CONEY ISLAND TATERS

I’ve been making a recipe similar to this for years, but recently found a name for them on a package of ground beef from my grocer. It’s a cute name and really fits the recipe – it’s so country fair or carnival like! If you have left over Sloppy Joes they substitute well for the ground meat mixture also to make a quick weeknight meal.

CONEY ISLAND TATERS
1 pound ground beef (I use ground chuck)
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped small
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
2 large Russet potatoes (BAKED)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (to taste)
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup bacon pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Use non-stick if you have it, but if using cast iron oil it slightly before adding ground meat.
  • When pan is hot add ground beef and onion, sauteing 8-10 minutes all the while breaking meat into small crumble sized pieces.
  • Pour off excess grease. I actually pour it into a stainless steel colander over a paper towel lined paper plate so it can drain REALLY well. I can also use the spatula to break the meat apart even more into that small crumble.
  • Add BBQ sauce, mix well, cover and simmer on ow 10 minutes.
  • Starting lengthwise slice potatoes into quarters and theft each quarter ion half.
  • Arrange 4 pieces of potato on each plate.
  • Generously salt and pepper potatoes.
  • Top with a spoonful of beef mixture.
  • Top beef with shredded cheese, bacon pieces, green onions and sour cream to taste.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

MAPLE GLAZED DUCK , ROSEMARY FINGERLINGS & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD – a review

Because of the flu epidemic and my risk of infection still, I have been staying home and this week I ordered from both Hello Fresh and Home Chef for meals. I always make their recipes the way they are written the first time with the exception of allergy ingredients like the mustard in this one. I split the ingredients and did the mustard version for hubby and NOT for me since I’m deadly allergic.

All in all, this was a fantastic recipe! I’m not normally fond of rosemary and will try it with tarragon the next time. I will probably use a spring mix instead of arugula also. The arugula is just a bit bitter for my tastes and since I no longer have any “EMPTY” bites, I want to make them ALL count. If it’s out of season, I believe the blood orange can be substituted for ANY sweet citrus.

MAPLE GLAZED DUCK , ROSEMARY FINGERLINGS & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD serves 2
2 duck breasts, 6 ounces each, scored criss cross on the fat side
3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, washed and halved lengthwise
several sprigs FRESH rosemary, leaves picked from stems (discard stems)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 blood orange, zested (reserve), peeled and sliced crosswise into rounds
2 ounces arugula (a handful)
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Avocado oil

  • Place potatoes in a large pot covered in salted water by 1 inch.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Drain thoroughly. Return drained potatoes to pan. Set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, pat duck dry with paper towel.
  • Generously season duck with salt and pepper.
  • Place skin side down in skillet over medium heat, cooking 12-15 minutes until most fat has rendered and skin is crisp. (Lower heat if skin is beginning to burn)
  • Pour off and reserve the fat as it renders.
  • Roughly chop rosemary leaves until you have 1 tablespoon.
  • Return potatoes to medium high heat.
  • Add just enough of the rendered duck fat to the pan to coat the bottom.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of the rosemary, cooking and tossing until potatoes are crisped and browned.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant a few minutes more.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  • Combine the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of mustard, orange zest and remaining chopped rosemary in a small bowl.
  • When duck is crisped, flip the duck over.
  • Spoon maple syrup mixture over duck and cook until duck reaches desired doneness, 2-5 minutes.
  • Remove duck from pan and set aside to rest.
  • Pour remaining sauce from pan into a small bowl.
  • In a salad bowl toss together the arugula, orange rounds and drizzle with avocado oil and 1 teaspoon of the mustard.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir 1 teaspoon of the mustard into the reserved sauce from the pan along with any pan juices.
  • Slice duck crosswise.
  • Plate duck, potatoes and salad.
  • Drizzle sauce over duck.
  • Serve immediately.

SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE

This is a very altered recipe from the Southern Living Slow Cooker cookbook. I changed amounts, flavor profiles and we really think it was for the best. There was no garlic in the original recipe and they used cheddar cheese! So NOT Italian!

SLOW COOKER SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE makes 6-8 servings
1 pound ground chuck (for something spicier, use Hot Italian Sausage)
1 LARGE shallot, diced
15 ounce jar CLASSICO Four Cheese Tomato Cream Sauce
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup Wondra flour
12 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces**
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
avocado oil

  • In a large skillet over medium high heat a small amount of avocado oil.
  • Add ground chuck and diced shallot. When just about browned add garlic and saute’ a minute more.
  • Drain off all fat and return meat to pan.
  • Add CLASSICO sauce to meat and blend well.

 

  • In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter.
  • Add flour, whisking until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in evaporated milk until well blended and thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

  • Lightly spray the slow cooker with non stick spray.
  • Spoon half of meat mixture into slow cooker and spread evenly.
  • Top with half of the spaghetti pieces.
  • Spoon half of Parmesan cheese mixture over the spaghetti pieces and spread evenly.
  • Top with half of the Mozzarella cheese.
  • Repeat layers.

