PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN

PARMESAN HERB MUSHROOM CHICKEN adapted from Cafe Delites

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons butter
6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs*
PINCH of garlic powder, to taste
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Generously season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add butter. When melted sear chicken thighs 2-3 minutes on each side (skin side down last) until golden and crispy.
  • Transfer chicken pan to the oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.

SAUCE
2 green onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (I like to substitute beech mushrooms for a nuttier flavor)
1 tablespoon FRESH minced basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped Flat Leaf Parsely
1½ cups Half and Half
2 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese , divided
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 KNORR chicken bullion cube, crushed
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with
2 tablespoons Half and Half
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley for garnish

  • Drain all but 2 tablespoons of some of the excess fat from the skillet.
  • Return skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic a minute or so in the pan juices until fragrant.
  • Add the mushrooms, herbs and 2 teaspoons of parsley, sautéing until mushrooms begin to soften.
  • Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the half and half and bring to a SLOW simmer, stirring occasionally, and being careful NOT to boil.
  • Add in the bullion cube powder and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  • 
Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons half and half.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to the center of the pan, and continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese; allow sauce to simmer for another minute until cheese melts through the sauce.
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes in the cream sauce.
  • Taste test and adjust seasoning, if desired.
  • Fold in spinach leaves, stirring to coat and cooking JUST until they wilt.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.


NOTES – To substitute chicken breasts for the thighs there is no need to bake them. After adding the breasts back into the pan, continue simmering in the sauce until completely cooked through.

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE serves 6-8 adapted from Alli Kelley from Longourn Farms

SALAD
4 cups baby spinach or favorite lettuce mix
4 cups coleslaw mix
+/- 1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 large peach, peeled and sliced
Peach vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)

  • Toss together the spinach and coleslaw in a large salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle in the raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss together.
  • Drizzle dressing over, tossing periodically until desired amount is reached.

PEACH VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup diced peaches (with skin removed)
2 tablespoons celery seeds

  • Blend all the ingredients except the celery seeds in a food processor until smooth.
  • Stir in celery seeds.

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SALAD
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and spun
2 cups torn romaine hearts, washed and spun
1 quart strawberries, hulled and large chopped
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts

DRESSING
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk together the vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour half of the vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute.
  • Add onion, toss to combine and let sit 30 minutes.

 

  • While onions marinade, toast the poppy seeds in a non-stick skillet until fragrant and darkened.

 

  • Whisk oil into remaining vinegar mixture.
  • Add FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste.

 

  • In a large salad bowl combine spinach leaves, romaine pieces, strawberry pieces and candied walnuts.
  • Remove onion from vinegar mixture and add to salad bowl, gently tossing to disperse.
  • Whisk onion marinade back into the vinegar mixture.
  • Drizzle over salad,
  • Plate salad and top with more walnuts if desired.
  • Enjoy!

SLOW COOKED SWEDISH MEATBALLS

I found this recipe in Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers: Easy, Family-Friendly Recipes from Scratch By Samantha Skaggs

I love that they start by saying “If you’ve ever visited a certain, large, Swedish, rat-maze-like furniture store”…. Gee I wonder if they mean IKEA LOL 😀 I did adapt it slightly, but the final product is REALLY similar and VERY tasty!

SLOW COOKER SWEDISH MEATBALLS
MEATBALLS
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup FRESH sourdough bread crumbs
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
FRESH ground pepper, to taste

  • Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, seasonings, salt and pepper.
  • Form ping pong sized meatballs, about 24 of them.
  • Arrange meatballs in a couple layers in large slow cooker.

GRAVY
3 cups beef consommé
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon House Seasoning
1/3 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the consomme’, flour, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and house seasoning.
  • Pour this over the meatballs evenly.
  • Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours until meatballs are cooked through, but still tender.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove meatballs to serving platter.
  • Skin any fat from the gravy.
  • Add sour cream to a small bowl.
  • Add a couple spoonfuls of gravy to the sour cream and whisk together. This will temper the sour cream and prevent curdling. Add a few more spoonfuls and keep mixing until completely tempered,
  • Add sour cream mixture into gravy, whisking to combine.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Add meatballs back into slow cooker and cook 30 minutes more.
  • Serve over prepared egg noodles with lingonberry jam.

