Easy Guacamole

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I have a couple of recipes for guacamole but I turn to this recipe the most because it’s super easy to make and doesn’t call for a bunch of ingredients.  I really *HATE* cilantro so I don’t add it and no one has ever missed it.  Sometimes I sub parsley but usually I just leave it out altogether.  This guac seems to stay green longer than other recipes I have tried but it doesn’t keep until the next day so use it up!

I found this recipe on Food.com submitted by Theresa in Chi-town.

Easy Guacamole

5 Hass avocados
2 limes
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped ~ leave it out or sub parsley if you don’t like it
1 tomato, diced and let sit on a paper towel for a minute to drain off much of the liquid
salt
chopped jalapenos ~ I used diced from a jar but fresh is fine as well or you can leave it out

Place meat of the avocados in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the top immediately to prevent browning. Using a fork or potato masher, mash up the avocado to the consistency that you want. I leave mine a little chunky.

Add the onion, tomato, and cilantro and mix together. Add the juice of the second lime and then add the salt to taste. Mix to combine. Add jalapeno and mix together.

Use as a dip or topping.

Makes 6-8 servings (or more)

Happy Cooking!

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

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This is such a simple appetizer but packs loads of flavor.  It was a huge hit at our party and with my family.  I made it again the next day so we could have a bigger piece.  It would be great as a light supper as well as an appetizer.

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

Mushroom Filling:
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
3/4 cup coarsely shopped onion
2 tbsps butter
salt to taste
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Tart:
1 refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

To make the spread:
Clean the mushrooms, remove stems and cut into quarters. Place the mushrooms and onions in a food processor and finely chop ~ I just chopped finely by hand.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the mushroom/onion mix, salt and thyme and saute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and saute for 5 minutes longer or until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is like a paste in texture.

Spoon into a small bowl and let it stand until cool. Add lemon juice, mayo and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.

This filling may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until needed.

For the tart:

Preheat the oven to 450º. Let pie crust stand at room temperature according to package directions. Unroll the pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Spread the mushroom filling evenly to within 1 1/2 inches from the edge. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme. Fold in one edge of the pastry toward the center covering part of the filling. Work around the edge, pleating as you go.

Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350º and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Potato Salad

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From, you guessed it, the Barefoot Contessa.  I’ve never made a potato salad that had a dressing ~ I’ve always just added mayo.  I LOVE this potato salad.  It’s simple and delicious and goes with just about anything.  Plus it uses fresh dill which is one of my absolute favorites!

Potato Salad
Barefoot Contessa

3 pounds small potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are steaming, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper ~ I thought this was way too much salt and pepper so I left it out until I tasted and I found it didn’t need it at all. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Herbed Potatoes ~ Barefoot Contessa

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This is such a simple, delicious recipe and one that I’ll be making often.  They also taste great leftover right out of the refrigerator.

Herbed Potatoes
Barefoot Contessa

4 tbsps butter
2 1/2 pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
2 tsps kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley, chives, and dill

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven.

Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. Every once in a while, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning.

Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Don’t overcook! Toss with the herbs, and serve hot.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Greek-Style Baby Potatoes

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By now, everyone knows I LOVE potatoes in all forms.  This recipe is simple and delicious and would go with just about any main dish.  This recipe uses those really, really small potatoes that come in a 1 1/2 or 2 pound mesh bag.  I used the baby yukons but you can use any kind you like.

Baby Potatoes

Greek-Style Baby Potatoes

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes (any kind) cut in half, if very small can leave whole
2 tbsps minced fresh oregano
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add potatoes in a single layer and cook until browned about 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and brown the other side.

Turn down the heat and cook until the potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. When potatoes are tender and cooked through, add the garlic mixture to the pan and continue cooking until heated through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Potatoes in White Wine

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These potatoes are really delicious and a little different.  They are easy to make and go with just about any main dish. The addition of some minced garlic would be good if you like garlic.

White wine potatoes added

Potatoes in White Wine

1 1/2 lbs red or white new potatoes
4 tbps butter
2/3 cup dry white wine
3 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Boil unpeeled potatoes in water until tender, about 10 minutes.

Melt 2 tbsps butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add potatoes. Roll potatoes in skillet until light brown. Add wine and rest of butter. Raise the temperature and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is reduced and the sauce thickens.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley, and dill. Stir potatoes gently until potatoes are coated with herbs.

Makes 4 servings.

White wine potatoes added 2

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Greek-Style Grilled Chicken

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Super easy to make using ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now.  Tastes delish, too!

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Greek-Style Grilled Chicken

Marinade:
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsps chopped fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or 1 tsp dried mint
3 tbps olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs chicken pieces
1 can Kalamata olives or ripe olives, drained, optional

Make the marinade in a ziplock bag, add cleaned chicken pieces and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.

Grill chicken for 55-60 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and no pink remains.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

my-signature2

Dill Chicken Salad

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Back in December when my daughter and I went to Williamsburg for our Holiday Tea, we stopped in The Cheese Shop because Libby was starving.  She ordered a chicken salad sandwich.  Now, chicken salad has never thrilled me but that sandwich was delicious!!!!  We were trying to figure out WHY it was so good because it seemed really basic to us.  Since then, I have been searching for a really good chicken salad recipe.  This one comes close.  It’s still not as good as that sandwich but it’s delicious nonetheless.

I used a rotisserie chicken for the meat but you could also use this recipe ~ Cooked Chicken for Recipes or you could poach it.  Don’t leave out the lemon in this recipe ~ it really adds a freshness to the chicken salad.

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Dill Chicken Salad

4 cups diced chicken
1 stalk celery, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsps chopped fresh dill
2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsps Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, scallions and herbs.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper.

Add the mayo mixture to the chicken mixture and mix until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I think this tastes better if the flavors have a chance to meld together.

Makes 4 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

chicken-salad-2

Happy Cooking!

my-signature11

Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

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I made this recipe for Christmas Day.  The hens came out perfect but we all agreed the stuffing was just a little on the sweet side for us.  Next time, I think I would leave out the apple and add some celery and it would be good to go.  I loved that our meal was different than the usual meal we have had in the past ~  in fact, DS picked out game hens.  I didn’t even know he LIKED them, LOL!

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Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small leek, white part with 1 inch of green, finely chopped and rinsed
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage, plus sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
2 cups cubed day old cornbread (I bought cornbread, cubed it, and let it sit out until hard)
3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Cornish hens, giblets discarded, patted dry

n a medium skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Saute the leeks for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened. Add the apples and cook for 3 minutes more. In a medium bowl combine the leek mixture with the sage, parsley, cornbread and enough broth to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Stuff the birds with the cornbread mixture and tie the legs of each hen together with kitchen twine. Melt the remaining butter. Brush the birds all over with butter and season with salt and pepper. Put the hens on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast-side up. Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 170 degrees F., about 80 minutes.

Set the birds aside at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before carving.

Makes 4 servings.

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Happy Cooking!

my-signature32

Bruschetta Chicken

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This is such an easy recipe ~ I should have been able to think this up myself, LOL! It cooks up quick and you don’t have to turn on our oven ~ always a plus here. The recipe was in the newest Pillsbury cookbooklet.

Bruschetta Chicken

Tomato Topping:
1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 tbsps chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg
2 tbsps milk
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsps olive oil

Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl and cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, gently pound to make the chicken all the same thickness. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper (I just mixed the garlic salt and pepper with the flour).

In a shallow bowl, beat egg and milk. Spread flour on a plate and bread crumbs on another plate. Coat chicken with flour, dip in egg mixture, and coat with bread crumbs.

In a large skillet, heat the 2 tbsps. olive oil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium. Add chicken, cooking for 15 minutes then turning. Continue cooking until the chicken is done and no pink remains and the bread crumbs on the chicken are golden brown. Add more olive oil if you need to.

Serve with tomato topping on the chicken.

Serves 4

Happy Cooking!