CREAMY CHICKEN, STUFFING & GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE – SLOW COOKER

CREAMY CHICKEN, STUFFING & GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE – SLOW COOKER
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
6 ounce box STOVE TOP stuffing mix
10 ounce package frozen green beans

  • Spray the crock insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Generously season chicken pieces on all sides.
  • Lay chicken pieces (in a single layer if possible) in prepared crock.
  • Arrange stuffing mix in an even layer on top of chicken pieces.
  • Whisk together the chicken soup, chicken broth and sour cream together until combined.
  • Pour soup mixture over stuffing evenly.
  • Arrange green beans on top.
  • Cover and cook on low 3-3 1/2 hours. If using tenders check on it around 2 1/2 hours.

ITALIAN MEATBALLS in RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE

ITALIAN MEATBALLS in RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 SMALL onion, FINELY chopped
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In a large bowl mix together ground meats, seasonings, chopped onion and garlic until well blended.
  • Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear meatballs, turning often, until browned.
  • Transfer to paper towels to drain.

SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES & RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES
2-3 pounds FRESH Roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped rustic
1/4 cup chopped FRESH flat leaf Parsley
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH oregano
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH basil
Avocado oil
1 bulb garlic, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Cover large baking sheet with foil.
  • Arrange tomatoes, onions and garlic in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil.
  • Season well with herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 3 hours until tomatoes are shriveled and soft.
  • Cool completely.

RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE
Pureed Slow Roasted Tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

  • Puree tomato mixture before running through a food mill to remove seeds and large chunks.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add chicken broth and pureed tomatoes.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Whisk in heavy cream and simmer 5-10 minutes more.

BAKED RICOTTA DIP

Compliments of Martha over at Seaside Simplicity I bring you her Baked Ricotta Dip. I have found A LOT of uses for the leftovers also. And yes, with just two of us there ARE leftovers. 

The first time I used the leftovers as a thin layer in my Ravioli Lasagna between the first layer of ravioli and the meat sauce.  Next time I will make a batch in a large flat baking dish that can be easily transferred to a thin layer in the lasagna.

The second time I added some leftover Cara Mia Artichoke Bruschetta from Star and 8 ounces of tomato sauce. I then served it over some simple pan seared chicken breast for a complete meal.

BAKED RICOTTA DIP
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Pour into a 8″ greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning and bake about 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  • Serve with Crostini or sourdough chunks.
VARIATIONS
  • If you don’t like garlic, it can be completely omitted or decreased in amount and you’ll still have a delicious warm cheesy dip.
  • If you love a good strong garlic flavor like we do, mix an additional 4-6 cloves of minced garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil and pour over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking time.
  • For a slightly sweet version, omit garlic and Italian seasonings and add a tablespoon of a good QUALITY honey, with additional honey to drizzle on top, great for brunch!
CROSTINI
  • Cut French bread in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • Brush both sides with olive or avocado oil.
  • Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (optional).
  • Bake at 400° for 3 minutes, flip and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. 

NOTES:

I didn’t have any crostini, but did have some good sourdough bread that was beginning to stale so used that and it was great!

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

Pozole or Posole can be prepared in many ways, but all variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Hominy is produced from dried maize (corn) kernels.

Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base. The traditional spelling with the “z” is the Mexican spelling and the Americanized spelling is usually with the “s”.

The three main types of pozole are white, green and red. White pozole is the preparation without any additional green or red sauce. Green pozole adds a rich sauce based on green ingredients including tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños or pipits. Red pozole is made by adding a red sauce made from a combination of chiles like ancho, piquin or guajillos.