Prepared egg noodles
Lingonberry jam

HOUSE SEASONING
1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder

PECAN CHICKEN with MAPLE CREAM GRAVY

PECAN CHICKEN with MAPLE CREAM GRAVY

CHICKEN
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 2 pounds chicken tenders
1 cup buttermilk
Avocado oil or your favorite for frying or just plain old crisco
3/4 cup FINELY chopped or crushed pecan pieces
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons FRESH ground Himalayan pink salt
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste

  • Place chicken in large ziplock bag with buttermilk.
  • Chill for 8 hours.

 

  • Pour oil to a 1 inch depth in your favorite deep skillet, preferably cast iron.
  • Mix together the pecans, flour, salt and pepper.
  • Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade.
  • Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
  • Fry chicken 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  • Drain on wire rack.
    Keep warm.

MAPLE CREAM SAUCE
4 slices thick bacon, diced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup PURE and QUALITY maple syrup
1/4 cup whole grain mustard (optional)
1/3 cup bourbon
2 cups heavy cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Cook bacon until crisp.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove bacon to paper toweling to drain.
  • Add shallots to bacon grease and sauce 2 minutes or so until tender.
  • Add flour, stirring constantly until golden.
  • Add syrup, bourbon and mustard if using. Stir constantly until thickens.
  • Add cream, stirring constantly 5-7 minutes until desired consistency.
  • Fold in bacon.
  • Plate chicken
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.
  • Ladle sauce over chicken and potatoes.

SWEDISH MEATLOAVES with MASHED POTATOES, ROASTED CARROTS & LINGONBERRY JAM with HOUSE SEASONING

Meatloaf is really just an oversized meatball. So, why not make it a personal size so you can get more finished edges covered in delicious gravy?

Swedish Meat Loaves are spicy beef meatloaves smothered in a rich tasty gravy served over mashed potatoes with roasted carrots with Lingonberry jam on the side—in other words, Thanksgiving for the rest of the year.

SWEDISH MEATLOAVES with MASHED POTATOES, ROASTED CARROTS & LINGONBERRY JAM

2 Carrots, peeled and sliced into thick coins
3/4 pound Yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
several sprigs Parsley, finely chopped
1 slice white bread
3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup milk
2/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup beef consomme
2 tablespoon Lingonberry Jam
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground salt and pepper, taste

  • PREHEAT oven to 425° and adjust rack to upper position.
  • Toss carrots on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  • Add potatoes to a medium pot with a large pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to empty pot off heat.
  • Place bread and 3 tablespoons milk in a medium bowl. Break up bread with your hands until pasty.
  • Add in beef, 2 tablespoons minced onion, half the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and salt to taste. Mix by hand gently until thoroughly mixed.
  • Shape mixture into two 1-inch-tall loaves.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add meatloaves and cook until browned on surface but not yet cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Once carrots have roasted about 15 minutes, remove sheet from oven and give carrots a toss. Add meatloaves to same sheet and place back in oven.
  • Bake until meatloaves are cooked through and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes more.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan you browned the meatloaves in over medium heat.
  • Add remaining minced onion. Cook, sauteing, until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour and cook, stirring, until pasty, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk in beef stock and 1/4 cup milk.
  • Bring to a simmer, then whisk until thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
  • Add more water if too thick.
  • Place pot with potatoes over low heat.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon butter mashing until smooth. Add more milk if too stiff.
    Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Plate potatoes and meatloaves.
  • Drizzle with gravy.
  • Add carrots and jam to the side.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley.

HOUSE SEASONING MIX

1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon FRESH ground black pepper

  • Combine in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Store in an air tight container.

