Recipes

Beef French Onion Pot Pie – Easy Dinner

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed French onion soup
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
1 tube (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles; drain.  Stir in soup; bring to a boil.
Transfer to an ungreased 9 inch deep-dish pie plate; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with biscuits and bake 15- 20 minutes longer or until biscuits are golden brown.
Serves 4
From prep to table 30 minutes

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta – Easy Dinner

Ingredients:
8 oz uncooked penne pasta or other desired dry pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
6 to 10 bacon strips, diced
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
½ cup water
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
warm bread, optional

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook beef until no longer pink; drain grease and set aside.
In same skillet, cook bacon until crisp; drain from grease on paper towel.  Discard grease and drippings remaining in skillet.
Add cooked, drained pasta to skillet.  Stir in the soup, water, beef and bacon, salt & pepper to taste; heat through.  Sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt – serve immediately.
Optional – Put all ingredients in a casserole (or bake in heavy skillet you have been using) – bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and starting to get crisp on top.  Sprinkle with the cheese and allow it to melt.  Remove from the oven and serve.
Optional sides – fresh salad and warm bread
Serves 4
From prep to table (oven method) 1 hour
From prep to table (skillet method) 30 minutes

Honey-Mustard Chicken Strips

Ingredients:
½ cup dijon, whole grain or spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 to 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove excess fat, silver skin and tendons from chicken breast.  Cut trimmed chicken into desired sizes of strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, tarragon, salt and cayenne pepper.  Add chicken, tossing to coat.
Put Panko bread crumbs in bowl or on parchment paper.  Dip chicken in the crumbs, pressing to coat.
Transfer chicken strips to lightly greased (or sprayed) baking tray and drizzle with the oil.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is set and golden brown and chicken is cooked through.
Serve hot.  (Optional – you can mix more of the honey mustard coating for dipping.)
Serves 6
From prep to table 25 to 30 minutes

Shirley’s Chicken Surprise

Ingredients:
Three or four boneless skinless chicken breasts
One can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
¼ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 ounces shredded medium or sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 box (10 oz) frz broccoli cuts
2/3 cup mayonnaise
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Trim chicken breast, removing fat and silver skins. Cut or pound breasts so that they are the same thickness so that they bake uniformly.
Place the frozen broccoli cuts in a 8×8 square glass baking dish, evenly spread them out
Next place the chicken breast on the broccoli.
Mix the can of cream of chicken soup (do not add milk nor water), mayonnaise, curry powder and lemon juice, salt & pepper.  Spread over the chicken breast.
Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the creamed mixture.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheese.  Lightly shake the baking pan so that the bread crumbs filter down into the cheese.
Bake covered at 400 degrees until the chicken is tender.  Usually  40 to 60 minutes.  To test chicken doneness, a paring knife should easily cut through one of the fillets to the bottom of the baking dish.
Remove the aluminum foil and allow the chicken surprise to rest for about 5 minutes.
Cut into the desired serving sizes and serve immediately.
This chicken dish is excellent served with your favorite rice side dish.
Serves 4 easily
From prep to table 80-90 minutes

About Cooking a Fresh Thanksgiving Turkey

We get questions every day about cooking a fresh turkey versus a frozen turkey. There is a huge difference between a frozen turkey and a fresh turkey, both in quality and in price, but there isn’t much difference in cooking a fresh turkey and a frozen (thawed before cooking) turkey. Following is an easy “recipe” for cooking a plain fresh turkey. We’ll leave the fixin’s to you.

