Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mexicali Beef potato Topper

Prep / Total time: 30 minutes        Serves 4
A cheesy ground beef sauce with the kick of picante makes a Southwestern-style topping for steaming baked potatoes in this fun and quick-cooking dish

1                pound ground beef
1                can (10-3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condendensed Cheddar Cheese soup
1                cup Pace Picante sauce
4                hot baked potatoes
           ** Sour cream (optional)**
           ** Sliced pitted ripe olives (optional)**

1.             Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over mediun-high heat until well browned , stirring often to separate meat . Pour off any fat.
2 .            Reduce the heat to medium . Stir the soup and picante sauce in the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling . Spoon the beef mixture over the potatoes . Top with sour cream and olives if desired .

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Herbed Chicken Parmesan

                         Make 4 servings
This lightened version of an Italian favorite loses some of the fat but none of the flavor.

I/3            cup (1-1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese , divided
1/4            cup dry breadcrumbs
1               tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2            teaspoon dried basil
1/4            teaspoon salt , divided
1               large egg white , lightly beated
1               pound chicken breast tenders
1               tablespoon butter
1-1/2         cups bottled fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen Organic)
2              teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4           teaspoon black pepper
1/3           cup (1-1/2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Preheat Broiler:
1.         Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan , breadcrumbs , parsley , basil and 1/8 teaspoon salt in shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in eggwhite ; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture . Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat . Add chicken ; cook 3 minutes on each side until done . Set aside .
2 .        Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt , pasta sauce , vinegar and pepper in a mircowave-safe bowl . Cover with plastic wrap ; vent. Mircowave sauce mixture at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated . Pour the sauce over chicken in pan . Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese . Wrap handle of pan with foil , and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts .

Monday, October 28, 2013

Easy Apple & Oatmeal Crisp

This is a special shout-out to Louise at Monthsofediblecelebrations, the first thing my kids ask when they get home from school On Wednesdays is what Ms. Louise posted on Wordless Wednesdays' , they enjoy the photos, her garden and the moon shots , which they said mama  those are awesome photos .
My girls loved last week Wordless Wednesday , my girls asked  could they make the Apple Oatmeal Crisps , my boys  said please mama  we will be the tasters and Mae (hubby's aunt, who lives with us) said she would keep an eye on them .They also wanted to see if they could make cookies from the same recipe , so Mae being the wise older lady  said of course you can , you are of course your mother's daughters . (on guard everyone  there's never a dull or quiet moment at my house)  so here we go , enjoy  the moment and hope it bring a smile to your face .
My girls are 9 and 10  ,  my boys are 5 and 11 , they are wonderful tasters  spoons and bowls was licked cleaned .
               Easy Apple & Oatmeal Crisp
Prep: 10 minutes    Bake : 25 minutes    Makes  6 to 8 servings

Ingredients :
1           cup all-purpose flour
3/4        cup packed brown sugar
1/4        teaspoon salt
1/2        cup butter or margarine
1           cup rolled oats
1           21-ounce can apple pie filling

Directions :
1.       In a small mixing bowl  stir together  flour , brown sugar  and salt . Cut in Butter  until mixture  resembles  coarse  crumbs ; stir in oats . Press  2 cups of the mixture  into a greased  2-quart baking dish . Top evenly with pie filling . Sprinkle with remaining  crumb mixture  on top . Bake in a 375F oven for 25 minutes . Serve  while warm and top with  a scoop of ice cream ; your choice .

       Easy Apple Oatmeal Crisp Cookies
Prep  time : same as the Apple Oatmeal Crisp
Bake 15 minutes are until golden brown on edges ,  I have no idea how many cookies  the boys was sampling as ther came out the oven .
Added ingredients  are in red :

3/4      cup packed brown sugar + 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1         cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2      butter  + 1/2 cup butter
Directions :
Mix all ingredients  together same as Apple Oatmeal Cookie Crisp , spray the  cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a medium-size  ice cream  scoop or a table spoon , scoop out even portions  and  place  about 1-1/2 inches apart  and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown  around the edges .

