CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN my version of CHICKEN DIANE

CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN
2 PLUMP skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced very thin
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 ounces sherry wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoon Better than Chicken Bouillon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
2 slices Havarti Cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat butter and avocado oil in a large skillet.
  • Season both sides of the chicken.
  • Brown chicken on both sides just until golden.
  • Transfer chicken to a small baking dish and place in oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms to skillet and saute’ until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  • Add shallots, and cook 2 minutes more.
  • Whisk together the sherry wine, chicken bouillon, mustard and cream.
  • Gradually stir into mushroom mixture and bring to a SLOW BOIL.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Just before bringing the chicken from the oven add the cheese and allow to melt.
  • Serve immediately.

 

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CARAMELIZED FRENCH ONION CHICKEN

This is a delectable Caramelized French Onion Chicken that is juicy, a one pan meal and makes super saucy caramelized onion gravy. Oh and did I mention cheesy? 3 kinds of cheese that also make it ooey and gooey!

CARAMELIZED FRENCH ONION CHICKEN adapted from Creme de la Crumb Serves 4

2 medium Vidalia onions, thinly sliced into rings
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons beef broth, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Fresh ground Himalayan sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning OR ¼ teaspoon dried basil + ¼ teaspoon dried thyme + ½ teaspoon dried oregano**
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 slices Provolone cheese, halved
2 slices Muenster cheese, halved
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Fresh flat leaf parsley and cracked black pepper for garnish (optional)

  • Preheat oven to bake at 400°.
  • In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter.
  • Add onions and 3 tablespoons beef broth sautéing onions for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally so the onions don’t burn, for about 15 minutes longer until browned and very tender.
  • Use tongs or a fork to transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  • While onions are cooking, prepare the chicken by drizzling with oil, then seasoning with the fresh ground Himalayan sea salt, fresh ground black pepper (to taste) and Italian herbs.
  • Once onions have finished cooking and are removed from the pan, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned on both sides (chicken may not be fully cooked through yet, that is okay). DO NOT clean out the pan between the onions and chicken.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate cover and keep warm.
  • Return the onions to the pan.
  • Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir for 1 minute over medium-high heat.
  • Add beef broth and continue to cook, stirring throughout, until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return chicken to pan and spoon some of the sauce over each piece of chicken.
  • Top chicken with one half slice of provolone each, then one half slice of Muenster, then ¼ of the parmesan cheese.
  • Transfer skillet to your preheated oven and cook for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through completely and cheeses are melted.
  • Spoon some of the onions and gravy over the top of the chicken, garnish with thyme or parsley and cracked black pepper, and serve immediately.

MAMA’S RETRO MEATLOAF UPDATED

Normally when I cook, it is 100% from scratch. Every now and then I do improvise though to make hubby happy.  He’d prefer hot dogs and mac and cheese regularly, but will settle for this improvised meatloaf.  This recipe holds together so well that it also makes one of his favorite sandwiches which is why I think he really likes it. I don’t know the originally ingredient list, but I’d bet money the recipe was originated by the Lipton Soup people. I’ve updated it for some additional flavor.
MAMA’S RETRO MEATLOAF

1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground pork
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cups Panko crumbs
1/3 cup Jalapeno ketchup
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups+ shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup regular ketchup

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Combine the sirloin, pork, soup mix, Jalapeño ketchup, eggs and panic crumbs until well blended. Be sure and sprinkle he soup mix all over so it does not get clumped in one area.
  • Place half the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9×5 loaf pan.
  • Layer cheese evenly on top of meat mixture.
  • Top with remaining meat mixture.
  • Spread regular ketchup on top of meat loaf.
  • Bake 45 minutes.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

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FISHY CHICKEN STIR FRY

FISHY CHICKEN STIR FRY

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup Wondra flour
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 large carrots, cleaned and sliced diagonally
2 large green onions, sliced thin
2 cups snap peas, cleaned and halved
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Amino Acids
1 tablespoon Fish sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Prepared rice, if desired

  • Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Toss chicken strips in flour, slat and pepper.
  • Brown chicken pieces on both sides until golden, remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Add carrots and cook stirring 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add onions and snap peas.
  • Add Bragg’s liquid aminos, fish sauce and white wine vinegar and cook several minutes until everything is well coated and thickens.

NOTE: We love this meal, but there is a key to making it without family members turning up their noses before it’s even served.  The key is to pre-mix the liquid aminos, fish sauce and white wine vinegar so the fish sauce fragrance isn’t as potent as it is added to the warm pan.

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TATCHOS

TATCHOS

1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground chuck
1/3 pound bacon, diced
3-4 cups tater tots
4 ounce can green chiles
1/4 + 1/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
4 green onions, 2 sliced, 2 minced
1 serrano chile, seeded, de-veined and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

  • In a large skillet fry bacon until browned and crumbly. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • Bake tater tots until completely crisp while you are making the meat.
  • Add pork and beef to bacon grease and brown until cooked through and crumbly.
  • Pour off excess grease from meats.
  • Add green chiles, 1/4 cup salsa, half of the green onions and taco seasoning, stirring to combine well and cooking for several minutes to blend flavors.
  • Drain meat well of excess grease.
  • Sprinkle meat over prepared tater tots.
  • Top evenly with grated cheese.
  • Bake 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Top with tomatoes, remaining green onions, serrano chiles, salsa and sour cream.

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SAUERBRATEN (GERMAN POT ROAST) & POTATO PANCAKES with HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

Years and years ago when people still went to brick and mortar book stores, I found this great old cookbook that had many great German recipes. All these years later I have donated the cookbook, but still have the recipes I fell in love with, Sauerbraten and Potato pancakes with homemade applesauce and sour cream. As time went on I made a few changes to enhance the recipes to our tastes, but all in all they are the same tried and true recipes.  THIS IS A RECIPE THAT TAKES 5 DAYS TO MAKE so plan ahead.

SAUERBRATEN
1 3-5 pound chuck roast
2 cups red wine (optional can be replaced by beef broth)
1 1⁄2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 LARGE shallot, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery (leaves included), thinly sliced*
1 bouquet garni (1 tbsp. pickling spices, 14 whole cloves, 8 whole black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Wonder flour
1/4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup golden raisins
6-10 gingersnaps, crumbled
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Kosher salt, to taste

  • Season beef liberally with salt.
  • Bring wine, vinegar, shallots, onions, celery, carrots, bouquet garni, beef broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  • Cool slightly and pour over beef. Cover and refrigerate, turning** once or twice a day, for 5 days.
  • NOTE: **A large tupperware marinader is a god send for this. You never have to touch the meat or make a mess turning it. SERIOUS NOTE:** After pouring the brine over the meat, allow it to cool for 30 minutes!  ESPECIALLY if using Tupperware products.  If you don’t the seal will more than likely leak and you might make a mess the first time you flip it (like I did the first time I made this).

  • Remove beef from marinade; pour marinade through a fine strainer into a bowl, and dry beef thoroughly. (Reserve 5 cups of the marinade and the bouquet garni.) You can also at this time based on your tastes replace a portion of the marinade with beef broth.  If I have used a BOLD red wine, I will often do this to soften the flavor and enhance the sourness of the vinegar.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter  in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add bacon and cook until bacon renders its fat, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.

  • Add beef; cook, turning, until browned all over, about 25 minutes.***  Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Add remaining onions to pot; cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 18 minutes.
  • Return beef to pot with reserved marinade and sachet; boil.
  • Cover; bake until beef is very tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours.
  • Transfer beef to a saran wrap lined cutting board.****
  • Wrap and roll beef in saran to a uniform size. Set aside.****
  • Pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  • Return pot to medium-high heat; add remaining butter.
  • Add flour and sugar, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce, raisins, gingersnaps and lemon juice, bringing to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. (***If you refrigerated your meat for slicing later in the earlier step, you can add the slices in at this point for reheating).
  • Slice beef; arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.

NOTE:*  I like to use the hearts.

FYI NOTE***: Browning will take longer because of the vinegar in the marinade. Also if you used the full amount of wine, your meat will appear quite dark.

NOTE****: This step gives you uniform size pieces.  You can also refrigerate the meat at this step and prepare gravy later.

POTATO PANCAKES
3+ cups peeled, grated and squeezed* potatoes
1 large bunch green onions, minced or 1 small Vidalia onion, minced
1/2 cup self rising flour
1 teaspoon fresh ground salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 LARGE egg, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Sift together the flour, salt and pepper.
  • Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and butter until smooth.
  • Whisk in the flour mixture until well blended.
  • Fold in the potatoes and onions.
  • Drop onto hot griddle and make your pancakes.
  • Serve with applesauce and sour cream or with the Sauerbraten gravy.

