Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Parmesan Chicken Burgers

I got this recipe from a Robin Miller cookbook. My whole family loved the taste of these burgers! They would also make wonderful meatballs.

1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 hamburger buns

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well and shape into 4 patties, about 1 inch thick. Either flash freeze or individually wrap in wax paper. Place in freezer bag.

To cook: Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Put 1 tbsp olive oil in stovetop grill pan, griddle, or large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top with mozzarella cheese, tent with foil, and cook for 1 minute, or until the cheese melts. Serve on hamburger buns with tomato slices and fresh basil leaves if desired.

Pork Chops with "Bourbon" Barbecue Sauce

I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit... You can also use chicken thighs in place of the pork chops. My family loved it!

4 thick-cut pork chops (or 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless or bone-in)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
1/8 cup apple juice mixed with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract*
1 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder

Season the meat with salt and pepper and place in freezer bag. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Seal and freeze.

To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 400. Coat shallow roasting pan with cooking spray and place meat on it. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through.

*You can also use 1/8 cup bourbon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lazy Lasagna

This recipe can be customized by adding spinach, ground cooked beef or sausage, crushed red pepper flakes, or trying a new type of ravioli/sauce. Make it your own!

1 large bag of frozen cheese ravioli (~24oz)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
28oz jar red pasta sauce of your choice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in a single layer at the bottom of a 9"x13" casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Top with about a third of the pasta sauce, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place another layer of ravioli on top, and repeat. Top dish with mozzarella cheese. Cover with cling wrap and foil to freeze if desired.

Serving day: Preheat oven to 350°. If frozen, bake covered casserole (foil only) for about 1 hour 15 minutes, uncover, then bake for 10 minutes more or until bubbly. If cooking directly after preparation, bake covered for 35 minutes, uncover, then bake for 10 minutes more or until bubbly.

Tequila Lime Chicken

2 lbs raw boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 T bottled margarita mix
1 T tequila
1 T lime juice
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a large freezer bag. Mix well, seal, and freeze.

Serving Day: Slice each breast in half horizontally, so that no piece is more than 1" thick. Arrange chicken slices on a greased broiler pan. Broil chicken 5" from the broiler, turning frequently and basting, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 170°. Do not baste during the last 5 minutes of cooking. If you prefer, chicken can be grilled over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, turning and basting every 5 minutes. Do not baste during the last 5 minutes of grilling. Discard remaining marinade.

Shanghai Stir-Fry

2 lbs raw boneless top sirloin steaks, cut into narrow strips
1/3 c cranberry juice
3 T soy sauce
3 T packed brown sugar
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. minced ginger
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 T orange zest

Combine all ingredients above in a large freezer bag. Mix well, seal and freeze.
*you will also need an 11oz can of mandarin orange slices (drained) and 2 t. vegetable oil on hand in your pantry for serving day*

Serving Day: Thaw completely in fridge. Pour off marinade and reserve. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until well-browned, about 10 minutes. Remove beef from pan and keep warm. Add marinade to skillet, reduce heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Return beef to pan. Add mandarin oranges and stir to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Aztec Quiche

1 1/4 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 c. grated mild cheddar cheese, divided
9" deep-dish frozen pie shell
4oz can diced green chilies
1 c. half and half
3 eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. ground cumin

Spread Monterey Jack cheese and half of cheddar over bottom of pie shell. Sprinkle diced chilies over cheeses. In a bowl, mix the half-and-half, eggs, salt, and cumin. Pour carefully into pie shell. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Cover pie with foil and freeze.

Serving Day: Thaw quiche in fridge. Preheat oven to 325°, remove foil, and bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until center is set.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tomato Soup

When trying to come up for a quick and easy dinner, I saw I had some things I could work with to make tomato soup. I was really happy with how it came out -- so delicious and really hit the spot! My kids gobbled it down, along with some ham & cheese toasties. :) (This could also be frozen -- it makes quite a bit!)

8 tbsp (1/2 cup) butter, divided
6 tbsp flour
16 oz chicken broth (or 14.5 oz can)
46-oz can tomato juice
2 tsp dried basil
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup half & half or whipping cream

In large soup pot over med-high heat melt 6 tbsp of the butter. Stir in flour and let cook for about a minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, making sure it's not lumpy, then add the tomato juice and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir in cream and add remaining 2 tbsp butter. Let cook until butter is melted.

Margarita Lime Pie

We've been enjoying Nikki's recipe for frozen Key Lime pie, and it brought to mind this recipe I came across last summer. :)

1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
1/4 cup sugar
6T butter or margarine, melted
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 envelope Kool-Aid Lemon Lime unsweetened drink mix
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
*for added lime flavor, stir in 2T grated lime peel*

Mix crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter. Press firmly onto bottom and up the side of 9" pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Combine condensed milk, lime juice and drink mix in large bowl until well blended. Remove 1/2 cup Cool Whip; refrigerate until ready to use. Gently stir in remaining whipped topping. Pour into crust.

Freeze 6 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temp 15 minutes or until pie can be cut easily. Garnish with reserved Cool Whip before serving. Store leftover pie in freezer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Elsa's Baked Ziti

I found this in Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book & had to try it! It's actually her mother's recipe, and it is so yummy. Enjoy!

1 pound ziti rigate (with ridges) or rigatoni
2 c. ricotta cheese
Grill Seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 c. crushed tomatoes *I like more sauce & would double this*
A few fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the pasta, and cook to al dente.

Drain the ricotta cheese in a strainer or a colander lined with paper towels. Place the drained ricotta in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and season with some grill seasoning and a few handfuls of Parm Cheese.

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes and sauté for minute or two, then stir in the tomatoes and basil. Reduce the heat to low.

Drain the pasta and toss with the cheese mixture. Add the tomato sauce, top the pasta with more Parm, and bake until the cheese browns, about 15 minutes.