Spittin’getti Casserole

IMG_8555Comfort food time is rolling around and you shouldn’t be caught short. This recipe is sure to please everyone. Mild enough for kids and sophisticated enough to please the adult palate as well.

It makes enough for an army, and warms up pretty well too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb. ground round, browned
  • 2/3 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage or other sausage, browned.
  • 1 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced mushrooms
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce homemade or store-bought
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • enough slices of pepperoni to cover the top
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the beef and sausage together, remove to another dish.
  2. Cook the onions in the fat from the meet until translucent, then add the mushrooms and saute until limp cooked.
  3. Heat salted water in a separate pot and cook up the pasta, drain well.
  4. Add the meat back in with the onion mixture and mix.
  5. Add the sauce and the pasta to the meat mixture and stir until mixed.
  6. Spread half of the mixture into an casserole pan.
  7. Top with half the cheeses.
  8. Add the rest of the meat mixture to the top, cover with the balance of the cheeses and then the pepperoni..
  9. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.
  10. Serve with bread and a crisp salad.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can use other cheeses if you wish. Use any type of mushroom you desire.

Advertisements

Sherry’s Seafood Alfredo

creamy-seafood-alfredo-wide This is what you call decadent. It’s what you call “company dinner”. It’s what you call romantic, rich, and so good you wanna lick the spoon. Go ahead.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs of assorted seafood. Use shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, oysters, crawfish, fish, clams, etc.
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles, cooked al dente.
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 c cream
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese (the best quality)
  • 3 lg cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • EVOO
  • pepper
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Melt about 4 tbsp of butter in a saute pan and 1/4 c EVOO.
  2. Salt the seafood which has been defrosted (if frozen and patted dry.
  3. Saute the seafood until barely done. Remove to a separate plate.
  4. Add the garlic and wine and simmer until wine is reduced by half and the garlic is opaque and fragrant.
  5. Add balance of the butter and melt.
  6. Add the cream and simmer softly until reduced and thickened.
  7. Add the parmesan cheese and melt into the sauce.
  8. Add the fettuccine noodles, the seafood, and mozzarella and mix carefully but fully. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Reheat gently and serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: I would not put more than 3 different seafoods together.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Skillet Moussaka

d12f9d29bf86ba8e69c134926eb859b0I worked in downtown Detroit for many years, my office being but two blocks from Greek town. I thus became something of an expert on Greek food.

Moussaka is a favorite of mine and I’ve made several casseroles over the year, but this recipe is a good but quick substitute. It comes together quite fast, and tastes surprisingly good.

Great for a quick meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced.
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • dash pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • chopped parsley (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut eggplant into diced chunks about 1/2 inch each.
  2. Brown beef with garlic in skillet; drain.
  3. Add eggplant, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and pepper.
  4. Cook about 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.
  5. Combine milk and egg in small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Melt butter in small saucepan. Add milk mixture. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened
  7. Power white sauce over meat mixture. Top with cheese.
  8. Place skillet in oven about 6 inches from broiler and broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is browned. If you don’t want to turn oven on, you can cover the skillet and just cook until the cheese melts.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top if desired.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make a traditional roux of flour and butter if you wish instead of the egg, but the carbs will be higher.

SOURCE: Low Carb Yum

Chicken Cacciatore Sicilian Style

chicken-cacciator-su-1860010-x I consider this comfort food. It has some of my favorite things. Tomatoes, lots of garlic, olives.

Who needs anything else. Place on a bed of pasta of your choice, and you can tuck in with relish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 -5 garlic cloves
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • thighs 4-6
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp jar capers
  • 1/2 c  olives, halved
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced large
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced large
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • angel hair pasta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Salt and pepper the thighs and place in a large saute pan and brown in some EVOO.
  2. Remove to a dish. Add the onions and celery and sweet peppers and saute until softened and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, capers, and wine, and saute until the wine has been reduced by half.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened.
  5. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and stir until warmed.
  6. Add the chicken thighs back in, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta.
  8. Add the olives and stir in.
  9. Serve.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Vary the chicken as you wish. Use the best olives you can find.

SOURCE: Adapted from Food.com

Chicken Tinga

20130910-265977-chicago-tacos-el-perejil-chicken-tinga Now we are talking down home cookin’! Down home as in Mexico I mean.

Tinga is pretty much a stew. And it’s just dumped in a taco or a tostada or rolled up into a burrito. Add whatever else you like and as always, ya got a meal.

This is no doubt a recipe that can be varied in a number of ways and is authentic comfort food, so the recipes vary from family to family. Still the basics are the same.

Not too much trouble, and worth a lot in flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup medium diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 large tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one (7-ounce) can
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip thighs and continue to cook until other side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving fat in pan, and set aside.
  2. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan, stir in chicken stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Nestle chicken thighs in sauce, reduce to a simmer, and cook until meat registers 165°F in thickest part of thigh on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
  4. Pull chicken meat into strips, discarding skin, any large pieces of fat, and bones. Stir chicken into sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
  5. Spoon chicken into warm tortillas and top with tomatillo salsa, onion, cilantro, cheese etc.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Add diced cooked potatoes and maybe some corn and you have a meal you can put over rice or noodles.

SOURCE: Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

Smothered Chicken Fried Steak

820211714_KFVtw-M Nothing says comfort food like chicken fried steak. I mean seriously, the gravy alone is worth it. Add all your favorite fixin’s on the side and you got a dinner that will please everyone.

This is how I make mine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb of steak of your choice, but I would recommend flatiron, or a thinly cut sirloin. If you move to round steak, then really keep it thin.
  • flour for dusting and dipping.
  • egg wash made from 1-2 eggs whisked with a tbsp of water.
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c or so of Panko crumbs
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c beef stock

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the steak into serving pieces. Pound out until it is no more than 1/8 of an inch, and, depending on the cut, is tenderized.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip in the flour and shake off excess. Let these rest until all are done.
  4. Then dip each piece in the egg wash and then into panko crumbs. Place on a rack until all are done.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet and place as many in the pan as will comfortably fit and not touch.
  6. Fry until golden brown and then flip, and do the other side.
  7. Remove to the rack again, and place in a low oven to keep warm.
  8. Pour off most of the oil in the pan until you have the equivalent of about 3 tablespoons or alternatively, remove all oil and add in 3 tbsp of butter. Melt and add the flour and whisk until smooth and cooked (2 minutes)
  9. Add the milk and stir in and bring to a boil. Continue whisking until it has thickened. If it seems a bit too thick, then add the beef broth to thin it down. This adds some depth to the taste.
  10. Put the gravy in a gravy boat and serve at the table with the breaded steak.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: It is essential that if you use round steak, that you really pound this out. Otherwise it will be miserably tough. This is traditionally made with a poor cut meat so tenderizing is required to make it work. Best served with mashed potatoes and your favorite comfort veggie. Corn or peas for most.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats