Split Pea and Ham Soup

     Talk about winter comfort food.  This is it.  Just look at those chunks of Ham and Carrots.  I’ve tweaked my recipe, so it tastes even better. Pair it with a Salad and/or Cornbread for a wholesome, delicious meal.  Give it a try!  It freezes wonderfully, so make extra.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups dried Split Peas

2 quarts Chicken Broth (64 oz) (5 cans = 70 oz)

1 ½ lbs ham bone (or leftover diced ham)

½ cup Diced Celery

1 chopped Onion

1 clove garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp thyme

1/8 tsp marjoram

1 potato, trimmed and cubed (If you plan on freezing, omit the taters)

Start with 2 carrots, add a few more later.   Original ones will break down

OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

PREPARATION:

     There is two ways to prepare dried Peas.  Sort and rinse the Peas before you do anything.  Then either soak them overnight in cold water, or the quicker way is to simmer them for 5 minutes, and remove from heat.  Let them soak for 60 to 90 minutes.

     In a large pot (minimum 6 quart), add Ham Bone, soaked Peas, Chicken Broth, Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  (Even though they will get blended later, I add a chopped Carrot or two now because they will add extra flavor to the Soup.) Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until Peas are tender.  It will take at least 90 minutes.  NOTE:  If you’re using leftover diced Ham, don’t add it until the Peas have been blended.

     Once the Peas are tender, remove the Ham Bone and set aside.  You can either use a food processor or an immersible blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency.  Add diced Carrots and cook until tender.  Add diced Ham.  Add seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve.

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Sausage Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing

Made with my Prize-Winning Cornbread Recipe

     I LOVE Cornbread Stuffing!  I can still remember the first time I ever had it.  I couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  I make Cornbread a lot, so I often make an extra one to put in the freezer for when I’m craving Cornbread Stuffing.  It goes great with most anything, Poultry, Fish, Ham, Meatloaf, Pork Chops or Roast, or anything else you can think of.  Since the main Ingredient is Cornbread, you want to make homemade.  Eat some of it for dinner the night before or have it for breakfast.  Day old Cornbread is best for Cornbread Stuffing. (My recipe is below.)

     This recipe has the addition of Mushrooms and Carrots which I don’t always add to my Stuffing.  It’s very nice for a change. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 5-6 Servings

½ lb Breakfast Sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean, Sage flavor) Freeze the rest.

4 cups crumbled Cornbread

¾ cup Herbed Stuffing Mix (or stale bread, crumbled)

3 TBSP Butter

1 cup Mushrooms, chopped

¼ cup Onions, chopped

3 TBSP Mini Sweet Peppers, chopped

3 TBSP Celery, chopped

3 TBSP Carrot, diced

½ – ¾ tsp Dried Sage + extra for cooking

½ tsp Dried Thyme

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1 ¾ cups Chicken Broth (or use some Buttermilk & less Chicken Broth)

PREPARATION:

     In a large skillet, cook and crumble Sausage.  Place in large bowl.  Drain grease, if there is any.

     In the same skillet, add Butter, all the Vegetables, and a few dashes of Pepper, Sage, and Thyme.  Cook until Carrots are just about tender.  Add ½ tsp Sage and ½ tsp Thyme, and stir into the Vegetables.  Remove from heat and set aside for a minute.

     In the same large bowl, add Herbed Stuffing Mix and crumbled Cornbread on top of the Sausage.  Stir.

Add the cooked Vegetables, and stir. 

    Pour Chicken Broth over mixture, stir.  Cornbread Stuffing needs to be wetter than normal Stuffing because it’s best when it’s on the moist side. Add the Chicken Broth and stir well.  If it seems too dry, add some extra Chicken Broth, Buttermilk or regular Milk.

     Place Stuffing into a Buttered 9” x 9” baking dish.  Cover with Aluminum Foil to prevent it from drying too much.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375° F.  Remove the Foil and check to see if you need to add any extra liquid.  Return Stuffing to the oven.  Bake for another 30 minutes or so.  You want the top to be slightly browned and a little crispy, but don’t let it dry out. 

NOTES:  This is an easily customizable dish.  Omit any of the Vegetables you don’t want, add other Vegetables you do want. 

You can cook it at a higher temperature if you’re cooking something else as the main course, just lessen the baking time. 

