Friday, November 30, 2012

Chicken and Carrot Stew

If you prefer not to have the stew version of this meal, you can follow the recipe to the point of deglazing the pan with wine and then return the chicken to the pan with a lid on and fully cook the chicken. 

2C. Carrots, sliced ½ “ rounds
1 Lg. Onion, diced
1 ½ Pd. Chicken, cubed
4 Tbsp. Flour
1 tsp. Thyme
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Paprika
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 C. White Wine
2 C. Chicken Broth
½ C. Heavy Cream
¼ C. Fresh Parsley, minced
1 ½ C. Bowtie pasta

In a large Ziploc bag, combine flour, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Add chicken and shake well to coat. Heat 1 Tbsp oil a in large skillet over med-low heat. Cook onions, stirring frequently until softened. Remove from skillet. Increase heat to med-high. Add chicken in a single layer, cook until browned. Flip chicken and brown on the other side. Chicken will not be cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet. Add wine to deglaze the bottom of the skillet, bringing to a boil and scrapping the browned bits from the bottom. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by a third. Add the chicken broth and carrots. Return the onions and chicken to the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook on low until the carrots are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the mustard and cream until mixed. Add pasta, making sure it is submerged in the liquid. Cover and cook on low until pasta is cooked ., stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat, keeping the skillet covered for 5 – 10 minutes.

Below is a picture of just cooking the chicken in wine.

Jerky Marinade

This is the marinade that we use for deer jerky.  If you prefer, you could also use this for beef.  This recipe has just a hint of heat despite the cup of hot sauce used.


1 C. Hot sauce (we use Tapatio)
1 C. Soy sauce
1 C. Worcestershire
1 tsp. Liquid smoke
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
½ C. Brown sugar
½ C. Ketchup

 Mix all ingredients in large container. Add the sliced meat and turn to coat all pieces evenly. Marinate in refrigerator at least 18 hours or up to 30 hours. Place in a single layer in a food dehydrator or hang by toothpicks on the oven racks. Time that it will take to fully dehydrate the meat will depend on the thickness of the slice and the cut of meat.

*When slicing the meat, it is helpful to have an electric slicer, because getting the meat into pieces that are of a consistent thickness is key to even dehydrating. Before slicing the meat, try putting it into the freezer so that it is semi-frozen. It will be easier to slice.

Stuffed Peppers

A family favorite.  A bit of a hassle with three pots on the stove, but well worth the effort. 

1 Lb. Hamburger
1 Onion, chopped
1 ½ C. Rice
1 tsp. Garlic Powder6 Oz. Tomato Paste
¼ C. Brown sugar
8 Oz. Brown sugar
5 Large Bell peppers
56 Oz. Tomato Juice

 In skillet, combine hamburger and onion.  Cook until browned and cooked through.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.   Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions.  In separate pot, core the peppers and de-seed.  Boil peppers in salted water until crisp tender and then drain.  Add the tomato paste to the meat, and stir to incorporate into the meat mixture.  Add 2 cups tomato juice to the meat and stir in the hot cooked rice and cheese.  Stir and cook on low until cheese is melted and mixture is uniform.  Stuff into peppers.  Place peppers in large Dutch oven.  Pour enough tomato juice around the peppers so that the liquid will be about ½ way up the peppers, about 4 cups.  In small bowl, combine 1 cup of tomato juice with the brown sugar.  Pour the tomato juice with the sugar over the tops and sides of the peppers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until heated through.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beef Stew with Beer over Barley

One pot meal that's easy to throw together.  You can add carrots, parsnips, potatoes if you want a more traditional stew in the last 20 minutes of cooking.  We had this over barley which we seldom eat, but is also excellant over brown rice.

3 lb. Beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ “cubed
¼ C. Flour
4 Tbsp. Butter
6 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Cider vinegar
1 tsp. Thyme
1 Bay leaf
3 Yellow onions, thinly sliced
24 oz. Belgian ale
1 C. Beef stock
2 tsp. Brown sugar
2 tsp.  Parsley
¾ tsp. Tarragon
1 tsp. Bacon drippings

Season beef with salt and pepper.  Toss with flour in bowl to coat.  Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in large Dutch oven.  Brown beef in batches.  Remove and set aside.  Add remaining butter and bacon drippings.  Sauté onions and garlic until caramelized.  Add 12 oz. of beer.  Simmer until reduced by half.  Add beef, beer, stock, sugar, vinegar and herbs.  Bring to boil then simmer, covered about 1 ½ hours until tender.  Serve over barley or brown rice with crusty bread.    

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Potato and Leek Soup

A good alternative to the traditional version of potato soup.  A satisfying winter dish.


3 Tbsp.  Butter
3 Leeks, finely chopped
3 Lb. Potatoes, cubed
5 C. Beef Broth
½ C. Heavy Cream
¼ C. Parmesan, Grated

In pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add leeks.  Sauté until softened.  Add potatoes, stirring to coat with the butter and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add cream and parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Stew over Rice

This is a very flavorful stew.  Bold flavors of lime, cumin and turmeric really come through.  The sugar provides a nice touch of sweetness.  If you want a spicy version, add a jalapeno or crushed red pepper flakes along with the bell pepper.  Excellent over rice or noodles.

