Creamy Risotto with Sauteed Mushrooms

Creamy Risotto, Sauteed Mushrooms,  add in some Grilled Chicken Breasts and possibly a few spears of Roasted Asparagus, sounds fancy huh?

I forgot how easy Risotto really is to make. I mean really all you need is some arborio rice, a little white wine and some chicken stock. Of course a handful or two of a good parmesan cheese doesn't hurt either.

Risotto is really more about a technique then ingredients....Here's how I made it.

Risotto with Sauteed Mushrooms 

4 tbsp butter 
4 tbsp olive oil 
1/2 medium onion, diced 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1/2 cup White Wine, I used what I was drinking, Pinot Grigio 
2 cup Arborio Rice
6 cups Chicken Stock (warmed)
2 good handfuls grated Parmesan Cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste 
1 pound Cremini Mushrooms, sliced

In a dutch oven heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add the mushrooms and saute until browned and tender, about 6 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan. 

Add remaining butter and olive oil to pan, reduce heat to medium, add onion and saute until translucent, add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute more. Add the arborio rice to the pan, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that it is all coated and cook for it for a minute or two. 

Next deglaze the pan with the white wine. Stir rice until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continually, making sure not to add more stock until the previous addition has been absorbed. This process should take about 20 minutes. Once the rice is just tender, add the last of the stock and the Parmesan cheese and combine. If you wanted to add just a bit more butter, I wouldn't tell.  Add Mushrooms and stir.

**I served this with a basic Grilled Chicken Breast and (if I would have had any) Roasted Asparagus.


Chicken Pot Pie

Here is a quick dinner idea that is delicious and the whole family loves it. I have used poached, roasted and store bought rotisserie chicken and each works equally is well. I have also used leftover roasted vegetables, but still use the veg-all mixed can veggies in addition to it (you need them for the flavor and texture.)

This is my daughter's favorite dish. She could literally eat the whole pie by herself. Maybe not at one time, but given enough time and she would. I have frozen left overs and she heats them on serve yourself nights.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 can (15 oz) Veg-all Mixed Vegetables, drained
2 Chicken Breasts, roasted and cubed (or store bought rotisserie chicken)
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup, (I use 98% fat free)
1/4 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 package Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (two crusts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine first five ingredients. Mix well. Fit one pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Pour mixture into pie crust. Top with remaining crust, crimp edges to seal, prick with fork.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (on lower rack) or until crust is golden brown and filling is hot.

Family Rating: The whole family loves.


Quick and Easy Chicken ala King

This is another of my daughter's "Comfort Foods." She could care less about the biscuits and will eat this like a thick soup. Even my son, will eat this! I use whatever chicken is available, but if cooking from scratch I poach chicken breasts on the bone and I add onion and carrots, then I use the carrots for the final dish.

Chicken ala King

1 package biscuits (your favorite biscuit)
2 or 3 chicken breast, poached and diced
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 (10oz) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups milk
1 small can peas (or canned peas and carrots is fine)
1 small can mushrooms (stems and pieces is fine)
1 jar diced pimientos, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Poach chicken and dice (or dice precooked chicken.) Prepare biscuits.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, stir until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.

Add chicken and all remaining ingredients; mix well. Simmer 5 minutes or until throughly heated. Taste for seasonings.

Serve over biscuits.

Mexican Skillet Casserole

This is one of the most versatile recipes that I have. You can make it as a casserole (try topping it with your favorite cornbread mix and baking until golden brown.) You can also use it as a filling for tortillas, as a topping for taco salads, or as a hearty dip. Two jalapeƱos make it nicely spicy. I've also swapped out the ground meat for ground turkey breast and would highly recommend that. Enjoy.

• Mexican Skillet Casserole •

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef (or ground turkey)
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 ounce Can Mexican-style Stewed Tomatoes, undrained
-or- 1 can Mexican style Rotel
1 15 ounce Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Frozen Corn, (can corn is fine)
1 4 ounce Can Green Chili's, Chopped
1 small Can Sliced Olives
2 Pickled Jalapeno's, sliced (optional)
2 Teaspoons Chili Power
1 Teaspoon Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup Mexican Cheese Blend

Cook beef and onion in large oven proof skillet until beef is done. Add remaining ingredients and blend well, taste for seasonings and adjust. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes. Top with Cheese blend and bake for an additional 5 minutes for cheese to melt.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with or over Corn Bread
Top with shredded Mexican, Cheddar, or Monterey Jack Cheese
Top with Sour Cream
Serve as topping for Taco Salad
Serve in Tortilla's as a Mexican Wrap
Serve with or over Tortilla Chips

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce

Delish! I crave these.

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white flaky fish fillet, like tilapia or halibut (I used Cod)

Chipotle cream:
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage or lettuce
1/2 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the fish fillets and let marinate for 20 minutes.

Put the yogurt into a strainer lined with apaper towel and place over a bowl to drain and thicken for 20 minutes. (I did this overnight)

Remove the fish from the marinade and grill on a preheated grill or nonstick grill pan over a medium-high heat until cooked thorough, about 3 minutes per side. (I cooked mine on the gas grill outside) Set the fish aside on a plate for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the thickened yogurt, mayonnaise, and chipotle pepper.

Heat the tortillas on the grill or grill pan for 30 seconds on each side. (I cooked mine in a bit of oil on both sides until slightly cooked)

Flake the fish with a fork. Top each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of the chipotle cream. Top with fish, cabbage, corn and cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Recipe Courtesy of: Healthy Appetite with Elli Kruger


Fusilli Caprese

NOTE: This is a Giada recipe. This is the second time I have made this recipe. I wanted to make this tonight but didn't have mozzarella so I left it out. We actually liked it better without. I also added hot pepper flakes to taste and chopped fresh parsley along with the basil. I used a pound of spaghetti and tossed it in the pan that I cooked the tomatoes in. I added about 1/4 cup pasta liquid. I served it with a healthy topping of Parmesan. Of course, salt and pepper to taste.

1 pound fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
2 1/2-3 lb chicken, cut into serving size pieces
1 (8 0unce) can pineapple chunks, in juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger -or- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place vegetables in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle with tapioca. Add chicken.

In separate bowl, combine pineapple, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, bouillon garlic powder ginger and seasonings. Pour over chicken.

Cover, cook on low 8 to 10 hours.

Serve over cooked rice.