February 25, 2011

Wowza! White Lasagna with Chicken, Spinach & Mushrooms.

I don't have much time today so I will just get right to it....

DRUM ROLL PLEASE....................................................................where is Clark Griswold when you need him???

Wowza White Lasagna
adapted from : BAM!!! Emeril
3 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 10 oz package fresh spinach
2 cups fresh mushrooms, slicedx
1 whole yellow onion, sliced
1/2 tablespoon garlic
4 cups heavy cream
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 box "no boil" lasagna noodles
3 cups shredded parmesan
1 package Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the chicken:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season the chicken generously with the blackening seasoning. 
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes then place the chicken in the skillet and blacken on each side. About 2 minutes per side. Then place the skillet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then shred.

For the sauce:
Turn oven up to 375 degrees.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over med/high heat. Add about 1/2 the spinach and let cook down a bit then add the rest. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Now add garlic and onions, cook for about 3 minutes then add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the spinach and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, heat 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly to make a roux. Next, slowly add the heavy cream while whisking constantly. Season generously with salt & pepper and add the dried oregano. Let simmer appox 10 minutes then add 2 cups of the parmesan. Mix well and then add the onion, mushroom and spinach mixture.

To assemble the lasagna:
Spoon a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
Place 4 of the lasagna sheets horizontal in the dish.
1/2 of the shredded chicken
roughly 1 1/2 cups of the sauce
a generous handful of the Italian blend cheese and 1/2 of the remaining parmesan.
REPEAT this step for the second layer.
The third layer will not contain chicken.
Ending with the shredded cheese on top.

*Using the remaining butter, cut into small cubes and evenly place on top of the cheese*
This will help it brown to perfection

I ended up adding some shredded mozzarella on the top to make it extra cheesy...!!!

Bake covered for 45 minutes, remove cover and continue to cook until browned & bubbly.

I reallyyyyyyyyy need to cut back on my carb intake...but how am I supposed to do that with such DELISH meals like this one????

I hope ya'll enjoy this as much as we did. I had two pieces and I think Matt had 4...maybe 5 but who's counting?

Have a FAB FRIDAY everybody!!!!!!!!!!!

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February 23, 2011

Pan Seared Tuna Tuesday!!!

Tuna is quite possibly the EASIEST/QUICKEST fish to make in my book. Maybe it's because we only eat it raw or sear it for about 60 seconds on each side but hey whatever works...right?

I often serve pan seared tuna as appetizer by just seasoning it generously with Tony Chachere's, seared and sliced...but I remember preparing it this way over the summer and it was REALLY REALLY good. We only have a small hand full of sushi place around here and good tuna is hard to come by. Luckily Martin's generally always has it fresh in their seafood department and when they dont' they have "fresh" frozen in their seafood's freezer. So I usually always buy it when I go, so it has sort of become a staple in my freezer.

Last night I made a mixed greens salad with fried wontons and a ginger dressing to go with it...I was experimenting with the dressing and think I may have actually came up with something AMAZING! It was seriously...the.best.dressing.EVER! I was trying to recreate what they serve with the salads at Japanese Steakhouses and that I did. Maybe even a little better ;) 

Pan Seared Tuna 
adapted from : Simply Recipes

2 sashimi grade tuna steaks
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger paste or fresh grated
juice from 1/2 of a lime

In a small bowl mix the soy, ginger, lime and green onions. 
Place the tuna steaks in a zip lock or plastic container with a lid. 
Pour the mixture over the tuna steaks and make sure all sides are coated.
Seal and put in the fridge for 1 hour. Flipping over half way through.
Heat a medium non stick pan over high heat and spray with cooking spray. You want to make sure the pan is nice and HOT.
Place the tuna steaks on the hot pan and cook for 60 seconds, turn over and cook for an additional 60 seconds. 
Remove from pan and serve.


Ginger Soy Dressing
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger paste

Whisk all ingredients together and serve with you favorite salad. 
I used mixed greens, green onions and topped it off with some crispy fried wontons! DELISH!!!


