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Lobster Thermidor

Just before I get to the recipe, I want to say thank you to the 6000 visitors as of today, who have checked out this blog. You give me inspiration to keep going just when I think I should move on to something else!!

The following recipe was posted by Rachel Ray who has her own cooking show.  I almost hate to say that I was clearing out the freezer and found small lobster tails asking to be used for dinner…LOL. I know, its a little rich, but consider it for a special dinner, make that ROMANTIC dinner…hope you will have an opportunity to try it.

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Lobster Thermidor (Rachel Ray)

Ingredients

4 (6 to 8-ounce) packaged lobster tails,  jumbo shrimp or prawns can be substituted

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Splash dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup milk, eyeball it
  • 1/3 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or crab boil seasoning, recommended: Old Bay
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Handful parsley leaves mixed with 2 cups baby greens, for plate garnish

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, 3 or 4 inches deep. Add lobster tails to the water and boil 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and shock under cold water to cool. Use kitchen scissors to cut away soft underside of tails. Remove meat and save the shells*, arranging them in a shallow casserole dish. Chop the cooked meat on an angle into chunks.

Preheat your broiler to high.

Heat a medium skillet and a small saucepot over medium heat. To the small saucepot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add finely chopped onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes until very soft. To the skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter melts, add chopped lobster meat and sauté.

Add flour to sauce pot with onions and cook together another 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in wine or sherry, then milk. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheddar cheese and paprika or crab boil. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over lobster meat and stir to combine. Pour lobster into and over the shells* in a casserole dish and top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Broil on high until golden, 2 or 3 minutes. Serve each tail, spilling over with lobster bits in sauce, on a bed of mixed baby greens and parsley with wedges of lemon along side.

  • I did not use the shells…so much for my presentation…
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Broccoli Chicken Divan

Once upon a time I had a similar recipe, bit it must have flown the coup with the chicken…LOL. Pinterest to the rescue again! I think you will enjoy it in its simplicity. I served this with some fresh asparagus which I cooked in the same water as the broccoli, I just kept it simmering after I removed the broccoli.

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Broccoli Chicken Divan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat ( I used leftover supermarket roasted chicken!!!)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup ( substituted Cream of Mushroom)
  • 1/3 cup milk ( I used evaporated milk for more creaminess)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place the broccoli in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  3. Place the cooked broccoli in a 9 inch greased pie plate. Top with the chicken. In a bowl, mix the soup and milk, and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly brown.

 

 

Not So Secret Family Meatloaf

So I was in the need for some comfort food! Ground meat was in the freezer and I wanted something simple, something my granddaughters could make for their families. Pinterest to the rescue as always. Erica’s recipe was perfect except for one slight change I made since spouse doesn’t like sauces too sweet.  Let me know how you like this one…

Not-So-Secret Family Meatloaf      Author: Erica DeSpain

Prep time:  15 mins  Cook time:  1 hour 10 mins

Total time:  1 hour 25 mins Serves: approx. 6 servings

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATLOAF:
  • 1.25 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (we usually do ground turkey and never taste the difference!)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (cut back the sugar unless you like it very sweet)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients well and then shape in meatloaf pan.
  3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatloaf.
  4. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes if using ground BEEF and 65 minutes if using ground TURKEY.
  5. Enjoy immensely!

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan is a chicken casserole usually served with broccoli, almonds, and Mornay sauce. It was named after the place of its invention, the Divan Parisiennne Restaurant in the New York Chatham Hotel where it was served as the signature dish in the early twentieth century. Its creator, a chef named Lagasi, created it as part of a contest, winning a small amount of money and creating their signature dish. Source – Wikipedia

I actually really like chicken or turkey divan and it is pretty straightforward to prepare. If I don’t want to cook my own chicken or turkey I sometimes buy a roast chicken or turkey breast at the deli counter and chunk it up for this recipe since it starts with cooked chicken.

Chicken Divan Prep time 45 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins

Ingredients • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or head to the Deli)

• 2 to 3 heads broccoli (while at the deli grab some florets too)

• 2 cans cream of chicken soup (any cream soup will do except cheddar)

• 1½ cup mayonnaise

• ⅓ cup sour cream

• ⅓ cup chicken broth

• 2 teaspoons lemon juice

• ¼ teaspoon curry (or up to 2 teaspoons, to taste)

• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

• bread crumbs, or Ritz crackers, crumbled

• cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

Cut broccoli into florets and steam until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. place broccoli in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. in a large bowl, combine cream of chicken soup, mayo, sour cream, chicken broth, lemon juice, curry, cheese and shredded chicken. pour chicken mixture over broccoli and top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers. bake at 400 for 30 minutes. serve over rice.

