Saturday, February 26, 2011

Turkey Tetrazzini

Every year after Thanksgiving my mom made us turkey tetrazzini with the leftover turkey. I am definitely going to keep that tradition. It's so good and leftover turkey and gravy gets old really fast. You pretty much make your own cream of mushroom (or in my case, mushroom/celery/onion) with this recipe, but it is very easy to make. I think it took about an hour from start to finish.

Turkey Tetrazzini
Adapted from Simply Recipes

12 oz package of pasta
12 oz sliced mushrooms (4 to 5 cups)**
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cups 1% milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas (optional)
1 cup grated parmesan (not the fake, powdery stuff)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Ground nutmeg (optional)
1/3 cup bread crumbs (or panko)

**I didn't have 12 oz mushrooms, so I did about 1 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 1/2 cup chopped celery, and 1 1/2 cup chopped onions, and it turned out great!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil water for the pasta.

2. Cook the mushrooms (or mushroom mixture) in olive oil over medium heat, stirring until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter (Note: light butter does not work). Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for three minutes.

4. Cook pasta according to package instructions minus a couple minutes, so it still has a "bite". (You will be baking it for 30+ minutes later.) While the pasta is cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

6. When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas (optional). Stir in 2/3 cup parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a greased 3 quart casserole dish.

7. In a small bowl, combine well the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan and bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini.

8. Bake the tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata

We are big tilapia fans over here. I have four or five recipes I switch between, and I usually make one a week. I got this recipe from a cookbook my mother-in-law bought me for Christmas. There are so many recipes in here I want to try. I'm making another two this week: Spinach and Artichoke Mac n' Cheese and Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Marsala Sauce and Pasta (which if I continue to make this, I will shorten to Pork Tenderloin Marsala). Some of her recipe names are crazy long. Anyway, here is another one of our favorites. (This may not be something you want to make now since bell peppers are really expensive right now.)

Chili-Lime Fish Fry with Tex-Mex Peperonata
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beer or chicken stock
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Chili-Lime Fish Fry
4 Tilapia fillets (I sometimes use basa if I have it)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 limes
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup oil

To prepare the peperonata, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño, bell peppers, and salt and pepper. Saute until the peppers are crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beer or stock and stir for a minute or two more. Top with cilantro and set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Arrange 3 shallow dishes; place the flour in one, beat the eggs in the second, and scatter the bread crumbs in the third. Season the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp grated lime zest, the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Coat the fish in the flour, eggs, and seasoned bread crumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. If the pan is not large enough to fry 4 fillets, heat the oven to 275 degrees and place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. As you fry the fish, transfer it to the rack in the hot oven to keep warm. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until deeply golden and crispy. Season with a little extra salt and top the fish with lime juice. Serve with peperonata.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

This is some yummy tilapia. I think Jaden Hair has been on TV quite a bit these days, but I'm not sure where since we don't have cable. Her and PDub are getting so famous, it's ridiculous. I found this recipe from her website. I've made a few of her other recipes, and they are all winners. I love how her Asian food is fast and easy to make while still tasting like you got it from an Asian restaurant. I always serve this tilapia with these noodles.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

4 tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise (basa works well also)
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crushed pecans (done easiest in a food processor)
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp olive oil (for frying)
Honey glaze: 3 Tbsp honey mixed with 2 Tbsp hot water

Wash tilapia and pat dry. Using a brush, brush both sides of the fillet with honey. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the fillet.

Combine the Panko and crushed pecans. Lay out your ingredients in this order: Tilapia, egg mixture, panko/pecan mixture. Dip the fish in the egg, coat with panko/pecan on both sides, set aside. Repeat with all fillets.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to low (I do medium low). Add the fillets to the pan, makingsure the fillets don't touch each other. You may have to do this in separate batches. Fry on low for 2 minutes or until the underside is golden brown. Turn. Fry another 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Pour the honey glaze over the fish. Note: If you don't fry on lower heat, the panko/pecan coating will burn before the fish is cooked through.

**I have always cooked the fish in a pan, but I think I might try cooking them in the oven next time. I'm assuming it will taste just as good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

Yay for quick, yummy, weeknight casserole dishes. This is one of the first recipes Ree put on her website, but I never made it until recently. Of course, it's really good. This is also another good meal for leftovers.

Chicken Spaghetti
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced onion
4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, if heat-sensitive)
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil the spaghetti for several minutes, until very al dente (or, until it still has a nice "bite" to it.) You do NOT want to overcook the spaghetti, as you’ll be baking the dish again later. Combine cooked spaghetti with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in greased casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Delicious. Here is the link to Gina's Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken. Her pictures are helpful for this recipe. I've made it many many times, and it is so good. They taste just as good for leftovers which is a big plus. I usually serve these with quinoa with sundried tomatoes.

It can be really frustrating cutting the chicken into cutlets. There must be some trick out there that I haven't come across yet because I'm not so great at it. Sometimes mine turn out okay, but most of the time they are horribly uneven and come out funky-looking. Luckily, as long as you use many toothpicks, it doesn't matter if the chicken fully covers the cheese/broccoli. It will taste the same!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

After many attempts at making homemade cinnamon rolls, I have found a winner. Ree's (The Pioneer Woman's) were good, but the recipe makes around 50 cinnamon rolls, and there is no way I will ever need that many. Also, she uses 4+ sticks of butter, and even though that makes a whole lot of rolls, I don't think I can ever use that much butter in one recipe again. It kills me.

Money Saving Mom's cinnamon roll recipe will now be my go-to cinnamon roll recipe. It is so simple since you use a bread machine. All you have to do afterward is roll out the dough, spread/sprinkle on the filling, roll it up, cut it up, and bake it! Enjoy. :o)

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Money Saving Mom


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten, plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla


Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 4 Tablespoons softened butter and 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll up and cut into 15-25 rolls (depending on how big you want them) and place in two to three greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.