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

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

Creamy Tomato Sauced Linguine with Prosciutto and Peas

Pasta-with-Tomato-Cream-Sauce-9 This is purely comfort food. Great for a winter meal, or any time you just want to get into your jammies and chow down on food that makes you warm and happy.

There are a lot of these recipes and I borrowed freely from about three coming up with my own twists.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box of pasta of your choice. I like linguine for this but you could use shells or rotini, or bowties for instance.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, microplaned
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 1/2 c finely minced onion
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c good red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese (best quality if you can)
  • 1 c cream
  • 6 oz prosciutto  diced, or bacon
  • 1 c peas (frozen is fine)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. (You can do this early and place in a bowl and refrigerate until dinner time. Add a tablespoon of EVOO which will keep it from sticking. Take it from the fridge an hour before dinner or bring it to room temperature before you complete the dish before serving.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the garlic, keeping it cornered with the pan tipped so the garlic stays in the oil and doesn’t burn. Remove from burner entirely when the garlic smells fragrant.
  3. Add the onions and turn much lower and saute until softened and translucent.
  4. Pour in the wine and raise the temp a bit until it bubbles. Continue for a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour in the tomatoes, oregano  and pepper flakes, stirring it all together, and reducing to a simmer. Let this go for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. When you are about ready to serve, add the prosciutto and cheese along with the peas and stir in. Then add the cream.
  7. When the mixture is well stirred, add the pasta and turn with tongs until the pasta is well coated.
  8. Place all in a serving bowl with tongs to serve.
  9. Serve with additional cheese.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can use regular tomatoes in which case you should blanch them and remove the seeds and the skins. I’d say about 8 Romas would do. You need not use the prosciutto at all if you want to be meatless. Other vegetables than peas can also be used. Asparagus would work as would broccoli or green beans.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Bacon Eye-Talian Meatloaf

Bacon-BBQ-Meatloaf Meatloaf is comfort food for us, and serves a dual purpose of being the center of a great dinner and an even better sandwich cold. We never are sure which we like the best.

This one fits both purposes most excellently.

It won’t last long in your house I promise you.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground beef (leaner)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onions
  • 3 good slices of a sourdough or other hearty bread, cubed and soaked with 1/3 c of milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley,chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs lightly mixed
  • 1 c mozzarella shredded
  • 1/2 parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • slices of bacon or pancetta
  • can of diced tomatoes well-drained
  • 3 tbsp of honey
  • slices of provolone cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all the ingredients up to the bacon in a large bowl and mix gently until everything is evenly distributed.
  2. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and put the meatloaf in it, covering with plastic.
  3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours so that the meatloaf can “set up.”
  4. Turn it out onto a rack (so that the grease can drip off and away. Layer on the bacon in a single layer.
  5. Place in a 400° oven and bake for 45 min. or until internal temperature is 160°.
  6. Meanwhile mix the well-drained tomatoes with the honey and some salt and pepper.
  7. When the meatloaf is baked, remove from the oven, place the diced tomato mixture down the center and lay thin slices of provolone cheese over the top.
  8. Reduce the oven to 300° and return the meatloaf for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have warmed through and the cheese has melted.
  9. Let sit for 20 minutes to rest.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You could add chopped spinach if you like. Or make it ahead up to the topping and then just reheat and add the topping.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton