Skillet Chorizo with Gnocchi

Skillet Chorizo and Gnocchi (or Tortellini)

     Nice and spicy, this simple dish is prepared on the stove top and is on the table in no time.  There are so many variations to try!  Add Mini Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Browned Ground Meat, leftover Cooked Chicken, Bell Peppers or Mini Sweet Peppers. Use Tortellini, Shells, Noodles or Ravioli instead of Gnocchi.  If cooking for a crowd, double up the Butter, Shrooms, Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Seasoning.  When it’s ready, ladle half of it into a different pan.  Add a different Meat to each pan AND a different Pasta.  Ta da!  Two dishes with the work of only one!  Your kitchen will smell like Grandma’s Italian Kitchen!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 3-4 servings

1 tbsp Butter

8 oz Mushrooms, sliced

1 lb Meat (Ground Meat, Andouille, Chorizo, Meatballs, Italian Sausage or cooked Chicken)

1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped

2-3 TBSP Garlic, chopped or minced

2 cups Fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes

1 TBSP spicy Seasoning (Creole or Cajun)

Black Pepper to taste

1 tsp each Parsley and Basil

16 oz Tortellini, Gnocchi, Ravioli, or Noodles or Shells, cooked Al Dente

Grated Romano, Asiago, or Parmesan for serving

PREPARATION:

     Cook the pasta in a large pot of water.

     Preheat a 12” skillet, and add Butter.  Cook Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, (and Peppers if using) until tender. Add your Meat and cook until done.  (Chicken should be precooked.  Leftover chicken is perfect). 

     Add Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the juice has cooked down a bit.  If it seems to runny, add 1 TBSP Tomato Paste.  Add Seasonings and cooked Pasta.  Simmer 5 more minutes.  Sprinkle Grated Cheese to the pan or on top of each individual bowl when serving.  Serve with crusty Bread and a Salad.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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Vegan or Not, Spicy Noodle Soup

This noodle soup was outstanding.  It’s been changed more times than my socks. 

Replacing half of the water with chicken broth adds another layer of flavor.  We ate it as it’s written below the first day.  Leftovers were reheated with leftover chicken.  Excellent!!  We’ll try pork another time.  I’m sure that will be awesome also!

Featured in: Inspired By Stone Soup, But More Delicious. Altered by  Alison Roman, and finally by Gail Westover for Chew Wanna Eat?

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Thai Kitchen Brown Rice Noodles or Spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

8- 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

 Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as maitake, oyster, cremini or shiitake, torn into bite-size pieces

½ Serrano hot pepper, thinly sliced (or 3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes)

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste

¼ cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more to taste

2 cups total of Greens, Cabbage, and/or Snow Peas (just a bit for color and extra nutrition),

4 cups Water and 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth (or 8 cups water for Vegans)

Optional 4 Scallions, sliced

1 – 1 ½ cups leftover shredded chicken or pork (omit if cooking Vegan)

Optional 1-2 total cups herbs such as Cilantro, Mint, Chives, Parsley or a mixture of all

 Sesame seeds for serving (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots start to turn a nice golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and half the Serrano, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, released much of their water and turned a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (A browned mushroom will have infinitely more flavor than an unbrowned mushroom, because the water inside it evaporates and the flavor concentrates. So do not skip this step.)
  3. Add 1/2 cup Low Sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup Rice Wine vinegar and 8 cups of water (I like 4 cups Water, 4 cups chicken broth). Bring to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper. Add Scallions and Chicken.  Continue to simmer until the flavors have melded, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  4. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. (The timing will depend on the type and brand of noodles, so consult the package.) Add the noodles to the pot with the broth, and let them finish cooking and soak up all the flavors.
  5. To serve, use tongs to divide the noodles and mushrooms among bowls, then ladle the hot broth over the top. Top each bowl with herbs, sesame seeds, extra sliced scallions or extra sliced hot peppers.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

15 Minute Pan Fried Cod

    Dinner on the table in 15 minutes?  Absolutely!  I am very fussy about my fish.  There are only a few that I like.  Cod is one of them.  I decided to do something totally new tonight and it was one of the best fish fillets I’ve ever had.  This is a no-measure recipe, and so quick!

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 2 – 3 Servings

1 lb. Cod Fillets

Olive Oil/Mayo

Fresh Garlic, chopped

Bread Crumbs, Seasoned

2 tsp Butter

PREPARATION:

    Sprinkle about ½ cup Bread Crumbs on a paper plate.  On another paper plate, lay the Fish Fillets.  Spread enough Olive Oil/Mayo on one side of the Fish.  Put as much Garlic on as you wish.  Sprinkle with Pepper.  Press the Filet in Bread Crumbs.  Flip over and do the other side. 

