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Archive for the ‘Main course’ Category

Crab Cake Sliders

Sliders seem to be a very popular item on todays restaurant menus. They are often served as an appetizer but can certainly go over for lunch or as a light dinner. These fashionable little mini foods can be made with a variety of ingredients like oysters, pulled pork, burgers of all kinds, as a sandwich or with meatballs and….drumroll please….as mini crab cakes. I had been craving these little guys for a while and when Joe suggested we get some seafood from our local market I knew just what it was going to be. Let me tell you, these crab cake sliders are really delicious and if you make the sauce ahead of time the flavors in the sauce intensifies very nicely.

Ingredients:

Crab Cakes:

1 lb crab meat

7 saltine crackers, crumbled

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp gray poupon mustard

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp old bay

1/2 tsp salt

oil for frying

Horseradish Tartar Sauce:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp sweet relish

1/4 – 1/2 tsp horseradish (depending on your taste)

King’s Hawaiian rolls

Directions:

Start by making Tartar Horseradish Sauce by mixing together mayonnaise, relish and horseradish in a small dish. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Beat egg, set aside.Crumble saltine crackers, set aside. Using your clean hands, gently inspect crab meat for shells and place in a bowl. Add egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, old bay, salt and crackers. Gently mix all ingredients together and form into small 2 inch patties.

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Add oil to pan and heat to medium high heat. Brown patties on both sides, remove from pan and place on baking sheet lined with foil. Finish cooking in oven or toaster oven for 10 minutes. Add rolls to oven the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time to heat through.

Assemble crab cakes on rolls with dressing. Enjoy

Crab meat patties ready for cooking

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Chicken Pot Pie in ramekin

Chicken Pot Pie is a regular visitor at our house especially during the winter months when you need some warm comfort food. However, I have been known to serve piping hot pot pie  in the middle of summer if the mood strikes. Recently we’ve had some nice warm spring days here in Virginia but then it turned cold again (they even threatened us with snow) and so the mood was set for a wonderful warm Chicken Pot Pie.

In this post I wanted to share two different versions of my Pot Pie. They are both equally good, one is just quicker than the other. I like to use either Cilantro or Thyme but you can use whatever is your favorite herb. Sometimes I make it as a 2 crust pie, sometimes in ramekins with a top crust, which is what I did in this recipe.

Here’s a little interesting Pot Pie trivia for you. Did you know that the crust in pot pie was typically not eaten but placed there to keep the taste of the iron pot away from the food. “ONE CRUST OR TWO?” Leslie Land, Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1992 (p. H11)

Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients

Ingredients:

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 tablespoon dry sherry

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen carrots

4-5 sprigs fresh Thyme or Cilantro

Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

1 egg, for glazing pie crust

Quick version sauce:

1 – 2  cans Cream of Chicken with Herbs (10 3/4 oz cans)

Homemade version sauce:

5 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup flour

chicken stock

Chicken Pot Pie filling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

Clean chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Season chicken with salt, pepper. Spray pan with cooking spray and lightly brown chicken, remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add chicken back into pan and then add sherry and simmer for 1 minute.

For quick version sauce: add cans of Cream of Chicken with Herbs, peas, carrots and Thyme. Simmer covered 10-15 minutes.

For homemade version sauce: in small saucepan melt butter, then add flour and whisk until combined, simmer 1-2 minutes to remove flour taste. Add chicken stock while whisking until desired consistency. Add sauce to onions in pan. Then add peas, carrots, Thyme and simmer covered 10-15 minutes.