Homemade Shake and Bake

Ah yes, another pork chop recipe! You can’t blame me because pork is one of the best things in Mexico. I don’t buy the chops, I buy the loin and slice it to my desired thickness and then freeze what I am not going to use. Since I did not want to use the Smothered Pork Chop recipe, I decided I wanted to bake them for a change. Having no Shake and Bake, although it is available here, I searched the ‘Net for a homemade version, et voila! This recipe was very good and the Shake and Bake can be kept in a sealed jar for 1 to 2 months…good also with chicken…

Homemade Shake and Bake

3 cups bread crumbs – I used the Japanese Panko

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. dried onion flakes

3 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne I omitted this

1/2 tsp. dry parsley

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dry oregano

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until evenly mixed and the crumbs are no longer clumpy from the oil.

Dump into a Mason jar or plastic container in the pantry for 1 to 2 months.

For Pork Chops – Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dump some of the Shake and Bake in a large Ziploc bag. Rinse the chops in cold water. Let excess water run off. Place pork chops one at a time in the bag and shake until coated. Remove the chop from the bag, shaking off excess breading. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Do the other chops. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember, pink is good in pork these days!

For Bone-in Chicken – As above, bake for 45 minutes.

Boneless Chicken – bake 20 minutes.

Recipe from The Black Peppercorn  www.theblackpeppercorn.com

Hasty Christmas Pudding (LCBO Food and Drink)

I know it is too late for Christmas 2013, but while the taste is still fresh in my mind I wanted to share this with you all. I looked up the origin of ‘hasty pudding’ and the original dates back to 1599!  Some may recall The Hasty Pudding Club at Harvard University…

In 1795, a society called the Hasty Pudding club was organized by twenty-one Harvard College students. The club’s purpose was to encourage “friendship and patriotism.” Its constitution stipulated that every Saturday, two “providers” were to carry a pot of hasty pudding to the meeting. For the majority of the 19th century, prospective members were forced to ingest large quantities of hasty pudding. According to Harvard University historians, the club was founded by students who sought relief from the food the college provided by cooking their own hasty puddings in fireplace pots. With this ritual, the Hasty Pudding Club found it namesake. Today it is the nations oldest theater company, which annually puts on a spectacular spring production starring men in drag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_Pudding_Theatricals

Trust me, I was as surprised as you were to learn about the men in drag…lol. Here is the recipe. Happy New Year!

HASTY CHRISTMAS PUDDING LCBO – Serves 8 to 12


1 cup (250 mL) raisins
1 cup (250 mL) sultanas
1/2 cup (125 mL) currants (can be omitted)
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) candied orange
or mixed peel
1 cup (250 mL) ground hazelnuts
6 tart apples, peeled and chopped
11/4 cups (300 mL) brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour
3 cups (750 mL) fresh bread crumbs
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
11/2 cups (375 mL) brandy
6 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (375 mL) butter, softened, cut up into small pieces

1 In a large bowl, combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, orange peel, hazelnuts, apples, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and flour. Toss well.

2 Stir in bread crumbs, rind, juice and 1/2 cup (125 mL) brandy. Combine everything well.

3 Cover and leave in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 4 days, stirring in 1/4 cup (50 mL) brandy each day.

4 On the fifth day, beat the eggs and stir into the fruit. Mix in butter.

5 Line a 10 cup (2.5L) heatproof bowl or individual heatproof moulds with greased foil. Pour in the pudding. Cover with more foil or tie a cloth over the bowl.

6 Place the bowl on a trivet in a large pot. Add water to the pot, but don’t allow the water to touch the bowl. Bring the water to a boil, cover and steam for 3 hours, making sure the water stays boiling. Check the water level occasionally and add more boiling water if necessary.

7 Remove the pudding from the steamer (reheat when needed by re-steaming for 1 hour).

8 Turn out onto a platter, top with Orange Hard Sauce (recipe follows) and garnish with red currants and orange rind, if desired.

Brandy Caramel Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp (18 mL) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) water
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) brandy or orange juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butterTop of FormBottom of Form

Preparation

Brandy Caramel Sauce: In small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch and salt ; whisk in water. Bring to boil, stirring, over medium heat and boil until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add brandy and butter; reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm to serve.)