Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crockpot Jambalaya

I love finding great new crockpot recipe for our busy weeknights. My usual day consists of yoga, work (not complaining! I absolutely love my job!), gym with my baby sister (she really isn't a baby unless a baby can do the splits on a TRX) or volleyball, and home to make dinner or out with family or friends. Whew.... I know it sounds a bit boring, but I love it. I found this recipe on Sage Trifle and knew I needed to try it. In addition to being on a shrimp kick it has sausage (well chicken sausage in this case) which is always a plus in my book. Enjoy! Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cayanne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 lb chicken andouille sausage, sliced
1 quart canned diced tomatoes in their juice
1 lb cooked shrimp

Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to crockpot. Add all spices and herbs. Add chicken stock and stir well. Cover the mixture with sausage and then tomatoes. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Add the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Broccoli Potato & Cheese Soup

At my office, we celebrate the monthly birthdays with a nice lunch together. This month the birthday team decided to have a soup and salad bar. Yum! I decided to sign up for a soup and debated on a favorite to bring. Ultimately, I decided on broccoli potato and cheese. This is a great combo, and can be modified for any vegetarians. I love the large broccoli pieces, and savory flavors. This is a wonderful soup to warm you up on cold nights.

Speaking of cold nights, we have a foot of snow! Grrrr.... Just when I thought it all may be coming to end. Deceived, deceived , deceived. Hopefully it will melt soon!
Ingredients adapted from
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups half & half
3 cups 1% milk
5 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock works too!)
1 1/2 lb fresh broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup julienned carrots
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed Velveeta
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
2/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg


Boil cubed potatoes till they are a little hard on the inside. Drain and set aside.

Saute onion in butter till tender. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour in a large pot using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half and milk. Add the chicken stock whisking the entire time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots potatoes and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for about 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thick by now. Pour half the soup into a blender, puree, and return to pot (I use an immersion blender for this). Return to heat and add both cheeses; stir until well blended. Stir in nutmeg and serve.

Serves 10-12

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steak Hash with Pepperjack Sauce

Creating different ways to use leftover steak gets my brain workin'. Corned beef hash is one of my favorite breakfast dishes, and I thought grilled steak would be a delightful substitute. I wanted to give the dish a little bite, and who doesn't love a cheese sauce? This is a simple breakfast to put together, and if you aren't a spice person sub in cheddar or swiss cheese for a mild sauce. Enjoy!

For Hash:
4 cups cubed red potatoes (skins on!)
2 1/2 cups grilled steak, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
Salt & Pepper

For Pepperjack Sauce:
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl flour
2/3 cup grated pepperjack cheese
2/3 cup milk

6 Eggs

Saute potatoes, onion, and green pepper in butter and olive oil. When potatoes are almost done, melt butter with olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a roux. Slowly add milk while stirring constantly. If you would like your sauce a little thinner add additional milk. When milk and roux have become completely incorporated stir in cheese. Stir frequently while cheese melts. Add steak to potato mixtures and cook about 2 minutes so steak is warm, but not over cooked. Season hash with salt and pepper. Plate steak hash, top with 2 eggs cooked you your liking, and finish with the sauce.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This is a casserole I have made for year and I couldn't believe I hadn't posted it! This is a great home style dish with lots of yummy veggies. It is very easy and a nice alternative for a chicken noodle soup lover. For whatever reason, I know this is not rational, I really don't like chicken chunks in casserole... or soup. In my opinion shredded is better, but if you disagree you can always chop your chicken for a bigger meaty bite. Enjoy!
2 large split chicken breasts
8 oz uncooked pasta (I use a gluten free rotini, but any kind will do)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
4-5 stalks of celery, sliced
1 can cream of chicken soup (we use a gluten free organic)
1 can cream of celery soup (same as above, but regular works too)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
1/3 cup crushed Chex cereal (we use gluten free corn Chex)

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Boil chicken till cooked through. shred, and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a large sided skillet with PAM and saute saute onion, celery, and carrots till al dente. Add chicken, soup, and spices to pan. Mix well to incorporate all ingredients. Fold in veggies and pour into a 9X9 baking dish. Top with crushed Chex. Bake 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Caprese Chicken Casserole with Pesto

What to do with my Red Gold winnings??? i decided to combine two of my favorite things. Casserole and Caprese Salad. I wasn't sure how this casserole was going to turn out because it was a little on the fly. However, I was pleasantly surprised and it was great! This is a really easy dish to make, and it is unique enough to intrigue any guests you invite for dinner. Enjoy!
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup quick cook brown rice
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
2 1/2 Tbl flour (I use gluten free)
Salt & Pepper

Pesto Sauce
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, halved

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil chicken thighs in water till cooked through. Remove chicken from water. Shred and set aside.

Saute onions in butter and olive oil till the onions are tender. Add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add flour to onions and garlic. Makes sure to stir immediately so the flour doesn't burn. Add chicken stock a 1/2 cup at a time to onions stirring as you add the stock. Add chicken and cheese to onions. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients together. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add rice and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped basil. Spoon mixture into a 9X9 baking dish. Bake casserole 30-35 minutes till hot and bubbly.

While casserole is baking, add pesto ingredients except olive oil to a food processor. While ingredients are blending, slowly pour in olive oil.

Top casserole with pesto sauce and enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

This a fantastic and comforting soup for a chilly winter night. I wanted to try making an enchilada soup, but have been getting home a little later these past few weeks. In comes the trusty crockpot! This soup turned out amazing. Ron told me that he absolutely loved it and it needs to be on rotation with a few of our regulars. I love that it is a set it, and forget it soup- perfect for a weeknight. Enjoy!
3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 up frozen corn
1 can diced green chilies, drained
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Corn tortillas, cut into strips
Cilantro, chopped
Sour cream

Add all ingredients besides cheese and garnish to the crockpot. Set crockpot to low and cook for 6 hours. Remove chicken and shred*. Return chicken to crockpot and cook on low for an additional 2 hours. Stir in the cheese and serve. Top with corn tortillas, cilantro and sour cream.

*If you aren't home at the six hour mark the chicken can be shredded at the end before you add the cheese.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Goat Cheese, Sweet Onion, Apple and Brandy Stuffed Chicken

I love making different variations of stuffed chicken. This one was so yummy that I just had to share it with all of you. We have an interesting few weeks in Wisconsin, (as I am sure you all heard) I am hoping that our Governor learns to compromise and support the working class. I fully understand the need to balance a budget, but linking salaries and health coverage to a person's right to bargain for their work conditions and benefits it not the answer. Anyways, that is all I have on that (for now), enjoy the chicken!
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 oz goat cheese
1 medium apple, chopped
1 sweet onion, sliced
1/3 cup brandy
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl sugar
Black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Add butter, oil, sugar, apples, onion and brandy to a large skillet. Allow mixture to simmer till liquid is absorbed, and onions are tender. Set aside.

Place chicken breasts into separate plastic bags and pound with a meat mallet till chicken is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread one quarter of the goat cheese on chicken and place 1/4 cup of apple mixture in the center of the chicken. Fold in the sides of the chicken and secure with toothpicks. Place chicken in baking dish and repeat with 3 remaining chicken breasts. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the apple mixture. Season chicken with black pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Top with remaining apple mixture.