Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 Meat Stromboli

On my twin boys' third birthday I decide that I was going to make food a bit more different then the previous years. This year instead of hot dogs and hamburgers I was going to try to keep food out all day and make some finger foods. We had the usually chips, veggies, and dip but I also added grape jelly and chili sauce meatballs, bruschetta, and stromboli. I looked online and found this wonderful recipe for 3 meat stromboli. We also have a recipe that we received from my husband's Aunt and Uncle which I was also going to add to this post but I haven't had time to make it.

With my version of the 3 meat stromboli I took the easy way out with the crust and bought the Pillsbury pizza dough. You know that kind in the tube and you unwrap it and the can pops. One can of pizza dough is perfect for one stromboli. I rolled out the pizza dough till it was about 1/8" think and in a rectangle shape. I then started to layer the meat. First I used presliced pepperoni. The pepperoni that you would use on a pizza. I'm sure if you bough the pepperoni that they sell behind the deli counter that would be good too. You can get it sliced as thin as you want and the slices are bigger in diameter. Then I layered ham slices. I would use an kind of boiled ham. I don't think it would taste very good with honey or Virginia baked ham. Then the salami slices when on. Hard or Genoa Salami would work. I then added the cheese. Sliced provolone, shredded Parmesan, shredded mozzarella. I layered the provolone on like the meat and sprinkled the Parmesan and the mozzarella on so it covered. I also sauteed up some peppers and onion with salt and pepper ( Something the recipe didn't call for). I then sprinkles the spices on, garlic powder, oregano, parsley. I then rolled the pizza dough like a jelly roll, starting at one long end of the rectangle. I pinched the ends so the filling wouldn't leak out and flipped the roll so the seal was at the bottom. I then brushed the top with one egg yolk beaten and sprinkled the top with oregano and parsley. I baked the stomboli at 375 degrees for about 30-45 minutes or until the top was golden brown.

This stromboli was more of a big hit then I thought it was going to be. Both strombolis that I made for the party we gone by the end of the night. Since my husband and I only got a piece each from the ones from the party we made our own from left over ingredients that we had. YUM YUM!!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

I need me a CBC

The other day while my in laws were here from North Carolina my husband and I took advantage and went out for lunch. We went to T-Bones restaurant, a place neither of us had been in ages. Of course it takes us ages to get out alone anyway. We sat at the bar like we always do when we go out together. Not sure if it's because we hate to wait for a table or if we just feel better being closer to the alcohol. So, I was browsing though the menu when I saw this sandwich called the CBC, a T-Bone's specialty. I had never had it but my husband had. He said it's awesome and BIG. OK so how big could it be? Not only was I having this sandwich but I also ordered soup. He told me I would never finish this sandwich. Then he points across the bar. There were 2 guys across the bar also having the CBC. Ok, they are good size. Then it comes. A chicken breast fried like there was a southern women in the back cooking. Cheddar cheese covered the breast and on top two slices of bacon. Chicken bacon cheddar , CBC. I looked at it and said I can do this. I took one bite and I was in heaven. I had never had chicken so juicy in my life. The fried crust was crisp. On the side was served this "special sauce" to put on the sandwich, kinda spicy, just a little zing. Of course added was lettuce and tomato. My eyes said I could do it but my tummy said are you crazy. I finished half of it. My husband then proceed to finish it and thinking he made the wrong choice going with the steak tips. He too could not take the last bite.

Now that I have your mouth watering wondering where the closest T-Bones it to you, sorry I think it may only be a New Hampshire thing. A few days later I too was still salivating for a CBC. I had taken out chicken breasts for dinner not with a sandwich in mind. When asked what we were going to do for dinner. I said man I could go for a CBC. My husband and I looked at each other and then looked at the chicken breast. Sure, how hard could it be to try to reproduce this great sandwich? Well I knew from the start I was never going to get the chicken that juicy and I had never made fired chicken like a southern women. I looked at my what I had in stock. I had some Bisquick. I could make some fired chicken with that, but I'm not going to fry it oil, I am going to bake it. Make it a little bit more healthy. So I egged the chicken first then added it to the dry Bisquick and drizzled some melted butter on top and baked it for about 45 minutes at 375. I did not have any bacon :( but did have cheddar cheese. So it was my CC instead of CBC. I even attempted to make the "special sauce". I mixed 50/50 mayo and chili sauce. I then added about a teaspoon of paprika and cayenne powder to give it a bit more zing. A little lettuce, tomato, and toasted bun. OK, I almost burned the buns. I'm a good one for waiting just a tad bit too long with the broiler and toasting rolls.

Even though it really wasn't a CBC from T-Bones it was still good. Even my husband  said it was good and my special sauce was close. Sorry this isn't the best picture. The sandwich wasn't very photogenic. I think I am going to try and perfect this a bit more and maybe find a good southern fried chicken recipe to use.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Devilish Chicken

This is one of my favorite recipes and a great flavorful go to for chicken. It is from the Rachel Ray 30- Minute Get Real Meals cook book. She has some wonderful recipes in this book and if you are one that whats to watch their weight this book is wonderful. As she says everything in moderation. Like me, Rachel Ray loves pasta. In this book she has her pasta recipes but use only uses 1/4 lb of pasta in a recipe that serves 4 people. That is not much pasta for one person and you still can get your pasta fix.

