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

Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Thinly sliced Potatoes in a smooth and creamy Cheese Sauce.  What could be better?  Serve them with Fish, Meatloaf, Poultry, Pork, Scrambled Eggs or just about anything else.  Comfort food at its finest.

INGREDIENTS:

4 1/2 -5 cups sliced Russet Potatoes, (I leave skins on)

1 cup Onions, sliced

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 mini Sweet Peppers, chopped or sliced

Black Pepper

2 1/4 cups Half and Half

¼ cup Sherry

3 TBSP AP Flour

Salt & Pepper

6 oz Extra Sharp Cheese, grated.  (I like Cracker Barrel)

OPTIONAL:  Using only Extra Sharp gives the potato the tangy bite of Extra Sharp Cheese.  If you’d rather

You can do half Extra Sharp and half American.

PREPARATION:

     Butter bottom and sides of a deep casserole dish and set aside.

     In a small frying pan, add a few small pats of Butter, Onions, and a liberal sprinkling of Black Pepper.  Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add mini Sweet Peppers and cook another 10 minutes.  Add Garlic and cook until Onions are beginning to caramelize. 

     While Onions are cooking, wash Potatoes well, and slice thin.  I never peel them because I like the skin.  Lay half the Potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkle half the Onion mixture on top.  Cut a TBSP or so of Butter and sprinkle it over the top.  Add remaining Potatoes, a little more Butter, and remaining Onion mixture.  Cover with foil and put in a preheated 400 ° F oven.

     While the Potatoes are beginning to cook in the oven, prepare the Cheese Sauce.  In a 1 ½ quart sauce pan add Half and Half, Sherry, Flour, Pepper, and a little Salt.  (cheese has plenty of salt, so don’t over do it).  Stir over medium heat until Flour is well incorporated and you begin to see tiny bubbles forming.  Turn the heat down and slowly add approximately 4 ounces of grated Cheese.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat. 

     Take the Potatoes out of the Oven, pour the Cheese Sauce on and return the foil.  Place back in the oven for about 45 minutes. 

     Sprinkle another 2 oz or so of Grated Cheese on top of the Potatoes.  Sprinkle with Parsley and Paprika for color.  Return to the oven without the foil and bake for about 10 minutes or until the Cheese is melted.

There is a lot of Cheese Sauce, so feel free to load up your Potatoes.  For photo purposes I didn’t add as much as I normally would.  It would not have made an attractive photo with Cheese Sauce running off the sides of the plate.  Well, maybe it would have, but it’s too late now.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Cottage Cheese Spring Salad, 2 Versions

     My Cottage Cheese Spring Salad is one of those healthy versatile dishes that is SO good in the summer.  You can use Low-Fat or Regular Cottage Cheese.  There is so much taste from the Vegetables that you won’t know the difference.  It’s completely customizable and can be eaten as a Meal,  Side Dish, or Dip with Fresh Vegetables or Crackers.  I have listed two of my variations below.

INGREDIENTS: (Yellow Bowl)

16 oz Cottage Cheese, Regular or Low-Fat

2 mini Sweet Peppers

1 thin slice of a Sweet Onion

1 rib Celery

1 medium Carrot, shredded

1 medium Tomato, rough chopped

½ cup Cucumber, rough chopped

Parsley and Pepper

PREPARATION:  Place Peppers, Onion, Celery, and Carrot in food processor.  Process until desired size.  Add chopped Cucumbers and Tomatoes, and give a quick process.

Mix into the Cottage Cheese.  Serve

††

INGREDIENTS: Clear Glass Bowl

1 cup Cottage Cheese, Regular or Low-Fat

Small piece of Carrot, rough chopped

½ rip Celery, rough chopped

3 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

Small slice of Onion

1 Green Olive

1 Kalamata Olive

1-2 tsp Garlic, chopped

1 small mini sweet Pepper

Parsley and Pepper

PREPARATION:

Place Carrot, Celery, Onion, Olives, Garlic, and Mini Sweet Pepper in food processor.  Process until desired size.  Add Tomatoes, and give a quick process.

Mix into the Cottage Cheese.  Serve

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

My Favorite Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Eating Friendly

Chicken, Fruit, Veggies, Greens, and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. What could be better?

   Have you ever eaten something with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction drizzled over it?  Fruit, Cheese, Tossed Salad, etc?  Have you ever ordered a Caprese Salad appetizer in a restaurant?  Very expensive for a few slices of Tomato, Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, and drizzled with Olive Oil and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.  SO easy to make your own.  Anyway, I made a Salad out of various Greens and Veggies.  I placed cut-up Fruit around the edge, and plopped a leftover grilled Chicken Breast on top.  I drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction, and dug in!!!  So healthy.  So good!

