Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blackened Chicken Alfredo

I can't even begin to tell you how bad some of my attempts at blackened chicken have turned out.  My ex-husband nearly asphyxiated on burning smoke the first time, and it was so ridiculously spicy that it was inedible.  Fast forward about 7 years, and my last attempt still managed to be too spicy for an actual human being to ingest.  I'm pretty sure animals shouldn't try it either.

I think I finally found the right balance, and here is what I did.

Seasoning Mix for Blackening:

2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
2 tbsp flour

I mixed all of the above ingredients together and tossed my chicken breast tenders (2.5 pounds) in the mix to coat them.  I then melted 2 tbsp of butter and sauteed them until they were a lovely golden color.  I removed them from the pan and put them in the oven at 350 degrees.

While I was sauteing the chicken, my water was boiling for the pasta.  I timed it for 11 minutes and used that to time the chicken in the oven, which ended up baking for about 12 to 14 minutes altogether to make sure the centers were completely cooked through.  While the pasta and chicken cooked, I made the sauce.


4 tbsp butter
6 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup white cooking wine
6 cups half and half or heavy cream
2 tsp pepper
dash of salt
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

I melted the butter in a sauce pot, then sauteed my garlic.  After the garlic was a nice golden color, I added the wine and let it cook while I measured out my half and half.  I added the half and half, salt and pepper, and let it start to bubble.  I then added the Parmesan cheese and stirred until it melted.  I added my pasta, which was then cooked to a nice firm consistency, tossed it in the sauce, and served it with the chicken, which was taken out of the oven to join the rest.  Everyone really liked it, and the seasoning didn't overpower everything else.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Best Shepherd's Pie I Have Ever Made

The Best Shepherd's Pie I Have Ever Made

5 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
4 cups beef bouillon
4 tsp tomato bouillon powder
10 tbsp flour
4 tsp Worschestire sauce
3lbs red potatoes, washed and boiled until soft
1 bulb fresh garlic
2 cups half and half
1 stick butter or margarine
4 cups cheddar

Mix beef bouillon, tomato bouillon powder, flour and Worschestire sauce in a blender or high speed mixer to create the sauce.  After cooking beef, drain grease and add the sauce.  Cook until the sauce thickens slightly and layer in the bottom of a casserole pan. 

Using a garlic press, smash the garlic cloves from one bulb.  Add the smashed garlic to a small sauce pan with the half and half and margarine or butter.  Bring to a gentle boil (continuously stirring), and pour the mixture over the red potatoes.  Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they reach the texture you desire.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture in the casserole pan.  Top the potatoes with the cheddar cheese and bake at 325 degree for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble around the edges of the melted cheese.  I always broil mine for a few minutes afterwards, to brown the cheese a little, but that is all about personal preference.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Baked Apple Crisp

This was a quick experiment today, since I have been having an odd craving for apples lately.

Baked Apple Crisp


8 apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup rolled oats, blended to a fine powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
6 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Use food processor or blender to blend your oatmeal, then add the cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg to it.  Thoroughly mix in the softened butter, and toss the peeled apples in the butter and spice mixture.  Place your apples into a baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and able to be pierced with a fork.  Allow to cool slightly before serving, to prevent any injuries.

White Chicken Chili

I have been a little hesitant to post this one, since I modify it here and there, and it seems to change quite a bit.

White Chicken Chili

3 pounds chicken breast, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons margarine
1 pound navy or great northern beans, soaked and boiled until soft
1 1/2 pints heavy cream or half and half
3 pound tub of sour cream (I use fat free)
3 cups mozerella cheese plus 1 cup divided
corn chips for crumbling or dipping

2-4 tsp Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning, to taste
4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper
4 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cilantro

I usually start this meal early in the day or the night before, since I have to either soak my beans overnight or do the fast soak/boil method.  Once my beans are cooked, or on their way to being cooked, I start on the rest of it.  Once the beans are done, I drain them of their cook water and return them to my big silver stock pot.  I cook my chicken in the margarine and Cajun seasoning until it is cooked through.  I then transfer the chicken to the pot with the drained beans, adding the sour cream and stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed.  I put the remaining spices into my Magic Bullet (Christmas present that I am absolutely in love with!) with one half pint of the whipping cream and process it until the spices are thoroughly mixed, but before the cream begins to thicken (just a few seconds).  I then transfer this mixture to the pot, adding the remainder of the cream as well.  Once everything is mixed and starts to heat through, I add the 3 cups of cheese to the pot, and stir and heat all of it until it begins to bubble slightly.  At that point, I remove dinner from the heat and serve it with a little cheese sprinkled on top (the reserve cheese) and crushed corn chips, which the kids stir into their bowls.  What little is left for leftovers actually disappears the following day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Pork loin roast (5 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil (or more as needed)
1 pound sliced bacon
1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon ground sage
½ tsp oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Place a lightly greased pyrex roasting pan in the oven.  Combine seasonings in a bowl.  Rub the pork loin with olive oil and spices and place the loin in the hot roasting pan (it will sizzle). Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the outside is golden and starting to crisp (it will be a bit smokey when you open the oven, so you may want to open a window first). I actually cooked mine on one side for 15 minutes, and turned it over to cook for another 15 minutes, though that is not necessary.
Remove roast from oven and wrap bacon slices vertically around pork roast; do not overlap bacon.  Secure bacon with toothpicks if necessary (I wish I had some!  My husband used all of mine for crafting, and when I flipped my roast, the bacon slid off and I had to re-wrap).  Reduce oven heat to 400 F.
Roast for 15 minutes. Turn pork over and roast for 15 minutes. Continue roasting, turning occasionally until bacon is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145 degrees, which should be about 50 minutes. At this point, I turned the broiler on for a few minutes to make the bacon a bit crispier.  Remove the roast from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before carving.
Skim fat from pan juices, leaving browned juices in pan.  Add flour, milk, water, and pepper to make a pork gravy, if desired.