Chicken Caesar Casserole

This morning  I got a request for a casserole. They are John’s favorite things. I thought “hmmm… what sounds good at this moment?” The answer: Chicken Caesar Salad sounded delish. So I decided to adapt a casserole to fit my wish for Chicken Caesar Salad. 🙂 Here it is!

 

Chicken Caesar Casserole

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 chicken breast, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 head of broccoli. cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbs Creamy Caesar dressing
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put rice on to cook.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Boil 4 cups of heavily salted water. Add broccoli stalk pieces while bringing to a boil. Once boiling add in florets and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and cook chicken in frying pan with 1/4 cup water until done. Drain and return to pan.
  • In a small sauce pan heat milk and Caesar dressing together until simmering. Add in 1/2 cup cheese and stir until melted.
  • Mix rice, chicken and broccoli together and pour sauce over. Gently toss to make sure the sauce is evenly incorporated.
  • Pour into a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden.

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Stir Fry Soup

This was my favorite soup growing up. It is just so warm and simple and satisfying. This blustery day called for soup! Just throw in your left over stir fry veg and you are golden!

Stir Fry Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:Stir Fry Soup

  • 2 1/3 -1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 baby bok choy, sliced
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 of a small onion
  • 5-8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup diced or shredded chicken

DIRECTIONS:

  • Bring chicken stock to a rolling boil and add in onions and carrots.
  • Boil 3 minutes and add in mushrooms and bok choy.
  • Boil 3 minutes then add bean stouts and chicken. Add soy sauce to taste.
  • Drizzle scrambled egg over boiling soup and simmer for 5 minutes, until egg is fluffy.
  • Mmmmm….

Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie

This week I decided to tackle my first ever rough puff pastry from scratch. It was so easy, I should have done it ages ago.

I have been watching Masterchef lately, so naturally I went to Gordon Ramsey’s recipe for rough puff pastry and began there. It turned out perfectly!

Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:Chicken4

FOR PASTRY

  • 1 cup + 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature, but not soft
  • about 2/3 cup cold water

FOR FILLING

  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken, cooked and diced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbs flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

FOR PASTRY

  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
  • Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 20 mins in the fridge.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 20 x 50cm. Keep edges straight and even. Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
  • Fold the top third down to the centre, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to three times the length. Repeat up to 4 times for great layers. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 mins before rolling to use.

FOR FILLING

  • Bring chicken broth to a boil and add in potatoes. Boil until almost done and add in carrots. When carrots and potatoes are tender add in peas and chicken and turn heat down to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk flour and milk together until smooth. Pour milk into the pot and stir until thickened.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

TO ASSEMBLE

  • Roll out pastry until about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Using a bowl or very large cookie cutter, cut out 4 circles of dough and bake at 35oF for 15 minutes or until golden. You can egg wash the top for an even more golden color.
  • Place filling in a bowl and top with pastry.

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A Tale of Two Gnocchi: Mashed Potato and Ricotta

I love gnocchi! I always have. This year I decided I would learn how to make it. So I have. I started with potato gnocchi, as it is the most common. I made that 2 times and it was delicious. This week I made Ricotta Gnocchi, again an idea form Kitchen Nostalgia. I must say, I’m sold. The texture of the potato gnocchi is very dumpling like while the ricotta is more like a noodle. It is slightly more dense and very very smooth. I am not sure that I can say I like one over the other, but I can say that the ricotta batch was faster to make! I want to share both recipes with you, because they are both wonderful.

Mashed Potato Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

Gnocchi

  • 2 cups cold mashed potatoes (mashed but not seasoned)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • Boil, mash, and refrigerate your potatoes until cold. Do not season or use butter to mash. Any amount of leftover mashed potatoes work well, too. Just make sure it is 2 parts potato to 1 part egg and 1 part flour.
  • Place half of your flour onto your work surface.
  • Dump mashed potatoes onto flour,
  • Form a well in the potatoes and pour the egg into it. Add salt.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of the remaining flour on top.
  • Work egg, salt, and flour into potato.
  • Once incorporated, knead gently for 2 minutes. Do not over knead. Potato can become too starchy and make the dough overly sticky.
  • Add more flour ( 1/2 to 1 cup more) if too sticky.
  • Divide into workable pieces and roll into 3/4 inch rope. Cut rope into 3/4 inch to 1 inch lengths.
  • Shape gnocchi using the back of a fork to get the ridges or simply make a thumb dent. The slight texture insures that the sauce you serve with the gnocchi does not just slide off the dumplings.
  • Boil and serve.

NOTE: To freeze, place on cookie sheet and freeze individually so they won’t stick together. They keep well for 1 to 2 months.

Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:Gnocchi1

  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • a pinch each: nutmeg,slat, pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together to form a soft, moist dough.
  • Transfer the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into a rope and cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • Cook gnocchi in a large pot of salted water for 4-7 minutes or until the gnocchi rises to the surface.

NOTE: This gnocchi is heavier than potato gnocchi so you do not need to shape them, just slice for the rope and they will hold their shape.

Noodle Kugel

This tasty noodle pudding is a favorite of ours. My mama has made a different kugel recipe my whole life, but I didn’t bring it with us to York so I just winged it. John was happy with how it turned out.

Noodle Kugel is delicious with fried apples and sausage. Perfect for a cozy night.

 

Noodle Kugel

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz wide egg noodles
  • 6 tbs salted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 oz shredded cheese (cheddar works well)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×11 glass casserole dish.
  • Cook noodles according to package. Drain and return to pot. Add butter and melt.
  • Pour noodles into greased dish.
  • In a large bowl mix sugar and eggs together. Beating in two eggs in at a time until all combined.
  • Add milk and cream.
  • Beat in cream cheese, cinnamon,vanilla, and shredded cheese.
  • Pour liquid over noodles in the pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350F. May need to be covered half way through to insure noodles on top do not burn. Look for tiny bubbles all the way on bottom to insure it is cooked through.
  • Cool briefly and serve.

Shepherd’s Pie

This is one of the first things I learned to make when John and I first dated. I used to make it once a week during our first year of marriage and we never got tired of it. This is a tried and true recipe that has served us well over the last 3 years. Last week we were both craving Shepherds Pie. I hadn’t made it since we moved here in September. Oh, it was the most scrumptious thing we had eaten in a while.

Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:Beef1

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 5-6 small potatoes
  • 2 tbs salted butter
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups frozen peas
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • Peel and boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash potatoes with the butter. Set aside.
  • Brown the ground meat and drain and rinse the fat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Saute peas and carrots with a little olive oil and salt. Set a side.
  • Grease a pan ( I have used anywhere from an 8×8 pan to a 9×11. It all works,) and spread 2/3 of the mashed potato evenly over the bottom of the pan. Layer beef and veggies and finish with the last 1/3 of the potatoes. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Stuffed Magic Bread

Magic Bread is my go to bread these days. It has little rising time and turns out perfectly when you are in a rush and need a quick loaf. That is why its MAGIC :))) 1 hour start to finish. It can be turned into a sweet bread full of nuts and berries and chocolate or savory by adding chicken and spices. Its my go to bread.

On one particular night we were hungry for something warm and cuddly, so this recipe happened.

Magic Bread

  • Servings: 2 loaves
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 5 1/4-1/2 cups white bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1 1/2 rounded tbs instant yeast
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 cups hot tap water, not boiling

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Add oil and water.
  • Mix briefly. If dough is dry, add water, if very sticky, add flour. Its best on the sticky side.
  • mix for 5 minutes, grease bread pans. Shape loaves. Place in pans.
  • Cover and let rise for 25 minutes.
  • Bake at 350F (175C) for 25 minutes.

NOTE: I tend towards baking longer than stated, but that might just be my oven.

Bread3The stuffing of the bread is even easier than the bread!

I only stuffed one loaf and baked the other one just to have.

I did not use a pan for the stuffed version. I just shaped the loaf on a baking sheet and let rise. Right after the bread has risen, flatten into a square. Along the center of the square place filling. I filled ours with sliced chicken and some shredded  cheese. Fold the side of the loaf over to meet in the middle and seal ends. Place back on baking sheet seam down and bake 45 minutes. Because of the filling the bake time is longer. Enjoy!

I served ours with garlic butter and mustard. It tasted like a picnic.