Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cube Steak with Onions and Brandy

This was so good I thought my husband was going to hurt himself eating
too much. I think this would be very good with mushrooms added when you add the onions but one of my children dislikes them.

You'll need:
cube steaks
flour for dredging
olive oil
1-2 onions (it depends on how much cube steak you have - you may even need more)
1/4 to 1/2 cup brandy (if you use 1 onion use 1/4 cup of brandy...etc...a little more wont hurt anything)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat your skillet (I love cast iron) over medium-medium high heat. Melt margarine and/or olive oil in it.
Take each cube steak and blot it off on some paper towels to dry it slightly then dredge it in flour.
Slide it into the pan and brown on one side then the other (a few minutes per side)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.
Don't over crowd the pan, do it in batches if you have to.
When they are all done add some more margarine and oil to the pan (it should still be on med-high heat) and then the onions and a little salt.
Stir it around as it cooks. I like it to get golden brown but cook it to your liking.
When the onion is cooked pour the brandy into the pan all at once.
Let it bubble as you scrape the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing).
When the smell from the brandy isn't quite as strong anymore place the cube steak back into the pan to re-heat.
Serve hot and enjoy!


Cookin' in the pan

Removed from the pan and ready to do the onions.

Cooking with brandy.

Roasted potatoes and green beans make it a meal.
It would be great with mash, rice or even egg noodles.

How can you resist?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Sandwiches with Apricot Dijon Dressing

This was so yummy for dinner tonight. We all love, love, loved it. I hope you do too. I suggested Italian bread for this as that is what I used but any hearty bread or roll would work.

I'd like to thank my daughter, Tessa, for taking notes as I put this one together.

You'll need:
4 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless.
White wine
1 tablespoon olive oil + more for brushing on the bread
1 tablespoon margarine or butter (I used parve margarine)
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 good handful mixed greens, arugula, lettuce, spinach...whatever you have on hand.
1 load Italian bread
2-3 cloves of garlic

For the dressing:
Apricot jelly or jam (I accidentally got preserves which worked fine but the dressing was chunky)
Dijon mustard

Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet. If you want them thinner you can cut them in half.
Marinate in enough wine to cover. Let sit for 10 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together equal parts jelly and mustard. Set aside until needed.
Cut the bread lengthwise and open like a book.
Remove the inside of the bread and fight the temptation to eat it all.
Brush both halves with olive oil and sprinkle garlic over just the bottom half (we are making garlic bread).
Toast under the broiler until it is brown (be careful, it can burn easily).
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and the margarine over medium-high heat in a pan large enough to hold all the chicken.
Add the garlic and stir as it lightly browns.
Add the chicken and cook about 5 minutes or so (depending on the thickness of the chicken) on each side.
Meanwhile, dress the side of the bread without garlic, with the apricot Dijon dressing.
Top the garlic side with the lettuce and the sliced onion.
When the chicken is done top the lettuce.
Close the sandwich and cut into servings.

The dressing

Yummy chicken in the pan.

Ready for the top.


You know you want to try this.
Easy to make and wonderful to eat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Tossed this together tonight. I found a similar recipe online and then added and subtracted and tasted and came up with this yummy recipe. If you have no issue with mixing cheese and meat this would be awesome with grilled chicken or steak added to it. I gave amounts for everything but you may want more or less of this or that...just go with it.

You'll need:
1 bag mixed greens (I used a spring mix...but that doesn't sound autumn-ish)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 avocados, peeled and diced
1/2 cup halved grapes

2/3 cup olive oil or walnut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raspberry jam or jelly
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
a few grinds of your pepper mill

Combine dressing ingredients and whisk, blend, shake...whatever works for you. I used a hand blender.
Set aside or refrigerate until needed.

Toss together the salad ingredients and toss with dressing.
Serve at once and enjoy!

The start of a yummy salad

All dressed up and ready to go.

Eat and enjoy!
My family devoured it.

Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwiches

This a nice spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich; perfect for autumn. It goes nicely with a bowl of soup, a nice side salad, or just a simple cluster of grapes like I had with it.

For one sandwich you'll need:
2 sliced of cinnamon raisin bread (I used whole wheat...raisins optional)
2 slices American cheese (cheddar works too...use you favorite)
1/8 - 1/4 apple (depending on size) sliced thin

Simple lay a slice of cheese on a slice of bread. Top with the apple and another slice of cheese. Top again with the last slice of bread.

If you have a panini grill use it to grill your sandwiches. I don't use butter but, of course, you may if you like. You can also do this in a pan or the oven.

Needs another slice of cheese then it's ready to grill.