     The only cornbread recipe I use.  I like my Cornbread moist and a little on the sweet side.  Give this a try.  It freezes beautifully! If you love Cornbread Stuffing, this is the Cornbread to use!  This is my cornbread that won first prize at the Jefferson County Fair. I always sauté chopped Onion in the same cast iron skillet that I’ll bake the Bread in.  Most of the time I add about 6 chopped Jalapenos.  Sometimes I add chopped Bell Pepper or chopped Mini Sweet Peppers.  (If you plan on making Cornbread Stuffing, omit the Jalapenos.  I think it ruins the Stuffing.)

     Wonderful with chili, tuna casserole, soup, breakfast.  Cornbread is basically a quick bread.  It’s incredibly easy and so satisfying.  I can’t think of anything Cornbread doesn’t go with.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup + 2 TBSP yellow corn meal

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ cup buttermilk

PREPARATION:

Cream Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and half of the milk.  Beat well.

Add baking powder and salt, mixing until combined.

Add corn meal, flour and remainder of milk.  Mix until combined.

The best cornbread is always baked in a cast iron pan.  The edges get so wonderfully crispy.  If you don’t have one, use a greased cake pan or baking dish.

BAKE AT 375* for about 40 minutes, or until desired browning is achieved. I don’t like mine pale and always let it get browned.  (See picture)

I often bake a half batch.  Know, however, that the leftover bread can be frozen to make stuffing with!

NOTE:  My special additives are sautéed onions, chopped jalapenos, a little cooked and crumbled bacon, mini sweet peppers, green bell pepper, fresh corn, etc.  I think you get the idea.  If it sounds good?  Add it.

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PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

    There’s just something soothing and homey about homemade peanut butter cookies.  Is it because your grandmother and mother used to make them?  Is it just because they’re so darn good?  I’m not sure, but whatever the reason – we love ‘em! 

     This simple recipe uses one bowl, one measuring cup and a spatula.  It’s simple enough for your beginner baker to try his or her hand.

INGREDIENTS: Yield 25 cookies

3/4 cup – honey*

1/4 cup – butter or margarine, softened

1 – egg

3/4 cup – peanut butter

1 teaspoon – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – salt

1/2 teaspoon – baking soda

1-1/2 cups AP unbleached flour

¾ cup chocolate chips

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, mixing until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, one heaping tablespoon at a time, onto well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and cool on wire rack.

Please remember not to feed honey to children under one- year-old.  Read more:   http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/botulism.html

*I used local raw honey

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

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CHEW WANNA EAT?

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CHEW WANNA EAT, by Gail Westover is her newest creation.  Gail, an avid cook, has been writing what she calls “the never ending cookbook” for many years.  In the meantime, friends regularly ask for her recipe for one thing or another.  Instead of a book, Gail has chose to go this route for now.  Guest cooks will be invited to share some of their special creations.  Submit your recipe with good quality photo to chewwannaeat@gmail.com

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

Asian Pork and Noodles, a Westover Leftover

     My newest Westover Leftover was quite a challenge. We had been out most of the day and didn’t plan anything for dinner.  I had a teeny little piece of Pork Tenderloin in the refrigerator.  It was probably enough to make one sandwich.  I wanted to do something with it, but I wasn’t sure what, and I had 3 adults to feed.  After pawing around, I saw Broccoli in the Vegetable drawer, I suddenly started yanking things out.  You might have been injured if you stood in my way.  I had Sake, Teriyaki Sauce, the Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, a package of Mushrooms, and plenty of Garlic.  No Snow Peas, but not a problem.  I’d use frozen peas.  (I ended up forgetting them and was mad!)

     Nothing was measured.  I sort of eye-balled everything, so know that the Ingredients listed below are not etched in stone, and are a guideline to get you started.  Change it out however you wish! Hate Broccoli?  No problem.  Add Bean Sprouts instead.  If you love Water Chestnuts, throw some in.  No Sake in the house?  Use White Wine.

     Ugh.  I cooked too many Noodles.  Now I have leftover Noodles.  Ha ha

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 3 – 4 SERVINGS

Leftover Pork (I used about ¼ of a Pork Tenderloin, but any leftover Pork will be fine)

1 Carrot, diced, Julienned, or shredded

1 cup or so fresh Broccoli, cut into pieces

2 mini Sweet Peppers, sliced

One 8 oz package Mushrooms (Sliced or quartered)

1 Onion, sliced lengthwise

1 cup Snow Peas (or Sweet Peas, Fresh or frozen)

¾ of a can of chicken broth +/-

¼ cup Sake +/-

¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce

¼ cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 TBSP Corn Starch

Seasonings:  Black Pepper, a few dashes of Five Spice Powder, a few dashes of Ginger Powder

OPTIONAL:  Top with Sesame seeds

PREPARATION:

     Preheat a large skillet, and drizzle some Olive Oil in the bottom.  Add the Vegetables that will take the longest to cook.  I started with Broccoli and diced Carrot.  Sauté for a few minutes, and add the Mushrooms and mini Sweet Peppers.  I drizzled with a bit of Soy Sauce.  Continue cooking, adding the faster cooking Veggies as you go.  The Peas and Onion get added next.  Garlic goes last.  You can start adding Soy, Teriyaki Sauce, and Sake a tablespoon or so at a time.  The same with the Seasonings.  They can be added any time.  Do NOT over do on the Five Spice Powder or Ginger Powder because they can both be overpowering.  Add more at the end after tasting, if you wish.

     When the Veggies are cooked, push them to the side of the pan.  Add your diced or shredded Pork.  I added another few tsp each of Sake, Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce.  Cook until just heated through.  Push to the side.

     I’m sure you recall that if I have leftover chicken or beef broth, I pour it into a baggie and stick it in the freezer for times like this.  I think I had somewhere between ½ and ¾ of a can of chicken broth that I pulled out.  I didn’t even thaw it.  You’ll see in the pictures.  I did allow a teeny bit of it to thaw before I added a bit of Corn Starch.  I stirred just that side of the pan until the Corn Starch was dissolved.  I brought it to a simmer, and then mixed the everything together.  Now you can give it a taste and check the Seasonings.

     Serve over cooked rice or any kind of noodles.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

A sad little piece of pork

Cheesy Garlic Knots

     I’m sure you’ve heard of Garlic Knots made from Pizza Dough.  Sure.  Everyone has.  BUT . . . have you ever heard of Cheese Stuffed Garlic Knots?  I never have.  We had a bag of Pizza Dough lurking around in the freezer.  I was making a pot of Chili tonight and wanted something other than Corn Bread or Italian Bread.  Garlic Knots it is!  Then, as is typical of me I had to mess with perfection by stuffing them with Cheese.  And, I couldn’t be happy stuffing with just Italian Cheeses, I had to make half of them with a Mexican Cheese Blend.  Don’t even ask me which was better.  I can’t say.  Oh, and I STILL couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I had to not only baste the tops with a Garlic/Butter/Olive Oil mixture and Seasonings, but I sprinkled the matching Cheese Blend on top of each one.  Let me just say that there is only two left out of 12. 

     It’s common to serve Garlic Knots with Marinara Sauce, or even warmed Seasoned Olive Oil.  After all the work of stuffing them, I wanted to eat them plain to allow the Cheesy goodness to come shining through. 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 12 Knots

Pizza Dough, Store bought or Homemade

2 TBSP Olive Oil

3 TBSP Butter

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2-3 oz Mexican Cheese Blend, grated

2-3 oz Italian Cheese Blend, grated

For sprinkling:  Basil, Parsley, Salt

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 415° F.  Line a baking sheet with Silicone mat or Parchment paper.

     On an extra piece of Parchment paper, cut Dough into 12 equal pieces.  I use a pizza wheel and it works like a charm.

     In a small saucepan, place the Butter, Olive Oil, and Garlic.  Over medium low heat, stir until Butter is melted, and then cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Yu want this mixture to cool a bit before you baste it on your Dough.  You don’t want to hurt the Yeast in the Dough.

     Working with one piece at a time, stretch into a rectangle.  See photo.  Sprinkle cheese on top, pinch the seams together.  Then roll a rope between your hands or on Parchment to about 9”.  Remember that the Gluten is going to keep pulling the dough back into itself.  Let it rest for a few minutes, giving the Glutens time to relax.  Tie each into a knot and place on the baking sheet.

     Baste the Butter mixture on the top and sides of each Knot.  Sprinkle with a bit of each of the Seasonings.  Then Sprinkle a little Cheese on top.

     Bake for 13-16 minutes or until the Knots are light golden brown to darker golden brown. (Your choice).  Remove from oven and brush with the remaining Butter mixture.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

     It’s that time of year again.  We’re doing less grilling and more inside cooking.  Since Bob is wonderful on the grill, I always miss it, but he still fires up the grill in the winter because we’ve just got to have it!  He shovels the snow out of the way, and goes for it.  Our neighbors are either very jealous when the aromas waft their way or they think we’re nuts. 

     I do miss my kitchen, and lately I’ve been in there messing it up again.  It does my heart good.  Dinner tonight was my Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  We had forgotten how hearty and delicious it is. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 4 SERVINGS

5 cups fresh Broccoli.  Florets cut into 1” pieces.  Stems peeled and cut in ¼” strips

2 – 2 ½ TBSP Butter

¾ cup Onion, chopped

2-3 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Shallot, chopped

½ cup Carrot, grated

2 quick dashes Cayenne Powder

2 quick dashes Nutmeg

2 cups (1 can) Chicken Broth

1 TBSP AP Flour

1 + cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (or ½ cup Sharp Cheddar, ¼ cup Monterey Jack and ¼ cup American is nice too)

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Pepper

PREPARATION:

          Preheat a large heavy pot.  Melt 2 TBSP Butter.  Add Onions and Shallots, and cook for 2 minutes until soft.  Add Broccoli, Carrots, and Garlic.  Add 2 quick dashes Cayenne powder.  Cook over low heat for 7-8 min, stirring frequently. If it loses all the liquid, add the other ½ TBSP Butter.

     Add 2 cups Chicken Broth, and Flour.  Cover.  Let simmer about 20 minutes or until Broccoli is very tender.     

     Add Half and Half, 2 dashes Nutmeg, a generous sprinkle of Pepper, and start slowly adding the Cheeses, stirring constantly.  As the Cheese melts, add more. 

     Using a food processor (preferred) or a blender, and process until the desired consistency is reached.  Return to the pan and taste.  You may want to add more Cheese.  It’s a matter of preference.  Serve with sprinkled grated Cheese on top.

     A nice garden Salad and a loaf of crusty Bread or Corn Bread will give you a healthy and delicious meal that the whole family will love.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Skillet Louisiana-Style Shrimp

Chew Wanna Eat?

Skillet Louisiana-Style Shrimp

When you want something zesty and fast to serve your family or guests, this is it! Best of all, you control the heat, as well as the option to add Sweet Chili Sauce if you’d like a hint of sweet. Want to add Andouille Sausage? Feel free to customize this dish any way you want. Having a party? It makes an awesome appetizer!


INGREDIENTS: Yields 2 main dish servings

One 12 oz bag of peeled/deveined raw Shrimp

Drizzle of Olive Oil

2 TBSP Butter

2 cups fresh Tomato, peeled, seeded, and chunked

1/3 cup Onion, diced or cut into strips

½ cup Okra (optional)

¼ cup Celery, diced

2 TBSP chopped or thinly sliced Sweet Mini Peppers

2 cloves Garlic, chopped or minced

¼ tsp Oregano

1/8 tsp Thyme

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 TBSP Fresh squeezed Lemon or Lime Juice (Lemon juice is more traditional)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp Sriracha sauce (You can add more after you taste it)


PREPARATION:
Preheat a 12” skillet on medium heat. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil, Tomato, Okra, and Celery. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Add Peppers and Onion, and sauté a few more minutes. Turn heat to low and add Garlic, cooking another minute.


Turn the heat to medium/low. Push Veggies to the side and add the Butter, Shrimp, and Seasonings. If you love Garlic, you can add more here, just be careful not to burn it. The Shrimp only takes about 3 minutes to cook. When Shrimp is pink, add Worcestershire, Sriracha sauce, and Lemon or Lime Juice.
Mix everything together now and serve over rice.


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Delicious and Healthy After School Snack

Bob bought a package of Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice Bagels.  To be honest, I didn’t expect much.  Boy, was I wrong!  They’re delicious.  If you want to have them without masking the flavor use only Butter.  We found that putting Cream Cheese on them hides the flavor a little.  In case you notice a bite mark in one of the Bagels, someone couldn’t wait for me to snap a picture. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Everything Italian Bread

EVERYTHING ITALIAN BREAD
Heavy crust outside and soft on the inside, this bread recipe can also be used to make sandwich rolls, focaccia or pizza crust. Doubles easily. Can make rolls and bread or pizza and bread, etc. Often, I will time and a half the recipe and make one large loaf. It seems better for sandwiches.Yield: Makes 1 loaf


INGREDIENTS:
1 pkg active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°) 2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour (For 1 loaf, 2 ¾ cups works well)2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon salt TOPPING: Olive Oil, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Basil


PREPARATION:
1. Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 -10 minutes. This makes the sponge. Add 2 cups flour, oil, and salt to bowl, and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, 1 minute. Gradually add additional flour until dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl and pull together. (Note: The dough will take on a “shaggy” appearance as the flour is being added. When enough flour has been added, the dough will look soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or overly dry with a rough surface. After each addition of flour, let it mix for a minute then touch it with your finger. If sticky, add a few more TBSP flour, and repeat last step. )


2. Increase speed to medium, and beat 5 minutes. Cover bowl of dough with greased plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and let stand 10 minutes.


3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for one minute, shape dough into a 12-inch loaf, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Let rise for 20 – 30 min.

4. Cut 3 – 4 (1/2-inch deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife. (The slits release interior steam and prevent the loaf from blowing apart.) If desired, brush top and sides with olive oil and generously sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder and any other seasoning you care to add (basil would be nice).

5. Bake bread at 425° for approx. 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.


6. SANDWICH ROLLS: don’t shape into balls that are more than 1” high. They rise a lot when baking and they will be too thick. Bake rolls for 20-25 min. until deep golden brown


7. Herbed Focaccia: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Press handle of a wooden spoon into dough to make indentations at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle dough evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Bake at 475° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.


8. Pizza Crust: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, or spread with pesto or pizza sauce, and sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake at 475° for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Grilled Tequila Lime Chicken

     Chicken, Lime, Tequila, and the perfect blend of seasonings yields moist, tender and flavorful chicken.   If you go out to dinner, you’ll pay a lot for a Mexican dinner like this.  You can serve your family the same meal at home pay way less and have a tastier homemade meal.  We love Mexican food and this meal did NOT disappoint.  The Mexican Style Beans and Rice complimented the chicken, the lime flavor was wonderful, and it was a nice change from lemon. To view the Mexican Style Beans and Rice, go to: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/chewwannaeat.wordpress.com/5892

     You could slice the chicken and pile it on a Taco Shell, Flatbread, or a Salad if you’d rather.  It would be great stuffed in an Enchilada or Burrito.  Top with the Rice or serve it on the side for a complete Mexican dinner your family is sure to love.

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 2 ½ lbs boneless chicken

1/3 cup Tequila

1/4 cup Orange Juice

1/3 cup Lime Juice

2 TBSP Lime Zest

3 TBSP Olive Oil

1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped

5 – 7 Cloves Garlic, Minced

¼ tsp Cumin

½ – 1 tsp Sriracha Chili Powder

Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

      In a large bowl, combine all Ingredients except Chicken.  Whisk until combined.  Butterfly chicken, pierce with the tines of a fork and add to bowl with Marinade.  Cover and refrigerate a minimum of two hours.  I like to leave it overnight.

     Cook as desired.  Grilled, Baked, or Pan Fried.

Recipe Notes: Make sure you use an oven-safe skillet or pan before baking the chicken in the oven. You may also grill the chicken. For the chicken, you can use boneless and skinless chicken breast/chicken thighs or bone-in chicken thighs.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Crab Alfredo over Pasta

CRAB ALFREDO OVER PASTA

Creamy, Cheesy, and on the table in about 15 minutes.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 3 servings

Drizzle Olive Oil

6 TBSP Butter

6 Garlic Cloves, chopped or minced

2 oz Cream Cheese

1 cup Half and Half

One 8 oz bottle Clam Juice

1/3 cup White Wine

2 TBSP AP Flour

½ -3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

Dash each of Nutmeg, Chipotle Chili Powder or Red Pepper, White Pepper, Basil


One 1 lb can of Crab Meat

One 6 oz can of Crab Meat

Optional: Broccoli, Peas, Asparagus, Mushrooms


PREPARATION:
Drizzle a bit of Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add the Butter. Once the Butter is melted, add the Garlic and cook for 2 minutes being careful not to burn it.


Add Cream Cheese. Break it up and allow it to melt. Add Half and Half, Clam Juice, White Wine, and Flour. Bring to a simmer and stir until slightly thickened.


