Friday, April 27, 2007

Giant Stuffed Hamburger

Wanting to charcoal something different recalled this Better Homes & Gardens recipe from June 1972. One problem we had misplaced our grill basket. Thanks to the omnipresent Wal-Mart and eight dollars and sixty-nine cents were in business. (Had pleasant visit with Aunt Dorothea and Bob and Nancy in the book section at Wal-Mart.)

2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/4 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix crushed (3/4 c)
1 beaten egg
1 3 oz. can chopped mushrooms (1/2 c)
1/3 cup beef broth
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/4 cup snipped parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 lbs. ground beef
1 teaspoon salt

In saucepan melt butter, remove from heat. Add stuffing mix, egg, mushrooms. broth, onion, almonds, parsley, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside.

Combine beef and salt, divide meat in half. On sheets of waxed paper, pat each half to an 8" circle. (Rolling pin helps here)

Spoon stuffing over one circle of meat to within 1" of edge. Top with second circle of meat. Peel off top sheet of paper and seal edges. Invert meat patty onto a well-greased grill basket. Peel off remaining paper.

Grill over medium coals about 10-12 minutes on each side or until done.

Cut into wedges and serve with warm catsup.

6 servings.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chicken Fajita Chowder

Heather called to inform us that they had 6 inches of new snow last evening. Joan thinking warm prepared this soup. While its preparation took her a bit of time, this savory soup was well worth it. Served with cornbread.

3 T. all-purpose flour

1 4-oz. pkg. fajita or taco seasoning mix, divided

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

3 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 t. garlic, minced

15 1/4 oz. can sweet corn & diced peppers, drained

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

14 1/2 oz. can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

4 1/2 oz. can chopped green chiles

3 c. water

1 c. instant brown rice, uncooked

Optional: dried cilantro to taste
10 3/4 oz. can nacho cheese soup

Garnish: sour cream, shredded, Cheddar cheese, chopped, green onions, crushed tortilla chips

Combine flour and 2 tablespoons seasoning mix in a large plastic zipping bag; add chicken. Seal bag and shake to coat. Sauté chicken in oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until golden. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining seasoning mix and all ingredients except soup and garnish. Bring to a boil: reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add soup; stir until heated through. Garnish as desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Frittata with Vegetables

For Easter brunch Joan offered up a new dish that she found in a newspaper flyer ad for Sorrento Ricotta Cheese. Fresh Wegmans pre-sliced mushrooms provided a flavor boost and texture. This tasty frittata will certainly make a return appearance at the dining room table.

1 cup Sorrento Part Skim Ricotta Cheese

8 oz. Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese, sliced

12 large eggs

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup dry white wine

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 13” x 9” pan with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. In large flying pan, heat 2 Tbsp-.olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes until onions ore soft and slightly browned. Add zucchini, mushrooms and wine and sauté until zucchini is soft and wine has evaporated. Add soil and pepper. Whisk eggs, add ricotta and whisk together until smooth. Stir in vegetables. Pour frittata into pan. Top with sliced mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set. Serve immediately.

Michael’s Hash Brown Casserole

For our Easter brunch Joan served one of Michael’s favorite side dishes, Hash Brown Casserole. Usually Joan prepares this recipe the day before and bakes it off just before serving.

2 - 10 3/4 oz. cans condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted

1 C. (8 oz.) sour cream

1/2 tsp. reg. salt or garlic salt

1 pkg. (2 Ibs.) frozen hash brown potatoes

2 C. (8 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 C. Parmesan cheese (opt.)

Mix all together. Pour into a greased 13x9'' baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes or until tender. Can make ahead and just reheat.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Hollandaise Sauce

Joan created this tangy hollandaise sauce for our Pre-Easter dinner. While Joan drizzled it over asparagus, it would compliment other spring vegetables such as sugar snap peas or broccoli. While traditional hollandaise is high in calories and labor-intensive, this version is very tasty and ready in just five minutes.

1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in saucepan.

Cook on low heat 5 min. or until heated through, stirring constantly.

Serve over hot steamed fresh fresh spring veggies.

Makes 1 cup or 8 servings, 2 Tbsp. each.

Jazz it up: Serve sauce over vegetables as directed, then garnish with chopped fresh parsley or finely chopped red peppers.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Brian and Heather arrived on this Good Friday for the Easter holiday. Emily also joined us for dinner. Along with the traditional pierogi and kielbasa, Joan prepared macaroni and cheese. This classic dish is favorite of the boys.

2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
2 cups (18 oz) shredded American or Cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz elbow macaroni (about 1 3/4 cups), cooked 7 minutes and drained

1. In medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add margarine; stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in 1 3/4 cups cheese until melted. Add elbows. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

3. Bake uncovered in 375°F oven 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Bake Time: 25 minutes

Additional suggestion:
Baked Ham N’ Cheese Macaroni: In step 2, stir in 1 cup diced ham with elbows.