This is a crazy easy dish to make and tastes pretty damn fine for having so few ingredients.The only oddball thing is that you will need to search out some tuna packed in oil.

1 12 ox box whole-wheat rotini or penne
2 cans oil-packed tuna
2 Tbs whole grain, spicy mustard
2-3 cups frozen veggies, thawed (I used peas and corn)



Cook the pasta until al dente. When done, drain the pasta and reserve about a cup or so of the pasta water.

While the pasta cooks, drain the tuna’s packing oil into a small skillet and flake the fish into pieces.  Add the mustard to the oil and heat over med-low heat.

After draining pasta return to the pot and add the veggies and the oil and mustard mixture.  Add some of the reserved pasta water and cook over medium heat until the mustard oil and pasta water form a sauce that begins to cling to the pasta.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Posted by Mike on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Filed in: EntreesFish & SeafoodPasta • ◊ Permalink
Comments (0)

since being funemployed I’ve had a lot more time on my hands which I normally would have filled by cooking but until yesterday it was too damn hot and the diet I’ve been on didn’t allow for much playing with my food. Since it was cold, cloudy and rainy, today was the perfect day to cook.

Sriracha-soy roasted chicken with vegetables*
For The Marinade
1/4 cup soy sauce


1/4 cup Sriracha
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For The Roast
8 chicken thighs
6 ribs celery, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut in 1½-inch pieces
1 small cauliflower, broken into 1½-inch florets
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

oven ready

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Coat all over the chicken, including between the skin and meat. Transfer chicken to a roasting pan, skin-side up, leaving any excess marinade in the bowl. Add vegetables, olive oil, salt and pepper to the same bowl. Toss to coat. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken in the roasting pan. Bake in oven 30 minutes.

Remove pan and, using tongs, carefully turn chicken over in pan, breast-side down. Continue roasting 20 minutes. Remove pan and turn chicken over once again, breast-side up. Continue roasting until thoroughly cooked and juices run clear from thigh when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer chicken to cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Stir vegetables in the pan with the juices and keep warm. Serve chicken with vegetables and reserved juices.

Serves 4
*Adapted from a whole-chicken recipe found on NPR
China: Rose Garden by Lenox


Posted by Mike on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
Comments (0)

So in a pleasant series of events, my sister gave me some produce from her garden, including a nice, but not huge zucchini at about the same time that Andrea over at Food Embrace posted a recipe for vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini.  Her recipe was scaled for a monster zucchini and the one I had was only about a 10 inches long and not bloated like a zeppelin, so I had to scale it down a bit and of course I made substitutions because I wasn’t about to make the 25 minute round trip to the store.

Andrea’s Stuffed Zucchini


  • 1 HUGE zucchini, (literally like a foot in length, or as big as you can find)
  • 1/3 C Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 1/2C Chicken Stock (or veggie broth)*
  • 1/2 Cup, chopped onion
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 cup baby asparagus, chopped

  • 5-8 Grape Tomatoes, quartered

  • 1tsp Garlic Powder, or to taste
  • 1tsp Italian Seasoning

  • Shredded mozzarella or provolone (optional)

  • Olive Oil for sauteeing

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking dish by rubbing some olive oil around it. In a small sauce pan, heat over medium high heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil to it.  Add in the uncooked quinoa and sautee for about 2 minutes.  Add in the stock and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until the millet is cooked and has absorbed the liquid.  You may have to add a bit more stock if it evaporates before the quinoa is completely cooked through.

    zucchini hollow

    Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the insides being careful not to scoop down too far.  You want to create a long dent in the zucchini so you can stuff it later.  Place zucchinis in the baking dish once they have been fully scooped out.

    Once the quinoa has cooked, place in a medium sized glass mixing bowl.  Add in the tomatoes, carrot, onion and asparagus. Add in the seasonings as well.  Mix until well combined.  Stuff the millet mixture into the zucchinis, packing them tightly.  If you have leftover stuffing, sprinkle that along the bottom of the baking dish.

    Place in oven uncovered and bake until you hear the stuffing sizzling and the top is a golden brown color. The zucchinis should be cooked through by this point.  About 15 minutes.

    Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese.