    Melt Butter over medium heat.  Cook the Fillets until golden brown, flip and cook the other side.  Depending on the thickness it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes per side. Fish will flake with a fork when done.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chicken Pot Pie

A Westover Leftover. Comfort food at it’s finest!



CHICKEN POT PIE

     Another Westover Leftover!  Remember the chicken soup I made a few days ago?  I cooked extra chicken in it to make the broth extra rich, and also to have leftover chicken and broth to make quick and easy meals.  You just can’t be that!  I began with 5 ½ lbs of bone-in chicken breast and 8 cans of chicken broth.  The magic continued from there.

     I ended up with one big bowl of soup which I photographed in one of my best bowls so it would look beautiful.  I was going to pour it back in the pot after taking pics, but I looked at it for so long, I ate it!  It was so good.  I have six small bags of soup in the freezer for future sickies.  I made three individual chicken pot pies.  I only intended to make two, but there was enough filling and pie crust to make one small one.  Can ya say, “Lunch?” I also made ten chicken, shrimp and black bean burritos.  Last night I made enough chicken and biscuits to serve four.  I made all this food with one big pot of chicken soup. What a deal, huh?

     Look at these beauties!!  Except for making homemade pie crust, the rest was a cinch.  If you just can’t make your own crust, use store-bought.  (Just don’t tell me.)

     I’ve seen lots of recipes for chicken pot pie baked and served in a pie pan.  I don’t care for that, because even if you let it sit for ten minutes after baking, I think everything slides out into the middle of the dish once you’ve cut it.  Hence the individual pies that I make.  Trust me, they are easier, because working with a small piece of dough is easier than a big piece.

     One thing I’ve learned over the years is to add more gravy than you think you might want.  You don’t want to end up with just chicken and veggies.  Between the holes you must put in the top crust so the steam can escape and what bubbles up around the edges of the crust you lose precious gravy.  Steam is part of your gravy!  No!  Not my gravy. Say it ain’t so. Make it on the wet side. I don’t know about you, but the gravy is a big part of the deliciousness of a chicken pot pie. I should have added a little extra to this batch.

PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS:  (This is for a double crust pie)

2 cups unbleached AP flour

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup Crisco

7 TBSP iced water

PREPARATION:

     In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt together.  Cut in Crisco with a pastry blender until mixture is pea sized.  Add your iced water one teaspoon at a time, stirring with a fork each time. Test it by picking up a small hunk and pinching it into a small ball.  If it sticks together smoothly, you’re good.  If it feels dry and crumbly, add another ½ teaspoon of water.  The texture is important.  It won’t roll out correctly if it’s too dry.

     Form dough into a ball and then cut it in half.  Depending on the size dish you’re using, you may want to cut it in half again so you have four pieces.

     On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a floured rolling pin until it’s the shape you want.  Pick rolled dough up with a spatula or wrap it around the rolling pin to transfer it to the dish.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

Pastry for double pie crust

1 can chicken broth

3 TBSP flour

2 TBSP corn starch

2 or 3 cups of chicken stock from your soup pot

1 chicken bouillon cube

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 rib celery, diced

½ tsp poultry seasoning

½ tsp thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp parsley

Pepper to taste

½ cup milk

½ – ¾ cup frozen peas, rinsed in water to remove ice

1 large chicken breast (about 2 cups), cooked and cut into big chunks

PREPARATION:

In a 3 quart saucepan, add chicken broth, flour, corn starch, and bouillon.  Over medium heat, bring to a simmer while whisking lumps out. Add 3 or 4 cups of chicken stock from your soup pot. (or a jar of chicken gravy). Once it’s come back to a simmer, add the carrots and celery.  Turn heat down to low. Cover pot with cover askew and let it simmer, stirring with whisk once in a while.

When vegetables are tender add the seasonings and peas.  When peas are done, add the chicken and milk. Ladle into prepared crusts.  Top with crust and poke holes in it with a fork.

Bake at 425°F for 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

To reheat any leftovers, it does fine in the microwave.  You’ll probably need to add extra gravy because the pastry soaks it up.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Three Types of Fish Cooked Three Healthy Ways Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock, Chili Lime Perch, Cajun Catfish

Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock and Chili Lime Perch


Spicy Crispy Baked Catfish

     We were both wanting Fish today, and went a little crazy.  I wanted Crispy Haddock, and we both wanted Perch.  Bob decided to bake Catfish filets for himself.  So, today we’re offering recipes for all three types of Fish which we cooked three different ways.  Please increase the Ingredients if you are using larger packages of Fish.  They are all simple recipes, and we served all three for dinner with homemade Cole Slaw and French Fries.

CHEESY CRISPY AIR-FRIED HADDOCK

INGREDIENTS:  2 servings

1 large Haddock Filet (about ½ lb)

1 egg, beaten

½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs

2 TBSP Romano Cheese, grated

2 TBSP Parmesan Cheese, grated

Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper

Lemon Juice

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle a little Lemon Juice on Filet.  Dip Filet in Beaten Egg.  Sprinkle Filet with Seasonings, and then dip in Bread Crumbs, pressing to make sure Crumbs adhere.  Turn over and repeat on the other side.  Depending on the temperature of your Air-Fryer, it can take anywhere from 5-7 minutes to cook.  When the color looks right, make sure it flakes with a fork.  Serve with Lemon Slices.

CHILI LIME PAN-FRIED PERCH FILETS

INGREDIENTS:  4 Servings

Perch Filets (about 1/2 lb)

1 TBSP Butter

Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed

Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice on each Filet.  Sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Salt, and Pepper.  

     Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add Butter.  When melted, add the Filets.  They are usually very small and only need a few minutes.  Flip over, season the other side, and cook until flaky.

BAKED CAJUN CATFISH FILETS

INGREDIENTS: Yields 2-3 Servings

2 large Catfish Filets 

1 TBSP Butter

Lemon Juice

Garlic Powder

Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 375° F.  When oven is warm, melt butter right in your baking dish.  While Butter is melting, drizzle Filets with Lemon Juice.  Sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Andy’s Fish Breading, pressing to adhere. *  Add Filets to baking dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes until flaky.

NOTE:  *To save the calories, Bob usually only breads one side of the fish.

By Chew Wanna Eat?

Spicy Crispy Baked Catfish

Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock and Chili Lime Pan Fried Perch


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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Crispy Sweet Potato Fritters with Bacon and Scallions

     I struck it rich when I decided to make a new Sweet Potato Fritter recipe.  I made them last year, and they were good, but these are out of this world delicious!  The Scallions, Bacon, Fresh Rosemary, and Orange Zest are very subtle and compliment the Sweet Potatoes wonderfully.  There is NO butter, NO added sugar, and very little oil to fry them.  If you want to make them completely healthy, omit the bacon. 

     Yeah, right.  Not happening.

     Using a little light Ranch Dressing was a perfect condiment.  They would go great with Steak, Meatloaf, Poultry, Fish, Pork, or even an Omelet.  Yep, I could definitely eat these with an Omelet or Scrambled Eggs.

Ingredients:  Yields 7 – 8 Fritters

2 large Sweet potatoes (You’ll need about 2 – 2 ¼ cups)

4 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 small Sprig fresh Rosemary, chopped or ½ tsp dried

1 TBSP orange zest

1 TBSP Flour

Dash of Salt and Pepper

1 Egg

¼ cup Scallions, sliced

Serve with Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Ranch Dressing, Siracha Sauce, Sour Cream, or Yogurt

PREPARATION:

     Wash the Sweet Potatoes.  Pierce only one of them 3-4 times with a fork or the point of a knife.  Cover with a paper towel or microwave safe lid.  Cook in microwave for 5-7 minutes, depending on the girth.  Stab it with a fork to make sure it’s tender.  Let it cool a bit.

     While the Potato is cooling, cook the Bacon in a 12” skillet.  Set aside. Using my old Indian trick, soak up most of the grease with a wadded-up paper towel and the tongs you used to turn your Bacon. 

     Peel the second Potato and grate it.  I used a box grater and it only took a minute or two.

     Pinch the cooked Potato, and the skin will split.  Squeeze the Potato into a medium-sized bowl.  Give it a quick mash with a fork.  Add the raw grated Potato and stir with the fork.  Add the Rosemary, Orange Zest, Flour, Salt and Pepper.  Stir well and push to the side of the bowl.

     Drop the egg on the empty side of the bowl, and lightly beat with your fork.  Mix everything together now.  Add the Scallions and crumbled Bacon.  Stir again. 

     In preheated skillet, add a small drizzle of Olive Oil.  When it’s hot, start dropping the Fritters in one at a time.  Leave room between them so you can get your spatula in there to turn them.  You’ll have to cook them in two batches.  Cook over low/medium heat until they are good and brown.  Flip them over and cook the other side.  They will be cooked in about ten minutes.  EAT ONE!!!  Roll your eyes and say, “Mmmmmmmmmmm”.

