Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Great Recipe Exchange (or What would you do with a freezer like this?)

I'm in need of new recipes.  I've been poring over my forgotten and little-used cookbooks hoping that something will jump out and say "I won't taste like anything you've been making for the last four years!"  I've gleaned from them what I can, and I'm still desperate for something different. So I propose an exchange.  I'll give you a couple of my best recipes (I promise not to mess with the proportions or leave key ingredients out), if you'll do the same for me.  I'll try just about anything.  Teriyaki chicken, Indonesian Peanut Chicken, and Tandoori chicken show up on my menus as often as enchiladas and broccoli-cheddar soup.


1. Your recipe must be frugal.  As much as I would love to cook up a standing crown roast or leg of lamb, I refuse to buy one.  Same goes for most steaks.  I can't justify spending $7.00 on a pound of meat. Meatless meals are fair-game.

2.  Tell me what else you serve with it.  I don't have to have  the recipes for all those- I just need some ideas.

3. It cannot contain tuna.  (As much as I like it, my husband won't eat it. Sigh.)

Old Standby 1: Cheddar Chicken

Shred 6oz of cheddar cheese (or cheese of you choice) into a medium bowl.  Add 16-20 crushed buttery cracker (like Ritz).  Add a teaspoon or two of your favorite herb (I've done dill, thyme, rosemary), and 1 tsp. pepper. Mix well.  Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter in a medium bowl.  Dip 6 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the butter, then into the cheese mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet (don't skip the foil unless you like scratching baked-on crusties off your dishes).  Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

I serve it with rice and green beans.  Broccoli would be great, too.

Old Standby 2: Pork Chop Dinner

Disclaimer: I know condensed cream soup isn't the healthiest thing out there, but this is super easy to make, and it's a one-pot meal, so it finds it's way to the table fairly often.  I figure if I buy the low-sodium stuff, I'll be okay.  It's not like we eat fast food every day.

In a large skillet (and make it large, you'll be cramming in quite a few veggies) brown 4 pork chops  (bone-in or boneless, it won't matter) in a bit of oil and some chopped onion.  Top with  4-5 small cubed potatoes (your choice of varieties), few handfuls of sliced carrots (I've used fresh, I've used frozen), and some mushrooms if you'd like (I'm partial to fresh, though you can use canned.)  Dump a can of condensed cream soup on top (chicken or mushroom or celery- low-sodium will taste fine), and add 2 cups of milk.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and forget about it for 25-30 minutes, or longer if you'd like.  Just make sure the veggies are tender before you serve it.

Serve with a salad.

Tune in tomorrow for my Ethnic-inspired recipes.


  1. One of my favorites:
    Chicken Pot Pie
    Use your standard recipe pie crust or a store bought crust.
    Make a standard white sauce:
    Melt a stick of butter in your saucepan, add flour (can be whole wheat flour, but it doesn't taste as good as white flour) to a slightly less than pancake consistency. Season to taste. I use salt, Emeril's seasoning (Lori has affectionately termed it Bam!) When that has cooked to the right consistency start adding milk a little at a time - a couple cups. It just needs to be the regular consistency of white sauce. (Sorry! I really don't measure any of the ingredients...)

    When you are happy with your sauce, add in cooked, cubed chicken and frozen mixed vegetables. Bring this to a boil.

    While that is boiling, spread the bottom pie crust into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake 10 min. Pour in the stovetop mixture and top with the remaining crust. Bake at 350 for about 30-45 min until the crust is done and the vegetables are soft.

    I like to season mine with Bam when we eat it as well.

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  3. Who needs proportions? Sounds tasty!

    2 acorn squash
    8 oz. butter, melted (1 stick)
    1 lb. mild Italian sausage
    1 box stuffing mix
    1 1/2 c. chicken broth
    8 ea. mushrooms
    1/2 c. yellow onion
    1/2 c. corn
    1/4 c. red bell pepper
    1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
    3 ea. cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
    Cut squash in half and hollow out inside stings and seeds. (save seeds for roasting)

    Par-cook in a pan with 1" of water, cut sides down for 20 minutes at 350°F.

    Meanwhile, sauté onions, corn and bell pepper until softened, add mushrooms and garlic half-way through.

    In a bowl, mix together raw sausage, uncooked stuffing mix, broth, 1/2 stick of melted butter, sautéed vegetables, pine nuts and parsley. Season with pepper (use caution when seasoning, stuffing mix may be overly salty).

    Remove squash from oven, drain pan, flip squash and brush with melted butter. Fill cavities with stuffing mix.

    Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until squash is tender.
    Submitted by: R Cullen on Cooks.com

    From Barb Mueller

    1lb hamburger
    1 1/2 bell pepper diced
    1 small onion diced
    1 taco seasoning packet
    1 can of corn, drained
    1 can of black beans, washed and drained
    1 can of pinto or kidney beans, washed and drained
    1 can cubed tomatoes
    1 can Rotel
    4 beef boluillion cubes (dissolved in 3 cups hot water - I used 4 because it didn't seem like enough.)
    2 tsp cumin
    1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    2 tsp chili powder

    Saute hamburger, onion and bell pepper.

    Put in crockpot all day.

    Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.
    Remove foil after 1 hour and continue to bake uncovered for 15 minutes.


    CREAM OF??

    4 tablespoons butter
    4 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    Dash of cayenne pepper
    1 1/2 cup milk
    2 cups chicken broth or stock
    1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash (seasoned salt)
    1 teaspoon onion powder or a small chopped onion


    1. In a soup pot, melt and brown the butter and flour.

    2. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

    3. Add milk, chicken broth or stock, seasoned salt and onion powder or onion.


    2 cups milk
    1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
    2 tsp of garlic powder
    1/2 butter
    1/8 tsp. black pepper
    6oz grated Parmesan cheese


    1. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat.

    2. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.

    3. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps.

    4. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.

    5. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

  5. Most of my standbys are at the CSPP recipe wiki. Especially recommended: spicy whole chicken, porcupine meatballs, and pizza crust (which we eat every Friday). If anyone gives you a venison roast (or if you kill your own), Italian Beast it.


  6. I get a lot of my cooking ideas here.

    I already put this pot roast in the oven for tonight. It's simple and quite tasty.

    And here's a great homemade Caesar Salad recipe from another awesomely smart lady :P.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Rub a whole, trussed chicken all over with butter (keep the skin on). Salt and place in a roasting pan (I just use a corning ware dish), uncovered. Cook at 350F 1 hr. for a 3 lb. chicken, +10 minutes for every pound over. Serve with steamed broccoli and butter rolls. (As my husband carves the chicken, I pour the juice in a pan and quickly make gravy). The butter makes the skin crispy, and the chicken is always juicy.

    Leah's roast sounds delicious. I line a pan with heavy-duty tinfoil, place (sliced) roast in middle, and throw in a package of baby carrots around the meat. I quarter 6 russet potatoes (skin on) and place them around the meat, too. Then I sprinkle the whole thing with garlic salt and Lawry's seasoned salt. Finally, cut an onion in eighths and place over the other vegetables. Sprinkle with Lawry's one more time. Cover tightly with foil and cook 350F for 3-3.5 hours. The fat from the roast makes the veggies taste so good. Serve with salad and applesauce.

    These are standard meals I alternate every other week.