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380 posts categorized " 03) Entrees & Main-Dish Casseroles"

05/17/2022

~Retro Casseroles: àla King, Divan, Tetrazzini & Tuna~

Now retro, chicken àla king, chicken divan, chicken tetrazzini and tuna-noodle casserole are four of my favorite vintage recipes. When one writes a cooking blog long enough, one learns that sharing vintage recipes is as important as sharing trending, innovative new ones. Experience has taught, "what's old is always new to someone", and cooks of all experience levels appreciate learning about it. Experience has also taught: "what's old has often been lost to someone", as many times, these retro classics, which evoke fond memories, have been lost (grandma never taught it, shared it, or worse, never wrote it down), or,...... View full recipe for "~Retro Casseroles: àla King, Divan, Tetrazzini & Tuna~"

05/14/2022

~ The Retro History of All-American Tuna Casserole ~

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic 1950's retro main-dish casserole dinner. Casseroles became popular post WWII, and experienced their heyday in American home kitchens during the 1950's and into the 1960s (because the ingredients were inexpensive and readily-available at any supermarket). The typical tuna casserole was made from a can of tuna, a can of vegetables, a package of egg noodles and a can of condensed cream-of-mushroom soup. For the most part, the ingredients were quickly stirred together, right in the casserole dish, and were topped with with a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs, corn flakes or canned onions, and sometimes...... View full recipe for "~ The Retro History of All-American Tuna Casserole ~"

05/11/2022

~ The Retro History of All-American Chicken à la King ~

You'd be surprised, perhaps not, how many folks think the same mixture that goes into pot pie, is the same mixture that gets used to make à la king. It is not. If the mixture it is similar to anything, it would be that contained in other all-American creations like chicken or turkey Divan, chicken or turkey Tetrazzini, and even tuna noodle casserole. Read on to find out the difference: À la king vs. pot pie -- À la king is not pot pie & vice versa. In its purest form, à la king is a refined, American restaurant dish...... View full recipe for "~ The Retro History of All-American Chicken à la King ~"

05/08/2022

~The Retro History of All-American Chicken Tetrazzini~

Experience has taught, "what's old is always new to someone", and cooks of all experience levels appreciate learning about it. Experience has also taught: "what's old has often been lost to someone", as many times, these retro classics, which evoke fond memories, have sadly, been lost (grandma never taught it, shared it, or worse, never wrote it down), or tossed (instead of being handed down from generation to generation). Tetrazzini, which is prepared in separate stages on the stovetop then finish-baked in the oven, is one such vintage recipe. Tetrazzini is named after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. A bit...... View full recipe for "~The Retro History of All-American Chicken Tetrazzini~"

05/05/2022

~The Retro History of Divine Divan Chicken Casserole~

When I moved into my first apartment in 1974, Chicken Divan was the second meal I cooked -- lasagna was my first. I didn't choose it randomly, it was a dish I loved to eat when I was growing up. It was on page 306 of my bright red Betty Crocker's Cookbook. "Betty" and the The Joy of Cooking were the only cookbooks I owned at the time and both served me, and continue to serve me, well. Both contained wonderful recipes for my Divine Divan -- Betty Crocker's recipe was a bit less complicated, but, it was scratch-made (no...... View full recipe for "~The Retro History of Divine Divan Chicken Casserole~"

05/02/2022

~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~

Kabbaba is the ancient Aramaic word meaning to char or to burn. Medieval Persian soldiers, who used their swords as instruments to grill food over open fires in the field of battle, are credited with inventing kabobs. It was only natural that this simple method of cooking food relatively fast on a "sikh" (a metal skewer), made its way into the kitchens of the royal houses, then onto the tables of the common folk and eventually into the streets, where vendors cooked and sold them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (where they untreaded them onto or inside some form of...... View full recipe for "~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~"

04/23/2022

~Hot Stuff -- Deep-Fried General Tso's Chicken Wings~

If you are a fan of Chinese-American cuisine and have a place in your heart for deep-fried chicken wings, welcome to this party. This is not so much a recipe as it is a semi-homemade way to show ya'll a new crowd-pleasing twist on Buffalo-style chicken wings. I'm not gonna lie. All I do "for real" is deep-fry the chicken wings. Past that I sauce them with my favorite store-bought General Tso's sauce then serve them over chicken-fried rice from my favorite Chinese restaurant. General Tso's chicken, a Chinese-American creation of the latter 1970s, traces its roots to Pang's restaurant...... View full recipe for "~Hot Stuff -- Deep-Fried General Tso's Chicken Wings~"

04/20/2022

~ My General Tso's Slow-Cooker Babyback Spareribs ~

General Tso's chicken, a Chinese-American creation of the latter 1970s, traces its roots to Pang's restaurant in New York City. This spicy dish has a great history, and I for one am grateful to its creator, a Taiwanese Hunan-cuisine chef, Peng Chang-Kuei. The dish also has a fun (but debunked) legend that claims the dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (1812-1885), a Qing Dynasty military leader and statesman, who lived with his wife in Xiangyin County the province of Hunan. The secret to any General Tso's dish really is in the sauce: The basic ingredients of General Tso's Chicken are...... View full recipe for "~ My General Tso's Slow-Cooker Babyback Spareribs ~"

04/17/2022

~ The History & Four Recipes for Chicken & Waffles ~

Chicken and waffles might be well-known and popular throughout our American South and the Midwest, but, it does NOT have its roots in either venue. It indisputably has its roots in the early Pennsylvania Deutsch communities that settled along the Schuylkill River. Growing up in Pennsylvania Deutsch county, tender pulled-chicken served atop steamy-and-light hot-off-the-waffle-iron waffles all drizzled with gravy, it was a childhood favorite of mine. Read on: When you say PA Dutch, we correctly say PA Deutsch: I am here to make it clear that Pennsylvania Dutch cookery does not belong solely to PA and it is not Dutch...... View full recipe for "~ The History & Four Recipes for Chicken & Waffles ~"

04/14/2022

~ RedHot & Honey-Butter Chicken Wings & Waffles ~

Chicken and waffles was a childhood favorite of mine. Fast forward to adulthood -- it still is. I love the Southern-style crispy-fried chicken kind and, the Yankee-style PA-Deutsch tender pulled-chicken w/gravy kind. Cluck, cluck. In my food world there's also a third variation: Pub-grub-style deep-fried chicken wings and waffles. On paper, this might sound like a rather strange duo, but, in reality, a steaming hot waffle with honey butter melting atop it is the ideal foil for some hot-out-of-the-deep-fryer RedHot-sauced Buffalo-style chicken wings. Trust me, skip the French fries -- the switch to waffles with wings will change your life,...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot & Honey-Butter Chicken Wings & Waffles ~"

04/08/2022

~The Chinese-American General Tso's Chicken Story~

General Tso's Chicken is a staple on every Chinese-Americane eat-in and take-out menu. I personally am grateful for that, as, every week or two I crave Chinese fare and rare is the occasion when sweet, savory and spicy General Tso's Chicken is not a part of my order. Sometimes I eat it with some chicken fried rice and steamed broccoli as a main course, other times I eat it as an appetizer or a snack, but, eat it I do -- it's addicting and I adore it. The basic ingredients are easy-to-find & indeed basic: The basic ingredients of General...... View full recipe for "~The Chinese-American General Tso's Chicken Story~"

04/05/2022

~The Story Behind City Chicken -- aka Mock Chicken~

What looks like a chicken leg and tastes like chicken but isn't made from chicken? City chicken. So, if it's not made from chicken, what is city chicken made from? Coarse-ground pork and/or veal. Still confused? You're not alone -- nowadays, many folks, even those who love to cook, have no idea what this intriguing, vintage, working-class main-dish is, or, the important part it played in our American culinary history. Behind almost every recipe, there is a good story: Dating back as early as the early 1900s, by the 1930s and '40s and into the '50s everyone knew what city...... View full recipe for "~The Story Behind City Chicken -- aka Mock Chicken~"

03/06/2022

~ Easy Linguine and Shrimp w/Tomato-Cream Sauce ~

Easy should never be a compromise. It should simply be: easy. When you take the first taste or bite, it shouldn't be a dead giveaway that you didn't slave behind your stove all afternoon. This luscious pasta dish is a prime example. In my food world, I don't think anyone appreciates a great scratch-made marinara sauce more than I do, but, truth told, if one adds a bit of cream to store-bought, it turns into a decadent super-quick-to-make tomato-cream pasta sauce. If you're the family cook, you'd be lying if you couldn't admit: all of us home cooks love a...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Linguine and Shrimp w/Tomato-Cream Sauce ~"