BACON GREEN ONION DIP

Another awesome Facebook/internet find recipe. Just a couple changes to make is “US” friendly and we really enjoyed it on yesterday’s race day!! It will become a football friendly dip too 😀

BACON GREEN ONION DIP Adapted from the MIDNIGHT BAKER
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
  • Add onions and mix well.
  • Fold in bacon.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

NOTE: I have used my homemade Pimiento Cheese and just add the sour cream, garlic powder, green onions and bacon to it for a tasty variation. 😀

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled to perfection and sliced 😀
1 large peach, washed and sliced
1 large RIPE avocado, sliced
1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, sliced thin
4 strips bacon, diced, browned andcrisp
3 cups torn romaine or watercress lettuce

  • Arrange ingredients on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.

HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
Pinch FRESH ground sea salt

  • Add ingredients into a glass container or jar with a lid.
  • Shake jar vigorously until completely combined.
  • Serve on your favorite salad.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

NOTES: When using cold from the refrigerator make sure you shake it up REALLY well to re-blend the ingredients. I usually run my jar under warm water before giving it a good shake and if that doesn’t mix it enough a few seconds in the microwave should thin it enough to make mixable!

THE SUMMER OF SALADS – WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with PEAR LEMON VINAIGRETTE

I’m officially declaring this the summer of Salads.  This extreme heat has left me wanting more, MORE salads that is! 😀

WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 cups torn lettuce pieces
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup candied walnut pieces
1/3 cup craisins

  • Toss together.
  • Plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • ENJOY!

LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE
1 RIPE pear, pureed
Juice of 1 large lemon
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together.
  • Chill.

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS & PINEAPPLE COMPOTE

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS
2 boneless center cut pork chops
Avocado oil
1 shallot, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white moscato wine
2 tablespoons cherry jam
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
PINCH sugar
1 tablespoon butter

  • Heat a drizzle avocado oil in heavy cast iron pan.
  • Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Add to pan and sear 3-4 minutes per side until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add another drizzle of oil to the pan.
  • Add shallots and sauce until browned.
  • Add vinegar into pan and simmer until reduced.
  • Add cherry jam and wine, breaking apart any large clumps.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  • Add butter, stirring to melt.
  • Add pork chops back to pan, turning to coat. Cook another couple minutes until cooked through.

 

PINEAPPLE COMPOTE
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white moscato wine
2 cups FRESH diced pineapple (about 1/2 a pineapple)
6 ounce can pineapple juice (I sometimes use pineapple orange)
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I like to use champagne vinegar)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons FRESH minced parsley

  • In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and ginger, cooking until softened.
  • Add wine, increase heat and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Stir in the pineapple pieces, pineapple juice and honey, stirring to combine well. Bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce
  • heat and simmer until liquid is about half gone.
  • Season with salt and red pepper.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and cornstarch.
  • Fold vinegar mixture into saucepan.
  • Simmer until thickened.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Serve in parfait cups.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE

We’re still under a serious EXTREME heat warning so I am NOT cooking, but focusing on salads this week.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 cups torn lettuce

  • Whisk together the lemon juices, avocado oil, vinegar and honey.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss lettuce, onions and apple together.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss again.
  • ENJOY!

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

Another PERFECT salad for a warm summer’s eve. The assortment of the chilled cheeses, meats and quick pickled veggies is quite satisfying especially after you add the vinaigrette for a tangy bite.

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH oregano
1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 ounces marinated artichokes, WELL drained and chopped
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 romaine hearts, chopped or shredded
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 thick slices provolone cheese, cut into matchsticks
3 thick slices hard salami, cut into matchsticks
FRESH basil, cut into chiffonades
olives, optional

  • Bring artichokes with their juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and oregano to a SLOW boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add onions, reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pepperoni slices.
  • Transfer to a bowl and chill until cool.
  • Drain marinated veggies in a mesh strainer, but save to store any extra veggies in.
  • Toss drained veggies with torn lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoni, cheese and salami pieces.
  • Add olives if using.
  • Drizzle with dressing
  • Enjoy.

VINAIGRETTE
12 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped oregano
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped Italian parsley
PINCH sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese

  • Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, oil, garlic and sugar.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Fold in parsley, oregano and cheese.
  • Chill.