In the book this recipe is paired with what she calls "Cool Green Beans" I did not make the bean with the recipe because it calls for mint leave and my wonderful husband is not crazy about mint with his veggies. The chicken should take you 30 minutes to cook (if you are Rachel Ray) so it's a fast meal too for those weeknight dinners. Another great thing about this recipe, and a lot of Rachel Ray recipes, is that they are easy follow and easy for anyone to cook. Not a lot of steps and if there are they are simple. So with out further ado here is one of my favorites.

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon of spicy mustard
salt and ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breats
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, quartered lengthwise and sliced into thin strips
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 handful of chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons cold butter

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the EVOO over medium-high heat. Mix the paprika and mustard with some salt and pepper and season chicken breasts on both sides. Add the seasoned chicken to the skillet and brown on the first side for 3 minutes, flip, and then sear the second side, 2 minutes. Remove the chicken and reserve on a plate under a foil tent.

To the pan, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock to the vegetables and bring to a simmer. Add the reserved chicken back to the pan and cook for 10 minutes more, turning the chicken over every now and then.

Remove the chicken from the skillet to a platter. To finish the sauce, turn the heat off and add the parsley and butter, stirring to melt the butter. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve immediately.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Beef Ziti with Silky Bechamel

So, I finally opened the other cookbook I bought myself for Christmas, 300 Best Casserole Recipes. I know casseroles are not always the healthiest meal. They usually have either pasta or some kind of condensed can soup like cream of chicken in them. I would like you all to know that this recipe is most likely not in the "healthy" category but there is a section in the book for healthy meals and I will make it my quest to make some and let you know how they are.

For this casserole, it's perhaps a more gourmet version of your typical baked pasta. The recipe is titled Beef "Ziti" but of course you can use any type of short style pasta. In my case I used Cellentani. Also the recipe says it makes 8-10 servings. I wasn't looking to feed a crowd so I cut some of the ingredients down. I cut the meat sauce down to half. I also only used 1/2 lb of pasta. I did keep the Bechamel Sauce as directed in the recipe. For those who don't know what a bechamel sauce is it's pretty much a thin creamy cheese sauce.

I actually have to say that this recipe was kinda bland. At least the way I made it. Maybe if I did not cut down the other ingredients then perhaps it would have been better. I think, and I will try next time, if you added more of the seasoning it would give it more flavor. Another comment I have with this recipe is it called with a lot of boiling using medium heat. With my stove I think it took me more then double the time to make this then it should have. Now as always I will give you the recipe as it is printed in the book and you can make changes as needed.

Meat Sauce
2 lbs  lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cans (14oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
Bechamel Sauce
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt

1 lb ziti pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease a 13x9 pan. In a large nonstick skillet, oven medium heat-high heat, cook beef, garlic, and onion, breaking beef up with the back of a spoon, for 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, salt, oregano, basil, thyme, and hot pepper flakes; bring to a boil. Cover, leaving lid ajar, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occational, for about 40 minutes or until some of the liquid has evaporated but sauce is still moist.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle with flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about 6 minutes or until roux is golden. In another medium saucepan , bring milk to the boiling point over medium heat. Gradually add to roux in a steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking. Cook, whisking constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and salt until cheese is melted. Keep warm

In a large pot of boiling water, cook ziti according to package directions until just tender. Drain, transfer pasta to a large bowl and stir in 1 cup of the bechamel sauce. Spread one-third of the ziti in the prepared baking dish. Spread half the meat sauce evenly over top. Add another layer of ziti and top with remaining meat sauce. Layer the remaining pasta on top. Pour the remaining bechamel sauce evenly over top. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until bubbling. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

I can't seem to leave this new crock pot cook book that I got. This is the second recipe I have made and I keep finding more recipes that I want to try. This one is a great go to when you just want something casual or would be great from any of those Super Bowl parties coming up. Another great recipe that you can start in the morning and cook all day long. I actually started this one the day before. I had some chicken in the fridge that I had to cook and we were having dinner with family at their place. So I made this recipe and cooked it though and put it in the fridge. The next day I pulled it back out put it back in the crock pot to heat though.
 Another great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to cut to make smaller serving or double for those parties. Also I had all the ingredients on hand and didn't have to go out to get anything extra. Great for someone who lives about 20 minutes from the store and has to back up all three kids to go. Actually takes me longer to pack up the kids then it does to get the store and back again. As usual I will give you the recipe from the book but of course feel free (and it's easy) to alter as needed.

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup ketchup
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove minced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried orgenao
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
10 kaiser rolls, split

Place chicken in 5-qt slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, onion, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaf and seasonings. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaf. Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred chicken with two forks and return to slow cooker; heat though. Serve on rolls.

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