     Feel free to grill your Chicken just for this dish, but to me it makes sense when BBQing Chicken to grill a few extra pieces to save for this delicious Salad!  For an informal dinner, I think putting out various containers with all the Salad Ingredients and letting people make their own would be fun!

PREPARATION OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR REDUCTION IS SIMPLE:      Simply pour your favorite Balsamic Vinegar in a pan and let it simmer until it’s the consistency you want.  It only takes a few minutes, so don’t walk away.  (Some people like to add Honey, but I think the Vinegar reduction is sweet enough).

    Feel free to drizzle a little Olive Oil over the Greens also. 

Here’s what I put on my Salad:

Grilled Chicken, your choice of cut

Baby Spinach

Arugula

Fresh Basil

Romaine Lettuce

Onions, sliced

Green Olives

Kalamata Olives

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Strawberries

Raspberries

Grapes

Watermelon

For Cheese, either sliced Fresh Mozzarella or Feta would be great.  Stop looking for the Cheese on my Salad.  There isn’t any ☹  I was out of both.  Yes, I cried a little.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

     If you’re new to Gruyère Cheese, you may not know that it comes from the alpine region of Switzerland where it has been made in copper vats for over 900 years.  It’s a great Cheese to feature on a cheese platter, fondue, or even slice it on a sandwich.  It is a flavorful long-aged cheese included in recipes such as potato dishes, breads, souffles, egg dishes, and French Onion soup!

INGREDIENTS: Yields 8 servings

8 cups sliced Yukon gold potatoes, skins in tact

2 large Onions, sliced

4 cloves Garlic, chopped

2 drizzles Olive Oil, divided

1 TBSP Butter, divided

6 oz block Gruyère Cheese, grated

1 pint Whipping Cream

Salt and Pepper

OPTIONAL VEGGIES: Cabbage, Mushrooms, Mini Sweet Peppers

PREPARATION:

     In large saucepan, drizzle Olive Oil and heat on low/medium heat.  Sauté Onions until browned and caramelized.  Add the Garlic and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

     While the Onions are cooking, wash and slice potatoes thinly.  I always leave the skin on because I like it, but you can peel them if you’d like.

     When the Onions are cooked to your liking, remove from pan.  If you are using any of the Optional Veggies, cook them in another drizzle of Olive Oil until beginning to tenderize.  They will finish cooking in the oven.  Salt and Pepper.

     In Buttered casserole dish, place a layer of Potatoes.  Add a few handfuls of grated Cheese.  Add another layer of Potatoes. You can add the Caramelized Onions in any of the layers.  Add a few handfuls of Cheese.  Add Optional Vegetables next (I add them all in the center layer.  Add another thin layer of Potatoes, more cheese, and then Potatoes for the top layer.  Pour a pint of Whipping Cream over all. 

    Cover with foil and bake at 375° F for about 40 minutes.  Remove foil and add the remaining grated Cheese on top.  I normally sprinkle Parsley on top for extra color.  Return to oven and bake for 35 – 45 minutes until potatoes are tender and Cheese is golden brown.  Serve.

NOTE:  These potatoes can be cooked anywhere from 350°  F to 400°  F.  You’ll have to adjust your baking time.

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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

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

Japanese Steak, Shrimp and Fried Rice with Vegetables

     I love Japanese food.  I have my favorites and cook just those dishes often.  Below you are going to find authentic Japanese recipes (created by me, a faux Japanese chef).  I will caution ahead of time that this meal is not for the faint of heart.  There is quite a bit of prep work, and once you actually begin cooking the meal you will have three large frying pans going at once. So, either have some help or try one dish at a time until you get the hang of it.  None of it is difficult, but there is a lot of organizing to do when preparing all three dishes for the same meal.  Please read through the recipes a couple of times to make sure you have all the ingredients, as well as how to get everything coordinated.

     Know that the Vegetables are NOT etched in stone.  Dig through your refrigerator and use whatever you like.  If it’s frozen, that’s fine, just thaw first.  The only Veggies that are crutial are the Garlic, Onions, and of course the Ginger Root.

     I always start cooking the rice first because it will take the longest, temperature is not as critical, and as long as you don’t burn it, you can’t hurt it.

     Before you turn on the heat, one word of caution when cooking a Japanese meal.  Have every single food item, cooking utensil, and seasoning right next to you.  Even the Eggs can be ready to go. You won’t have the time to be running back and forth between the stove, refrigerator, and pantry.

JAPANESE STYLE STEAK    

INGREDIENTS:       Yields 4 servings

1 LB Beef, sliced thin (I used sirloin tips)

1 TBSP Sugar

2 TBSP low sodium Soy Sauce

2 TBSP Mirin

2 TBSP Sake

1 clove Garlic, crushed

1 tsp Ginger Root, grated

Optional:  Sliced Green Onions, 1 TBSP Sesame Seeds

Ingredients to add when cooking:

2 Sweet Mini Peppers, sliced

½ medium Onion, sliced

Handful of Snow Peas

Handful of fresh Mushrooms, sliced

PREPARATION:

     Slice the Steak into thin strips.  Mix Marinade and pour it over the Beef.  Stir until well combined.  Let marinate for at least a few hours in the refrigerator, stirring once in a while.