03/03/2022

~One-Skillet Creamy Parmesan Linguine and Shrimp~

If you're hankering for a seafood and creamy pasta dish for dinner -- no problem. Splurge on a small, one-pound bag of flash-frozen, large shrimp, pick up a box of fresh linguine pasta, plus, a few other miscellaneous items -- fresh basil, sweet grape tomatoes and heavy cream (you've no doubt already got the cheese in your refrigerator). Voila. You and yours can be pouring a glass of wine and sitting down to a sumptuous, affordable, restaurant-quality dinner, from stovetop to table, in about 30-40 minutes (and there will be little cleanup afterward too). This will be everything you'd craved...... View full recipe for "~One-Skillet Creamy Parmesan Linguine and Shrimp~"

02/28/2022

~ G. Washington's Instant Seasoning & Broth History ~

This granulated gluten-free, meat-free instant seasoning has been around for generations, and, interestingly, it's used as an ingredient in a surprising number of savory, vintage recipe. It was a staple in my grandmother's pantry and my mother's pantry, and, for the love of making their recipes, it is a staple in mine too. It's recognized as the very first seasoning and broth. The brand has a strong loyalty amongst its users, but, because it contains MSG, it is not everyones cup-of-tea. That said, if you've ever tasted anything made using it, you'd immediately recognize how special it truly is. Easy...... View full recipe for "~ G. Washington's Instant Seasoning & Broth History ~"

02/14/2022

~ GF Deconstructed Slow-Cooker Stuffed-Cabbage ~

Feel free to assume I'm not a fan of trendy deconstructed dishes. I am, however, the first to admit there are exceptions to every rule, and, my mom's recipe for deconstructed stuffed cabbage rolls is one such exception. Why? Because the end justifies the means in a big, beautiful way: Every forkful of the finished "deconstructed" version is uncompromisingly just as delicious as the classic original, and, the time saved by not cooking many of the components first, then assembling them in the typical manner is marked. All I can say is: Where had this "deconstructed" method been all my...... View full recipe for "~ GF Deconstructed Slow-Cooker Stuffed-Cabbage ~"

02/11/2022

~Pasta - Choose, Portion, Cook, Sauce, Toss & Serve~

The world is full of pasta-bilities. Our modern marketplaces have supplied all of our demands with hundreds of shapes, sizes, and colors of dried and fresh pasta. I suppose it is because pasta is relatively quick to cook that many Americans impulsively try to create their own versions of well-known pasta dishes having little or no knowledge of the tried and true, time-honored principles and classic recipe techniques these recipes require. What's worse, many American restaurants do the same. Trust me when I say, I'm happy to overlook a slightly over-cooked or over-sauced pasta dish served by a friend who...... View full recipe for "~Pasta - Choose, Portion, Cook, Sauce, Toss & Serve~"

02/08/2022

~Eat Some, Freeze Some -- A Big Batch of Meatballs~

Everybody loves meatballs, and, the night the family is eating spaghetti and meatballs for dinner is the most popular day in the weekly meal rotation. For Italian-American families, that dinner is typically reserved for Sunday. Tender, juicy, flavor-packed meatballs get slow-simmered in a pot of "gravy" (meaning red sauce), and, every Italian-American family claims to have the best, handed-down-for-generations, recipe for "polpette" (meaning "meatballs"). Enough said. Meatballs are a universal food, and, almost every culture has their own name for them and way to serve them using spices and sauces common to their cuisine. They come in all sizes too:...... View full recipe for "~Eat Some, Freeze Some -- A Big Batch of Meatballs~"

01/12/2022

~ Thick-&-Zesty Kid-Friendly Ground-Beef Lasagna ~

All us cooks agree that every recipe does not have to be a rocket science recipe -- it simply has to taste, without compromise, great. If the end justifies the means, there's no shame in a shortcut or three. I'm not sure how many lasagna recipes one cook is supposed to have, but, I'm guessing most households have more than one. Here in my kitchen, I make four different types of lasagna, each with its own unique sauce: Bolognese, seafood, vegetable lasagna (all of which are excellent but time-consuming), and, this easy-to-make kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing ground-beef lasagna. It's so popular amongst...... View full recipe for "~ Thick-&-Zesty Kid-Friendly Ground-Beef Lasagna ~"