    *You may want to use low sodium stock if possible.  The quinoa was tasty and chickeny but rather salty.  It wasn’t as noticeable when mixed into stuffing, but if you’re concerned about sodium, it’s worth considering.

    You can pretty much vary the veggies, herbs and spices in the stuffing with whatever you have on hand. It would probably also work well rolled into a flattened chicken breast or as a side dish.

    stuffed zucchini

    China: Wyndecrest by Lenox

    Posted by Mike on Thursday, August 04, 2011 at 10:21 AM
    Filed in: EntreesVeggies • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (1)

    These have a little bit of kick from the hot sauce, though if I were making these for myself I’d add more.  Pretty good for breakfast, too.

    1/4 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
    2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
    4 tsp hot sauce
    1 Tbs kosher salt
    1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
    6 eggs, for frying

    Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish and set aside.

    Throw the beans, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, onion, hot sauce, and salt into the food processor. Pulse until everything is mixed and beans are broken down but some whole beans remain, about 15 pulses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula during processing.

    Form 6 (3-inch) patties and dust each patty on both sides with cornmeal. Place on a baking sheet.  cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the patties to firm up.  Or if you have the space, put ‘em in the freezer for maybe 5-10 minutes.

    Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 3 patties in the pan and fry until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Return patties to the baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining patties.

    Top with a fried egg.

    Note:  You can make these ahead.  To reheat, pop in the oven for 10 minutes.  Any longer and they dry out too much.

    Posted by Mike on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 at 12:05 PM
    Filed in: Entrees • ◊ Permalink
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    As a rule I’m not a big fan of ground chicken or turkey. Unless it’s used as an ingredient in a more complex dish, the flavor factor ranks right down there with plain-jane tofu.  I also have an ever-growing problem with ground meat in general. The salmonella outbreaks from those disgusting industrially produced chubs of beef that don’t even get packaged by the people who do the butchering are bad enough, but when I worked in a Grocery Ranch@#153; I worked in the meat department. I loved working there, but the making of ground meat was always good for a bit of squeamishness. After seeing how and what it’s made of, I pretty much prefer to ‘grind’ my own from poultry and good cuts of pork or beef in the food processor at home.  I know the meat is exactly what I want, I can control the fat content and even add spices and herbs from the start. 

    This is why I decided to try this recipe, which I adapted from one found at Wicked Good Dinner. Note: You will need an oven-proof skillet or 2.

    Tarragon Chicken Burgers
    Yields: 4-5 patties

    tarragon chicken burger
    dishes on permanent loan from Indiana University

    For the patties:
    2 Tbs olive oil, divided
    1 medium onion chopped
    1 large green pepper, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced (more if you like)
    1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs,
    cut into 1” cubes
    1 tsp Kosher salt
    1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
    1 Tbs sour cream
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon
    1 Tbs chopped cilantro
    1 Tbs flour
    3 Tbs canola oil for pan frying

    For the topping:
    4 Tbs Sour cream
    zest of 1 lemon
    1 clove garlic, minced
    Kosher salt and pepper to taste

    Cut the chicken into 1” pieces, removing skin and most if not all of the fat. Toss the chicken, salt, pepper, 1 Tbs olive oil, yogurt and lemon juice into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chicken is well minced and no big hunks remain, about 10 pulses.  It will have kind of a disgusting, gluey consistency and you might have to spread it out if it bunches up.

    Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet heated over medium heat. Saute onion and green pepper until softened, about 6 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

    Add onion mixture, tarragon, parsley and flour to the chicken glop and pulse until well combined, about 5 pulses.  Fair warning:  the texture will still be gluey… but chunkier.  Divide mixture into four or five equal portions and flatten into patties onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Slide the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes to set shape, or in the freezer for 10 minutes.  While the burgers are chilling, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    chicken burger cooking

    When the burgers are chilled, season them with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat, until shimmery. Add patties to pan and cook for 4 minutes. Flip patties and throw the pan in the oven for about 12 – 16 minutes. Remove from oven and loosely tent with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.

    While the burgers are resting, mix Greek yogurt, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and place a dollop on top of each burger.

