Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saucy Mozzarella Chicken

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Allrecipes, where it was called "Mozzarella Parmesan Chicken". I decided to change the name for mine, because I felt like it was misleading...calling something Parmesan Chicken to me implies its breaded, fried or baked, then covered in a pasta sauce...and this is not that. So now its "Saucy Mozzarella Chicken", which I think is much more descriptive of the actual dish.

This chicken had good flavor, and covering anything with creamy sauce and cheese usually means a winner in my book. I think I might make a few more changes when I make this again, but it really is quite delish just as it is. I served this with the Orzo and Fresh Tomatoes (recipe in the preceding post).

Saucy Mozzarella Chicken
adapted from Allrecipes

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (pounded out)
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of celery soup (99% fat-free works fine)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, in a single layer. Cover with the celery soup (I put it into a bowl first and stir to loosen it up) and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven.

3.Combine the mushroom soup, water, onion, garlic, mushrooms and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Pour mixture over chicken, and stir slightly to combine with the celery soup. Top each breast with a mozzarella cheese slice, pushing the cheese down into the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes more until bubbly and golden brown.

Orzo with Fresh Tomatoes

I love orzo as a side dish, probably because I usually prefer rice over pasta, and since its a rice-like pasta it works out great! This is a really easy, fresh, and light side dish to put together (and its pretty!). I served it with chicken but it would go great with fish too.

Orzo with Fresh Tomatoes


1 1/2 cups orzo
4 cups water or chicken broth (or a combination)
1 cup diced fresh tomato (about one large)
2 green onions, diced
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Dash garlic powder
2 Tbsp. butter
Parmesan cheese (optional)


1. In a large saucepan, bring water or broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, about 7-9 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, combine tomato, green onion, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.

3. Drain orzo and return to the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in butter and Parmesan cheese (if using) until melted and combined with the orzo. Remove from heat and stir in the tomato mixture.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Poblanos with Chorizo, Shrimp, and Rice

Being sick lately my tasting abilities have not been working at their full capacity, and when I first made these all I got was the heat from the poblanos. However, my husband assured me they were all-around delicious, and I can confirm that statement after enjoying the leftovers a few days later. Stuffed peppers don't usually let me down (and chorizo is a new love), so this version will definitely be made again in my house.

Poblanos with Chorizo, Shrimp, and Rice
from Guy Fieri


1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound Mexican-style chorizo
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 cup short-grain rice
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water
6 large, fresh poblano chiles
1 pound shrimp, shelled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup Cheddar, shredded
3/4 cup Jack cheese, shredded


1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and chorizo, cook for 3 minutes. Add peppers, jalapeno, onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, then add rice and cook until all the grains of the rice are coated with oil. Add all liquids and stir over high heat for 3minutes, cover and reduce heat to low. Check rice for doneness after 20 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Place poblano chiles on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, cut top 1/4 of chile off and remove ribs and seeds.

4. When rice is finished cooking, fluff with fork and stir in shrimp. Stuff chiles with 1/6 of the rice mixture. Place all the chiles on baking sheet and place into oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, mix cheeses together and cover pepper with cheese. Broil for 3minutes to melt and brown the cheese.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Country Breakfast Casserole

An easy casserole to put together and serve a crowd.


1 (16 oz) pkg pork sausage
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg. country gravy mix
1/2 bag frozen shredded hash browns, defrosted
2 Tbsp. melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

2. In a large skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain the grease.

3. Combine the sausage and green onion and spread on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. *You can do this step the night before, saving time in the morning!*

4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, water, milk and gravy mix. Pour over top of cheese. Combine hashbrowns and melted butter. Spread on top of casserole. (Note: You can also brown the hashbrowns slightly in a skillet first, and then add to the top halfway through the baking time)

5. Bake for 40 minutes, until eggs are set.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wonton Soup

I don't think I've ever ordered Wonton Soup at a restaurant, and now I don't see any need to because this at-home version is delightful. A little time-consuming to assemble all the wontons, but the end result is worth it. You can always make extra wontons and freeze them too!

Wonton Soup
adapted from "The Soup Bible"


1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 cup peeled raw shrimp, finely chopped
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. finely chopped green onion
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger root
1 egg
3 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
30 (3.5 inch square) wonton wrappers
5 cups chicken stock (I used a mix of chicken and beef)
2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1/8 cup finely chopped green onion


1. In a large bowl, combine pork, shrimp, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1 tsp. chopped green onion, ginger, egg and bread crumbs. Blend well, and let stand for 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the stock and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes.

3.For the wontons: Place about one teaspoon of the filling at the center of each wonton skin. Moisten all 4 edges of wonton wrapper with water, then pull the top corner down to the bottom, folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle. Press edges firmly to make a seal. Bring left and right corners together above the filling. Overlap the tips of these corners, moisten with water and press together. Continue until all wrappers are used.

4. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Working in batches, drop in wontons and boil 5 minutes, until wontons float and the filling is cooked through.

5. To serve, place cooked wontons in the bottom of serving bowls. Pour hot stock over the top, and garnish with chopped green onion.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Polish Hash

This is something I don't have an exact recipe for, but I don't think one is needed for something like this...and besides, its much more fun to just wing it and adjust everything to taste.

Directions for the one pictured above:

Saute thinly sliced red onion (about 1/2 a large one) in a large skillet with some butter until tender. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add 4-5 peeled, thinly sliced russet potatoes to the same skillet with some more butter and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and golden brown. Stir back in the onion as well as 1 pound sliced polish sausage, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with some crispy sage leaves (saute leaves in some browned butter until crispy, then crumble over the top of the hash) and a fried or poached egg.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Southwest Turkey Soup

Back around Thanksgiving time, we bought a few extra turkeys and put them in the freezer, because I don't think its fair that you can only get turkeys cheap once a year! I roasted one a couple weeks ago (Thanksgiving in January!) and packed up the leftover meat to use in future meals...a big turkey sure goes a long way! I think we'll end up getting at least 6 meals out of that one turkey - and considering it only cost about $6, that's much cheaper than using chicken and a great way to stretch a budget.

This was one of the leftover recipes I came up with for the turkey meat. A delicious, no-fuss way to get some different flavors once you are all Thanksgivinged-out.

Southwest Turkey Soup


2 cups shredded cooked turkey
3 cups chicken stock
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 can corn
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper
Dash hot sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


1. Combine all ingredients except lime juice and cilantro in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in lime juice and cilantro just before serving. Garnish with fresh sliced avocado, shredded cheese and sour cream, and serve with homemade tortilla chips.


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