INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

DUMPLINGS
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup FRESH finely chopped Parsley
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH chives
1 tablespoon baking powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together.
  • Stir in milk, butter, Parsley and chives JUST until the batter comes together.
  • Set aside.

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 carrots, sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 LARGE shallot, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 sprigs FRESH thyme, leaves only
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • Set insta-pot to saute’.
  • Add avocado oil and butter.
  • When butter is melted, add carrots, celery and shallots.
  • Season with salt and pepper, cooking 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in flour and thyme.
  • Add chicken, stirring to coat.
  • Stir in chicken broth and press cancel.
  • Place 12 scoops of batter evenly into pot.
  • Lock lid into place. Be sure the vent is in the sealed position.
  • Pressure cook for 3 minutes.
  • Turn steam valve into the venting position an allow steam to release naturally for 15 minutes.
  • Unlock lid and remove.
  • Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls.

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS
HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS

4 tablespoons QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons sake or dry white wine
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 5-6 ounce fish of choice fillets* (SEE NOTE)

  • In a small saucepan mix the honey, miso and water, whisking until smooth. Bring to a SLOW boil, simmering until dark golden.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, white wine, liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
  • Divide mixture in half.
  • Add half to ziploc bag along with fish fillets and marinade overnight.
  • Reserve other half for next day.

NEXT DAY

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Add reserved marinade to cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
  • Add fillets skin side up and brush with marinade.
  • Transfer cast ion to oven for 5-10 minutes until golden in color and fish is flaky.
  • Flip fillets and plate.
  • Spoon remaining sauce over fillets and serve immediately.

NOTE: COD, SALMON, HALIBUT OR SWORDFISH WORK BEST.

CAMP CARROTS
3 cups sliced carrots or baby carrots
1/4 pound crisp crumbled bacon
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • In a 2 quart saucepan add carrots and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a FULL boil, reduce to medium and cook 10 minutes until carrots are crisp tender.
  • Drain well.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and honey to pan, mixing well.
  • Add carrots and season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  • Add bacon pieces and serve immediately.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 12 of 2020

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

GOOD MORNING ladies.  I hope you are all feeling well and staying as stress free as possible during these crazy times.  Personally, I choose to remain positive and am surrounding myself with early spring cleaning projects around the house and lots of reading while I stay home.  Being immuno-compromised I worry, but REFUSE to panic worry and am just staying home and busy while I pray that others do the same and an answer is found to a vaccine and cure.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It snowed last night all around us, but not on the valley floor.  It’s gray and cloudy about 30.  We’re supposed to be in the low 50’s during the day and low 30’s at night this week.  In other words, normal Pacific Northwest pre-spring weather where you dress in multiple layers that you take on and off as the day goes on and the sun plays hide and seek with the clouds.  I have on Levi’s, a lightweight hoodie and UGG’s.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, black cherry yogurt and a banana

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… working on a deep clean, have a load of laundry to do, dust mopping and vacuuming also need done.  I did get a deep clean done on the stove and oven over the weekend.
  • YARD… Hubby is going to finish working on the new garden boxes on the days without rain.  He’s almost done with screwing in the 3rd rail on the fence. Spring bulbs have started coming up, but our lows at night are back down into the high 20’s and low 30’s so I hope they won’t freeze.
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… Every year I do a deep clean of the tops of the window molding door jambs, the fan blades and globes which are some of my least favorite chores.  I run the globes through the dishwasher and then trade them with the next one until they are all clean and sparkling.  It always amazes me how much dust can accumulate on door jambs and tops of windows.  There are also 2 “dust collector” large ledges in the living room that need everything taken down, dusted and put back up – just a lot of up and down on the ladder with furniture in the way.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… fortunately, there were no appointments scheduled so this week I’ll be staying in and working on some long procrastinated projects.
  • BLOG… I’ll also have some time this week to get caught up on long overdue recipes to write and photo editing.
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… I have a table to finish refinishing, a mixed media project that I hope to actually get to and if there is still time, a couple of small quilts that need borders.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED Getting caught up on the DVR, lots and lots of cooking shows and started a new Netflix series called Northern Rescue.

I’M READING The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
EVERYTHING BAGEL DUTCH BABY
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
C.O.R.D. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR DAY
SALAD & FRUIT
PASTRAMI SANDWICHES
TUNA SANDWICHES
DINNER
4 INGREDIENT CHICKEN & SALAD
NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF & SALAD
SOURDOUGH CHICKEN FRIED STEAK & COUNTRY GRAVY
C.O.R.N. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR NIGHT
INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS with SALAD
ROAST CHICKEN AND TART BLACK BEAN SALSA
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS with SALAD
DESSERT
CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
COWBOY BROWNIES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • HONEY MISO COD & CAMP CARROTS
  • BLACK BEAN, BEEF AND POTATO ENCHILADAS

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP This seems like a good time to share this:

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

SPAGHETTI SOUP

SPAGHETTI SOUP
1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
4 cups beef stock
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried basil
Parmesan cheese
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces

  • Brown sausage in cast iron skillet.
  • Drain grease.
  • Add sausage to stock pot.
  • Add stock, marinara sauce, water, garlic powder, pepper, salt and basil.
  • Cook, covered, on low 4-6 hours to allow flavors to blend together.
  • Stir in pasta; cook, covered until pasta is tender, 15-20 minutes longer.

PLUM SLAB PIE ala VALERIE BERTINELLI

PLUM SLAB PIE ala Valerie Bertinelli yield 12 servings

CRUST
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup cold water, plus more if needed
Cooking spray, for spraying the baking sheet
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  • Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor and mix until combined.
  • Add the butter and pulse until evenly combined and the size of small pebbles.
  • Pour in the vinegar and pulse 1 to 2 times until just combined.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour in the cold water, adding just enough for the dough to form a ball. You may not need the entire 1/3 cup of water.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a ball.
  • Cut off about a third of the ball so you have a small piece (about 10 ounces) and a larger piece (about 1 pound 6 ounces; see Cook’s Note).
  • Form both pieces of dough into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spray a baking sheet very lightly with cooking spray.
  • Dust a work surface lightly with flour.
  • Roll the larger disc of dough into a rectangle that is 2 inches larger on all sides than the baking sheet.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unfold it over the baking sheet, gently guiding the dough into the baking sheet and lightly pressing it into the corners, sides and bottom.
  • Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the pie.
  • Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the smaller disc of dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.
  • Place a ruler along the 12-inch side of the dough and make a mark with a pizza cutter every 1/2 inch. Turn the ruler along each mark and use it as a guide to cut a straight line, making twelve 1/2-inch strips that are 20 inches long.
  • Transfer the strips of dough to a baking sheet, laying them diagonally so they fit and dusting the strips with flour as you lay them down.
  • Refrigerate while you make the filling so the dough does not begin to stick together.

FILLING
6 pounds red plums, cut in 1/4-inch half-moon slices
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange zest plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 small navel orange)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a large bowl, mix together the plums, granulated sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, making sure the plums are evenly coated.
  • Let sit no more than 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLY

  • Evenly spread the filling over the crust on the baking sheet.
  • Lay one of the dough strips diagonally across the baking sheet from one corner to the other.
  • Repeat laying strips parallel to the first piece evenly across the rest of the pie. You can cut strips down to size as you work your way towards the end of the pie, making sure to leave a bit of overhang on both sides.
  • Take every other strip of dough and fold it back over itself so that it exposes a little more than half of the filling. Lay a long strip of dough in the opposite direction, going diagonally from one corner to the other. Fold the dough strips back down and you will begin to see a lattice form. Fold back every other strip of dough that you didn’t fold back before, and then lay another strip of dough diagonally across the pie, working towards a corner. Continue this process until half the pie has a lattice top. Then rotate the pan and repeat the same process on the other side to finish the lattice.
  • Fold the dough hanging over the sides of the pie up and over the edge, tucking the ends of the strips from the lattice top inside. This will ensure the strips of dough stay anchored to the edges of the pie.
  • Crimp the edges of the dough using your pointer fingers and thumb to pinch the dough together.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream and egg and brush evenly over the lattice top and edges of the pie.
  • Sprinkle the entire pie with turbinado sugar and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and bubbles form towards the middle of the pie, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, at least 40 minutes.

COOK’S NOTES

  • I have made this many times and it translates into other flavor profiles EXTREMELY well.  My personal favorite is peach, but I also love it made as cherry!
  • The weights for dividing the dough are approximations!  The weights are totally dependent on several factors – your climate (rain really affects the outcome) as well as how much water you add to the dough. The most important thing is to remember is to divide the dough so you have 1 piece that is twice the size as the other piece of dough.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

This Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite! Tender pan fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and cheese that is baked until golden and bubbly. It’ll look like you spent hours in the kitchen but this Parmesan chicken recipe comes together easily with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry!