NOTE:*  I use a flour cloth towel as my base. I grate the potatoes on top of it and then bring all the corners together like a knapsack wrapping the potatoes inside. I continue to tighten the turns until I squeezed all the moisture from the potatoes.

HOMEMADE APPLE SAUCE
5 large Apples (I like Pink Lady, Honey Crisp or Braeburns)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 can peach nectar (Papaya or pineapple are good too)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

  • In a large sauce pan pour nectar over raisins and let sit while you prepare apples.
  • Wash, core, peel and chop apples.
  • Add water to sauce pan and stir in sugar until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and mix well.
  • Add apples and cook over medium heat until until apples are tender and mush easily.
  • Mush to desired consistency.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cool and chill.
  • Can be kept in refrigerator for a week though it never lasts that long around here. When my apples are at the height of the season and falling off the tree I make this in huge batches and put it up in canning jars for the following year.

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PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE & GARLIC GREEN BEANS

This was originally a Blue Apron recipe that hubby and I also dissected and rebuilt to out liking.  I should have taken a picture of my plate with the sauce over the chicken and polenta, it looked so pretty.  Hubby likes his sauce on the side.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with RUSTIC TOMATO SAUCE & GARLIC GREEN BEANS
Start the sauce first. While it’s cooking start the green beans. Then start the chicken.

SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 garlic glove, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tomatillo, diced
2 tablespoons golden vinegar
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Several hours before dinner toss the tomatoes, tomatillo and lime juice together. Let sit at room temperature.

 

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling, add garlic and tomatoes simmering until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Gently smash tomatoes.
  • Add vinegar, stirring to blend.
  • Season to taste.
  • Turn to low and cover.

VEGGIES
1/2 pound fresh green beans
1 small garlic, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons golden vinegar

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling add onions and green beans simmering until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes
  • Add vinegar, stirring to blend.
  • Season to taste.
  • Turn to low and cover.

CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or GHEE
Wondra
Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  • Bring skillet to a medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • When sizzling add chicken and sear 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through and golden.

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PAN SEARED BARRAMUNDI (AUSTRALIAN SEA BASS), GARLIC MASHED POTATOES & PAN ROASTED CORN

This was originally a Blue Apron Recipe and their version was pretty good, but hubby and I dissected it and made it even better! Hubby absolutely hated their tartar sauce, but that was a pretty easy fix.  Barramundi or Sea Bass itself has an almost sweet buttery flavor and a delicate flakiness that can be seriously enhanced with the right seasoning.

PAN SEARED BARRAMUNDI SEA BASS, GARLIC MASHED POTATOES & PAN ROASTED CORN FOR TWO

TARTAR SAUCE
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Dill relish or hot dog relish
1 tablespoon capers, slightly smashed
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pepper, season to taste

  • Mix all 6 ingredients together until well blended.
  • Chill several hours before serving.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into a large dice
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the potatoes and garlic.
  • Cook about 15 minutes until fork tender.
  • Drain in a colander.
  • Place butter in bottom of still warm pan.
  • Rice potatoes over the butter.
  • Add heavy cream and stir together until smooth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

PAN ROASTED CORN
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon GHEE*
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
2 ears of fresh Corn on the Cob
2 sprigs dill, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Cut the corn off the cobs.
  • Over medium high heat melt butter and GHEE.
  • Add onions, cooking a couple minutes until beginning to soften.
  • Add corn to pan and cook 4-5 minutes until sizzling and starting to brown.
  • Add apple cider vinegar and dill, stirring to mix.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

BARRAMUNDI
2 skin on Barramundi fillets of similar size
2 sprigs Dill, minced
1 tablespoon GHEE*
1 tablespoon butter
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
4 sprigs fresh Dill, minced
Lemon slices

  • Over medium high heat melt butter and GHEE.
  • Score the skin side of the fillets.
  • Pat dry and generously season both sides with salt, pepper and paprika.
  • Add fillets to sizzling butter skin side down.
  • Cook 4-5 minutes until skin begins to brown and crisp.
  • Flip fillets and cook another 3-4 minutes or until beginning to crisp and are cooked through.
  • Plate and sprinkle dill over fish fillets.
  • Serve with tartar sauce.

NOTE*: I like the extra flavor from a well made GHEE, but butter or olive oil could easily be substituted.

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MARRY ME CHICKEN with KAHLUA CANDIED MUSHROOMS

Here is a tasty reduced version of the original Marry Me Chicken. The salt, pepper, brown sugar and Kahlua flavors meld together to form a sweet nutty taste on the mushrooms that melts in your mouth.

MARRY ME CHAMPAGNE CHICKEN (reduced)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Pink Moscato champagne
  • Generously salt and pepper each breast.
  • Lightly dredge chicken breasts with flour.
  • In a large skillet, lightly brown chicken breasts to a nice golden brown in oil.
  • Once browned on both sides, add onions and champagne.
  • Cook over medium heat, champagne should boil a little, for approximately 1/2 hour. When chicken is tender, transfer chicken to a platter.
  • Pour cream into skillet. Simmer about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Serve.

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Mocha Kahlua

  • Melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Add mushroom slices and saute’ until mushrooms are softened and starting to brown well.
  • Add salt, pepper, brown sugar and Kahlua, sauteing until well coated.

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JUCY LUCY BURGERS

I LOVE Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and watch often for inspiration in my cooking.  Only better is Guy’s Grocery Games (fondly called TRIPLE G) which is where I first heard of the JUCY LUCY BURGER. The Jucy Lucy burger was invented in a south Minneapolis bar sometime in the 1950s, and depending on who you talk to, that was either the 5-8 Club, who serve the Juicy Lucy, or Matt’s Bar, who make the Jucy Lucy. Matt’s Bar lets customers know that “if it’s spelled correctly, you’re at the wrong place”.  The origins of the Juicy Lucy is still a hotly debated argument.  But, what is NOT up for debate is that it is absolutely, cheese dripping fantabulous.

The basic Juicy Lucy is cheese stuffed in a raw burger patty and then cooked.  That is truly a wonderful thing.  But, you shouldn’t stop there.  They are most fun if you customize the “stuffings” with cheese and other things you like.  Make it your own by adding sauces, minced mushrooms, avocado, aromatics, carmelized onions, peanut butter… I usually make extra “stuffing” when serving them bunless and serve the remainder over top of the cooked burger.

Here’s my version.

JUICY LUCY BURGERS – SERVES 4

BASIC BURGER
1.5 pounds ground chuck
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 hamburger buns (optional)


STUFFING
3/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup torn Havarti pieces
4 teaspoons Kings Hawaiian original BBQ sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake

  • Mix together the meat, egg, salt, garlic, and pepper.
  • Divide the mixture into eight even burger patties
  • Mix the cheeses, BBQ sauce and chili powder together.
  • Take 4 of the patties and place a fourth of the cheese mixture in the center of each patty.
  • Carefully place the remaining 4 patties on top of these.
  • Pinch the seams together around all edges of the burger.
  • Preheat a charcoal grill to 400f.
  • Grill the burgers for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the burgers and cook another 4 minutes or until the internal temp of the burgers is 165f.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes (to let the cheesy center to cool off) and serve on buns.

NOTE: You won’t need a lot of condiments…you already put them inside!

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HOMESTYLE S.O.S.

HOMESTYLE S.O.S. serves 4
1/2 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 teaspoon Worcesteshire sauce
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
Sliced white bread

  • Brown the ground chuck and pork in a skillet over medium heat. About half way through add the shallot and garlic.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, being careful not to burn it.
  • Slowly whisk in the flour to make a golden brown roux.
  • Add the Worcestshire sauce, seasoned salt and pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a SLOW boil. Let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes and then lower the heat, whisking periodically until the mixture gets thick.
  • Stir in the meat mixture and heat through.
  • Toast the white bread and put the slices on serving plates.
  • Ladle the SOS over the top of the toast.

NOTES: For a nice flavor change the beef and or pork can be changed out for your favorite sausage or even bacon.  I sometimes serve it over biscuits or english muffins also.  When using toast, I like to get the toast nice and brown so it is firm and crunchy.

MARRY ME CHAMPAGNE CHICKEN

I got this recipe from a friend when we were in Michigan in 2006.  Evidently, it was ALL the rage back there several years before, but I’d never heard of it before.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup Wondra flour for dredging
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons AVOCADO oil
2 1/2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup champagne**

Prepared Noodles

  • Generously salt and pepper each breast.
  • Lightly dredge chicken breasts with WONDRA flour
  • In a large skillet, lightly brown chicken breasts to a nice golden brown in oil.
  • Once browned on both sides, add onions, mushrooms and champagne.
  • Cook over medium heat, champagne should boil a little, for approximately 1/2 hour. When chicken is tender, transfer chicken to a platter.
  • Pour cream into skillet.
  • Simmer about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  • Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Serve.

NOTE** For a twist I will sometimes use a flavored Moscato instead of champagne.