2 lb. Chicken breast, sliced 1 inch
¼ C. lime juice
1 tsp. Black pepper
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Onion, chopped
2 C. chicken stock
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire
2 tsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Dry mustard powder
1 tsp. Turmeric
½ tsp.  Cumin
2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
15 oz. Diced tomatoes

Combine chicken, lime, Worcestershire, sugar, mustard, black pepper, turmeric, cumin, garlic, bell pepper and onion.  Marinate for at least one hour.  Remove chicken from marinade.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken and cook until browned.  Remove from the skillet.  Add the marinade to the skillet along with the tomatoes.  Cook until onions and peppers are softened.  Add stock and chicken to skillet.  Bring to a boil then simmer covered for 20 – 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice or noodles.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

White Pizza Sauce

My family's all time favorite sauce for pizzas.  A truly fantastic flavor.  You can use a homemade dough or if short on time, then I like Boboli original pizza crust from the store.  Top with the spinach or sliced tomatoes, you really can't go wrong.  The sauce is also a good base for a cheese sauce for Alfredo type pasta dishes. 

2 Tbsp. Butter
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 -4 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach
1/3 C. Dry White Wine
1/3 C. Heavy Cream
1 C. Mozzarella, shredded

Heat butter and 1 Tbsp. Water in saucepan on low until melted.  Add garlic.  Sauté until softened and light golden.  Add wine.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Add cream.  Simmer on low until thickened.  Spread on crust.  Top with mozzarella, and pepper.  Toss spinach with oil.  Spread on top of cheese.  Bake at 375 until crust is done.  Place under the broiler to finish and crisp the spinach.   
Pizza Dough
1 C. Warm water
1 tsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Yeast
3 C. Flour
Add salt and yeast to warm water.  Add flour and knead until smooth.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough is doubled in size.  Punch the dough down and roll out on floured surface in desired thickness.  Place on pan or pizza stone and top with your favorite pizza sauce and cheese.  Top with sliced tomatoes and bake at 375 for 25 to 45 minutes depending on thickness.  This recipe makes 1 very large pizza or 2 regular pizzas.

In the version below, I replaced the spinach tossed in olive oil with sliced tomatoes. 

Tortilla Soup

Very flavorful soup.  Grocery stores now stock already minced cilantro in the salad section which is a great time saver.  Use less chicken broth if you want a thicker soup as the recipe below tends to have alot of broth.  Leftover corn tortillas brushed with oil, cut into sixths and baked in the oven are a great low fat version of the chips that you buy in the stores.

8 C. Chicken broth
2 ½ lb. Chicken
1 Onion, chopped
1 Jalapeno, minced
15 oz. Tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. Veg. Oil
½ Bunch Cilantro, minced
3 Tbsp. Lime juice
1 C. Frozen Corn
Tortilla Chips, broken

Boil chicken in salted water until cooked through.  Remove and let cool.  Shred.  Heat oil in Dutch oven.  Sauté onion and jalapeno until softened.  Add broth, tomatoes, lime, cilantro, corn, chicken, salt and pepper.  Simmer until flavors blend and soup is reduced by about 1 Cup.  Ladle into bowls and top with the chips. 

Chicken Salad

The taste of the tarragon will become more pronounced after mixing the ingredients.  Use a little less than you think you'd like and let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour for the flavors to develop.  After an hour, stir and adjust seasonings.

3 large chicken breast, trimmed
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp. Tarragon, dried
1 C. mayo
1 C. sliced grapes
½ C. chopped walnuts

Slice the chicken breast into 4 or 5 pieces.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add chicken and garlic and cook until cooked through.  Drain the chicken and discard the garlic.  Shred or chop the chicken into a large bowl.  Add tarragon, mayo, grapes, walnuts, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add more mayo for desired consistency. 

White Bean Chicken Chili

This chili can be made in a number of different ways.  Leftover rotisserie shredded chicken also works well with this.  If you like more heat add additional jalapenos or for a mild version substitute bell peppers.  A great alternative to tomato based 'traditional' chili.

2 Tbsp. Veg. Oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano, dried
¼ tsp. Crushed Red pepper
1 pd. Ground Chicken
45 oz. White kidney beans.
4 C. Chicken broth
1 C. frozen corn
2C. Fresh Spinach, chopped

Heat oil in Dutch oven.  Sauté the onion and garlic until softened but not golden.  Add the ground chicken.  Cook on medium heat breaking up the meat until cooked through, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom.  Drain and rinse the beans.  Add beans and the remaining ingredients to the pot.  Simmer, covered, on low for ½ - 1 hour.  Add salt, pepper and adjust seasonings.

Italian Sausage and Grapes

What could be easier than a four ingredient weeknight meal?  I love balsamic vinegar, much more than my husband.  I always add extra to the rice once I've made my plate.

1 lb. Mild Italian ground sausage
1 ½ C. sliced grapes
¼ C. balsamic vinegar
Cooked brown rice

In skillet, break up and cook sausage until cooked through and browned.  Stir in the grapes.  Cover skillet with a lid and turn heat on low.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir the sausage and grapes and add the vinegar, tossing to coat.  Cover the skillet with the lid and continue to cook on low for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve atop cooked brown rice.