01/06/2022

~Eat Some, Freeze Some, Big Batch Beef Taco Filling~

If you are raising kids, you know all about taco night. You also know that having a few cups of a great, kid-friendly ground-beef taco filling already prepared and on-hand in your freezer is a great weeknight time-saver. After a brief thaw-and-heat in the microwave, a busy mom or dad can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes. Having raised three boys, for decades, I was never without it. In fact, I liked to make a big batch of the meat mixture in a large wide-bottomed, 8-quart chef's pan, then portion it into user-friendly-sized 2-cup containers (each enough...... View full recipe for "~Eat Some, Freeze Some, Big Batch Beef Taco Filling~"

12/27/2021

~ Thick-and-Zesty Gluten-Free Ground-Beef Lasagna ~

I'm not sure how many lasagna recipes one cook is supposed to have, but, I'm guessing most households have more than one. Here in my kitchen, I make four different types of lasagna, each with its own unique sauce: Bolognese, seafood, vegetable, and, kid-friendly ground beef. Today, because a few of you have asked for a gluten-free lasagna recipe recently, I'm posting my easy-to-make version, which is a spin-off of my crowd-pleasing kid-friendly ground beef lasagna. Notes before starting: It goes without saying you'll need gluten-free lasagna noodles -- your favorite brand, your choice, that's fine, mine are brown rice...... View full recipe for "~ Thick-and-Zesty Gluten-Free Ground-Beef Lasagna ~"

12/24/2021

~ Why We Ring in the New Year w/Pork & Sauerkraut ~

If you ask Americans across our country what they're serving for dinner on New Year's Day, the most common response will be: pork and sauerkraut -- and the reason is not just because it is a delicious meal. It's a time-honored tradition based on the belief that pork and sauerkraut will bring luck and prosperity in the new year -- and who couldn't use a good bit of both. This tradition is closely linked to the Pennsylvania Deutsch (crediting the Germanic or German-speaking immigrants from Germany and Switzerland for this cuisine, with the more commonly used term, Pennsylvania "Dutch", being...... View full recipe for "~ Why We Ring in the New Year w/Pork & Sauerkraut ~"

12/03/2021

~One-Skillet Scalloped Potatoes & Pork Chop Dinner~

We all love a one-skillet dinner. It's family-style eating at its best. Theres more. A skillet that goes from stovetop to table cuts down on cleanup time too -- we all appreciate that. One-skillet dinners are usually not overly complicated, but, when you're seriously in a pinch (you know, those stress-filled times -- time and patience ran out, an ingredient got left at the grocery store, or, a popup snowstorm made for bad traveling), if it can be made with a few pantry ingredients and a package of pork chops or chicken breasts you've had tucked in the freezer, it's...... View full recipe for "~One-Skillet Scalloped Potatoes & Pork Chop Dinner~"

11/24/2021

~Take All the Guesswork Out of Portioning All Poultry~

What size bird to purchase, no matter what the occasion, tends to be confusing because, simply stated, all poultry is not created equal. Seasoned cooks will tell you size doesn't always matter, because some fowl, duck for instance, may appear to be large enough to feed six people, but, you'd be lucky if you get enough meat from one to adequately feed three. If you've never cooked a duck before, one duck comfortably feeds two people -- and I had to learn this the hard way. Every cook, novice or expert, at some point, finds him or herself asking the...... View full recipe for "~Take All the Guesswork Out of Portioning All Poultry~"

10/18/2021

~ The Story of Humble, Homey All-American Meatloaf ~

The fabulous '50's may be gone forever, but they are certainly not forgotten. Remember the stainless steel diner in your hometown that served up a thick slice of mouthwatering meatloaf smothered in a smooth and rich pan gravy alongside a big scoop of fluffy mashed potatoes? Remember meatloaf day in your school cafeteria with stewed tomatoes and macaroni and cheese? Remember the Swanson frozen meatloaf dinner slathered with a thick brown gravy and French fries? I remember them all, but, mostly, I remember my mom's "special" meatloaf. "Meatloaf." Say the word aloud in the company of family or friends, even...... View full recipe for "~ The Story of Humble, Homey All-American Meatloaf ~"

