Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken Bean Soup

1/2 lb. bag of dried soup beans
1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
2 chicken bouillons
salt & pepper to taste
Cumin to taste

Soak beans over night.  Cover the beans with water.  Add the bouillon cubes, salt, pepper and cook until beans are done.  Add more water as needed.  Add chicken, onion, cabbage and carrots.  The amount depends on your own taste.  Add about 1/4 tsp. of cumin.  Cook until veggies are done.  Taste.  Add more salt, pepper, and cumin as needed.

Martha:  This soup is so easy to make and it is truly made by Thinking With Your Taste Buds.  I put 1 medium onion, sliced and used a good bit of cabbage cut up into bite size pieces.  I'm not a cooked carrot fan so I only used 1 med. size cut up small.  As for the cumin - I ended up adding about 1/2 tsp. This was added during the last 10 minutes of cooking and by tasting the broth several times until I had it just right.  This is not only a tasty dish but a pretty healthy one too.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chicken Meatball Custard

2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 pkg (12 oz.) Chicken Meatballs (I used Aidells Italian with Mozzarella)
1 9" pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss 1 1/2 cups of the cheese with the flour.  Combine milk and eggs.  Combine with cheese.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake 35-40 minutes.  Slice meatballs in half.  Arrange on top of the pie.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  Bake another 20 minutes.

Martha:  I found a recipe in Kraft's 1971 paperback book titled The Complete Cheese Cookbook.  This recipe called for pepperoni, black olives and zucchini.  I decided to make the change to chicken meatballs and it turned out great!  The meatballs I used are Aidells which are fully cooked, already have the Italian seasonings in them as well as mozzarella cheese.  I thought this would come out like a quiche but instead it comes out like a custard so that's why I'm calling it Meatball Custard.  I also used colby cheese instead of the Swiss the original recipe called for because I felt its taste would suite the meatballs better.  This dish can be made using just about any kind of topping.  Steak, ground beef seasoned with cumin, cooked chopped chicken.  Just Think With Your Taste Buds and come up with your own combination.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Three Cheese Chicken Bake

1 - 8 oz. pkg. wide egg noodles, cooked
3 cups chicken, cooked and diced (I used 2 boneless skinless breasts)
1 1/2 cups Mid-American Farms Cottage Cheese
2 cups Mid-American Farms American Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. onion, minced (I used dehydrated)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup1/2 cup potato chips, crushed (I used 1 cup crushed chip type onion rings)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together chicken, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, butter, onion, soups and milk.  Put noodles in the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Top with chicken mix.  Top with crushed potato chips and Parmesan cheese.  Bake 45 minutes.

Martha:  This is another oldie but goodie that I found in a booklet put out by Mid-American Farms.  I have no idea what the date of this booklet might be but I do know that it's full of delicious recipes like this one.  Now everyone knows me by now and know that I have to make changes in just about everything I cook.  This was no exception.  First, I've not been able to find Mid-American Farms so I had to use another brand.  I decided to eliminate the Parmesan and American cheeses and instead use 2 1/2 cups of Colby cheese which gives it a nice texture - stringy.  And finally, while picking up a bag of chips I spotted a bag of Onion Rings and decided to use that instead of the chips.  I have no doubt that this dish is delicious whether you use my recipe or theirs.  This was a great hit with my food testers too.

Lillian:  This is how we used to make things, very tasty and filling and, yet, it was from items that we had in the pantry or refrigerator.  I loved it when the canned soups came out and made it much easier than cooking and stirring the sauces that we made back then.  As always, great recipe, Martha.

