MEYER LEMON CAESAR DRESSING

MEYER LEMON CAESAR DRESSING
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 3 anchovy fillets, minced
2 LARGE egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional*)
FRESH ground sea salt* and black pepper, to taste
3/4-1 cup avocado oil
3/4 cup FRESH, FINELY grated Parmesan cheese

  • Blend the lemon juice, anchovy paste, egg yolks and mustard until creamy.
  • Slowly stream the oil into the mixture until dressing begins to thicken. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  • Once dressing is thick and creamy, fold in Parmesan cheese.

*NOTES:

  • I’m deathly allergic so I have never had it with the mustard and it is really good, but hubby says it’s even better with the mustard. 😀
  • Be sure and remember that anchovies are salty so taste before adding salt!

ROAST CHICKEN with HOT BUTTER SAUCE

The original recipe called for St. Germain liqueur. What does St. Germain taste like you ask? I had to google it myself. It’s a combination of tropical fruits, peach, pear, citrus, and even a hint of honeysuckle. I couldn’t even find it anywhere locally so I goggled it for another substitution.

ROAST CHICKEN with HOT BUTTER SAUCE
SAUCE
10 habanero chiles, halved and seeded
1 orange bell pepper – halved, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
4 tablespoons Peach Schnapps
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1 cup Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Puree chiles, bell pepper, orange zest, garlic, 2 tablespoons of peach schnapps, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper in a small blender.
    Transfer mixture to a small bowl.
  • Cover with saran and let sit overnight or 12 hours at room temperature to ferment.

 

  • After fermented and while chicken is baking, puree again with vinegar, remaining peach schnapps.
  • Strain through a fine sieve into a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat.
  • Whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Whisk cornstarch mixture into the hot sauce. Simmer 2-3 minutes until thickened, whisking constantly.
  • Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • Adjust seasoning.

CHICKEN
3 pound chicken thighs or leg quarters or combination of thighs and legs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Generously season chicken pieces.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook chicken skin side down 5 minutes until golden.
  • Flip chicken and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken pieces to a plate.
  • Serve with sauce.

KANSAS CITY BBQ CHICKEN

KANSAS CITY BBQ CHICKEN
CHICKEN
2 1/2 pounds chicken (I like to use thighs)
2 tablespoons Pampered Chef Kansas City style BBQ rub
2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Toss the chicken with the rub and baking powder.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a large stone or stainless sheet pan.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until cooked through, flipping chicken pieces midway.

SAUCE
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Pampered Chef Kansas City style BBQ rub
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey

  • Whisk together the ketchup, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses and Kansas City style BBQ rub in a saucepan until well blended, bringing to a simmer 8-10 minutes until thickened.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in honey.
  • Add baked wings to a large bowl.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and toss to coat.

PEPERONCINO CHICKEN

PEPERONCINO CHICKEN
6-8 skin on chicken thighs
10-12 peperoncinos
1/2 cup peperoncino brine
2 + 2 tablespoon QUALITY avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
1/2 red onion cut root to tip, sliced thin
4-6 cloves garlic
1 pound baby potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme leaves**
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley**

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Coat a large cast iron skillet (I like my enamel covered cast iron) with 2 tablespoons of QUALITY avocado oil and heat over medium heat.
  • Generously season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place chicken skin side down. Cook undisturbed 10 minutes or until chicken skin is browned.
  • While chicken is browning toss the potatoes, peperoncinos, remaining oil, peperoncino brine, garlic, half the red onions, half of the celery, a generous turn of ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • When chicken is browned, turn the pieces over onto a plate.
  • Add potato mix to pan and stir to combine well.
  • Nestle chicken thighs skin side up into the potato mix.
  • Transfer pan to oven and roast 45-50 minutes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.


**NOTES:

  • I like to use herb mixes that my local store carried to make my dollar go farther.
  • After plating the chicken and potatoes you can also make a gravy out of the juices if you’d like.

HONEY BEER BREAD

HONEY BEER BREAD
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounce beer (I like a Michelob AmberBock)
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
2 + 2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in loaf pan and brush up the sides to coat.
  • In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, salt, beer and honey until combined.
  • Spread dough over melted butter evenly.
  • Melt remaining butter.
  • Drizzle remaining butter over the dough and brush to coat well.
  • Bake 45-55 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve with honey butter with your favorite soup.

