I love Beef Wellington, but let’s face it, it can be complicated (getting the puff pastry wrapped around the tenderloin can be equal to the first time you tried to diaper a squirming baby). It also takes a boatload of time to prepare, so I usually make it only on a holiday or special occasion. How sad – that’s like only using your “good” china and glassware at Thanksgiving, and we ALL know that has become a “No, No” since you never know if you will still be here for that next special occasion. I decided to deconstruct the traditional recipe and make it a new and easier way without compromising the flavors. This recipe still has the same flavor profile (beef, pâté, mushrooms, onion, sherry) but now I can make and serve it in around 30 minutes instead of 2.5 hours. When I prepared the steak I used Hawaiian salt to season it. Until about a month ago I had never used the stuff (even though I had a package of it in my …
One holiday down, and two to go before 2014 comes to an end – the year has certainly gone by very quickly! Lots of holiday parties in the next month, so canapes and appetizers will be at the top of my list of things to prepare. These stuffed mushrooms are quite easy to make and have a slight piquant tangy flavor to them as evidenced from the combo of goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction. I served them on Thanksgiving and got two thumbs up from my 5-year-old great-niece Lily – that makes this appetizer a winner as far as I am concerned!
This chicken dish is great to serve company or just for the family on a beautiful Sunday evening in September, like today. You can serve dinner in under an hour with only 20 minutes of prep and about 35 minutes to finish cooking in the oven. I happened to only have two pieces of chicken, so this particular recipe is Dinner For Two – just double or triple the recipe based on number of people you are serving. The chicken cooks up moist and juicy – a simple and comforting dinner that is delish!
Growing up we always got to choose the dinner menu for our birthday. My Dad’s favorite birthday dinner was Herbed Chicken, served over white rice with a side of creamed spinach. While we didn’t count calories much then, I looked it all up and found this meal was 1215 calories – the chicken with sauce was 715 calories on its own and we hadn’t added in bread/butter and the birthday cake! Now I am eating around 1200 calories in a day, so I changed-out the chicken as this was the biggest offender in terms of fat and calories – made it lighter but still tasty! The cream of chicken soup had to go, as did the sour cream, and the heavy cream that were all used to create the gravy. I substituted Greek Yogurt instead so the gravy still stayed creamy. I still serve cream of spinach with the chicken, but eliminated the white rice totally from this menu. This chicken dish is still delicious but now it’s also much healthier. Original Herb Chicken is 715 …
I needed some comfort food on Monday night but was not in the mood to get too involved in cooking anything that took longer than … what, a few TV commercials? I fell back on my reliable go-to instant comfort food, Mushrooms on Toast. This is a pretty simple recipe, but still works its magic when needed. I try to mix up the variety of mushrooms in the recipe and I happened to have left over shiitake, button and baby bellos used in a mushroom tart on the weekend, so they became the mushrooms of choice. If I were being ambitious I would serve this with a small green salad and Green Goddess Dressing.
To me Coq Au Vin is the epitome of classic French cuisine – and now I find I can make a low-carb version and enjoy it just as much. It’s sorta like when you use the holy trinity of French cooking – if you use fresh, good quality ingredients, you have some leeway on making it work for your eating plan. If you look at the true translation of Coq Au Vin, it means “rooster in red wine”, hence the use of Red Burgundy in a typical recipe for this dish. I made Coq Au Vin the correct way for years, but half the time my sauce would turn the color of purple and even the chicken would have a purple tinge to it. Mind you it still tasted terrific, but I found it hard to get past my chicken resembling Barney. So I changed it up a bit and started using white burgundy instead (chardonnay or Chablis) – it both tastes good and looks appetizing as well.
Five main ingredients to this pasta sauce: mushrooms, garlic, grape tomatoes, vermouth, heavy cream. And then of course the pasta, Bowties! This is easy to prepare, less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and I have to admit I did a “happy dance” in my kitchen at the first bite, when the flavors dance around in your mouth!
Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms. I add them to sauces, soups, chinese food, atop pizzas, sliced raw in salads, chicken casseroles, beef bourguignon, and on and on and on. They are minced, sliced, cubed, chopped, braised, stewed, fried, sautéed, used in place of beef (the Portobello is perfect for this) and they are even mashed if you are making Mushroom Pate. They are one of the most versatile vegetables, though technically they are really a fungus. And today I stuffed them with cream cheese, vermouth, bread crumbs and herbs in the traditional manner.
You are likely thinking, grilled cheese sandwich? Really? Like I don’t know how to make one? Sure you do, but do you know 31 different ways? I didn’t until now. The picture above is my grilled cheese sandwich and the makings of it are below. But before you get to that you need to see a sampling of the 30 other ways that I found this weekend at the Grilled Cheese Academy (imagine being able to say you graduated from the Grilled Cheese Academy!) Their sandwiches look amazing, so am posting some of their photos that I personally find mouth-watering. Then you can go look at their site and see the rest of them and get their recipes. Here you go….
I don’t know if the Russians consider Beef Stroganoff comfort food or not, but in my house, it sure is. Although the recipe originated in St. Petersburg in the 19th century, it became popular throughout Europe in the early 20th century and landed in American cookbooks mid-1930s. Because red meat was rationed during WWII in the 1940s, this recipe was considered a “gourmet” dish served by those who had money. Legend has it that the recipe was named after Count Alexander Stroganov. His chef created this dish since the Count had lost all his teeth and could no longer chew steak. He then submitted his new recipe in a culinary competition and won first prize in 1891. But wait……there is a recipe