08/21/2021

~My All-Purpose Beer Batter for Deep-Frying Anything~

Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or vegetables. Heck, even cheese and macaroni and cheese can be beer-batter-dipped and deep-fried. Slices, strips, chunks, fillets or paillards. Appetizer, snack, small meal, main-dish or pub grub. It doesn't matter. This beer batter will coat it evenly and fry up light as air. There's more. Be not afraid. Batter-dipping and deep-frying, while somewhat repetitive and time-consuming, it is super-easy. While you don't need an electric deep-fryer to deep fry, a small investment of $50-$75 dollars will get you a light-weight, countertop, cool-touch fryer with a lid, precise temperature control and an air filter which will...... View full recipe for "~My All-Purpose Beer Batter for Deep-Frying Anything~"

08/12/2021

~The Best Way to Make Slow-Cooker Babyback Ribs~

When it comes to slow cookers and crockpots, most folks either love them or they hate them, period, or, they neither love nor hate them, they use them due to circumstances beyond their control. I've heard all the reasons in favor, against and in between. Trust me when I tell you, I understand. I neither love nor hate mine. I simply recognize it for what it can do and do not try to make it do the things it cannot. The machinations of making ribs in a slow cooker never seemed right to me -- kind of like trying to...... View full recipe for "~The Best Way to Make Slow-Cooker Babyback Ribs~"

08/06/2021

~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~

Ok, maybe we ALL don't love the bell pepper but the majority of us do, including me. Served raw or cooked, they impart both flavor and color in all sorts of dishes from cuisines all around the world. At first sight, it's hard not to be attracted to their bold green, red, orange or yellow color, and, even if a recipe calls for a specific color, it's nice to know they can be used interchangeably -- although the green bell pepper is not quite as sweet as the others. Store-bought or home-grown, kept stored in the refrigerator, they have a...... View full recipe for "~ The Bell Pepper Season & Why We All Love Them ~"

07/18/2021

~ That's a Wrap Cheesy Flank-Steak-Fajita Burritos ~

A fajita-burrito has its origins in Mexico and features the best of two South-of-the border worlds -- all those luscious strips of well-seasoned grilled or sautéd chicken or steak, bell peppers and onions that go into fajitas, wrapped-and-rolled, burrito-style, in a large, warm flour tortilla that's been slathered with refried beans and scattered with a layer of Spanish-style rice and shredded cheese. The outcome is indeed the best of two worlds and, there's no need for embellishments either. Hold the guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa. Pick 'em up 'cause they're ready-to-eat. No need for embellishments. Pick 'em up -- they're...... View full recipe for "~ That's a Wrap Cheesy Flank-Steak-Fajita Burritos ~"

07/15/2021

~ Kids-Stuff Tex-Mex Broiled-Flank-Steak Fajita Filling ~

Newsflash. A flank steak does not have to be grilled outdoors to be a great flank steak. While grilled is very, very good, truth told, my oven broiler method does a marvelous job with no stress, guess nor mess. The end result is wonderfully seasoned, perfectly-cooked medium-rare steak. The process is so foolproof, I prefer it. There's more. Once sliced, a flank steak feeds an entire family. When the flank steak gets added to an easy-to-make sautéed vegetable medley, this meal feeds a crowd. It's perfect for any indoor or outdoor gathering any time of year. When the steak is...... View full recipe for "~ Kids-Stuff Tex-Mex Broiled-Flank-Steak Fajita Filling ~"

07/03/2021

~The Cool History behind the Composed Cobb Salad~

The Cobb salad, affectionately called the California Cobb, was invented in 1937 at Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant by the owner, Robert Cobb. As the story goes, it's said to have been composed for some hungry late night diners. Mr. Cobb carefully chose from a variety of uniformly sliced and diced ingredients from the day's fare, arranging them in unusually neat lines atop a bed of lettuce as he plated. Another tale (of woe) says that Mr. Cobb threw the salad together to satisfy the appetite of a loyal customer to came into the restaurant complaining of a toothache, so, Cobb...... View full recipe for "~The Cool History behind the Composed Cobb Salad~"

06/30/2021

~ The Cool History behind the Composed Chef Salad ~

A restaurant that serves a great chef's salad for lunch is a restaurant I will frequent. Like Seinfeld's Elaine, I like a big salad, and I don't mean a big bowl of lettuce. I mean a lot of perfectly-cooked good stuff in it, right down to more-than-a-few crunchy, buttery-rich croutons on top. The chef's salad is exactly that salad -- it's not served before the meal or after the meal, it is the meal. The chef salad is a "composed salad", meaning, it is a pretty-to-look-at, arranged-on-a-plate, high-quality, salad -- a perfectly-balanced mixture of color, flavor and texture. At the...... View full recipe for "~ The Cool History behind the Composed Chef Salad ~"

06/24/2021

~The Sizzling History behind Fajitas (Tacos al Carbon)~

Fajitas were originally named tacos-al-carbon and were served as portable food, ready-to-eat-with-the-hands, by wrapping strips of unpretentious skirt steak that had been cooked over a campfire or on a grill, in a warm corn or flour tortilla, meaning they were served taco-style. "Faja" is the Spanish word for "strip, band, sash or belt", and, with "ita" added to the end, it means "a little strip, band, sash or belt", meaning the ingredients for fajitas are always cut into strips. The dish dates back to cattle ranching life along the Rio Grande Valley regions of the Texas-Mexico border in the 1930's....... View full recipe for "~The Sizzling History behind Fajitas (Tacos al Carbon)~"

06/20/2021

~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~

A fajita-burrito has its origins in Mexico and features the best of two South-of-the border worlds -- all those luscious strips of well-seasoned grilled or sautéd chicken or steak, bell peppers and onions that go into fajitas, wrapped-and-rolled, burrito-style, in a large, warm flour tortilla that's been slathered with refried beans and scattered with a layer of Spanish-style rice and shredded cheese. The outcome is indeed the best of two worlds and, there's no need for embellishments either. Hold the guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa. Pick 'em up 'cause they're ready-to-eat. No need for embellishments. Pick 'em up -- they're...... View full recipe for "~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~"

06/16/2021

~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~

Spicy fajitas and cheesy nachos. Together. Carefully layered on top of each other on a sheet pan. Yes, a sheet pan. Why? Because nachos require a perfect ratio of cheese-to-toppings on each chip and the sheet pan provides the surface area needed to accomplish that. Nothing is sadder than picking up a cheesy nacho to find no goodies on top of it, or worse, picking up a nacho chip overloaded with goodies to the point they all slide off onto the plate or your lap. Research has revealed that nachos made their debut in Northern Mexico in the 1940's when...... View full recipe for "~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~"

06/13/2021

~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~

Tacos and fajitas. Akin to Cheeseburgers and pizza, I can't much conjure up four more kid-friendly meals. That said, if you're a mom or dad attempting to get your kids to eat more vegetables, it goes without saying, fajitas are an argument-free way way to get the job done. If you're a mom or dad trying to cut some fat out of your life, chicken fajitas will accomplish that too. There's more. If you've got a big family to feed or the need to feed a crowd, simply do the math and double the quantities. In about the same amount...... View full recipe for "~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~"

05/11/2021

~ Three Ways to Cook Smoked Bone-In Pork Chops ~

Smoked porcine (bacon, ham, sausage pork chops, etc.), when properly smoked, is enhanced with a sublime slightly-smoky flavor and an enticing pinkish color, meaning the aroma is pleasant (not at all overpowering), and the visual is pretty. There's more. The smoking process renders the meat cooked, meaning, it only needs to be heated to a safe internal temperature prior to eating and the information is indicated on the label: 125° if fully-cooked, and, 145° if not fully-cooked. In the case of smoked pork chops, in my kitchen there are three quick-and-easy options for cooking: a broiler pan in the oven...... View full recipe for "~ Three Ways to Cook Smoked Bone-In Pork Chops ~"

05/02/2021

~ Apple-Pie Chicken Paillards and Stuffing Casserole ~

Chicken and stuffing. The two go hand-in-hand, and I can't fathom my food world without this combination. As a young girl, roast chicken with mom's stuffing and gravy was our Sunday dinner twice-a-month. Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, be it a Sunday or a weeknight, it's always prime-time for chicken and stuffing on my dinner table, and, this super-easy casserole is a spin-off of my Aunt's apple-pie pork-chop and stuffing casserole recipe -- which, uses two boxes of Stovetop stuffing mix in place of classic white bread stuffing, plus, a can of apple pie filling is added to the bottom...... View full recipe for "~ Apple-Pie Chicken Paillards and Stuffing Casserole ~"