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chocolate-Pecan Chess Pie

Prep / Total time : 2 hours        Serves 8

1/2          (14 ounces) package refrigerated  piecrusts
1/2          cup butter
2             (1 ounce) unsweetened  chocolate  baking squares
1             (5 ounce) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
2              large eggs
2              teaspoons vanilla extract , divided
1-1/2        cups granulated sugar
3              tablespoons  unsweetened  cocoa
2              tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2           teaspoon salt
1-1/2        cups pecan halves  and pieces
1/3           cup firmly packed  light brown sugar
1              tablespoon light corn syrup
            ***Sweetened whipped cream***

1.         Preheat oven to 350F. Roll piecrust  into  a 13-inch circle  on a lightly  floured surface . Fit into a 9-inch pie plate ; fold edges under and crimp.
2.         Microwave  butter  and chocolate  squares in a large microwave-safe-bowl  at MEDIUM (50% power)  1-1/2 minutes  or until  melted  and smooth , stirring at 30-second intervals . Whisk in evaporated milk , eggs  and 1 teaspoon vanilla .
3.         Stir together granulated  sugar  and next 3 ingredients . Add sugar  mixture  to chocolate mixture  , whisking  until smooth . Pour into prepared pie crust .
4.        Bake pie  at 350F for 40 minutes . Stir  together pecans , next 2 ingredients  and remaining  1 teaspoon vanilla ; sprinkle  over pie . Bake 10 more minutes  or until set . Remove  from oven  to a wire rack  ; cool completely  (about 1 hour) . Serve  with whipped cream .

Friday, October 25, 2013

Apple-Cherry Cobbler wirh Pinwheel Biscuits

      Prep / Total time : 1 hour  30 minutes   
                    Serves  8 to 10

APPLE-CHERRY  filling :

8          large Braeburn  apples , peeled and cut into 1/4 -inch-thick wedges  (about 4-1/2 pounds)
2          cups granulated sugar
1/4       cup all purpose flour
1/4       cup butter
1          (12 ounce) package frozen cherries  , thawed  and well drained
1          teaspoon lemon zest
1/2       cup lemon juice
1          teaspoon ground cinnamon


2-1/4      cups  all purpose flour
1/4         cup granulated sugar
2-1/4      teaspoon baking powder
3/4         cup cold butter  , cut into pieces
2/3         cup milk
1/3         cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2            tablespoons  butter , melted
1/4         cup finely chopped roasted  unsalted almonds

Sweetened whipped cream ***optional**

1.      Prepare  Filling : Preheat oven  to 425 F. Toss together  first 3 ingredients  . Melt 1/4 cut  butter  in a large skillet  over medium-high heat ; add apple mixture . Cook , stirring  often , 20 to 30 minutes or until apples  are tender and syrup thickens . Remove from heat ; stir in cherries  and next 3 ingredients . Spoon apple mixture  into lightly greased  3-quart  baking dish . Bake apple mixture  15 minutes  ,placing  baking sheet on oven rack directly  below  baking dish  to catch any drips .
2.        PREPARE BISCUITS :     Stir  together 2-1/4 cups flour  and next 3 ingredients  in a large bowl . Cut  cold butter pieces into flour  mixture  with a pastry blender  or fork until crumbly ; stir in milk . Turn dough out  onto a lightly  floured surface  ; knead  4 to 5 times . Roll dough  into a 12-inch square . Combine brown sugar  and 2 tablespoons  melted butter ; sprinkle over dough , patting gently . Sprinkle with almonds . Roll up jelly roll fashion ; pinch seams  and ends  to seal . Cut roll  in 12 (1-inch) slices . Place slices  in a single layer on top of apple mixture .
3.        Bake at  425F for 15 to 20 minutes  or until biscuits  are golden . Serve with whip cream if desired .

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Taco Twist Soup ----------Vegetarian

Prep / Total time : 4o minutes

1            medium onion , chopped
2            garlic cloves, minced
2            teaspoons olive oil
2            cups vegetable  broth or reduced-sodium  beef broth
1            can (15 ounces) black beans , rinsed and drained
1           can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1-1/2     cups picante sauce
1           cup uncooked spiral pasta
1           small green pepper , chopped
2           teaspoons chili powder
1           teaspoon  ground cumin
1/2        cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3           tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

In a large saucepan , sauté onion  and garlic in oil  until tender . Add  the broth , beans , tomatoes  , picante sauce  , pasta , green pepper  and seasoning . Bring to a boil , stirring frequently . Reduce heat ; cover and simmer  for 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is tender , stirring occasionally . Serve  with cheese and sour cream .

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Prep : 20 minutes       Cook : 1 hour     Serves  8

This brown sugar  meatloaf is glazed  with brown sugar  and ketchup  for a moist  and flavorful  weekend dinner .