Yummy and melty and wonderful

Try it, I know you'll like it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vegetarian Nachos

My husband pronounced me the Queen of Nachos because of this meal. If you aren't worried about mixing meat and dairy then feel free to add some ground beef, made with taco seasoning, to this. Grilled chicken might also be nice.

You'll need:
oil - veg or olive
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash (you can use 2 zucchini or 2 yellow squash)
1 red onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 - 6oz can corn (you can use a Mexican or southwest mix if you like)
2 - 1lb cans refried beans
1 - 13oz bag of tortilla chips
8oz Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
1 - 8oz bag of shredded lettuce
1 - 6oz can of black olives
4 avocados
salsa (to taste, I used a whole jar)
sour cream (to taste)

Dice the zucchini, squash and onion. Set aside half the onion cook the other half with the zucchini and squash in a little oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and add it to the pan. Then drain the corn and add that. Toss it around to cook and then remove it from the heat and set aside.

Cook the refried beans according to can directions.
Meanwhile, slice the olives and peel and dice the avocados.

Empty the bag of chips into a large baking pan or (like I did) 2 baking pans. Top the chips with spoonfuls of refried beans and try to smooth them over the top, evenly. Top the beans with the vegetable mixture and then the cheese. Pop it under the broiler until the cheese is melted.

You can top the whole thing now or spoon out servings and top each serving with the lettuce, olives, raw onions, avocado, salsa and sour cream.

Zucchini and squash in the pan

Chips - duh! LOL

One with cheese one without...I'll get to it :)

Warm and melty ready to come out of the oven.

Ready to eat. Yum!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Barley, Apple, and Chicken Salad

This is great autumn meal. Healthy, easy and can be made hours ahead of time. This makes A LOT. Scale down if you need to; I like to have leftovers for lunch

You'll need:
6-8 cups cooked barley (one package of Quaker quick cooking barley is fine)
1 red onion, sliced
2 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (you can also use leftover cooked chicken)
2 xtra large or 3 large or 4 medium (you get the point) apples

For the dressing:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar or agave or white sugar

Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and poach by dropping into boiling water until cooked through.
It won't take long.
Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients and whisk or shake in a jar.
Chop the apples into bite size chunks and drop them in the dressing so they won't brown.
When the chicken is cooked toss with the apples in the dressing to coat.
Toss in the onion and then the barley and stir together well. Make sure the dressing is well distributed.
Cover and place in the refrigerator until needed.

Whisking the dressing

Toss in the apple. You may want to stop whisking at this time. Apples don't whisk well.

Toss in the chicken...the onion is next but I didn't photo it.

It tastes much better than it looks :/
I hope you agree.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Garden Bagel Sandwich

Tonight was an easy, hot weather supper. I made these simple and wonderful sandwiches and served them with chips on the side. These are so good you'll think you were eating at a fancy cafe ;)
The bagels we get here aren't the best. The better the bagel is, the better the sandwich will be.

For one sandwich you'll need:
1 bagel, sliced and toasted if you like
Deli turkey slices
4-6 thin slices of cucumber
a pinch or two of alfalfa sprouts
1/4 of an avocado - slice thin
Honey mustard or Hummus

Spread the honey mustard or the hummus on both halves of the bagel.
Top the bottom half with turkey, then cucumber, than sprouts, then avocado and finally the other bagel half.
Eat and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kosher (Hot Dog) Fried Rice

Before we went kosher I made this with SPAM. Yes, I ate SPAM and I loved it; I still miss it every so often. You can use hot dogs or a kosher salami for this. I usually use hot dogs because it is on sale more often (hey, we are on a budget like everyone else.) Even if I use the salami though, my family still calls this Hot Dog Fried Rice. It's better than calling it Not SPAM Fried Rice, which was it's name for a while after we went kosher.

You can use a can of SPAM if you don't mind the pork. You can also use ham. I've used turkey in the past and (for all you veg heads) I've also made this without meat and added extra veggies.

One more note: I used brown rice tonight and the family didn't have an issue with it. It does have a very dark color with the brown rice. If you use white rice or Jasmine rice (as I usually do) than expect the color to be different than what you see in the photos below.

What you'll need:
Vegetable oil as needed
4 cups uncooked rice - cooked (make it ahead if you want to and just put it in cold)
3/2 lb kosher salami diced (I used 2 packages of Hebrew Nat'l knockworst tonight)
1 onion, diced (not too small...I've never seen minced onion at the Chinese restaurants.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 eggs (I used 6 tonight)
12 oz frozen peas and carrots (this is the original measurement but since I've switched grocery stores I've only been able to find 16 ounce bags. I still use the whole bag and it's fine.)
 3-4 green onions, sliced

Sauce ingredients:
1 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons sugar (I like to use agave)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
sesame oil

Optional ingredients (I didn't add any of these tonight):
1 can water chestnuts
1 can baby corn
1 can bamboo shoots
1 head bok choy, diced or 1 bag shredded cabbage or slaw mix
Your favorite veggie cut up into bite size pieces (zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, celery...)