NOTE: Spray your spoon with non-stick cooking spray before stirring to prevent sticking.

BEEF VEGGIE SOUP

This is one of those soups that everyone of a certain age has had! During a simpler, more frugal era this type of soup was a staple on the dinner table, especially in the fall/winter months.

Ground beef was the lesser expensive meat choice and the soup was a great way to use up veggies at the end of the week. Once the flavors meld together no one cares that they were the former beauty queens that were now the  less than pretty wilting ones from the crisper bin.

BEEF VEGGIE SOUP serves 6
1 pound ground beef
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 LARGE carrot, diced
1 can Green Giant white shoepeg corn
2 cups frozen green beans
15 ounce can stewed tomatoes, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Basil
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup DRY red wine
8 cups beef bone broth**
1 cup diced potatoes, optional
1 cup prepared pasta, optional
1/2 cup raw rice, optional
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced, optional
Grated cheese, as a topping

  • Brown ground beef over medium high heat in a large soup pot.
  • When beef is just about browned, drain off most fat and add onions, carrots and celery, sweating for 4-6 minutes.
  • Add garlic, garlic salt and onion salt, stirring to blend.
  • Add chopped stewed tomatoes with their juice, Basil, Parsley and FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper. Simmer 3-4 minutes.
  • Add broth, wine and potatoes or rice if using.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add corn, green beans and mushrooms if using, simmering for 15-20 minutes more.
  • If using pasta add prepared pasta and simmer 5 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve with Honey Beer Bread.

**I made this broth with beef bone marrow bones and end of the season tomatoes.

HEART ATTACK CASSEROLE

TEXAS POTATOES aka FUNERAL POTATOES aka CHEESY POTATO CASSEROLE aka COMPANY POTATOES aka COMFORT POTATOES aka HOLIDAY POTATOES aka HASH BROWN CASSEROLE aka my favorite HEART ATTACK CASSEROLE

This is a delicious recipe that is PERFECT for church suppers, pot-lucks, barbecues… I have been asked over and over for this recipe after events. It is ALWAYS a hit!

1 LARGE bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 ounces FULL fat sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
30 ounce package of frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
1 sleeve of Keebler or Ritz crackers, crushed

1 cup corn flakes, crushed into crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 10×15 jelly roll pan LIGHTLY with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the soup, sour cream, 1/4 cup of the melted butter, a VERY generous grinding of both sea salt and black pepper.
  • Fold in onions and cheese followed by the frozen potatoes mixing until well blended. If mixture is too thick to blend well add another tablespoon or two of sour cream.
  • Combine the corn flakes with the crackers and mix with remaining melted butter.
  • Sprinkle on top of potato mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and the top is crispy

NOTE: The original recipe calls for using a 9×13 cake pan. We prefer a crispy edge to more of the potatoes so I use a jelly roll pan.

DADDY’S ROAST CHICKEN aka CAFETERIA CHICKEN & GRAVY

I recently purchased a few new cookbooks. When cookbooks arrive at my house, I read them like a novel, cover to cover. I use colored tabs to mark the recipes I want to try soon. I ran across a recipe called Cafeteria Chicken whose name sounded so interesting that I marked it with a tab to read in depth at a later date.

Well, that date was a few days ago. As I read I was intrigued by how similar this recipe sounded to my great grandmother’s recipe for Chicken and Noodles that my dad taught me to make when I was VERY young. It is a family favorite to this day.

I found this in Danielle Kartes’ Rustic Joyful Food: Generations cook book. She told a story of a favorite Holiday Lunch Option for her hot lunch when she was in the fourth grade and how that transpired into her chicken gravy and potatoes recipe that her mother requested when she was going through chemo years later.

My recipe, like hers is rooted in family and memories. One meal that becomes two SEPARATE meals. My dad has since passed, but his memory is alive every time I cook. 😀 The base of these meals is a really good mirepoix to begin your flavor base.

A mirepoix is a flavor base made from cooked diced vegetables cooked. They are usually sautéed with butter, oil or other fat like bacon fat for a long time on a low heat without coloring or browning. When the mirepoix is not precooked, the vegetables may be cut to a larger size, depending on the overall cooking time for the dish.

There are similar flavor bases all across cooking. The Italians call it a soffritto, the Spanish and Portuguese call it a sofito/refogado and it consists of a braised onion, garlic and tomato base. The Turkish version uses a tomato paste instead of fresh tomatoes. The German as well as the Polish version include leeks and/or celery or parsley root. The Russian version includes beets or peppers and the French include mushrooms as well as shallots and herbs that have been reduced to a paste. Here in the United States we have the holy trinity Cajun/Creole version of onions, celery and bell peppers that is a favorite.

The traditional vegetable mixture is onions, carrots and celery in a 2:1:1 ratio. Mirepoix is the flavor base for a wide variety of  stocks, soups, stews and sauces. My version adds mini peppers and garlic making my ratio 2:1:1:½:½.

The leftover chicken was then picked from the bone and chopped up to add to the leftover gravy. The leftover potatoes were mashed and then the gravy with chicken pieces was served over the mashed potatoes.

DADDY’S ROAST CHICKEN aka CAFETERIA CHICKEN & GRAVY

1 LARGE onion, halved root to tip, sliced thin
3 stalks celery, diced
2 LARGE carrots, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 mini peppers, seeds & ribs removed, sliced
5-6 pound WHOLE chicken
1 stick butter, melted
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-4 cups chicken bone broth

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Alternately layer the onions, celery, carrots, peppers and garlic in the bottom of the roaster.
  • Add chicken on top of the veggie layer.
  • Coat chicken with melted butter, reserving any extra.
  • GENEROUSLY season the chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Whisk the remaining melted butter into the bone broth.
  • Pour the broth mixture around the chicken over the veggies.
  • Cover the chicken with a foil tent, sealing the edges.
  • Roast 3 hours without peeking!
  • Transfer chicken to platter and tent to rest while you prepare the gravy.
  • Drain the veggies through a sieve to accumulate the cooking juices.

GRAVY
3 cups of reserved cooking juices
3 cups chicken bone broth
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
FRESH ground thyme or poultry mix herbs

  • Melt the butter in large saute pan.
  • Whisk in flour 2 minutes until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in chicken stock and reserved cooking juices.
  • Add thyme or herbs.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened, creamy, but still pourable consistency.
  • Whisk in cream.
  • Fold in chicken pieces.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.

CAFETERIA CHICKEN & GRAVY
Leftover roast chicken taken from the bone and diced small
Leftover gravy if there is any
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
4 green onions, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 cups homemade bone both
1 cup half and half

  • Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour until golden and smooth.
  • Add green onions and saute 30 seconds.
  • Add bone broth and stir until smooth, simmering 5-10 minutes.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Blend in half and half.
  • Fold in chicken pieces.
  • Adjust seasoning and simmer until creamy and desired consistency.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes.**

**NOTE: I use the remainder of the potatoes from the original meal. I dice half of them and mash the rest. Then I fold them together to make a rustic mash.

BLACK PEPPER BUTTERMILK BISCUITS & GARLIC CHEDDAR BUTTER

BLACK PEPPER BUTTERMILK BISCUITS & GARLIC CHEDDAR BUTTER yields 6 biscuits
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 + 2 tablespoons COLD butter, diced
1 cup FULL fat buttermilk
1/2 cup gruyere, shredded (optional)
Coarse flavored salt (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder.
  • Cut 8 tablespoons of diced butter and cheese if using into the flour mixture until it’s the size of peas.
  • Add the buttermilk, mixing until dough comes together. DO NOT OVER MIX or you will have tough biscuits. If dough is too dry add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board and arrange dough into a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Cut biscuits and arrange on baking sheet.
  • Melt remaining butter and brush dough before and after baking.
  • Sprinkle with flavored salt if using.
  • Bake until puffed and golden, 12-15 minutes.

GARLIC CHEDDAR BUTTER
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used FACE ROCK mixed milk cheese)
3 tablespoons FRESH parsley, chopped
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
pinch of FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Mix everything all together by hand.
  • Once butter is well combined, transfer to serving dish and refrigerate until needed.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER

Ever wondered what the difference is between a soup, a stew and a chowder?