04/29/2021

~Steak My Day - Summer-Up & Try Pork Blade Steak~

The pork blade steak is my new-to-me muse -- in my own words, it's a bone-fide kick-butt man-sized pork chop. Known as pork steak, pork butt steak or pork blade steak, these bone-in steaks are cut from the shoulder of the pig -- the same part of the porcine used to make pulled pork. Similar in taste and texture to close-kin country-style spareribs*, they were invented in St. Louis, MO, and are a Midwest staple. As a country-style spare-rib lover living in central Pennsylvania, I ask the Sam's Club butcher to custom-cut these inexpensive, lesser-to-unknown-to-our-locale steaks for me. Perhaps this...... View full recipe for "~Steak My Day - Summer-Up & Try Pork Blade Steak~"

04/08/2021

~ Bone-Suckin'-Sauced Boneless Chicken Paillards ~

Bone Suckin' Sauce. If this is product you've never tried, I suggest you make the pilgrimage to your nearest Lowe's (yes folks, our local Lowe's home improvement and appliance retailer is the only place we can buy it here in Happy Valley -- they sell the sauce in the same spot they sell barbecue grills, which, makes sense), or, get it on-line on their website. My son in Pittsburgh introduced me to Bone Suckin' Sauce about fifteen years ago, and, without exaggeration, the first taste changed my life. Before long, I was buying this sauce, on-line, by the case. Over...... View full recipe for "~ Bone-Suckin'-Sauced Boneless Chicken Paillards ~"

04/05/2021

~ Cheese Ravioli w/Butter, Garlic & Cottage Cheese ~

I'm often asked what I cook just for myself, meaning: what I eat when no one else is around or no one else is looking. My answer is always the same: Most times I make a sandwich or nuke some soup (which require no actual cooking), but, when I do want to place a pot on the stovetop, I treat myself to a super-quick, super-easy pasta dish that is a spin-off of a childhood favorite (my dad's version of mac and cheese) which was an odd combination of hot, buttered-macaroni tossed with cold cottage cheese and seasoned with garlic powder,...... View full recipe for "~ Cheese Ravioli w/Butter, Garlic & Cottage Cheese ~"

04/02/2021

~ Easiest Ham & Cheesy Boxed Scalloped Potatoes ~

I know I'm not alone on this point, C-19 has changed what I store in my pantry -- truth told, it's not bad, just different. In preparation for the lock down that occurred a few months ago, I stocked several boxes of Rice-a-Roni, four boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, a big box of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes, and, a few boxes of Stovetop stuffing mix and Betty Crocker cheesy scalloped potatoes. Thanks to them being staples in my mom's pantry, I knew these easy-to-make convenience-food side-dishes not only have a long shelf life, they're tasty. In the case...... View full recipe for "~ Easiest Ham & Cheesy Boxed Scalloped Potatoes ~"

03/30/2021

~ Easy One-Skillet Teriyaki Chicken-Thigh Paillards ~

As a lover of Asian fare, teriyaki-in-general is one of my favorite ways to cook. Teriyaki is as well known outside of Japan as sushi or ramen is, so, most American people, kids included, will give "teriyaki anything" a try. A bottle of teriyaki sauce has been a staple condiment in my pantry for as long as I've had a pantry, standing right next to the elites: Heinz ketchup, French's mustard, Hellman's mayonnaise, K.C. Masterpiece barbecue sauce, and, Lee & Perrin's worcestershire sauce. That said, teriyaki sauce is seriously simple to make, and, it can be customized to suit your...... View full recipe for "~ Easy One-Skillet Teriyaki Chicken-Thigh Paillards ~"

03/24/2021

~ To Paillard or Not to Paillard -- and Define a Paillard ~

A Paillard, a noun, is a thin, lightly-pounded cut, large or small, of any type of meat -- most commonly beef, chicken, lamb, pork or veal. That said, occasionally, in certain culinary applications, firm seafood, like lobster, shrimp or scallops, can, for the right reason, become a paillard. It's also possible to use some vegetables to make a paillard. In certain areas of the United States, paillards are simply referred to as "cutlets". Paillard, the verb, generally speaking, means to lightly-pound. I'm using a few boneless, skinless chicken thighs as an example. Paillard (PI-yahrd): This fancy French word dating back...... View full recipe for "~ To Paillard or Not to Paillard -- and Define a Paillard ~"

