Garden Minestrone from Fresh from the Farmstand

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Here is another recipe from Gooseberry Patch‘s Fresh from the Farmstand cookbook.  Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway of a copy of this cookbook!  To enter, go to  THIS POST!  Entries on any other posts or on Facebook will not be counted!

I LOVE minestrone soup!  I also have a terrible habit of NOT reading a recipe through until I’m ready to start dinner.  I read the ingredients and that’s as far as I go.  I don’t see myself changing any time soon so I spend some time trying to figure out how I can change it up to work for me.  And that’s what happened with this recipe.  I didn’t start with dried beans so I used two cans of navy beans, rinsed.  My celery was so limp, I couldn’t stand to touch it so I threw it out and subbed fresh green beans.  Mr. Meat Eater refuses to eat anything with cabbage in it so I subbed spinach.  In place of the water used to cook the dried beans, I used chicken broth.  I also used 2 cans of diced tomatoes with the juice since tomatoes at this time of year are awful. I also threw in some oregano and basil. Soooooooo…same recipe?  I followed the recipe just using my substitutions.  You can make any recipe your own and this is just a good example of it.  This particular recipe is so good and that makes it easy to add your own ingredients.  My photo isn’t very good either, sigh ~ the white stuff is Parmesan which I have to have with minestrone.

The recipe was submitted to Gooseberry Patch by Kay Marone of Des Moines, Iowa.  Here is her recipe the way it is in the book.

Garden Minestrone

2 cups dried navy beans
10 cups cold water
2 to 3 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cups ditalini, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large soup pot over high heat, cover beans with water. Bring to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain; rinse beans well and return to pot. Add 10 cups cold water; bring to a boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes or until onion is lightly golden. Add this mixture along with the tomatoes to the simmering beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for another hour.

Stir in cabbage, zucchini, pasta and parsley. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

Makes 8-10 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Roasted Mushroom Green Beans

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I am just starting to play catch-up with the recipes I made right before my gout attack and this is one of them.

I found this recipe on Pinterest although it was pinned from Kalyns Kitchen and it is WONDERFUL!!  It’s easy to make and would go well with almost any main dish.  I made it as the recipe stated except I went heavy on the Parmesan because I love it.

Roasted Mushroom Green Beans

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced in 1/2 inch slices ~ I used Baby Bellas
1 lb. fresh green beans, thin ones are preferred ~ I used Haricot Verts
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese ~ I used much more

Preheat oven to 450º. Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice. Wash and trim green beans if needed. Cut green beans in half although I did not do this since mine were not long.

Put green beans and mushrooms into a Ziploc bag. Stir together olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over, then smoosh the bag or so all the beans and mushrooms are lightly coated with the mixture.

Arrange green beans and mushrooms on a large cookie sheet, spreading them out so the beans and mushrooms are not crowded. Roast for 20-30 minutes and check for doneness after 20 minutes. Cook until beans are tender-crisp, mushrooms are cooked, and all liquid on the pan from mushrooms has evaporated.

Season beans and mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and then sprinkle grated Parmesan over the top and serve hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Cheater’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

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On Saturday, during the hurricane, we still had power at lunchtime so I decided I would make our big meal and we would have one good meal.  Mr. Meat Eater thought I was nuts but was very happy with the results.

This is a really easy recipe that takes all the great flavor of chicken cordon bleu without all the work.  Time was of the essence since I had no idea when the power would go.  With the chicken we had mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and garlic bread.

I put the leftovers in the fridge until the power went out and then I put them in the cooler.  The next day I heated one side of the grill and put the chicken (wrapped in foil) on the unlit side and let it warm up.  Very good leftovers!

Cheater’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

salt and pepper to taste
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (5.5 oz) box or bag of seasoned croutons, crushed
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten and mixed with 2 tbsps water
6 thinly sliced ham slices (I used Virgina Ham)
6 Swiss cheese slices

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.

Mix crushed croutons and Parmesan cheese in a large ziplock bag.

