Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cabbage Casserole

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cabbagescabbages (Photo credit: bgblogging)I remember my Mom making various cabbage dishes. I could tell when I entered the house by the smell. To some people it was a bad smell, but to me, the smell was well worth it because of the wonderful taste. (sometimes ya gotta take the bitter with the sweet. I have tried various methods of reducing the cabbage smell, but to no avail. The best method I have found so far, is to put some vinegar in the water while you are cooking the cabbage. Cover the pot and keep the water to a rolling boil and don't lift the cover anymore than you have to. If any of you have a sure fire method of cooking cabbage to reduce or eliminate the odor, please let me know. In the meantime, put up with the smell and just enjoy the wonderful flavor of the following dishes.

Cabbage Casserole

5 cups shredded cabbage
6 medium potatoes, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed vegetable beef soup, undiluted

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture; toss gently to combine. Transfer to a greased 3 quart baking dish. Spread soups over the top.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is no longer pink, and vegetables are tender.

This makes 10 servings.

The Old Guy

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Ahead Meatloaf

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MeatloafImage via WikipediaI found this recipe on the Internet awhile ago and just got around to making it.  It was very good.

Make Ahead Meatloaf has a secret ingredient that adds alot of moisture and flavor. It's Bratwurst.

Make Ahead Meatloaf
2 teaspoons oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 saltine crackers
1 pound ground beef 80/20
3/4 pound bratwurst, uncooked, casings removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Process saltines in food processor or put in a plastic bag and crush them and transfer to bowl with onion mixture.
Add beef and bratwurst to the bowl along with the remaining ingredients and gingerly knead until combined. Press mixture into 2 disposable 8” loaf pans.

Place plastic wrap on the top of the meat and around the pan. Wrap a second time with aluminum foil. Label pans and freeze for up to 1 month.

When ready to bake, defrost completely. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap loaf pans and place on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile, whisk together glaze ingredients in a small bowl and top the meatloaves with the glaze. Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the meatloaves reaches 150 degrees. (Use a probe or meat thermometer.)
Remove meatloaves from oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving. Cut the meatloaves into slices and carefully remove from the pan and serve.

The Old Guy

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pinot Grigio Chicken

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A glass of pinot grigio wine.Image via WikipediaPinot Grigio Chicken

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 chicken cutlets (pounded to about 1/2 inch in thickness)
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms ( or 1-4ounce can stems and pieces)
1/4 cup Pinot Grigio wine ( or your favorite white wine)
2/3 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
a pinch of Kosher salt
a pinch of black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon tarragon
6 ounces Angel Hair pasta, cooked and drained

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. Rinse chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture until well coated.

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

Add the white wine and mushrooms to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the cream or evaporated milk, kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and tarragon. Heat until sauce thickens to a creamy consistency. Serve chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta.
Some thick cut garlic toast and a salad completes this meal.

The Old Guy

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Mustard Crusted Pork Chops

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pork chops (homecooked) - delicious!Image via WikipediaMustard Crusted Pork Chops

8 boneless center cut loin pork chops 1/2 inch thick*
6 ounces Panko bread crumbs (is a variety of flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods)
4 tablespoons whole grain Mustard (can use yellow prepared mustard as well)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 -1 cup cooking oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

*If you prefer, you could substitute chicken cutlets for the pork. Just be sure to pound it to a thickness of 1/2 inch between 2 sheets of wax paper to assure even cooking.

Whisk or sift together the paprika and flour; set aside. Whisk together the mustard, egg and milk in a separate dish; set aside next to the flour mixture. Place the Panko crumbs in a third dish; set aside next to the egg mixture.

Season both sides of the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Using tongs to prevent "goo fingers", dip chops one at a time in the flour, then egg, then panko, thoroughly covering all sides of the chops with each layer of the crust. (I just dive in without the tongs and "goo" my fingers up to dip and coat the chops well).
Set each chop on a piece of wax paper or plate in a single layer to dry out a bit.

Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet over medium heat, plus another glug for good measure. (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup for a 10-inch skillet). When oil is hot enough (you can drop a piece of that goo that stuck to your tongs or fingers in it, and it will sizzle and start to turn brown), place a few if your breaded chops into the oil for m1-2 minutes or so per side until the crust turns a nice golden brown. Add more oil to the pan and let it heat a bit before next batch. If your chops are thicker than 1/2 inch, you'll want to place them on a baking sheet (after browning both sides) and place them into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or so to make sure they are cooked through.

Serve with a salad and a baked potato for a truly wonderful and satisfying dinner.

The Old Guy

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Italian, Filipino, and Mexican Style Spaghetti

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English: Polish spaghetti pasta with tomatoe sauceImage via WikipediaIt's not just Italian Spaghetti anymore. Other cultures have added their own twist to the classic Italian favorite.

Filipino Spaghetti

I have made this recipe several times. Some of the ingredients are not what you would expect to put in spaghetti, but they work, and it tastes really good.

1 (1 pound box) Spaghetti noodles
4 cloves minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 pound ground beef or turkey
6 hot dogs, sliced on a diagonal (that gives it more surface space)
1 ( 26.5 ounce can) Hunt's Traditional style) spaghetti sauce
1 (15 ounce can) diced tomatoes, undrained
1( 6 ounce can) tomato paste
1/2 bottle banana ketchup ( located in the Asian section of supermarket, or Asian store)
1 cup tomato ketchup

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. When done al dente, drain. As you begin boiling the water for the spaghetti, saute the garlic and onions in a small amount of olive oil till translucent. Add ground meat and cook until browned; drain excess oil and fat. Add sliced hot dogs to ground meat mixture and saute for about 5 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, banana ketchup and tomato ketchup and heat on medium low until sauce is heated through. Combine sauce and cook noodles and stir well.
Serve with a salad and garlic toast.

Mexican Spaghetti Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 package (1-1/4 ounces) Taco Seasoning (your choice mild, regular or hot)
1 (15 ounce can) tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces corkscrew noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef; drain. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, green pepper and spices. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Meanwhile, combine pasta, 1/2 cup cheese and sour cream. Spoon into the bottom of a greased 9-inch x 13-inch x 2-inch baking dish. Top with meat mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and cheese in melted.

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound medium size pasta shells
2 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving.

In a cup, combine the garlic and olive oil and set aside. In a large pot of boiling, well salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands; season with salt and pepper. Remove garlic from the olive oil and discard. Add the garlic oil, butter and lemon peel to the tomatoes. Add the pasta and toss, adding a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin the sauce, if necessary. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper; toss. Serve with the Parmesan cheese.
Serve with bread sticks and a salad.

The Old Guy

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three of my favorite Casseroles

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Rice-A-Roni boxesImage via WikipediaI don't like casseroles!!! I LOVE casseroles. They are quick, easy, economical, and there is usually enough left-over for lunch the next day. The recipes this week are once more..Food fast, not fast food.

Chicken Rice-A-Roni Casserole.
It doesn't get easier than this.

1 box chicken flavor Rice-A-Roni
1 can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup sour cream
3-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken, or 1 whole Rotisserie chicken
1 (6ounce can) French Fried Onions

Prepare Rice-A-Roni according to package instructions. Add soup, sour cream and chicken.Stir to combine. Spread rice mixture in a lightly sprayed 9-inch x 13-inch x 2-inch baking dish. Top rice and chicken with the French Fried Onions. Bake, uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and onions are browned.

Casseroles are not just for dinner. Try this......

Amish Style Breakfast Casserole
English: Bacon wrapped around cheddar cheese, ...Image via Wikipedia
1 pound sliced bacon, diced (you could substitute breakfast sausage if you prefer)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) Cottage Cheese
1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss Cheese

In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

This recipe is a variation of the standard Tater Tot Casserole.

Chips (BE), French fries (AE), French fried po...Image via WikipediaCheeseburger and Fries Casserole

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can condensed Cheddar Cheese soup (may substitute Nacho Cheese soup for a little more zip)
1 package frozen french fries, any style
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and drain excess grease. Add salt and pepper and garlic and mix well. Add both soups, undiluted, and stir until well blended. Heat on stove top until heated through, and then transfer to a 9-inch x 13-inch x 2-inch baking dish that has been coated with Pam. Top mixture with the French Fries and bake for 30 minutes, or until Fries are crispy. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

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