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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weekly Menu 3/3+


mini-monkey bread

 oven fried chicken

pork chops with apples

taco crescent bake

creamy mustard chicken

mac and cheese
peas and carrots
apple crisp

15 bean soup
crusty bread

1.       There’s really only one way to make monkey bread and it takes some time, but it is well worth your effort.  I’ve tried easier and faster recipes, but they leave you wanting the real thing.  This version is an attempt to help you eat a little less per serving because once you start tasting that crispy caramelized sugar bites of goodness, you don't want to stop.  Or I've heard you don't want to stop.  :)

Mini-Monkey Bread
1 stick butter melted
2 cans biscuits; quartered and divided in half if using layered biscuits
½ c sugar
2-3T cinnamon
Melt butter in shallow dish.  Mix cinnamon and sugar in another shallow dish.  Drop cut biscuits into butter, then into sugar mixture.  Place well coated pieces into a muffin tin, or into a bundt pan.  Bake 10 min (muffins) or 40 min (bundt). 

Oven Fried Chicken (365 Ways to Cook Chicken)
¼ c shortening
¼ c butter
1c + 2T flour
2 tsp paprika
¼ tsp each salt & pepper
3lb chicken pieces or boneless
1 can biscuits
1 30oz can of peach halves (in hmmm hmmm syrup)
Whole cloves
1 ½ c hot milk (for gravy)
Preheat oven to 425.  Place shortening and butter in 9x13x2 baking dish and set in oven until melted.  In plastic or paper bag combine flourp, paprika, slat and pepper.  Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat thoroughly.  Place chicken skin side down in hot shortening.  Bake 45 minutes; then turn.  Push chicken to one end of pan.  At the other end, arrange uncooked biscuits in single layer, without draining off shortening.  Stick cloves in peaches and place on top of chicken (I usually skip the cloves).  Bake 15 minutes. 
To make gravy, remove chicken, biscuits and peaches to serving platter.  Pour pan drippings into medium sized sauce pan.  Whish in 2T flour and cook for 1 minute without browning.  Whisk in milk, bring to a boil, cook until thick and smooth. 


1.       If you aren’t a fan of fruited meat you can always cook these separately, but the apples are nice and mild with the chops. 
2.       Use boneless chops if they don't kill your budget.  You can buy a large pork loin and slice your own chops for <$2/lb at Sam’s (vs. $5/lb at HEB for the butterfly chops) and freeze them individually wrapped in wax paper. 

Apple Pork Chops with Stuffing (Adapted from Quick Cooking)
4-6 thick pork chops; boneless preferred
Salt and pepper
3 apples peeled and sliced
3T brown sugar
3T butter
1-2 boxes Stovetop stuffing
Place chops in a baking dish and salt and pepper both sides.  In a skillet add apples, butter and sugar and sauté until the apples are well coated in the buttery/sugary goodness; about 5 minutes.  Pour apples over chops, be sure to scrape out all of the goodness onto the chops.  Mix stuffing with warm water and place over the apples.  Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 350.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes to get the top layer of stuffing a little on the crunchy side. 

Ranch Green Beans
Green beans
Dry ranch dressing mix
Combine it all and sauté in a covered pan until cooked the way your family likes them.  My family is wary of green beans and likes them super cooked.  They don't want them jumping off the plate or anything, so I cook them to death. 

Taco Crescent Bake
1 can crescent rolls
1 c cooked ground meat
1 c sour cream
½ c picante sauce
1 c grated cheese
Lettuce & tomato
Unroll and seal the seams on crescent rolls into a 9x13 pan or a jelly roll pan.  Combine sour cream and picante and spread over the rolls, top with ground beef and cheese.  Bake 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Top with lettuce and tomato and serve. 

Creamy Mustard Chicken (Pioneer Woman)
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 cup Brandy (or White Wine If Preferred)
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Grainy Mustard
1/4 cup (to 1/2) Heavy Cream
1/4 cup (to 1/2) Chicken Broth
Salt And Pepper, to taste
*Amount of cream and broth has slightly decreased; add more as needed.  Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that you have eight smaller, thinner chicken cutlets.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook cutlets on both sides until nice and golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and keep on a plate.  Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the pan and saute it for a minute, stirring to make sure it won't burn. Next pour in the brandy (or wine if using) being careful if cooking over an open flame. Then just let the booze bubble up and cook until it's reduced by half.  Throw in the mustards and stir to combine, then pour in the cream. Stir in chicken broth, adding more if the sauce seems too thick. Taste sauce and adjust whatever you think it needs. Add chicken breasts back to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Allow sauce to cook for another few minutes, shaking the pan if needed to move things around. 


1.       This mac and cheese recipe is how I think Luby’s makes theirs.  Don’t worry about the cottage cheese it all melts into cheese-y goodness during the baking process so you won't even notice that it’s there. 
2.       I buy the American Cheese deluxe slices, you don’t have to unwrap them and they are more cheese than cheese by-products (no offense to Kraft singles of course). 

Sausage links
Mac & Cheese
4T butter
¼ c flour
Salt & pepper
1t ground mustard
2c milk 
6-8 slices American cheese
½ c cottage cheese
2c macaroni
Cheddar cheese

Melt the butter and add flour to make a roux; allow to brown slightly.  Add milk and seasonings.  Bring to a boil and allow to thicken. Add American and cottage cheeses until melted.  Combine with cooked macaroni and pour into a 9x13 pan.  Top with slices of cheddar cheese and bake about 15 minutes at 350, until cheese is melted. 

Peas & Carrots
Apple crisp
3-4 chopped unpeeled apples
½ c rolled oats
½ c brown sugar
½ c bisquick
¼ c melted butter
1t cinnamon
Place chopped apples in a baking dish.  In a bowl combine remaining ingredients until crumbly.  Place crumbles over apples and bake 20-30 minutes in a 350 oven.  Serve warm.

1.       Put your beans on to soak the night before in your crockpot and then in a small bowl have all your dry spices measured out so you can just pour them in first thing in the morning. 
15 bean soup aka Minestrone (Mom)
2 c dried bean mixture
1-2 lbs trimmed stew meat, or ham bone, or skip the meat tonight for Lent
Up to 1T salt (if you’re using a ham bone you might want to cut this amount in half)
½ tsp pepper
16 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
Cayenne pepper (to taste –as in none for me, thanks)
2 quarts water
¾ to 1 c small shell macaroni
Wash bean mixture.  Put in crock pot to soak overnight.  Drain beans, add remaining ingredients (except pasta) with water going in last so that crockpot is full.  Cook on low all day.  Either cook pasta on stove top or add to soup and let cook for about 30-45 more minutes until pasta is tender. 
OR simmer on stovetop 1 ½ hours.  Add macaroni and cook 30-45 min longer. 

Crusty Bread

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if you have the time and or inclination, I highly reccomend a 1-4 hour buttermilk brine for the chicken. 2 cups buttermilk and a tablespoon of salt will do wonders to add extra flavor and keep the breast meat nice a moist.