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Best Chicken Marinade Ever!

Well maybe an overstatement, as I am still looking for the BEST one…LOL. In the interim I tried this one and was quite happy with it overall. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated as I approach 14000 views on this blog!! Thanks to all of you have stopped by… here is the result with chicken thighs…

IMG_20170628_193058

 

Best Chicken Marinade Ever

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken breasts or 3.5 lb. chicken
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar ( I cut this back to 1/4 cup so not so sweet)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil, extra virgin

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cupor mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
  3. Place chicken in a large, Ziploc bagand pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
  4. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

To grill

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
  3. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
  5. Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving

 

 

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Croque Monsieur

We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.

Croque Monsieur

 Croque-Monsieur

A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dijon mustard for spreading

  • 4 slices ham

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)

  • OPTIONAL – 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.

  3. Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.

  4. Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.

I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.

Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/


Boston Baked Beans

My sister-in-law made great baked beans! This recipe is very similar to hers but she skipped cooking the beans and used canned beans to cut the cooking time. So do I.

Boston  Baked Beans

Ingredients

2 large cans baked beans
1 cup bacon chopped
1large onion chopped
1stalk celery chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Mix all Ingredients in a large casserole dish. Microwave 30 minutes on medium until bacon and celery are cooked.

Alternately bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Best if cooled and refrigerated and then reheated just before dinner.

Strawberry & Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

A truly summer salad! If you are not into making your own dressings, buy a similar raspberry balsamic one at the store. This salad both looks and tastes great!!

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad in Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

ingredients
• 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
• 2 cups strawberries, sliced
• 1 avocado, diced
• 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
• 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup raspberry white balsamic vinaigrette (* see below)
directions
1. Assemble salad, toss in dressing and enjoy!

Option: Goat cheese or feta also work well in place of the blue cheese.
Option: I like to throw in some fresh peas when available in spring.

  • Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Servings: 1cup

ingredients
• 1/2 cup raspberries fresh (or thawed frozen)
• 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Mash the raspberries and mix everything. 2. Pour over your favourite summer salad…

Classic Meatloaf and Sauce

I know..comfort food in the spring??? This one is for our friends in Newfoundland where it is still snowing in May…ugh…

Classic Meatloaf & Sauce (modified from Food Network)

Ingredients

1/2 lb.each lean ground beef and pork
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, tomato paste, onions, green pepper, oats, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Slather the glaze on top of the meat loaf and bake until the meat loaf is firm and cooked all the way through, about 1 hour. Serve hot.

From my childhood days I remember how great meatloaf is cold too!
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/aunt-peggys-meat-loaf-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Turkey Divan

With US Thanksgiving fast approaching, as well as Christmas (44 days), thoughts turn to turkey. I have previously posted a great recipe for preparing turkey which originated with Emerill Lagasse — check out Funky Brined Turkey elsewhere on the blog. Its awesome and I have used it for many years. AFTER US Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be some leftover turkey. You could make pot pies, but who wants to fiddle with a crust? Turkey Divan is the perfect answer for leftovers!! The following recipe was adapted from Anna Olsen, Food Network Canada.

FYI, if you don’t have leftover turkey, just head down to the deli and get a precooked roasted turkey breast and either bring it home to slice or have the butcher cut thick pieces. Don’t use turkey lunch-meat!!! You could also substitute chicken… enuf said…hope you enjoy this one.

Turkey Divan by Anna Olsen Food Network Canada
Ingredients (my changes in red as always)

3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets (and peeled stem pieces)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh savory (I could not find any here)
1 tsp each thyme and oregano
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup dry white wine
2 cup Jarlsberg cheese or Manchego if in Mexico
salt & pepper
1 lb. cooked turkey breast meat (not luncheon meat), sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Directions
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water (or steam) until just tender, then shock in ice water to halt cooking. Drain broccoli and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. In a large sauté pan with sides melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 minutes more. Sift flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until a faintly nutty aroma is emitted, but flour does not brown.
5. Stir in mustard, savory and zest. Stir in chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this will prevent lumps). Bring liquid up to a simmer, then stir in cream.
6. Return to a simmer and stir in wine. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg or Manchego cheese until melted. Season to taste.
7. Stir in broccoli and turkey, adjust seasoning if necessary, stir in parsley and pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.

This can be prepared to here and refrigerated until before dinner when you can apply the topping before baking. I usually put the refrigerated dish on the counter to warm it up a little before baking.
8. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling along the sides.
9. Serve over cooked rice or buttered noodles.
10. Alternatively, the half-and-half cream can be replaced by ½ cup mascarpone cheese, for a more decadent version.

Serve it with a great Jasmine rice!

 

Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

The only recipe I ever knew placed the pork chops on top and they always were too well cooked! This method probably originated when there were all the concerns about pork not being well cooked. Fortunately, I came across three different recipes that changed this arrangement. These turned out very well and the liquid went all the way through to keep the chops moist.

2 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 Tablespoons flour

14 oz. chicken broth

6 pork chops not too thin

6 cups thinly sliced potatoes (choose skins on or off)

1/2 cup sliced onions or more

dash paprika

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons thyme

1/2 cup sour cream

PREPARATION

Set the oven to 350 degrees

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter, adding salt and pepper, flour, Dijon mustard and thyme. Pour in the broth, cook and stir until it boils. Remove from heat and add the sour cream.

Brown chops in 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Grease cooking dish with butter.

Layer the chops in the bottom of the dish. Layer the potatoes and onions over the chops evenly.

Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to bake 1/2 hour more until starting to golden.

 

Angela’s Artichoke Dip

Angela’s Artichoke Dip

Scouring through my previously published recipes I noticed that I had never posted this recipe! Angela was a great friend of our family and especially my oldest daughter. She was a lot of fun to be around and certainly enjoyed her wine. Unfortunately she passed away a few years back way too soon! Her memory lives on in this recipe.

Combine the following –

8 oz. cream cheese softened

1 cup of mayonnaise

1 package of Knorr vegetable soup mix

Blend in the following –

1 package fresh spinach chopped

1 – 19 oz. jar drained marinated artichoke hearts chopped

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread mixture into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini

Always great to have dinner with longtime friends. Made even better by this great tasting dish! Know you will enjoy it. Test out some of the optional ingredients at the end…

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini a la Chuck

This recipe is great for pasta and shrimp. I think I might even try the sauce over cooked chicken, served with rice!

500 grams linguini pasta

2 T olive oil

1 large onion chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

Sauce:

1 can artichoke hearts

½ cup white wine

4 T lemon juice

4 tsp. lemon zest

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup chicken stock

Corn starch

4 T fresh chopped parsley

 

Optionals: 1 T capers and/or ¼ cup diced red peppers and/or 1 T Dijon mustard and/or crushed red pepper flakes

 

1.       Cook pasta in boiling water.

2.       Sauté onion and garlic (and red pepper) in oil for about 5 minutes while pasta is cooking. Remove to a bowl.

3.       Add shrimp to drippings and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and cooked onion and garlic. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover for 4 minutes.

4.       Thicken with cornstarch.

5.       Toss with pasta and parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Caesar Salad

Everyone generally loves a great Caesar salad. Did you know it was invented by a chef in Tijuana, Mexico? If you don’t believe me, check out this Wikipedia article, where you will find the original recipe of Caesar Cardini – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_salad

Personally, it is hard to believe this since most Caesar salads in Mexico do not even come close to Caesar’s…except my former sister-in-law’s which I use always. Try it for the long weekend!

Caesar Salad

1 inch of anchovy paste (I know it isn’t part of the original recipe)

Crushed garlic (you be the judge)

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon wine vinegar

1 egg yolk coddled (if your eggs are pasteurized I just use a yolk and do not coddle it)

3/4 cup Crisco oil (NOT extra virgen olive oil)

Mix all of the first 6 ingredients together with a whisk. Slowly add in the oil, whisking away as you go. Chill.

My Caesar salad includes:  romaine lettuce leaves minus the ribs, fresh croutons, green onions, fresh bits of bacon and fresh mushrooms and, of course, LOTS of Parmesan cheese!!!!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!!!