Seafood Casserole

When you check your freezer and find a small package of shrimp and another one of scallops which still look perfect thanks to our FoodSaver, what else to do but a seafood casserole!

Seafood Casserole

  • 6 oz uncooked spaghetti, broken
  • 1/2 lb fresh scallops, cut in half or quarters if large
  • ½ lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined. Smaller ones are best.
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • 4 Tbs flour, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half cream
  • 4 Tbs white wine or sherry
  • ½ cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 8 Tbs parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions

Cook spaghetti per directions on package. Drain and rinse with hot water.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart casserole dish, or 4 individual 2 cup ramekins.

Thoroughly rinse scallops and shrimp in cold water, drain, and cut scallops to desired size. I like a bite sized piece.

Melt 3 tbs of butter in a sauté pan.

Add seafood and mushrooms and sauté over medium high heat.

Cook 6-8 minutes, or until scallops are opaque.

Remove from pan and set aside.

 In same pan, melt remaining butter. Add flour, salt and pepper and blend well.

Add half and half all at once.

Cook until mixture thickens. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir constantly with a whisk.

Add 4 T of parmesan cheese.

 Add scallops and mushrooms back to the pan.

Add wine and peas. Continue stirring until heated through.

Place spaghetti into saucepan with seafood mixture, and stir it all together until well mixed.

Place it all in the buttered casserole.

 Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until light brown and bubbly around the edges.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pot Pie

If you are fortunate to live somewhere where spaghetti squash is available, you probably know that it is a very versatile squash and a great replacement for pasta! Cut it in half horizontally, remove the seeds, spray some olive oil over it and bake cut side down in a pyrex dish in the oven for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. When it is done, remove it from the oven and turn cut side up. Let it cool a bit and then take a dinner fork and begin to shred it into strands.

While the shreds are resting, prepare the “pot pie” ingredients.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pot Pie

  • 5 cups cooked spaghetti squash, *see note below
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (or turkey)
  • 2 cups frozen peas and carrots (I used a can of Niblets)
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms, sliced OPTIONAL
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 Panko breadcrumbs

1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2 Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.

3 Add the onions, stirring into the butter and cook until the onions have completely softened, about 10 minutes.

4 Stir in the garlic and cook one minute longer.

5 Add the Niblets, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and rosemary then cook about 5 minutes.

6 Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for a minute while stirring, then slowly pour in the milk.

7 Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the bottom of the skillet and stir the milk into the vegetables. Let the filling come up to a simmer and then let thicken for 3-4 minutes.

8 Stir in the chicken and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, then remove the skillet form the heat. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.

9 Pour the filling into a large bowl along with the cooked spaghetti squash. Stir gently to combine the filling, then pour into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that’s been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray.

10 Top the casserole with the remaining parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs then bake for 30 minutes.

11 To brown the topping even more, place the casserole under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.

Corned Beef Hash

Whenever I travel back to Ontario , I usually have breakfast in Waterloo where I can have corned beef hash with two poached eggs. The best place for this is Sunset Grill (a chain with several locations in Ontario). I am never disappointed! Here in Mexico, corned beef is rarely, if ever, found. Never have I found corned beef hash on a breakfast menu! Recently, I have found corned beef in Costco, which sent me on a mission to find a recipe for the hash. It really turned out better than my expectations. Hopefully you will try this recipe if you are also a fan? While the hash is cooking, prepare two poached eggs.

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 cup potato cooked, chopped. If raw, microwave potatoes 3 minutes on high
  • 1 cup corn beef cooked, chopped
  • 0.5 small onion chopped or grated
  • 0.5 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 0.25 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.13 tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

1. Heat a skillet to medium and add butter

2. When the butter has melted, add chopped onion and saute until translucent.

3. While the onions are sauteing, mix corned beef, potatoes, and spices together in a bowl.

4. When the onions are translucent, add contents of the bowl to the skillet and increase to medium-high heat.

5. Stir to combine fully and cook for about 5 minutes until the hash starts to brown.

6. Using a spatula, pat mixture down firmly and cook for 7-10 minutes until it starts to form a crispy crust.

7. Flip the hash by either cutting into sections and turning each or place a plate upon the hash and holding the plate firmly, flip the pan onto the plate then slide the whole hash back into the pan.