1/2          cup packed brown sugar
1/2          cup ketchup
1-1/2       pounds lean ground beef
3/4          cup milk
2             eggs
1-1/2       teaspoons salt
1             small onion , chopped
1/4          teaspoon ground ginger
3/4          cup finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs

1 .     Preheat oven to 350* . Lightly grease a 5X9-inch loaf pan .
2 .     Press  the brown sugar  in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan  and spread  the ketchup over the sugar.
3.       In a mixing bowl  , mix thoroughly  all remaining ingredients  and shape into a loaf . Place on top of ketchup.
4.       Bake in preheated  oven for 1 hour  or until juices are clear .

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

South-of-the Border Soup

Prep : 15 minutes          Cook : 40 minutes     Make  8 servings

1              egg
1/4           cup dry bread crumbs
1/2           teaspoons salt
1/4           teaspoon pepper
1              pound  ground beef
1              jar (16 ounce) picante sauce
1              can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn , drained
1              can (14-1/2 ounces) black beans , rinsed and drained
1              can ( 14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , un-drained
1-1/4        cups water

1 .       In a large bowl , combine  the first 4 ingredients  . Crumble beef over  mixture and mix well . Shape into 1-inch balls .
2 .       In a large saucepan , brown  meatballs  ; drain. Add the picante  sauce , corn beans , tomatoes  and water ; bring to a boil . Reduce  heat ; cover and simmer  for 20 minutes  or until the meat is no longer  pink .

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winter Savory Soup

Prep : 20 minutes           Cook : 8 hours     Makes 14 serving (3-1/2 quarts)  can freeze up to a month

For those who doesn't particularly like soup , will enjoy  this full flavored  version  of traditional vegetable soup . For the vegetarians in your family , you can omit the beef .

2           pounds ground beef
3           medium onions , chopped
1           garlic clove, minced
3           cans (10-1/2 ounces each) condensed beef broth , undiluted
1           can (28 ounces) dice tomatoes , un-drained
3           cups water
1           cup each diced carrots  and celery
1           cup fresh or frozen  cut green beans
1           cup cubed  peeled  potatoes
2           tablespoons  minced fresh parsley  or 2 teaspoons  dried parsley flakes
1            teaspoon dried basil
1/2         teaspoon dried thyme
                   ** salt and pepper to taste**

In a skillet , cook the beef , onions and garlic  over medium heat  until meat  is no longer pink ; drain . Transfer  to a 5-quart slow cooker  . Add the remaining  ingredients  and mix well . cover and cook  for 7 to 8 hours  or until heated through .

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chipotle Chicken Cheesecakes

             Makes  4 servings   ( 1 sandwich )

This sandwich  packs a gooey cheese , smoky spices  and chunks of chicken for a family  friendly dinner .

1             (7 ounce) can chipotle  chiles in adobo sauce
2             teaspoons olive oil , divided
12           ounces  chicken cutlets  thinly sliced
1             cup vertically sliced onion
1             cup red bell pepper  strips
2             teaspoons  bottled minced garlic
1/4          teaspoon dried thyme
1/4          teaspoon salt
1             cup (4 ounces)  shredded reduce-fat sharp cheddar cheese
4             (2 ounce) sub or hoagie rolls 

1 .        Remove  1 chile  and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce  from can ; minced chile  and set aside . Reserve  remaining  chiles  and sauce  for another use .
2 .        Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large cast iron skillet  over medium heat  , add chicken , sauté  4 minutes  over medium heat  or until done . Remove chicken  from pan . Heat remaining g  1 teaspoon  oil  in pan  over medium high heat . Add onion , bell pepper , garlic  and chicken  and salt , cook 1 minute  , stirring frequently . Remove  from heat  . Add cheese  , stirring until cheese melts . Divise  mixture evenly  among rolls .


Friday, October 18, 2013

Beefy Eggplant Parmigiana

Prep : 1 hour        Bake : 35 minutes  + standing     Serves  8

1/3            cup chopped onion
1/4            cup finely chopped celery
1               teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/8            teaspoon garlic powder
2               tablespoons vegetable oil
1               can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes
1/4            cup tomato paste
1/2            teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/4         teaspoon salt , divided
1               bay leaf
3/4            cup all-purpose flour
1               cup buttermilk
1              medium eggplant , peeled and cut into 3/8-inch slices
                     ***Additional  vegetable oil ***
1/2           cup grated parmesan cheese
1              pound ground beef , cooked and drained
2               cups (8ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese , divided
1-1/2        teaspoons  minced fresh parsley

1.         In a large saucepan , sauté  the onion , celery , parsley and garlic  powder  in oil until tender . Stir in the tomatoes  , tomato paste , oregano , 1/2 teaspoon salt  , 1/4 teaspoon pepper  and bay leaf . Bring to a boil . Reduce heat ; cover  and simmer for 1 hour . Discard bay leaf.
2.         In a shallow dish , combine  flour and remaining  salt and pepper . Place buttermilk in another shallow dish . Dip eggplant in buttermilk  then in flour mixture .
3.         In a large skillet  , cook eggplant  in batches in 1-inch hot oil until golden brown on each side  ; drain.
4 .        Place half of eggplant in a greased 13-inch X 9-inch baking dish . Top with half  of parmesan cheese , beef , tomato mixture  and mozzarella cheese . Top with remaining  eggplant , Parmesan cheese and beef  and tomato mixture .
5.         Bake , uncovered , at 350* for 30 minutes  or until heated  through . Sprinkle  with the remaining  mozzarella  cheese . Bake 5 to 10minutes  longer  or until cheese is melted . Let stand  for 10 minutes  before serving . Sprinkle  with parsley.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pineapple Shrimp Rice Bake

Prep : 30 minutes       Bake 20 minutes     Makes 8 servings

2               cups chicken broth
3               tablespoons long grain rice
1               garlic clove , minced
1               medium onion, chopped
1               medium pepper , julienned      
2               tablespoons vegetable oil
2               teaspoons soy sauce
1/4            teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2         pounds medium shrimp , peeled and deveined
1-1/2         cups cubed fully cooked ham
3/4            cup pineapple tidbits , drained

1.      In a large saucepan , bring broth to a boil . Stir in rice . Reduce heat  ; cover  and simmer  for 5 minutes  or until tender .
2 .     Meanwhile , in a large skillet , sauté the garlic , onion and green pepper in oil until tender .Stir  in soy sauce  and ginger . Add shrimp , ham and pineapple . Stir in rice .
3 .     Transfer to a greased  2-quart  baking dish . Bake uncover  at 350 for 15-20 minutes  or until heated through . Stir before  serving .

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tangy Bean Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings

             Prep : 15 minutes ----Cook: 4-1/2 hours -------------------  2 -- cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth ----- 1 --package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables --------- 1 --can (15 ounces) black beans , rinsed and drained ---- 1 --can (15 ounces) pinto beans , rinsed and drained ---- 1--can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , un-drained ----- 1 --medium onion , chopped ----------------------------- 1 --tablespoon chili power ----------------------------- 1 -- tablespoon minced fresh cilantro ------------------ 4 -- garlic cloves , minced ---------------------------- 1/4 -- teaspoon pepper --------------------------------- ***************CORNMEAL DUMPLINGS ********************* 1/2 -- cup all-purpose flour --------------------------- 1/2 -- cup shredded cheddar cheese --------------------- 1/3 -- cup cornmeal ------------------------------------ 1 -- tablespoon sugar ---------------------------------- 1 -- teaspoon baking powder ---------------------------- 1 -- egg ----------------------------------------------- 2 -- tablespoons milk ---------------------------------- 2 -- teaspoons vegetable oil --------------------------- ********************************************************************* 1 . ----In a 5 quart slow cooker , combine the first 19 ingredients . Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours .-------- 2 .---- For dumplings , combine the flour , cheese , cornmeal , sugar and baking powder in a large bowl , combine the egg , milk and oil ; add to dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be stiff).-------------- 3 . ---- Drop by heaping teaspoons onto the soup Cover and cook on high 30 minutes longer (without lifting cover) or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean .---------- *************TIP******************************* This great Southwestern flavor makes this soup a real winner . the cornmeal dumplings add a comforting twist to the soup .

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scallops and Corn Chowder

Makes 4 servings............ 5 slices bacon, cut into small diced pieces ............. 1-1/2 pounds sea scallops (about 16) patted dry............. 3/4 teaspoon ground kosher salt.............. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper ............ 1 small onion , thinly sliced into half moons ........... 1/2 pound Yukon potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice............ 1/2 1/2 cup dry white wine .............. 1 cup chicken broth.............. 1/2 cup heavy cream............. **Kernels from 2 ears of corn (about 1 cup)**....... 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley............ ...........In a large skillet over medium heat cook bacon until crisp , about 5 minutes . Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels . You should have about 2 tablespoons of bacon dripping ; if necessary , supplement with olive oil . Increase heat to medium high . Season the scallops with salt and pepper and cook , working in batches until golden brown , about 2 minutes on each side . Transfer to plate . Add the onions to the drippings in a skillet and cook until translucent , about 5minutes , add the potatoes , wine, broth and cream, cover partially and reduce heat . Simmer gently until the potatoes are tender , about 20minutes . Add the scallops and corn and simmer gently 4 minutes . Sprinkle with parsley and bacon....... TIP: Scallops lend a lovely sweetness to this chowder, but they're relatively expensive . You can use shrimp or any firm fish , such as cod or halibut .