    Thoughts after cooking:

  • The original recipe specifies it, but I prefer dark meat because it’s moister and tastier than breast meat. For those of you concerned with fat?  You have ample opportunity to remove as much fat as you want in this recipe, but let’s face it… a little bit of fat goes a long way towards keeping the meat moist and nobody really likes leatherburgers.
  • This could easily be served on a leaf of lettuce with a salad and/or some steamed or sauteed veggies. For that matter, it would probably make a damn fine meatloaf.
  • I’d probably use a bit more flour as a binding agent the next time.
  • Finely shredded carrots might be nice if added to the onions and peppers and a bit of chopped tarragon to the sauce.
  • I really liked the short frying period to brown the burgers and finishing them up in the oven. It seemed to really cut down on the spatter factor.

  • Posted by Mike on Monday, September 20, 2010 at 08:12 AM
    Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (2)

    Chicken in a pepper

    So peppers were a buck apiece last week and chicken thighs were on sale too. Regular stuffed peppers aren’t high on my list of things to eat, but these were pretty darn tasty.  They looked pretty too.


    4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 cloves minced garlic
    2 Tbs pesto
    2 flat bottomed bell peppers


    Combine the oil, garlic and pesto and toss into a plastic bag. Add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for up to an hour.

    Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove the ribs and seeds and brush the insides with a bit of oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Take the chicken from the marinade and roll up jelly roll style. Stuff two thighs into each pepper and place in a baking pan.

    Bake at 350 until chicken is done--about 45-50 minutes.

    Serve with rice (fried would be extra nice) and sauted veggies.


    Posted by Mike on Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 02:22 PM
    Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
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    This is another one of my Meatless Monday experiments that turned out to be tasty and easy to make. Relatively healthy too, after making some substitutions for some of the original full-fat ingredients.  Also, it’s essentially a half-sized recipe; meaning that (if you’re like me and not feeding a small army) you don’t have a butt-load of leftovers to freeze and/or get thoroughly sick of eating before it spoils.  My only issue is that it was a bit dry and could have benefitted from a bit more sauce.

    Broccoli & Three Cheese Lasagna

    1 tub low-fat Ricotta Cheese (15 oz)
    1 lb broccoli florets, steamed & chopped (I had leftovers, use frozen; chopped and dried otherwise)
    2 1/2 cups 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    salt & pepper
    1 jar marinara sauce (16 oz) I like Bertolli Tomato & Basil
    1/2 cup heavy cream (sorry… no substitution here)
    8 no-boil lasagna noodles
    cooking spray

    Preheat oven to 400.  Combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and broccoli in a big bowl.  In a smaller bowl stir the marinara and cream together.

    Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan.  Cover with two noodles, then top with 1/4 of the sauce and 1/3 of the broccoli-cheese mixture.  Repeat twice.  Top with remaining two noodles and sauce.  Cover with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.

    Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover the lasagna before sliding into the oven.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown and the cheese is gooey and bubbly.

    Serves 6


    Posted by Mike on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM
    Filed in: CasserolesEntreesVeggies • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (2)

    This is a great tasting and super easy to prepare combo with mostly stuff you probably have in the pantry. You may be tempted to use boneless chicken, but if you do, you’ll wind up with shredded chicken once you take it out of the crock.  Which actually doesn’t sound too bad now that i think about it.  It’d be kind of a spicy chicken stew to serve over the rice.

    chipotle lime chicken

    Chipotle Lime Chicken
    · 1 cup sliced onion
    · 1 cup chopped celery
    · 1 cup chopped carrots
    · 4 pounds skinless chicken thighs
    · Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    · 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    · 1/4 cup lime juice
    · 2 tablespoon minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce with 2 teaspoon sauce from can
    · 2 cloves garlic, minced
    · 1 avocado, diced
    · 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    · Lime wedges, for garnish

    Arrange onion, celery and carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and arrange over vegetables.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, lime juice, chipotle chiles with sauce, and garlic. Pour mixture over chicken.
    Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Serve over rice (recipe below) and top with diced avocado and cilantro.

    · 2 cups instant brown rice
    · 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
    · 1 cup water
    · 1 (15-ounce) can red beans, rinsed and drained
    · 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    · zest of one small lime
    · 1/4 cup chopped scallions
    · Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, beans, thyme, and lime zest. Set pan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Fold in scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Plate:  California Poppies for the Santa Fe Railroad by Syracuse China

    Posted by Mike on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 06:06 PM
    Filed in: Crock PotEntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (1)

    This would actually work a bit better with a flatter fillet such as Sole, Perch or even Catfish, but Tilapia is cheap, the fillets are perfectly sized portions and they thaw really fast for a quick meal.


    2 Tilapia fillets (about 1/4 lb each)
    1 egg white
    1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (the stuff in the green shakey bottle is fine)
    1 Tbs garlic powder
    1/4 tsp ground cayenne (or whatever flavors you like)
    1 Tbs Canola or peanut oil

    Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat.  Put the egg white into a bowl large enough to fit your fillet.  Combine Parmesan, garlic powder and, cayenne.

    Dry each fillet, then dip both sides into egg white.  Dredge in Parmesan mixture and pan fry until browned on the first side before flipping for a total cooking time of 5-6 minutes.


    China: Rose Garden by Lenox

    Posted by Mike on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 06:48 AM
    Filed in: EntreesFish & Seafood • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (0)

    This turned out better than I expected, both as a pulled sandwich and sliced. If you have a large crockpot use a whole turkey breast cut along the keelbone.  If you’ve only got a 3.5 qt crock like me?  Your best bet will be to de-bone them or use breast fillets.


    1 whole turkey breast (or 2 boneless fillets)
    1/4 cup dark molasses
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1/4 cup ketchup
    2 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
    2 tsp liquid smoke
    1 small onion, chopped very fine
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper


    if using a whole turkey breast, place it flesh side down in the crock to make sure that the meat is covered by the sauce. If using fillets, just lay them in.

    Whisk remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the turkey. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours.

    Slice and serve over rice OR…

    Remove turkey to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Pour the stewing juices into a saucepan, add a nubbin of unsalted butter and reduce to the consistency you like.  Shred turkey before placing it on a bun and top with a nice dollop of the Q sauce. 

    Posted by Mike on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM
    Filed in: Crock PotEntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (2)

    This smells really great when it’s baking and tastes great, even if it doesn’t look lime much. The yogurt is an awesome blank slate for whatever you want to flavor it with (Balsamic vinegar or mixed citrus juices and zests instead of the Worchestershire sauce maybe?) and helps keep the chicken amazingly moist even if you take the skin off as I did.  It also doesn’t take much prep time.  Maybe 10-15 minutes depending on whether you have to remove the skin yourself or not.

    3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed (one cut up chicken or whatever parts yank your crank)
    2 Tbs lemon juice
    salt & pepper
    2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
    2 Tbs Worchestershire sauce
    2 Tbs Dijon mustard
    1 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp cayenne
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (for garnish)

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Place chicken pieces in rectangular baking dish.  Drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

    Toss the next five ingredients in a bowl and whisk together, then pour over and around the chicken pieces.  Bake chicken, uncovered, for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and broil for 3 minutes before serving. 

    Posted by Mike on Saturday, April 03, 2010 at 07:25 AM
    Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
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    I’ve seen various things labeled as ‘Salmon Roasts’ whilst wandering through my local Grocery Ranch™ locations and they look damn tasty, but not so tasty that I’m willing to spend fourteen bucks a pound. I figured that i could make something close to it that was cheaper, tastier and more attractive. One out of three isn’t bad for a first attempt ‘cos at least I know what I need to do differently next time.  This is how I made it last night.  I’ll mention the things I would do differently at the end.DSCF2773

    Stuffed Tilapia

    4 Tilapia filets
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
    1 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
    2 tsp assorted herbs (I used oregano, thyme and tarragon)
    3-4 Tbs Panko
    olive oil for sauteing


    Preheat oven to 400 and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

    Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute until just getting golden.  Toss in the spinach.  It looks like a buttload right now but in about 40 seconds its gonna shrink down to nothing.  Once any moisture from the spinach is cooked off, add the parmesan, cheese and panko.  toss around until it’s all well mixed.

    Match your fish fillets for size.  Place one fillet from each pair flat side up on the baking pan and top with half the spinach mixture. Cover with the other fillet and toss in the oven about 8 minutes.  Use a wide spatula to transfer to plates to minimize the chance that the fillets will break up before eating.

    Notes and things I’d change:
    Yeah, I know that the eponymous “they” say to bake your fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, but I think that this 1) results in dry and nearly inedible fish that 2) is directly responsible for why so many people don’t want to eat fish unless it’s coated in gluey batter and Fry-O-Later’ed by slacker teens at the local Captain Silver’s or served up in a diced and re-formed square abomination at McHardeeCastles.  Now, on to the things I’d change…

    I originally wanted to make these as pinwheels. Tilapia fillets are way too short and thick in places to roll up.  Sole or Flounder would be better for that.  The two small Tilapia fillets did make for a perfect, if slightly largish serving each though.

    If stacking the fillets, I’d hold back 1/3 of the stuffing and use it to top the fillets. I’d keep the Panko out also and sprinkle it on top of the fish before baking.

    If you use a more flavorful fish use a more flavorful dry cheese like Feta, Bleu or Gorgonzola

    China:  Carmella by Lenox

    Posted by Mike on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 11:44 AM
    Filed in: EntreesFish & Seafood • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (8)

    imageMany moons ago when blogs were still young, I frequented the blog of a nice guy from Pennsylvania, btezra. His blog has gone the way of the dinosaurs (so don't bother clicking) but this recipe, which he originally posted there and graciously permitted me to copy, has survived. I've done a couple of things differently but only in the prep. The ingredients are the same.

    This lasagne is whatchacall a special occasion dish. It's labour intensive and makes for lots of dirty dishes. I make this maybe once or twice a year but trust me, once you've tried it, you'll find it's worth the trouble. If you're especially industrious, double the recipe and freeze the second pan for a quick heat-and-eat meal when you're busy. It will take a good 3 months worth of freezing with no problem. And seriously? This is damned good. Really good. Really, really good. It's also very rich and very filling. Be prepared to need a nap after dinner. You can, of course, substitute all that low-fat ricotta, milk, etc., but why would you want to? I mean, it's not like you'd eat this everyday.


    1/2 C butter + 2 TBSP
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 C flour
    2 C milk
    2 C chicken broth
    2 C (8 oz bag) shredded mozzarella - divided
    1/2 C parmesan cheese
    1/2 C onion, diced
    1-2 tsp Italian seasoning, to taste
    1 packet G. Washington Golden
    1 tsp Nature's Seasons
    1 C cottage cheese
    1 C ricotta
    1 egg
    2 boneless chicken breast
    1 pkg fresh or frozen spinach **Important - see footnote
    9 lasagne noodlesimage


    Cook lasagne noodles, dry and lay on waxed paper until ready to use. Slice chicken breast (easier if partially frozen) from the short side about 1/4" thick. Cutting from the short side creates little medallions. In a non-stick frying pan, melt 2 TBSP butter. Add sliced chicken and cook through, letting it brown a little. Remove to a plate and set aside. To the same pan, add your washed and dryed spinach. Slap a cover on it, let it cook for 2 minutes then turn off the heat leaving the lid on.

    In a 3 or 4 qt saucepan, melt the butter. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Whisk in flour and all the seasonings. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk and broth and bring to a boil. If the sauce is too thick, add more broth. Remove from heat, sauce will thicken as it sits so you might have to add a bit more broth. It should be thick and spreadable.

    imageCombine cottage cheese, ricotta, 1 C mozzarella and egg. Mix well.
    Spread about 1/3 of the sauce in 13 x 9 pan, top with noodles. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over noodles. Repeat sauce/noodle/cheese mixture. Top with chicken, then spinach. Add last layer of noodles and then remaining sauce. Cook covered @ 350° for 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.

    **After the spinach has wilted in the pan and cooled, put it in a triple layer of papertowels and squeeze out all of the excess moisture. You do not want the spinach to be wet. If you use frozen spinach, thawed it out first then squeeze out the excess moisture. Even though the original recipe calls for 1 bag, I always use two. I like the extra spinach.

