Sunday, April 28, 2013

Morels in a White Cream Sauce

Morels are a seasonal spring treat where I live.  They grow wild in the woods around our house.  If you are lucky enough to find them, cut into halves and soak overnight in a bowl of salted water in the refrigerator.  Use your favorite type of pasta for this dish.  I like Campanelle.  Their shape allows the sauce to cling to the pasta, plus they remind me of mushrooms.  This dish does not heat up well, but is easily divided in half.


2 C. Dry White Wine
2 C. Heavy Cream
1 C. Morels, diced
1 C. Parmesan-Romano, grated
1 Tbsp. Butter
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
¾ Pd. Dried Pasta

In large skillet, melt butter with 2 Tbsp. water over low medium heat. Add garlic. Saute until beginning to soften. Add morels. Continue to cook until just beginning to turn light golden, stirring frequently. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add cream. Turn heat to low-medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside. Turn heat to low and stir in the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Be careful and don’t overheat the cheese as it will clump. Stir in the pasta.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chicken Soup with Tomatoes and Paprika

Easy weeknight meal that only takes a few minutes to throw together.  The beans add a comforting feel to the soup.   Serve with baked chips or cheese quesadillas.  

2 Chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 C. Chicken Broth
15.5 oz. Can Navy Beans
15.5 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
¼ C. Cilantro, minced
Sour Cream

Drain and rinse beans. Lightly mash. In a large saucepan, add all ingredients except sour cream. Heat soup over medium heat until simmering. Cover with a lid and continue to simmer for 20 minutes to let flavors meld together. Top with sour cream.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken with Almonds and Chow Mein Noodles

This is one of the first meals that my son made when he was first starting to learn how to cook around the age of ten.  He picked the recipe out of the cookbook and was responsible for the whole meal, from making sure that we had the ingredients and prepping the vegetables to checking the dish once the timer sounded on the oven.  If you let kids in the kitchen and let them help, they will try such a greater range of foods that they might otherwise turn down. 

3 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
2 C. Celery, diced
1 C. Carrots, shredded
1 C. Bell Pepper (red and green), diced
8 oz. Canned Mushrooms, sliced
2/3 C. Almonds, sliced
1 can, Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can, Cream of Mushroom Soup
Chow Mein Noodles

In large bowl, stir together all ingredients except chow mein noodles. Transfer to a baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until hot. Remove foil and top with noodles. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 5 – 10 minutes.   

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catalina Chicken

A recipe received from a very dear friend, who used this as a camping treat for years.  It is a super easy weeknight dinner and is delicious whether from a gas or charcoal grill.  Add a side salad and bread for a complete dinner.  Or add mashed potatoes and veggies.  Nothing gets easier than a three ingredient meal.  The chicken turns out super moist and tender. 


3 Lb. Chicken Breast
1 C. Seltzer Water
1 C. Catalina Salad Dressing

Trim chicken of fat and slice against the grain into 4 or 5 pieces per breast. In large bowl, combine seltzer water and salad dressing. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Pour into foil pans or boats. Grill over medium heat until chicken is done and marinade has reduced to a glaze.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spicy Ground Pork with Ramen Noodles

This is a very spicy but flavorful dish. I think traditionally it is served with thread (glass) noodles. They look beautiful, like strands of icicles. I tried these originally but did not like the taste.  Instead, I substituted Ramen noodles for the dish. If you want to use the dried bean thread noodles, use ¼ lb.  and cook in boiling water for 4 minutes until soft and then add the noodles to the finished dish.  Toss to coat.

3 Tbsp. Canola Oil
8 Oz. Ground Pork                                                                                                                                
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
3” Ginger, peeled and minced
3 Tbsp. Chinese red chile bean paste
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 tsp. Rice wine vinegar
4 C. chicken stock
1 bunch scallions, diced
6 oz. Ramen Noodles

Heat oil in large skillet. Add pork. Cook until browned, breaking up meat. Add garlic and ginger. Cook 5 minutes. Add chile paste, soy sauce, vinegar and stock. Bring to boil. Add noodles and cover with lid. Simmer with lid on until noodles are tender. Stir in chives.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bailey’s Irish Cream Bundt Cake

This is a very moist, dense cake. It has a wonderful flavor. One of the most requested cakes in our household. Drizzle as much fudge sauce as you want over the cake. Everyone absolutely loves this!


2 Tbsp. Instant Coffee
¼ C. Bailey’s liqueur
1 pkg. Yellow Cake Mix
3.4 oz. Vanilla Pudding mix, instant
¾ C. Sour Cream
½ C. Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs, beaten
1/3 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted
1/3 C. Sugar
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
¾ C. Pecans, chopped
16 oz. Chocolate Frosting
Fudge Sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Combine coffee and liqueur. Add cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat for a full 4 minutes. Batter will be very thick. Stir melted chocolate chips into 2/3 cup batter. Combine sugar, cinnamon and pecans in separate bowl. Pour ½ of batter into greased Bundt pan. Top with ½ of chocolate batter. Sprinkle with ½ of sugar mixture. Repeat layering. Use a butter knife to swirl batters. Bake 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan. Loosen sides by running a plastic knife around the edges. Turn out on a cooling rack. Cool completely. Heat frosting in the microwave (lid and foil removed) stirring every 20 seconds until smooth and pourable. Pour over cake. Let the icing set up. Drizzle the fudge sauce over cake.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

WV Ramp Burgers

Nothing says springtime like ramps.  It is a traditional spring ingredient in many dinners.  If you have the chance, try to get out and support the local ramp dinners or try to dig a few wild ones yourself.  The creativity in the kitchen can be endless.  We have many dishes that we use them in, but these burgers are by far my favorite.  When shaping the hamburger patties, indenting the middle with your thumbs, will help to ensure a more even burger  in the finished product.

1 Pd. Hamburger
1 Egg, beaten
1 C. Ramps, cooked, (Vary depending on taste)
¼ C. Breadcrumbs, unseasoned
1 pkg. Bacon

Wash and clean a large plate full of ramps. Finely chop. In large skillet, place 3 bacon strips and heat over medium heat. Add ramps. Cover and cook over low heat until softened and tender. Meanwhile, fry the remaining bacon until crispy and then drain on paper towels and set aside. When ramps are finished, remove the bacon from the skillet and place ramps in sieve to drain any extra liquid.  Measure out 1 cup of cooked ramps.  Reserve any remaining ramps for another use or for burger topping.  In a large bowl, combine hamburger, egg, ramps and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into patties and grill over medium heat until desired doneness. Top with the reserved bacon and your favorite condiment on buns.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spicy Chicken and Shrimp

This can be made with just chicken or just shrimp. Control the spiciness with the amount of hot sauce used. If you do not like hot foods, you may want to reduce the hot sauce down to 2 - 3 Tbsp.

1 Pd. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Pd. Chicken Breast, sliced into thin pieces
1 med. Onion, minced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Coriander
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano, dried
12 oz. Lager Beer
½ C Frank’s Red Hot, hot sauce
4 Tbsp. Butter

Melt butter in skillet. Season chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Sauté shrimp until just turning pink. Transfer to a plate. Sauté chicken until lightly browned on both sides. (Meat may not be cooked through.) Transfer to plate. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Sauté until softened. Stir in turmeric, coriander, cumin and oregano. Cook about 1 minute. Add beer. Bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half. Stir in hot sauce. Add the chicken and shrimp. Cover skillet with lid. Cook until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.