Thursday, May 30, 2013

Slow Cooker "Roasted" Herb Chicken with Gravy

There's something magical that happens to chicken breasts on the bone when cooked in the slow cooker.  Doing so yields such succulent, tender and flavorful meat.  And, what I, also, love about this recipe is that there is hardly any work to be done in the morning to get the chicken going.  Throw in the breasts, sprinkle on some seasoning, pour in a little broth (or water) and put the lid on!  At mealtime, simple utilize the cooking liquid to make a quick pan gravy and serve it all with some homemade, buttery mashed potatoes.


I am providing the suggested spices that I use for the chicken, but any that you love with poultry and have on hand would do the job.  Watkins' Garlic Peppercorn Blend is pretty magnificent.  I use it in so many dishes.  It is a combination of sea salt, dehydrated garlic, black peppercorns, parsley and oregano.  Substituting those spices and seasonings would be fine in place of the Watkins' product.  Or, go with what you love with chicken!

Yields 2 - 4 servings.

For nutritional value information, visit my post of this recipe on My Recipe Magic.  Click the "Nutrition" tab at the top of the post there.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Salsa Verde White Chicken Enchiladas

 
I shared with you my Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa Verde recipe yesterday.  I've been dying to use it in the cream sauce of chicken enchiladas. 

Let me share with you just how amazing it was!  I've made a lot of versions of enchiladas throughout the years.  I think this one "took the cake."  I've made this type of cream sauce with canned green chiles before, but this version using my homemade green salsa is beyond anything that I've made like this in the past.  To say that I am in love with these enchiladas is quite the understatement.

(I, literally, could have stood at the stove eating spoonful after spoonful of this sauce all on its own before ever even pouring it over the tortillas.)

These babies will knock your socks off.  (Or, your flip flops if your weather has heated up like mine and socks have been tucked away for the summer).


My sister, her sweetie and my little nephew came for dinner.  We scarfed down these enchiladas with total abandonment.  I served shredded lettuce, diced avocado, lime wedges, tomatoes, red onion slices, black olives, sour cream and extra Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa Verde on the side to be used as toppings.  We barely touched the accompaniments ... the enchiladas were to die for all on their own!


If you're not up for making the homemade version of the salsa, a store-bought green salsa will work.  But, I promise you that going the extra mile to make it homemade is beyond worth it.  The salsa can be made (and is even better) 1 - 3 days in advance.

Yields 10 enchiladas.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa Verde

 
I am now hooked on tomatillos after using them in my Vegetable Posole Verde a couple of weeks ago.  I've always loved Salsa Verde when dining at Mexican restaurants.  I thought I'd give it a whirl at home.


Today I made my third batch in a week!  I am completely addicted to it!

Tomatillos are super easy to work with.  They can be found in most supermarkets in the produce section and are pretty inexpensive.


This salsa can be used in so many different ways.  It's amazing eaten as-is with some crispy tortilla chips for dunking (I love it with whole-grain chips).  I, also, discovered that it is quite tasty on eggs with a little hot sauce at breakfast.  I am going to be making some breakfast burritos this week and can't wait to try it on those.  I make enchiladas using canned and diced green chiles, but am anxious to try incorporating this salsa into my enchilada recipe soon, as well.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lemon, Herb & Garlic Baked Shrimp

This may sound strange.  I actually cooked one of my husband's favorite foods for our Mother's Day dinner.  He loves shrimp.  And, since he is gone for work out of state for four days straight (Monday through Thursday) every week, I knew I wanted to do something while he was home with the shrimp I had purchased this weekend. 
 

Don't worry - I was pampered throughout the day in other ways.  Breakfast in bed.  Foot rubs from the kids.  Lots of homemade cards.  And, a lot of household chores done by the kids and hubby (they even cleaned the bathroom and did all of the laundry). And, my husband and kids did help with our dinner - this shrimp, seasoned orzo, corn on the cob and a homemade crusty loaf of bread. 

Following this recipe will yield you perfectly-cooked, tender shrimp in an over-the-top, buttery garlic, lemon and herb sauce that screams out to bread for dipping. Enjoy.

Serves 4.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Potato & Mushroom Gratin

 
Be forewarned - this is comfort food at its best.  There's no claim here that this is "diet food."  And, although we don't usually eat such luxurious dishes on a daily basis in my house, it's a great recipe to indulge in when company is coming over or for a lovely Sunday family dinner.

A mixture of thinly-sliced potatoes, slivered mushrooms, heavy cream, real butter and Parmesan cheese come together in this recipe to create an amazing gratin that is a splendid side dish to roasted chicken or grilled meat.  You can go the "lighter" route, however, and serve alongside a beautiful, fresh side salad.

Years ago I read that soaking the potato slices in water prior to assembling a potato gratin makes a world of difference.  So, I've always done so for this recipe.  It removes a lot of the starch so that the potatoes aren't so "gummy" once baked.

Mushrooms contribute a fabulous earthy flavor to the dish.  The flavor of the mushrooms and minced garlic in this recipe combines with the cream to create a scrumptious sauce that permeates the potatoes oh, so delicately.

You'll, basically, be slicing the potatoes and soaking them in water first.  Then, after prepping the mushrooms and garlic, the cream will be gently heated (and infused with thyme and garlic).  Everything will get layered in a casserole dish and baked to golden-bliss perfection.

Serves 6.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Vegetable Posole Verde

 
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo ... Vegetable Posole Verde. 
 

I tried posole at an amazing Mexican restaurant while living in Nashville, Tennessee years ago.  I've always wanted to make it at home, but had never attempted it until this week.  Posole (or pozole) is a soup or stew (originating in Mexico) traditionally made with hominy as a main ingredient.  It is often made using pork, but I decided to try it without any meat after watching Rachael Ray make this soup on her show recently without meat.  The base of the soup is a combination of roasted poblano peppers, tomatillos and chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used to make this a vegetarian soup).  The addition of roasted corn, hominy, onions, garlic and spices results in a flavorful, yet delicate soup that is best topped with avocado, cilantro, sliced radishes and a good squeeze of lime.

This is an incredibly healthy and good-for-you soup.  It is light, yet abundant in flavor. 

I had never worked with tomatillos before working on this recipe.  Don't be afraid of them.  They can be found in most supermarkets these days in the produce section.  (Tomatillos are what salsa verde is made with.)  They look like green tomatoes covered in a papery skin.  Just remove the papery skin and halve the tomatillos for this recipe.  They are easy to work with and are a must for this soup!


Also, don't be intimidated by the various steps in this recipe.  They are all simple and easy.  You'll, basically, be roasting the veggies first, blending them up and combining everything in one pot at the end.

And, because you're not using any meat in this soup, it is quite economical.

Yields 4 - 6 servings.