Sunday, March 28, 2010

An article in the Boston Globe last spring cited “Cooking 101: Three recipes every college student — in fact, everybody — should know”: Chocolate chip cookies, quick tomato sauce, and Caesar salad. I’d like to extend this list to include it, not only as cooking class options for in home cooking Personal Chef Service, but also to try to train my eldest son, who will, in fact, be a college student sooner than I like to admit (and he’s useless at the stove).

A couple of years ago, I did a crash course of 10 Go-To Recipes for a client. She feeds a teenage boy, a preschool girl, and a meat-loving, vegetable-hating husband. We tried to hide veggies wherever we could. Her “necessities” were:
  1. Turkey dinner (with mashed potatoes and gravy)
  2. Chicken (or turkey) pot pie (made with the leftover turkey from the first lesson)
  3. Chili
  4. Beef stew
  5. Baked haddock
  6. Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp (or chicken or whatever)
  7. Chicken (or shrimp or pork or whatever) stir fry
  8. Macaroni and cheese
  9. Healthier chicken fingers and fries
  10. Steak au jus
  11. Spaghetti and meatballs
I forget how it happened that she got the 11th lesson, but it was so satisfying to me when she raved about having been able to make chili or beef stew or a Thanksgiving turkey for her family.

Another client was a newly engaged woman. She and her fiancée try to eat healthy, and she was interested in being able to recreate things they typically order out. She wanted:
  1. Chicken breasts stuffed with asiago and asparagus
  2. Chicken pot pie (everyone seems to love this one)
  3. Barbecue chicken in the crockpot (she wanted more crockpot recipes in her arsenal)
  4. Penne a la vodka
  5. Wild rice salad
  6. Beef stroganoff (their guilty pleasure)

So, what would you include in your list of must-know recipes?

What are your basic go-to recipes, the ones you can remember the ingredients to, so you can pick them up when you’re running through the grocery store at 5:30 pm, without a list?

What was the first thing you felt you had to learn to cook?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Crabmeat stuffed mushrooms

Does anyone have a good recipe for crabmeat stuffed mushrooms?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pork and chirrizo Burgers

I'm hoping to make these for dinner tonight, for a twist on a old favorite.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sweet Potato Panini

Just came across this "outline" for a sweet potato panini and it looks like a fantastic lunch idea.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Potatoes with smoked salmon

This will be a new favorite appetizer at our house. We made it when we had friends over to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It filled all my criteria -- based on Irish cuisine (potatoes and salmon), was orange and green, really easy to make, looked pretty, and most importantly, tasted delicious!

I sliced 4 red potatoes, tossed with olive oil, s&p and baked at 400°. I flipped them 1/2 way and baked them for about 30-45 minutes, depending on thickness. I blotted them on paper towels. (I made these in the morning and they kept fine during the day.)

I mixed a little cream cheese, sour cream and capers and topped the potatoes with that. (This can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.)

Then topped with slices of smoked salmon and chopped chives for garnish.

Loved it!

My husband has already requested it for my son's First Communion in a couple of weeks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I forgot how yummy this was!

I made an Oven Roaster last night and was thinking of how to use the leftover chicken. This recipe came from a friend of Manny's!

Sweet Bride's Easy Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup
• 2-3 Cups cooked and cubed chicken (I roast chicken breasts, cool then cube)
• 4 cups chicken broth (you can make your own or use Imagine or Kitchen Basics chicken broth as they are both really good).
• 2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup (like Campbell’s Healthy Choice with the lower sodium)
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 2 cans Rotel Mexican style tomatoes (these are spicy but really good cooked tomatoes). If you are worried about the heat, then use 1 can of the Rotel tomatoes and 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
• 1- 4 oz. Can of diced green chilies
• 1 can of white corn, or you can cut the corn off of 2 ears, depending on the season.
• 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 onion, cut into bite size pieces
• 1 carrot, cut into bite size pieces
• 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
• Chopped Cilantro
• Kosher salt to taste
• Pepper to taste
• 1-2 avocados
Roast the chicken breasts in a 350° oven until almost done. Let the chicken cool. Strip off the skin and discard. Cube the chicken and set aside. You could also use a pre-cooked chicken but I like using the breast meat.

In a stockpot or Dutch oven, sauté the onions, carrot and cumin until the onions are almost clear. Add the chicken stock, wine, cream of chicken soup, corn, tomatoes and diced chilies. Simmer until the carrots are done. Add the chicken and some chopped cilantro. Bring back to a simmer and taste. Adjust seasonings and simmer from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.

To serve 4-6 people: Ladle the soup in a bowl and top with chopped avocado and chopped cilantro.

I make corn bread to go with this soup. If you want a heartier meal add a good salad.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New diet

Help - For the next 2 weeks brad will not be able to eat any meat, or milk and he needs to limit his dairy. (He's fine they are checking for food allergies) I don't want to have 2 meals. I need ideas! I guessing we'll do some fish. He's not a huge fan of beans but I throw some in. I'm planning some breakfasts for dinners - eggs, pancakes, french toast and Waffles. What else are good options that he and the girls will like ? Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eileen's Reuben Dip

Eileen: Can you share the recipe?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Avocado-Pomegranate Salsa

Avocados are good now. My girls are not fans of guacamole so I was looking for more ways to get them to eat Avocados, which are good for you. This was in our paper and I thought the Avocado-Pomegranate Salsa sounded great, but have never seen any pomegranate molasses. I'll have to look for it, but the recipe does tell a make -it your self substitution so don't let that hold you back.