Monday, November 15, 2010

US Senate Bean Soup

When I try to plan frugal meals, I tend to try to incorporate beans since they are cheap, yet pack a nutritional punch. I just wish I had more yummy bean recipes! :) I found the original recipe for this soup that uses beans in the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook and we loved it! My husband said he could have kept eating it all night long, and I wish he would have because this recipe made a ton of soup! In fact, there was too much of it to fit in the crockpot I had! 4 adults ate a little less than half of what this recipe yields, so if you have a smaller family, I'd definitely suggest cutting it in half. I also didn't have a hamhock (nor could I find one at the store), so I used bacon, and since my crockpot couldn't handle the volume of this soup, I had to cook it differently. So the recipe below is not the original, but instead is exactly how I made the soup.

US Senate Bean Soup
1 lb. dried navy beans, cooked and drained
1 lb. bacon
10 cups water
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 medium baking potatoes or 5 small russetts, cubed
6 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 Tbl dried parsley
1/4k tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
salt to taste
1 bay leaf, optional (I used it)

Cook the bacon in the bottom of your soup pot until it starts to brown. Add everything else to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until veggies are tender or until ready to serve. (My soup simmered for about 4-5 hours and the potatoes and beans retained their texture and shape just fine.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parker House Rolls

I decided to give my go-to roll recipe a break and try a new one. Coming from the 75th Anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking, I like that these rolls are easy to split for spreading with butter and jam. Although they tasted great, I served these cool, but I think they might have been a tad better if they were warm. But that's true of any home-baked good! :) I also changed the size of the rolls to be slightly bigger than the recipe suggest. When I baked these babies up, I noticed that the cooking time of 15 minutes was too generous, so I adjusted the time here to say 12-15 minutes (I baked mine for about 12.5 minutes). But I would suggest checking the rolls around 10 or 11 minutes just to make sure they aren't getting too brown.

Parker House Rolls

1 cup milk
2 Tbl butter, softened
1 Tbl sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl warm water
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 large egg, optional (I used it)
3-1/3 to 3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
melted butter (I didn't use)

Heat milk until it is warm, about 105-115* F (I microwaved it for 1 minute). Stir in the softened butter, sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the water and let stand until yeast is dissolved, or about 5 minutes.

When the milk mixture is lukewarm, stir it into the yeast mixture. If using, beat in the egg. Stir in part of the flour and then knead in the rest (I just kneaded the dough in the bowl). The goal is to have a dough that is easy to handle. Place finished dough in an oil bowl, and if wanted, brush the top with butter. (I didn't use the butter. Instead, I turned the dough over in the bowl once, so the surface of the dough was coated with oil.)

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Roll the dough into a 30 inch long rope and cut into 30, 1-inch pieces (I cut it into 18 pieces.) Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a 2" round. Using the handle of a knife or a rolling pin, score across the middle of each roll. Fold rolls over on the crease and lightly press edges together. Place about 2-inches apart on greased aking sheet. Let rise in a warm place until light, or about 35 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425*F. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. (I brushed the tops of my rolls with butter while they were still warm. I find it helps the tops to stay softer longer.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My husband loves chicken cordon bleu, but I had yet to make it for him. So when I came across a recipe for it in the 75th Anniversary Edition of Joy of Cooking, I figured I give it a shot. And of course, I made a change or two. First, I used thawed, frozen chicken, so some of the chicken breasts I used were oddly shaped and were hard to get to stick together. To compensate, I just used toothpicks to hold the meat in place while I baked the chicken and then removed them before serving the chicken. Second, I didn't want to add a bunch of calories by frying, so I baked them instead (I've included both instructions below). This was a huge hit at our house, and is a recipe I will be revisiting.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 thin slices of ham or pruscuitto (I used sliced ham lunchmeat)
4 thin slices of Gruere of Swiss cheese (I used swiss)
1 c. dry bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs and left out the parsley)
1/4 c. minced parsley (or you could use 2 Tbl dried parsley)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large egg
1 tsp water
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp butter (I didn't use)
1-1/2 tsp olive oil (I didn't use)

Trim any fat or tendons off the chicken. Using one breast at a time, place between two sheets of waxed paper and pound with a mallet (smooth side) or a rolling pin until about 3/8 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Cover 1/2 the chicken breast with ham and cheese, leaving space around the edges. Fold the chicken over in half to cover the ham and cheese. Press the edges firmly together to seal. A 1-inch cut along the folded edge of the breast will help prevent the chicken packet from opening during cooking (or use toothpicks to secure meat). Repeat with remaining chicken.

In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs with parsley, salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, combine/beat together the egg and water. Spread the flour on a plate. Press each side of the chicken packet with flour (shake off the excess), dip it in egg, and then coat with the bread crumbs (lightly press the crumbs into the chicken to help them adhere). Set aside on a plate until ready to cook.

To fry:
Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and nut-brown. Add in oil and stir together. Place packets in the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes each. Drain on papertowels and serve immediately.

To bake:
Place chicken on a greased baking pan. If you want, melt the butter and drizzle it over the chicken (this will help the breadcrumbs brown a little better, but it tastes fine without it). Bake at 375*F for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Waffles

The other morning I woke up and decided that peanut butter waffles sounded really good for breakfast, so I went searching for a recipe. I found this one from and it was really good! From the picture you can see that I served them topped with bananas and syrup, but I actually liked it better without the bananas and my son liked eating them plain. However you serve them, maybe with a berry syrup or even just traditional maple syrup, these are a fun way to mix up your morning routine.

Peanut Butter Waffles

1-3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

6 Tbl creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup butter

2 eggs

1-3/4 cup milk

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Cream peanut butter with butter until smooth. Beat eggs and milk until blended. Add to peanut butter mixture. Beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients. Mix just until smooth. Bake in a hot waffle iron following manufacturers instructions. Serve immediately with jelly or syrup.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Easy Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Sorry for the half-eaten picture. It was just that good!
This is such an easy recipe, and really good! I've been pestering my old roommate to give it to me, literally for years. Finally a couple weeks ago she sent it and I made it for dinner just tonight!

1 lb. cooked and shredded chicken
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 pkg. flour tortillas
2 (10 oz) cans green chile enchilada sauce
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I used Monterey Jack 'cause that's what I keep in the house)

1. Heat oven to 400*. Pour about 2 T. enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13 baking dish.
2. Mix chicken, cream cheese, and chiles together in skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Spoon chicken filling into tortillas, roll up and place seam down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tangy Meatloaf Topping

I'll be honest: I hate meatloaf toppings. I hate all the meatloaf toppings I've ever had--except for my mum's. That was pretty good, but still not great. I think it was just a little too sweet. I despise toppings that use more than a tablespoon of ketchup. C'mon we really need more ketchup in our lives?

So when I made meatloaf for the first time I was resolved NOT to use the meatloaf topping that was written down in my old Betty Crocker cookbook (p. 239), which employed--you guessed it--lots of ketchup. So I just kind of played around with some things in my cupboards until EUREKA! I had discovered a tangy topping. It was so good with the savory meatloaf that this is the only one I use now. Try it out for yourself!

2 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. lemon juice
3 t. molasses, divided

1. Whisk together all ingredients except 1 t. molasses.
2. Spread over finished meatloaf and drizzle extra molasses across the top. Serve hot.

Related Posts with Thumbnails