Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Broccoli Salad

 This recipe is courtesy of my sister-in-law, Jan.  I never had broccoli salad until she made it for one of our family functions years ago.  Since then we always ask her to bring it because we love it so much.  I have never really tried to make it on my own, but I asked her for the recipe and it was so easy that I will not need to wait for the next family gathering to enjoy this great salad.   Jan always makes her version with raisins, but since my son does not like raisins, I swapped it out for some sweet yellow bell pepper.  You can do either or both... because it's great both ways.  This is one salad that is welcome on my table anytime.  Thanks Jan!

 Ingredients:
3 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup soft raisins (optional)
2-3 Tbs of finely chopped bell yellow pepper (optional)
4-5 slices bacon crispy and crumbled
2 Tbs chopped onion

Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
Mix dressing and set aside.  Prepare bacon and allow to cool.  Prepare all other vegetables as needed. Dress broccoli salad with dressing and bacon.  Chill for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy.

  
Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Twice as Nice Tuesdays: Chicken a la King with Biscuit Toppers





Twice as Nice Tuesdays is a new feature I would like to introduce here at the blog.  I was looking through my blog recently and realized that I have a lot of recipes that should get a 2nd look and showcase them again.  So today I am looking back at a dish I made over a year ago... 
 In March 2012 I wrote:
In 1985 we got our first microwave and it opened up a whole new world of convenience food for me.  Microwave meals were pretty darn cool back then (well we didn't know better) and I loved these single serving Chicken a la King frozen meals my mother would buy for me to eat after school.  I would pop it into the microwave and simply pour the creamy chicken and vegetables over some buttered toast and it tasted beyond wonderful.   I have not had chicken a la King in decades but I recently thought about it and it gave me a major craving to taste that creamy chicken over toast again.  I created this one pot dish from stove to oven and it was way better than any of those frozen entrees from back in the day.  It was simply scrumptious and it came together so easily.  I poached my own chicken and made some stock while doing it, but you can easily make this with rotisserie chicken and some canned chicken broth. I did take help from the store with some store bought biscuits from Pillsbury and served it right out my caste iron skillet.  I scored another 10 fingers up (my kid's way of saying lots of thumbs up) and my husband tried really hard not to have 3rd helpings. I will definitely not wait decades to eat Chicken a la King again.  Actually, I've got it schedule for dinner again next week.


  Ingredients:
4-5 cups of shredded chicken from poached or rotisserie chicken
3-4 cups of chicken broth or poaching liquid (below)
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2 Tbs butter or margarine
1 Tbs canola oil
1/4 cup of all purpose flour (or as needed)
1/2 cup of diced celery
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1/2 cup of diced carrots
1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup of frozen peas. (You can also you mixed veg like I did)
1/2 cup of cream, half and half or whole milk
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 cloves of garlic grated
12-15 prepared biscuits like Pillsbury (or homemade)


 Directions:

To poach your own chicken you will need:

4-5 cups of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent
1 celery stalk coarsely chopped
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1 carrot coarsely chopped
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
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2 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
black pepper

Bring all the ingredients to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove chicken to cool and shred.  Reserve poaching liquid to use later.


In a oven safe skillet (like a caste iron pan) heat your butter and oil. Add  garlic and allow to fry for 30-45 seconds.  Then add chopped onions, celery, carrots, salt and dried thyme.
 Note: the broth will add salt to the dish so be conservative when you add salt here. 


Next add flour.  You need equal parts flour to fat here to make a roux.  Cook roux for a 2 minutes and then add chicken broth or poaching liquid to the pan. Stir well until gravy is smooth.  Allow gravy to simmer until it thickens. Note: If the gravy looks thin, add a little more flour by mixing flour with a little water in a separate bowl and adding it to the gravy. 

Next add milk or cream. Stir well. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and seasoning as needed here.  When the gravy is at the right taste and consistency, add the frozen peas and shredded chicken to the pan. Allow everything to gently simmer for 5 minutes.

When the creamed vegetables and chicken are cooked to your taste, turn off the stove and top with your favorite biscuits.  Place in the oven and bake until the biscuits are cooked through and browned. Serve hot. Enjoy.


Note: I suggest you place your skillet on a baking sheet so it is easy to move in and out of the oven and will catch any spills if the gravy decides to bubble in the oven.





Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Strawberry Lemonade Slushy


My kids and I were running errands on Saturday and it was hot outside.  My son asked if I could stop for a lemonade slushy he saw on a Burger King poster as we drove by the restaurant.  I knew I could make it at home for less, but he was thirsty and this Mom caved in and said okay.  We bought a large for $2.99.   Then I watched them make it... ice... lemonade concentrate... blender... done.  I was right.... it was totally not worth the money.  I looked around my house the next day.. ice in freezer (free), lemonade concentrate in freezer ($1.27 on sale) and I even added some healthy strawberries in for good measure.  They were so thrilled that I could not only make this slushy at home... but it tasted better to them too.  Score... one for Mom!


Ingredients:
4-5 cups ice
1/2 cup frozen concentrate lemonade
1 cup chopped strawberries
mint for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Add all ingredients to blender.  Blend until ice is slushy.  Serve immediately. Enjoy. 



 

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Curry and Comfort's Weekly Sunday Summary 07/22/13 thru 7/28/13

  Hi Everyone,

 We had a fun and exciting week because my son celebrated his birthday.  Video games and birthday presents were a top priority, but very close behind was the food he wanted for the celebration. He went through my blog and requested so many dishes for his birthday meal that it would have fed 200 people... not just our family.   Then he finally settled down to a few that I could manage without being overwhelmed.  He requested vegetable biryani, tuna cutlets, chicken curry and salad for his birthday lunch.   I also made his Favorite Birthday Cake.

