MEXICAN QUICHE

MEXICAN QUICHE

1 10 inch flour tortilla burrito size
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces
1/3 cup FINELY chopped FRESH cilantro leaves
4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained well
1/2 cup salsa

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
FRESH ground salt and pepper
2 LARGE eggs
1 cup WHOLE milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

GARNISHES
Sour cream
Salsa
Guacamole
Chopped green onions

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Grease 9-inch spring form pan.
  • Press tortilla into prepared pie plate and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Toss chicken, salsa, cilantro, green chiles, 1 cup of the cheese, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper in large bowl until combined.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, and FRESH ground sea  salt and black pepper in bowl until smooth.
  • Slowly pour egg mixture over chicken mixture and fold to combine.
  • Spread filling evenly into tortilla.
  • Bake until surface is golden brown, 25-30 minutes or until set when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top and bake for about 3-5 minutes more until cheese is melted.
  • Let cool 5 minutes.
  • Cut into wedges and serve.
  • Serve with your favorite garnishes.

NOTES: The chicken can be easily traded out for browned ground beef or a pulled pork.

SAVORY NOODLE KUGEL

Noodle kugel is a traditional Jewish holiday dish that is USUALLY served sweet. BUT, I needed a side dish and wanted something more flavorful and less than boring the mashed potatoes or rice. I just love the tender goodness of a warm kugel so decided to try making it into a savory side dish. Potato kugel is the traditional savory route, but the noodles really oomph it up a notch with my family.

SAVORY NOODLE KUGEL

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for the pan
8 ounces cooked al dente egg noodles, rinsed and cooled
FRESH ground sea salt and trim-color pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup SMALL curd cottage cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 cup baby Swiss or Gruyère cheese, grated, divided
1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs

  • Heat the oven to 350°.
  • Butter 9×9 or 1½-quart casserole dish.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the noodles with 3 tablespoons of the butter; season with paprika, salt and pepper.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, cottage cheese, chives, and ½ cup of the Gruyère to combine.
  • Add to the noodles and fold to combine; lightly seasoning to taste with salt and pepper as needed.
  • In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter; season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Arrange noodles into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the noodles.
  • Top with the breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are bubbling, the crumbs are browned, and the center is completely set. If it begins to brown and crisp too much add a loose layer of foil until the last 10-15 minutes.

PORK & SCALLOPED POTATO STEW

While Mary touts this as a one pan recipe I don’t mind the extra dishes to make any recipe easier. Yields 6 to 8 servings

PORK & SCALLOPED POTATO STEW adapted from Mary Berg

STEW
1 1/2 – 2 pounds (700 grams) trimmed pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into bite sized pieces
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup WONDRA flouor
4 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, peeled & cut into wedges
2 LARGE carrots cut diagonally into large rustic pieces
1 leek, cut into 1 inch slices
4-5 cloves, minced
1 cup (250 milliliters) dry cider (alcoholic – non alcoholic – your choice)
1 cup (250 milliliters) homemade chicken stock
2 sprigs FRESH thyme leaves
1 FIRM sweet apple
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 cups baby spinach leaves

  • Place a large cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium-high heat.
  • Season the pork in a large mixing bowl with salt and pepper.
  • Scatter with 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat.
  • Add the avocado oil to the pan and sear the pork in batches until golden brown.
  • Transfer pork pieces to a plate.
  • Add the butter to the pan along with the onions, carrots and leeks, cooking 5-8 minutes JUST until they begin to develop a little color.
  • Stir in the garlic along with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the pork and any juices back into the pan.
  • Add the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits.
  • Stir in the stock and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel and cut the apple into 8 to 12 wedges, toss with the lemon juice and set aside with the greens.

SCALLOPED POTATO TOPPING
1/3 cup (85 milliliters) half and half
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
FRESH grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon FINELY chopped thyme, plus more for serving
2 medium (about 550 grams/1 1/4 pounds) sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium (about 400 grams/3/4 pound) yellow potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 SMALL red onion, thinly sliced rounds
Sour cream, for serving

  • Whisk together the cream with salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and thyme.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Stir in the apples and greens.
  • Arrange the sliced potatoes on top, alternating between the two colors, tucking in slices of red onion here and there.
  • Brush the topping with the cream mixture and transfer the pan to the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before serving with sour cream and a sprinkling of thyme.