Spicy Sausages with Three Peppers

 2             pounds sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
3                 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2                 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2                 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2                 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
1                medium red onion, thinly sliced
1                small fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced 4                serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1                 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
 1               cup dry red wine
1                 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)

                     **Crusty bread, for serving**

1 .        Light a grill. Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 16 minutes total.
2 .        Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, fennel and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the pecorino cheese over the sausage and peppers. Serve with bread, passing the remaining pecorino at the table.
          **Suggested wine :**
Zinfandel, which came to the United States from Croatia (by way of Italy), has the spicy heft needed to pair with Batali's stewed sausages.
Batali of the sausage and peppers that's a mainstay of the iconic Manhattan neighborhood and its annual street festival. Stewing the bell peppers in red wine gives them richness; so does a generous garnish of grated pecorino cheese. The stewed sausages and peppers are also delicious tossed with pasta.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hearty Potato Bowls

Prep : 10 minutes      Cook time : 3 hours  30 minutes    Serves 8

Bread bowls  are a sandwich shop favorite for a reason . Instead of venturing out into the cold night air , fill Italian Bread Bowls  with chunky potato soup -- featuring  potatoes  , onions , carrots , celery and savory seasoning .

6           potatoes , peeled  and cut into 1/2-inch cubes   (about 2-1/2 pounds)
2           medium onions , diced
2           carrots , thinly sliced
2           (14-1/2 ounce) cans low-sodium fat-free  broth
1/2        teaspoon pepper
1           teaspoon salt
1           teaspoon basil
1/4        cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2     cups fat-free  half and half
                 ** Italian Bowls (recipe below )**
                ** Garnish with celery leaves**

1.     Combine first 8 ingredients in a 4-1/2 quart  slow cooker , cook covered , at high  3 hours  or until vegetables are tender .
2.     Stir together  flour , half-and-half  ,  stir into soup . Cover and cook 30 minutes  or until thoroughly heated .
Serve in Italian Bread Bowls  and garnish if desired .
            Italian Bread Bowls
                  Makes 8 servings

2-1/2         cups warm water
2               (I/4 ounce) envelope  active dry yeast
2                teaspoons salt
2                tablespoons  vegetable oil
7               cups all-purpose flour
1                tablespoon cornmeal
1               egg white
1               tablespoon water

1.        Stir together  2-1/4 cups water  and yeast in a large bowl , stir in salt and oil .
2 .       Add flour  gradually  beating  at medium speed with an electric mixer  until soft dough forms .
3.        Turn dough  out onto  floured surface ; knead  until smooth  and elastic  (4 to 6 minutes) . Place in lightly  greased bowl , turning to grease the top  , cover and let rise  in a warm place (85*) free from drafts , 35 minutes  or until double in bulk.
4 .       Punch dough down  and divide  into 8 portions . Shape  each portion  into a 4-inch round loaf . Place loaves  on a lightly greased baking sheets  sprinkle with cornmeal.
5.        Cover and let rise  in a warm place (85*) free from drafts , 35 minutes or until double in bulk.
6.        Stir together  egg white  and 1 tablespoon water  brush over loaves .
7.        Bake at 400* for 15 minutes  , brush with remaining  egg mixture  and bake  10 to 15 minutes  or until golden brown . Cool  on a wire rack .
( Freeze up to 1 month if desired)
8 .       Cut a 1/2-inch-thick slice from the top  of each loaf  , scoop out the centers , leaving 3/4 inch thick shells ( reserve centers  for other uses). Fill bread Bowls  with hot soup  and serve immediately.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

White Lasagna Cupcakes 'Pasta Party'

Prep /total time : 2 hours  30 minutes     Makes 6 cupcakes

Do lasagna cupcakes sound like a great idea or just plain wrong? Either way, they're part of a savory cupcake trend—but feel free to call them mini lasagnas, too.

