Cowboy Casserole

Here is a recipe that we’ve been testing for our hot lunch program. This is the kids version. I think I would throw in some chopped green chilis!I hope they like it!

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Cowboy Casserole

Serves 12

1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion, minced
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs flat leaf parsley
10¾ oz can of tomato soup
15 oz can of corn
3 Tbs dried mustard
32 oz package of tater tots
salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Brown ground beef with the onions – drain. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, parsley, tomato soup, corn, dried mustard and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a greased 9×13 baking dish, arrange tater tots in single layer. Cover with 2 cups of cheese. Pour ground beef mixture over top and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

This is a snack I made around the cocktail hour. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these. There are clean and ready to use. The Brown Beech mushroom, or Bunashimeji, and the White Beech mushroom, or Bunapi has a nutty, buttery flavor, and a firm, crunchy texture. The mushrooms grow in clusters and produce tender caps.
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Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

Makes about 2 cups

1 lb white and/or brown beech mushrooms
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with a rack set about 4 inches from the heat source. Put a baking sheet on the rack to heat up while you prep the mushrooms.

Use a knife to cut off just enough of the base to separate the mushrooms-you may need to use your hand to help separate them. Discard the bases and put the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms and season with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and pour the mushrooms onto the sheet. Use a spatula to gently spread out the mushrooms into a single layer. Roast until mostly golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes, using a spatula to turn the mushrooms occasionally so that they cook evenly.

Season the mushrooms liberally with salt and pile in a small bowl. Serve immediately as a snack.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

I just bought some new grill plates and tested them out with Margarita Shrimp. The nice thing is that you don’t have to marinate shrimp all day or overnight. It only takes a couple of hours and you’re go to go. While the shrimp marinates, you can be busy drinking margaritas. One of our family favorites is Eric’s Avocado Margarita. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but once you’ve had one there is no turning back!

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Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Serves 4-6

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 Tbs triple Sec
2 Tbs lime juice
zest of one lime

Combine all ingredients, except shrimp, in a medium mixing bowl. Add shrimp, cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Remove shrimp and discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Dill Pickle Dip

When my husband and I were dating 100 years ago and we would go to the supermarket, he would buy a jar of dill pickles and eat the entire jar in the car before we got home. He likes his dill pickles. His brother used to drink the juice, not sure if he still does this! Russell?! Anyway, this dip is divine!

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Dill Pickle Dip

1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs green onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dill
2 Tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
4-5 medium dill pickles, finely chopped

Combine all the ingredients and stir until smooth.

Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pita chips or vegetables.

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

This is what I made for dinner last night. Talk about comfort food! I remember growing up we used to eat a lot of scalloped potatoes. Brings back memories of my childhood. I’ll be making it again.

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Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

Serves 12

4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups milk
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled
3 cups cooked ham, diced
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, for sprinkling, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the butter and onions to a large skillet over medium heat and sauté until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and whisk them together. Continue cooking the onion/flour mixture until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and milk and whisk around, allowing the mixture to thicken; this will take 3 to 4 minutes. Add some pepper, stir the sauce, reduce the heat and keep warm.

Slice the potatoes really thin using a mandolin or a really sharp knife, the thinner the better. Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish, then add half the sliced potatoes and half the diced ham. Sprinkle on half the cheese then pour on half the sauce from the skillet. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients, ending with a layer of cheese and sauce. Sprinkle extra pepper on top.

Cover the dish with foil and bake it for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

I have to say, this is really delicious. It would be great to pack in your lunch. It’s very light and extremely healthy!
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Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

1 lb broccoli, finely chopped (5 cups)
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 3 minutes. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, and slivered almonds.

In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and adjust seasoning.

Note
Refrigerate salad in an airtight container up to two days.

Salmon with Roasted Grape Tomatoes & Shallots

Another super easy salmon recipe. This is actually from the Diabetic Living website.

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Salmon with Roasted Grape Tomatoes & Shallots

Serves 4

3 lbs salmon fillet(s), skinned if desired
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs fresh oregano or 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Lightly coat a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In the baking dish, combine tomatoes, shallots, garlic, oregano, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss to coat. Spread it on top and around the salmon.

Roast, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Note – Salmon can be covered and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Chicken Stuffed with Asparagus & Provolone

This is a great dinner party entrée to impress your guests. It’s super easy and you can make it ahead and put it in the refrigerator without the bread crumbs.

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Chicken Stuffed with Asparagus & Provolone

Seves 4

½ cup mayonnaise
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
16 thin spears of asparagus, trimmed
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 slices provolone cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, salt, and pepper until the mixture is well combined. Set aside.

Place a chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound the chicken breast with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts.

Place 1 slice of provolone on each chicken breast, and top the cheese with 4 asparagus spears per breast. Roll the chicken breasts around the asparagus and cheese, making a tidy package, and place, seam sides down, in the prepared baking dish. With a pastry brush, apply a coating of the mayonnaise mixture to each chicken breast, and sprinkle each with panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken to make a coating.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crumbs are browned and the chicken juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

Hasselback Potatoes UnPlugged

I love Hasselback Potatoes!  Hasselback potatoes cut in such a way as to resemble a fan or accordion when roasted. The name is derived from the restaurant where they were first introduced in the 1940s, Hasselbacken in Stockholm, Sweden which opened in that city in 1748 and where they are called hasselbackspotatis. The outside of the potato becomes crisp and brown while the inside is soft and creamy.  This version is sort of cheating because you cut the potatoes all the way through.

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Hasselback Potatoes UnPlugged

Serves 6 to 8

6 Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Brush bottom and sides of a baking dish or cast iron skillet with olive oil.

Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice potatoes crosswise into desired thickness. Arrange potato slices vertically and loosely in prepared dish or skillet.

Sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning on top of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot potatoes with butter. Cover skillet or dish with foil and bake in a 375 F oven for about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp.

Note
The thinner the slice, the crispier the potatoes get.

Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

I have a client that is on a very restricted diet, which means I have to make almost everything from scratch. All the canned enchilada sauces available have salt in them. I use no salt added tomatoes and tomato paste. It’s actually really easy to make your own and you can make it mild or spicy. Instead of making one big casserole, I made individual servings for the freezer.

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Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 6

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1½ Tbs onion, chopped
1½ Tbs cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 cups enchilada sauce, divided (see recipe below)
1½ cups (6 oz) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup sliced ripe olives

Preheat oven to 350°

Place the tortillas in the microwave for about 1 minute to soften.Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, cilantro, and jalapeño; sauté until onion is tender. Add chicken, diced tomatoes and 1 cup enchilada sauce; cook 5 minutes.

Spoon chicken mixture evenly down centers of tortillas. Roll up tortillas; place, seam sides down, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas, and top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until enchiladas are thoroughly heated and cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with tomato and olives.

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Makes 2 cups

2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs chili powder
2 cups water
3 oz tomato paste
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¾ tsp salt

Add the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder to a medium pot. Turn the heat on to medium and whisk the ingredients together. Continue to whisk as the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk and cook the mixture for one minute once it begins bubbling.

After one minute, whisk in the water, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer it will begin to thicken slightly then add the salt. The sauce is now ready to use.