lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Meyer Lemon Shrimp Pasta

Miss F is obsessed with shrimp, she can nearly devour an entire pound on her own. Whenever C isn't home for dinner, she usually requests that I make shrimp. I had originally planned to bake shrimp with lemon and have green beans on the side, but when I picked her up from dance class, she requested pasta. Luckily I had a package of spaghetti on hand, so Meyer Lemon Shrimp Pasta was born. This meal comes together incredibly quickly, I picked Miss F up at 5 pm from dance class and by 5:30 pm we were seated at the table having dinner. This was entirely possible because of Fasta Pasta and such an easy sauce.
Meyer Lemon Shrimp Pasta

12 ounces thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound green beans, chopped
¾ cup cream
¼ cup chicken broth
Juice from ½ a Meyer lemon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Prepare the spaghetti per package instructions, drain and set aside.

While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the shrimp and green beans, sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, turning the shrimp half way through the cooking time and stirring the green beans. In a two cup measure, stir together the cream, broth, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the shrimp and toss well to coat completely. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low, simmering for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the spaghetti and toss with the sauce, shrimp and green beans. Serve.
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Pork Loin with Wine and Herb Gravy

I always buy a pork loin when it goes on super sale and break it down into two or three pieces to freeze for later.  This pork cooks up beautifully and couldn't be easier.  I served Miss F's without the gravy, but I may have eaten her portion.  It was delicious, especially spooned over mashed potatoes.  Be sure to allow the pork to rest while you prepare the gravy, I just throw a piece of aluminum foil over top and get to whisking.  This recipe was heavily adapted from Seasons & Suppers.
Pork Loin with Wine and Herb Gravy

¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and slice in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 pound pork loin
1 ½ cups dry white wine, divided
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons corn starch
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic, rosemary and sage for about one minute. Add the pork to the pan and sauté it 5 minutes per side, then remove it to a plate. Add 1 ¼ cups of the wine to the pan to deglaze it, use a spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and return the pork to the pan. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, flipping the pork every 20 minutes. Add ¼ cup of water if the pan gets too dry. When the pork has reached 150 degrees, remove to a plate, cover with foil and let rest while the gravy is prepared. Use the remaining ¼ cup wine to deglaze the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken broth and stir well. Whisk together the corn starch and water, stir into the pot whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Slice the pork and serve with the gravy over top.
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Short Rib Pappardelle

I wanted to make a favorite dish for Valentine's Day. One of the most favorite foods I make is what Miss F calls "More Meat."  I have made it with pasta before and it is also a hit.  I decided to ramp it up a bit for Valentine's and make homemade pappardelle pasta, which might just be the perfect vehicle for the braised short rib deliciousness.  Miss F is usually my faithful assistant when rolling out fresh pasta, but this pasta may have been a bit much for the two of us to work on together.  I sent her off to play and completed the pasta on my own.  This meal was entirely worth the effort!
Short Rib Pappardelle

1 ½ pounds boneless short ribs
1 28 ounce can crushed tomato
1 can tomato paste
¼ cup red wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt

2 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons (or more) water

Place the short ribs in a crockpot. Stir together the tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, sugar, oregano and salt together and pour over the short ribs. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the meat and shred with two forks and return to the sauce.

Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Whisk together the eggs, yolks and water in a 2 cup measure. Pour the egg mixture through the feed tub with the processor running until a sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

Set the pasta machine to the widest setting. Flatten one ball of dough into a 3-inch wide rectangle. Run through the machine 5 times, then reduce the setting of the machine. Run through the machine 5 times more and reduce the setting of the machine. Keep reducing until the dough is abut 26 inches long. Cut crosswise into 3 equal pieces, run each through the machine until it is 14 inches long. Repeat the process with the second dough ball. Let the strips stand 30 minutes. Fold each strip in half so that the short ends meet, and then in half again. Cut into 2/3 inch wide pappardelle.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes and toss immediately with the meat sauce.
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Lemon Rice

I am always looking for an easy side dish to serve whenever I have a pita/naan based meal. I really prefer eating both fresh, so I am usually quite busy grilling bread, that I don't have the time and energy to deal with a time consuming side dish. I love the lemon rice at Niko Nikos and wanted to try and replicate it at home.  This rice was perfectly lemony, but not the same bright yellow color of the Niko Nikos rice.  As long as it tastes the same, I can let the color slide.  Cooking rice in broth provides a nice flavor boost without having to make any extra efforts.  Feel free to dial back the lemon juice, but make sure you use fresh lemon juice, it makes a huge difference!
Lemon Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups hot chicken broth

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the salt and lemon juice, sauté for 2 minutes more. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes and check to see if all the broth has been absorbed, if not, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cheesy Refried Bean Casserole