Remove the giblet pack from the neck cavity. To add a lot of flavor to your gravy, add the giblets and cook thoroughly.
Wash the turkey cavity and the outside of the bird – pat dry.
Allow the turkey to get to room temperature.
If you are stuffing the turkey – always stuff it loosely – about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of stuffing per pound of turkey in the cavity. Tie the drumsticks together if you are using stuffing.
Spread unmelted butter under the skin, next to the flesh of the turkey. Gently pull the skin away from the meat and find areas that you can get to the meat to spread the unmelted butter. (Best to use salted butter for this task.) You can add flavorings to the butter if you wish – mix the room temperature butter with your favorite spices or herbs before spreading under the skin. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the mixture.
Brush the skin with melted butter. If you use spices or herbs to the butter for under the skin, we suggest that you put the same herbs or spices in your melted butter.
Now is the time to make a decision on whether you want a beautiful turkey or a delicous, moist turkey. If you want a beautiful turkey, you will cook it breast up (whatever part is up will brown while cooking). If you want a delicious, moist turkey, you will cook it breast down (cooking with the breast down will allow the juices that naturally flow with gravity to flow into the breast, keeping it moist).
Preheat your oven no more than 300 to 325 degrees F. Remember that low and slow is the preferred method to cooking most meats in the oven.
Place the bird on a rack (you don’t want it resting in the liquid that it will create while cooking) in a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The thermometer should point towards the body and should not touch the bone.
Bake until the skin is a light golden color and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin. Basting is not necessary, but helps promote even browning. Use melted butter if you want to baste.
All turkeys will cook much faster if you don’t stuff it. So if you have a deadline, then you can cook the stuffing in a casserole dish and that will speed up the process of cooking the bird (there are new “instant pots” that cook the outside crispy, which would be great for the stuffing – frees up some oven space).
The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F at the thigh.
Most turkey labels have a cooking time chart. Mert’s suggests the following chart be considered, but always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your turkey is cooked sufficiently.
10 to 18 pounds unstuffed 3.5 to 4 hours stuffed 4.5 to 5 hours
18 to 22 pounds unstuffed 4 to 4.5 hours stuffed 5 to 5.5 hours
22 to 24 pounds unstuffed 4.5 to 5 hours stuffed 5.5 to 6 hours
24 to 29 pounds unstuffed 5.5 to 6 hours stuffed 6.25 to 6.75 hours
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

Garlic Chicken with Herbs

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breast) about 1 pound
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
10 garlic cloves, peeled & halved
¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon minced fresh sage
1 cup chicken broth
Hot cooked rice of your choice, or mashed potatoes

Directions:
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.  In a large skillet, heat butter over medium high heat; brown chicken on both sides.  Remove from pan, reserving drippings.
In the same skillet, sauté garlic in drippings over medium-high heat until light golden brown.  Add wine and herbs; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.  Cook until the mixture is almost evaporated.  Add broth and chicken; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads at least 170 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes.
To serve, spoon pan juices over chicken.
Serve with cooked, hot rice.
Serves 4
From prep to table 30 minutes

Slow Cooked Pork Tenderloin Stew

Ingredients:

1 package pork tenderloins (pkg of 2) about 2 pounds total – remove silver skin and excess fat from tenderloins; then cut into 2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 large carrots, cut into ½ inch slices
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup pitted dried plums, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1/3 cup Greek olives (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Hot cooked mashed potatoes (optional)

Directions:
After removing silver skin and excess fat, sprinkle the tenderloin pieces with salt and pepper; transfer to a 4 quart (minimum size) slow cooker.  Add the carrots, celery and onion.
In a small bowl, whisk broth and tomato paste; pour over vegetables.  Add plums, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and, if desired, olives.
Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.
Discard bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.  If desired, sprinkle stew with parsley and serve with potatoes.
Serves 8
Prep time 15 to 20 minutes
Cook on low 5 hours

Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb potatoes, peeled (optional) and cut into large chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised (mashed, but still in one piece)
¼ cup half & half creamer
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons real butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
In a saucepan of boiling water, cook potatoes and garlic cloves until tender; drain.  With a potato masher, mash potatoes, garlic, cream and ½ teaspoon of the salt until smooth; set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large frying pan, melt butter over low heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes, or until soft.  Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until tender.  Add chicken and sauté for 4 minutes, or until no longer pink.
Sprinkle flour over chicken mixture and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until no streaks of flour remain.  Gradually add stock and remaining salt – bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in peas and parsley.
Spoon mixture into a deep dish pie dish (9 inch).  Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until potato topping is golden brown and crusty.  Serve hot.
Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cooking/baking time 1 hour

Beefy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:
1 to 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cans 8 oz each tomato sauce
2 cans 16 oz each kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 package 10 oz frozen corn
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:
In a skillet, cook beef, onion and the garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain all grease from the mixture.
Transfer meat mixture to a slow cooker.  Add the tomato sauce, optional kidney beans, vegetables and seasonings; mix well.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally.
Serve with cheese, sour cream and chips if desired.
This delicious savory soup would also be excellent with fresh hot bread.
Serves 8-10
This can be frozen and reheated nicely later.

Cajun Grilled Mahi-Mahi

Ingredients:
4 fillets of mahi-mahi (approximately 4 to 6 oz each)
1 tablespoon canola or preferred oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Brush the fillets with the oil and sprinkle both sides with Cajun seasoning.  Allow the fillets to get to room temperature.  Grill for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until the fish is cooked to your desired doneness and nicely browned.
Serves 4
From prep to table  20 to 30 minutes

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