A soup is usually made with stock or broth and can have vegetables, meat or fish as ingredients and is generally not very thick.

A chowder may have the same ingredients as a soup or even a stew, but is more chunky, creamy and thick. It is often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers, biscuits, or a roux. A chowder is also usually made with fish and corn.

A stew is committed by sweltering in a covered pot.

When I make bone broth I use the carcass of the rotisserie chicken and often use whatever vegetables I have around in the bin that a wilted or such. This time I used a bone broth made with end of the season tomatoes which added a GREAT flavor to the chowder.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 pound bacon, diced
1 LARGE yellow onion
3-4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 stalks celery, halved and thinly sliced
1 LARGE carrot, diced
3-5 small mini peppers, sliced thin
3 cups FRESH or frozen white corn
2-3 cup diced rotisserie chicken pieces
3 1/3 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade bone broth)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 cups grated cheese of choice (I used FACE ROCK sharp cheddar)
Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, optional – see note

  • Melt butter in large stock pot.
  • Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, sauteing 5 minutes or so until carrots are starting to soften.
  • Add bacon and continue to saute 10 minutes until bacon is browned.***
  • Add peppers, corn and 3 cups of the chicken broth, bring to a simmer10-15 minutes.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Whisk the remaining chicken broth with the cornstarch until smooth.
  • Add roux to pot and blend in well. Simmer a few minutes more.
  • Add half and half, stirring well.
  • Add cheeses and stir to melt.
  • Fold in chicken pieces and simmer 5-10 minutes more.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve.

***NOTE:

  • If bacon has a high fat content, trim some of the fat off to prevent your chowder from becoming too greasy.
  • A splash or two or three of Frank’s original hot sauce can really amp up this chowder.

POPCORN RANCH BAKED CHICKEN

POPCORN RANCH BAKED CHICKEN
1 LARGE egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup WONDRA flour
1/2 cup yellow
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons Ranch Popcorn Seasoning (pampered chef)
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-8 chicken thighs

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk milk and egg together.
  • In another bowl sift together the flour, corn meal, ba
  • Place on sheet pan.king powder, seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Wash and dry chicken pieces.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess.
  • Dip chicken pieces into the egg mixture and then into corn meal mixture again and place on sheet pan skin side up.
  • Spray tops lightly with non-stick cooking spray (this helps make the tops crispy)
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

CALIFORNIA CHICKEN CLUB RING with AVOCADO CREMA

This recipe is a modified version of a Pampered Chef recipe. I was not fond of their use of kale so I changed it to spinach nor did I want to buy all the products they recommended, but were not actually necessary to achieve the same results. I also exchanged the chemically altered, prepackaged or reduced fat products to their more wholesome versions. 😀

CALIFORNIA CHICKEN CLUB RING

SANDWICH RING
3-4 cups baby spinach leaves, torn small
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and slices
12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2  garlic cloves, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup shredded provolone or Jack cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional – if omitting, double the mayonnaise)
3-4 cups small diced rotisserie chicken pieces
2-8 ounce cans crescent rolls
LARGE egg yolk
½ teaspoon water

  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Brush pizza pan with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the spinach leaves into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the green onion, garlic and bacon.
  • Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH, for 30 seconds, or until the spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Add mayonnaise and mustard, stirring to combine.
  • Add the tomatoes, cheese and chicken pieces, stirring to combine.
  • Unroll the crescent dough and separate it into 16 triangles.
  • Arrange the wide ends about 1″ away from the inner ring of the platter.
  • The points should extend over the edge of the platter. Smooth flat the wide ends of the dough.
  • Distribute the filling evenly over the dough.
  • Bring the points of the triangles up and over the filling, then tuck the points under the dough toward the center to form a ring.
  • Whisk the egg yolk and water in a small bowl.
  • Brush the ring with the egg wash.
  • Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

DIP
½ cup sour cream
1-2 large avocados, pitted and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3  green onions, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Add all the dip ingredients to a small food processor and process until smooth.
  • Transfer the dip to a serving bowls.