    Posted by Donna on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 08:30 PM
    Filed in: CasserolesEntreesPastaPoultry • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (6)

    So I saw this in one of Giada’s cookbooks and immediately thought, “Ewww.  Gross,” when I read what the word ‘tonnato’ meant. Roast turkey breast with Tuna sauce?  As one of my friends said after reading the ingredients “Sounds like cat vomit.” Gut it’s Giada and I’d probably eat dog food if she recommended it. Turns out that it’s damn tasty though.  The sauce gives bland-assed turkey a much needed flavor boost and would probably just as tasty on the lean, bland pork we’re forced by the health police to buy.  Be sure to have plenty of bread or rolls around to help soak it up.turkey tonnatto with semi-creamed spinach

    Turkey Tonnato

    * 2 lb turkey breast, skinless and boneless
    * 1 Tbs oregano
    * 1 Tbs thyme
    * 1 Tbs basil
    * 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
    * 1 cup chicken stock
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Tuna Sauce:
    * 6 oz canned white meat tuna, packed in olive oil – do not drain
    * 1 tsp anchovy paste or 1 anchovy fillet, drained
    * 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
    * 1 Tbs capers
    * 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    * Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

    Preheat oven 375.

    Season the turkey with salt, pepper and herbs. Coat with olive oil, place in a baking pan and pour the chicken broth around the turkey. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch slices, on an angle. Allow to sit in baking pan with juices as you make sauce.

    Toss the tuna, anchovy, lemon juice, mayo and capers in the food processor. Puree until creamy, about 1 minute. Pour the tuna mixture into a bowl.

    Place the slices of turkey on a platter with some of the pan juices and pour the tuna sauce on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.

    China: Lenox Tosca. crazy ornate, eh? 

    Posted by Mike on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 02:05 PM
    Filed in: EntreesPoultry • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (0)

    So now that arctic temperatures have arrived it’s definitely chili weather.  This is based on a recipe that I found in a back issue of Eating Well or Cooking Light or something like that.  It’s rich, but not too spicy.  Also, if you reduce the liquid a bit more, it’d be awesome as a baked potato topping.  I also made coleslaw to go along with it.

    Beef and red bean chili

    2 cups dry red beans (1 pound)
    10 cloves garlic; 3 left whole, 7 minced
    4 dried ancho chiles
    2 dried chipotle chiles
    3 Tbs oil
    2 lb stew beef cut into 1/2” chunks*
    salt & pepper
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
    1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
    3 Tbs cumin
    1 Tbs crushed red pepper
    1 Tbs brown sugar
    5 cups corn (or 1 lb frozen)

    Throw dry beans in a medium pot. Add the three whole garlic cloves and 6 cups water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for about an hour.

    Soak the Ancho and Chipotle chiles in 4 cups water for about 20 minutes, or until softened.  Weight down the chiles with a bread plate or saucer if necessary.  Pour off the soaking water and reserve.  You should have about 2 cups. Stem and seed the chiles and toss in the blender or food processor along with 1/2 cup of the soaking water.  Puree until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup more chili water if needed.

    Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in shifts, transferring to a plate as needed.

    Add onion and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until onion gets translucent.

    Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot.  Add the remaining chili soaking liquid plus 2 cups water, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, 1 Tbs salt and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender.  beef n bean chili

    Meanwhile, drain the beans.  Put back in their pot.  Add 6 more cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until beans are tender--about 1 1/2 hours. 

    When beans and meat are both done, drain the beans and discard the cloves of garlic. Stir the beans and corn into the chili and simmer until corn is warmed through. 

    Serve over rice.

    *Having worked in the Meat Department at the Grocery Ranch™ I’m leery of generic meat products like stew meat, cubed steaks and ground beef because I’ve seen what goes into it.  Some of it is made with beef that you’d be happy to eat otherwise, but most of the time it’s made with the leathery, gristle-riddled trimmings that, to be honest, I wouldn’t feed to my dog.  I recommend picking up a nice chuck roast or if you want to cut out fat, a London Broil.  That being said, this could probably be made with chicken, turkey or even extra-firm tofu and still be damn tasty.

    Presentation details: Chili bowl-Maddoxware for Cunard Steamship Line, Coleslaw bowl-Ming by Lenox, B.C. comic glass-a premium from some no-doubt defunct gas station

    Posted by Mike on Saturday, January 09, 2010 at 02:02 PM
    Filed in: EntreesSoups & Stews • ◊ Permalink
    Comments (1)

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