Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gourmet Green Bean Casserole

I have always meant to get this one up here. I only make it for holidays so it usually slips my mind. This year I was bound and determined to get it up!

2 lbs fresh* green beans, ends trimmed and cut to size preference
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled. Reserve bacon fat (or you can use 1/4 cup butter)
3 TB flour OR for GF use 2 TB tapioca or potato starch, (corn starch works too but it doesnt withstand heat as well)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
shredded cheddar
crushed butter crackers (Link for A GF version)

* you can use frozen if you like, just thaw them a bit first....I don't recommend canned be substituted.

Heat reserved bacon fat(or butter) in a large skillet, add flour and stir to make a smooth roux. add sugar, onion and garlic.

Cook until tender and fragrant, then add sour cream and cream cheese. Heat and stir until smooth and creamy. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add beans and toss to coat.

Place in a greased casserole dish top with crumbled bacon , cover with foil

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until the beans are tender... remove foil, sprinkle on shredded cheese and crushed crackers and bake 10 minutes more until the cheese is melted.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Super Pickle's Fried Pickles

It is my oldest son's birthday today and he really LOVES pickles. He wanted a bacon burger and a big side of fried pickles for his special dinner.
Sorry I missed the process pictures I was doing 4 things at once while making these!
Of course if you want to sub jalapeƱos for the pickles, that works too!! Fresh or pickled.

12 oz Thick Slices of Dill Pickle Chips, well drained
(I used Nathan's Famous Kosher Dill Chips, the ones in the refrigerated section, they are MUCH crisper than the ones on regular shelves)

3/4 cup milk
2 eggs

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp paprika(smoked if you have it!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

5 oz buttery crackers, (Club or Ritz work well), crushed into SUPERFINE crumbs(in a blender or food processor)
1 TB  dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper taste(I found no extra salt necessary since the crackers were salted)

oil for frying

First whisk the milk and eggs together in a dish, add pickles and swish around

In a large ziplock bag combine flour and seasonings, seal and shake well.

Remove the pickle chips from the milk mixture, draining well (don't discard the milk yet!)

Add the pickles to the flour, seal and shake well to completely coat each chip.

In another dish combine cracker crumbs and seasonings, mix well.

Shake excess flour from the chips and a few at a time re-dunk in the milk mixture then press into the crumb mixture completely coating each side. Pressing gently but firmly to allow coating to adhere.

Place on a foil lined baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the chips.

Freeze for 30 minutes. (VERY IMPORTANT STEP, DON'T SKIP!)

In deep skillet heat about an inch depth of oil over medium high heat,  to test for readiness toss in a few cracker crumbs, when they dance around well the oil is ready.

Add pickle chips in batches, being careful not to overload your pan. Fry 2-3 minutes or so and gently flip. Continue to fry until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels and enjoy immediately!
Or you can put them in a single layer and freeze them for later use.
To Re-heat, heat oven to 425 and bake on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Creamy Lemon Garlic Fish and Chips Bake

 Flaked tilapia with cubed potatoes, tossed with a Greek yogurt tartar sauce! Fish and Chips all in one.
It is a bit of a process with the homemade hash brown cubes so feel free to sub frozen ones if you like. Cook them according to package directions then proceed with the final casserole assembly.

1 lb tilapia fillets
2 TB olive oil
2 TB lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine marinade ingredients, place fish in a dish and pour over marinade, tossing to coat.

Allow to marinate for at least 45-60 minutes.

Tartar Sauce:
12 oz plain greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely diced dill pickle
1/4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all tartar sauce ingredients and allow to mingle while the fish marinates (missed this one in my photos)

While those are marinating you can start the potatoes....

2lbs  potatoes

2 TB olive oil
2 TB butter, melted
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450

Boil whole potatoes until just fork tender.
Drain and cool enough to handle (I rinse gently in cold water to speed this process). Slip off the skins if you like and dice into cubes.

In a bowl toss potatoes with oil, butter and seasonings until well coated

Pour them onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer
Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes or so until crisp and evenly brown.

Drain on paper towels.

When potatoes are nearly done, heat a deep skillet brushed with olive oil to medium and  add the tilapia fillets including all the marinade and cook 2-4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and cooked to a min of 145.

Remove from pan and flake gently

In a 9 x 13 pan toss together flaked fish, potatoes and the tarter sauce (you can use as much of the sauce as you like, don't feel the need to use the entire thing)

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Top with shredded  cheese(I used mozzarella) if desired and some sliced green onion for a little color, bake 5 minutes more to melt cheese


If you want to get most of the work out of the way early each component can be pre-made. Just  assemble when you are ready to bake, keep in mind that if you are assembling from cold ingredients the final bake will be longer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Primavera Oven Omelette

I have been moving away from pastas lately but my husband had requested  Primavera Casserole or something similar. I decided to look into replacing the pasta with veggie noodles with my spiralizer but then I remembered I needed something for my son to throw in the oven for Drama Club night.....I decided to make it a big omelette! This would be great with ham added too.

12 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1 small yellow squash (or zucchini), shredded and blotted as dry as possible
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup broccoli, chopped small

1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 clove garlic , minced
2 TB butter
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk eggs and milk until fluffy. Add in parmesan and garlic powder.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and toss the vegetables together in there.

