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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spaghetti Alfredo with Broccoli


I had a request from one of my followers to make something with pasta, broccoli,  white sauce and something that can be eaten with or without chicken.  Erynne is her name and I am happy to say it turned out pretty well.  So here it is...




Ingredients.


Salt and pepper chicken on both sides.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to an oven proof skillet. Heat oil until hot but not smoking,  add breast to pan and brown on both sides.



After you have browned the chicken put into a pre-heated oven set at 375 degrees and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until done.



Remove chicken and set aside to cool.  Then chop.


Start making the  Alfredo sauce by adding 2 tablespoons flour to 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  Stir until flour is well blended.  Put into sauce pan and heat over medium low heat until the roux looks like this.




Remove from heat for a minute to add 3/4 cup of milk very slowly until throughly blended without lumps.  Return to heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes until thickened.



Add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and whisk until dissolved.



Add 3/4 cup of Parmesano Reggiano until melted.




Chop broccoli into flowerets.



Add flowerets to hot water and cook for 1 minute (al dente).



Add broccoli to ice water to stop cooking.  Drain and set aside.

Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.  When pasta is done drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.



Add spaghetti to a large skillet with 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Add sauce, chicken and broccoli to skillet stirring to incorporate all ingredients together and heat thoroughly.





Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese over the top.

Happy Eating!



Erynne’s Alfredo Spaghetti with Broccoli and Chicken

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb box of spaghetti
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ lb broccoli cut into flowerets

2 Tablespoon flour
½ cup Vegetable broth
¾ cup Non-fat milk
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon  white pepper
1 Tablespoon 1/3 less fat cream cheese
¾ cup Parmesano Reggiano

Chicken:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breast.  Heat oil in an oven- proof skillet until hot but not smoking.  Add chicken breast and brown on each side.  Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is cook thoroughly.  Remove and set aside to cool.  Then chop.

Sauce:
Begin making your Alfredo sauce by adding flour to vegetable broth in a saucepan and stir until flour is incorporated.  Cook over medium low heat until thickened.  Remove from heat and slowly add milk while whisking to remove any lumps.  Once the milk is added return to heat for approximately 10 minutes.   Add cream cheese and whisk until dissolved.  Now add Parmesan cheese and melt into the sauce.

Broccoli:
Take broccoli flowerets and put into hot pasta water and cook for 1 minute (al dente).  Remove broccoli from hot water and plunge into ice water (to stop the cooking process).  Drain and keep aside.

Pasta:
Add water to stockpot and heat to a boil.  Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to flavor the pasta.  Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.

When pasta is finished cooking, drain pasta and add pasta to a large skillet over low heat with 1/2 cup of pasta water.  Add sauce, chicken and broccoli to skillet stirring to incorporate all ingredients together and heat thoroughly. 

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese over the top.

Note:  The Alfredo sauce is very low fat and healthier than the traditional version.

Happy Eating Erynne!




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mary's Hamburger Stew

When I was growing up my mother would make hamburger stew.  The reason why she used hamburger was because it was cheaper than stew meat!  She had a lot of little kids to feed as I am the youngest of five.  Of course she makes her with whole lot more vegetables and macaroni.   I think she used it as an excuse to clean out the refrigerator!

So today with it being wet and cold outside I thought some hamburger stew was in order.  So here it is!
By the way, Miss Holland loved the stew along with the cornbread she helped her Ahma make.

 



Chop onions and add to the ground beef in a large stockpot.


Over medium heat, brown the meat and onion, drain.



 Wipe excess oil from pot and return meat to the pot.




Chop carrots and all other vegetables





Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, carrots and potatoes to meat mixture and begin simmering for about 30 minutes.





Then add remaining vegetables (green beans, corn, green peas and zucchini) to the pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes.  The longer you simmer the more intense the flavors.



How about that shot of the finished stew!  Happy Eating.







Mary’s Hamburger Stew

1 ½ lbs Lean Ground Beef
½ cup chopped sweet onion
2 large red potatoes – 2 cups chopped
1 cup kernel corn
2 carrots, peeled and chopped ¼” rounds (1 cup)
1 cup frozen or fresh green beans
1 cup zucchini squash, chopped ½” rounds
½ cup green peas
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 can low sodium tomato sauce
48 oz. Or 6 cups of beef broth
2 Tablespoons of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste


Use a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add ground beef, chopped onion and cook on medium heat until beef is browned.  Drain meat and wipe out pan with paper towel to remove any excess grease.  Add meat back to pan.  Then add beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes and carrots.   Cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.  Then add all the other vegetable to the pot along with 2 tablespoons of chili powder.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for a minimum of 1 hour stirring  occasionally.  The longer it simmers the more intense the flavor will be.

I usually serve this with cornbread or crackers.

Note:  Wait to add corn, green beans, zucchini and green peas until potatoes and carrot are tender because the other vegetables do not take as long to cook.

Variations:

For vegetarians, omit the beef and beef broth.  Use vegetable broth and all the other ingredients and you will have a nice vegetable soup.







Monday, October 19, 2009

What is this and what do you do with it??




Have you seen one in your store and wonder, what the heck is that!  It is a celeriac or more commonly known as celery root.  It can be used raw or cooked.  It has the slight flavor of celery.  It is often used in soups, stews, gratins, casseroles and baked dishes.  It is not used as much as other root vegetables because it is harder to peel and chop.  So I bought one and started looking a various recipes on how to cook it.  So I ran across a Guy Fieri recipe and went about adapting it to my taste and portion size.  As you know I usually am cooking for two people.  So here it is...






