Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer and Salmon Patties


It is the end of a very hot weekend. On Saturday we were able to take Little Speed Racer out to play in the sand box, the sprinklers, and he got to play golf in the back yard with his Pa Pa. But today it was far too hot to get out and about. We stayed inside and watched Downton Abbey.

For lunch I felt like making something we haven’t had in a very long time.

Salmon patties are quick and easy to make. On most hot days I don’t cook but I do get tired of sandwiches. On the weekend, when I have time to cook, I like to make least one dish. Salmon Patties only heat up the stove top and only for a short time. I hope you’ll give these a try. I’ll be tossing a couple of these in my lunch bag tomorrow morning. I like them hot or cold.

Salmon Patties



Ingredients

1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained
2 eggs
½ a sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed
½ a cup of milk
½ an onion, finely chopped
2 TBSP flour
Olive oil for cooking

Directions


Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands mix the ingredients together. The mixture will be pretty wet but it should hold together. If you find the mixture to be too wet add some more flour. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Shape patties out of the mixture and place in the hot oil to fry.


Brown the patties on each side. Let cook until the patties are brown and crusty and then place on a plate lined with a paper towel to allow excess oil to drain. Continue until you have made salmon patties with all of the mixture. 

I served these with avocado and tomato. Often these are good with a splash of lemon juice and a side of cocktail sauce. They are great leftover or made into a sandwich.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Mushroom Pasta with Pink Sauce


Our Little Speed Racer
How do you wear out an incredibly active 2 year old? In the summer, a sprinkler seems to do the trick. We put Little Speed Racer in his new swim outfit and set up a sprinkler in the back yard. He wasn’t too sure at first, but then it was all splashing and fun. When the fun was done and he was all dried off it was time for a big nap.

That meant I had time to cook a big late lunch/early dinner. I like to make these big meals on Sunday and have them just late enough to count as both lunch and dinner (Linner). Then we can have something light in the evening. I’d do this every day if I didn’t have to do things like work. But when we win the lottery we’ll totally have Linner most days.

 
Red Gold with Pop & Cook

I really enjoy cooking Italian food and my husband enjoys eating it. This dish combines some of my favorite ingredients. Red Gold sent me a Summer Grillen’ Pack with some cans of their products. Today, I used Red Gold Basil, Garlic and Oregano Diced Tomatoes in the Pink Sauce. I added it to another product that I've wanted to try for a while, Pop and Cook Alfredo Sauce.

I hope you enjoy this dish whenever you eat it. Some people mix pasta with sauce when it’s ready but I don’t. Not everyone likes the same amount of sauce on their pasta. I’m pretty particular about how much is on mine. So, I tend to keep my pasta, sauce, and vegetables separate and let everyone determine what and how much to put on their plate.

 

Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Mushroom Pasta with Pink Sauce
 

1/2 lb. (8 oz.) uncooked pasta (I used angel hair)
About 10 strips of Prosciutto shredded
1 bunch of fresh asparagus with ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 (8 oz.) package of sliced mushrooms

Pink Sauce

1 Package of Pop and Cook Alfredo Sauce
1 and ¼ cup of Heavy Cream
1 can of Red Gold Basil, Garlic and Oregano Diced Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of Basil Paste
1/2 cup grated or flaked Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water with a little olive oil according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
 

Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and add the shredded prosciutto. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to render a little fat. 
 
Add prepared asparagus and mushrooms to the pan. Add some more olive oil if it seems too dry and cook with a lid on the pan until the mushrooms and asparagus begin to soften. Stir occasionally, and when it seems softened remove the lid to allow the mushrooms and asparagus to brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
 

In a medium sauce pan add all 4 cubes from the Pop and Cook Alfredo Sauce and the heavy cream. Bring to a boil as directed on the package. Remove from the heat. Drain the juice from the Red Gold Basil, Garlic and Oregano Diced Tomatoes and add them to the alfredo sauce. Add the additional basil paste. Blend using an immersion blender until the sauce is smooth. Place back on the head and add in the grated parmesan. Whisk the sauce over the heat until the cheese is melted and the sauce is mixed together well. Remove from the heat and let sit for a few moments.
 

Place the cooked pasta on a plate or in a bowl. Ladle sauce over the pasta and them place the prosciutto, asparagus, and mushrooms on top. Sprinkle a little parmesan on to it, if you desire. I don’t add any salt to the sauce because the prosciutto is already salty.

