Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Keilbasa & Zataran's...like peas & carrots.

I LOVE Kielbasa. It's so simple to make and it is so dang good. It's great for a quick ghetto meal. This is by far one of my favorites & it costs all of about 5 bucks to make.

All you do is slice up a kielbasa sausage & toss it around a skillet for a few minutes over med-high heat. Then you dump in the contents of a box of Zataran's Black Beans & Rice (Along with some water and oil).  Let it simmer for 25 minutes and you're done.

So easy.

So delicious.

Yay for not having to think much while preparing a meal!

Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish Dish

My husband loves Chicken Cordon Bleu. LOVES IT. When we got married he insisted that I learn how to make his mom's recipe because it was the best he'd ever had. Cool, right? Wrong. I could barely boil water without catching something on fire let alone master a dish as well as one's mother. It was a bad idea.

So, 3 months after I became the proud Mrs P, his birthday arrived. We had never spent a birthday together at that point. We had only met 10 months previously...got engaged after 4 months, married 3 months later. We work fast...it's how we roll.  Anywho, I was really stoked to master my mother-in-law's famous Chicken Cordon Bleu for his birthday meal. I followed directions perfectly, made a HUGE disaster in the kitchen, and served up what appeared to be a beautiful dish.

I'm not really certain what happened between my preparing the dish and eating it, but I do know that we both ended up with food poisoning. I poisoned my new husband with the first birthday meal I had ever prepared for him. He was so lucky to have me as his wife, don't you think?  I have since improved, but he has yet to let me live that down.

OK, so...six years later and I'm STILL trying to come up with a Chicken Cordon Bleu that he'll eat. I think I may have mastered it. Finally.

Here's what I did.


4 chicken breasts (pounded until they were practically transparent), a cheapie pkg of thinly sliced ham, butter, flour (1/4cup), salt, pepper, olive oil, milk, Farfale pasta, 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese & fresh parsley.

Oh, and some white wine. Whichever you like. I've been liking Fish Eye lately. It's cheap...and it's yummy. And it's boxed. My sister-in-law tells me that I'm turning into my 80-something year old grandfather because I drink boxed wine. She still loves me though.

For this recipe I used my lovely Fish Eye Chardonnay. About a cup.

OK, so I took my flattened out chicken breast...

...layed some slices of ham on it.

 Then I rolled it up.

Secure it with a toothpick. 

In a skillet, heat up about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter.

Season the chicken (S&P) and place it in the skillet.

I cooked mine for about 6 minutes on each side. They should look something like this.

I then removed them from the pan and put them in a 350 degree oven while I made the sauce.

Keep all the chicken goodness in the pan, add a little more butter & some flour (I used just under 1/4cup) to make a roux.

Add some milk..I used 2 cups.

Then add the Swiss cheese.

Add some chopped fresh parsley.

And now the vino....

Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or so. S&P to taste.
OK, while I was making the sauce I also cooked up the pasta.

Take the chicken out of the oven and slice it up. Serve it next to the pasta and drizzle the Swiss cheese sauce over both. I love brussel sprouts, so I had those on the side.

And here it is!

It was delightful! Not your standard Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I'd say it's a pretty good version of the classic. Good stuff!

Real quick....BBQ Cups

I made BBQ Cups for dinner the other night and I tried them with chicken instead of beef. They were equally as delicious as the original recipe. Just thought I'd share a picture!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beef & Tomato Gravy with Biscuits

My Mother-in-law makes awesome biscuits and gravy. They are super simple...not much to them, but oh-so good. I've been hooked on them for a while now.  This recipe came from one of my Pampered Chef Cookbooks. I changed it up just a smidge by using ground beef instead of pork sausage. You can do whichever...they both rock.

1lb ground beef, 1 small onion, 2 cans (I decided to add a 2nd after taking the pic) diced tomatoes, 2 tsp dried thyme leaves, ground black pepper, 3 Tbsp flour, refrigerated can of biscuits (this recipe makes a TON of gravy so you can make more biscuits than this if you want) & some eggs for the side.

Oh, and you want 1.5 cups of milk..but I forgot about that here.

Okie dokie. First you heat up the oven according to the  biscuit directions. Mine said 350. I always make biscuits on a stone because it browns them evenly top and bottom.

While those are baking (about 17 min) I start the gravy.
Cook the ground beef until browned, drain.

While the meat cooks, chop up the onion.

Now you add the flour and thyme to the meat.

Stir it around until it is mixed well.

Toss in the onions.

Let it cook for about 4 minutes until the onions soften.
Add salt.

And Pepper. This was the first time I've used one of these McCormick Grinder thingies..I kind of liked it. A lot.

Add the milk and bring it to a boil.

Let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes.

Stir it up and let it simmer for another minute or so until it thickens.
It should look something like this:


By now the biscuits should be done.

Nice & flaky.

Split the biscuits, pour some gravy over the bottom and put the top back on. Serve it up with some scrambled eggs and you're good to go!

Super hearty. Really delicious!

Been too long...

Life has a way of getting in it's own way, doesn't it?

This summer has proved to be nothing but chaos followed by more chaos, served with a side of chaos. We've had weddings, family visits, transmissions blowing up on us (two to be exact), cameras breaking, cell phones breaking, injuries and more. Gotta roll with the punches I guess, right?

Anyway, we seem to be over the worst of it (hopefully) and my dear momma loaned me one of her cameras. So here I am...spreading my kitchen mayhem and joy with y'all. You know you love it. :)