FRENCH ONION CHICKEN ~ BLOG 365.17

If you love French Onion Soup, you’ll go COMPLETELY bonkers over this recipe.

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN adapted from MARIA’S MIXING BOWL

2  LARGE shallots, halved and sliced
1/3 cup chopped dried chanterelle mushrooms
1/2 cup crisp white wine

3-4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 3/4 cups beef broth
4 thin chicken steaks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
4 slices deli-style provolone cheese
FRESH parsley, for garnish
French fried onions, for serving, optional
Mashed potatoes, for serving

  • Soak mushrooms in wine for 30 minutes to reconstitute.
  • Preheat oven on to 350°.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add shallots and stir, cooking 8-10 minutes until softened.
  • Add mushrooms and any remaining wine and stir, cooking 8-10 more minutes until caramelized.
  • Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan.
  • Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and FRESH thyme leaves.
  • Cook chicken in skillet for about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Move chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • Return onion and mushrooms to skillet and sprinkle with flour.
  • Stir and cook 1 minute before adding beef broth, whisking until thickened.
  • Add chicken back to skillet and spoon sauce over the chicken.
  • Top each breast with one slice of provolone. Spoon a bit of sauce over the cheese.
  • Move to oven and bake 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove from oven and spoon more of the sauce over the chicken.
  • Top with parsley and French fried onions.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes. 


BLUEBERRY ALMOND COFFEE CAKE ~ BLOG 365.13

BLUEBERRY ALMOND COFFEE CAKE adapted from SLOW ROASTED ITALIAN

Bursting with blueberries and the perfect balance of flavors with the crispy almonds. Make this easy coffee cake recipe for any occasion!

2 cups granulated sugar
3 LARGE eggs, room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE almond paste
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) FROZEN small WILD blueberries, thawed and drained WELL
1/2-1 cup sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Beat sugar and eggs for 5 minutes with a mixer on medium. The volume of mixture will increase by almost half and will be thickened and light in color.
  • Add butter and extracts, beating 2 more minutes.
  • Gradually add flour and beat until just combined.
  • FOLD in blueberries with a spatula.
  • Pour and smooth batter into prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle almonds on top.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool COMPLETELY before serving, or the cake will crack.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the cake.

NOTE: The cake freezes really well. Wrap individual pieces (so you can snack as desired) in plastic wrap and then place in a resealable freezer bag. Allow thawing for 10-15 minutes on the counter before eating.

MONKEY MEAT SANDWICH SPREAD

I found the original recipe on face book, but it’s a new favorite of hubbies (despite the yellow color). Monkey Meat… it’s not what you think! I love how she begins this recipe, “Before you run away, let me clarify – no monkeys were harmed in making this Monkey Meat. There are also no bananas… let me explain…” I had no idea where the name REALLY came from, but I adored it so I read on. The mixture itself reminds me of the UNDERWOOD deviled ham from when I was a kid.

She said it was an old family recipe, a sandwich spread made by her grandma when she was trying to feed 4 hungry kids on a tight budget. She would grind up bologna with her homemade pickles to save a bit of money and stretch her food budget. Her grandfather, a quirky science teacher was the one that coined the name, Monkey Meat. And while an odd name, the recipe is so worth a try! Her recipe used only mayo, but hubby can’t eat bologna without mustard so I adapted it to suit him, though the color is a bit off putting 😀

MONKEY MEAT SANDWICH SPREAD adapted from I WASH YOU DRY

1 pound piece of bologna, cut into cubes
5 to 6 QUALITY baby dill pickles, drained
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup mustard

  • In a food processor pulse the bologna several times until it becomes very finely chopped, place in a large bowl.
  • Wipe out the food processor and add the dill pickles, pulse a few times until very finely chopped.
  • Toss the dill pickles with the bologna.
  • Stir in the may and mustard mixture.
  • Keep chilled.
  • Spread on crackers or your bread for a delicious sandwich!