BRAISED PORK POSOLE + WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH ground sea salt
1 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 7-8 pieces
2 tablespoons avocado oil
8 cups chicken broth (I like homemade bone broth)
7-8 Chiles de Arbol, stemmed (seeded if you like)
1 large white onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 large can white hominy, chopped (you don’t have to chop this if you like the large pieces – we don’t though so I chop them smaller)
1-2 cans white shopeg corn

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the cumin, oregano and sea salt.
  • Rub pork with seasoning mix, pressing into the meat.
  • In a large dutch oven (cast iron if you have it), heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
  • Sear pork on all sides until browned.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth.
  • Cover and bake 2 hours.

 

  • Remove pork from broth and strain liquid, discarding solids and skimming fat from the top.
  • Shred pork with 2 forks.
  • Add chiles to the now empty pan and cook over medium heat until they puff up.
  • Transfer chiles to blender and add 2 cups of broth. Process until smooth.

 

  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Add pork, reserved cooking broth, pureed chiles, tomatoes, shoepeg corn, chopped hominy and remaining broth.
  • Simmer 45-60 minutes.
  • Garnish as desired.

GARNISHES:
chopped avocado
shredded cheese
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions
sour cream

WEEKNIGHT SHORT CUT

  • Substitute the pork for shredded rotisserie chicken. This step saves 2 1/2 hours!
  • Substitute the individual spices for a Taco Bell Pork Carnitas or Carne Asada seasoning package.

RED BLUE CHEESE DRESSING – antique recipe find

This is another of the antique recipes from the “anniversary” notebook hubby got me. I was beyond curious when I read a blue cheese recipe that called for “catsup” and had to try it!  I personally am not a fan of blue cheese, but hubby loves it and said this was a good variation.

RED BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
2 tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
2 tablespoons Avocado Oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 cup Cream Sherry
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 green onion, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sweet Paprika
8 ounces Stilton Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola works well also)

  • In a small food processor combine everything except the oil and cheese, pulsing until well blended.
  • Add cheese and pulse again until cheese resembles coarse sand..
  • Drizzle in oil to desired consistency.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

GRANNY SMITH APPLE BREAD

GRANNY SMITH APPLE BREAD
BREAD
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1 teaspoon sea salt
2 LARGE eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Tillamook old fashioned vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2/3 cup avocado oil
2 GRANNY SMITH apples
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In one bowl sift together the flour, apple pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl mix together the eggs and sugar, beating until fluffy.
  • Add yogurt and vanilla, beating to incorporate.
  • Gradually beat in the avocado oil, beating until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides until well mixed.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice one half of an apple into thin slices. Small dice the remaining apples.
  • Fold all but 1/2 cup of small diced apples into the batter.
  • Spread batter in loaf pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 15 minutes and then transfer to rack to cool completely.
  • Toss remaining 1/2 cup apple pieces with lemon juice. Drain off juice and reserve for glaze.

GLAZE
4 PACKED tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 teaspoons heavy cream

  • Heat brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar melts.
  • Add cream and salt.
  • Bring to a SLOW simmer.
  • Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
  • Fold in reserved apple pieces.
  • Drizzle over bread and serve immediately.
  • Store any remaining bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

For the life of me I cannot remember where I adapted this recipe from, but it is a serious home run! It’s actually more sugar than I can tolerate and hubby said it was good, but felt we could go without the fudge layer completely and that it would still be great. I had also added a thin layer of blackberry jam that I will omit next time.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

This recipe uses 1 batter 2 ways (vanilla and chocolate) swirled with a fudge ripple to create a simply delicious layer cake topped with a fudgy buttercream frosting. This was a scratch recipe that I’ve adapted to use weights trying for a more exact baking science.

VANILLA CAKE BATTER
3 cups all-purpose flour or 390 grams by weight
3 cups granulated sugar or 600 grams by weight
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 10 grams by weight
1 teaspoon salt or 5 grams by weight
1 cup butter or 225 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons or 10 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites or 245 grams by weight – about 6 LARGE egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 360 grams by weight, at room temperature
1/8 cup vegetable oil or 30 grams by weight

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  • Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  • Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour half of the batter (950 GRAMS) into a separate bowl and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER
1/3 cup or 35 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 50 grams by weight granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 2 grams by weight baking powder
1/4 teaspoon or 1 gram by weight salt
1/4 cup egg whites or 60 grams by weight (about 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup or 45 grams by weight buttermilk

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, 1/4 salt, and baking powder into the remaining batter.
  • Add the egg whites and buttermilk, mixing on a low speed until smooth.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SWIRL
1 cup or 150 grams by weight MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup or 55 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup or 60 grams by weight heavy cream, room temperature

  • Combine the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream into a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat in microwave for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Allow the mixture to cool 1 minute, then stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

CAKE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper AND grease with non-stick baking spray.
  • Alternate spoonfuls of vanilla cake batter with the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pans, filling them roughly one inch high with batter.
  • Randomly add small dollops about one inch in diameter of fudge swirl on top of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
  • Drag an offset spatula or butter knife through the batter in horizontal and vertical lines to create a marbled pattern.
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  • Level the cakes with a serrated knife as necessary once they’re fully cooled.

FUDGE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – if simply icing without fancy decoration halve this recipe.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or 325 grams by weight (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 1/2 cups or 685 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams by weight salt
1/4 cup or 30 grams by weight heavy cream
1 tablespoon or 15 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 40 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 90 grams by weight semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream.
  • Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time or if frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Mix in baking cocoa powder and the melted chocolate chips.
  • Place half of the buttercream into a separate bowl.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • Stack the cake layers on a grease proof cake round or large serving plate.
  • Spread a thin dab of buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place.
  • Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.
  • Spread an even layer of buttercream onto the cake layer with an offset spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Place the top cake layer upside down.
  • Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  • At this point you can get creative with your decorating or add a final layer of buttercream smoothing as you go.

NOTES

  • You can make the parts in advance and freeze them to make the process A LOT less tedious.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir it well to smooth the consistency.
  • You can add a marmalade or berry layer on top of each buttercream layer for a bit of an added oomph!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious! If you cut into the cake and have any leftovers, you can use remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

ALTERNATE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
8 ounces cream cheese – 1 brick, 226 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter – 1 stick, 113 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar – 455 grams by weight, sifted
3 tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt on low until combined.
  • Beat on high 3-4 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
  • Decorate as desired.

CREAMY RUSTIC TOMATO SOUP with GRILLED CHEESE ROLL-UPS

CREAMY RUSTIC TOMATO SOUP with GRILLED CHEESE ROLL-UP DIPPERS

ROASTED TOMATO MIX
2 large zuchinni peeled and slices
8 cups tomatoes (I used garden grown Roma, Cherry and Blue Indigo tomatoes)
1 bulb garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large bunch green onions, halved and roughly sliced diagonally

CREAMY RUSTIC TOMATO SOUP
3 cups chicken broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Basil
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Oregano
1/2-1 cup heavy cream

GRILLED CHEESE ROLL-UP DIPPERS
12 egg roll wrappers
12 Tillamook medium cheddar cheese snack sticks
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup avocado or canola oil

  • Start cheese stick on the corner of the egg roll wrapper and roll cheese stick twice.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and wrap 2 more times folding in the corners as necessary.
  • Brush remaining open edges with water and continue rolling until well sealed.
  • Heat butter and oil (1/2 inch deep) to 375˚.
  • Fry sticks a few at a time until golden brown all the way around.
  • Drain on paper towels.

HAM & CHEESE PULL APARTS

ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL START TO FINISH TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 4
WHY I’LL MAKE IT AGAIN: It’s the perfect tailgating food!

HAM & CHEESE PULL APARTS
4 sourdough rolls or 1 LARGE Italian or sourdough bread loaf
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 + 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese or Monterey Jack or Baby Swiss
1 1/2-2 cups SMALL diced country ham or bits of deli ham
2 green onions, minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil.
  • Place rolls foil.
  • Slice rolls in a cross hatch pattern. Be sure NOT to slice all the way through.
  • Drizzle the butter into all the crevices.
  • Stuff the crevices with 1 cup of the shredded cheese and minced ham pieces.
  • Top with minced green onions.
  • Wrap loosely with a large piece of foil on top.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is golden.

BUFFALO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

BUFFALO CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
2 cups shredded or pulled chicken pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 can ROTEL original tomatoes and green chiles, drained WELL
1 can green enchilada sauce, divided
1/2 cup Taco Bell MILD taco sauce
1 cup Frank’s ORIGINAL hot sauce
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
(8) 8 inch flour tortillas

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine cream cheese, half of cheddar cheese, 1/2 of the green enchilada sauce and Frank’s hot sauce until creamy.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and green onions, reserving a few green onions for garnish.
  • Fill tortillas and place seam side down tightly in a prepared baking dish.
  • Combine taco sauce and remaining green enchilada sauce in a small bowl.
  • Brush sauce over top of enchiladas evenly so that all tortillas are moist.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are cooked through.
  • Serve immediately with green onions, fresh diced tomatoes and sour cream as garnish.

LOADED CHIP CRUSTED CHICKEN with BACON and CHEESE

I found this recipe on FACEBOOK awhile back, but can’t remember who from. I’ve adapted it slightly.  This crispy chip crusted chicken is loaded with a creamy, spicy and cheesy stuffing that’s juicy AND crunchy.

ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL START TO FINISH TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 4
WHY I’LL MAKE IT AGAIN: I’ll make this recipe time and again because it was FULL of flavor, crunchy and juicy.  Not to mention, everybody raved about it.
NOTES: Original recipe called for using Kettle cooked salt & pepper chips with a whole chopped seeded Jalapeno in the cheese mixture.  Hubby and I tried the salt and pepper chips and HATED them so I had to rethink the recipe.

LOADED CHIP CRUSTED CHICKEN with BACON and CHEESE serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 8 ounce bag Kettle Cooked Jalapeno flavored Potato Chips
3 eggs, lightly beaten

STUFFING
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup medium Jack or cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1 tablespoon BBQ sweet rub (recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice each chicken breast almost all the way in half.
  • Open the slice and press each breast flat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, bacon, and sweet rub.
  • Spread 1/4 of the mixture onto each of the butterflied chicken breasts.
  • Fold the breasts over and press to smear the cream cheese mixture so it is evenly distributed within the chicken.
  • Using food processor pulse chips until they are broken down into crumbs.
  • Pour the crumbs out onto a shallow plate.
  • Add eggs to a shallow dish.
  • Dip the stuffed chicken breasts into the eggs, then into the chip crumbs, coating each side.
  • Once all of the chicken breasts are coated with the eggs and Kettle Chips, place them on your grill or onto a baking sheet and into the oven.
  • Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165°.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

SWEET RUB
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl.
  • Stir well to combine, using a fork to break up any clumps.
  • Store BBQ sweet rub in an airtight container. It will last 3-4 weeks.

LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & RICE

LEMON ARTICHOKE CHICKEN & RICE
4 LARGE boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 LARGE lemon, sliced thin
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 cups chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Oregano
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
14 ounces artichokes, drained and chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Season chicken breasts with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Heat butter and oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add lemon slices, cooking 2-3 minutes, turning frequently until browned.  Remove from pan.
  • Add chicken and quickly sear each side 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Add onion to skillet and saute 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Stir in rice, garlic and Oregano, blending well.
  • Add broth, lemon juice and generously season with FRESH ground salt and pepper, sauteing for 5 minutes over low heat.
  • Remove from heat and fold in artichokes.
  • Nestle chicken breasts in rice mixture.
  • Bake, covered, 35-40 minutes until rice is tender.
  • Remove from oven and let stand covered for 10 minutes before serving.

NOTES:  Chicken and rice can be made separately without baking time if you are in a hurry!