Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Onion

Roasted chicken thighs with fennel and onions.

Roasted chicken thighs with fennel and onions.

Weekend suppers usually revolve around an oven baked dish in my household, especially during the cold weather months.  We love chicken in all its many forms and (dis)guises.  Roasting a whole chicken is great when you have a lot of time, but sometimes you would like roast chicken without spending the time.  I’m not talking about rotisserie chicken here, although that’s always good, too.  You can get the end result of roast chicken by using smaller pieces that cook so much faster.

For a weekend meal I prepared a chicken dish that I haven’t made in quite a long while:  bone-in chicken with a herb-garlic mixture rubbed under the skin,  on a bed of fennel, and onions.  Here is my 45-minute version.

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FENNEL AND ONION CHICKEN

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs

    Cutting up the fennel and onion.

    Cutting up the fennel and onion.

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 large bulb fennel, cut into wedges
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.  Loosen skin on thighs by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.  Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin.

Make a paste with oil and herbs.  Rub under skin of thighs.

Make a paste with oil and herbs. Rub under skin of thighs.

3.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet oer medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat.  Add chicken thighs to pan, skin side down; cook 4 minutes.  Turn thighs over and brown other side.   Remove from pan and set aside, reserving any pan drippings.

Brown the thighs and set aside.

Brown the thighs and set aside.

4.  Into the drippings in the skillet, add the fennel and onions.  Over medium heat, toss to coat and brown them a little.  Pour in chicken broth.  Remove skillet from heat.

Lightly brown the fennel and onions.

Lightly brown the fennel and onions.

5.  Place chicken thighs on top of vegetables and place skillet in the hot oven.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until chicken juices are clear and vegetables are tender.

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SOURCE:    Rachael Ray magazine

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Ham and Cheese Baked Pasta

Ham and Cheese Baked Pasta

Ham and Cheese Baked Pasta

How many ways can there be to make macaroni and cheese you may ask.  I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that new and different ways to prepare it keep popping up.  Here’s another one!

While I don’t need 101 ways to make mac and cheese, a new really good version is always a welcome addition.  What’s special about this one?  First, it includes ham, making this dish a good way to use up leftover ham if you have some; second,  the seasonings are a little unusual-mustard and garlic- subtle, but noticeable; and third, it uses Colby cheese instead of the usual cheddar, or Velveeta.  Finally the pasta called for in the recipe is farfalle (bow ties), but when I checked my pasta supply, I didn’t have enough so rather that mix two different kinds of pasta, I used campanelle that looks like little rolled up horns.  The kind of pasta you use is important because you want a form that will hold onto all the rich cheese sauce, and get nice browned crispy edges when its baked.

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The recipe is easy to make and put together, then it bakes for about 25 minutes.  It starts out with precooked pasta, ham cut into thin julienne strips, and a cheese sauce made from butter, flour, milk, and cheese plus seasonings.  Serve this casserole with a mixed green salad and you’ve got a wonderful meal, sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater.

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This could easily become a vegetarian meal by omitting the ham and subbing in a vegetable like broccoli, or edamame, or a combination of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot.

HAM AND CHEESE BAKED PASTA

Yield:  Makes about 7 cups, serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:IMG_6329

  • 8  ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta, or other shape pasta like campanelle
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups milk ( I used skim milk)
  • 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard, like Gulden’s
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese
  • 4 oz. cooked ham, cut into thin julienne pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease or spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

2.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil.  Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente;  drain.

3.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Sauté garlic 30 seconds.  Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper.  Cook and stir until smooth.  Pour in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly to keep it smooth.  Stir in mustard and Colby cheese.

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Continue to stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and stir in pasta and ham.

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4.  Pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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5.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Leftovers ( if you’re lucky) may be reheated by adding a little milk to make the sauce creamy again.  Reheat in oven, covered with foil to keep from drying out, or reheat in the microwave.

SOURCE:    Allrecipes Magazine

 

You hold the key to my heart!

You hold the key to my heart!

With her arms and pocket full of hearts, and a tiny key hanging from her arm, this little lady expresses my sentiments exactly.  Thanks to you, my lovely readers, this blog site has shown a great amount of growth over the past year.  Love to all of you on this Valentine’s Day !!

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken

Wicked Chicken is wicked good and wicked easy to make.  Seriously!  It’s made with just 3 ingredients plus seasonings, so this chicken dish is a piece of cake to put together.   You can make it as spicy as your taste buds will allow, or go the milder route if you are feeding childen or anyone who cannot tolerate too much heat.

I was in need of a super simple meal to make as we had just come home from our holiday trip, I was faced with unpacking, doing laundry and trying to get over a cold that I picked up somewhere along the way.  Without much effort, I was able to whip up this easy dish.   When you’re faced with the need to get a meal together this recipe  will save you on a busy day.

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This is the easiest meal you will ever make, and your family will love it.

WICKED CHICKEN

Yield:   Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce and pasta twists.

Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce and pasta twists.

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (I used bone-in thighs.)
  • 1/2 box any shaped pasta
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce ( I used roasted garlic, but if you like spicy, use one with green chiles in it.)
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes to taste.

Instructions:

1.  Cook and drain the pasta.   Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking.  Brown in a hot skillet for 3 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle the chicken with red pepper flakes, if using.

3.  In the baking dish layer the pasta,  spoon on about half of the Alfredo sauce and mix to coat the pasta.  Place chicken pieces on top of the pasta.

Layer pasta, sauce and chicken in the baking dish.

Layer pasta, sauce and chicken in the baking dish.

Pour the remaining Alfredo sauce over the chicken.

Pour remaining sauce over the top.

Pour remaining sauce over the top.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.  If using chicken with bone -like thighs-, bake  until cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Bake till chicken is browned and tender.

Bake till chicken is browned and tender.

Serve with a green vegetable or a salad, and garlic bread sticks.

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SOURCE:   My Casserole Connection

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

It’s been snowing here all day and the inches are accumulating.  A good day for staying indoors.  My oven was already warmed up from having baked a dessert, so I decided to put together a meal that would be mostly cooked/baked in the oven with only a short period on the stove top for some pre-browning.  I love it when the whole meal is in the oven, and I can set the table and relax while its cooking, don’t you?

This chicken dish was served with stuffed acorn squash.  I thought that chicken would be good with the squash, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to prepare it, so I went looking on the all recipes.com web site and came up with this recipe.  Everyone who had made it rated it very highly for ease of preparation and outstanding flavor.  So I decided to give it a try.  I’m sure glad I did, because I have joined the ranks of all those other folks who made it and loved it.  Although I was missing one of the ingredients, I substituted roasted red peppers for the sun-dried tomatoes with equally tasty results.  I don’t think that I would ever have made a sauce from chicken broth and balsamic vinegar, but here it works and the aroma of this dish while it’s cooking will certainly get your taste buds salivating.

Roast red peppers were a tasty addition.

Roast red peppers were a tasty addition.

ONION CHICKEN IN BALSAMIC SAUCE

Yield:  serves 2  Adjust amounts accordingly to serve more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 chicken leg quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1  1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Lightly spray a 9-inch baking dish or 13 x 9-inch pan.

2.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and reduce heat to low.  Allow onion to caramelize, stirring only enough to prevent sticking and to be sure that all sides are fully cooked.  Add garlic and sauté briefly.  Transfer to prepared baking dish.

3.  Increase heat to medium.  Add chicken pieces to skillet and brown on both sides.  Remove chicken and place in baking dish.

Pre-browning the chicken before baking.

Pre-browning the chicken before baking.

4.  Combine the chicken stock and vinegar.  Deglaze the skillet with this mixture, then bring to a boil and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.  Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, or in this scenario, roast red peppers.  Pour mixture over chicken.  Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

This chicken went very well with the stuffed squash.

This chicken went very well with the stuffed squash.

Note:  Some modifications can be made to this recipe such as using chicken breasts or thighs instead of leg quarters, add sliced mushrooms to the onion/garlic mixture, serve over pasta of some sort to take advantage of the great sauce.  These are all suggestions by others who made this dish.

