Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

We found another recipe that our "picky eater" loves!

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 package jumbo shells

2 cups cottage cheese

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 jar spaghetti sauce

Cook shells according to package directions; drain. Rince in cold water; drain again and set aside.

Mix together the four cheeses, eggs and parsley. Pour 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Stuff each shell with a heaping spoonful of cheese mixture. Sit upright on top of sauce. When all shells are filled, pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Note: this is an excellent recipe to freeze before baking. Thaw and follow regular baking instructions.

Pork Tenderloin with Gravy

Here was the Mother's Day meal for this year, and it turned out very nicely. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine, in their "Cooking for One or Two" section, so we doubled it. A few years ago we would have had to quadruple it! And it was a little on the salty side, so be aware of that. It's also good to note that if this has to sit on the stove on "warm" for 40 minutes while you talk to your missionary son the quality is not affected.

Pork Tenderloin with Gravy

1 envelope brown gravy mix

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pork tenderloin (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (no way does it need this much!)

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients until blended; set aside. In a large skillet, brown poik in oil on all sides. Stir in the gravy mixture, mushrooms and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over hot rice. 2-3 servings

Warm Black Bean Dip

I forgot to take a picture before serving this recipe. However, it turned out to be so delicious, that others told me I needed to post it on the blog. In order to do that, I need a picture! Sorry it's of a dirty plate, but there was only one bite left. We'll definitely be having it again, so someday there will be a prettier picture. Warm Black Bean Dip

1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1/3 cup picante sauce/salsa
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
(1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley) - we don't like cilantro, so we omitted this
1 tablespoon lime juice

Saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the beans; mash gently. Stir in the tomato, salsa, cumin and chili powder and cook just until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

The prettier picture:

Cheesy Ham Braid

Here'a another recipe Michelle picked. And we even followed the directions exactly and bought a hot roll mix instead of making our own dough! Okay, I made one substitution, using orange pepper instead of green pepper because we already had some handy, but I did do the egg wash, a step I usually skip. It turned out deliciously, and was extra good dipped in broccoli soup.

Cheesy Ham Braid

1 package (16 oz) hot roll mix
1 cup warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water

In a large bowl, combine the hot roll mix and contents of yeast packet. Stir in the warm water, egg and 1 tablespoon butter. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté onion and green pepper in remaining butter until tender. Remove from heat; stir in ham, cheese and parsley. On a greased baking sheet, roll the dough into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Spoon ham mixture lengthwise down the center. On each long side, cut 1-inch wide strips into the center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across the filling. Pinch ends to seal. cover and let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Here's another recipe Michelle chose and made. It was absolutely delicious. (Because it was on the plan to have in our "camping" house, we used all the prescribed shortcuts - pizza dough in a can and pizza sauce in a bottle - something that never would have happened a few years ago!)

Pizza with Stuffed Crust

2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 tubes (10 ounces each) refrigerated pizza crust
8 ounces string cheese
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce
1 package (3 1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over a greased 15x10" baking pan. Unroll pizza dough and place on pan. (The original recipe said to let it drape over the edges, but ours didn't even reach the edges, so we skipped that part.) Pinch center seam to seal. Place pieces of string cheese around edges of dough. Fold dough over cheese; pinch to seal. Brush the crust with butter; sprinkle with basil. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Spread sauce over crust. Place 2/3 of the pepperoni in a single layer over sauce. Sprinkle with mushrooms, olives, and cheese. Top with remaining pepperoni. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, or until crust and cheese are lightly browned. Serves 6.

Pork (or Turkey) Egg Rolls

As part of our Personal Progress goals, Michelle and I worked together on a two-week menu. It was actually kind of fun having her pick the recipes. Here's one of the recipes she chose. Then we went shopping and made it and she learned how I adapt recipes. To begin with, we decided that instead of buying ground pork, we'd use some cooked turkey we already had; and instead of buying shrimp, we'd use the crab in the freezer. Next she decided she didn't like bean sprouts and water chestnuts, so we could omit those; we added extra cabbage instead. We definitely didn't use 3 tablespoons of oil for the stir-fry; it was whatever was left in the bottle of sesame oil, maybe 1 teaspoon, and that was plenty. Finally, we didn't really measure any of the filling ingredients, and we had enough to use all 21 of the wrappers that came in the egg roll package! Oh, and we only used 1/4" of oil in a cast iron frying pan; even that was a concession to the recipe, because normally I bake egg rolls. (That post also has pictures of the rolling process.) What this all means, is that it's probably impossible to duplicate our finished product, but you could definitely try! And whatever you came up with would be delicious.

Pork Egg Rolls

1/2 pound ground pork
2/3 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup salad shrimp
1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
8 refrigerated egg roll wrappers
oil for frying

Cook pork in a large skillet until no longer pink; drain. Remove pork and set aside. In same skillet, stir-fry cabbage, celery and onions in oil until crisp-tender. Add shrimp, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and reserved pork; stir-fry 4 minutes longer or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. (Sorry, I didn't think about taking pictures of these first steps.)

Position egg roll wrappers with a corner facing you. Spoon 1/3 cup pork mixture on the bottom third of each wrapper. Fold a bottom corner over filling; fold sides over filling toward center. Moisten top corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. In an electric skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 375°. Fry egg rolls for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Strawberry Cream Dessert

We tried a new recipe today and, as expected, it was quite delicious. Michelle found the recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine and thought we should try it. It looked like a "jello" version of our favorite Four Layer Dessert, so I was sure we would like it. And we did. Of course, I had to put our own spin on it, particularly when I discovered we didn't have any packages of strawberry jello in the cupboard! I also thought it called for way too much whipped topping (24 ounces)! I used half that amount and it turned out just fine. And, I used my graham cracker/cookie crumb mix from the freezer. So, here's our recipe: Berry Cream Dessert

2 1/4 cups graham cracker/cookie crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
12 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 package (3 ounces) raspberry gelatin (any flavor would work, just change the name)

1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup frozen, sliced strawberries
3/4 to 1 cup strawberry yogurt

Combine the crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 9x13" pan and freeze for 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese and sugar together; stir in about 1 cup whipped topping and spread over prepared crust. In a large bowl dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in strawberries and yogurt. Fold in about 3 cups whipped topping and spread over cream cheese layer. Chill for several hours. Spread remaining whipped topping over the top, or dollop over individual servings, before serving.

Enchilada Casserole

Previously I've shared our regular enchilada recipe, which we make rarely, and the shortcut tortilla stack recipe, which we make fairly often. However, I realized today that I hadn't posted about the combination of the two that we'll occasionally try. Basically, it's a stacked version of enchiladas, complete with the sauce, so it's not as dry as the tortilla stack. Here's our version of Enchilada Casserole:

Prepare the sauce mixture. The recipe I started with today called for 1/3 cup flour, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 4 cups water. (However, I cut the water to 2 cups and added a can of tomato sauce. And usually I'll use the sauce recipe found in the link above.)

Combine that with 1 pound cooked ground turkey/beef (or even wheat/meat), 1 1/2 cups chopped onions and 2 minced garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 8-10 minutes. If I'm in a generous mood, I'll add sliced olives to this mixture; it's an easy way to make everyone happy.

Once that's ready, grease a baking dish and line it with a layer of tortillas. (Most recipes call for corn tortillas, but our family prefers flour tortillas.) Top with some of the sauce and a layer of grated cheese. Repeat two more times, leaving off the last layer of cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.