Indian-Inspired Chicken Stew – – Mildly Flavored with Cardamom, Coriander etc.

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We had snow storm here in Western Massachusetts – only a few inches – but the streets were a disaster and I never made it to the grocery store.  (I tell you, it sure is amazing how resourceful you can be when you’re hungry.)  I dug around a bit in the old ‘larder’ and found two large half chicken breasts and peas in the freezer, a package of precooked diced potatoes, a half bag of baby carrots, a bit of ‘half and half’ cream, sour cream and cashews. I have a pretty good assortment of spices in the cupboard, so I decided to prepare a dish inspired by the spices of India.

The resulting stew has a lovely. subtle flavor because I added just a small amount of each of the spices.  So subtle in fact, that even a professed ‘disliker of Indian food’ (if there is such a person) would very much enjoy this Indian-Inspired Chicken Stew.

I used chicken, since that’s what I had on hand, but you could use whatever you happen to have – pork, for example.  Have leftover vegetables – add them in.  Want a more robust taste – add more of each spice.  Want a bit more heat – add more red pepper flakes.  Don’t have sour cream. Add more ‘half and half’.  As I like to say, “Make it yours’!

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++ For an easy and delicious homemade chicken broth, place a rotisserie chicken carcass, along with some of the skin, in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven.  Add enough water to cover. Add some chopped onion, carrots & celery.  Add a bit of poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, and simmer for about an hour – uncovered.  Stir occasionally and turn chicken carcass over once or twice.  Allow to cool.  Strain broth through a colander placed over a large bowl.  And there you are!  An excellent chicken broth to use right away – or freeze in a ziplock gallon bag for later use. 

INGREDIENTS

I used jarred spices.  If you have fresh, so much the better!

  • 1 Tb. butter      ++  Recipe calls for a total of 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 pinches cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped – about 1 cup
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  • 4 cups peeled, diced and cubed potatoes       ++ You could use sweet potatoes – or a mixture of both    ++  I used a (20 oz) bag of  Just Potatoes Diced Potatoes for two reasons…. I had it in my fridge & because the potatoes have already been peeled, diced and cooked, which I really like!
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
  • 2 1/2 cups cut baby carrots – cut into 1/3″ pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed  ++ Run the peas under hot water to thaw
  • handful of  whole cashews
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Added at the end  …..  2/3 cups half and half cream  &   1/2 cup sour cream

METHOD

Over medium heat, allow a stockpot or Dutch Oven to heat up a bit. Add 1 Tbs. butter,  1/2 tsp. dried cilantro, 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 4 pinches cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper and 1/3 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.

Add another tablespoon butter, 1/3 cup chopped green pepper and 1 cup chopped onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until green pepper and onions are softened.  Add 1 tsp.minced garlic. Cook just until garlic softens, then add 4 cups peeled, diced and cubed potatoes. (Potatoes do NOT have to be cooked first.)  Continue cooking and stirring occasionally for another few minutes.  Remove spice and vegetable mixture for now.

Add another 1 Tbs. butter and chicken breast chunks.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.  (The inside can be pink because chicken will finish cooking while stew simmers.)  Add in the set-aside spice and veggies.  Add 2 1/2 cups cut baby carrots, 2 1/2 cups thawed peas, a handful of cashews and 4 cups chicken broth. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat. Add 2/3 cups half and half cream and 1/2 cup sour cream until combined

Enjoy!    Or, in Hindi, ka aanand len.

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‘Recipe Roundup No. 2’ ….. Super Bowl Snack Ideas

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I follow lots of terrific food blogs and recently I decided to ‘share the wealth’ by posting a weekly Recipe Roundup.  Each Roundup features four delicious recipes from four different bloggers. 

When I first began my little food blog the main idea was to share recipes, which we all love to do.  (I’m sure many of you have a file of recipes either copied from friends, ripped out of magazines or found online.)  What I hadn’t expected was the joy I would find in making lots of new friends! 

This week features recipes from Foodie Crush, My Favourite Pastime,  Damn Delicious  &  Chef Mimi.    Enjoy!