4                tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the ramekins
3/4             cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/2             pound fresh lasagna noodles
1/2             cup all-purpose flour
2                cups milk
1                large egg
1/4             cup snipped chives
2                tablespoons chopped parsley
8                ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
6                ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely diced
6                Freshly ground pepper

1 .          Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins and coat with Parmigiano; tap out the excess. Place the ramekins on a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.
2.          In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and cool under running water. Pat dry. Using a 3 1/4-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 24 rounds (they should fit neatly inside the ramekins).
3.          In a large saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and whisk over moderate heat until the sauce is bubbling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg, chives, parsley and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano. Let cool slightly, then stir in the Fontina and prosciutto. Season the filling with pepper.
4 .         Arrange 1 pasta round in the bottom of each ramekin. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the filling into each ramekin and top with another noodle; press to flatten slightly. Top with the remaining filling and pasta rounds. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano and cover loosely with foil.
5.         Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until the filling is just bubbling. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until slightly puffed and the tops and sides are golden. Let cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the lasagna cupcakes, then invert onto plates, tapping firmly to release them. Serve hot or warm.

Make ahead :
The unmolded baked lasagna cupcakes can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat in a 325° oven.

Suggested Pairing:
Traditional tomato-based lasagna is great with robust reds, but this extra-rich white rendition goes best with a bright, rich white, like Chardonnay.

I am submitting this post to World Pasta Month hosted by Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations .

Don't miss the World Pasta Day Party at Months of Edible Celebrations  on 25th October , Louise will do a round-up of all the delicious pasta dishes  that everyone is bringing  to the party , there you can meet and greet  and enjoy some out of this world pasta recipes .
See you there

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken

                                  Makes 6 to 8  servings

A marriage of Southern favorites: Our salty-sweet brine of brown sugar and freshly brewed tea infuses this picnic-perfect chicken with juicy flavor before frying. Bonus: The tannins in tea act as a natural tenderizer.

2                family-size tea bags
1/2             cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4             cup kosher salt
1                small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1                lemon, thinly sliced
4                garlic cloves, halved 
1                tablespoon cracked black pepper
2                cups ice cubes
1                (3 1/2-lb.) cut-up whole chicken 
2                cups self-rising flour
1                cup self-rising white cornmeal mix 
2                tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2                teaspoons table salt
1                teaspoon ground red pepper
                         **Vegetable oil**

1.           Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
2.           Discard tea bags. Stir in brown sugar and next 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding to chicken.)
3.           Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Place tea mixture and all chicken pieces in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish, and chill 24 hours.
4.           Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Drain chicken well.
5.           Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon 1 cup flour mixture into a brown paper bag or large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place one piece of chicken in bag; seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken, and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, adding more flour mixture to bag as needed. Let chicken stand 30 minutes to form a crust.
6.           Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a cast-iron Dutch oven; heat over medium heat to 325°. Fry chicken, in batches, 15 to 22 minutes or until browned and done, turning occasionally. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels.

TIP: If using a 12-inch-wide (2 1/4-inch-deep) cast-iron skillet, pour oil to depth of 1 inch.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cod with Red Pepper-Chorizo Ragout

Prep / Total time : 50 minutes             Serves  4

1                tablespoon olive oil
1/2             pound fresh Mexican chorizo (about 1 link), casing removed
2                large red peppers, cut into 1/8-in.-thick strips 
6                cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
1/2             cup dry white wine 
1                can (15 oz.) white beans, such as cannellini or navy, drained and rinsed
1/2            cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1               teaspoon salt
1/2            teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3               tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/2         pounds cod fillet, cut into 4 even pieces (each about 1 in. thick)
1/2             cup flour

1.           Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and garlic and cook until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in wine, reduce heat to medium, and, using a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan.
2.           Stir in beans, parsley, and half the salt and pepper. Cook until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer ragout to a dish, tent with foil, and set aside.
3.           Return pan to medium-high heat and add butter. Season cod with remaining salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Add fish to pan (do not crowd) and cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes total.
4.           Divide ragout among 4 plates and top each with a piece of fish. Serve immediately.
Cod and chorizo are a classic pairing in Spain and Portugal that infuses the mild but meaty fish with the warmth of spicy sausage. Red peppers add a hint of sweetness. Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes. Notes: Buy the best-quality chorizo you can find, preferably from a butcher or Mexican market. Avoid the kind that is very soft and sold in plastic casings--it tends to break down too much in cooking. (If you can't find good chorizo, substitute with another spicy uncooked sausage). Ask your fishmonger for cod from the thickest part of the fish so that the fillets cook evenly.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Scallops with Peppers and Corn

Prep / Total time :45 minutes          Serves  6

Serve with couscous, pasta, or rice. Prep and Cook Time: about 30 minutes.

