Category Archives: hearty meals

Project 52.4 – Sloppy Joaquins

January 30, 2017

Week 4 comes to us courtesy of Rachael Ray’s The Book of Burger.  I LOVE a good burger, and could probably eat burgers at least once a week.  The same can be said for Mr. Twice Around, so this book is a match made in heaven.  I actually let him take the wheel for the selection of week 4’s recipe, and was not surprised in the least when he grabbed Book of Burger off the shelf with a manly Tim Allen style grunt.

According to Rachael, the “Sloppy Joaquin is the Spanish cousin to Sloppy Joe.”

According to us, it’s just damn delicious.  I took my mixture and put it over top of some quinoa, thus dubbing mine the “Sloppy Joaquinoa”.  Mr. Twice Around kept it traditional, and the tiny one, well, he just went face first into a bowl of it.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 24 medium size cap mushrooms, crimini or white – your choice, chopped
  • Coarse salt and lots of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 4 crusty rolls, ciabatta or Portuguese rolls if available, or Kaiser rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • A wedge of Manchego cheese, for shaving
  • Chimichurri sauce- Recipe found here

Preparation

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO. Add beef and deeply brown, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are dark and onion is tender, 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the sherry and deglaze the pan, then reduce 1 minute. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pre-heat the broiler.
Spread rolls with softened butter and sprinkle heavily with parsley. Toast rolls until charred at edges. Top roll bottoms with sloppy mixture and shaved Manchego cheese.  Spoon the chimichurri over the sloppies,  then set roll tops in place. Olé!

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Project 52.3 – Chicken Hot Pie

January 30, 2017

Behind seems to be my common trend this past week or so.  Life gets busy, things get piled on, and other things get buried in that pile.  Sorry, friends!  I’m back though and I have week 3 AND week 4 of project 52!  SO, first things first.

After week two’s semi lack luster recipe, I felt that I Heart Naptime needed a second shot to prove itself to you, my dear readers.  With that being said, I decided to turn a few more pages until I saw Chicken Hot Pie.  Is there anything better on a dreary day than comfort food?  I think not.  This recipe delivers full on “granny” style comfort food on a working woman time crunch… you’ll even have those extra 2 minutes to make cute pie crust cut outs for the top. I promise.


Jamielyn Nye’s Chicken Hot Pie (from I Heart Naptime)

4 cups chicken stock (confession- I did 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups vegetable stock)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup diced potatoes ( I cheated here and got a can of sliced potatoes. SHHH don’t tell)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
2- 9 in unbaked pie crusts (Confession again – I only used one. It’s what we had. OOPS!)
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat.  Add the chicken, potatoes, celery, carrots, and peas and boil for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and reserve 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups stock for the filling.  drain the excess stock and set the chicken and vegetables aside.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, place one pie crust in a 9 inch pie plan and pierce the bottom with a fork a few times.  Bake for 5 minutes.  (I skipped this step, as I only had 1 crust.)
4. In a large skillet. melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, or until soft and translucent.  Slowly stir in the flour until smooth, and cook until lightly golden.  Slowly whisk in the half and half and 1/2 cup of the reserved stock.  Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme.  Simmer over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until it has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and add the chicken and vegetables.  Add more of reserved stock if needed and additional seasoning to taste.
5. Remove the piecrust from the oven and reduce oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the chicken filling into the bottom crust.  Cover with top crust, seal the edges, and make five small slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

*For a lattice crust, use a pizza cutter to make 1 inch strips.  Then weave across the top.*

Citrus-Kissed Crab Cakes

March 6, 2016

CitrusKissedCrabCakes

 

Every year when the Lenten season rolls around, I hear my gramma’s voice in my head telling me to be a good Catholic and skip meat on Fridays.  I fail at this a thousand times over, because while I love Jesus, I also really love steak.  That being said, I always embark on the Lent season with the best of intentions.  This always excites my husband because he knows it boils down to one thing- revamping our seafood repertoire!  This week’s lent special is brought to you from inspiration taken from a stacked crab salad- fresh and bright.  I’m  makin’ gramma proud today by whipping up my Citrus-Kissed Crab Cakes, and it couldn’t be easier!

1 lb lump crab meat
10 crushed ritz crackers
1 TBSP whipped chive cream cheese
1/4 cup finely diced mango
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 avocado- 1/2 mashed, 1/2 finely diced
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/4 tsp teriyaki sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, folding gently with fingers.
Loosely form into patties.
Bake 20 minutes @ 425 degrees, then Broil for 3 minutes

Serve with bay chips, bay fries, or a peppery arugula salad.

AHDN: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

February 2, 2016

DSC_0027

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

1- 9oz bag of shaved Brussels sprouts
4 tbsp butter; divided
2 tbsp flour
1 cup grated parmesan; divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 cup half and half
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large, high- sided skillet and add shaved brussels sprouts.  Saute about 3 minutes over medium until brussels sprouts are a vibrant green color.  Remove from the skillet.  Add the additional 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt.  Stir in 2 tbsp of flour.  Gradually whisk in 1 cup of half and half until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan, along with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.  Add salt, pepper. and paprika and combine.  Return the brussels sprouts to the skillet and fold into the cheese sauce mixture.   Pour into an 8 or 9 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs with remaining 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and enough olive oil (approx. 2 tbsp) until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  Sprinkle on top of the brussels sprouts.