LOADED CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE

LOADED CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE

2 pounds cauliflower florets, cut into bite sized pieces
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup FULL fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups FINELY shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups FINELY shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon SLAP YO MAMA seasoning(depending on your level of heat)
4-6 slices crispy cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 bunch FRESH chopped green onions, chives or parsley (save some for garnish)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • Steam the cauliflower florets 10 minutes until fork tender.
  • Drain WELL.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, garlic powder, onion powder and slap your mama seasoning until well blended. Mix until creamy and smooth.
  • GENTLY fold in cauliflower, 1/2 of the bacon and green onions.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Spoon into a casserole dish and top with the remaining bacon.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Top with remaining chives and serve.

NOTE: This Loaded Cauliflower Casserole also makes a wonderfully filling full meal by adding 2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces, 1 pound of browned ground beef or pork.

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.

STOVE TOP BACON “BAKED” BEANS

STOVE TOP BACON “BAKED” BEANS
8 thick-cut slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 LARGE bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste (more pepper than salt since the bacon is salty)
4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 1/2 tablespoon Garden Gourmet chunky garlic paste
2 cups KINDERS or Guy Fieri Carolina Mop BBQ sauce or
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons QUALITY champagne vinegar
Two 15.5-ounce cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced scallions, for finishing

  • Leave the bacon grease in the pan and add the onion and bell pepper.
  • Season with a pinch of salt, cooking and stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the garlic sautéing 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add the BBQ sauce, molasses, vinegar and half of the bacon.
  • Season again with another pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat and reduce to a simmer.
  • Stir in the beans, simmering until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining bacon and scallions.
  • Serve immediately.

MUSHY PEA RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

MUSHY PEA RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

These mushy pea and ricotta stuffed shells are a TRUE comfort food for a crisp fall evening!

18 to 20 JUMBO shells
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
3/4 cup mushy peas – from leftovers preferably
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese + extra for garnish
2 LARGE garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound QUALITY sweet Italian sausage
1/2 pound LEAN ground beef
3-4 green onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more for the pasta water
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 cups homemade tomato marinara sauce (you can use jarred sauce, but we prefer homemade from the garden)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta shells for 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and drizzle with a little avocado oil to keep them from sticking together.
  • Brown sweet Italian sausage, ground beef and green onions until meat is cooked through and crumbly. Drain off grease well!
  • In a large bowl, combine the mushy peas with the ricotta, pecorino, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Spread the marinara in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Stuff each shell with the filling and place in the dish.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is browned and bubbly.
  • Serve with more marinara on the side.

NOTE: This recipe freezes well for an easy weeknight meal!

  • After assembling the shells in the baking dish, cover tightly and freeze.
  • To thaw, transfer the dish to the fridge about 10 hours before you plan to serve it.
  • Remove from the fridge and let sit at room temp while the oven preheats.
  • Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, or until thawed and warmed through.

HEARTY TUNA CASSEROLE

HEARTY TUNA CASSEROLE
CASSEROLE

3 cups cooked and cooled egg noodles
1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup WHOLE milk
1/3 cup FINELY grated white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Duke’s hint of lime mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard (optional)
8 ounce can petite baby peas, drained well
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, lightly sauteed.
1/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red pepper or pimientos, drained
2 cans white tuna, drained well

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • In a large bowl combine the soup, milk, mayonnaise and mustard if using.
  • Stir in drained tuna and red pepper.
  • Fold in noodles, cheese, peas and sauteed mushrooms.
  • Transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish.

TOPPING
1/4 cup Panko crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon paprika
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Combine topping ingredients until well blended.
  • Sprinkle over casserole.
  • Baked uncovered 30 minutes until bubbly.

NOTE – Crushed potato chips (I like sea salt and vinegar) make a great alternate topping.

CRACK CHICKEN CASSEROLE

One of my grandmothers used to say there were two ways to things – Her way or the wrong way. This “attitude” became a family “sore” spot a good deal of the time as there are always multiple ways to reach the same end results. For me it always seemed to resonate with recipes… LOL fast forward to this recipe and she was in my head about the best way to write this up.

There really are two ways to make this, the short way and the LONG way, which is my preferred method because I find it the most flavorful is to make the chicken in the slow cooker the day before you want to assemble the casserole.

Not much to look at, but SUPER delicious!