     When you’re ready to prepare the Beef dish, cook the Vegetables first.  Then push them to the sides of the pan, drizzle more Olive Oil and a Pat of Butter in the center and Add your Steak.  It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to cook.  Then mix the Vegetables back in.  Taste.

FRIED RICE WITH VEGETABLES   Yields 4 – 5 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ cups water

2 Dashes of Salt

1 cup Brown Rice

Stir fry whatever Vegetables you like or have on hand.  I used:

1 Carrot, grated, Julienned, or sliced

4 fresh Mushrooms, sliced

½ large Onion, sliced

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

½ of  large Zucchini

8 spears of Asparagus, cut in 2” pieces

2 Large Eggs

RICE PREPARATION:

     In a small sauce pan, cook 2 ½ cups of Water, 2 dashes of Salt and 1 cup of Brown Rice for about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let water absorb.  If it isn’t 100% cooked, that’s ok.  It will continue cooking later. Put in refrigerator. I often cook the rice in the morning and have this part out of the way.  That includes cooking the Vegetables ahead of time. 

     Preheat a large skillet and add a drizzle of Olive Oil.  Stir fry the Vegetables until they are crisp-tender.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Save the pan for later.

     When you’re read to begin cooking, preheat the skillet.  Drizzle Olive Oil, and add the chilled rice.  I usually let it cook for about ten minutes on medium heat before I add the Eggs. Make a well in the center of the pan, add a pat of Butter, crack the eggs in and just stir them around until mostly cooked.  (Or beat them with a fork if you prefer).  Then stir them into the rice where they will finish cooking.  You can start seasoning the Rice any time now.  I like to add some Low Sodium Soy and Black Pepper.  Keep on eye on the bottom of the pan.  You cannot let the rice dry out or it will stick.  Another quick drizzle of Olive Oil and a few pats of Butter will take care of this.  Keep tasting, because the Soy Sauce amount depends on your tastes.  When the rice tastes right, add the Vegetables and give them a couple of minutes to warm through.  Reduce heat to very low and take care of whatever else needs your attention.

TERIYAKI SHRIMP INGREDIENTS:   2-4 Servings

One 12 oz bag Shrimp (you can use any size shrimp)

2 TBSP low sodium Soy Sauce

2 TBSP Onion, rough chopped

2 or 3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 tsp fresh Ginger Root, rough chopped

2 TBSP Honey

¼ cup Canola Oil

2 TBSP Cider Vinegar

SHRIMP PREPARATION:  This will be the last thing you cook.  Once pan is hot, 3 minutes is all you need. Shrimp cooks quickly.

     Peel and rinse shrimp.  Drain well, and put in a medium bowl.  Pour Marinade ingredients over the Shrimp.  Stir well.  Cover and refrigerate for only about 2 hours.

     Drain the shrimp well in a colander.  You can either pat dry with paper toweling or just press down lightly on the shrimp to release excess liquid.  The reason is if you start with wet shrimp it will steam them instead of stir frying.  Remove the chunks of Ginger Root.

     Heat a medium to large skillet.  Add a drizzle of Olive Oil.  When hot, quickly add the Shrimp, stirring continuously until pink.  If your pan is hot, it should take only 3 minutes.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

What kind of Potatoes go with almost anything?  Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes do!  Whether you’re serving Ham, Turkey, Chicken, Fish, Meatloaf or Crab Cakes, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes will fit right in!  And, the kids will like them!  Comfort food at its finest.

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium to large Russet Potatoes

½ large Onion, chopped or sliced

2 TBSP butter

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 cup Half and Half, Milk or Broth

1 – ½ cups Grated Cheese (Mix them up.  I use mostly Sharp Cheddar) *

1 TBSP Dijon or Brown Prepared Mustard

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Black Pepper

½ tsp Thyme

 

PREPARATION:

Wash Potatoes and remove any eyes and spots.  (I never peel them).  Optional: Poke a few holes and pop into the microwave for a few minutes to get them started.  Cool and slice 1/8” thick.

While the Potatoes are cooling, start the Cheese Sauce in a sauce pan.  Melt the butter and cook the Garlic for one minute.  Add the Half and Half, and bring to a low simmer.  Begin adding the grated Cheeses slowly, and stir continuously until Cheeses are melted. Add the Mustard, stir to combine and taste the sauce.  If it isn’t thick enough, add more Cheese.  If it’s too thick, add more liquid.  Keep in mind that the Sauce will thicken as it bakes. Add Seasonings and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

Butter a casserole dish and layer half the Potatoes and Onions.  Pour approximately half of the Cheese Sauce over the top. Repeat.  You want the Sauce to just about cover the Potatoes.  If it doesn’t, add a touch more liquid.  I cover with foil for a while so they cook faster and the Sauce doesn’t dry up.  You can bake anywhere between 350° F and 400° F.  When the potatoes are soft remove the foil to allow the top to brown.