Serve over spaghetti, egg noodles or even mashed potatoes for the perfect weeknight dinner. Chicken Parmesan is thought to be a variation of Eggplant Parmesan, a super traditional Italian recipe! Traditionally, chicken Parmesan is a fried breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese making for a deliciously filling dinner that is ready in under 30 minutes! Chicken Parmesan is often deep fried, but this version is breaded and pan fried and then topped with marinara and cheese.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Marinara

  • Pound the chicken to 1/2″ to ensure even cooking. If the chicken breasts are extra large, you can cut them in half before breading. I can often find thin sliced chicken steaks that are perfect from the get go.
  • Pat dry.
  • Set up dredging station with beaten eggs in one bowl, Wonder flour in another and bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture in the 3rd bowl.
  • Dip into the beaten eggs and then the Wonder flour.
  • Dip again into egg mixture and then the breading Parmesan mixture.
  • Press the breading onto the chicken to help it adhere.
  • Heat butter and oil in cast iron skillet until melted.
  • Brown the chicken breasts 2 minutes on each side.
  • Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish and top with marinara sauce, Provolone and Parmesan cheese. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE CHEESE! The gooey cheese is part of what really makes the best chicken Parmesan!

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES

Don’t you just love social media and the recipes floating around? 😀 I usually have to change them up a bit in method or ingredients to meet our likes, but the concepts are awesome.

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES serves 4-6
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins (8-10)
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 ounces mozzarella cheese (see notes)
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce

  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat in large skillet.
  • Sear chicken in butter 5-6 minutes or until chicken is well browned on all sides. Remove from skillet; cool slightly.
  • Cut mozzarella cheese into 8 pieces.
  • Cut small slits in side of each chicken tenderloin and insert piece of mozzarella cheese.
  • Unroll dough; separating into 8 triangles.
  • Place piece of chicken on wide end of triangle; roll dough around chicken, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining dough and chicken.
  • Brush crescents with remaining melted butter from skillet drippings.
  • Top each with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

NOTES: String cheese works GREAT if you cut the stick in half and then slice each half lengthwise.

BBQ PULLED PORK

BBQ PULLED PORK

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (whatever your favorite is)

  • Stir together the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Rub seasonings all over the pork and chill several hours or overnight.

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large dutch oven heat avocado oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown pork 3 minutes per side until seared well.
  • Add BBQ sauce.
  • Cover and roast 5 hours undisturbed.**
  • Shred pork with 2 forks and mix well with the sauce.

NOTE: This recipe can also be made in slow cooker 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 11 of 2020

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

GOOD MORNING Did you remember to reset your clocks?  I always do it on Saturday evening so I can’t forget. 😀  I hope you all had GREAT weeks and even better weekends.  For me, I’m just not ready to think about how close we’re getting to being in the 2nd week of the 3rd month already!!!!!  Fortunately I’m feeling much better and am going to try and get caught up on everything I didn’t get done last week, including my menu planning.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It’s that time of year that the weather is more deceptive than normal!  There are a few “pretty” afternoons, but the temperatures and clouds aren’t yet reliable and this week the lows are supposed to be in the high 20’s and low 30’s so even if the temperature rise into the 50’s during the day, it’s for all of an hour before the sun sets.  The time change will help though I’m sure.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, Peach and Apricot baby food

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… Laundry is caught up and bathrooms are clean.  I do need to dust mop and vacuum as well as empty the dishwasher.
  • YARD… rebuilding the garden boxes 🙁 the “new” boxes from last year just aren’t holding up.  Hubby is going to finish putting the “3rd rail” on last year’s fence as it has begun to warp despite all the pre-drilling and screws used instead on nails.
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… What would have been on this list for today HAD to be done when the refrigerator filter failed and left a huge puddle of water everywhere.  The manufacturer recommends changing the ice maker water filter every 6 months.  Needless to say this one went slightly over.  The ice had started coming out permanently crushed and when I did the research they attributed it the water filter needing changed.  I ordered new ones, but the day before they arrived the old filter refused to stay locked in place and puddled into the bottom of the deli tray and under all the produce drawers making a HUGE mess!
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… a couple of appointments, a few errands, some groceries and odd purchases.
  • BLOG… I want to get inspired to do some new things, but just haven’t been able to clear my plate of some ongoing projects or get the motivation 🙁
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTSstill pending is a mixed media project and a couple of small quilts.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched an old Svengoolie movie, Cry of the Werewolf,  a couple of dramas on Amazon, NASCAR Xfinity and the CUP series as well as some more old Cheers reruns from Netflix.

I’M READING Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart—wherever that may lead?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be—and learns to live boldly in her brave new world.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I didn’t get out last week after getting sick so didn’t even pick up the camera 🙁

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK With getting sick last week my whole menu plan went out the window so I’ll try again this week!  I’m even going to make some homemade pasta this week.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
??
ORANGE PANCAKES
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
??
SALAD & FRUIT
PIZZA
ANYONE’S GUESS 😀
DINNER
ARTICHOKE CREAM PASTA with HOMEMADE PASTA
BLACK COD, HERBED RICE PILAF & SALAD
BOLOGNESE RAVIOLI & SALAD
   C.O.R.N.    clean out refrigerator night
CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES and SALAD
BBQ SPARE RIBS and SALAD
  C.O.R.N.   CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR NIGHT
DESSERT
 

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • BBQ PULLED PORK
  • CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES

INSPIRATIONAL

and just for a little light-hearted fun:

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

JACK ALLEN’S MAMA’S CHICKEN

JACK ALLEN’S MAMA’S CHICKEN
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin or chopped
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Generously season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.
  • Roast chicken 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • While chicken is roasting, melt butter in large cast iron skillet.
  • Saute’ onions and garlic until translucent.
  • Add Dijon if using and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add wine, broth and heavy cream, blending well and cooking over medium high heat 10 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and thyme, cooking another 10 minutes.
  • Add cooked chicken pieces to sauce, turning to coat.

NOTE: I listed the Dijon as optional because I CANNOT tell you how it tastes with it due to my severe allergy. BUT, I can tell you this tastes awesome without it 😀

BACON GRUYERE QUICHE

BACON and HAM GRUYERE QUICHE slightly modified from Alex Guarnaschelli’s Quiche Lorraine

DOUGH
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus more for greasing the pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 LARGE egg yolks 
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
  • Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor to blend.
  • Pulse in the egg yolks and butter. DO NOT OVER MIX
  • Add the ice water through the top and pulse until the dough comes together and forms a loose ball.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Roll into a round, about 10 inches in diameter.
  • Press the dough gently into the bottom and up and about 1 inch over the sides of the prepared pie plate.
  • Pinch the dough up to create a crimped edge.
  • Place one sheet of parchment over the dough and fill with pie weights.
  • Bake until lightly brown, 16 to 18 minutes.
  • Remove the parchment paper and pie weights and let cool.

CUSTARD
1/4 to 1/2 pound slab bacon, trimmed and cut into “lardons” (1/4-inch-thick by 1-inch-long matchsticks)
1/2 cup SMALL diced ham chunks
1 shallot, sliced thin
cornstarch
4 LARGE eggs 
1 1/2 cups half-and-half 
1/2 cup whole milk 
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
3 dashes hot sauce 
Dash Worcestershire sauce 
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
2 cups grated Gruyere or baby Swiss
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Minced fresh chives, for garnish 

  • Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to drain on paper toweling.
  • Toss shallots in cornstarch as a dredge.
  • Quick fry the shallots in hot oil or butter, set aside to drain on paper toweling.
  • Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, milk, nutmeg, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the cheeses.
  • Place the pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Scatter three-quarters of the bacon, most of the shallots and all the ham chunks over the shell, then pour the custard over the top.
  • Bake until set and brown and bubbly on top, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with the remaining bacon, shallots and chives.
  • Slice and serve.

JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF (sort of)

A few years ago we met some friends at Jack Allen’s Kitchen restaurant for lunch. We’d never been there before, but were surprised by the menu and tasty dishes we ordered! Their claim to fame is Texas comfort food in a local fare farm to market restaurant setting. I was so impressed I actually bought the cookbook being sold at the front door as we left.

Every recipe I’ve made has been great. A few though, like this one, I’ve adapted to meet our likes and deal with food allergies! We love this adapted version

JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF (sort of) 😀

2 stalks celery, FINELY chopped
1 large red pepper, FINELY chopped
1/2 cup FINELY chopped onion
3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
2 LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Frank’s original hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup + 1 cup ketchup for topping

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • With clean hands mix everything together except the 1 cup of ketchup for the topping until uniformly mixed.
  • Form into loaf pan.
  • Spread with remaining ketchup.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes, until cooked through.