8. Cook the other side for 7-10 minutes until hash has a crispy crust.

9. Remove from the heat to a serving platter. Top with the two eggs.

10. Serve hot, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Macaroni and Cheese

No luncheon meats in the house and the cleaning lady is here today. What to give her for lunch? Penne. Large bag of Kirkland cheese blend. Whipping cream. Onion powder. Parmesan. Panko. Milk. Macaroni and cheese!!!

If you do not have gruyere experiment with another shredded cheese…

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces pasta, I had penne
  • 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted or olive oil or canola oil
  • ½ cup parmesan grated
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 cups gruyere shredded O or whatever shredded cheese you have on hand
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9×12 casserole dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Prepare noodles al dente. Drain, drizzle with oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine panko, butter or oil and parmesan. Set aside.

4. Melt butter in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.

5. Whisk in flour. Whisk continuously until golden, about 1 minute.

6. Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream until smooth. Whisk about 5 minutes.

7. Add onion powder, paprika and pepper.

8. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk in cheeses until smooth.

9. Fold in pasta. Stir until well combined. Transfer to casserole dish or bake in Dutch oven.

10. Spread panko mixture evenly over the top.

11. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Broccoli with Mushrooms

My apologies for not posting last week, as I was undergoing surgery and was convalescing at home as per doctor’s orders. It fell to my spouse to be the chief cook and bottle washer, among providing nursing care! I am back on my feet and back in the kitchen once again!

This weeks recipe is fairly simple, just broccoli and mushrooms as a side dish for some wonderful sausage with spinach and feta (COSTCO). A simple dish to prepare… If I were to make this again, I would add some chopped cooked bacon!

Brussel Sprouts and Mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 500 grams cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed, and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard

4 large eggs, optional*

1. Add the olive oil, butter, mushrooms, onions, salt, and ground black pepper to a heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet. Over medium heat, cook the mushrooms and onions until the mushrooms have browned -about 15 minutes.

2. Next, add the dried thyme, garlic, sprouts, and mustard. Stir to combine with the mushrooms. Allow the sprouts to sear and caramelize – about 15 minutes.

3. *While the sprouts are cooking, you can fry the eggs, sunnyside-up, if you are adding a fried egg to the top of your serving. Otherwise, skip this step.

Christmas Cookies II Plus

It’s not too late to do some Christmas baking! If you look back over the blog you can find Christmas cookie recipes in December 2012 and December 2016 – Cranberry Orange Almond Shortbread, Raspberry Lemon Cookies, Brandied Fruit and Nut cookies and a wonderful Limoncello Tiramisu (2016) (okay they aren’t cookies, eh?) And then there are Cranberry Pistachio Salted Caramel Bars (2012). No holiday meal is complete without at least ONE of these!

For those looking for something more savory and less sweet, you will like this recipe –

Cheddar Jalapeno Shortbread

 Prep Time 10 minutes      Cook Time 12 minutes    Total Time 22 minutes     Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter                                                   
  • 1/2 cup sugar                                                
  • 2 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese                 
  • 1/2 cup jalapeno, seeded and minced  

Instructions

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.

Slowly beat in the flour until it is fully combined and is an even consistency.

Mix in the cheddar cheese and minced jalapeno pepper.

Divide the cookie dough in thirds. Roll each portion into an 8 inch log. Chill the logs in the fridge for 2 hours.

Preheat oven for 350F.

Cut each log into 1/2-inch cookie slices. You should get about 16 slices per log. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

GREAT with a slice of extra old cheese! Some caramelized onion chutney?

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

If it seems like I am on a zoodles kick these days, it is because I really do love pasta BUT those carbs are my downfall. Okay, we have been doing the KETO diet again since October with great success! That means very limited carbohydrates. Hence, this KETO recipe. OK, you could make this with real pasta!

The recipe calls for making your own meatballs, but it is so much easier to buy them when you come across a brand you like in the grocery store!!! So skip making them and buy a package ready to bake or fry. Don’t be afraid, those are cherry tomatoes in with the zoodles, NOT egg yolks…LOL

Garlic Butter Zoodles and Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground chicken, turkey beef or JUST BUY THEM!!
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 lb. zoodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl mix together ground chicken, 2 garlic cloves, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper then form into tablespoon sized meatballs.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook meatballs until golden on all sides and cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
  • Melt butter in skillet then add remaining 3 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add zoodles to skillet and toss in garlic butter then squeeze in lemon juice. Add meatballs back and heat just until warmed through.
  • Garnish with more Parmesan to serve.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara and Spaghetti Squash

Since we now find spaghetti squash very often in our grocery stores, I decided to give this recipe a try. I also happened to always have the Norwegian smoked salmon (Costco) . They went together very well indeed! It actually tasted better than my photo shows.

Smoked Salmon Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash, shredded (save the other half for another dinner OR freeze it)
  • 3.5 g smoked salmon cut into ½ inch strips
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives

Instructions:

*See instructions below if you are unsure how to bake a spaghetti squash!

While the squash is baking, whisk together the egg, egg yolks and pepper.

Put the cooked, shredded squash into a pan on the stove on LOW heat.

Place the butter along with 1 tablespoon of warm water into the pot with the shredded squash and stir to coat.

Add the egg mixture to the pot and stir vigorously. The goal here is to cook the egg sauce onto the pasta without scrambling it.

The sauce is cooked by the residual heat from the pot bottom. If the sauce is not thickening after 5 minutes of stirring, the pot should be heated again. Place the pot back on to a heated burner (lowest heat) and continue to stir the pot so the egg does not scramble.

When the sauce begins to thicken, add the parmesan cheese and continue to cook until the sauce is heated through and thickened.

Add the salmon strips to the spaghetti squash and stir to combine.

Serve garnished with chopped chives

*How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Instructions

1. Using a paring knife, cut around the middle of the squash making very small cuts with a paring knife. Continue cutting around the middle until you reach your original cut. Go back over the cutting line with your paring knife making your cuts a little deeper. Go all the way around again. The squash should come apart. Scoop out seeds.

BAKING IN OVEN FOR ONE OR MORE SPAGHETTI SQUASH

1. Spritz the cut side of the spaghetti squash with avocado, olive, or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down in baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 60-75 minutes until fork tender.

3. Allow the squash to cool before removing the strands of spaghetti with a fork.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic Butter Baby Potatoes

Just came across this recipe in my DropBox and seemingly it was never shared here. In actuality, it is pretty straight forward, including the potatoes.

Fortunately I was able to buy local lamb, rather than the usual New Zealand. Enjoy!

Grilled Lamb Chops

(Serves 4-6)

  • 8 lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • lemon wedges
  • dried Greek oregano

1. In a shallow glass baking dish, add all the marinade ingredients (olive oil, garlic, mustard, parsley, thyme, lemon juice and black pepper) and stir to blend. Pour off and reserve about 1/3 of the marinade (for finishing the lamb chops). Add the lamb chops and ensure all of the meat is coated with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours.

2. Return your lamb chops back to room temperature before grilling and pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to a high heat (you want the meat to sizzle when it hits the heat). Ensure your grill surface is clean by brushing it and wipe it with vegetable oil. Season your lamb chops with salt and pepper.

3. Grill your lamb chops for 3 minutes a side (medium/pink inside) and brush on the reserved marinade on by sides when cooked.

4. Squeeze some lemon juice over the chops, sprinkle some fleur de sel and finish with some dried Greek oregano.

Easy Garlic Butter Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder or fresh garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 pinches Maldon Sea salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 24 oz. baby potatoes
  • fresh parsley optional, to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut creamer potatoes into halves and add them to a bowl.

Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 4 Tbsp. melted butter, 2 pinches Maldon sea salt, and 2 pinches black pepper on the potatoes.

Mix potatoes with seasoning until fully coated.

Add seasoned creamer potatoes to an oven-ready cast iron skillet. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired.

Roast for approximately 1 hour for crispy potatoes. Enjoy!

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

You might recall a previous post for Egg Roll in a Bowl? It was a pretty simple recipe for a one pot meal. Just recently I found on Pinterest this recipe for one of my favourite sandwiches in a bowl and without the bread! Since I already had the coleslaw and corned beef (Costco) this was a snap… Go easy with the Russian dressing as it can be overpowering…

This will easily serve two people with one pound of corned beef.

Reuben Sandwich in a Bowl

Ingredients:

  • One bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1 pound of corned beef cut into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter
  • Swiss cheese
  • Scallions

Russian Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sugar free ketchup
  • 4 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Directions:

Melt butter in skillet.

Add corned beef and sauté covered for 5 minutes.

Now, add coleslaw, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir coleslaw and corned beef and top with cheese. You can cover skillet and allow the cheese to melt or put in the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly.

Drizzle with dressing and top with scallions.