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Monday, January 18, 2016

Recipe Review from 1/11/2016

It was cold this week.  Then it warmed up "a bit" (20*).  Then it was cold again.  And windy.  Like, knock the breath out of you windy.

So I stayed inside and did my daily walk-abouts in the skywalk system for my breaks at work.   Almost three miles of skywalk that I can break into segments and stretch my legs out on inclement days.  Nice! 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) Pizza to console ourselves from the Vikings loss...  (S) Veggie Boulangese
Mon (yoga) leftover pasta
Tues (H&RB) leftovers
Wed - Mushroom and Chicken Marsala
Thurs (yoga)  salmon
Fri (H&RB)  leftovers
Sat - (L) out  (D) leftovers

Hollandaise Sauce  ( and Martha Stewart)    gluten free, vegetarian
I caught Martha Stewart's Cooking School on PBS Create, an episode on sauces.  She started out with a Hollandaise Sauce, and I was totally hooked.  I've made it once before following Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by I have to say,  Martha simplified.

So I made some the next morning.  OMGosh!  Talk about easy and sooo tasty!   I combined two recipes - I used the ingredients from AllRecipes but the directions from Martha.

You can serve this over just about anything - Eggs Benedict or  Florentine is what comes to mind, but asparagus, broccoli, fish...your imagination is the limit.   

(All Recipes)
Eggs Florentine with maple-glazed bacon

1/2 cup butter
(optional - 1/4 tsp dijon mustard; just a small dollup, no more)


Whisk yolks in a large heatproof glass bowl until they begin to turn pale, about 1 minute. Whisk in 4 1/2 teaspoons warm water. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water; heat yolk mixture, whisking vigorously, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes (do not overcook). Remove bowl from pan. Whisk in lemon juice. 
Whisking constantly, pour in melted butter, one drop at a time at first, leaving milky solids behind; whisk until thickened. Season with salt. If not serving immediately, pour hot water from pan into a separate (cool) pan; set bowl on top. Keep sauce warm, whisking occasionally, up to 30 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in warm water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya  (Food Network via Pinterest)
This recipe was inspired by the pkg of shrimp I had in the freezer from a different recipe that never got made.  This comes together very quickly (even more so if you don't have to run to the store for the can of tomatoes).  I did err on the side of caution with the the heat - it's easier to add some hot sauce if it's too bland, than it is to suffer from an overly hot dish.  I did add half a package of okra - probably not "authentic", but it was in the freezer and I like it with my Southern food. 


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning*
*(I used 1/2 tsp 'very hot' Cajun...could have used 1 tsp)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound frozen peeled and cooked shrimp, thawed
I added 8 oz diced frozen okra

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, celery, and chicken broth. Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, bay leaves, and thyme.

Cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Stir in the thawed shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and spoon mixture over cooked rice.

Veggie Packed Bolognese (Ckng Lght Jan/Feb 2016)  gluten free option**
Several notable alterations: I skipped the dried porcini mushrooms totally.  The store didn't have them that I could find, so I said screw it.   Honestly?  Not missed.   I used 8 oz hot Italian sausage because I had it on hand in the freezer (yay! freezer reduction!).  And most notable, I subbed spaghetti squash for the butternut.  No way was I going to putz around trying to cut "noodles" out of a butnut.

This also came together fairly quickly, but only because I prepped everything earlier in the day, including baking the squash.  You could also easily skip the squash and just serve the sauce over noodles.  So when it came time to cook, it was open, dump, cook, clean dish and stir sauce.  This is NOT a weeknight recipe.  

Overall, pretty darn good!  I served it with Parmesan cheese and a side of a rustic boule and olive oil. 

2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz 90% lean ground sirloin  (I used hot Italian sausage)
3 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 (8oz) cans unsalted tomato sauce
12 oz peeled butternut squash  (I subbed spaghetti squash)
4 oz whole wheat spaghetti

1) Pour boiling water over porcini in a small bowl; let stand 15 minutes.  Remove porcini with a slotted spoon; finely chop porcini and and reserve soaking liquid. 

2)  Heat a large skillet over medium heat (larger than 12").  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.   Ad onion, celery, carrot and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add cremini mushrooms and garlic; cook 6 minutes or until mushroom liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Add beef, cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add tomato paste, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in porcini, oregano, salt pepper and tomato sauce; pour in porcini liquid, stopping before grit a bottom of bowl reaches sauce.   Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 12 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally to keep sauce from sticking.

3) Run squash through a spiralizer to create noodles, or cut into long noodles with a julienne peeler; set aside.   Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, and adding butternut noodles during last two minutes of cooking time.  Drain.   Serve with sauce.

Mushroom and Chicken Marsala Bowls  (Ckng Lght, Jan/Feb 2015)  gluten free
This is just a bit putzy, what with the washing and chopping a pound of mushroom, then staging the sauteing - cook spinach, set aside; cook 'shrooms, set aside, cook chicken, and rest, and then recombine.   Still, it was tasty, if not a bit heavy on the chicken.  I totally get this is a "flip" dish, where the idea is to "flip" the meat and veggie quantities, but it really could have used 4 chicken thighs, not two.  Definitely plenty of sauce and side toppings if you did so.

I thought I had a pic of this, but I don't see it on my phone.  Oh well.  Imagine mushrooms in a light gravy with some green spinach all over quinoa.  Yum!

2 1/2 tbsp butter, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil, divided
1 (6oz) package fresh baby spinach
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup shallots
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine (I used sherry)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1) Melt 1 1/2 tsp butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add quinoa to pan; saute 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.  Add 1 1/4 cups stock bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes, stir in 1/4 tsp salt.

2) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add spinach; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until beginning to wilt.  Remove spinach from pan.

3) Melt 1 1/2 tsp butter in pan.  Add 1 1/2 tsp oil; swirl to coat.  Add mushrooms; cook 8 minutes turning to brown on all sides.  Remove mushrooms from pan.

4) Add remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chicken to pan; saute 4 minutes browning on all sides.   Add shallots, thyme, and garlic; saute 1 1/2 minutes.  Add wine and remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock, scraping pan to loosen brown bits.  Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by two-thirds and becomes slightly syrupy.  Remove from heat.  Add remaining 1 1/2 tbsp butter, mustard, pepper and salt, stirring constantly until butter melts.  Stir in mushroom and spinach.  Serve over quinoa. 

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