Tag Archives: dinner ideas

Pork Chops with Romesco Sauce

We had pork chops on our menu the other night and I wanted to do something new to me and more exciting than my ole standby, shake n bake (which is still awesome). We had the ingredients for Romesco sauce, which I saw some other bloggers make here and here. I encouraged Greg to make it for us and he did. We enjoyed it a lot. So much so we made salad dressing with the leftover sauce, adding some plain yogurt and a little water the very next night. This was also very delicious!

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Zinfandel Pot Roast w/Glazed Carrots & Fresh Sage

For the holidays and our first anniversary present my dad gave us a Staub cocotte. My dad is an avid at home chef as well and he did the research for himself and went with a Staub over Le Creuset and thus gifted us with one as well.

It’s a nice big one too!

He also gave us two cookbooks: All About Braising by Molly Stevens and Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.  So, needless to say this pot has become quite the superstar in our house lately!

The first recipe I made was courtesy of the Molly Steven’s book: Zinfandel Pot Roast with Glazed Carrots & Fresh Sage. Not only was the recipe easy to follow but she also gives good advice on selecting the right cuts of meat, step by step instructions on how to tie it correctly, and even how to select good parsnips. I found the tips on meat selection to be especially helpful as I was sifting through the meat choices at the supermarket. She suggested some cuts and stressed the importance of not selecting others. It gets really confusing to me so that was really nice.

As she suggested, I went with boneless beef chuck. The cuts at the store were on the smaller side so I bought two of them.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

We sometimes get requests from our loyal readers for certain recipes and one we recently received was for chicken tortilla soup. This worked out perfectly because I happen to be a huge fan of tortilla soup  and I have never made it before. So, I happily took on this challenge and made it on a very cold Sunday afternoon.

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Broccoli Cheese Soup with Chicken

Depending on how long you’ve been following us this may look familiar. I posted this recipe almost a year ago in one of our first posts ever. Since our style has changed a bit since then and I never even showed a picture of it in the bowl, I figured I’d go ahead and share this with you again, or for the first time.

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Crock Pot White Chicken Chili

On Halloween night we changed up our usual chili recipes and made a white chicken chili. It was a nice change and the recipe could not be easier.  I don’t have any pictures of the process because there really wasn’t one. All of the ingredients went into the crock pot and the rest took care of itself!

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Seared Scallops in Panang Curry Sauce

I always love to order panang curry when I go to Thai restaurants. It has a slightly bolder flavor than the red, green or yellow curry dishes and is so tasty when paired with coconut milk. I once stumbled across a recipe for it online and I realized that just like making red or green curry it all begins with the paste.

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Crispy Baked Haddock

Greg brought home some haddock, a flakey white fish, from Wholey’s and I took on the task of making it. In the past whenever I had fish at home I would call my sister for a recipe. She eventually grew tired of this routine and gave me a cookbook: America’s Favorite Fish Recipes from The Freshwater Angler. I finally opened it up and found a recipe for Crispy Baked Salmon, which I thought sounded (and looked) really tasty.

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Filet Mignon Party!

 

Filet and some good friends

 

We had an absolute feast with some friends featuring grilled filet mignon with sauteed mushrooms and onions, spicy red pepper mac n cheese, rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach.  The Strip District struck again!  I had wanted to get a log of filet for quite some time because the price goes down as you buy a bigger cut, so we called on some friends to help us out.

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Deep Dish Lasagna

I love lasagna but I have found that making it in a traditional rectangular lasagna pan limits the amount of layers and fillings I can add. So I decided to try something different this time around and made my lasagna in a dutch oven. For those who do not have a dutch oven you could also use the ceramic pot of your crock pot as the vessel for this classic dish.

I started off by making my fillings for the lasagna. First I sauteed some onions and mushrooms and set those aside.

Another filler I typically add is sausage. For this dish I used hot Italian Sausage.

I just cook it up and try to break it down into small bite size pieces. Once it’s cooked through I drain it and set it aside as well.

The next filler is one of the most important- the ricotta cheese. To the ricotta I add an egg, freshly minced garlic, and my dried spices- typically salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper.

Once all the fillers are set it’s time to assemble everything. I cooked the pasta as the directions on the box specified (I used Dreamfields low carb pasta) and gathered tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella as well.

Then it’s really up to you how you want to layer everything. I always start of with a layer of sauce and then noodles.

Here you get a sense of the depth of this pot.

I trimmed my pasta so it would fit in here. Obviously with the round dish it’s a bit more challenging, but it worked out just fine.

I sort of freestyle the rest of the layers- ricotta, sauce, pasta. Sausage, sauce, pasta. Mushrooms and onions, sauce, pasta… you get the idea. Go until you reach the top or you run out of ingredients! I topped it all with some shredded mozzarella.

The next step is to bake it. What I also loved about using the dutch oven was that I could cover it using the lid. In the past when I used the lasagna pan I would cover it with tin foil and since I would fill the pan to the top the cheese would always melt and stick to the tin foil. When I would take the foil off, half of the cheese would come off too. By using the lid here I was able to avoid that mess.

I baked it for about 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees and took the lid off for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Once the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted it’s done. Its tough to do this, but if you can let it rest for a good 15 minutes before you cut it. Easier said than done though! 

It came out great. You can see all the layers below.

It takes a while to prep this dish but as you can probably guess you will have leftovers for days. Leftover Italian dishes always taste better than the first night too! I hope you like this one.

– Eileen

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

This is an interpretation of burgers and wings and most importantly, buffalo and blue cheese flavors!  This was inspired by our friend Matt that brought buffalo chicken burgers to a cookout a while back.  He got the idea from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I took the basic idea and added some flavors that we have enjoyed with this combo.

Start with ground chicken.

These are made in the same fashion as regular burgers but with a few different ingredients.

Garlic Parmesan buffalo sauce was a key ingredient that was mixed into the burgers and I also reserved some as a topping sauce.

Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Get those hands dirty and mix up the meat and form the patties.

Patti Mayonnaise

I prepped the rosemary potatoes and threw them on the top shelf of the grill for about a half an hour before starting the burgers.  It was just foil wrapped redskin potatoes with rosemary, garlic, onion, banana peppers, salt, and pepper, and oil.

Be sure to wrap it well in 2-3 layers of foil.

Ready for battle

About 45 minutes on the grill

Grill the burgers up as you normally would.  Be sure that the grill is well oiled as the chicken has more of a tendency to stick and come apart a bit.

A key component of any buffalo dish is the blue cheese.  Nothing beats a good garlicky homemade blue cheese dressing!

So simple and so great!

Great as a dip, dressing, topping

The final product minus the sauces

Recipe for Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Recipe for Garlic Parmesan Buffalo Sauce

Recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing

Greg