, and cook until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover and let chicken skin crisp, 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven; stir in lemon juice. Serve chicken with the pan sauce. 

 
SERVES 2 hungry people

I made this delicious fritatta at the lake on Mother’s Day — for my mother and grandmother.  (Daddy, too)  I think roasting the broccoli before throwing all the ingredients together really brought out the flavor.  Throw in Patak beef  bacon and you’re sure to have a crowd pleaser.

Broccoli, Bacon & Cheese Frittata

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • ½  cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Large head of broccoli, chopped into florets and roasted w/ evoo (Use or add other veggies like onions, spinach, asparagus, etc.)
  • 2 slices Patak beef bacon (Or about 5 slices “regular” bacon.  You can also use ham or Canadian bacon.), cooked and coarsed chopped

 Directions

Position an oven rack in the upper part of the oven and preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs, 3 tablespoons of the cheese, the milk, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to taste together in a bowl.

 Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli and bacon, and heat through, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, pour the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring gently to distribute the fillings evenly. Cover, and cook until the bottom sets, but does not get too brown, about 9 minutes. Remove the cover, scatter the remaining 1 tablespoon of cheese over the surface. Run the frittata under the broiler until the top sets and browns slightly, about 1 minute. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then cut into squares.  Serve warm or room temperature.

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Patak beef bacon

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Before going in the oven

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Post-oven

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Breakfast is served - Happy Mother's Day!

This recipe from Cooking Light is divine.  I served it alongside Long-Grain & Wild Rice and Roasted Veggies.

Dinner is served!

Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Shallot-Onion Agrodolce

Agrodolce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce that combines sugar and vinegar. In this version, acidic wine and vinegar harmonize with the sweetness from the onions and raisins.

 Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 1/2 cup agrodolce)

 Ingredients

Agrodolce:

  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 2 cups  vertically sliced onion
  • 1 cup  sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon  sugar
  • 3/4  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/3  cup  golden raisins
  • 1/4  cup  red wine vinegar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

 Pork tenderloin:

  • 2 teaspoons  fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • Cooking spray

 Preparation

1. To prepare agrodolce, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots, and sugar to pan; sauté 12 minutes or until golden. Stir in wine, raisins, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 9 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

 2. Prepare grill.

 3. To prepare pork tenderloin, combine fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, coriander, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle pork with fennel seed mixture. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with agrodolce.

Perfection.

Okay, so I took the day off to get some things done around the house.  I planted my flower pots and around the mailbox, organized my kitchen cabinets, did major grocery and farmer’s market shopping and some heavy duty cooking for dinner.  Did I mention I threw together this soup in the midst of this?  This is so easy and delicious — wow anyone.

Mexican Lentil Soup (with Jim's fave, purple tulips, in the background)

Mexican Lentil Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 chipotle seasoning cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 purple potato, cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, your fave (I used pizza cheese, b/c that’s what I ha in the fridge)

 Add water through potatoes to pot, bring to a boil and simmer on low for about an hour TOTAL time.  Garnish each bowl with cilantro, avocado and cheese.  Enjoy.

(Warning: the chipotle bouillon packs a little heat.  Subtract it, or add more water to taste.)

Today was not the kind of day that makes you want chili.  It was sunny and in the 60s in Atlanta, but I wanted chili….so here it is.

After Jim took a bite of this, he said he wanted to sing this song and bust out the sprinkler (he gets really excited about delicious food). I honestly don’t know if I can ever make chili again without making these corncakes to serve on top…an exciting accompaniment that adds kick and makes a beautiful presentation.

Black Bean Chili with Jalapeno-Scallion Corncakes

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The meat and veggies cooking

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The corncake batter

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Beauties!

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A delicious pairing

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Ladle up the chili.

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Add cheese (I usually like to use something a little fancier than sliced American, but it was all I had in the house)

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Add a little more chili to melt the cheese.

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Top with a corncake and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef lean
  • 1 tablespoon evoo
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 package of frozen onion and peppers (sometimes cheap & easy is okay)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped jalapeno, divided (I use canned)
  • 1 ½  tablespoons dark chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ cup beef stock 1
  • (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and  rinsed to cut sodium
  • tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, a handful, optional
  • 1 (8 1/2-ounce) packages, corn muffin mix
  • 8 oz cheese (your choice)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Spray evoo, for greasing griddle pan

Directions

In a large deep skillet or pot, brown ground beef in oil over high heat. Season meat with salt and pepper, then add Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium high when the meat is browned and crumbled, then add onion, peppers, garlic, and jalapeno. Season veggies and meat with chili powder and cumin. Cook veggies and meat together 5 minutes. Stir in broth and scrape up pan drippings. Stir in diced tomatoes and black beans. When the mixture comes to a bubble, reduce heat to simmer and stir in cilantro, optional.

Mix together package of corn muffin mix with ½  cup milk, 1 beaten egg, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, jalapenos and scallions. Batter should be thick. Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle pan over moderate heat. Nest a pat of butter into folded paper towel and wipe hot pan surface with it to lightly grease. Pour corn cake batter into the hot griddle pan or skillet in 3 or 4-inch rounds. Cook 2 or 3 minutes on each side, until golden. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.  Butter the corncakes as they come of the griddle (because you know you want to).

To serve, top bowls of beef, cheese and black bean chili with green onion corn cake toppers. Eat the chili and corn toppers as you would a pot pie, grabbing some of the corn cake with each spoonful of chili.

Thanks Rachel!

 

My Goodness, My Goulash

March 1, 2010

If the USA team won the gold medal in hockey, this title would have been Gold Medal Goulash, however, since I drowned my sorrows of our loss in Guiness, I thought this was also appropriate.  Enjoy…and be proud of our boys that came home with the silver.  We’ll meet again in Rio!

Hungarian Goulash

4 tbsp. evoo
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 lbs. beef chuck, trimmed
   and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground
   black pepper, to taste
1⁄4 cup sweet paprika
2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium parsnips, diced
1 1⁄2 lbs. medium new potatoes, peeled
   and cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
1 tomato, diced
1 Italian frying pepper, diced

1. Heat oil in a 5-qt. dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring only once or twice, until the meat is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in paprika, marjoram, caraway, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered, until the beef is nearly tender, about 40 minutes.

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2. Add potatoes and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 55 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with rye bread, if you like.  (The Rye bread really makes it, so I would def. serve with it!)

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Serves 4 – 6.

Recipe adapted from Saveur.

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