Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sara's Salmon Spread

This recipe is inspired by my beloved Mother-In Law, Sara, who happens to be one of the greatest, gourmet chefs I know.  She makes a mean salmon spread that delights the entire family! 

This is the best spread to put on your favorite bagels, 7 grain toast or crackers.  We like to grill our salmon with a little bit of wood chips on the side, so as not to have the smokey taste be too overwhelming.

1 lb fresh sockeye salmon fillet
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp dill
pepper to taste
1 - 4 tbsp prepared horseradish (to taste)
3 - 4 tbsp Hellman's mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice

Season the salmon with lemon pepper, dill and pepper.  Grill or smoke the salmon fillet for about 30.  Let the salmon cool.  Discard any remaining bones and skin.  In a bowl flake the salmon and add mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon juice and maybe a little more seasonings if desired.  Refrigerate for at least an hour. 

Cheese Fries

My kids love Snuffer's cheese fries, so I came up with my own version.  You've got to serve this with homemade Ranch Salad Dressing or it just isn't the same.  You can add additional toppings such as bacon pieces, sliced green onion and jalapenos.  We prefer our fries with only the cheese.

3 large russet potatoes
2 - 3 tbsp vegetable oil
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning to taste
pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese
Ranch salad dressing for a dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Prick the potato with a fork about halfway through and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Let the potatoes cool; peel and cut into strips.  Saute' the potatoes in oil that has been heated in a frying pan.  Cook, stirring frequently until golden in color, add more oil if needed.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Season the potatoes with pepper and Tony Chachere's.  Transfer the potatoes onto a pan.  Cover the potatoes with a solid layer of cheese and bake in the oven until cheese melts.  Serve with prepared Ranch dressing.

Ranch Salad Dressing:

1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
1 cup butter milk

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or something similar.  Shake well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Melba's Breakfast Casserole

I love this recipe, especially for a make-ahead breakfast casserole.  My Mom's cousin "Melba" made this one time for us while we were visiting her in Colorado, and I had to have this recipe.  It has a wonderful medley of flavors with the butter, crescent rolls, potatoes, sausage and onions.  If preparing ahead of time, cook for 30 minutes at home and then refrigerate, covered in foil.  Bake the additional 30 minutes right before serving, also covered in foil.  Definitely a crowd pleaser!!

1 package Crescent Rolls  - Big and Buttery
1 lb pork sausage, cooked - we use Jimmy Dean's
2 lbs cooked hash browns (recipe follows) (or use frozen that has been thawed, although that's blasphemy in our house)  =)
1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

8 eggs, beaten with 2 tbsp milk

Mix the browned sausage, hash browns, and onion.  Season with a little salt and pepper; set aside.  Unroll the crescent rolls  and press in the bottom and sides of a well-buttered, 9" x 13" casserole dish.  Layer hash browns and sausage on top of crescent  rolls.  Layer cheese on top of the potato mixture.  Beat the eggs with milk and then pour the egg mixture over the cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 - 60 minutes.

Serves 8 - 10

Hash Brown Potatoes:

2 - 3 large russet potatoes
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 - 2 tsp Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning
pepper to taste

Prick the potato with a fork about half way through and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes.  Let the potatoes cool; dice and peel.  Saute' the potatoes in oil that has been heated in a frying pan.  Cook*, stirring frequently until golden in color.  Season and serve hot.

*If cooking bacon or sausage, we sometimes add a little of the drippings for added flavor.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread

This is a wonderfully spicy Southwestern cornbread recipe.  

1 box cornbread
1/3 cup white, sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped, pickled jalapenos
1/3 cup drained corn
4 green onions, chopped

Prepare cornbread as directed on the box.  Add all of the remaining ingredients.  Pour into greased pan.  Bake according to box instructions.

Great served with Chili or Tortilla Soup.

Chili with Homemade Stewed Tomatoes

What better way to kick off fall and football season than with a nice big bowl of chili?!  This is excellent served with my Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread.  I will post that recipe next.  The leftover chili make excellent chili cheese dogs.

3 lbs ground beef
1 diced large yellow onion
1 diced large green pepper
1/4 cup Worcestershire
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp Chili powder
2 cans stewed tomatoes or  homemade (recipe follows)
2 cans chili beans
1 can tomato soup
4 - 8 Tabasco drips
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 bay leaf

Prepare a chili station with a variety of the following:

grated cheddar cheese
diced yellow onion
sliced green onions
saltine crackers
sour cream
chopped fresh basil 
chopped fresh cilantro
sliced jalapenos
Tabasco sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

Brown the beef in a very large skillet or pot.  Halfway through cooking add onion and green pepper, salt and pepper to taste.    Towards the end of browning the meat add fresh garlic and mix well.  Season the beef with the powdered garlic, about a tsp of chili powder and 2 tbsp Worcestershire.  When the meat is browned drain the fat.  Transfer the meat mixture into a large pot.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well.  On medium high heat bring to a boil. stirring frequently.  Once boiling lower heat to low and let simmer for at least 1 hour.  Leftovers are great for chili, cheese dogs the following day.

Serves 10 - 12 people

Stewed Tomatoes:

3 large ripe tomatoes 
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh bail
2 minced garlic cloves

To prepare the tomatoes, cut into wedges or 1/2 inch slices.  Peel tomatoes before cutting if desired.  remove skin easily, dip tomato into boiling water 30 seconds, then into cold water.  Scrape the skin off with blade of knife to help loosen.  Cut the  tomato into dice-sized pieces.  Mix all the ingredients except for a little of the fresh herbs to garnish. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer about 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.  Garnish with herbs.

Serves 4

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roasted Cornish Hens with Roasted Vegetables

This is a twist on the other recipe I posted for roasted Cornish hens.  I place chopped veggies under the hens to cook while roasting the hens.  The drippings from the hens, marinade and the chicken broth make a nice savory sauce for the vegetables.  Inexpensive and fabulous!

2 Cornish Hens, giblets removed
1 small bag of baby carrots, or about 2 cups
2 - 3 celery ribs, chopped
2 - 3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed, separated
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
juice and zest of 1 small lemon (save a little of the juiced lemon to stuff in the hens)
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1 tsp lemon pepper
pepper to taste
2 bay leaves

Line a roasting pan with foil.  Place the chopped vegetables on top of foil.  Pour the broth over the vegetables.  Place a grate or grill over the vegetables to elevate the hens.  Stuff the hens with a piece of the squeezed lemon, a clove of crushed garlic and a bay leaf.  Place the hens on the grill, which will allow the juices and marinade from the hens to seep down to the vegetables.  Mix in a small bowl the olive oil, wine, lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire, garlic powder, Tony Chachere's, lemon pepper and regular pepper.  Brush marinade all over the hens and in the cavity.  Cook at 400 degrees for at least one hour or until golden brown.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crock-Pot Honey Barbecue Ribs and Rice

Here is one of Dylan's favorite dishes.  All our kids really like this because it's sweet and savory.  By the end of cooking this in the crock-pot the meat is literally falling off the bone.

2 lb extra lean Baby back ribs
1 - 10 oz can Condensed beef consomme'
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tbsp barbecue sauce (we prefer Stubbs)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 - 1/2 cups Minute Rice
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion

Cut ribs into single servings.  Place in a crock-pot.  In a bowl combine consomme', water, syrup, honey, Soy, Worcestershire, barbecue and dry mustard.  Mix well.  Pour over ribs.  Cover and cook on low setting 8 - 10 hours.  Or on high setting 4 - 5 hours.  Remove ribs and keep warm, covered with foil in the oven.  Turn crock-pot on high.  Add rice carrots and onion to remaining liquid.  Cook until done about 30 - 45 minutes. Serve ribs on rice.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chik-Fil-A Sandwich and Chicken Nuggets

All of our kids adore Chik-Fil-A sandwiches and their nuggets.  I came across this copy-cat recipe online and it's just like what you get at the restaurant. 

3 cups peanut oil
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 - 1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
4 plain hamburger buns
2 tbsp melted butter
8 dill pickle slices

Mix together the egg and milk.  Place the filets in this mixture and let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  While the breasts are sitting, mix together  the flour, sugar, pepper and salt.  Once the sitting is done, dredge the chicken in the flour.  You can put them back in the milk bath for a few seconds and re-dredge if you prefer.  Place the peanut oil in a deep fryer and bring up to a high heat.  Once up to 375 degrees, gently drop the coated chicken into the oil and cook until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel.  Lightly butter the buns and grill until heated through.  Place two pickles on each bun and place a hot breast on each.

Serves 4

Chicken Nuggets:

Cut the chicken breasts into  strips or nuggets and prepare the same as above.  Serve the nuggets with ketchup, barbecue sauce and honey mustard salad dressing for dipping sauces.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cassidy's California Rolls

When David makes homemade sushi, Cassidy always loves to make California Rolls, because they're her absolute favorite food.  She has definitely got the art of making these delicious rolls down.  The traditional California Roll is stuffed with crab, avocado and cucumber, but Cassidy stuffs her rolls with a combination of sushi-grade seafood as well.  These are wonderful tasty treats and make great snacks.  Way to go Cassidy...yet another talent of yours for us all to enjoy!  You make us so proud!!  We love you girly!!  =)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
4 sheets nori or roasted seaweed sheets
1/2 batch sushi rice, recipe follows
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchstick-size pieces
combination of any of the following: cooked crab meat, red caviar, sushi-grade tuna or salmon
Pickled ginger, for serving
Wasabi, for serving
Soy sauce, for serving

Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado to prevent browning.

Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise. Lay 1 sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the plastic covered mat. Wet your fingers with water and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab and any combination of seafood in the center of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and set aside. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until all of the rice has been used. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Sushi Rice:
2 cups sushi or short grain rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Place the rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl the rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pad Thai with Shrimp

Here's another great Asian recipe that our family loves.  We like to serve this with plenty of lime wedges because we prefer it to be more "limey".  To add some heat serve with some Sriracha Red Chili Sauce that people can add with their own discretion.

8 ounces dried rice noodle sticks
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 - 1/2 pound peeled and de-veined raw shrimp, halved lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large eggs
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped roasted lightly salted peanuts
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

lime wedges

Cook noodles for 3 minutes in boiling water.  Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Season the shrimp with cayenne.

In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until just set, about 45 seconds. Add the sprouts, onions, fish sauce mixture, and noodles, and cook, stirring, until warmed through. Add the shrimp and peanuts, and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter and toss with the cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately.