Sunday, October 19, 2008

French Ham, Cheese, and Egg Fondue Casserole

I love, love, love, when I have time to make a warm, delicious breakfast! Most mornings we are so crazy that we just do the standard cereal, yogurt, and fruit. However, I have been trying to add some protein to breakfast due to all of the studies showing that it helps increase brain activity and helps curb hunger until lunch time. This is a breakfast/brunch casserole that I have made many times, and it is a hit everytime! Perfect for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. (Or if you are really motivated, make it for a weekday!!! Enjoy!
2 T. butter softened
3 T. all purpose flour
1 T. mustard powder
24 oz. ham cut into 1 inch cubes (all I had on hand was thin sliced deli ham, and it worked out fine cut into bite size pieces)
8 oz. chedder cheeze cubed
3 c. cubed day old french bread
4 eggs, beaten
3 c. milk
1 dash hot pepper sauce (don't omit this - it's not spicy, just adds LOTS of flavor!)
3 T. butter, Melted
1\2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Generously greased a 9x13 glass baking dish with softened butter. Stir together four and mustard powder. place ham and cheese cubes in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with flour mixture and toss to coat evenly. Add bread cubes and toss to mix. In a separate bow, whish together eggs, milk, and hot pepper sauce.
Pour 1/3 of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth out to form a layer. Drizzle with 1 T of the melted butter, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the parm cheese. Repeat twice more to form three layers. Pour egg mixture over top, cover with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
The next morning, remove from fridge, remove plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. (i only let it sit for as long as it takes to preheat the oven). preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake uncovered until the eggs have set and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.
Serve with fresh fruit and juice and enjoy!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad is really versatile, and goes GREAT with Honey Sesame Tenderloin .

Strawberry Spinach Salad:
The actual salad part is up to you, as long as there is spinach and strawberries, you can add whatever else sounds good at the time. This time, I just kept it simple and used spinach, strawberries, and roasted cashews. (amounts to your own taste). But you could add blueberries, mandarin oranges, grapes, and green onions. You could also switch the cashews with some roasted almonds, or any combination of the above. Its the dressing that brings it all together:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil (its really good to use a mix of sesame oil and olive oil - but be careful! the sesame oil has a very STRONG flavor and you don't want it to overpower the dressing!
1/4 c. vinegar (rice vinegar is my favorite).
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. worcestershire sauce
1 T. poppy seeds
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. chopped onions
Mix in blender until combined and pour over salad just before serving.

Honey Sesame Tenderloin

This was our delicious Sunday dinner today..... Look at how juicy! I love pork tenderloin - it is inexpensive and so versatile! Try it and you'll fall in love!
This was the complete package: Honey Sesame tenderloin, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Cheesy Dutch oven potatoes. YUMMMM!!!! Honey Sesame Tenderloin:

1 lb. whole pork tenderloin
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chopped fresh ginger (or 1 T. dry ginger)
1 T. sesame oil
Combine ingredients well and pour into a resealable plastic bag with pork tenderloin. Marinate at least 2 hours or overnight in fridge.

Mix 1/2 c. honey with 2 T. brown sugar.
Remove pork from marinade, pat dry with paper towells, and place in a shallow roasting pan. Pour the rest of the marinade around the pork in the pan. Rub honey mixture all around outside of tenderloin with your fingers, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

I always double this recipe and use 2 tenderloins, my kids literally eat about 1/2 lb each!!! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pork tenderloin "Stroganoff"

Comfort food at its best!1-2 pork tenderloins depending on how much you want to make
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. flour
2 chicken boullion cubes, melted into 2 c. boiling water
chopped or thinly sliced onions
1/4 c. butter
2 T. oil

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, and sear pork tenderloins on all sides until browned. Place in 9x13 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute mushrooms and onions in butter and oil for a few minutes, then add flour and stir to combine. Add in the chicken stock and apple juice and stir until thick. Pour over the pork tenderloin and back at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serve over buttered noodles or rice.
I did it over buttered egg noodles and it was SOOOO good!

Ina Garten's Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Viniagarette

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 T. water
1 1/4 c. seasoned, dry bread crumbs ( I used panko bread crumbs)
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry. (I used plain spinach).
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows.

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. One a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 T. water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs, and 1/2 c parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium low hear for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 c. good olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Shepherd's Pie II

This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I loved it growing up, and now there are so many recipes out there for twists and turns to add even more deliciousness. I call this shepherd's pie "II" because it is a recipe that I found that is different from the one my mom makes, but a new favorite with the husband and kids.... I will post "Shepherd's Pie I" soon for comparison. (backwards, I know - but so goes my life!) 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.
1/2 c. milk
1 T butter (or more to taste)
salt and pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 c. smoky bbq sauce ( I like KC Masterpiece )
1 t. yellow mustard
1 t. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. corn, fresh or frozen, (thawed, if frozen).
chopped cilantro or scallions for garnish

Put potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until done. Drain and mash with milk and butter until creamy. salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole pan. In a large saucepan, cook meat with zucchini, onions, and garlic, until meat is just cooked. Drain if necessary. Stir in bbq sauce, mustard, and brown sugar. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Scatter corn evenly on top. Spread potatoes carefully over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees, until filling is bubbly and cheese is just melted, about 20 minutes. (you don't want the cheese to get hard and crusty!).
Feel free to share your variation to the above, I would love to try it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Deviled Chicken Drumsticks

So, I didn't used to be a drumstick kind of person, but this is one of the recipes that changed my mind. Try it - it doesn't disapoint! My kids LOVED it! I found this one on Deviled Chicken Drumsticks
12 chicken drumsticks
1/2 c. dijon mustard
3/4 c. panko bread crumbs (japanese bread crumbs)
3/4 c. parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3/4 t. cayenne
3 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in the upper third. Pat chicken dry, then roll in mustard until evenly coated.

Stir together panko, cheese, cayenne, and 1/2 t. each of salt and pepper. Drizzle with butter and toss. Dredge each drumstick in crumb mixture to coat, then arrange, without crowding, in a buttered, large 4 sided sheet pan. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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