Food Tester Carol:  One taste was enough to captivate us and take us back to our favorite foods of years past!  We couldn't stop eating it as though we were the Very Hungry Caterpillar!  Small pieces of chicken rest atop egg noodles in a creamy sauce made with soup, cottage cheese, cheese and a touch of onion.  You might say it's tangy but I think it's better than tangy, like going several steps beyond tangy.  The onion spreads its flavor throughout the sauce.  The crunch topping with a final hint of onion leads a playful feel to the recipe.  This is the kind of meal that lingers in your memory and that your family will request over and over.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hot Chicken Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onions
1 large Portobello mushroom top, chopped
1/2 tube butter-flavored crackers (crushed)
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl combine chicken, soup, celery, mayonnaise, onions, mushroom, crackers and cheese.  Pour into a 2 qt. baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with crushed chips and almonds.  Bake another 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Martha:  I make a version of this using imitation crab for a dear friend of mine.  You can see the ingredient changes by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.  I  The crushed crackers added to the mix thickens as well as adds another flavor.  Once this dish is served, I will have to admit that it doesn't look as appealing as I would like due to the color of gray coming from the mushrooms, but the flavor makes up for its lack of looks.   This dish is great to eat as a casserole or to serve as an appetizer with crackers.  It doesn't come out quite as thick as it's crab version so if you're making it to serve as an appetizer, add another cup of cheese.

Food Tester Carol:  The important feature in this recipe, which incidentally is one of our favorites, is the way the mushrooms bring an earthiness to the chicken but do no change its lightness.  Both of these main ingredients are solid enough in their own right to retain their essential character and together they make this casserole, with its light, cheesy sauce and supporting ingredients, a classic dish.  This could be one of my (and your) ten most dependable, delicious guest meals!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 lb. fettuccine
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
French fried onions, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick spray.  Cook fettuccine in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, 7 to 9 minutes, or according to package directions.  Drain.  In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat heat oil.   Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, abut 5 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.  To the skillet add mushrooms and scallions.  Cool until most of the juices have evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook, stirring until the flour is no longer visible, about 30 seconds.  Whisk in the milk and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring frequently until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove the sauce form the heat and stir in the fettuccine, chicken, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Pour mixture into baking dish.  Sprinkle to evenly with the 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Evenly add the French fried onions.

Martha:  I had been to the grocery store and found a package of 2 very large Portobella mushroom tops marked down to $1.50.  I couldn't pass it up but knew they needed to be used quickly so I started looking for a really good recipe that would include them.  I found a version of the recipe above in a Weight Watchers cookbook and it sounded really good.  I made a few changes.  The original called for dried porcini mushrooms as well as fresh.  I eliminated the dried.  It called for sherry which I omitted.  There was to be water left from soaking the dried mushrooms to be used, I simply increased the broth to take the place of the mushroom water and sherry.  I also increased the cheese to 1/2 inside the dish and added the cheddar to the outside.  Plus I added the French fried onions.  This dish came out simply delicious.

Food Tester Carol:  Portobello mushroom pieces mixed with chicken, scallion and cream sauce are a dreamy classic dish to serve a casual family on the run or guests who want to eat slowly and talk about their day.  Either way, it's perfect for serving and absolutely delicious.  What is it about Portobello mushrooms, chicken and pasta?  The Portobello is an equal partner and if you see them firm and fresh in your market, you can count on them to move a meal to the next level.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ginger and Scallion Marinade Chicken

1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
1 tsp. ginger, minced
4 tsp. olive oil
1 pkg. no sodium chicken bouillon mixed with 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 large chicken breasts or 4 small, with bone

Place chicken in a large dish with a lid or in a large plastic bag that seals.  In a bowl mix all other ingredients.  Pour over chicken.  Refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a baking dish that is large enough to hold the chicken without them touching.  Coat with non-stick spray.  Place chicken bone side up.  Bake until almost done.  (Time will depend upon the size of your chicken).  Turn chicken over (bone side down) and bake another 10 minutes allowing the meaty side to brown slightly.

Martha:  This marinade is so good.  I actually started out with the chicken broth and started adding the other ingredients tasting as I went along.  I stopped when I had the perfect taste.  This is really good and I think I'll try it on pork.