3              ears corn (about 2 1/2 lb. total), husked, silks removed 1-1/4        pounds sea scallops 
                         **Salt and pepper**
2              tablespoons butter 
2              tablespoons olive oil
2              red bell peppers (12 oz. total), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped 
1 or 2       cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
1/4            teaspoon ground cumin
1/3            cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3            cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  1.           Holding each ear of corn upright in a deep bowl, cut kernels from cobs. Rinse scallops and pat dry; sprinkle lightly all over with salt and pepper.
2.           Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in each of two 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pans over high heat. Add corn, bell peppers, garlic, and cumin to one pan; add scallops to the other. Cook, stirring both pans often, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, and scallops are browned on the outside and barely opaque in the center (cut to test), about 5 minutes.
3.          Just before serving, stir basil into the vegetable mixture and cilantro into the scallops. Add salt and pepper to taste to both. Mound vegetables in a wide, shallow bowl; top with scallops (and any pan juices).

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shrimp with Bacon-Cheese Polenta

Prep / Total time : 55 minutes          Serves  4 to 6

1/2                  teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1                     cup polenta
8                     slices thick-cut bacon
2                     bunches (about 16) green onions 
3                     medium tomatoes 
1/4                  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3                     cloves garlic 
1-1/4               pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2                  cup dry white wine 
2                     tablespoons butter 
1                     cup (about 4 oz.) grated cheddar cheese 

1.             In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour in polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly, and whisk until mixture comes to a steady simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and stir every 5 minutes until done, about 25 minutes total.
2.          Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until fat renders and edges start to brown and crisp. While bacon cooks, trim stems and ends of green onions, leaving onions as intact as possible. Drain bacon on paper towels, chop, and set aside.
3.         Remove all but 1 tbsp. bacon fat from the pan. Add whole green onions and cook until soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes; turn and brown opposite sides, about 3 minutes more. While green onions cook, halve tomatoes along the equator and sprinkle cut sides with salt and pepper. Chop garlic. Set both aside.
4.         Transfer green onions to a baking sheet or platter and cover to keep warm. Put tomato halves cut side down in pan with bacon fat and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until heated through and a bit soft, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to baking sheet with green onions to keep warm.
5.        Add garlic to pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until starting to turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in wine and continue cooking, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the pan, until shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
6.         Stir butter, cheese, and bacon into polenta. Divide polenta among 4 to 6 plates and top with shrimp and remaining liquid in the pan, dividing evenly. Set a tomato half and several green onions beside polenta. Serve immediately

Our version of shrimp and grits comes with bacon, adding a smoky meatiness to the entire dish. Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes. Notes: This dish is particularly flavorful when cooked in a cast-iron skillet--the hotter surface creates lots of crusty brown bits.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pork Chops with Fresh Green and Red Cabbage

Prep Total time :  45 minutes                  Serves  4

1/2            teaspoon fennel seeds
1-1/2         teaspoons caraway seeds
1               teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2            teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4               bone-in center-cut pork chops, each about 1 in. thick (about 2 1/4 lbs. total) 
1/4            pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-in. slices 
2               cups shredded green cabbage 
2               cups shredded red cabbage
1               tablespoon sherry vinegar or cider vinegar

1.       Combine fennel seeds, 1 tsp. caraway seeds, salt, and pepper in a mortar (see Notes) and coarsely crush with pestle. Sprinkle mixture over pork chops and set chops aside.
2.       In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
3.       Add pork chops to pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked through (cut into center to check), about 8 minutes total. Transfer pork chops to a rimmed plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
4.          Add cabbage to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, the vinegar, and bacon; cook 2 minutes.
5.         Pile cabbage on a platter and arrange pork chops on top. Pour on any accumulated pork juices and serve immediately.

If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can crush your spices by whirling them in a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder.

Here's a hearty, tangy dish for a chilly autumn night. Pork, cabbage, and caraway—a classic German combination—pair well with crisp, dry Riesling.

Japanese Beef Bowl

Prep /Total time : 45 minutes               Serves 4

A simple weeknight dinner full of Japanese flavor. To slice beef thinly, wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes before cutting.