Bake for 40 minutes @ 375.

This side dish was a perfect compliment to the chicken, and the left overs heated up nicely to go with some broiled flounder.  Whip up a double or triple batch with a bit of pancetta, and you have a GREAT holiday side dish!

DSC_0037

Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf

January 21, 2016

Have you ever planned out a meal in advance, only to have it seem totally unappealing on the day you designated it for?  I’m usually a firm believer in the follow through of a weekly meal plan, but when Rachael Ray’s New England Turkey Burgers came up on my menu board last week, I just wasn’t feelin’ it.  It had been a rough work week at that point, and I needed a meal that felt like a cozy hug.  With ground turkey as my only thawed out protein, it was time to get creative. Continue reading

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza

January 3, 2016

What better way to start of a new year than with an old love?  I LOVE pizza.  In fact, I could probably eat pizza every day of my life.  It can be such a simple pleasure, and you can make it a thousand different ways that always seem to jazz it up.  Recently, our area got a new Pizza place called “MOD Pizza” – essentially, a made to order pizza place.  Seeing all of the toppings and combinations got me thinking about pizza night in my own household, and a new go- to was created.  Hearty and wholesome, it combines the perfect amount of salty with savory into one bite.  This is Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza.

12299161_10101778928974102_7255547595663870604_n

2 Cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small package of prosciutto (about 5 oz), roughly chopped
1 cup freshly grated smoked havarti cheese
Your favorite pizza dough
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Salt
Pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  Trim and roughly chop 2 cups of brussels sprouts.  Toss onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up an entire small package of prosciutto (If you’re like me, you eat some of it and wash your hands before moving on).  You can also grate your cup of smoked havarti.

On a separate baking sheet (or on your baking sheet that had your brussels sprouts if you hate dishes and are a patient person!) spread out your favorite pizza dough.  Lately, I’m really into the refrigerated Bistro Style Pizza Dough from WeWalka.  It’s good stuff- gets a really great crispness to it that I really desire in a pizza.  ANYWAY, once that’s spread out, top it with your cheese.  Now, this won’t be a typical cheesy pizza that oozes cheese.  Smoked havarti has a flavor that doesn’t demand as much as a typical mozzarella made pie.  Sprinkle and spread it so that it lightly covers your dough.  Do the same with your prosciutto and brussels sprouts, then return to the 400 degree oven for approx. 15 minutes.

If you like, you can finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar once it comes out of the oven.  Truth be told, we forgot that step, and just went about devouring the pizza.  Obviously, it wasn’t missed too much since we ate the entire thing!

Note: If you have left over brussels sprouts from a previous dinner’s side dish, go ahead and use those babies!  Just skip the roasting step, chop them up, and toss them onto your pizza dough.

This pizza is perfect with a glass of wine on a fall or winter night.  It made a nice at home date night dinner with my guy, who suggested that next time, we crack an egg over it.  We’ll see how that goes and get back to you!

I’d love to hear from you- What pizza toppings top your list for pizza night?
J

 

Pizza Pot Pie

September 14, 2015

  What could possibly be better than a pizza after a long day?
What could possibly be more comforting than an individual pot pie, just for you?

How about… the combination of the two- Pizza Pot Pies.

When I originally mentioned these to Mr. Twice Around, he didn’t seem thrilled, and I’ll admit, he TURNED UP HIS NOSE at the idea. I told him to just wait… that this was a brilliant idea… and he would see! I wasn’t 100% convinced myself, but I figured… It seemed like an okay idea, and we always have plan b in the fridge if all else fails.

Little did I know… that from that moment on…I’d be asked to make these 3 times a week, every week. It has been a few years, and still I know that once the crispness of fall air hits, it’s game on! I can no longer ask the question “What do you want to eat this week?” without hearing “PIZZA POT PIES!” Luckily, they are JUST that good, and really easy. As a bonus, this one is super fun for the family-  you can put in whatever toppings you usually like on your pizza and get creative every time!

 Here’s our go-to favorite. It makes 4- we eat 2 the next day for lunch…if they last that long!

You’ll need:

1 pillsbury pizza crust- we prefer thin crust

1 can of tomato sauce

1 pack of sliced pepperoni – you won’t use all of it!

1 cup of precooked sausage crumbles (Jimmy Dean- we use turkey sausage)

1 small can of sliced black olives

1 green pepper, sliced/ diced

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 red onion- sliced

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take your pizza dough out of it’s canister roll, and unroll your dough on a flat cutting board and cut out circles around your ramekins to top .  

Divide your sauce among 4 ramekins. Divide the pepperoni, sausage, olives, green pepper, and onion among the 4 ramekins, and mix with a spoon. Top with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella. 

Top with a crust round.

Poke a few holes in the crust dough with a fork, and pop those babies into the oven for about 13 – 15 minutes. 

I usually put them on a baking tray just so its easier to take them all in and out of the oven. Take them out and really poke a decent “vent” in it and give them a few minutes so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth- believe me, it’s been done, and it’s not fun to eat with a blister on the roof of your mouth.  It’s hard, but you should definitely wait! 

Then, when you can’t wait any longer, dive in to rustic pizza goodness.  Each saucy, cheesy topping filled bite leaves us coming back for more all fall and winter long, and with endless combinations, it never gets boring!