SOURCE:   Allrecipes.com

Sirloin Tips in Shallot Butter Sauce

Sirloin Tips in Shallot Butter Sauce

Sirloin Tips in Shallot Butter Sauce

I was watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen one day several years ago when Christopher Kimball was talking about how to get a perfect pan-cooked steak.  He used a sirloin steak in his presentation that day, but stressed that any tender cut of steak will do nicely.  From that episode I  learned two important bits of cooking advice:  Always get your pan really hot before adding anything to it, especially meats that need a good sear; and also a dish can taste fantastic without a whole bunch of ingredients. So keeping it simple is often the best way to achieve outstanding results.IMG_5531

Both of those points are illustrated in this recipe for Sirloin Tips in Shallot Butter Sauce.  Using sirloin tips is my own idea, but the rest of the recipe comes from Chris Kimball and Cook’s Illustrated.  This is my preferred way of cooking steaks, outside of grilling them outdoors,  because you end up with a richly flavorful sauce to pour over the steak, and they are quick to prepare this way.  Like me, if you try this once, you may never go back to broiling again.  And who likes cleaning the broiler pan anyway?

SIRLOIN TIPS IN SHALLOT BUTTER SAUCE

Servings:  about 2   Adjust ingredients accordingly to make more.

Ingredients:IMG_5526

  • about 1 pound sirloin tips.  If large, cut in half.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium shallot, diced fine
  • 2 Tbsp. cold butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

1.  Preheat a large skillet to very hot.  Add steak to dry pan.  Do not disturb.  Cook for 4 – 5 minutes before turning over.  Cook another 4 – 5 minutes or less it you like your steak rare.  Season with salt and pepper.IMG_5527

2.  Remove steak from pan to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

3.  Into the skillet add chopped shallots and the cold butter.

Add shallots and cold butter to pan.

Add shallots and cold butter to pan.

Sauté, and scrape up browned bits and film from the pan’s bottom.  Add the lemon juice and mix in along with any juices that have drained from the steak.

This if flavor you're looking at!

This is flavor you’re looking at!

Warm through, then pour over steak.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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My most favorite way to have steak.

SOURCE:   Cook’s Illustrated

Salmon with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Onions

Salmon with Roast Tomatoes and Onions

Salmon with Roast Tomatoes and Onions

This recipe is from the archives, published back before I got a good camera, so the pictures didn’t do it justice.  I cooked it again just recently, and appreciated once more what a great recipe it is, so here it is again, updated.   The roast tomatoes and onions produce a tasty sauce that enhances the salmon and keeps it moist.  It all gets baked together in the oven and makes a great weeknight meal.

Salmon is a fish that is highly  recommended for our diet, because of all its heart healthy ingredients and so I try to include it quite often. The problem for me—because I’m someone who likes a lot of variety—is the few ways I know how to prepare it.  And so I’m always on the look-out for new recipes that are easy, without a long list of ingredients, and taste good.  The following recipe is one that meets all those criteria.  Roasting the tomatoes and onions first brings out their sweetness, and creates a flavorful sauce that enhances the salmon.  Serve it with couscous or rice and a green vegetable for a perfect entree.

Salmon with Roasted  Cherry Tomatoes and Onions

SERVES  2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes

    These are compari tomatoes that I roasted with sliced scallions.

    These are compari tomatoes that I roasted with sliced scallions. and garlic.

  • 1 large onion, cut in wedges
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ( 6 0z.) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick, or one large salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a jellyroll pan or shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, place tomatoes, onions, and remainder of ingredients thru garlic.  Toss to coat vegetables.
Tomatoes and seasonings ready for roasting.

Tomatoes and seasonings ready for roasting

3.   Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring once during that time.

Lay salmon on top of tomato mixture.

Lay salmon on top of tomato mixture.  

4.  Place salmon on top of tomato mixture, and bake an additional 10 – 12 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

5.  Serve the tomato mixture over the fish.  Drizzle with lemon juice.

Serve salmon with tomato sauce spooned over the top.

Serve salmon with tomato sauce spooned over the top.

SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Turkey Tetrazzini

Got lots of leftover turkey?  This is a great recipe to help you use it up.  Even those who may not like turkey will eat this.  It is a creamy casserole that makes use of frozen vegetables and fresh mushrooms.  It may also be made with chicken, so it can be enjoyed most any time.

Turkey Tetrazzini originated early in the 20th century, and was named for Louisa Tetrazzini, an Italian operatic soprano.  It was poured over pasta with mushrooms and almonds, then sprinkled with cheese and baked in the oven.  There are many variations of it available if you do a search,  some made with convenience foods, others made from “scratch”.  This recipe is mainly from scratch which I prefer so that I can control the amount of fat and sodium it contains.

I like to serve it with cranberry sauce or cranberry relish and a salad.

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TURKEY TETRAZZINI

Yield:   Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta, broken into thirds

    Not too many ingredients go into this casserole.

    Not too many ingredients go into this casserole.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1  1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1 ( 8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into chunks
  • 1/2  cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed garlic-and-onion seasoned croutons
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 *F.  Spray or grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, or 2 smaller baking dishes ( 11 x 7-inch) if freezing some.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook as package directs until pasta is still slightly firm.  Drain.

3.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion; cook and stir until tender.  Stir in the flour until blended, then gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form.  Season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and mustard.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

4.  Remove from heat and add 1 cup cheese;  stir in,  then add the peas, mushrooms, turkey, and pasta.  Stir to coat with the sauce.  Pour into prepared baking dish ( or dishes).

Everything combined in the baking dish.

Everything combined in the baking dish.

5.  Make topping:   In a small bowl, mix together the crushed croutons, remaining 1/2 cup cheddar, the Parmesan cheese and paprika.   Sprinkle over the top.

Topping sprinkled over it.

Topping sprinkled over it.

Cover with foil and bake at 375* for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, until topping is browned and sauce is bubbling.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

After baking.

After baking.

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Note:  Casserole may be assembled and frozen up to 1 month.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight;  bake, covered, at 375*F for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

SOURCE:   Myrecipes.com

For another recipe that uses leftover turkey, check out my recipe for Turkey Frame Soup.

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Cheese Garlic Bisquits

Cheese Garlic Bisquits

Dinner rolls and biscuits often times join each other on the dinner table.  Some folks prefer rolls while others like biscuits.  I’m a biscuit person when given a choice, although I never turn down a good dinner roll either.  These biscuits are so good that I just had to share them with you just in case your family is like mine and likes a variety of “breads” on the table.

I suppose it doesn’t make much sense to rave about a recipe that starts with a baking mix and includes just a couple of other ingredients.  And it probably doesn’t count that I literally had these mixed up in seconds yet I can’t praise them enough. They are light, fluffy, and reach- for- seconds delicious.  They feel like they are going to float right out of your mouth!

Tender, and fluffy inside.

Tender, and fluffy inside.

These biscuits are also great with a bowl of soup or a salad.

CHEESE GARLIC BISCUITS

Yield:  10 servingsIMG_5736

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk baking mix, like Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450*F    Have ready a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

2.  Combine baking mix, garlic powder, milk and cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl.  Beat with wooden spoon until soft dough forms.

3.  Drop dough by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

I brushed them with butter before baking.

I brushed them with butter before baking.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes until golden brown.

after baking, golden and lightly browned with little crisp edges.

After baking, golden and lightly browned with little crisp edges.

4.  Melt butter and add chopped parsley.**  Brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.

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**I like to brush the butter mixture on before and after baking.  It makes them so much better.

SOURCE:  Allrecipes.com

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto

Risotto is one of those old-time comfort foods that I grew up on.  It was prepared by my Northern Italian grandfather who was so fussy about how it was made that he didn’t trust anyone to get it right except himself.  My mother’s sister, my aunt, watched him carefully as he made the risotto in a big copper kettle, and after my grandfather passed on, she was the keeper of the “secret” of how to make a good risotto. And she was the one who continued the tradition of making it for us.

By watching my aunt make this simple rice dish I too learned how to make a “good” risotto.  Without a lot of details here, let me just say it required lots of stirring, and adding the hot chicken broth in small amounts until it was absorbed, then adding a little more, and so on…. Risotto also needed to be flavored with saffron which gave the rice a light yellow color, and enticing aroma and flavor.

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Although we all loved risotto, it was not made frequently, because it was labor intensive beginning with stewing a whole chicken to get the rich broth needed to cook the rice.  All the meat was saved and stirred into the rice at the end of its cooking time, making this dish very filling and hearty.   My Dad particularly loved my aunt’s rice,  rather unusual for a Swede, but you can’t account for a person’s taste, and like him, I love it too.

With this back story in mind, you can imagine my delight when I came across this recipe for risotto, baked in the oven, and no lengthy stirring required.  Well, I was all over that recipe like flies on a dead pig!!

I made it for the first time this week.   Mr. D. thought it was marvelous and I thought it was great, too.  The addition of broccoli that is roasted in the oven while the rice bakes, then added in at the end with cheddar cheese, produces a tasty, cheesy and filling main dish. I treated it as a side dish, and served it with sliced ham.   Not quite the same as the risotto I remember, but certainly a rendition that I plan to make again.

Baked risotto with ham.

Baked risotto with ham.

Times and cooking methods change.  More and more of the old ethnic dishes are being modernized and fused with new ingredients, so that what was once old is new again.  I, for one, like this trend.

BROCCOLI-CHEDDAR OVEN RISOTTO

Yield:    Serves 4

Ingredients:

Use Arborio rice which produces a very creamy risotto.

Use Arborio rice which produces a very creamy risotto.

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 oz.)

Directions:

1.  Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425*F.    Bring chicken broth to a low simmer in a saucepan.

Warm the chicken broth.

Warm the chicken broth.

Toss the broccoli with the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet.

Prepare the broccoli for roasting.

Prepare the broccoli for roasting.

2.  Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Sauté onions in butter.

Sauté onions in butter.

Add the rice and stir to coat.

Add the rice to butter and onions and stir to coat.

Add the rice to butter and onions and stir to coat.

Pour in the wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add the hot both, 3/4 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste;  bring to a boil.

Add the wine and chicken broth all at once.

Add the chicken broth all at once.

3.  Cover the pot and set on the bottom oven rack.  Place the broccoli on the upper rack.  Bake, stirring the rice and broccoli once halfway through cooking, until most of the liquid has been absorbed in the rice and the broccoli is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

4.  Remove the rice and broccoli from the oven.  Add 3/4 cup hot water, the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter, and the cheese to the rice and stir until creamy (add a little more hot water to loosen, if necessary).  Stir in the broccoli.

Add cheese to baked rice.

Add cheese to baked rice.

Stir in roast broccoli.

Stir in roast broccoli.

Incredibly good served with ham.

Incredibly good served with ham.

SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Autumn Pot Roast

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to cook pot roast.  I use my slow-cooker and start it in the morning.  When the weather is chilly, I am comforted by the aroma coming from my kitchen, especially if I have been out all day.   A home cooked meal without a lot of fuss.

Autumn Pot Roast

Autumn Pot Roast

AUTUMN POT ROAST

Yield:   Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)IMG_5583
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch  pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14.5oz.) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle roast with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.   In a large skillet heat olive oil.  Add beef and brown well on all sides. Remove from skillet to a platter.

2.  In same skillet, add onions, and other vegetables.  Sauté lightly just to get them browned.  Transfer to the bottom of the slow cooker.  In the same skillet, pour in about 1/2 cup beef broth.  Heat and scrape up any browned bits from the pan.  Pour into the slow cooker.

3.  Place meat on top of vegetables.   Combine remaining beef broth with the red wine, dried thyme, bay leaf, minced garlic and remaining salt and pepper.  Pour over meat and vegetables.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Skim off fat.  Discard bay leaves.  If desired, thicken cooking juices, or serve along side meat and vegetables as “au jus”.

Mashed potatoes served with this meal make this about the most comforting “comfort” food that I know of.  The meat will be falling-apart tender, and the vegetables are tender with a deep rich flavor from the beef broth and wine jus.

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SOURCE:    TASTE OF HOME