STRAWBERRY COBBLER BARS – SQUARES

STRAWBERRY COBBLER BARS – SQUARES 18-20 pieces adapted from REE

FILLING
3 cups chopped FRESH strawberries
1/4 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 SMALL lime, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon Malibu rum

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Add the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, rum, lime zest and lime juice to a mixing bowl.
  • Toss to combine and set aside.

CRUST & CRUMBLE
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) salted butter, cubed and chilled, plus more for the pan
1 cup PACKED brown sugar 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 cup heavy cream 
1/2 cup FINELY chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar 

  • In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, brown sugar and baking powder.
  • Pulse until a loose crumb forms; continue to pulse as you add the cream.
  • Grease a 9-X13 baking dish with butter.
  • Spread two-thirds of the flour mixture onto the prepared pan and press flat.
  • Top with the strawberry mixture, spreading it into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture by dollops, followed by the turbinado sugar.
  • Bake the bars until the top is golden and the strawberry layer is thick and bubbling, 28 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool before icing.

ICING
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar and lime juice until smooth.
  • Cut the cobbler into small squares and drizzle with the icing.
  • Add to a platter and serve.

NOTE: Other flavor do work like cherries, peaches, blueberries and even raisins elieve it or not, but strawberry is the best we’ve tried. If using blueberries be sure to use the small WILD ones. If trying the raisins, substitute 1/2 cup of the fruit for figs and/or chopped walnuts.

AMISH COUNTRY CASSEROLE

The beauty of casseroles is that the sky’s the limit. You CAN make them up as you go! Whether you are trying to clean out the refrigerator or recreate your grandmother’s budget leftover dinner at the end of the week this is a category of recipes that has no end.

With fall approaching we are entering the CASSEROLE phase of the year. This Amish Country Casserole I adapted from LOU LOU GIRLS is ALL about the comfort!! It can easily be made ahead of time and tastes wonderful whether you bake it and serve it now or freeze it and bake it later!

AMISH COUNTRY CASSEROLE
1 (12 oz.) bag medium bow tie noodles or pasta shape of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1 can CAMPBELL’S condensed tomato soup
1 can CAMPBELL’s cream of ANYTHING soup (your choice, though I like either mushroom or celery)
1 cup WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 cup sweet Vidalia onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or cheese flavor of choice (I often use Jack)

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well.
  • In a large skillet melt butter, add onions and cook a couple minutes before adding beef, cooking crumbly.
  • Drain off grease.
  • In a large bowl stir together tomato soup, cream of anything soup, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
  • Fold in pasta and ground beef mixture.
  • Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.
  • Then top with grated cheese and serve with a salad.

HARISSA CARROTS & ONIONS

HARISSA CARROTS & ONIONS adapted from Molly Yeh

2 pounds medium rainbow carrots, halved lengthwise
2 LARGE shallots, cut lengthwise into wedges
1/4 cup avocado oil for drizzling 
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 +/- tablespoon Harissa paste (recipe below)
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
Zest of 1 LARGE lemon 

  • Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. (see notes)
  • Put the carrots and onions in a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil.
  • Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
  • Place the carrots on the grill and cook, flipping halfway through, until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, combine the avocado oil, harissa paste, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • When the carrots are almost cooked, brush with the harissa glaze.
  • Remove from the grill and transfer to a serving plate, then drizzle with additional harissa glaze.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • You can alternatively roast the carrots in the oven by preheating the oven to 425° and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Once the carrots and onions are salted, spread on a sheet pan and roast, tossing occasionally, until a fork pokes easily into the thickest part of the carrot; begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes for skinny carrots but for big thick carrots it could take up to 45 minutes.
  • Brush the carrots with the harissa glaze during the last 10 minutes of cooking. You can then continue to the next step in the same manner as in the grilling recipe.
  • If using the oven you can also slice the carrots.

HARRISA PASTE
Use this North African spice blend to add heat to dressings, sauces, soups, and more!

1 tablespoon +/- Harissa spice blend, depending on desired spiciness
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon QUALITY tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk spice blend into lemon juice and vinegar until you’ve achieved a paste.
  • Whisk in the tomato paste.
  • Stir in garlic.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice or vinegar for acidity, paprika for smokiness, tomato paste for depth of flavor, or salt to taste.
  • Add paste to a jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. 


CRUSTED STUFFED CHICKEN

CRUSTED STUFFED CHICKEN adapted from HEY GRILL HEY

Crusted Chicken is stuffed with a ooey, gooey, creamy and cheesy filling of chiles and bacon with a BIG crunch on the outside. This recipe as written was for the grill, but I’ve adapted it slightly for stove top or oven. I also changed the jalapeños to green chiles for the wimps in my family. You can also use flavored cream cheese if you want to change up the flavor a bit. The type of chip you use also adds or changes the flavor accordingly. I sometimes use Fritos or Doritos.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 8.5 oz bag of your favorite chips – I use Kettle salt and vinegar or Lays wavy sour cream flavored chips
1/3 cup WONDRA flour
3 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten

STUFFING
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup medium cheddar cheese
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained WELL
1/2 cup crumbled bacon (about 8 pieces)
1 tablespoon Homemade Sweet Rub (recipe below)
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil
2-3 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper if baking.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice each chicken breast almost all the way in half creating a pocket.
  • Open the slice and press each breast flat.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green chiles, bacon, and homemade sweet rub.
  • Spread 1/4 of the mixture onto each of the butterflied chicken breasts.
  • Fold the breasts over and press the cream cheese mixture so it is evenly distributed within the chicken.
  • Mash the chips into crumbs with a food processor or blender and pulse until the chips are broken down into fine crumbs.
  • Make a dredging station by pouring the crumbs into a shallow dish.
  • In another dish add the flour and season with a little paprika.
  • Break the eggs into a third shallow dish and beat lightly with a fork.
  • Dredge the stuffed chicken breasts into the flour first, shaking off the excess.
  • Then dip into the eggs followed by the chip crumbs, coating each side well.
  • Heat avocado oil and butter in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Gently add chicken breasts to hot oil searing each side 5-6 minutes or until cooked through depending on breast thickness OR place on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy

SWEET RUB
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons FRESH ground Himalayan sea salt
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons QUALITY 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 in an airtight container.
  • This will last in your cupboard for up to a month
.

COPY CAT MOZZARELLA HERB CHICKEN

COPY CAT MOZZARELLA HERB CHICKEN
2 large boneless, skinless chicken steaks
Juice and zest of 1 LARGE lemon
2 LARGE carrots, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon melted
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon + 1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon chicken base

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Stir together the panko crumbs, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon melted butter, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Toss carrots with the avocado oil, FRESH ground salt and black pepper and the pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Arrange carrots on one side of baking sheet in single layer.
  • Roast carrots for 5 minutes.
  • Pat chicken dry and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Spread sour cream on each chicken steak.
  • Mound panko mixture on top of each breast, pressing firmly so that it adheres.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully arrange chicken steaks on the other side.
  • Return baking sheet to pan and roast 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender.
  • Whisk together melted butter and lemon juice.
  • Plate chicken and carrots.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice mixture and sprinkle with lemon zest.
  • Serve with pasta or rice pilaf.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON, CHERRIES & APRICOTS

BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON, CHERRIES & APRICOTS
4 slices bacon, diced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
1 LARGE shallot, FINELY chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 pinch of salt, to taste
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence seasoning
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cherries, chopped

  • In a large skillet over medium to high heat cook bacon until JUST crisp.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down and saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shallots, brown sugar, Herbs de Provence and a pinch of salt. Saute 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add apricots and saute 1-2 minutes longer.
  • Add cherries and mix well.
  • Sprinkle with bacon before serving.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Full of flavor.
TEXTURE: Crunchy, yet soft and chewy – very satisfying.
EASE: Easy to Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great for a company meal.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

COPY CAT BROWN SUGAR BOURBON PORK CHOPS with BRUSSELS SPROUTS & APPLE PAN SAUCE

BROWN SUGAR BOURBON PORK CHOPS with BRUSSELS SPROUTS & APPLE PAN SAUCE
2 boneless pork steaks
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
2 CRISP apples, cored, peeled & diced
3 LARGE green onions, sliced thin and divided
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon better than bouillon chicken base
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock

  • Pat pork steaks dry.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear pork steaks 4-6 minutes per side in hot oil.
  • Transfer pork steaks to platter and keep warm.
  • Wipe out pan and add butter.
  • Add Brussels sprouts cut side down. Sear Brussels sprouts until JUST crisp on the edges.
  • Add apple and whites of green onions, cooking 2 minutes until apple are starting to soften.
  • Whisk together the chicken base, chicken stock, brown sugar and bourbon. Add to pan, cooking 5-7 minutes until sauce has thickened and apple is tender.
  • Return pork steaks to pan, turning to coat in sauce.
  • Plate pork steaks and arrange Brussels sprouts and apples over steaks.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with green onion tops.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Sweet & Savory
TEXTURE: Crispy edge Brussels sprouts and tender sweet apples compliment the flavorful pork.
EASE: Easy to Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

COPY CAT PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE

PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 boneless pork steaks
1 SMALL red onion, halved and THINLY sliced
1 LARGE clove garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 pound red cabbage, cored and THINLY sliced
2 LARGE apples, 1 cored & sliced the other cored and grated
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup hot water
1 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon beef base
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 green onions, minced and separated

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Pat pork steaks dry.
  • Whisk together the FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper until well blended.
  • Generously season pork steaks on both sides with the seasoning mix.
  • Add the pork steaks to the skillet searing 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer pork steaks to platter and keep warm.
  • Add the remaining butter to the skillet.
  • Add the onions and cabbage to the pan, 3-4 minutes until slightly softened and beginning to caramelize.
  • Whisk together the beef base, warm water and vinegar.
  • Add vinegar mixture to pan, stirring to blend.
  • Add apple pieces topped with the pork steaks, cover and simmer 5-6 minutes to soften apple and reheat pork steaks. MOST of the liquid should cook off, but DO NOT BURN.
  • Slice pork and serve over cabbage mix.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Sweet & Tangy
TEXTURE: Tender caramelized cabbage, onions and apples topped with fork tender pork tenderloin. 
EASE: Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER

I LOVE clam chowder, but honestly, it does get a bit boring. Growing up in California it was almost always served in a bread bowl or at the very least with some crusty sourdough bread, which was always tasty, but once again it was never changing so could get boring!

When I found this recipe in my TASTE OF HOME magazine I was elated for a new take on it and it sounded absolutely delicious. I have made several changes to make it to our liking and reduced its size as they had it serving 10! Plus they used the pressure cooker and I just didn’t find it necessary as long as you time preparing the potatoes while you are preparing the rest of the chowder.

SONORAN CLAM CHOWDER
4 slices peppered bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 LARGE shallot, diced
1 SMALL stalk celery, SMALL diced
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
2 ounces chopped green chiles, drained
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
2 cans (6 1/2 ounce) chopped clams, drained, juice reserved
3/4 pound YUKON gold potatoes, diced
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons KINDERS taco seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

  • In a large sauce pan bring salted water to a boil.
  • Add potatoes, boiling until potatoes are JUST tender.
  • Drain.
  • In a stockpot melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat.
  • Add bacon, rendering until crisp. Remove to paper toweling to drain with a slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining butter to pan.
  • Add celery and shallots, sautéing 3-5 minutes until soft.
  • Add flour, mixing well.
  • Add red pepper and chiles, cooking 3-5 minutes until peppers are tender.
  • Add garlic, cooking 1 minute longer until fragrant.
  • Add clam juice and chicken stock.
  • Stir in taco seasoning, cream, clams and half of the chopped cilantro, simmering 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until heated through and chowder has reached the desired consistency.
  • Serve topped with garnishes of choice such as bacon, chopped avocado, shredded cheese and cilantro…