1. Saute onion and salami in a large skillet or pot.
2. You can now do one of two things: Either beat the eggs and cook them scrambled egg style in a separate pan or; do as I do and remove the salami and onion from the skillet and cook the egg in the skillet.
3. When the egg is cooked set it aside for later and add the salami and onions back to the skillet.
4. Add the garlic. Toss it all around and let the garlic start to cook.
5. Add the frozen peas and carrots and whatever veggies you'd like to add. Remember, if you are using veggies that need to cook longer you should either steam them ahead of time or add them earlier.
6. Mix the sauce ingredients together. If you are using sugar either pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it or, if you're like me and don't have a microwave, heat it to a boil in a small pot. If you are using agave or honey etc. you don't have to do this step.
7. Add half the sauce to the skillet with the salami and peas and carrots. This will help cook the frozen veg.
8. Add the cooked rice to the skillet along with the cooked egg.
9. Stir well and add as much of the remaining sauce as you need.
10. Drizzle some sesame oil over the top (if desired) and stir well. I use about 1 tablespoon or so.
11. Top with the green onion or mix it into the rice. (I didn't use it this time so don't look for it in the photos)

Hot dogs and onions before

Hot dogs and onions after.

Hot dogs, peas, and carrots...oh my!

Rice and sauce are in the pot and we're ready to eat!

That's good stuff, and better yet, it is a meal in one.

Retro Hamburger Goulash (AKA Mary's Special)

Yep, it's a strange name; allow me to explain. The retro part is because the original recipe comes from an old cookbook. I believe it is from the 1950's; so that counts as retro even if I did change it a bit. The part about Mary comes from the fact that this dish reminds my husband of a dish his grandmother Mary use to make. This is one of my husband's favorite meals and it is also very easy to make.

You'll need:
1 pound ground beef
1 onion (I sometimes leave it out and use 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion)
2 cloves garlic (you can use powder or dried for this too)
1 heaping teaspoon full of Hungarian paprika (the sweet kind, not hot)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional or to taste)
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 pound macaroni

Brown ground beef in a large skillet along with the onion if using fresh.

Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni as directed. If you time it right your pasta will be done just in time to add it to the sauce.

Drain off any oil from the meat and add the garlic, paprika, pepper flakes and minced onion if using.
Stir it around and let the garlic cook for a minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes and the water.
Let simmer as the macaroni cooks until it is thickened for about 10 to 15 minutes (give or take).
Add the macaroni to the beef mixture and stir well.
Don't add the pasta before the liquid cooks down in the pan.
That's it! Serve and enjoy!

Ground beef in the pan with the dried onion, garlic, pepper flakes and paprika.

Simmering before the macaroni is added

Yum! Yum! Stir in the macaroni. You can use whole wheat if you wish.

I served it with carrots this time but we seem to like it best with zucchini or yellow squash fried in a pan with some onions. It's also nice with a green salad.
I hope you try it, and enjoy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Noodles

This is one of the first meals I made my husband before he was my husband. I can't guarantee similar results, but I think you'll find this to be a simple and delicious meal. I'll give you the bare bones recipe and then some optional ingredients to add to make it even better.

You'll need:
1 whole chicken (you can use whole or cut up or any parts you want)
1lb egg noodles

Place the chicken in a large pot and pour in enough water to cover the chicken.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
Let simmer, partially covered for a few hours or until the chicken starts to fall off the bone. If the water evaporates too quickly you can cover it completely and the water wont evaporate as fast.
Remove chicken from pot and de-bone (this is the hardest part).
Discard the bones and place the chicken back in the pot.
Bring back to a rolling simmer and add the pasta. Cook until pasta is done, about 10 minutes.

If you want it thicker than you can mix together a tablespoon or two of flour and a few tablespoons of the broth. Pour it in the pot and boil and stir as it thickens.

Before adding the chicken chop up some onion or leeks and saute in oil.
You can also add carrots and/or celery.

Add whatever herbs you might like. I usually use dill.

You can also add frozen veggies at the end. Peas and carrots, lima beans, etc...

Chicken and dill in the pot

Shredded chicken

Noodles in the pot

Ok, it is a rotten photo, but it tasted wonderful.