Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pasta with Hot Dogs

My husband said I should have a better name for this. He said this dish elevates the hot dog. All I know is that it was good, easy, and the whole family loved it.

You'll need:
1 onion, diced small
olive oil
2 packages of hot dogs, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons brown sugar (or a brown sugar substitute)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 lb pasta: I used wagon wheels but shells or bow ties or other shapes would be great too.

Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil.
Cook the onion, stirring often to keep from getting over brown, just until it starts to soften.
Add the hot dogs and stir well. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the dogs are to your liking (I like them well done).
Add the paprika, oregano, brown sugar and vinegar. Stir together well and let boil to reduce by half.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
Add the tomatoes and the paste and stir well. Simmer gently until your pasta is done.
Toss the sauce with the hot cooked pasta.

Onions cooking in the pan

Adding the hot dogs.

Adding the spices and vinegar.

Stir together the pasta with the sauce.

A side salad makes it a meal.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lemon Chicken

This is a retro recipe as it is a chicken dish I grew up on. My mom would make this often at my request.  She always used butter but keeping kosher style I used margarine. You can also do fish this same way which I'll post at a later time.

You'll need:
1 to 1.5 sticks margarine
chicken - I used 3 lbs thin chicken breast strips
flour for dredging
lemon juice - I used 1/2 cup

Melt 1 stick of margarine in a large pan (use butter if you wish).
Meanwhile, dredge chicken in the flour to coat.
Put the chicken in the pan and brown lightly on both sides.
It shouldn't take too long to cook through since you are using thin chicken slices.
If you need to do it in batches, like I did, remove the chicken from the pan and put in a warm oven. Add more margarine to the pan as needed and do the remaining chicken.
When all the chicken is done add it back to the pan and pour over the lemon juice.
Stir the chicken around and scrape the bottom of the pan making sure all the chicken is coated with the juice.
Serve hot and enjoy.

Chicken in the pan.

I had lots of chicken, almost a whole two layers. Just make sure you mix it around so it all gets lemon flavor.

Time to eat!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cheddar Cheese Soup

This is loaded with veggies but your kids will never know. Don't shy away from this because it looks like a big recipe. It is very easy to make.

Feel free to leave out the beer. I've made it with and without and like it both ways. If you leave it out then use extra broth.

This makes a lot. I think 8 people could have eaten here tonight and I might have still had leftovers. At least I have a good lunch for tomorrow...if I'm hungry by then ;)

You'll need:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
24oz of beer (I used 2 12 oz bottle of Dos Equis)
4-5 cups vegetable broth
1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
1 lb carrots (I used a 1 lb bag of baby carrots), chopped
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon dill
salt and pepper
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup milk (skim worked find)

Melt butter in a large stock pot.
Add onion and saute until softened over med - med-high heat.
Add the garlic and cook until it begins to take on a little color.
Add beer, letting it bubble.
Add the rest of the vegetables and the dill.
Add the 4 cups of broth. Add the last cup (or more) if you need it to cover the vegetables. They should be just covered but it is ok if some are sticking out of the liquid.
Bring to a boil, bring it down to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are nice and tender.
Remove from heat.
Using a stick blender, a blender, or a food processor, blend the soup until creamy. There shouldn't be any big chunks of vegetables.
Add the cheese and remaining ingredients; stirring until the cheese is melted and the soup is blended well.
Season to taste.
If it is too thick try adding more broth or milk.
Serve hot.

Vegetables in the big pot. Maybe one more cup of broth...

Wow, that was quick...Soup!

I hope you try it and enjoy!

Broccoli Melts

These are really yummy. I made these up a long time ago using my husbands wonderful, homemade rye bread. I've made these in the past on sour dough for the kids before they grew a taste for rye so feel free to use whatever you like. I think a nice whole wheat or multi grain would be great. Nothing wimpy or very thin though, you need a sturdy bread to make this work.

I used broccoli this time but I like the broccolini better so that is what I put in the recipe. You can also use asparagus or rapini. I don't see why you can't use cauliflower or broccoli flower too. Let me know if you use other veg and how it turns out.

You'll need:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bunch Broccolini, chopped coarsely
Dijon mustard, to taste
mayonnaise, to taste
6 slices rye bread, 1/2 inch thick
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese, or to taste 

Melt olive oil  and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and saute until soft.
Add garlic and broccolini and saute until the broccolini is tender.
Meanwhile mix equal parts of the mayo and mustard together adding extra of either to suit your personal taste.
Place each slice of bread on a baking sheet and spread some of the Dijon mayo mixture on them.
Top each with a portion of the broccolini and onion mixture.
Top the broccolini with a slice of cheddar cheese (use more or less cheese to taste, I like it very cheesy).
Place under a pre-heated broiler until the cheese is melted to your liking.
Serve hot and enjoy.

Broccoli and onion in the pan

Bread getting the Dijon mayo treatment

Topping the bread with the broccoli

All melty and ready to eat.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Simple Meat Sauce

My mom used to make this when I was a kid. This is so easy, budget friendly and kid friendly. Your family will think you slaved over a hot pot for hours when it only takes about 30 or so minutes from stove top to table top. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

You'll need:
1 lb ground beef (more if you like it meaty...I used about 1.5 lbs tonight)
1-2 garlic cloves (or to taste), minced
1 large can diced tomatoes (I like petite diced), drained
1 medium can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
Oregano or other Italian herbs, fresh or dry, to taste
2 lbs pasta of choice, I prefer rigatoni or penne

Brown ground beef in a large skillet.
Add the garlic and cook until it takes on a little color.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and herbs.
Let simmer while your pasta cooks according to package directions.
Drain the pasta and pour into sauce. Toss well to coat.
Serve at once.

2 pounds of rigatoni

Yummy meat sauce

Put it all together and something magical happens...

...the pan overflows and you have a mess.

Serve it with a side salad and you have tasty meal.

Hot Dog Gravy

This isn't really a gravy but you use it like a gravy or a meat type sauce. I served it over brown rice but I think the next time I make this I'll serve it over toasted white bread. I don't see why you can't serve this over macaroni or egg noodles too or even in hot dog buns or hoagies.

This is an adaptation of a retro recipe. The family loved it, I hope you do too.

You'll need:
vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 packages hot dogs (I used the big dinner sized Hebrew National dog), sliced into rounds.
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion.
When the onion starts to get soft add the hot dog rounds and cook until the onion is done and the hot dog it cooked. I like my hot dogs well done.
Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until the sauce thickens.
Serve over toasted bread, hot cooked rice, noodles or whatever else you can think of.

Hot dogs and onions

Simmering in the sauce

More simmering in the sauce

A tasty, easy, cheap meal. Just add a salad or a veg (ketchup doesn't count) and you're good to go.