2            cups short- or medium-grain rice
1            teaspoon salt
1/3         cup soy sauce
2            tablespoons sugar 
2            tablespoons sake
1            small onion, thinly sliced 
1            tablespoon oil 
1            pound beef sirloin, thinly sliced 
2            tablespoons chopped cilantro
                    **Pickled ginger slices (optional)**
 1.          In a 4-quart pan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add rice and salt. Cover and reduce heat to simmer, then cook until almost tender, 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
2.          In a small pan, bring soy sauce, sugar, sake, and 3/4 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and reserve.
3.          In a 10-inch frying pan over high heat, cook onion in oil until it begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef and continue stirring for 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of soy-sake sauce and stir until beef is cooked, 2 minutes longer.
4.          Divide rice among 4 bowls. Top with beef, remaining sauce, and cilantro. Serve with ginger, if desired.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Custardy Baked Orzo with Spinach, Bacon and Feta

Prep / Total time : 1 hours  30 minutes         Serves 6

Few Americans eat pasta for breakfast, but this Greek-inspired recipe with orzo, leeks and bacon aims to make a few converts.
1                      cup orzo
12                    ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1-1/2                pounds leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
10                    ounces baby spinach
8                      ounces feta cheese, crumbled
                           **Freshly ground pepper**
4                      large eggs
1/2                   cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2                   cup milk

1.       Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.
2.       In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned, 8 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until tender, 8 minutes. Add the leek mixture to the orzo, leaving 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted; transfer to a colander and press out the excess liquid. Add the spinach to the orzo, fold in the feta and season with salt and pepper.
3 .         In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the yogurt and milk, season with pepper and stir into the orzo. Scrape the mixture into an oiled 12-by-8-inch baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, until the eggs are set and the top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Suggested Pairing :Vibrant, fresh whites from the Greek Peloponnese region are fantastic with tangy feta cheese.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Daube de Boeuf with Belgian Ale

Prep / Total time : 2 hours  45 minutes         Serves  6

3              pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces **Kosher salt**
**Freshly ground white pepper**
1-1/2        cups all-purpose flour
1/4           cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
3              medium onions, thinly sliced
4              garlic cloves, minced
1              12-ounce bottle Duvel or other Belgian golden ale
4              cups beef stock or low-sodium broth
3              thyme sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth
10            new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2              large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1              tablespoon Dijon mustard
2              tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 .        Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the beef with salt and white pepper. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the beef and flour and shake well. Remove the beef from the bag, shaking off the excess flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add one-third of the beef and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes; reduce the heat if the meat browns too quickly. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
2.        Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the beer and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Add the beef back to the casserole along with the stock and herb bundle. Bring the stew to a boil, cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.
3.        Gently stir the potatoes and carrots into the stew, cover and bake for about 25 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the Dijon and vinegar, season the stew with salt and white pepper and serve.

Make ahead the stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beer-Braised Turkey Tacos

Prep / Total time : 1 hour 40 minutes     Makes 12 tacos

Another recipe my friend shared with me and like 'Lays Potato Chips' you can't just eat one .Skinless turkey thighs and drumsticks are packed with flavor; they’re also low in fat and high in protein and essential minerals like selenium. Braise the meat in beer until ultratender, then shreds it for tacos. "It’s also fabulous in a sandwich."

2            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2            1-pound bone-in turkey thighs or drumsticks, skin and fat removed
                **Salt and freshly ground pepper**
4            large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1            medium white onion, cut into 1-inch dice, plus minced white onion, for serving
1            large oregano sprig
1            large jalapeño—stemmed, seeded and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1            medium tomato, coarsely chopped
1            ancho chile—stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped or torn
1            2-inch cinnamon stick
1            12-ounce bottle Mexican dark beer, such as Modelo Negro ( any dark beer )
1            cup water
12          corn tortillas
2            tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs, for serving

1.      In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a plate.
2.     Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the casserole along with the garlic, diced onion, oregano and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato, ancho and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring, until the tomato releases its juices.
3.      Return the turkey to the casserole, add the beer and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning once, until the turkey thighs are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer the turkey to a plate and let cool. Discard the oregano sprig and cinnamon stick and boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes.
4.      Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes, until softened and heated through. Remove the turkey meat and shred it. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and puree. Return the sauce to the pot and stir in the shredded turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the turkey onto the tortillas. Top with minced onion, sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs and serve.
Make ahead the shredded braised turkey can be refrigerated in the sauce for up to 2 days.
Reheat gently.