*Whenever I’m making a Cheese Sauce, I love to mix and match.  I use mostly Sharp Cheddar, but also throw in a bit of Swiss, Gouda, American, etc.  A few ounces of Cream Cheese is very nice! It all depends on what I have.  Give it a taste before you add it to the Potatoes.  You can always add a little more.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

     What kind of Potatoes go with almost anything?  Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes do!  Whether you’reserving Ham, Turkey, Chicken, Fish, Meatloaf or Crab Cakes, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes will fit right in!  And, the kids will like them!  Comfort food at its finest.

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium to large Russet Potatoes

½ large Onion, chopped or sliced

2 TBSP butter

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 cup Half and Half, Milk or Broth

1 – ½ cups Grated Cheese (Mix them up.  I use mostly Sharp Cheddar) *

1 TBSP Dijon or Brown Prepared Mustard

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Black Pepper

½ tsp Thyme

PREPARATION:

     Wash Potatoes and remove any eyes and spots.  (I never peel them).  Optional: Poke a few holes and pop into the microwave for a few minutes to get them started.  Cool and slice 1/8” thick. 

     While the Potatoes are cooling, start the Cheese Sauce in a sauce pan.  Melt the butter and cook the Garlic for one minute.  Add the Half and Half, and bring to a low simmer.  Begin adding the grated Cheeses slowly, and stir continuously until Cheeses are melted. Add the Mustard, stir to combine and taste the sauce.  If it isn’t thick enough, add more Cheese.  If it’s too thick, add more liquid.  Keep in mind that the Sauce will thicken as it bakes. Add Seasonings and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.

     Butter a casserole dish and layer half the Potatoes and Onions.  Pour approximately half of the Cheese Sauce over the top. Repeat.  You want the Sauce to just about cover the Potatoes.  If it doesn’t, add a touch more liquid.  I cover with foil for a while so they cook faster and the Sauce doesn’t dry up.  You can bake anywhere between 350° F and 400° F.  When the potatoes are soft remove the foil to allow the top to brown.

*Whenever I’m making a Cheese Sauce, I love to mix and match.  I use mostly Sharp Cheddar, but also throw in a bit of Swiss, Gouda, American, etc.  A few ounces of Cream Cheese is very nice! It all depends on what I have.  Give it a taste before you add it to the Potatoes.  You can always add a little more.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Homemade Sauerkraut

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     If you’re like us and demand the best ingredients when preparing your food, don’t skip the homemade Sauerkraut.  Whether you’re eating Reubens, Pork and Kraut, or even Hot Dogs, you can’t beat homemade!  Cabbage is in season right now, so make enough to last you until next year.  You need just 2 ingredients – Salt and Grated Cabbage.  Couldn’t be simpler, and so well worth it.

 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 5 QUARTS

3 Medium heads of cabbage

5 TBSP Course Sea Salt or Kosher Salt (NOT IODIZED)

 

PREPARATION:

Sterilize your jars and lids.

Thinly slice the cabbage and place in a large bowl.  Don’t over fill because you need room to stir the cabbage.  You may need to do this in a few batches.  Remember not to add all the salt if you do it in batches.  You’ll need 1 TBSP Salt per quart jar.

Add 5 TBSP Salt and mix well with your hands, squeezing as you mix.  This pulls the liquid out of the cabbage and creates the brine.  We usually mix and squeeze for about five minutes.  You will see water appearing, but that’s a good thing.

If you want to add a little Caraway, you can add it now.

Pack the cabbage in sterilized jars, pushing down to make a tight fit.  Stop when you have approximately 2” at the top of the jar. (You need this space to allow for expansion during the fermentation process.  Divide the leftover brine from the bottom of the bowl evenly between the jars.  The brine must cover the cabbage, you don’t want any sticking up that isn’t under brine.  If you need to, add a little bit of water.   Bob usually uses the leftover outer leaves to lay on top of the mixture to help hold the cabbage down.  (see photo).

Close jars tightly and let sit at 64° – 72° F for five days.  Then slowly open the lid to release built-up pressure.  You must open the jars every five days for approximately three weeks.  You can taste it every time you open the lid to see if it’s to your satisfaction.  You will notice that the flavor improves every time you open the lids.

Once it is sour enough and has fermented long enough to suit your taste, place a jar in the refrigerator, keeping it tightly closed.  Store the remaining jars in a cool dark place.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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