I honestly did not eat one bite of this dish. Miss F saw it on Pioneer Woman and had to make it...and make it she did! She was thrilled to have refried beans at home, they are a big treat for her when we go out for TexMex. I usually heat up a can of black beans when we have TexMex at home because they are the least offensive bean in my mind.  She did nearly everything to make this recipe, mainly because just the thought of refried beans makes me a little queasy.  She and C adored this casserole, it was a huge hit!  Miss F has a new side dish to add to her repertoire.  And I will continue to let her make it.
Cheesy Refried Bean Casserole

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoons chili powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapenos, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Two 16-ounce cans refried beans
2 ½ cups grated cheddar Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9x9 glass baking dish. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onion, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, garlic, jalapenos, salt and pepper, cook for a minute more. Add the beans to the skillet and stir well to combine. Cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer half of the beans into the prepared pan and top with half of the cheese. Transfer the remaining beans to the pan and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
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Monday, March 14, 2016

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Miss F's first choice for dinner whenever C isn't home for dinner is always shrimp. She also adores pasta, so I knew this recipe from Budget Bytes would be a huge hit in our house.  I was completely correct!  I used fresh tomatoes because I love the flavor they provide with shrimp, but a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes would work just as easily.  I also used the magical Fasta Pasta to prepare the spaghetti.  The whole meal took less than 15 minutes to make, including peeling the shrimp (easy peel, of course!)  Feel free to double the crushed red pepper or sprinkle more on before serving if you prefer a little more heat.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

8 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic
½ pound peeled & deveined shrimp
1 pound roma tomatoes, diced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt

Prepare the pasta per package instructions, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, add the oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the garlic, shrimp, tomatoes, red pepper and salt to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, until shrimp turn pink. Add the pasta and toss well to coat. Serve.
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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Simple Risotto

I adore risotto, but I rarely make it at home. If it is on a restaurant menu, either C or I will usually order it. After making this incredibly easy recipe, risotto will be on my weekly menu far more often. It takes nearly no time at all, though there is a ton of stirring involved.  Miss F completely rejected it, which was a complete shock for me since it has only things she loves in it.  She can cover a slice of pizza or a plate of pasta in parmesan, so I am not sure what her issue was with the risotto.  I can't wait to try additions of parmesan, mushrooms or other fresh vegetables this spring. This recipe is based off one from the Culinary Institute of America.
Simple Risotto

4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat completely with the melted butter. Add the broth, 1 cup at a time, waiting until the rice has absorbed all the broth after each addition. Stir the whole time. After the final addition, take the sauce pan off the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and Parmesan cheese.
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Monday, March 7, 2016

Crockpot Pot Roast

It seems like there is never enough time for dinner on nights when Miss F has dance class. By the time we get home from dance, it is nearly 6 pm and dinner still needs to be made. Enter the crockpot. I am a huge fan of the crockpot for soups, any sort of shredded meat and one dish meals like pot roast. The best part of this meal is that it lasts for a couple days worth of meals.  C had a last minute happy hour, so Miss F and I enjoyed the first serving of it and C had leftovers the next night when I went out.  This dish was inspired by Yummy Healthy Easy.
Crockpot Pot Roast

6 to 8 new potatoes, quartered
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, cut into chunks
3 pound chuck roast
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf

Spray the liner of the crockpot with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, carrots and onions to the bottom of the crockpot. Coat the roast with the flour, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sear the roast on both sides, about 5 minutes a side. Place the roast over top of the vegetables. Deglaze the skillet with the red wine and cook for 2 minutes, until reduced by half. Stir in the broth, Worcestershire and basil; bring to a boil. Pour over the roast, cover and cook on low for 10 hours. Serve.
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tomatillo Pulled Pork Tacos

I love using the crockpot for shredded meats, it really is the easiest way ever to make tacos. Lately, I have been obsessed with tomatillos, they provide the perfect "tang" for TexMex dishes.  I used fresh tomatillos for this, but canned would work just as well if you aren't able to find them fresh.  To even further simplify things, you could easily use premade tomatillo salsa in place of the tomatillos, onion and jalapeno.  Miss F was a big fan of these tacos, especially since I served them in crunchy shells, which is a treat for her.
Tomatillo Pulled Pork Tacos

2 pound pork loin
6 tomatillos, husked and quartered
½ onion, chopped
½ jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
¾ cup chicken broth
½ lime
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Place the pork in the bottom of your crockpot. Layer the tomatillos, onions, jalapenos and garlic overtop of the pork. Pour the chicken broth into a 1 cup measure. Add the juice from half a lime, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the chicken broth; stir to combine. Pour the chicken broth over the pork in the crockpot. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Remove the pork from the crockpot and shred with two forks. Return the shredded pork to the crockpot and cook for 30 minutes more. Serve with warm tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, cheese and tomatoes.
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