By Chew Wanna Eat

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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.

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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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Noodles

     We love Fried Cabbage, and it’s one of the most economical foods out there!  Since you use such a small amount of grease, it’s a very healthy meal.  Eat it as a main dish with a side salad and homemade bread, or as a side dish.  Cabbage is very high in fiber and nutrients, and contains zero fat.  I know!  It’s sounding better and better all the time, isn’t it?  Wait until you try this quick dish!  It’s SO good!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 2-3 main servings, or 6 side dish servings

3 slices Bacon, cut in half, fried until crisp

6+ cups Cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup Onion, chopped

2 large handfuls Egg Noodles (about 2 cups)

1-2 cloves Garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 TBSP butter (Optional)

PREPARATION:

     Cook bacon until crisp.  Set aside.  You will crumble it later.

     Drain most of the grease from the pan, leave a few tsp.  Add Cabbage and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add Onion and Garlic. Continue cooking until Cabbage is browned and tender.  I use Tongs to flip it over.

     Meanwhile, cook Egg Noodles for 5 minutes, drain.  Add to Cabbage mixture.  Add Butter.  Add Salt and pepper.  Add crumbled Bacon.

     Serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Cheesy Tuna Casserole (No Soup)

If you love Tuna Noodle Casserole, but don’t want the addition of high sodium soup, this is the recipe for you!

Even when I was a fussy kid, I always liked Tuna Casserole. As an adult, I still like it. I don’t make it with canned soup though. I think it is way too salty and tends to over- power the casserole. This recipe makes a creamy casserole, and you can customize it with vegetables of your choice. As far as the Cheese goes, use a little, use a lot, mix up the Cheeses. I love Extra Sharp and a little Swiss, but you do your own thing. Serve it with homemade Corn Bread baked in a cast iron pan and dinner is served!


INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 6 Large Servings

1 pkg Egg Noodles

3 TBSP Butter

¾ cup Mushrooms, chopped

½ cup Celery, diced

2 cloves Garlic, chopped

¼ cup AP Flour

15 oz Chicken Broth, Reduced Sodium is fine

1 ½ cups Milk

¼ cup Dry Sherry (I use Taylor)

12 oz Grated Cheese

10 oz Drained Tuna (I use four 2.6 oz packages)


Topping:

8-10 Buttery Crackers, crushed

½ cup Bread Crumbs

Optional 3 TBSP melted Butter


OPTIONAL VEGETABLES: Diced Carrots, Chopped Broccoli, Frozen Peas, thawed and drained, Corn, thawed and drained (Without washing, I use the colander that I drained the noodles in to thaw any frozen Veggies and let them drain).


CHEESE: Here’s what I like: 4 oz Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheese, grated4 Slices Swiss Cheese, chopped 4 Slices Cooper Cheese, chopped

PREPARATION:

Cook noodles in at least a 4 qt Dutch Oven, drain and set aside. I only boil them for 5 minutes. They will continue cooking when in the oven.
In the same pan on Low/Medium Heat, melt Butter. Add Mushrooms, Celery, Garlic. Sautee for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup Flour, Chicken Broth, Milk, and Sherry. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until beginning to thicken.
Turn heat to low (mixture should be barely simmering). Begin slowly adding Cheeses. If you do it too fast, it may curdle, and you will not like that. Once the Cheeses are completely melted, taste it and make sure it’s Cheesy enough for you.
Butter a deep 4 quart Casserole Dish and put the noodles in. Add Tuna and stir. Add thawed Vegetables, and stir again. Pour Cheese/Milk mixture over noodles. Stir again.
Smash up about 8-10 Buttery Crackers and sprinkle on top. Add about ½ cup Bread Crumbs. Optional: Melt 3 TBSP butter and pour over topping.
Bake at 375° F for 20-30 minutes, depending on whether you use a deep casserole dish or a shorter 9” x 13” baking dish.

MY BEST AND FAVORITE BUTTERMILK CORN BREAD

The only cornbread recipe I use. I like my cornbread moist and a little on the sweet side. I’m not crazy about the Southern style. Give this a try. It freezes beautifully!
Wonderful with chili, tuna casserole, soup, breakfast. Cornbread is basically a quick bread. It’s incredibly easy and so satisfying.

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 a tiny bit of cooked crumbled bacon, mini sweet peppers, fresh corn, etc. I think you get the idea. If it sounds good? Add it.

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