Friday, January 29, 2010

Pasta with Classic Pesto

This is a great meal for a busy night. You can make the pesto in the time it takes to cook the pasta. It may be cheaper to buy bottled pesto, but this is so much better!

Classic Pesto
The New Best Recipe

1/4 cup pine nuts
3 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves (optional)
7 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
1 lb pasta (long & thin or fusilli)

1. Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate.

2. Add the garlic to the empty skillet. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let the garlic cool, then peel and chop.

3. Place the nuts, garlic, herb(s), oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. Process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the workbowl. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the Parmesan, and adjust the salt to taste. (The surface of the pesto can be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap or a thin film of oil and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

4. Bring 4 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add salt and pasta to the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

5. Stir 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water into pesto. Toss the hot pasta with the thinned pesto, adding the remaining pasta cooking water as needed. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cheap Swanson's Chicken Broth at CVS

Swanson's Chicken Broth is on sale for $0.50 each this upcoming week at CVS. There is a limit of 10 instead of 4 (at Walgreens). They won't have that many, but you can get a rain check that doesn't expire. You can also take the ad to Target or Walmart, and pick up some for the same price.

Go here to see the ad.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Taco Chili

A wonderful coworker of mine, Monique, gave me this recipe along with all of the ingredients in a basket. So easy and so good. It's a keeper!

Taco Chili
Paula Deen
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried pinto beans
1 (1 1/4-oz) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-oz) package buttermilk salad dressing mix
3 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chili powder (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 (16-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (11 3/4-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
4 cups water
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained

Place beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and add to a Dutch oven. Add seasoning packet, water, diced tomatoes and green chilies, tomato sauce, and ground beef.

Heat to boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

King Ranch Chicken

We had this for dinner this weekend at Brett's parents' house. I've heard about this casserole many times, but I've never had it before. I was really excited to see the first 3 ingredients because I bulk up on them when they are on sale. Every two or three weeks, Walgreen's has Swanson's chicken broth on sale for 2/$1 (it's usually $1.29 a can at the grocery store!) and Campbell's condensed cream soups on sale for $0.79 each. You can usually find a $1 off of two Campbell's coupon on the internet, leaving the soups at $0.29 each. If you don't have a Walgreens near you, Walmart and Target both do price matching. All you have to do is take the Walgreens ad to either store and get the same deal there. Enjoy!

King Ranch Chicken

Sandy Hern
Serves 8 to 10

1 (10 3/4-oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4-oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Swanson's chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken broth)
1 (10-oz) can crushed tomatoes and green chilies
1 package of 12 to 20 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
1 large (3-pound) chicken, stewed, skinned, boned, and cut into bite-size pieces, or 2 to 3 cups cooked chicken pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 to 1 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
Garlic salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine condensed soups, broth, chili powder, garlic salt and tomatoes; set aside. Oil a 9x13 inch pan. Layer half of the tortillas, half the chicken, half the onion, half the bell pepper, and half the cheese in the pan. Pour half the soup mixture over layers. Repeat layers of tortillas, chicken, onion, and bell pepper; pour remaining soup mixture over top with remaining cheese. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

*Sandy seasons her chicken breasts with Tony Chachere's and lemon pepper, and then she cooks them on a George Foreman grill.

**If desired, dip tortillas in hot stock to soften, or cut tortillas in pieces. Casserole can be frozen. Reheat at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.