03/21/2021

~Easy One-Skillet Barbecued Chicken-Thigh Paillards~

Next to Buffalo-style chicken anything, a big piece of juicy barbecued chicken, hot off the outdoor grill grids, slathered in a copious amount of semi-caramelized barbecue sauce is one of my favorite things. There's more. I like to take that seething hot piece of barbecued chicken and plop it atop a cold, crisp salad. Yes, of course, the hot chicken semi-wilts some of those greens, but when I put a knife-and fork to this barbecued chicken salad meal, I can't stop eating. A bit about paillard (PI-yahrd): This fancy French word means "to pound", and, references a lightly-pounded portion-sized slice...... View full recipe for "~Easy One-Skillet Barbecued Chicken-Thigh Paillards~"

03/15/2021

~ Open Sesame -- Easiest Teriyaki Pork Tenderloins ~

Can a really, I mean REALLY good dinner entrée be made using three ingredients? Yes, on occasion it can, and, let's be honest, whether your food world moves at a fast pace or a slow pace, a three-ingredient dinner entrée recipe in-the-style of this one (meaning you're proud to plate and serve it to your family, or, to a few guests), is: a recipe worth having -- it's "the stuff" good home cooks are made of. There's no shame in shortcuts as long they are high-quality ones. For example: Using a bottle of seriously-good store-bought teriyaki sauce, instead of making...... View full recipe for "~ Open Sesame -- Easiest Teriyaki Pork Tenderloins ~"

03/03/2021

~Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style St. Lewis-Style Spareribs~

Try as I might, I can't let more than a month or two go by without either: succumbing to the craving to deep-fry and eat Buffalo-style chicken wings, or, experiment with a new way to enjoy the sweet-heat of Buffalo-sauced anything. Today, I decided to try my hand at low-and-slow cooked Buffalo-style pork ribs -- when they were done, I finished them off under the broiler, just to crisp the fat cap and caramelize the sauce a bit. Remember the famous ad-man line, "pork -- the other white meat"? Well, I'll be making these again, and often. Life in the...... View full recipe for "~Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style St. Lewis-Style Spareribs~"

02/23/2021

~ Homestyle Beef Tips, Gravy & Amish Egg Noodles ~

Beef tips and gravy. It's one of those humble-yet-hearty, frugally-inexpensive, weeknight meals our moms and grandmoms served to a hungry family after purchasing a pound or three of cheap-at-twice-the-price odds-and-end chunks of beef cubes (aka "stew beef") at the butcher shop. No one had to be called to the table twice when this dinner was goin' on the table. Some families preferred their meal ladled atop white rice, others liked it ladled atop mashed potatoes, and, still others served it ladled atop buttered egg noodles. My family fell into the egg noodle category. My recipe came via my mother and...... View full recipe for "~ Homestyle Beef Tips, Gravy & Amish Egg Noodles ~"

02/05/2021

~ Easiest Skillet-Fried Barbecue-Sauced Pork Chops ~

When my kids were kids, barbecue-sauced pork chops, served up atop a bed of my easy-to-make recipe for better than store-bought stovetop macaroni and cheese was one of their favorite weeknight meals. No one needed to be called to the table twice on barbecued pork chop night, and, I didn't have to spend all afternoon cooking in order to reap the reward of their accolades. All I had to do was brown the chops on both sides and then let them slow simmer in a mixture of barbecue sauce and water for about 30 minutes until fork tender. One-skillet perfection....... View full recipe for "~ Easiest Skillet-Fried Barbecue-Sauced Pork Chops ~"

02/02/2021

~ Jamaican-Style Shrimp and Scallop Coconut Curry ~

I'm no expert, but, I do know just enough about Jamaican cooking to NOT be dangerous. I know that a dish consisting of ackee fruit and salt cod is their National Dish. Alas, even if I could get my hands on an ackee here in the states, I wouldn't touch it. Parts of the ackee are toxic, so, my better judgement tells me to leave that recipe to the experts. And, while I love salt cod and fresh cod too, I like seafood (like crab, shrimp, scallops and lobster) better, so, I'm confidant I can create a luscious Jamaican-style dinner...... View full recipe for "~ Jamaican-Style Shrimp and Scallop Coconut Curry ~"