He loved his meal and now he's already trying to figure out what he wants for his next birthday. :)

He also enjoyed the dishes listed below during his birthday week...so here's my week in review.


Banana-nut Orange Marmalade Muffins

Antipasto Kebab Appetizers

Vegetable Cutlets

Savory Asian Egg Rolls (Throwback Thursdays)

Ziti Pasta Bake


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ziti Pasta Bake

 We love pasta in our house and I'm always playing around with new ways of enjoying it.   I made this very creamy and saucy Ziti Pasta bake for my family the other day for lunch.  My husband loved it so much he said he would eat it again for dinner.  My son and daughter chimed in that they also would eat it for dinner too.  Hooray!!  I got two meals out of this one... Mommy got to put up her feet and relax at dinner time.

If you look at the ingredients listed below, don't get scared of the long list.  It's a pretty quick dish that can be done in 30 minutes of stove top time and 30 minutes of oven time.  I described this Ziti as cheesy and saucy because this pasta dish is full of spicy pasta sauce and creamy ricotta cheese.  I served it with a green salad and some bread to round out the meal.  It was so delicious... making two meals out of it in one day was a tasty decision.
 

 Ingredients:
1lb box Ziti Pasta (boiled to al dente) drained (see notes below)
Prepared pasta sauce (see recipe below)
P portion ricotta mixture  (see recipe below)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for pasta sauce:
1lb lean ground beef (or chicken, turkey, pork, lamb)
1 (32 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can of crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes if your want texture)
3-4 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 green bell pepper diced small
1 medium onion diced small
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
red chili flakes (to taste)
1-2 Tbs sugar (to taste)
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup starchy pasta water reserved from boiling pasta


Ricotta mixture:
1 24 oz package ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (cottage cheese is usually less expensive)
1 egg
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper


 Directions:
Cook pasta as directed  by package instructions in well salted water.  Drain it shy by 1 minute of  the recommended cooking time.  You will finish cooking the pasta in the oven.

Make Ricotta mixture by mixing all ingredients together.  Set aside.

Next, make the sauce by browning the ground meat.  Then add onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Then add tomato sauce, dried oregano, sugar, dried basil, red chili flakes and reserved pasta water.  Simmer sauce for 15-20 minutes on medium heat. Finish  by stirring the remaining Parmesan cheese into the sauce. 

To make Ziti, mix cooked pasta with 3/4 of prepared sauce,  1/3 of the prepared  ricotta mixture and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese,

Place all dressed pasta into a baking dish. Take remaining ricotta mixture and place in dollops over the pasta.  Top with remaining pasta sauce (just cover as much of the pasta with your remaining sauce).  Finally top with remaining grated mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow pasta to sit for 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy.



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Savory Asian Egg Rolls (Throwback Thursdays)


In 2011 I wrote:  I enjoy getting Chinese take out when I am in no mood to cook, but the one thing I never order are egg rolls.  I find by the time they get home the egg rolls are soggy, oily and usually too bland for my taste.  So I wanted to find a good egg roll recipe and I came across this food blog called Steamy Kitchen, by Jaden Hair.  Her blog is amazing and full of gorgeous Asian recipes.  I found her Mother's Famous Chinese Rolls and I knew I had to give them a try.  I did make a few changes, but I was so very pleased at the end result.  These were some amazing egg rolls.

 Note:  Throwback Thursday is a new series where I take some of my original posts here on  Curry and Comfort and redo them so I can take better photos.

Ingredients:

You will need:
1 bunch green onions chopped
2 carrots finely grated
2 cups shredded cabbage ** see note below
1 tbs of grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic minced
1lb lean ground pork (marinated-see below)
1 package egg roll wrappers (see notes below)
The prepared sauce (see below)


** here is a quick tip for the cabbage: get help from the store by buying a bag of pre-cut coleslaw

 
 Egg Roll wrappers. This was the only kind of egg roll wrappers available in my local grocery store.

Next time I will go to the Asian Market and get the frozen wrappers that are thinner and crispier that Jaden recommends.  But these are still good in my opinion.


Marinate the pork for 10 minutes in:
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp sugar
black pepper


For the filling you will need to prepare the following sauce:

1Tbs Chinese rice wine
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
black pepper to taste

Directions:
 Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. In one Tbs of oil saute' pork until no longer pink

Add vegetables and sauce. Stir fry for a few minutes until vegetables are tender.



You must cool the filling before proceeding to make the egg rolls. A great tip Jaden gives is to put it on a baking sheet and spread it out then tilted the cookie sheet so if there was any liquid in the filling it would drain out. I luckily had no liquid in my filling. But if you do, discard the liquid because you don't want liquid to make the egg rolls soggy.

Step one: fill wrapper with one teaspoon of filling.

Step 2:  fold corner over and roll tightly








Step 3: Fold sides over  


Step 4:  Roll tightly and seal the edge with water.
Have all egg rolls done before frying.  Do not lay on top of each other so they don't stick together.

Fry each egg roll until golden brown. You want your oil hot (about 350 degrees), but not scorching hot.  Once golden brown, take out of the oil and drain on paper towel.  Serve warm or room temperature.  Enjoy.



To see Jaden's Recipe please visit: My mothers-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.