And in honor of National Margarita Day...
I had a Martini!!!


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February 22, 2011

Take the good with the bad...

Why is it that I can make Lobster Mac...but can't handle the simple task of making good ol' mac n cheese????? It was grainy...and liquidy...not exactly sure how it ended up that way but I didn't bother to take any pictures...even Matt said it was bad...and he eats ANYTHING...
Now that I have that of my chest...I can at least tell you about the good part of last nights "simple" dinner...brats cooked in beer with onions. There is something about the word bratwurst that gets under my skin...so brats is how I refer to them...and we don't cook them that often because I swear my parent's grill them like every other week in the Summer....so let's just say I get my fair share BUT Matt loves them, so I picked up a package the other day at the store.
Our good friend/neighbor/coworker (well, he is actually more like family) taught us this a few Summers ago and we haven't cooked them any different since. Including my parents, who usually has said *friend*cook them anyways...but last night, I cooked them inside on the stove and then browned them in a cast iron skillet. This weather has been so wacky and Matt has been really busy at the greenhouse, I knew he wouldn't want to mess with the grill.

*He works in our GA office but spends the Summer months working in Michigan with his wife, Betsy and their almost 3 year old son, Brody. My little buddy! They stay on my parents property in "the can" and we do dinner with them almost every night whether it be at our place, my parents or "the can".

So here it goes...sooooo EASY!
Stove Top Brats
adapted from : Steve B
1 package johnsonville brats
1 whole yellow onion, sliced
1 can/bottle beer, the cheaper the better
  1. Place brats in the bottom of a medium pan, top with onions and cover with the beer.
  2. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer approx 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Brown both sides of the brats and return to pan with onions & beer.
Printable Recipe!
    Serve with your favorite toppings and ENJOY! Hopefully with some better tasting mac n cheese than we had...!!!

    I had two out just in case I need more liquid...or in case I got thirsty...
    I'm getting pretty good at taking pictures with my left hand!
    Ready to brown...
    Make sure your pan is nice and HOT...
    Almost done...
    Back in the pan...

    Have a DELICIOUS day!!!

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    February 17, 2011

    Grilled Rack of Lamb with a side of Lobster Mac

    Oh Valentine's Day...a special day for some, a hallmark holiday to others...
    But to me...it's just an excuse to kick it up a notch in the kitchen...and that I did. Or shall I say "we" did, Matt gets the credit for the grilling part.

    This doesn't need much of an introduction because it speaks for itself...so here we go!

    For some reason...blogger is NOT cooperating with me today!!! So please click the link below to view the recipe!!! 

    Lobster Mac

    Adapted from : The Girly Girl Cooks
    1/2 lb cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
    3 tablespoons butter
    1/2 yellow onion, minced
    1 tablespoon minced Garlic
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    2-1/2 tbsp Flour
    1/4 cup white wine
    2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
    meat from one lobster tail
    1/2 cup shredded chedder, for sprinkling
    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons dried parsley

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a sauce pot, melt butter over med heat, add the onions, garlic, salt & pepper. Cook until tender.
    Add the tomato paste and flower, stirring constantly to brown the roux. Approx 2-3 minutes.
    Add the wine and reduce for 1 minute and then add the heavy cream, whisking constantly to remove any clumps.
    Add the paprika, cayenne pepper and bay leaf and cook over medium heat for approx 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until desired thickness.
    Stir in the gruyere then the lobster meat. 
    In a baking dish, pour the sauce over the pasta, top with the shredded cheddar, bread crumbs and parsley.
    Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the tops is brown and the sides are bubbly.

    I guess I forgot to take pix of the steps after this and before that...SORRY!!!


    If this doesn't make you're mouth water...then check out Eccentric Kitchen's Facebook page to see a clip of the Lobster Mac sizzling and I'm sure that will!!!

    Have a DELICIOUS day!!!

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