Slowly add the Parmesan Cheese while stirring constantly. Add Seasonings and taste. If it isn’t thick enough, add a little more Cheese.


Add Crab Meat last and heat through.


Serve over your favorite Pasta and garnish with additional grated Parmesan.


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Homemade Pierogi


Whether you have family from Poland, the Ukraine, Romania or even good ole’ America, chances are you’ve had Pierogi. They are out of this world delicious. They are a bit of work, ok, maybe a lot of work . . . but they are so worth it. People were eating them cold right out of the refrigerator here. They were undeniably scrumptious.


My favorite was the Potato with Cheese, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion. Bob preferred the Potato, Sauerkraut, and Diced Onion. I also made Sweet Potato with Bacon, but neither of us were crazy about them.


If you’d like to read Pierogi history, go to: http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-food/facts-history-about-pierogihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi
I’m sure every family that ate Pierogi had their own recipe. I was never introduced to them until I was an adult. Man, oh man. All those years wasted!

Here’s my recipe.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

4 large Russet potatoes

2 TBSP butter

3/4 cup cubed or grated cheese (I use a mixture of Colby, Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Cooper). 

¼ + milk

Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (about 1/2 tsp each)

OPTIONAL:  Sauerkraut, Diced Raw Onion, Crumbled Bacon, Green Onions

DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Yields 40-50 pierogis, depending on size
6 cups AP flour1 extra large egg¾ tsp saltPepper to taste1 ½ – 1 ¾ cups potato water1 egg yolk to seal doughOPTIONAL: Seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, parsley
DOUGH PREPARATION AND ASSEMBLY:
In food processor, add flour, egg, salt, and quickly pulse to incorporate. If you want to add seasonings, do it now. Add room temperature potato water in three batches and mix until dough forms. It will only take about 1 minute.
Grab a hunk of dough and squeeze it. It shouldn’t be wet, nor should it be crumbly. Give it a quick knead. It should be the consistency of Play Dough. No need to flour your work surface. It doesn’t stick. Roll it out until very thin. It is so easy to work with. Cut with a glass, biscuit cutter, or a press. They should be approximately 3 ½ “rounds. Fill with a good TBSP of potato, whatever extras you’re adding on top, and fold over. Smear a little beaten egg onto only one side of the dough along the edge. Press to seal. Any scraps of dough should be added back into the bowl.
Lay completed Pierogis on a clean dish towel and cover with another towel. This will keep the dough from drying out. A dish towel is the standard. However, this time I used Parchment Paper. If the objective is to keep them from drying out, won’t a cotton cloth remove some of their moisture? Parchment Paper worked wonderfully for me.

TO COOK PIEROGIS:
Drop one at a time into a large pan of salted boiling water. I would cook only 6 at one time. They will sink like a stone, but that’s ok. After about one minute, lightly push a spatula under them to make sure they aren’t stuck to the bottom of pan. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. In 3-4 minutes they will rise to the top. They should be fully cooked and ready to eat with butter and sautéed onions.
TO FRY COOKED PIEROGIS:
I prefer mine browned in a little bacon grease, but you could also use olive oil or butter (or a little of both). If you’re using onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, etc. add them now. Don’t crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.
Serve with Sour Cream, Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing.
Pictured below is the dough press I used. A set of 3 is available for around $4.00. I may invest in the press that makes 6 at once. I think it might be a time-saver. These presses can be used for hand pies, calzone, ravioli, empanadas, and all sorts of other fun projects.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Oven Baked Cod

Oven Baked Cod and Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Baked Cod Pictured with Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

     Pictured is my newest Potato recipe for Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes, as well as Oven Baked Cod.  Normally I bread and fry or air fry my fish, but I decided to be more waistline friendly and bake it for a change.  It was so good! 

INGREDIENTS: 2 Servings

1 lb Cod Fillets

1 TBSP Butter

Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper

PREPARATION:

     In a small baking dish, smear half the Butter on the bottom of the dish.  Place Fillets in dish.  Squirt as much Lemon Juice as you want on top of the fish.  Either spread the remaining Butter on the Fillets or cut it in small pieces and lay it on top.  Sprinkle with Seasonings and bake at 400 ° F for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how thick the Fillets are.  Twist a fork in the center of the Fillets and if they separate and flake, they’re done.

     Of course, serve with my newest Au’ Gratin Potatoes and the Vegetable of your choice.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019