chicken pot pie with cream cheese biscuits
Emeril's shrimp creole, rice
snow crab legs, corn on the cob, salad
grilled salmon with creamy cucumber salad
crab imperial, green beans
Buffalo chicken chowder, celery and carrots
super bubbly pizza

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chopped Salad with Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad with Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cucumber, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup shredded mozzarella

Process the garlic, vinegar, egg yolk, sugar and mustard in a food processor. Stream in the oil with the processor running. Salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and mozzarella with the prepared dressing. Serve.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Killen’s Creamed Corn

I have enjoyed the creamed corn at both Killen's Steakhouse and at Killen's Barbecue.  When I saw that the recipe had been published in the Houston Chronicle, I knew I had to try it.  The at home version totally met my expectations.  The  corn cob infused half and half really makes a big taste difference compared to my usual creamed corn recipe.  I can't wait to try this recipe in the summer with sweet corn, I doubt it will need any sugar at all!  And if you are ever in Houston, head down to Pearland to try this spectacular creamed corn yourself!
Killen’s Creamed Corn

4 ears of corn
1 ¼ cup half and half
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons sugar (can use more or less, depending on corn sweetness)
¹/8 teaspoon white pepper
¹/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Parmigiano-Regginao cheese, grated

Instructions: Shuck and cut corn off ears. Bring the half and half to a simmer and add corn cobs to infuse for about 30 minutes. In a separate pan melt butter and add corn niblets, sauté corn over low heat for about 20 minutes. Remove cobs from milk/cream mixture and scrape off all milk. Discard cobs. Add ¼ of the sautéed corn to milk/cream mixture and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the corn and simmer till thickened usually about another 30 minutes. Season to taste and put in casserole dish. Finish in a 500-degree or as high as your broiler will go, with a little cheese sprinkled on top. Broil until cheese just turns brown. Serve immediately.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Artichoke, Spinach and Chicken Lasagna

I initially thought my friend Jen was attending my dinner party, so I decided to make a main dish tailored to her. Whenever we go out to lunch at Houston's, she always orders the spinach and artichoke dip. Without fail.  I want to make some sort of dish that mimicked that dip and lasagna seemed like a natural way to do it.  One of my biggest complaints about lasagna is that I don't love the texture of ricotta.  Here, I halved the ricotta, replacing it with cream cheese, more in line with the spinach and artichoke dip everyone loves.  The result was a perfect dinner party dish, I love things that can just bake while I socialize.  Unfortunately, Jen had to cancel at the last minute, which means I will have to have her over soon and serve this again.  The recipe looks long, but it is really quite easy, especially if you use the Instant Pot and Fasta Pasta shortcuts.
Artichoke, Spinach and Chicken Lasagna

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup water
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound lasagna noodles
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup flour
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan
10 ounces chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
16 ounces ricotta
16 ounces cream cheese. softened
4 cups shredded mozzarella

Instant Pot instructions:
Place the chicken, water, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in the Instant Pot. Place on “Poultry” setting for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Shred the chicken and set aside.

Regular instructions:
Place the chicken, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Heat over high heat until the water boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Shred the chicken and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Fasta Pasta instructions:
Place 9 of the lasagna noodles in the Fasta Pasta and fill to level 4. Microwave for 13 minutes. Drain and allow the noodles to cool. Repeat with remaining lasagna noodles.

Regular instructions:
Cook lasagna noodles in boiling salted water until al dente per package instructions. Drain and allow the noodles to cool.

In large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Whisk in the flour, until fully incorporated. Add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. When the mixture thickens after about 5 minutes, remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan, spinach, artichokes and shredded chicken.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta and cream cheese.

Layer ¼ of the chicken mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with 6 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta and cream cheese mixture over top. Layer ¼ of the chicken mixture over the ricotta and top with 1 1/3 cups mozzarella cheese. Layer with 6 more lasagna noodles, then 1/3 of the ricotta, ¼ of the chicken and 1 1/3 cups mozzarella cheese, twice more, ending with the mozzarella cheese. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray, cover the lasagna spray side down. Bake for 45 minutes covered, remove the foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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