Peel each vegetable


Chop each vegetable in 1/4-inch slices


Put all vegetables in a large bowl and add cream, broth, tarragon, garlic, Gorgonzola cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix throughly


Pour into a greased casserole and cover loosely.  Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Then uncover and cook for an additional 10 minutes until lightly browned.





Root Vegetables Gratin

2 Parsnips, peeled
1 Sweet Potato, peeled
1 Celery root, peeled  (about 1lb)
1 Russet potato, peeled
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon dried tarragon
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon block pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice vegetables into ¼-inch slices.  Put sliced vegetable into a large bowl.  Add cream, stock, tarragon, salt and pepper, garlic, Gorgonzola cheese.  Mix thoroughly.

Spray your baking dish with cooking spray.  Turn vegetable mixture into baking dish.  Cover loosely and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover and cook for additional 10 minutes to brown slightly.



Adapted recipe from Guy Fieri










Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mexican Cornbread

I love Mexican Cornbread this time of year.  All that yummy cornbread stuffed with seasoned ground beef, onions, green chiles, cheddar cheese, creamed corn and don't forget the jalapenos for that extra little bit of heat that will warm your little bellies!  This is so easy to make and delicious to eat!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Mary's Chili


Chili

Ok,
I got one request on what to cook.  She wanted chili.  Yesterday it was 86 degrees and that's way to hot to make chili.   So knowing that a cold front was moving in last night to bring us cooler weather I waited.  Our temperature is around 53 degrees at 11:00 am.  So I am making chili!  It is on the stove simmering.  Should be ready in about an hour!!  I will let you know how it comes out and I will post the pictures and recipe.



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What do you want to eat today!

Sometimes you just do not know what your hungry for, today is one of those days! Thought I might ask anyone who reads this what they might like to see me cook. Just tell me what recipe your hungry for today? So I can cook your request. Ok there are a few rules, must be simple, not overly time consuming and of course it can not be expensive and I am on a budget! Okay I will wait and see what you come up with. Just leave it in the comment on this post.

By the way my tree is confused, not sure its fall or not.








Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall



Todays weather sure feels like fall. Cool and overcast. Thought I would share a couple of pictures of my mums.







Sunday, October 4, 2009

Butternut Squash and Goat cheese Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage Sauce


Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Take ½ tablespoon of olive oil and oil the inside of each half squash, salt, pepper and sprinkle with cinnamon

Cool until you can handle the squash. Scoop out the flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork


Cook onion in skillet with tablespoon of olive oil until light brown, at the very last minutes add garlic and cook for another minute. Take off heat and stir in the goat cheese until mixed thoroughly.


Add goat cheese mixture along with Romano cheese. I processed this smooth with my stick blender

Take wonton wrapper to a dry flat surface leaving remaining wrappers in plastic so that they do not dry out. Wet the edges with water


Add about a tablespoon of filling into the center

put a second wrapper over first, pressing down around two edges


then around the filling to force out the air, then seal the outer edges well





In a skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 ½ tablespoons of butter and add torn sage leaves

Cook until butter starts to brown

Cook ravioli in batches of 3 (mine were 4” squares) in gentle boiling water until they rise to the surface


Transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon, letting excess water drip off, into the brown butter sauce

Turn over once. Then plate the three raviolis and keep warm as you finish the other servings



Be sure to add sage leaves onto of the ravioli servings and then top to Romano cheese.

Recipe:
Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage Sauce
1 butternut squash – around 2 lbs
sprinkle of cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
½ of a large sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
4 oz log of goat cheese
wonton wrappers (I used square wrappers)
2 ½ tablespoons Olive oil (divided)
3 ½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
8 large fresh sage leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Take ½ tablespoon of olive oil and oil the inside of each half squash, salt, pepper and sprinkle with cinnamon. Flesh side down on cooking tray, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until flesh is very tender. Cool until you can handle the squash. Scoop out the flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork.
While squash is roasting, cook onion in skillet with tablespoon of olive oil until light brown, at the very last minutes add garlic and cook for another minute. Take off heat and stir in the goat cheese until mixed thoroughly. Add goat cheese mixture to the squash along with the romano cheese. Using my stick blender I processed the mixture until smooth.
In a large pasta pan get your salted water boiling to a gentle boil for the ravioli
Put 1 won ton wrapper on a dry surface, keep remaining wrappers in plastic so that they don’t dry out.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling in the center. Wet the edges with water, put a second wrapper over first, pressing down around two edges and then around the filling to force out the air, then seal the outer edges well. Transfer ravioli to wax or parchment paper. Make more ravioli with remaining wrappers and filling in the same manner.
In a skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 ½ tablespoons of butter and add torn sage leaves. Cook until butter starts to brown.
Cook ravioli in batches of 3 (mine were 4” squares) in gentle boiling water until they rise to the surface, around 6 minutes. Loosen from the bottom with a rubber spatula is they seem to be sticking. Transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon, letting excess water drip off. Put into brown butter sauce, turning over once. Then plate the three raviolis and keep warm as you finish the other servings. Be sure to add sage leaves onto of the ravioli servings and then top to Romano cheese.
I had some filling left over, approximately 1 1/2 cups so I added 2 cups of chicken broth and made soup. Then I poured into freezer container and froze for another time!

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