CRACK CHICKEN CASSEROLE (the short way)
8 slices thick cut bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (or crock pot crack chicken)
2 cups dried egg noodles, cooked per directions on box and drained
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red or orange pepper, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
1/2 cup Darigold Mexican sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (omit if using crock pot crack chicken)

1/3 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 1/2 cup corn chex, crushed
1/4 cup butter melted
2-3 green onions thinly sliced for garnish, optional

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the bacon, chicken, cooked noodles, ranch seasoning, onion, red pepper, cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar, sour cream and mayonnaise until well blended.
  • Spread into the baking dish.
  • Top with the remaining cheddar.
  • In a small bowl mix together the corn chex with the butter and top the casserole with this mixture.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until bubbly.
  • Let cool slightly, garnish with optional green onions and serve.

CROCK POT CRACK CHICKEN
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 package ranch dressing package mix
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar or cheese flavor of choice – Nacho, sharp, Vampire Slayer, etc…

  • Add chicken to crock pot in a single layer if possible.
  • Sprinkle with ranch dressing powder.
  • Place cream cheese block as a whole on top.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours.
  • Remove cover and shred chicken while stirring in cream cheese at the same time.
  • Add cheese and stir to mix.
  • Serve on buns, croissants, tortillas, in the above casserole or use it to make tacos next Taco Tuesday!

ENGLISH STYLE BAKED POTATOES

Hubby has been complaining for quite some time now that baked potatoes just don’t taste the same anymore. Then the other day I ran across an article that while I knew was probably click bait, I had to check it out anyway. And I’m glad I did. I did pick and choose the parts that appealed to me the most. You can read the whole article here.

The article states that “English Jacket Potatoes Are the Best Baked Potatoes”! And they are correct! I just love the name “Jacket Potatoes”, it’s just so British. I believe this recipe has come the closest to reviving what we were looking for in a baked potato – a crispy outside with a tender fluffy inside.

The article lists 4 specific keys to achieving the perfect baked potato. Turns out that it isn’t difficult at all to make that perfect potato.

1) Slice a BIG X 1/4 inch deep in the potato. Typically here in America we poke a few holes in them to allow steam to escape, but the BIG X makes a HUGE difference.

2) Bake them longer than you usually do. 1 1/2 – 2 hours at 400° instead of 1 hour at 425°. They won’t burn at this temperature and baking for this long means the skin will be so crisp that it’s practically like a crispy cracker.

3) At the end of baking time, remove potatoes from the oven and cut the X deeper into the potato and slightly push the ends of the potatoes inward to open them up a bit. Return them to the oven for 10 more minutes. This will dry out the inside flesh and fluff it up a bit more.

4) Take the piping hot potatoes from the oven and push open the crisp, perfectly salted skin and garnish with butter, sour cream, chopped chives, shredded cheese, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper… and whatever else suits your fancy. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!

CREOLE STYLE CHICKEN AND RICE

CREOLE STYLE CHICKEN AND RICE
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces – drumsticks, thighs etc…
1 tablespoon SLAP YO MAMA seasoning
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 can Progresso hearty tomato basil soup
4 tablespoons red pepper jelly
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can Trappey’s seasoned black eyed peas, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Generously season chicken pieces with creole sesoning, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • In a large bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of the soup and 2 tablespoons of the jelly.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat well.
  • Cover and chill 2-3 hours.
  • Remove chicken from marinade.

 

  • Coat large heat proof saute pan with non-stick baking spray and heat over medium flame.
  • Add chicken and brown 8-10 minutes or so on all sides, turning often.
  • Remove chicken and wipe pan clean.
  • Add chicken broth and remaining soup to pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add rice and chicken.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 25 minutes until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to platter.
  • Add beans to rice mixture, cooking 3-5 minutes until heated through.
  • Nestle chicken back into rice and bean mixture.
  • Brush chicken with remaining jelly.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes to brown and glaze chicken.

HAM & BROCCOLI BAKE

HAM & BROCCOLI ALFREDO BAKE
12 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina or baby swiss cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 pound country ham, FINELY diced
1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce or preferably homemade
2-3 cups al dent noodles or pasta, prepare al dente
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1/2 cup FRENCH’S crispy onion rings

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add broccoli florets 1-2 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Drain broccoli and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss fold together the ham pieces, hot sauce, alfredo sauce, tarragon, 1/2 cup of cheese and broccoli.
  • Arrange ham mixture in baking dish.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese and the crispy onion rings over top, baking 5-7 minutes more until cheese is melted and crispy.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.