Pour egg mixture over the top.
(Can be covered and refrigerated at this point. Up to 24 hours. Great if you want to make it up at night for a quick throw in for a late morning brunch)

Mix bread crumbs with garlic, butter and parmesan, set aside

Bake for 30 minutes, sprinkle topping over the casserole,

 then bake 15 minutes more until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Slice and Serve!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chicken and Banana Enchilasagna

Ok that last recipe with the banana sauce was SO delicious my husband requested I make it into an Enchilada recipe....I decided to thin it a bit and to make it into a version of my Enchilasagna recipe!

1lb chicken thighs or breasts, seasoned, cooked  and shredded
15-6 inch corn tortillas, quartered
2 cups cooked black beans
8 oz  or more shredded cheese....I used Chipotle Gouda and Pepper Jack , Monterrey Jack is good if you dont want the spice

Banana Sauce:
1 TB olive oil
1 medium bell pepper, diced(color of your choice, I used red) 
1/4 cup onion, diced 
1 clove garlic, minced 
2 medium bananas, mashed 
1 cup chicken broth
 3/4 cup sour cream 
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
 salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add pepper, onion and garlic. Cook until tender and fragrant.

Add chicken broth and banana and mix to a smooth consistency.

Gently mix in sour cream and seasonings to taste.

Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Mix chicken and beans into the remaining sauce.

In a 9 x 13 pan  pour 1/2 cup of the reserved sauce, spread to all corners.

Layer 5 of the tortillas (total of 20 quarters),

 then spread over 1/2 of the chicken and bean mixture and 1/3 of your cheese. Repeat the layer, tortillas, chicken and beans, cheese

 then 1 last layer of tortillas, top with remaining reserved sauce and the last 1/3 of the cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Allow to stand 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Creamy Banana Sauce with Bacon over Yellow Squash

I love my sprializer.....LOVE it.....I can  replace pasta with veggies!  How awesome is that? Of course you are welcome to sub regular pasta if you wish.
I had bacon wrapped bananas not too long ago and they were fabulous so I decided to work off of something like that...and just like that the recipe is born.

6 oz bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, reserving bacon drippings

1 TB reserved bacon fat(olive oil is fine if you prefer not to use drippings)
1/2 cup  bell pepper, diced(color of your choice, I used red)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat bacon grease over medium heat, add in pepper, onion and garlic, cook until tender and fragrant.
Add in chicken broth and bring to a simmer

Add banana to the veggie mixture. Cook and stir until the banana is well incorporated

Add sour cream,stir and cook until thickened*. Add pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

*If it is a bit thin you can mix 1 TB corn, tapioca or potato starch with 2 TB water and add that to help thicken it.

5 medium sized yellow squash*, sprialized or if you dont have a spiralizer you can use a julienne peeler
1 TB reserved bacon fat(or olive oil if you don't want to use the drippings)
sprinkling of salt

*I ended up throwing a zucchini in too this time because after I sliced up all my yellow squash it seemed to be not enough, so any mix and match  of the 5 squashes needed work great too!

Heat bacon grease over medium heat, add squash and sprinkle with salt, cook until just tender(It will be FAST!)

Drain any excess liquid, toss noodles with sauce, sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top,

serve and enjoy!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Copycat Red Robin Blue Moon Beer Milkshake

It has been over a year since I was last at Red Robin....and when we went this last weekend they had a new beer milkshake! Of course not getting there too often I had to make my own copy!!!
My husbands comment....."John Steinbeck would be proud!" (Cannery Row if you have never read it)

Makes 2 shakes

1 1/2 cups quality vanilla ice cream
2 TB orange juice concentrate
6 oz Blue Moon White Belgian Ale
1 1/2 ounces Orange Liqueur
1 tsp xanthan gum*

Blend ice cream, OJ and Blue Moon to a smooth consistency, add the shot of liqueur and xanthan gum.
Pour into glasses, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of orange zest

*xanthan gum is not 100% necessary, it just thickens it well....if you dont want to add it, just stick it in the freezer to thicken.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coconut Crusted Mango Sriracha Pork Chops

I found a completely delicious sounding recipe on Brittany Angell's website. The only problem? I don't like I made it into a pork chop and added my own flair.
Her site is FANTASTIC and I suggest perusing it when you have a moment!!

EDIT 4/12/2016--
I wanted to make this but was short a few ingredients, including mango.....I subbed 1/3 cup kirkland strawberry spread, 3/4 cup greek yogurt and the sriracha as the sauce and it was SO delicious!!! Maybe even better than the original!! I think it would be delicious just subbing fresh strawberries for the mango, I just didnt have them on hand.

This would be wonderful with chicken as well!

1 cup diced fresh mango (peel a Mango QUICK link!!)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 TB mayo
1 TB honey
2 tsp-2 TB Sriracha Sauce(more or less to taste)

In a blender blend it all until smooth. Set aside for flavors to mingle.

2 lbs boneless pork chops

3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Generously oil a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and preheat oven to 400.

Combine all breading ingredients and mix well.

Measure 1/2 cup of the mango sriracha mixture into a separate bowl and put the rest aside in the fridge for dipping.

To the 1/2 cup add 1 beaten egg and mix well.

On a plate measure 1/2 cup flour OR you can use corn, potato or tapioca starch.

Make an assembly line with the pork, then the plate of flour or starch, then the mango sauce, then the breading, ending with the greased baking sheet.

Coat chop in flour/starch, tapping to remove excess

Next dip  into the mango mixture.

Last dredge heavily through the breading mixture, coating well.

Place on greased sheet and repeat with remaining chops.

Bake for 20-25 minutes flipping once half way through, cook until they are 165 chops are about 1 inch thick, please take your thickness into account with baking times!! Dry pork SUCKS.

 Serve with extra Mango Sririacha and Enjoy!