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Monday, October 14, 2013

Recipe Review from 10/14/2013

Mid-week adventures had me with one jailbird and a ruined kennel.  Upon pulling into the yard on Tuesday afternoon, I noticed only one doggie waiting to be released from the kennel. Odd, I thought, wondering if Andy was just tucked away in his house. There was only ONE doggie in the kennel. I remember putting two in; I remember giving two carrots; I remember locking the gate on two little fuzzy pookies, but only one remained.

Hole number one - Andy tried where he got out a year ago.

And then I see it...not one, not two, but THREE! THREE escape attempts! One of the three was obviously successful. None of the holes were more than 6" off the ground. Yup. Andy set himself free. The kennel has been successfully rendered useless.

Hole number 2 (right) and 3 (left) at the back of the kennel

Andy did come immediately when I whistled so he at least stuck around the yard (thank heavens!).  He obviously decided it was waaayyy to nice of a day to be contained and set about fixing that little problem.  Ben, poor boy, could not wiggle out a 6" hole and was left behind.  Might have to have a kennel custom built now...darn little Houdini dog. 

My jailbird after a busy day. 

Pork Posole (Ckng Lght Sept 2013)    gluten free
I made this for lunches for the week.   This is a bit time consuming and best for a weekend.  Mine didn't stay nice and soupy like the picture, but became more stew-like.  Not that I'm complaining as both the Husband and I prefer our soups on the thicker side. I really liked the flavor and the pork was very tender.  I think a red pepper would have added a bit of color to this.  Made three lunches for two of us.  Recommended. 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup beer 
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson) 
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 (28-ounce) can hominy, drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 4 lime wedges
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add pork; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return pork to pan; stir in cumin and pepper. Add beer; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 9 minutes).
  2. Add chicken stock, salsa, and hominy; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 10 minutes or until pork is very tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro and 1 sliced radish. Serve with lime wedges.

 Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie (Ckng Lght, Sept 2013)
First - I substituted pork for the chicken because I had leftover pork from the Quick and Easy Fried Pork (last weeks review) and the Pork Posole (above).  I substituted green beans for the peas because they were the oldest in the freezer.

That being clarified, I found this dish disappointing.  It seemed to lack flavor and the biscuits didn't turn out.  Not even close.  My only guess as to why was I used the food processor to cut the butter into the flour.  The gravy never really thickened - at least not until the next day when it was a congealed brick.  Frustrating.  Ckng Lght has had better recipes in the past: Speedy Chicken Potpie being my favorite. 

  • Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
  • 1 cup chopped carrot 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast 
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 (3/4-ounce) package fresh poultry blend herbs
  • Cooking spray
  • Biscuits:
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed 
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. To prepare filling, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Weigh or lightly spoon 1.1 ounces (1/4 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Stir flour, salt, and pepper into vegetables; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken and peas; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove rosemary from herb package; reserve for another use. Strip leaves from stems of remaining herbs; chop leaves to measure 2 tablespoons. Stir herbs into filling. Pour filling in a 2-quart baking dish or cast-iron skillet coated with cooking spray.
  3. To prepare biscuits, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in buttermilk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 5 to 6 times. Roll to a 9-inch circle. Cut with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps. Arrange biscuits over filling; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until browned.

Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese  (Ckng Lght, Sept 2013)  vegetarian option
This actually is pretty quick to make,and I was able to clean up the kitchen while it was under the broiler and resting.  I did add a heaping cup of peas to the pasta during the last couple minutes of cooking for some color and flavor.  Over all taste was on the bland side even with three cloves of garlic and stock.  The garlic flavor came through later so I know it was there!  I think a dash of paprika or cayanne pepper might have boosted my tastebud appeal. 

Adding - this was better as leftovers. It remained creamy and had more flavor.   
  • 10 ounce large elbow macaroni 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil 
    photo from
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock (or vegetable stock), divided 
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk 
  • 8 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Cooking spray 
  • 3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Set aside.
  2. Preheat broiler to high  (I did low - High would have burnt my cheese).
  3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently (do not brown). Stir in 1 cup stock; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups stock, milk, and flour; stir with a whisk until flour dissolves. Add milk mixture to garlic mixture, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove milk mixture from heat; add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta to milk mixture, tossing to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour pasta mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over pasta mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand 5 minutes.

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