Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Smothered Pork Chops

6 medium, boneless pork chops
1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
1 pound baby carrots
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 family size can Cream of Mushroom soup (or 2 14-0z. size cans)
1 c sour cream
1 c milk

Place the pork chops in a crock pot that has been sprayed with a non stick cooking spray. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low for 7-8. When cooking time is done, carefully remove the pork chops and smother with the vegetables and mushroom sauce.

Creamy Vegetable Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. butter (I use olive oil. I prefer it because butter can sometimes scorch and go brown. A combination of 1 tbsp. butter and one tbsp. of olive oil would work well.)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
2 c water
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 c sour cream (I use the homemade kind and this is optional. Add if you want to up the creamy factor.)
1 tbsp. butter (this in an additional tbsp. of it and is optional)

Combine bouillon, water, garlic and potatoes in a large pot and cook until the potatoes are tender. Pour in a food processor or blender, add 1 tbsp. of butter (optional) and blend until smooth. In a skillet, heat the butter (olive oil). Saute the carrots, pepper and onions until lightly browned and softened. Add the diced tomatoes to the vegetables. Return the potatoes to the pot. Stir in the vegetables, milk and sour cream. Heat through.

*Frozen corn or peas added when stirring the vegetables in with the potatoes would work well too.

Burrito Casserole

10 flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4-oz. can green chilies
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 c milk
1 16-oz. can enchilada sauce
1 c olives

Fill tortillas with beans and cheese. At times, I have also filled them with seasoned ground beef, or canned chicken. Fold in sides and roll up into burritos. Place the burritos in a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Combine the remaining ingredients, reserving 1/2 c of the cheese, and pour it over the burritos. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

3 c chicken, cooked and chopped (I have a secret. I actually use canned chicken for this. I prefer Kirkland Signature Premium Chunk Chicken Breast. It's the Costco brand. I couldn't find it on their site, so no link for it. Sorry. I use 2 12.5 ounce cans for this recipe.)
2 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small-medium onion, diced
1/4 c butter (I use olive oil. It would also work well to do a combination of butter and olive oil.)
1/4 c flour
2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 c water
1 can evaporated milk
1 c cheese, shredded


1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. cold butter
1/2 c milk

This is actually more of a casserole pot pie, but this can be made into individual pie servings.

Spread the chicken in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Saute the vegetables in butter (olive oil) until tender. Add the flour and stir until a paste forms. You're making a rue which is the reason for the butter, but it works just fine with the olive oil. Slowly add the water, bouillon and milk, cooking and stirring until thickened and bubbly. I season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste at this point. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with the cheese.

For the crust: sift together the dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it's coarse and crumbly. Stir in enough milk to form a soft dough. It most likely will not require the entire half of a cup. *Remember to not overwork it. It will make the pastry tough and the butter will get warm. The secret to flaky crust is cold butter. The butter basically explodes in the heat of the oven and the explosion of steam is what creates the flakiness in the crust.* Roll out the crust. Lay over the dish. Cut slits in the crust for ventilation. You can brush the crust with an egg wash, cream or melted butter if you would like. An egg wash is simply 1 egg mixed with some water, or it can be mixed with cream. The cream or butter can be brushed on alone. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Buttermilk Biscuits

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c butter or shortening
1/3 c buttermilk
2 tbsp. heavy cream or melted butter

*Any biscuit or pastry works best if the butter is cold. Don't let it got too warm.*

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in butter or shortening until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes or more. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add enough buttermilk to hold the dough together. Mix quickly with your fingers just until dough forms. DON'T OVER MIX! You'll end up with tough biscuits if you do. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter (any kind of cutter will do) and place on ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream or melted butter. Bake at 400 for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.