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Heidi, of Foodie Crush, blogs from Salt Lake City and calls herself a ‘recipe maker, picture taker, lover of food bloggers and their recipes and photos. 

Follow this link for Heidi’s recipe for Cheesy Texas Trash Dip

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Cheesy Texas Crab Dip

 

Liz hails from Canada, hence the name of her blog is My Favourite Pastime – with that added ‘u’ we Americans no longer use for some reason.  Liz is a prolific baker but she shares great recipes of all kinds.

Follow this link to Liz’s recipe for Chicken Legs with Bacon & Ricotta Stuffing

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Chicken with Bacon and Ricotta Stuffing

 

Mimi, whose wonderful blog is called Chef Mimi, has been involved in many aspects of ‘the food world’ including  being a personal chef, a caterer, a food columnist and a cooking school teacher etc.  etc.

Follow this link to Mimi’s recipe for crab dip.

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Crab Dip

 

Chungah, of Damn Delicious, resides in California with her Corgi named Butters. Chungah like to say she cooks in a closet-sized kitchen.  Closet-sized or not, she does a great job.

Follow this link to Chungah’s Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pockets

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Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pockets

See you at the next Roundup, partner!

 

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Historic and Unusual Recipes – – French Canadian Blood Pudding Recipe a.k.a Boudin

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Blood Pudding (or sausages) are served in French, Belgian, German, British, Quebec, Acadian, Creole, Austrian and Cajun cuisine.

This Blood Pudding a.k.a. Boudin is baked in loaf pans instead of sausage casing. 

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Boudin Noir, or as the British say, Black Pudding. This version will look similar in color and texture.

Photo courtesy of Banque D’Images

This is my 2nd post in the category Historic and Unusual Recipes.  The first was How to Cook a Terrapin (or Turtle).  I discovered that recipe in a very old Fanny Farmer Cookbook and posted it simply because I found it interesting. Guess what?  Almost every day… week in and week out… How to Cook a Terrapin (or Turtle) appears in my list of ‘Readers Recent Favorites’. Who woulda thunk it?  And now it’s gonna be interesting to see how well received this French Canadian Blood Pudding recipe is!   ; o )

I made French Canadian Blood Pudding only once, using the blood from one of the pigs we raised. We planned to roast the pig on a special spit – and feed the neighbors, the local family, the family from Montreal and the family from the States. Luckily it was a BIG pig. So big it actually broke the rented spit… but that’s another story.

My husband’s family all told me I’d fed my pigs too much because, when butchered, they all had a lot of fat. They said I ‘babied’ all my animals.  Hey, if you were a pig… and it was hot… wouldn’t you be happy if someone gently sprayed you with cold water.  Of course you would.  I rest my case.

My husband’s aunt Therese and I prepared the Blood Pudding at the Roy Family Farm in St. Flavien, Quebec (Canada) where my husband’s family has lived/farmed for the last seven generations. It’s a huge house with a huge kitchen. There’s a wood burning stove and a modern stove – a lovely mixture of old and new.  (I remember visiting around 1970 and there was still a water pump in ‘The Summer Kitchen’.  I’ll explain about Summer Kitchens another time.)

I just deleted the paragraph about hanging the pig upside down etc.  I didn’t want to gross you out any more than necessary..  

When I arrived at the old family farm with my bucket of pig blood, Ma Tante Therese (My Aunt in French.) was armed and ready with the necessary utensils and pans. Ma Tante didn’t speak much English and my French is far from great, but I managed to write down several of her old French Canadian recipes over the years, including this one for Blood Pudding, while I either helped or watched her cook.  And an excellent cook she was.

My husband LOVED the Blood Pudding we’d made.  And I was pretty darn proud of myself, let me tell you.  I did take a tiny taste of it… Blood Pudding has an unusual texture – no surprise there. It does taste pretty good, if you can get beyond the ‘main ingredient’.

My husband loved to eat his Boudin cut into slices and fried.  He especially loved it for breakfast with scrambled eggs.  At the time I made the Blood Pudding my husband could only eat soft things due to oral cancer.  You can imagine how pleased I was, especially at that point in his life, to have prepared something for him which he’d loved his whole life.  

Life is short. Prepare your loved ones favorite dishes.  Doing so truly is a gift of love! 

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This recipe for French Canadian Blood Pudding (Boudin) is prepared in two loaf pans. 

I’m going to give you the recipe as I wrote it down – although sometimes I’ve written recipes from our French Canadian Aunts half in French and half in English.

Fresh blood from one pig

Strain the blood to get the clots out.  If clots are big, remove them with a big wooden spoon.

Add the exact same amount of milk as there is blood.

Put milk and blood into a large bowl.

Add:

1 ½ large onions   – cut up very fine

1 pound pig lard (fat)  ++  from the pig 

2 Tbs. salt

1 Tbs. pepper   ++  Not a full tablespoon.  And Ma Tante used an actual soup spoon.

1 Tbs. ground cloves   ++  Not a full tablespoon.  And Ma Tante used an actual soup spoon.

Grease two bread pans with oil.

Pour blood mixture into pans.

Cook at 400 for one hour. Enjoy!    ++ I recommend cutting the Boudin into slices or squares and frying it. 

After the rain comes the rainbow.  (Our farm in St. Antoine de Tilly, Quebec)

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‘Recipe Roundup’ – Sharing Recipes from Some of the Wonderful Bloggers I Follow ++ A new idea I hope you enjoy!!

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So many recipes – so little time.  I follow about 30 fabulous food bloggers and I’ve forced myself to not add more.  I’d be perfectly content ‘checking out delicious recipes’ all day long… Recently I had an idea – to start sharing some of those great recipes by doing a weekly Roundup’.  I hope you like it.   ; o )

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From my friend John of ‘The Bartolini Kitchens’ – ‘Panettone Pain Perdu’ & ‘Panettone Bread Pudding’

John is an amazing cook who lives in Chicago & has a killer sense of humor!  I hope to make his Panettone Bread Pudding with Orange Sauce either today or tomorrow.

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‘Easy Toffee Bars from Trish at ‘Mom on Timeout’.

Trish is another blogger who ‘does it all’. A self-described ‘Stay at Home Mom’, her blog is loaded with craft ideas and recipes etc.

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From Pam of ‘Brooklyn Farm Girl’ – Easy Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Casserole

Pam ‘does it all’.  She’s an artist in NYC who started ‘farming’ on her rooftop in Brooklyn.  This year she expanded her farming to a property in New York State. Her recipes often include her ‘couldn’t be any fresher’ produce.

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Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for ‘Old Fashioned Sweet Bread’ from ‘The ‘Southern Lady Cooks’

‘The Southern Lady’s’ recipes are always family-friendly, easy and delicious.

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I hope you enjoyed this ’roundup’.  See ya again soon, partner!

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Celebrating Christmas after December 25th & a Recipe for ‘Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce’

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Tonight is New Year’s Eve but my extended family and I celebrated Christmas yesterday – and a merry time it was!

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Snowmen at Twilight – My Yellow Farmhouse

Christmas Traditions – making buttery sugar cookies with new & old cookies cutters.  (The angel and poinsettia cookie cutters were my mother’s.)  

Christmas, even though celebrated after December 25th, still felt like Christmas to me and my extended family two days ago. There were happy, excited children, brightly wrapped presents, rum-spiked eggnog and lots of food and Christmas cookies – plus love, laughter and Bing Crosby singing Christmas Carols.    ; o )

I kept the menu for our ‘Christmas Meal’ simple and did much of the cooking the day before.  I baked three French Canadian Meat Pies, ‘spiral cut’and roasted the ham and prepared Make-Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes. I served only one vegetable – Wilted Spinach with Olive Oil and Pine Nuts, which takes only minutes to prepare.

To nosh on while we opened presents I made a platter featuring good old deviled eggs, various types of olives, and sliced tomatoes & fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I also served a few old favorites like one we like to call Vito’s Dip, and Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.  (I think my twin brother ate half the Ham and Cheddar Cheese Balls because he loves them and I hadn’t make them in years.)

Below my directions for making Ham and Cheddar Balls you’ll find links to Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies, Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes and a link to Fabulous Foods.com‘s directions for how to cut and bake a spiral ham.

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Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

 

Oven at 350F          Bake for 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups biscuit mix – such as Bisquick   ++  If Bisquick isn’t available, check online for directions to make your own.  It’s easy!
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard    ++  I use GREY POUPON’S ‘Country Mustard’
  • 2/3 cup milk

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. honey

METHOD

Lightly grease a cookie sheet ..  OR  ..  line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using a large serving spoon, mix all ingredients until well blended.

Form dough into 1″ balls. Place balls 2″ apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Balls will be lightly browned

While balls are baking, prepare sauce.  In a small serving bowl mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. brown mustard and 1 2 Tbs. honey until blended.

++  ‘Ham and Cheese Balls may be baked the day before, placed in a big ziplock bag, refrigerated and reheated on a cookie sheet for a 6 – 7 minutes at 350F.

Recipe adapted from Bisquick brand’s Holiday Ham Balls.

Directions for preparing Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies

Recipe for ‘Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes’

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Fabulous Foods tells you everything you need to know to spiral and cook a ham.  My ham sure didn’t look quite as ‘pretty’ as this one, but it was delicious!

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/957827/how-to-spiral-carve-ham

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Photo courtesy of FARMPAC.

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Love chocolate covered cherries? Then you’ll love these cookies!

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The new ‘thing’ on Pinterest seems to be baking cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss in the center, which is a fabulous idea.  So … I thought, “Why not wrap rich cookie dough around a maraschino cherry & cover the cookie with melted semi-sweet chocolate”?  Yup – Yummy!

Here’s how you get that maraschino cherry in the center. Take a tablespoon of dough, flatten it and wrap dough around the cherry.  It’s fun and easy – as is dipping the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate.

You can make the cookie dough ahead and refrigerate it.  Recently I divided the dough in half, brought half  to my son’s house and made cookies with my grandchildren.  A week later I baked the other half and mailed those cookies to my godmother and uncle. (At the last minute… typical me.  It cost me almost $60.00 to make sure the package would get to Florida by Christmas..)

My grandchildren had fun forming snowmen and candy canes etc.  –  but the dough is far too soft to use for cut-out cookies.

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Yield – about 4 dozen cookies 

Oven at 350F      Bake cookies for 15 – 16 minutes – until bottoms are lightly browned.  (The cookies themselves will be very, very lightly browned at the edges.)

Ingredients and Method

  • 1 1/2 cups butter  ++ Three sticks allowed to come to room temperature   ++ Here’s a ‘cheat’ – place the three sticks of butter on a small plate. Microwave in 10 second increments. DO NOT overdo it …. or you’ll end up with melted butter. Two times at ’10 seconds each’ should do it.     ; o )
  • 1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar   ++ Also know as ‘powdered sugar’ or ‘icing sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature  ++ I  put the egg in some warm water for a minute
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • red maraschino cherries, drained on a paper towel
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs. shortening

Method

In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups softened butter, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 room-temperature egg, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tsp. almond extract until thoroughly blended, then continue beating for another minute.

Add 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Dough will be sticky, so I suggest dividing dough into two parts, wrapping in plastic wrap & refrigerating for about 20 minutes.

++ If preparing dough ahead – divide dough into two parts, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove dough and let it warm up a bit before you begin forming cookies.

Using a measuring tablespoon, scoop out a tablespoon of dough and flatten it in your hand a bit. Place a maraschino cherry (don’t forget to put the cherries on a paper towel to dry a bit) in the center and fold up the dough to cover the cherry.  Roll the dough in your hand to form a rough ball.  Place balls about two inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

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Bake cookies for 15 – 16 minutes in a 350F oven until cookies are a lightly browned on the bottom.  Cookies will be very, very lightly browned at the edges.  Remove cookies immediately and allow to cool on a rack.

++ Here’s what I learned… if you pick up a cookie to see if the bottom is browned and it falls apart… it’s not ready yet!   ; o )

Melting the Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Place 1 bag (12 ounces) of semi-sweet chips and  2 Tbs shortening in a microwavable bowl.  Melt chocolate at either half-power or the defrost setting.  Keep checking –  and stirring  – until chocolate is melted and well blended.  Dip each cookie ‘face down’ into the melted chocolate and give it a little shake. Set cookie on rack – repeat.  Enjoy!

++  Try not to overheat chocolate or it may harden up.  Here’s h.e.lp. if that ever happens to you – http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/977613/in-a-pickle-how-to-salvage-overheated-chocolate

All the cookies but two made it into the Christmas package I sent to my aunt and uncle in Florida.  I  dare YOU to eat just one…!!

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Forget Take-Out … Thirty-Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust

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Two versions of Thirty-Minute Pizza –  Thin OR Thick Crust !!

YES … you make the pizza crust, add your favorite pizza toppings AND … you’re be eating delicious homemade pizza in 30 minutes!!   Why wait for delivery?

Having a party which includes children?  Prepare dough ahead and let each child make their own individual pizzas.  They’ll have a great time!

Meatball Version – Got leftover meatballs & sauce….?     

My Grandchildren’s Version – Each put on exactly what they wanted on their half of the pizza.  And just look at those flying hands!  

Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil – The first Thirty Minute Pizza I made.

Follow this link to ‘Popover Pizza’ a.k.a. ‘Upside Down Pizza’, which was one of my twins sons favorites when they were young!

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For the meatball pizza I used whatever I had in the fridge; some meatballs, spaghetti sauce and various cheeses.  Once my pizza was fully ‘fitted out’, it was popped onto the lowest shelf in the oven. After 14 minutes I was happily stuffing my face with hot, delicious pizza. And, get this, I’m not usually a big pizza fan.  But I’ve been known to have three pieces of Thirty Minute Pizza.

Recently I doubled the pizza crust dough recipe, put the dough in two large resealable plastic bags and refrigerated them. Actually, I made the dough two days ahead, so on the night of the party, the dough had risen so much that the bags were near to bursting.

My plan was for each of the four ‘kiddos’ who attended the party to make their own individual pizzas.  And it worked like a charm.  I gave each child a small piece of parchment paper, a hunk of dough and some ‘pizza fixings’. The mini individual pizzas, still on the parchment paper, were placed on a cookie sheet and baked on the lowest rack of the oven for about 13 minutes. The kids had a great time making their pizzas AND they actually ate almost all of them – which was pretty unusual since they usually eat like birds..    ; o )

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Thin Crust Version – note cooking time is slightly less than Thick Crust Version !

To double the Thin Crust Version – do NOT double salt. Use 1 tsp. ..  double all other ingredients

Oven at 425F     Bake on lowest rack for 12 – 14 minutes.

Ingredients and Method          

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour   – plus a bit extra when kneading the dough
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. quick rise (or bread machine) yeast – OR 1 packet
  • 3 Tbs olive oil    ++  I used olive oil infused with basil
  • 1/2 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees    ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.

Sauce & Toppings of Your Choice!

  • pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or  etc.
  • meatballs, cut in half or thirds
  • pepperoni
  • cooked ground beef
  • peppers, onions etc.
  • fresh mozzarella, grated mozzarella, grated Parmesan, grated Romano etc .  OR – pepper jack cheese, grated 5-cheese Italian mix…. whatever you have
  • Don’t be afraid to try things like ham and slices of canned pineapple etc. YUMMY!
  • Or make a White Pizza with Alfredo sauce & cheese.   Or mix it up and add sliced tomatoes and fresh basil.

Method

In a good-sized bowl place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. sugar and 1 packet quick rise (or bread machine) yeast, which equals 2 1/4 tsp.  Mix dry ingredients with a fork.

Add 3 Tbs olive oil and 1/2 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees  ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.  Mix ingredients together with a large spoon.  Towards the end it might seem as if there’s not enough water but just keep mixing in the rest of the flour and it’ll turn in a really nice dough.  ++  Dough will be a stiff.

Sprinkle a little flour on the counter or a clean dish towel.  Knead dough for about four minutes. Dough should be nice and elastic by this time.  Place the bowl you were using over the ball of dough and let rest for 10 minutes.

++   You’re going to find this dough easy to work with.  Because the dough is warm and fresh, it won’t keep shrinking back every time you try to form the it.  

After letting dough rest, I suggest using your fingers to press dough into shape.  Add whatever toppings you wish.  Bake pizza at 425F – ON THE LOWEST SHELF OF YOUR OVEN – for 12 to 14 minutes, or until bottom is slightly browned and the crust is just a bit brown.  ++ I cook the Thin Crust pizza for about 12 minutes but ovens differ.

++  I like to use a 11 1/2 inch nonstick pizza pan with holes on the bottom because it makes a crisper crust.  You can also use a cookie sheet.  If your cookie sheet isn’t nonstick, I recommend using parchment paper – it makes it much easier to remove the cooked pizza.

Thicker Crust Version – note cooking time is slightly different !

To double the Thicker Crust Version – do NOT double salt.   Use 1 tsp. ..  double all other ingredients

Ingredients and Method          

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour   – plus a bit extra when kneading the dough
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. quick rise (or bread machine) yeast – OR 1 packet
  • 3 Tbs olive oil    ++  I used olive oil infused with basil
  • 2/3 cup very warm water   –  120 to 130 degrees    ++  Water should feel very warm..but not quite hot.

See TOPPINGS & METHOD above

++  Bake on lowest rack of oven set at 425F – for 12 – 15 minutes.  

++ I cook the Thicker Crust pizza for 15 minutes but ovens differ.  The pizza dough should be slightly browned on the bottom and the crust will just be a bit brown.  

++  I like to use a 11 1/2 inch nonstick pizza pan with holes on the bottom because it makes a crisper crust.  You can also use a cookie sheet.  If your cookie sheet isn’t nonstick, I recommend using parchment paper – it makes it much easier to remove the cooked pizza.

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‘Not Your Grandmother’s’ Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini – Prepared with Tortellini Instead of Spaghetti

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One of the great things about this recipe is you do NOT have to bake it – just pop it under the broiler to melt the cheese and brown the almonds!  

Or –  you can make it ahead & reheat it in the oven! 

Not too long ago I made a scrumptious lasagna using ravioli – and was very happy with the the results. So I thought, “How about preparing my usual Turkey (Chicken) Tetrazzini with tortellini”?

My son M. and I prepared this dish the day after Thanksgiving, which I spent in Philadelphia. (I always ask his mother-in-law for the turkey carcass AND the glorious turkey drippings.)  My daughter-in-law picked up cheese-filled tortellini, but, of course, you can use any type of tortellini you like.

I think you’ll enjoy this new twist on an old favorite.  I know we did.

++ I have this recipe in a cookbook I made for my twin sons and their wives.. and that made posting this recipe a bit quicker because I could just ‘cut and paste’ the ingredients and instructions!!   : o )

Follow this link for “Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna with a Light Basil & Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce”

Ingredients and Method

++  Set oven at broil – if serving this right away – broil until shredded Parmesan is melted and and almonds are slightly browned. ++  Place oven rack so that casserole is about five inches below broiler. ++ PREHEAT BROILER !! 

++  OR –  put casserole in the oven at 350F until the filling is bubbling – about a half hour.

++  OR – refrigerate casserole for a day or two, allow casserole to come to room temp, then bake at 350F until filling is bubbling – may take a bit more than a half hour.

++  Casserole is baked UNCOVERED.

Ingredients

  • 3 (9 oz.) packages refrigerated tortellini – cooked per package direction
  • PREFER TO USE PASTA –  1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti or fettuccine, cooked & use HALF the sauce recipe.
  • 2 cans chicken-mushroom soup, undiluted  ++ OR cream of chicken soup OR mushroom soup 
  • 2 cups  turkey or chicken stock    ++  Or 2 cups boiling water and 2 bullion cubes
  • 2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese  ++ My daughter in-law, who did the shopping, bought a bag of refrigerated, shredded Parmesan cheese. I usually recommend freshly grated cheese but the refrigerated cheese was very good.   ; o )
  • sprinkle of paprika, for color

In medium saucepan combine 2 cans chicken-mushroom soup, 2 cups chicken/turkey stock (or 2 cups boiling water and 2 bullion cubes), 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tsp.salt and  1/2 tsp.pepper.  Cook, stirring, over medium heat until mixture comes almost to a boil. Add 2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken) cut into small pieces. Remove pan from heat.  Add cooked tortellini and mix well.

Pour mixture into a 10” x 13” casserole or pan.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, then slivered almonds and a bit of paprika, just for color.

TO SERVE IMMEDIATELY – Place casserole under broiler for about 4 minutes or until Tetrazzini is browned and bubbly.  ++  Be sure to watch it.  One second you have a lovely, bubbling casserole with toasted almonds… but within a few seconds you can have a disaster.

TO SERVE LATER – OR TO COOK CASSEROLE IN THE OVEN – see directions above.   Enjoy! 

 

Cranberry Sauce with Crushed Pineapple and a Hint of Oranges

cranberry-sauce-with-crushed-pineapple-myyellowfarmhouse-com-2

cranberry-sauce-with-pineapple-myyellowfarmhouse-com

The addition of crushed pineapple mellows out the tartness of the cranberry sauce without changing that great cranberry taste.  

This is another one of those recipes I like to call ‘Quick, Easy and Good’.  Like all cranberry sauces, it can be made ahead, which is always a good thing, right?

I don’t know about you, but I am a cranberry sauce FREAK.  I just love cranberry sauce!  I also love pineapple. So for me, this Cranberry Sauce with Crushed Pineapple is a win-win situation. And adding 1/4 tsp. grated orange peel (..no pith allowed..) adds just the right bit of zip.

This recipe makes a thick and chunky cranberry sauce. It’s like ‘all fruit.. all the time’.

++  If you prefer your cranberry sauce a bit more saucy, just add 1 – 2 Tbs. more water to the ingredients.

++  If you prefer your cranberry sauce less sweet, add a bit less sugar.

 

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INGREDIENTS AND METHOD

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries  ++  Did you know cranberries can be frozen. I learned that when we lived in Malta and cranberries were only sold during the Christmas season.                                                                      ++ 12 oz. fresh cranberries equals about 3 cups
  •  1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple – DRAINED
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbs water    ++ Want a bit more ‘sauce’… add 1 – 2 more Tbs. water
  • 1/8 tsp finely grated orange peel ++ DO NOT grate into the pith – the white part.

Pick through cranberries, eliminating any ‘squishy’ ones and taking off any little stems. Rinse in a colander.

Place cranberries into a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water and 1/8 tsp. finely grated orange peel.  ++ Remember – no pith!

Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and cranberries are soft – about 10 minutes.

Raise heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst – about 12 minutes. Allow to cool. Refrigerate leftover cranberry sauce.

As I like to say, “It doesn’t get much easier than that.”  Enjoy!

A Blast from the Past – Make Ahead Holiday Recipes

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

 

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

I’m leaving for the Philadelphia area Tuesday, so I’m in a hurry today – just like everyone else.  Here are several great ‘make ahead’ dishes from 2014.  Preparing several dishes ahead of The Big Day makes everything so much easier.  Enjoy!!

Click on recipe title, which will bring you to that recipe!

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Here’s the one thing you DON’T make ahead – Roasted Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Apples & Oranges – and Savory Gravy

Roasted Turkey Bre

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make Ahead Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make Ahead Herbed Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds – Browned Butter Can Be Prepared Ahead

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Touch of Cinnamon

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com