Posted in Baked, Casserole, Chicken, Classic, Comfort Food, Dinner, Family Friendly, Leftovers, Make Ahead, Mushrooms, One Pot Meals, Pantry Staples, Potluck, Winter

Comfort Food – Chicken Elegant

Some days just call for comfort food.  Especially cold, rainy Sundays that start at 5:30am with a busted water heater that leaked down through the floor into the neighbors apartment.  That’s not the way you make friends!!

Don’t mind me.  I’ll just be over here with this pan of deliciousness and a fork.

This was one of the very first recipes I remember making entirely by myself as a kid.  It’s super simple to put together, especially if you have leftover chicken just hanging out in the fridge.  The only thing you have to be careful about is taking the hot pan in and out of the oven.  This recipe has been a part of our regular repertoire for years!  It’s simple, inexpensive, and quick to get to the table.  It’s great recipe to make with your kids or let them take the reigns while you sit back and relax!

img_20161204_190010.jpg

It’s not really a looker but it is so tasty!

Chicken Elegant

3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz. can of mushrooms
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup chicken broth
1 8 oz. package of herb stuffing

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix chicken, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, butter, and chicken broth together with herb stuffing. Bake in a 9×13 pan for 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Randy Travis’ Favorite Recipes, 1989.

You’ll notice my source is a cookbook written by Randy Travis.  I was a huge fan of his when I was little (who am I kidding I still love me some Randy) and picked up this gem at his museum in Nashville back in the 90s.  My mom recently uncovered it in a box of my stuff I’d left at their house after college.  It’s a great little piece of nostalgia for me and there are actually some great, simple recipes in there that I had completely forgotten about but will probably find their way back into the rotation.

2016-12-04-18.21.03.jpg.jpg

Tomorrow is Monday, I need all the comfort I can get right now, ha!  And I have leftovers for lunch!

Posted in Christmas, Classic, Comfort Food, Cranberry, Dessert, Fall, Family Friendly, Family Recipe, Holiday, Make Ahead, Potluck, Thanksgiving, Vintage, Winter

Grandma’s Cranberry Salad

Thanksgiving?!  How did that get here so fast?!

I wouldn’t normally post another recipe this close to the last one but I wanted to make sure you all had it before Turkey Day!

I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to write this post when I started.  As some of you know, we lost my Grandma back in August and it’s been an emotional road since then. This Thanksgiving seems especially hard because this time last year is when she got sick and she never bounced back.  It’s a really bittersweet week for me and I’m getting ready to celebrate my favorite holiday.

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a time when I’ve been as nostalgic about recipes as I have been the last few months.  Everything seems to be reminding me of my Grandma this fall just like all the fresh veggies and gardens remind me of my Pappa in the summer.  A few weeks ago I found myself crying over melted marshmallows while I was making Rice Krispie treats.  My Grandma used to start making sheet pans of treats a month before Halloween and freeze them in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

1977410_10152548293192810_7476937317888130619_n

Today I started my prep for Thanksgiving dinner and I told myself I was going to be strong.  I got out my recipe card for Cranberry Salad that my Grandma had lovingly typed up for me soon after I got married (she typed everything!) and gathered all my things to start cooking.  Surely I’ll be able to get through one recipe without tears, right?!  Wrong.  As I started prepping the cranberries I had to fight back the water works.  Cranberries make me cry, okay?!

I did stop myself and think about the first time I remember making this with my Grandma though.  Now my Grandma wasn’t a huge fan of cranberries (I’ll save that story for later) but every Thanksgiving and Christmas this recipe made it to the table.  When I was little I remember her getting out the cast iron meat grinder to grind everything up and then she’d let me help put everything together.  One time, when I was really little, I remember asking her what cranberries tasted like.  I loved her cranberry salad but had never tried a cranberry on its own.  Wow was I in for a surprise!  I still remember her laughing at me as I puckered up and made a funny face!

15135729_10154197892382810_5680666094377640875_n

Grandma’s Cranberry Salad

2 boxes strawberry Jello
1 pound cranberries
1 orange, peeled and seeded
1 apple, cored, peeled and seeded
2-2 ½ cups sugar (I only do 2 because I like it more tart)
Nuts (optional, I usually leave them out but pecans or walnuts would be preferable here)
Cool Whip, for serving

Grind cranberries, orange, and apple in a food processor. Add sugar and let sit until juice starts to release from fruit. Drain the liquid into another bowl. Use the liquid as a part of the cold water when making the jello. Continue making jello according to package instructions. Add ground ingredients. Put mixture in a 9×13 pan. Top with nuts if using. Refrigerate until set. Serve topped with Cool Whip.

Source: My Grandma’s recipe book

15193700_10154197915712810_3429533966903124695_n

This Cranberry Salad is one of our family’s staples during the holidays and I didn’t think it would be right to leave it off the table this year.

14705753_10154111728377810_8513888675912158304_n
My mom recently gave me my Grandma’s recipe book which will forever be one of my most cherished treasures (and seeing her handwriting brings on the tears again!).  I can’t wait to share some of these family recipes!
13895219_10153888528822810_3681906045599387797_n
Me and my Grandma in the kitchen
1917442_196458227809_4179977_n
Thanksgiving feast with cranberry salad right in the middle!
4751_80005332809_7413291_n
My Grandma had a sassy side!
Posted in Baked, Casserole, Cinco de Mayo, Comfort Food, Family Friendly, Leftovers, Make Ahead, Mexican, Pantry Staples, Party Worthy, Pork, Slow Cooker

It’s Been a While…Enchiladas Verde

Whoa y’all.  I have been a major slacker!  Well at least with the blog.  The last few months have been a whirlwind of work, family, being out of town, sheesh I don’t know where the last 3 months have gone.  And how is this week Thanksgiving already?!

Well, I’m back on the wagon!  Bring on the recipes!  I’m really excited to share a new vision I have for the blog with you over the coming months.  In the meantime, I’ve been making some delicious things but not blog worthy really (but follow me on Instagram to keep up with the day to day https://www.instagram.com/amandarichard421/).

BUT…

Echiladas verde.  Guys, I hit this one out of the park on the first try!  Usually it takes a few times to get it just right but this time, wow!  My hubby even high-fived me!  🙂

I basically took my Mojo Pork recipe, wrapped it up in a corn tortilla and smothered it in green chile sauce and cheese and voila, dinner!  And check out the bonus recipe for Mexican Rice at the bottom, yum!

img_20161113_185209.jpg

Enchilada Verde

 

Enchiladas:
12 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
Pork
Verde sauce
Shredded cheese
To garnish: cilantro, sour cream, extra verde sauce

 

Mojo Pork:
1-2 pound pork roast or boneless pork ribs
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
½ cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, chopped
Salt & pepper

20160515_114022.jpg

Enchilada Verde Sauce:

Olive oil
1 pound tomatillos, quartered
2 poblanos, cut in half and seeds removed
1 serrano, cut in half and seeds removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup cilantro
1 Tablespoon honey
Salt & pepper

img_20161113_180222.jpg

For the pork: Put all of the ingredients for the pork in the bowl of a slow-cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the pork for enchiladas.

 

For the verde sauce: Roast tomatillos, poblanos, serrano, and garlic cloves in a 500° oven until peppers are charred. Put the peppers in a plastic bag and seal. Let cool and then remove skin from the peppers. Blend the tomatillos, peppers, garlic, cilantro and salt & pepper until smooth. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add ¾ of pureed tomatillo mixture, chicken stock, and honey and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Reserve remaining raw sauce for serving.

 

For enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a shallow skillet, fry corn tortillas for about 30 seconds or until pliable. Drain on paper towels. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 pan with a thin layer of verde sauce. Fill each tortilla with pork and roll, tucking them snuggly in the pan. Cover with sauce and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cover with a little more sauce and shredded cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.

 

Serve with remaining raw sauce and sour cream.

 

Source: Ruth’s Table

img_20161113_185409.jpg

BONUS RECIPE!!!

Mexican Rice

 

Olive oil
1 cup basmati rice
1 can Rotel tomatoes plus enough water to make 2 cups
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt & pepper

 

In a large, deep pan with a lid, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add rice and cook until toasted (1-2 minutes). Add tomatoes, water, garlic, cumin and smoked paprika, salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 23 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Turn off heat, remove lid and fluff. You may have some crispy bits but that makes it even better!!

Posted in Comfort Food, Date Night, Dinner, Family Friendly, Lunch, Make Ahead, Pork, Sandwiches, Slow Cooker, Summer, Vacation Food

Key West State of Mind -Cuban Sandwiches

I have a confession to make.  Some days I just want to run away and be a starving artist in some place beautiful and inspiring.

This feeling usually hits me about mid-week when I’m bogged down with work and life and Friday is just out of reach.  I especially feel this way when it’s the middle of May and dreary and chilly (less than 60 degrees, in May, in the South, what?! Remind me that I was complaining about this when it’s sweltering in August).

On days like today I dream of warm places, filled with culture, interesting people, and of course great food.

Five years ago we visited Key West for the wedding of some very dear friends and absolutely fell in love with the laid back atmosphere.  I often dream of warm, lazy days sitting on the porch, drinking, rum, and reading Hemingway with my pet cat.

Speaking of Hemingway, I’ve become slightly (okay maybe not so slightly) obsessed with him and his time in Key West since we visited there.  After visiting his home and his stomping grounds I am completely fascinated with that time and way of island life.

My husband and I often talk about the day when we win the lottery and run away to Key West.  We have a dream of opening a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and cigar bar combo that has just the right amount of class but still that not a care in the world vibe that would be the place that discerning “tourists” and locals would call home (or home away from home).  This all means a lot of rum, international flavors, and all things Cuban of course.

A girl can dream, right?!