 

  • Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTE**: I can sometimes find “pot size” spaghetti which is just half size spaghetti so much less mess with breaking and they fit in the slow cooker perfectly.

SINFUL ULTIMATE MAC & CHEESE

SINFUL MAC & CHEESE adapted from Incredible Recipes from Heaven
MAC & CHEESE
1 pound macaroni
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
8 slices provolone cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Prepare pasta al dente per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large skillet melt the butter over medium high heat, and whisk in flour stirring occasionally until golden.
  • Reduce heat and whisk in the milk, mustard, cornstarch, evaporated milk and all seasonings, one at a time, stirring constantly until it reaches a boil, allow to simmer while still whisking occasionally until SLIGHTLY thick
  • Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Add macaroni and lightly toss until evenly coated
  • Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into greased baking dish.
  • Layering evenly with provolone cheese followed by an even layer of sour cream.
  • Pour remaining macaroni over sour cream then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

PANKO TOPPING
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/4 cup pwdered Parmesan cheese

  • In the skillet melt butter in avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Add breadcrumbs and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Cook until crumbs become a golden brown.
  • Sprinkle over top the mac & cheese
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • ENJOY!

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

ASIAGO SHRIMP RISOTTO

I found this recipe made for shrimp, but it is ALSO awesome with chicken.
ASIAGO SHRIMP RISOTTO adapted from What The Fork’s for Dinner?

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided 3 + 1 1/2
Juice of 1 lemon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound large shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined**
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup tarragon and flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

  • In an electric pressure cooker set on sear, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and garlic, sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
  • Add wine and cook until wine evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 3 cups of chicken stock and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
  • Secure lid.
  • Set pressure cooker on rice setting for 10 minutes.
  • Vent pressure, then remove lid.
  • Reset to sear setting and stir in shrimp with remaining 1½ cups broth, and cook until shrimp are opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.**
  • Stir in cheese and remaining 1 tablespoons butter.
  • Finish with herbs and serve immediately.

NOTE ** If using chicken use 1 pound cut into small bite sized pieces and adjust cooking time until chicken is cooked through.  I have also prepared chicken in a skillet getting a good sear on all sides before adding to risotto and then only stirring to coat well with sauce.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

TUNA NOODLE or CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE

TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 large can tuna, drained WELL (a combination of salmon and tuna works well also)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can evaporated milk
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked egg noodles or pasta of choice
1 can Le Seur peas, drained WELL (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1 cup crushed potato chips##
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together soup and milk until well blended.
  • Fold in tuna, onion, garlic, peas and cheese.
  • When well blended gently fold in noodles and pour into a prepared baking dish.
  • Top with crushed potato chips and bake 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

NOTE**Gram’s original recipe called for 1 cup velvet cubes, but I never touch the stuff so adapted it to real cheese

NOTE##Grams always used potato chips, but I also like to use a buttered bread crumb or cracker mixture.

 

CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (can substitute a LARGE can of chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked egg noodles or pasta of choice
1 can Le Seur peas, drained WELL
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1 cup crushed potato chips##
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together soup and milk until well blended.
  • Fold in tuna, onion, garlic, peas and cheese.
  • When well blended gently fold in noodles and pour into a prepared baking dish.
  • Top with crushed potato chips and bake 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

NOTE**Gram’s original recipe called for 1 cup velvet cubes, but I never touch the stuff so adapted it to real cheese

NOTE##Grams always used potato chips, but I also like to use a buttered bread crumb or cracker mixture.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.

BISCUIT TOPPED CHICKEN POT PIES

BISCUIT TOPPED CHICKEN POT PIES 6 servings
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1 large stalk celery, diced
2 + 1/2 cups flour
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cups spinach leaves
Fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large stock pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, carrots and celery, stirring until soft, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour, stirring to blend until flour is golden.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring until thick and creamy.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Stir in cream and milk until well blended.
  • Add in spinach and chicken pieces, cooking for 5 minutes more.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide mixture into 6-8 ramekins.
  • Arrange ramekins on baking sheet. (KEEP WARM)
  • I like to pour the contents out onto a plate for eating.

OPTIONAL: I sometimes add a can of Le Seur peas for color more than anything.

BISCUITS

1 1/2 cups finely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1 cup whole buttermilk

  • In a large bowl sift together 2 cups flour, 1 cup of the cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Using a pastry blender cut in the cutter until mixture is crumbly.
  • Add buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. (Dough will be sticky and that’s okay)
  • Drop by HEAPING spoonfuls onto silicone lined baking sheet.
  • Bake until edges are beginning brown.
  • Place one biscuit on top of each ramekin and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper.
  • Add to oven for 5-6 minutes until cheese is melted and pot pies heated through.

