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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekly Menu 12/10+


pork chops
mac & cheese
green beans

chicken with basil cream sauce
angel hair pasta

stuffed pasta shells
garlic bread

turkey bake with cheese swirls

carne guisada

blueberry cornbread mini muffins
orange slices

tater tots

1.        I made these pork chops the other night and they were SO good.  It was probably the first time I didn’t overcook the pork and that probably made all the difference.  I was trying to replicate the pork chops at Pappy’s which are still crunchy in the last bite even with gravy on top.  I might need to take a second job there, just to learn how they cook everything.  Ha! 
2.       I bought some great thick sirloin pork chops that were on sale at HEB last week and they really were great cooked this way. 
3.       If you make extra cheese sauce, you might want to let your family know before they scoop it onto the top of their pork chop.  Just sayin. 
Pork Chops
§  Pork chops
§  Milk (for dipping)
§  Equal parts Flour and Corn Flakes (crushed)
§  Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder)
§  2-3T oil
Place a wire rack (cooling rack) in a rimmed baking sheet.  Season pork chops, dip in milk, then dredge through flour mixture.  Brown in oil in large skillet 2-3 min per side.  These will not be fully cooked at this point.  Place them on the wire rack and then finish in a 375 oven.  Use your meat thermometer to tell you when they are 160 degrees and then you’re done.  I also read this article that says you can stop the cooking at 145 degrees these days. 

Mac & Cheese
§  4T butter
§  ¼ c flour
§  ½ tsp salt
§  ¼ tsp pepper
§  ½ tsp dry mustard
§  2c milk
§  6-8 slices of deluxe American cheese (so not the kind you have to unwrap individually)
§  ½ c cottage cheese (it cooks in and you’ll never notice it)
§  1c grated cheddar
§  2c dry macaroni; cooked
Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and seasonings; stir until slightly browned.   Add milk and stir occasionally until thickened.  Add American and cottage cheese until American is melted.  Combine with cooked macaroni in a 9x13 pan.  Top with cheddar, bake till cheese is melted and bubbly at 375 degrees; 15 minutes.

Green Beans

Tonight we light the pink candle on our Advent wreath, there’s Joy in the air.  I hope you are having a restful and non-stressed Christmas season. 

Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce (Menus4Moms)
§  1/4 C. milk
§  1/4 C. dry bread crumbs
§  4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
§  3 T. butter or margarine
§  1 T. olive oil
§  1/2 C. chicken broth
§  1 C. heavy whipping cream
§  1 4-oz. jar diced pimientos, drained
§  1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
§  1/4 C. minced fresh basil (or 1 t. dried)
§  1/8 t. pepper
§  1 t. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with bread crumbs. In skillet over medium heat, brown chicken on both sides in butter and olive oil. Remove and place in preheated oven to keep warm.

Add broth to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to loosen browned bits from pan bottom. Stir in whipping cream and pimientos, boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat. Stir in Parmesan, basil and pepper and cook until heated through. Mix cornstarch with extra chicken broth and stir into skillet if needed to thicken sauce. Pour over chicken. Serve over angel hair pasta

Angel Hair Pasta

1.        I won’t tell anyone if you decide to use a jar of spaghetti sauce instead of the make your own version here.  It would help it get in the oven and on the table faster
Stuffed Pasta Shells (Pioneer Woman)
§  8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
§  30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
§  8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
§  1/2 cup Grated Romano Cheese
§  1 whole Egg
§  12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade
§  2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
§  Salt And Pepper, to taste
§  2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
§  1/2 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
§  5 cloves Garlic, Minced
§  1/2 pound Italian Sausage
§  1/2 cup Red Wine
§  1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
§  1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
§  2 Tablespoons Sugar
§  1/2 teaspoon Salt
§  2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.  Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two.  Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.  Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat. 

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.  To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serve with crusty French bread.


1.        Hopefully you have some leftover turkey in the freezer that you can use in this recipe. 
Turkey Bake with Cheese Swirls
·         1/3 c chopped pepper
·         1/3 c chopped onion
·         3T butter
·         ¼ c bisquick
·         1 can cream mushroom or celery soup
·         1 ½ c milk
·         1 ½ c cooked turkey or chicken
·         1 c frozen peas & carrots, thawed
·         2 c bisquick
·         ½ c milk
·         ¾ c grated cheese (orange is prettier)
Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cook pepper and onion in butter in saucepan until tender.  Stir in ¼ c bisquick.  Add soup; stir in milk.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil and stir one more minute.  Stir in turkey and veggies.  Pour into 9x13 baking dish.  Mix 2 cup bisquick with milk until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 20 strokes.  Smooth into ball on floured cloth-covered surface.  Knead 5 times.  Roll into rectangle 15x9 (ie a bit longer than your baking dish); sprinkle with cheese.  Roll up, begging at 15” side.  Seal well.  Cut into 12 slices.  Place cut sides down on mixture.  Bake 20-25 minutes. 


Carne Guisada
§  2T oil
§  1-2 lb stew meat or cut up roast
§  1 can rotel
§  ½ c chopped onions
§  10 oz beef broth or bullion
§  3 cloves minced garlic
§  1-2 tsp chili powder (or more)
§  ½ t cumin
§  ½ t pepper
§  Salt
§  2 tsp corn starch (or more)
Place all ingredients (except corn starch) in crock pot. Stir together and cook on low all day.  When you return, pull off about 1-2 c of broth and add to a sauce pan.  Combine with corn starch until thickened.  Return thickened gravy back to crock pot and stir to thicken the rest of your meat.

Rice or Tortillas


Blueberry Cornbread Mini Muffins (Pioneer Woman)
§ 1 cup Yellow Corn Meal
§ 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
§ 1 teaspoon Salt
§ 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
§ 2 Tablespoons Sugar
§ 1 cup Buttermilk
§ 1/2 cup Milk
§ 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
§ 1 whole Egg
§ 1/4 cup Shortening (Melted)
§ 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
§ 8 ounces, weight Dried Blueberries
§ 1 stick 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
§ 1 whole Vanilla Bean
§ 2 Tablespoons Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine corn meal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, egg, and baking soda. Stir to combine.  Add melted shortening, stirring constantly.  Add vanilla extract, then stir in dried blueberries (you can use a little more or a little fewer if you'd like.)  Pour into a greased mini-muffin pan, trying to make sure blueberries stay evenly distributed. Bake for 10 minutes or so, or until golden brown.

Orange Slices

1.       We had these last Friday night and when I suggested them to J he asked, “Is that the sandwich that I like with the sauce and the cheese and the bread and the crunchy stuff.”  When I said it was, he replied, “Yes, I’ll have that.”
§  Sauce (tartar)
§  Cheese (American)
§  Bread (any bun, grilled with butter in a skillet)
§  Crunchy stuff (frozen fish filet in crunchy batter; we like Gorton’s)
Tater Tots

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