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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.

 

 

Escargots in Garlic Butter, Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur

Okay, so the holidays have passed. Truth is I have never shared this recipe for some strange reason, but it is traditional for us on Christmas Eve. We never grow tired of it. Over the years we have refined it with the sambuca liqueur…LOL. Give it a try for Valentines Day with a great wine and crusty French bread.

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Snails in Garlic butter with Bleu Cheese and Sambuca Liqueur
Escargots au beurre de l’ail gratiné a l’anise y fromage bleu (FR)

(serves 4)   4 escargot dishes : 6 escargots in each

24  escargots

½ cup unsalted butter

4 large garlic cloves, more or less, finely chopped

1/3 cup bleu cheese, more or less

½ cup ground up Caesar salad croutons, plus garlic salt added to taste

1 to 2  Tbsp  black Sambuca or any anise liqueur

Salt to taste

Preparation  Preheat your oven to 475 F  (270 C)

1         Place butter in a microwavable ramekin, add the chopped garlic and some salt and melt slowly.  Let stand to develop flavor.

2         Place an escargot in each hole of the four escargot dishes.

3         Add some powder garlic to the crouton crumbs for more flavor.  Crumble in the bleu cheese. Stir with a fork to coat the cheese as much as possible.  Drizzle in the Sambuca and stir the mixture to more evenly distribute the flavours. Add more salt, too, if you wish.

4         Drizzle the garlic butter mixture evenly over all the escargots.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture over everything.

Bake in oven for approx. 10 minutes, or until crumb topping is browned.

 

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Having bought a huge bag of small potatoes from…you guessed it…Costco, I was stuck as to what to do with so many. Voila Pinterest. I followed the recipe by slicing those little gems using my trusty mandoline. I should have used regular potatoes as it would have been easier. Nevertheless, the flavour was great and doing them in muffin tins simplified serving. Great if you are serving a nice roast or fish.

Parmesan and Thyme Baked Potato Slices

Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hr. Total time 1 hr. and 15 mins

 Ingredients

  • Makes about 4-6 servings
  • 3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (25g) Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-10 gold potatoes (1.4 kg) sliced thin (about 1/16 inch -1.6 mm thick)

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190C). Butter 12 muffin cups and set aside. Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
Place potato slices into a large bowl. Add melted butter, Parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
Layer the potato slices into stacks and place in the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper. Heap up the potatoes as they will fall into the tins while baking.
Bake until the edges and tops are golden brown and the centers are tender, 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan and garnish with Parmesan cheese and thyme.

 

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Never tired of pumpkin…LOL. This is much better than a pumpkin pie! Oh so easy…

Pumpkin Crunch Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (reduce sugar to half cup brown and quarter cup white) as it does not need all of this)
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • whipped topping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease bottom of 9X13 pan.
  3. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt in bowl then pour it into your pan.
  4. Sprinkle your dry yellow cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture.
  5. Sprinkle chopped pecans and walnuts over the cake mix.
  6. Drizzle melted butter evenly over everything.
  7. Bake your pumpkin crunch cake for 55 minutes or until top is turning golden brown. Cool completely, cut and serve with whipped topping or French vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

Rhubarb Strawberry Custard Pie

After 12 years of searching we finally found rhubarb here in Yucatan!! In the last month we have bought up almost all of it, washed it, cut into chunks and frozen in 4 cup quantities for later use. The only problem is that we seem to be using it all up now…LOL. When there’s a glut…??? This pie is incredible, as is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ice Cream!!!

Let us know if you make it and what you thought…

Rhubarb / Strawberry Custard Pie (Makes one 9 inch pie)

* Pinterest recipe adapted from the English Kitchen (Marie) whose recipe I found too sweet for my taste and too juicy and I wanted cream in the recipe.

1 short crust pastry to fill a 9 inch diameter, deep style pie dish or just buy one at your supermarket!
4 cups of diced rhubarb / sliced strawberries
¼ cup of caster sugar (icing sugar)
3 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
½ cup golden syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 TBS butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F

Place the chopped rhubarb into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, flour and salt.
Mix in the egg, beating it in well, and then stir in the golden syrup, cream and the melted butter. Mix well.
Pour this evenly over top of the rhubarb and mix well to coat the fruit.
Transfer mixture into the prepared shell.
Bake in the heated 450F/230C oven, covered lightly with foil, for 15 minutes.
Decrease the oven heat to 180*C/350*F Remove foil and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the rhubarb is tender.
Remove from the oven to a wire rack and cool until the pie is firmed up, about 45 minutes, before serving.
Delicious!!

 

Persian Saffroned Lamb

This is a great recipe for lamb lovers! If you are not into lamb then use beef… The sauce is incredible! I plated this dish with the saffroned rice over which I put the lamb and lots of sauce. For a complete meal, steam some great snow peas. Use any leftover sauce over some pasta for another meal the next day. So…what to serve for dessert? How about a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie ice cream??? Watch for this recipe NEXT WEEK….

Persian Saffron Lamb, Slow cooker Style

• 2 – 3 pound boneless leg of lamb, or an equal amount of lamb shanks cut in cubes.
• 1 onion
• 2 Tablespoons butter, ghee, or neutral cooking oil of choice
• 2-3 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice.
• 2 Tablespoons ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon coriander seed
• 2 Tablespoons saffron water (boil 1/4 cup water to the temperature you’d use to make tea. Add a pinch, approx. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads to the water. Save the remaining water to add to whatever rice you choose to cook. I prefer Jasmine rice.
• 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole (6 to 8 cloves)
• 2 15 oz. cans chopped Roma tomatoes
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove fat from lamb using a sharp knife.
2. Chop onion into half moons. In a large Dutch oven. cooking pot, or skillet, heat fat over a medium heat and add onion, stirring often.
3. Allow onion to cook about five minutes. As it cooks, salt and pepper the outside of the meat. Remove onion from the pan. Place meat in the pot and sear it for 2-3 minutes per side…enough to get a nice crust on it. Remove meat from the pan and place, carefully, on a heat-safe surface.
4. Place onion back in the pan and add all spices EXCEPT saffron. Stir often, and cook for about 30 seconds, or until you begin to catch the scent of the spices. Put onion into slow cooker immediately.
5. Add the whole garlic cloves.
6. To the slow cooker, add the lamb, canned tomatoes, saffron water, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper (you can always adjust salt and pepper later).
7. Cook on high setting for 30 minutes. Stir. Cook an additional 2.5 to 3 hours.. Once the meat is done, taste sauce, adjust seasoning accordingly, serve over saffroned rice, and enjoy!

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

Easter Sunday dinner with 16 friends. Menu of spiral ham (from Costco of course), scalloped potatoes and BBQ green beans. Salads courtesy of our guests along with desserts. Larry was chef for the day. To make life simpler, I put the ham out in its foil for about an hour to warm it up. After uncovering it, I sliced off a fair amount and put the slices in our slow cooker. I added one cup of Fresca  soft drink to keep the ham moist and set the timer on low for 1 and 1/2 hours. When the potatoes and beans were ready, so was the ham. A great way to serve ham for a buffet! And now for the potato recipe courtesy of Canadian Living Magazine with Larry’s modifications.

Classic Scalloped Potatoes (Canadian Living Magazine)
• Prep time 25 minutes Total time 2 hours Portion size 8
Ingredients
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
• 3 cloves garlic, minced or more
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
• 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
• 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) milk **
• 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 2 lb./900 g)
• 1 small onion, sliced
• Parmesan and old cheddar cheese shredded to taste
**or use ½ milk and ½ media crema if you are in Mexico!
Preparation
In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook garlic, stirring, for 1 minute. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk; cook, whisking constantly, until boiling and thickened, about 8 minutes.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Layer one-third in greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish or casserole dish; spread half of the onion over top. Spread some of the cheese over each layer. Repeat layers. Arrange remaining potatoes over top. Pour sauce over top, using back of knife to ease sauce between layers. Top with any remaining cheese.

Cover and bake in 350F (180C) oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake until lightly browned and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If necessary cover with foil to keep warm.

Broccoli Casserole from Scratch!

Must be the cold season down here as I realize I am posting another casserole. I have always enjoyed broccoli casserole but was never quite happy with the mushroom soup. Et voila? Pinterest to the rescue. Served this to company with a lite salad and baked potatoes. All agreed it was really good. Hope you will try it…Easter is coming and this would be great for a buffet.

Broccoli Casserole From Scratch
Serves: 8 servings

Made completely from scratch, this broccoli casserole is filled with fresh broccoli, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, and a homemade cream sauce. A buttery, cheesy breadcrumb topping adds a crispy finishing touch to this classic dish.
Ingredients
• 2 ½ lbs. broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
• 6 tbsp. butter, divided
• 1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
• ¼ cup flour
• 1 cup milk (whole or 2% preferred)
• ½ cup half-n-half (I omitted with no appreciable difference)
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• ½ cup Greek yogurt
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided ( I used old white cheddar)
• 1 ¼ cups whole-wheat breadcrumbs (homemade* or store-bought), divided
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain. Place broccoli in a large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the broccoli.
4. In the same saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and half-n-half. Bring to a low simmer and continue to whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt.
5. Pour sauce into the bowl with the broccoli and mushrooms. Add the onion, egg, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and ½ cup of the breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
6. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir into the remaining ¾ cup breadcrumbs. Stir in the remaining ½ cup cheddar. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping over the casserole.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, until filling is hot and bubbly. Check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if topping is browning too quickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Acknowledgments to Kristine’s Kitchen – kristineskitchenblog.com

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Okay, so I was going to end this blog once I reached 250 posts! We were heading off on a trip to Oaxaca and Puebla and I thought it was a good time to put this blog to rest. The trip was great and now I am invigorated to continue on. (If you are interested in the latest trip then follow this link – www.oaxaca2016.wordpress.com )

This is another Costco recipe – too many mushrooms again! Hope you will enjoy it. It would be great for a brunch!

Ingredients

4 -5 large boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 -inch thick strips
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour to coat the chicken
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

Ingredients for the Sauce:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour for the sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream)’OR plain yogurt
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in flour. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and sauté until golden. Work in batches if needed so you don’t crowd your pan. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through; it still needs to go in the oven. Transfer chicken to a 13×9 casserole baking dish.
2. 2. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel. Add 3 Tbsp oil along with sliced mushrooms and diced onions and sauté until soft and golden. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 min. Spread mixture over the chicken.
3. 3. In a medium saucepan (or in the same pan you’ve been using), melt 3 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 3 Tbsp flour until lightly golden (1-2 min).
4. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup half & half and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste
5. 5. Pour sauce over the chicken and mushrooms. Cover with foil and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes. Serve warm or hot over mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.

Check out more of Natasha’s blog, from where I found this recipe!

http://natashaskitchen.com/2011/04/17/chicken-and-mushroom-casserole/