Add chicken filling to ramekins. Unfold puff pastry and cut out circles 1 inch bigger than ramekin size. Cover filled ramekins with circles of dough. Beat egg with fork and brush onto dough to give a nice golden finish. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If dough is browning too fast cover loosely with foil. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Chicken Pot Pie made as a 2 crust pie

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Chicken Parmesan

Yesterday turned out to be the most beautiful Spring day and you could almost palpate the excitement in the air. Flowers have started to bloom and it was mild and warm. You saw people out and about everywhere, smiling, walking, some daring to dress in shorts and flip-flops. Joe and I ventured to Lowe’s and picked up a new swing for the front porch. This particular swing folds down so you can stretch out and take a nap on it. Boy oh boy, I can hardly wait to be gently swinging, reading a book and dozing off in the summer breeze 🙂

So what does that have to do with Chicken Parmesan? absolutely nothing! But I have been messing around with this dish for quite some time now, trying to drive in the flavor to what I consider the perfect piece of Chicken Parmesan. Tender, yet crisp, with just the right amount of that wonderful Parmigiano Reggiano flavor in the breading. This is what I have come up with and it is very delicious, if I may say so myself. Happy Spring everyone.

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup plain bread crumbs

3/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, plus more for topping

2 teaspoons italian seasoning

extra virgin olive oil for frying

mozzarella cheese, shredded, for topping

your favorite Marinara sauce, preheated

Directions:
Rinse chicken with cold water and cut away any remaining fat. Place each of the chicken breasts, one at the time, in a large zip lock bag, close and pound the chicken flat to approximately 3/4 inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Mix together bread crumbs, cheese and italian seasoning and set aside. Dip chicken in flour and shake off excess. Next dip chicken breast in eggs, let excess drip off. Then place chicken in bread crumb mixture and coat to cover. Place chicken on a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Preheat a large pan to medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken breasts in pan and brown, 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and place chicken in an oven proof dish. Pour your favorite preheated marinara sauce over and around the chicken breasts, top with mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Finish cooking chicken in oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.

Chicken Parmesan

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Tortellini Soup

I was searching high and low for something to make for dinner when I came across this recipe. It’s a wonderful Tortellini soup that is so quick and easy to make, perfect for when you get home from work and you’re too tired to make anything that requires any complex thinking. The ingredients are simple and you probably already have most of them on hand. I used a three cheese tortellini which brought a wonderful subtle cheese flavor into the soup but any type of tortellini would do great. An added bonus is that the soup also is perfect for left-over lunch the next day 🙂 

Ingredients:

olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices

4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock

9 oz. tortellini

3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesano reggiano, grated for serving

Directions:

In a large pot heat olive oil to medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in dried oregano and diced tomatoes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. When tortellini is cooked, add baby spinach and remove from heat. Once the spinach has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, serve warm with grated Parmesano reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Source: originally from The Well-Fed Newlyweds via Annie’s Eats

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Beef in Paprika

The nice thing about living in Virginia is that Spring comes early and fall stays late. Our winter is short and yes we did get a fair amount of snow this year but the snow melted away within a couple of days. And so now that Spring is slowly approaching (we have already had a couple of wonderful warm days in the 70’s 🙂 yes we are lucky indeed) but before Spring really takes a hold on us I think we can squeeze in one more dish of what I consider a comfort food. This is a wonderful beef stew with a mild and sweet paprika flavor, onions, tomatoes and tender mushrooms. It becomes even more delicious when served with a slightly perfumed Jasmine rice…my all-time favorite rice. So before the tiny buds burst into brilliant green and we all start sneezing again there is still time for one more hardy meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs cubed beef

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon salt

olive oil for browning

1 onion, diced

6 large mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

3 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoon sour cream

water and cornstarch

Directions:

Trim off excess fat and cut beef cubes into bite size pieces. Season meat with paprika and salt. Place beef cubes in hot pan and brown, careful not to crowd the pan. You may have to brown meat in batches. Once meat is browned remove to a plate and set aside.

Add onions to pan and cook until translucent, then move onions to outer edge of pan and add mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until they just start to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and let simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour. Add sour cream and stir. Mix cold water and cornstarch in a cup to make a slurry and add into simmering beef stew in small increments until desired thickened consistency. Serve over Jasmine rice. Enjoy!

