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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weekly Menu 7/21+


smoked chicken
pasta quattro formaggi

beef enchiladas
refried beans
ez spanish rice

cowboy pie
chocolate pudding

tater tot casserole

chicken tenders
mashed potatoes
green beans

 chicken squash casserole

sloppy joes
carrot sticks
peaches or plums
Smoked Chicken
Salt and pepper are all you really need, plus a low and slow fire with some water to generate the steam (at least it works that way in our smoker).  That also keeps the flames down when you cook over indirect heat; which my family appreciates because that means they are not eating pollo al carbon. 

Pasta Quattro Formaggi (Pioneer Woman)
1 pound Angel Hair Pasta
½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese
½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
½ cups Goat Cheese (chevre)
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 whole Garlic Clove, Peeled
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Minced Fresh Parsley
Heat cream in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat.
Rub garlic clove all over the inside of a large serving bowl.
Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water, leaning toward the al dente side. Do not overcook! Drain pasta, then return to the cooking pot. Pour in cream, add butter, and add cheeses and salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine, adding hot pasta water as needed for consistency. Don’t overmix; if there are little clumps of cheese here and there, it’s fine! Taste and add more salt if needed. Mixing stage should happen very quickly.
Turn pasta into large serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with a nice medium rare steak.

Yellow Squash

Beef/Cheese Enchiladas
Corn or flour tortillas (depending on your family’s preference)
1-2 cans red enchilada sauce
2 c ground beef
2-3 c grated cheddar
Chopped onions
In a saucepan mix 1 can enchilada sauce and beef, simmer.   Warm corn tortillas in a cast iron skillet, with just a little butter, per tortilla.  This helps get them soft and where they won't crack as you roll them up.  Stack them on a plate as they get hot.  They’ll stay hot until they are ready to roll.  Heat any flour tortillas that you will do in the same cast iron skillet, stack on top of the corn ones to keep them warm.  Spread a little of your sauce in the bottom of the pan to keep the tortillas from sticking to the pan when you are ready to serve.  Next put a little bit of meat, cheese and onion in each tortilla.  Roll it up, place seam side down in 9x13 pan.  Top with remaining sauce, use another can if you need to.  If you are making a large number of corn enchiladas, use more sauce as it will be absorbed by the tortillas as they bake.  If you making mostly flour ones, the extra sauce will make a gluey mess, so go a little easier.  Top with plenty of cheese, onion if you want and bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is bubbly.

Refried Beans
                Add 2-3 oz of cream cheese to a can of refried beans
EZ Spanish Rice
                Mix ½ c picante sauce in for part of your liquid as you make rice

Cowboy Pie
1lb bulk breakfast sausage cooked
1-2 pkg Jiffy corn bread mix (1 if there are just a few of you, 2 if you are feeding a larger family or teenaged boys)
½ t sugar  
1/3 c milk (1 box)
1 egg (1 box)
½ c cheddar cheese, grated
2T minced green onions

Cook sausage in cast iron skillet; drain.  Prepare corn bread according to directions, add remaining ingredients. Let sit for five minutes.  Pour on top of waiting meat.  Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
Chocolate Pudding

Tater Tot Casserole
2c cooked ground beef
¼ c chopped onion
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 can green beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
Tater tots
1 c grated cheese
Mix first five ingredients in 9x13 pan.  Top with tater tots in neat little rows, if you’d like or poured randomly on top if you’re in a hurry.  Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly; about 25 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake another 10 minutes.

--Soak chicken tenders in a combination of buttermilk (or 1T vinegar + remainder of 1c milk) and ½ tsp of meat tenderizer.  It really makes the chicken moist when you cook it. 
--If you don’t want to fry your tenders, you can certainly bake them in a ‘hot’ oven; which means greater than 400 degrees.  Switch Panko in for the flour, drizzle some butter over them for that oven fried effect. 
--If you want, you can batter up some extra tenders and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet or plate.  Then when frozen, or the next time you look in your freezer, you can drop them into a Ziploc bag so you’ll have some ready to fry. 

Chicken Tenders (Pioneer Woman)
1 package Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Strips (sometimes Called "tenders" Or "strips")
1-½ cup Flour
2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Lawry's Seasoning Salt (or Spices Of Your Choosing)
Vegetable Oil
Start by rinsing and drying your chicken strips. Next, in a bowl submerge the chicken strips in buttermilk for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer if you’d like).
In another bowl combine about 1 ½ cups flour and 2 to 3 teaspoons of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (or other seasonings if you prefer). Mix this together well. Next, add about ¼ to ½ cup of buttermilk into the flour mixture and stir lightly with a fork as you add it.
Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat.
Remove a few of the buttermilk-soaked strips and place them in the flour mixture, turning them over to coat them thoroughly. Place them on a plate. Continue coating chicken strips until they are all ready to cook.
When the oil is sufficiently heated, begin cooking the strips a few at a time. Cook them for about a minute and a half or so on each side. When golden and crispy, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.

2T butter
2T flour
1c milk/cream
Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, allow it to brown slightly.  Add salt and pepper and milk.  Then stir until all of your gravy lumps are gone (this won't help with body lumps).  As gravy begins to boil, it will thicken.  Stop cooking when it looks like what your family likes.  Green Beans

Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

--K says: Do not be afraid of cooked avocados!  This quiche is super-awesome fantastic!  It has lots of stuff in it so it is a hearty meal.  As always, quiche is uber-versatile so you can add and remove ingredients to your liking.  The picture shows bacon substituted for turkey. 
--And it’s Gluten-Free for the one reader I have who I know has to cook that way. 
8 Eggs
1/2 cup Heavy Cream or Half n Half
1/2 Onion, Chopped and Sautéed
1/2 tsp. Marjoram
1/2 tsp. Tarragon
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 Avocados
4 oz. Cream Cheese
5 oz. Diced Turkey
3/4 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop onion and sauté.  Grease an 8x8 casserole dish.  Place diced turkey (chicken or bacon) evenly in bottom of the baking dish. Cut avocados in half, remove seed, slice lines vertically and horizontally, scoop out of skin with a spoon and layer across turkey.  Cut cream cheese into little cubes and layer on top of avocados.  Scramble eggs and whisk in the cream, sautéed onion and seasonings.  Pour egg mixture into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese if you like.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until set in the middle.


This is better than Manwich and something that I usually double.  Before simmering I put half in the freezer in a Ziploc bag so that next time this becomes a super-fast meal. 

Sloppy Joes (Taste of Home)

2-3 lb cooked ground beef
1-2T butter
½ c chopped celery
1/3 c chopped onion
2T chopped red pepper
1c ketchup
½ c chili sauce
1T sugar
1T brown sugar
1T cider vinegar
2t dry mustard
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
In large saucepan cook the celery, onion and pepper in butter until tender.  Stir in the remaining ingredients (except the buns).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.  Serve on buns. 

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