So when I’m missing Key West, I make myself a good Cuban Sandwich, shake up a classic daiquiri, and get lost in the world of The Old Man and the Sea.  Maybe one day we’ll call that world home. 🙂

img_20160515_191155.jpg

Cuban Sandwiches
(makes 4-6 sandwiches)

 

Mojo Pork:
1-2 pound pork roast or boneless pork ribs
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one lime
½ cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, chopped
Salt & pepper

 

Cuban rolls
½ pound deli ham
Mojo Pork
Swiss cheese
Yellow mustard
Bread & butter pickles (I prefer homemade but your favorite store bought is great too!)
Butter

 

For the pork: Put all of the ingredients for the pork in the bowl of a slow-cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the pork for sandwiches. (Any leftover pork you have is great served over rice, with black beans, and some fried plantains!)

 

To assemble sandwiches:

Butter the outside of the Cuban rolls. Spread mustard on each half. Top one half with swiss cheese, a couple slices of ham, a good amount of pork (not too much or everything will fall out when you press it), and pickles. Top with the other half of the roll.

Press sandwiches on a panini press (or in a cast iron skillet topped with another heavy skillet) for 3-4 minutes until toasty and the cheese is melty.

 

Source: Ruth’s Table

 

Posted in Cajun, Chicken, Comfort Food, Dinner, Make Ahead, Mardi Gras, One Pot Meals, Shrimp, Slow Cooker, Winter

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Y’all, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best crock-pot recipe I have ever created.  Whoa!

Maybe it was so delicious because it’s 20 degrees and snowy outside.  Or maybe it’s because I love cajun food.  Or maybe it’s because I love coming home to dinner already done so I can stuff my face.  If I’m being honest it’s all those reasons!

If you take a look back you’ll remember that I absolutely love things like etouffe, beignets, and bananas foster. I love to spend time in the kitchen creating authentic meals but there just isn’t time to do that on a week night. That’s where the crock-pot comes in! I have to say I’m impressed with the depth of flavor that’s achieved in this slow-cooked version of another one of my favorites.

image

Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Jambalaya

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 5 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons creole seasoning (I use Zatarain’s)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you like it
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. andouille sausage, sliced and seared in a skillet and drained
To serve: white rice, parsley, hot sauce

In the bowl of a crock-pot, layer onions, bell peppers and chicken breast. Add diced tomatoes and next 7 ingredients (through cayenne) and cook on low 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove lid and find and remove the bay leaves. Shred the chicken. Add shrimp and andouille and cook on high, uncovered for about 25 minutes (I did this while the rice was cooking). Serve over rice with a sprinkle of parsley and a few dashes of hot sauce if you choose.

Source: Ruth’s Table

Posted in Asian flare, Make Ahead, Pork, Sandwiches, Slow Cooker

Slow-Cooker Sunday: Asian BBQ Pork Bahn Mi

Have you ever noticed that slow-cookers get a bad rap?  It seems that people either love them or hate them.  I happen to be on the love side of the argument.  What could be more convenient than throwing a bunch of things in the pot, turning it on, walking away, and coming home from work to the delicious smells of dinner being ready?  People often think that meals from a slow-cooker are boring and lack inspiration.  If you are someone who thinks that, my Slow-Cooker Asian BBQ Pork Bahn Mi recipe will hopefully change your mind.

Don’t be discouraged by the long list of ingredients.  If you are an Asian food lover like myself these things should already be in your pantry.  If not, they should be.  I’ll share more recipes along the way for these pantry staples!

20151020_182127

Slow-Cooker Bahn Mi Sandwiches

4 whole wheat hoagie rolls, toasted
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbl sambal olek (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
½ cup cucumbers, sliced thin
Cilantro
Slow-Cooker Asian Pork (recipe follows)
Quick pickled vegetables (recipe follows)

Slow-Cooker Asian Pork:
2 lbs boneless pork short ribs
½ cup hoisin sauce, plus 2 tablespoons
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp lemon grass paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbl brown sugar

Picked vegetables:
2 carrots, shredded
1 diakon radish, shredded
½ small onion, sliced thin
½ cup water
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
5 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 allspice berries
Pinch of salt

To make the pork, put all ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add pork and some of the liquid, and 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce is thick and glossy.

To make the pickled vegetables, heat the water, vinegar, and next 5 ingredients in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Place vegetables in a heat resistant bowl and cover with hot liquid. Let sit for 15 minutes while you are gathering your other ingredients. Once the vegetables are cooled they’re ready to eat, however, they are best made ahead of time.  I usually do this in the morning when I put the pork in the slow-cooker and let them hang out in the fridge all day.

To assemble sandwiches, mix together mayonnaise and sambal olek. Spread a thin layer on both sides of the hoagie roll. Top one half with pork, pickled vegetables, cucumber, and cilantro. Top the sandwich with the other half of the roll, cut in half, and serve.

Serves 4.

Source: Ruth’s Table

20151020_182512