Beef in Paprika

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Winter Minestrone with Chicken

Chicken does not belong in a good Minestrone soup! yes I know this. But it does add a little more bulk and flavor of course. Besides, I had some left over chicken that was begging me to be put to good use. So the chicken is totally optional here. Leave it out and you’ll have a wonderful Winter Minestrone soup….without the chicken. And this soup really is wonderful. It’s packed full of flavor from all the vegetables and pancetta. And if you have a left-over piece of Parmesan rind, please don’t throw it out, but instead toss it into the soup. Trust me, it brings this soup to a whole new level.

Winter Minestrone

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 russet potato, peeled and cubed

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

28 ounces chicken stock (recommend homemade but can use store-bought)

1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind (if you have it on hand)

1 pound fresh baby spinach, lightly chopped if you desire

2 cups shredded pre-cooked chicken (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, pancetta and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and saute for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until tomatoes starts to break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the chicken stock in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining chicken stock and Parmesan rind to the vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until the potatoes pieces are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans, baby spinach, pre-cooked chicken and parsley. Heat through until the spinach is wilting and the chicken is brought up to temperature. Remove the Parmesan rind and rosemary stem. Enjoy hot.

Winter Minestrone Soup with Chicken

Source: adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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Chili

Winter Wonderland

We actually had a white Christmas this year, as a matter of fact, we had record snow falls here in Virginia. It may not have been as much snow as some of our more Northern neighbors got, but for Virginia this amount of snow has been very unusual. It started snowing on the evening of Christmas Day and continued on through 1st Christmas Day. I ♥ snow and of course I had to go out and explore it. It was beautiful and magical and the air was cold and refreshing. I must say that I enjoyed every moment of it.

Chili

Chili is such a great comfort food, perfect for when it’s cold outside. It’s quick and easy to put together and then just let it simmer away on the stove. I prefer to make my Chili one day in advance to allow the flavors to really come together. Of course, you can adjust the seasoning to your liking. I don’t make my Chili too spicy but if you like it hot, then by all means, add more Chipotle in Adobo sauce. Not only does this ingredient bring heat but it also brings a wonderful flavor as well. By the way, this Chili freezes very well making it an easy grab and go dinner. Enjoy!

Wizards made by jganvil

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon garlic paste

2 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

plus 2 cans water (14.5 ounces)

1 can pinto beans, rinsed (16 ounces)

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed (16 ounces)

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chipotle in Adobo sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large heavy cooking pot, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium, add the chopped onion and green pepper, continue to cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and tomato paste and mix well. Add diced tomatoes, water, beans, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove from heat and let it cool for a little for 15 minutes. Place in storage containers and refrigerate. Serve Chili the following day or freeze for later.

Simmering Chili

Iron Wizards are made by Artist Blacksmith Joseph Gentile. To see more of his ironwork go to jganvil.com

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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Fusilli Col Buco And Shrimp In Tomato Cream Sauce

Fusilli Col Buco And Shrimp In Tomato Cream Sauce

Ok, so I admit it, I’m hooked on Tomato Cream sauces. Ok ok, here is the real truth, I’m hooked on anything tomato. Tomato sandwiches, tomato soup, tomato sauces or just a plain tomato with salt and pepper, yum. I think maybe Joe (my husband) is getting a little tired of my love affair with tomatoes, although he really did like this Tomato cream sauce. And did you see these beautiful Fusilli Col Buco that I found. I have been saving them for a special tomato sauce and this is it. Hope you enjoy this recipe, should you decide to give it a try.

Fusilli Col Buco And Shrimp In Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

2/3 pound Fusilli Col Buco

1 pound extra-large Shrimp

2 tablespoon Butter

2 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 small Onion – diced

2 cloves Garlic – minced

1/2 cup white wine

1 can Tomato Sauce, 8 ounces

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

fresh Basil, to taste

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Peel, devein and rinse shrimp. Cook Fusilli Col Buco until desired consistency. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper and cook in skillet until pink. Do not overcook. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, then add diced onion and minced garlic and cook over low-medium heat until tender. Add wine and let it reduce for 4-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cream, stir well and bring to a simmer. Chop fresh Basil and add to sauce, then add drained Fusilli Col Buco and Shrimp back into the sauce and stir well to make sure Fusilli is completely covered with sauce. Serve hot with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!

Cooked Shrimp

Fusilli Col Buco in Tomato Cream Sauce

Source: adapted from Pioneer Woman

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Chicken Scallopine With Basil And Fontina Cheese

Chicken Scallopine With Basil And Fontina Cheese

I have made this Chicken Scallopine many times before and it is absolutely lovely. The Fontina cheese is what really makes this dish. I like to use a Danish Fontina which is mild, sweet and nutty. It is also a very soft cheese so it can be a bit challenging to shred. Try placing the cheese in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before shredding. Of course, you could simply just cut the cheese into very thin slices instead and place onto chicken. It should roll just fine since the cheese is so soft. This recipe was originally made with sage but I just love the basil flavor with the tomatoes.

Chicken Scallopine With Basil And Fontina Cheese

Ingredients:

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin

salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large basil leaves, plus more

3 ounces grated Fontina cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large garlic clove, cut into thick slices

1/2 cup white wine

1 (28 ounces) can whole San Marzano tomatoes

a pinch of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Special Equipment: toothpicks

Directions:

Rinse chicken breasts under cold running water and cut off any excess fat. Place one chicken breast in a large zip lock bag, press out inside air and close. Pound chicken breast thin using the smooth end of a meat tenderizer or a rolling-pin. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Place chicken breast on plastic cutting board, narrow end facing you. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on large basil leaf on top of chicken. Sprinkle with 1/2 ounce Fontina cheese (about 2 tablespoons). Starting with the narrow end, roll up chicken and seal with two toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Warm the olive oil and garlic slices in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate and discard the garlic. Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the reduced wine, season with salt and pepper, stir to blend. Place the browned chicken breasts back into the skillet with the tomato sauce, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and simmer covered for another 10 minutes. Chop extra basil and add to sauce, stir. Remove all toothpicks.

Spoon tomato sauce onto a warm serving platter. Cut each chicken breasts into half and place on top of tomato sauce. Serve immediately.

Chicken breasts rolled up and secured with toothpicks

Brown chicken on all sides.

Source: adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

If you read my blog on a regular basis you’ll know that I am a bit of a tomato freak. So it makes sense that tomato soup is one of my favorite types of soup. In my humble opinion, there is nothing more soothing than a bowl of warm and slightly peppery tomato soup served with a slice of fresh bread. Yum!

This time I chose to make it a smooth textured soup but if you would like it a little more coarse, use canned diced tomatoes instead of whole canned tomatoes. And only blend the roasted tomato chunks and then pass them through a sieve. This will give you more chunks but without skin and seeds from the roasted tomatoes.

Also I should mention, that this recipe makes quite a few portions and if your family or friends are not too keen on tomato soup, no worry, because this soup freezes really well. I like to divide it into smaller serving sizes, freeze and defrost as needed for a quick-lunch. I hope you enjoy this wonderful Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.

Delicious roasted tomatoes

 Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

5 garlic cloves, minced

a pinch red pepper flakes

1 (28 ounce) canned whole San Marzano tomatoes

4 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 quart chicken stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut tomatoes into halves. Toss together tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread tomatoes out onto a foil covered baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onions, garlic and red pepper flakes with 2 tablespoon olive oil until onions start to brown. Place the roasted tomatoes and canned tomatoes in a blender, food mill or a food processor and blend until smooth. Press tomatoes through a sieve to remove skin and seeds, make sure to scrape all the thick good stuff off the bottom of the sieve.  Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, chicken stock and juices from baking sheet to the skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Tomato and Basil, a match made in heaven

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa

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