Archive | December, 2011

Creamy Potato and Ham Casserole

31 Dec

1 medium onion, chopped

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP flour

2 TBSP Dijon mustard

1- 3/4 cups milk

1/2 of an 8 oz package cream cheese. diced

1 TBSP minced fresh chives

1-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes sliced thin

8  ounces sliced Black Forest ham, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup coarsely crushed bagel chips

Preheat oven to 350

grease a 2-quart casserole; set aside.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat; melt butter, add onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour and mustard. gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir until slightly thick. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in cream cheese until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese until melted. Stir in chives.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, ham and sauce. Pour into casserole dish

Bake, covered, about 1 hour or until potatoes are tender. Stir gently. Sprinkle with crushed begal chips and remaining 1/2 cup gruyere cheese. Bake, uncovered for 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes

Serves 6


Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

31 Dec

12 ounces elbow macaroni

2 TBSP  butter

2 TBSP flour

1  12oz can evaporated milk

1 cup milk

1 -1/2  cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 TBSP chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobe sauce

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish; set aside. cook pasta according to package directions. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove  from heat. Stir in 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese. 1 cup cheddar cheese, chipotle pepper and salt. Stir cheese mixture into cooked pasta.

Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake, covered , about 30 minutes Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Main Dish Ideas: Add 1 pound cooked pork sausage or 2 cups diced cooked ham.

Serves 6 to 8

Orange Chicken

31 Dec

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast–cut into 1 inch pieces

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 TBSP Olive oil

5 tsp flour

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup chili sauce

12 ounces  mini penne pasta

In a large skillet, brown chicken pieces , carrots, bell pepper, and onion until chicken is done and vegetables are tender crisp. Cook pasta according to package directions

In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; stir in orange juice and chili sauce until smooth. Add to skillet . Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick. Serve over pasta.

Icing for Petit Fours

31 Dec

3 cups sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 -1/2 cups hot water

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Combine granulated sugar, cream of tartar, and hot water in a heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until syrup reaches 226 degrees on candy thermometer. Cool until lukewarm (110 degrees). Stir in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until icing is of good pouring consistency. tint with food coloring if desired. Pour over petit fours. Trim edges after completely cool. If icing starts to thicken, re-heat over boiling water

Quick Chicken Cacciatore

31 Dec


4 boneless skinless chicken breast

2 cloves garlic–finely minced

4 TBSp olive oil

1 jar Classico Tomato and Basil pasta sauce

1 small green bell pepper–cut into thin strips

1 small red bell pepper–cut into thin strips

2 slices provolone cheese–cut in half

2 cups cooked riceinstant rice works well with this recipe

Coat chicken in flour. In a large skillet heat oil and brown chicken on both sides. remove chicken and add pasta sauce, and garlic. Add chicken to sauce. Bring to a boil–reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes. Add bell peppers during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Uncover–top each piece of chicken with cheese. Serve over rice.

Italian Butter Cream Frosting

31 Dec

1/2 cup water

2 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

5 large egg whites

2 1/4 cups plus one Tablespoon cold butter–cubed

Mix water and sugar in a one quart heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, insert candy thermometer, and cook to 250 degrees.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, but not stiff. Slowly pour hot sugar mixture into egg whites. Whip on medium high-speed until warm about 5 to 7 minutes. Add butter and lower speed to medium until well mixed, increase speed to medium high and whip until thick, smooth and shiny.

Kung Pao Chicken

31 Dec

5 tsp low sodium soy sauce

5 tsp dry sherry–divided

3 1/2 tsp cornstarch–divided

1/4 tsp salt

3 to 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

2 TBSP water

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1-1/2 tsp sugar

3 TBSP vegetable oil–divided

1/3 cup salted peanuts

6 small dried hot chili peppers

1-1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 green onions–cut into 1 inch pieces

Combine 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sherry. 2 tsp cornstarch and salt in a large bowl mixing well. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes. Combine 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sherry, water, vinegar, sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in small bowl. Mix well and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add peanuts and cook until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and add chili peppers ; stir until peppers turn dark red. Increase heat to high and add chicken and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add ginger, and cook until chicken is done. Add onions and peanuts, stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until sauce boils and thickens

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