Dip chicken in egg mixture and then place chicken in the ziplock and shake to coat. Remove to a lightly greased aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Bake at 450º for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Top each breast half with a slice of cheese and a slice of ham. Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Cheese Grits

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Make sure you check out out the Recipe Index up in the top bar ~ it makes it much easier to find what you are looking for.  If I have missed anything, let me know!

Awhile back we went to brunch at Hanover Tavern where our soon to be son-in-law is the assistant director.  Mr. Meat Eater went crazy for the cheese grits.  Not being from the south, I have never been a fan of grits but after he asked me a million times, I finally found a recipe and made them.  He LOVED them.  I used the wrong kind of grits ~ old-fashioned instead of quick and I have no idea if that made any difference at all.

I would suggest that you eat them the same day they are made ~ DH said the texture was like cake when I reheated them the next day.

Cheese Grits

4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup uncooked quick grits
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

Bring milk just to a boil in a large pan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in the butter and grits. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, 5-7 minutes until the grits are done. Remove the pan from heat.

Stir in the egg and the next 3 ingredients.

Pour into a lightly greased 11×7 baking pan. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

Bake, covered, for 35-40 minutes or until set.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Breaded Pork Chops, Italian Style

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Rainy and dreary here today which always makes me think of food.  I have to fast for a blood test this morning so it’s a doubly difficult morning.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of pork ~ except for bacon, of course ~ but I really like this recipe.  The chops turn out very tender and really go with any side.  Mr. Meat Eater ate 3 of them I think so that should tell you something.

It’s a very easy recipe but it does use an oven-proof skillet so watch out for that.

Breaded Pork Chops, Italian Style

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsps milk
1 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps dried parsley
2 tbsps olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops

Preheat oven to 325º.

Combine the beaten eggs and milk in a small bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan and parsley on a plate.

In an oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Once heated, stir in the chopped garlic and saute for a minute or two and then remove from the skillet leaving the olive oil. You can toss the garlic or save for another use if desired.

Dip each pork chop into the wet mixture then into the dry mixture, coating evenly. Place coated chops in the pan and brown for about 5 minutes on each side.

Place the skillet with the chops in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

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These are to die for!  The hardest thing about this recipe is cutting up the potatoes.   I wanted mine to look like fries so it took a bit to cut them up and then I realized I had a little contraption that would have done it for me.   Argh!!!  No matter how you cut them up, you have to try them ~ they would be perfect for a Super Bowl party, too.

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

4 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch strips ~ you can leave them unpeeled if you prefer
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425º.

In a large mixing bowl, place the cut potatoes and pour the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the garlic, thyme and seasoned salt. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. DO NOT throw away the oil that is left in the bowl.

Bake 30 minutes, turning the fries over halfway through (I didn’t do this because I forgot and I don’t think it really matters if you do or you don’t). After 30 minutes of baking, return the fries to the bowl with excess oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss to coat and return to baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle fries again with a few shakes of Parmesan and a few shakes of seasoned salt.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

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I am still stunned at myself for choosing to make a Sandra Lee recipe as she is not a favorite of mine and I usually don’t watch her show.  For some reason, I had the FN on before the holidays and Sandra made these mushrooms and since I am addicted to mushrooms,  I tried them.  They ARE good!  They take a bit of time to make but are easy to assemble.

The pictures are lousy because I didn’t get a chance to put them on a plate before they were scarfed up!  I had to elbow my way in to grab a couple pictures.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large stuffing mushrooms
olive oil
4 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 1/2 cups diced leeks
1 cup cornbread stuffing
1/2 cup warmed chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Wipe mushrooms clean and remove stems but save the stems. Brush each cap with some olive oil.

Dice the stems.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsps olive oil. Add mushroom stems and cook for 1 minute. Add sausage; breaking up any clumps. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the diced leeks and saute for another 3 minutes or until the sausage is completely cooked through and the leeks are tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the stuffing and warmed broth. Let sit for a minute or two until the stuffing softens. Stir in sausage mixture, sage, garlic, and 2 tbsps Parmesan into stuffing.

Fill each mushrooms with some stuffing mixture and place on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 2 tbpsp of Parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!