Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

Rachel and I went to A’bravo Bistro and Wine Bar for lunch a couple of weeks ago.  This happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in Green Bay.  When we were there I had the Caramelized Sweet Potato Salad.  If you want to recreate this salad the ingredients were: Caramelized sweet potatoes, spring greens, red onion, fresh mozzarella, kalamata olives, almonds, pecans, pepita seeds & parmesan. Served with honey balsamic vinaigrette.  It was AWESOME.  I had to try to figure out how to make those caramelized sweet potatoes. I think I was pretty close.  Here goes;

Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

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Ingredients

1 Sweet Potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Rachel thought it was too spicy.  I did not.  You can omit it you do not like a kick of heat.)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place 1/2 inch cubed, sweet potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat sweet potatoes evenly.
  4. Spread sweet potatoes out on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (you may need 2 baking sheets.  If the sweet potatoes are too close together they will not caramelize and bake evenly. I used 2 baking sheets.)
  5. Bake 15 minutes.  Flip over and bake another 15 to 20 minutes.

That’s it.  Simple and Delicious.  You can use as a side dish or add to your salad throughout the week.  I love putting on my green salads!

Enjoy!!

 

 

Palichinka Spread

Martin has moved to NYC.  Moving up some recipes I think he will enjoy cooking up in his own kitchen.  IMG_8651 Would much rather he be in this kitchen.  Just saying’!!

Palichinka Spread (Tzatziki is awesome, too!)

Ingredients

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8-1/4  cup bulgarian feta, depends on the consistency you desire.  Martin likes it thinner so I add 1/8 cup feta (you can use any kind of feta)
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon fresh dill

Mix above together and you have a delicious spread!  It is better if you can refrigerate a couple of hours before use. Use on Chicken Duner, as a spread for crepes, or a condiment for a sandwich.  Quite simple and delicious.

Seven Layer Dip

Quick, favorite dip for this family!  Simple and Delicious!!

Seven Layer Dip
(compliments http://www.bettycrocker.com)

Ingredients

1 can Refried Beans (Don’t have refried beans?  You can do this recipe without them.  Still  delish!)
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 can chopped green chiles
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend (8 ounces)
1/2 sliced black olives, drained (2.25 ounces)
1 medium tomato, diced
Tortilla Chips

Directions

  1.  In medium bowl, mix refried beans and taco seasoning mix.  Spread mixture on 12′ round serving platter.
  2. In another medium bowl, mix cream cheese and chiles.  Carefully spread over bean mixture.
  3. Top with salsa, lettuce, cheese, olives and tomato.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Always trying to find a way to make weeknight meals simple and delicious.  If you stop by your local grocery store or Costco (that’s my stop) you can grab a roasted chicken.  Use a portion for this recipe and the rest for sandwiches, chicken salad or chicken tacos (just a few suggestions).  Also, always a little for our pup, Rooney.  IMG_E8590

This recipe is a quick weeknight meal.  Here goes:

Chicken Noodle Casserole

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12 ounce uncooked wide egg noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme (don’t ignore this step.  If you don’t have dried thyme – go buy some. It adds a nice flavor to many recipes.  Just saying’)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I used milk.  That’s all I had.  If you don’t have, you could skip this step.)
3 cups shredded chicken (this is where the stop at Costco comes in handy.  Always $4.99 for a delicious roasted chicken.)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray bottom and sides of 13×9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook and drain egg noodles as directed on package.
  2. In 12 inch nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat.  Cook celery, onions, carrots and garlic in butter until vegetables are tender.  5-8 minutes.
  3. Add 2/12 cups of the chicken broth, thyme, salt and pepper to skillet; heat to boiling.  In small measuring cup, beat remaining 1/2 cup broth and the flour with whisk. Stir into hot chicken broth mixture in skillet.  Simmer and stir 1-2 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from heat; stir in shredded chicken and cream.
  4. Add cooked noodles to baking dish; stir in chicken mixture until mixed well.  Cover, bake 30 minutes or until casserole heated through.
  5. Meanwhile, in 8 inch nonstick skillet, melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Cook bread crumbs in butter 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. (do not walk away, stir entire time.  It does not take long. The minute you walk away the bread crumbs will burn up.  I know this to be true!!)
  6.  Remove from heat, stir in parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over baked casserole.

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Baked Ziti

Here is how simple Baked Ziti is to whip up!

Baked Ziti

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1# ground beef or 1# italian sausage or 1# ground pork (Whatever meat works for you.  Or, if you don’t want meat, don’t use it.  Personally, no meat is my thing.)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 small red onion or shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup shredded parmesan or romano or pecorino romano or whatever hard italian cheese you like
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil is fine)

1# Ziti (or any pasta you care to use.  I like to use medium shells too.)

1.  Fry ground beef in medium to large pot.  When browned, remove from pot and set aside.
2.  Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to pot.  Add diced onions or shallots, saute until opaque.  Add garlic and saute about 1 minute.
3.  Add crushed and diced tomatoes, brown sugar, parmesan, salt, oregano, thyme.
4. Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add basil and simmer for 10-20 more minutes. (You don’t have to cook sauce on the stove all day long.  30-60 minutes is perfect!)
5.  While the sauce is simmering, boil a large pot of water for the pasta.  Don’t forget to add salt to the pasta water.  I add 1-2 Tablespoons of salt.
6.  When pasta is done (don’t overcook!), drain and set aside.
7.  Spray casserole dish with vegetable spray.  (I use a 9×13 casserole dish) Add a ladle or two of sauce in the casserole dish.
8.  Add the pasta on top of the sauce.   Add more sauce on top of the pasta.  Be generous. (I used most of the sauce.  I had 1 cup of sauce I did not use.)
9.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.  Until top is golden brown.  (Today that took 45 minutes)

Enjoy this simple and delicious meal!

Pork Dim Sum

Kent enjoys Dim Sum.  The last time I made this was 2013!!  The reason is because it may be simple but it is time consuming.  Sometimes I am lazy.  I guess 5 years is being really lazy.  This time I used all the filling which ended up being 48 wonton skins.  It took 2 hours between filling and steaming.  They were delicious. You could use duck sauce or sweet/hot chili sauce for dipping.

Pork Dim Sum

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Ingredients

1 pound ground pork
3 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup chopped cabbage (any cabbage will do. Of course, Napa would be first choice.  Today all I had was red cabbage and it was just fine.)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (if you don’t have try 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar (you can use rice vinegar)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Wonton skins

Directions

1.  Place ground pork, green onions, shredded carrots, chopped cabbage, ginger soy sauce, sherry or rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and beaten egg white in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.

2.  Stir in cornstarch, mixing until completely incorporated with the other ingredients.

3.  Spread out wonton skins on your counter.  Place a heaping teaspoonful of pork mixture in center of each wonton skin. Lightly brush edges with water.  IMG_8583Bring sides of skins together in the center of the filling.  Pinching firmly together (it will look like a little purse).

4.  I placed the dim sum on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and covered with a damp cloth while I continued to fill the skins.  That way they won’t dry out.

5.  Line a steamer with a clean, DAMP tea towel (or you can use lettuce or cabbage leaves) and arrange wontons inside.  IMG_8585
6.  Cover and  steam for 5-7 minutes, until dim sum are cooked through.  Serve immediately.

You can always do a few at a time and then freeze the filling for later.  You can also freeze the wonton skins.

Enjoy!!