POTATO SOUFFLE

For company dinner these make a great impression served as individual dishes.  They also looked like you worked all day making them even though they are really simple!

POTATO SOUFFLES
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
8 ounce russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup creme fraiche
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
Generous amount of Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
2 eggs, separated
pinch cream of tartar

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Using a pastry brush coat the inside of 2 12 ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Parmesan in each.
  • In a pot of salted boiling water cook potato until fork tender.
  • Drain potatoes in colander and then return to empty pan to cook off any excess moisture for 30 seconds or so.
  • Using a ricer mash potatoes into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add unsalted butter and creme fraiche, mixing until well blended.
  • Stir in parsley, salt, pepper and egg yolks.
  • Beat egg whites until foamy
  • Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Add egg whites to potato mixture in 2 batches, combining JUST until there are no streaks.
  • Divide potato mixture between the ramekins.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until tops are puffed and golden.

 

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CHILI DOG CASSEROLE

CHILI DOG CASSEROLE
1 Jiffy Corn muffin mix
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package Ball Park ALL beef hot dogs
1 can chili with beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Prepare muffin mix batter per package instructions adding the garlic powder, chipotle chili powder and brown sugar to the batter.
  • Pour half the batter into the baking dish.
  • In a skillet over medium high heat, brown hot dogs on all sides.
  • Lay hot dogs on top of batter in a single layer.
  • Spread chili evenly over the hot dogs.
  • Sprinkle 3.4 of the onions over the chili.
  • Spread 3/4 cup of the cheese over the onions.
  • Spread remaining batter over cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions on top and serve.

CHILI MAC CASSEROLE

CHILI MAC CASSEROLE
3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I use cheddar or a jack and cheddar mix)
2 green onions, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Cook macaroni al dente per package directions. Drain.
  • While macaroni is cooking, brown beef and pork in large skillet along with shallots and garlic.
  • Drain off all fat in a colander.
  • Add tomatoes, chiles, black beans, tomato paste and seasonings to skillet and blend well.
  • Add meat back in, stirring to blend.
  • Add macaroni and gently stir to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  • Baked covered 30 minutes until bubbly.
  • Uncover and add cheese, baking another 5 minutes until cheese is completely melted.
  • Sprinkle with green onions for garnish.

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INSIDE OUT CHICKEN POT PIES

Most of you know that I ONLY cook from scratch.  I have to admit though that one of my favorite comfort meals from being a kid was SWANSON’S Chicken Pot Pie.  I have tried for years to duplicate that exact recipe from scratch.  Alas, I concede – scratch will have to wait! Here is the recipe I have come closest with. This particular sauce actually turns out more like a gravy and is perfect for this combo! Now I am trying a beef version tonight that will be scatch!

INSIDE OUT CHICKEN POT PIES
serves 4
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite sized pieces
1 small Vidalia onion, halved and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
3 tablespoons butter
4-6 ounces cream cheese, softened
salt and pepper to taste
1 box Pepperidge Farm Puffed Pastry defrosted per package directions
1 package KNORR Hollandaise Sauce prepared per package
1 egg white + 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in large skillet.
  • Add celery and onion, sauteeing until almost carmelized.
  • Add remaining butter to melt.
  • Add chicken pieces, salt and pepper to taste, sauteeing until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add cream cheese and blend well.
  • Add peas and carrots, stirring to coat.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cut pastry sheets in half.
  • Lay one half of each pastry sheet on cookie sheet.
  • Spoon a generous portion of the chicken mixture into the half of each sheet.
  • Fold the other half up and over, sealing the edges well.
  • Whisk together the egg white and melted butter and then brushing each pie with the mixture.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden and pastry is puffed.
  • Top each pie with a ladle full of sauce.
  • Enjoy.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

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SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

Last weekend we went to dinner with my uncle at Olive Garden.  Usually I love Olive Garden, but this meal was not so.  My husband and I both ordered their Carbonara with chicken and shrimp.  It was the blandest, most flavorless pasta I had ever eaten.  It really left me craving an authentic style Italian Carbonara so I decided to make some here at home that was more similar to one of my favorite Italian restaurants from our old town. I added a bit of chopped chicken scallopini for some extra protein.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

1/2 pound spaghetti
4 large slices pancetta, diced small (quality bacon works also)
1 egg + 2 yolks
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  • In a large pot, add the salt to the water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  • Reserve some cooking water and then drain it.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat.

  • Add bacon and sauté for around 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg and the yolks with pecorino cheese and a sprinkling of pepper.
  • Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet with the pancetta and toss for a minute or so over medium heat.
  • Transfer into the bowl with the eggs/pecorino mixture, stirring until the egg sauce thickens.
  • Add some cooking water if the sauce is too thick or more cheese if it’s too liquid.
  • Season with some fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkling of cheese.
  • Serve immediately in a warmed bowl.

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