You can serve this dish with a big hunk of Italian bread or garlic bread for dipping in the pink sauce. A glass of red wine goes nicely, too. 


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sherlocked and Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan


Sherlock
I love a good marathon. We are having a Sherlock weekend marathon via Netfilx. Thanks Netflix, we’ve been waiting. While I’ve seen all of the episodes available, mom hasn’t watched Sherlock at all. She seems to like it okay but thinks Benedict Cumberbatch is a funny name. She also does not care for movies with all British accents. Oh well, I’m happy to watch them all over again and she's willing to at least sit through it.

Mycroft said their parents were in Oklahoma the other day! A little part of my brain went *squeeeee*. I love it when my state is mentioned on shows I like. Well, I wonder where they are staying.

If you haven’t watched Sherlock yet, I recommend it. And you can check out John's Blog. Sherlock is streaming for free on Netflix now. Keep in mind that each episode is about an hour and a half long and each series is only 3 episodes. If you get hooked (or Sherlocked), you’ll be anxiously waiting for the next series with the rest of us.

 


Mom has been hinting for a while that she would like for me to make my eggplant parmesan. Actually it’s not my recipe it’s my grandma’s. She’s vegetarian and often makes this dish for potlucks. She taught me how to make it when I was still in high school. It’s not hard to make and it’s an excellent dish but I just forget to make it very often. I normally have everything on hand except for the eggplant. It’s just not something I remember to buy.

If I make eggplant parmesan, I also have to make a pan of chicken parmesan. Why? Mr. Picky Eater (my step-father) and Little Speed Racer (our son) are not fans of eggplant. They prefer chicken parmesan. Making the two dishes together is a pretty big undertaking. Now, I have to remember to buy eggplant and thaw out chicken. Lately, something like that has become a difficult undertaking.
 


But today, I managed to remember to do both…well I remembered to buy the eggplant and I defrosted the chicken in the microwave. Close enough.

So, today you get two recipes for the price of one blog post!

Since these two dishes use basically the same ingredients, I made the eggplant first and then came right behind and made the chicken. Then I baked them both at the same time. I hope you enjoy both of them.

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

2 Medium Eggplants
2 Cups of Buttermilk
2 Beaten Eggs
1 tbsp. water
2 Cups Italian Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. Flour
Italian Spices (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan
Olive Oil
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella
1 Cup of Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1 Small can of mushrooms, drained
1 Can of spaghetti sauce



Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.
 


Peel your eggplant with a vegetable peeler and slice to the desired thickness. 


Place sliced eggplant in a large bowl and pour in 2 cups of buttermilk. Stir around with your hand making sure all of the eggplant gets coated. Let eggplant set in buttermilk while you move onto the next step.
 


In a medium size bowl pour in 2 cups of Italian breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp. of flour, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup shredded parmesan, and any additional Italian spices you like. Mix the breadcrumb mixture around in the bowl. To me, this should have a good earthy smell when it’s ready.

In another bowl beat 2 eggs and a tbsp. of water together. Place a large frying pan on the stove with olive oil and heat the pan.
 


Dip the coated eggplant slices in the beaten egg, then the bread crumbs. 
  
Coat well. Place the dredged eggplant in the hot olive oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
 


Place the fried eggplant in a 9x13-inch Pyrex dish. Layer eggplant, Cheese (mozzarella and shredded parmesan), mushrooms, and pasta sauce until you’ve layered in all of your cooked eggplant. Pour the last of the spaghetti sauce on top and cover with the Italian Blend Shredded Cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.While the eggplant parmesan bakes, boil your spaghetti or other pasta choice and drain.
 


Serve the eggplant on the cooked pasta. It goes well with garlic bread and a nice glass red wine.

Chicken Parmesan


Ingredients

1 Package of Chicken Breast Tenders
2 Cups of Buttermilk
2 Beaten Eggs
1 tbsp. water
2 Cups Italian Breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. Flour
Italian Spices (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan
Olive Oil
1 Cup of Shredded Mozzarella
1 Cup of Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1 Can of spaghetti sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.
 


Place chicken breast tenders in a Ziploc bag. With a mallet flatten out the tenders in the Ziploc bag. 


Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl and with 2 cups of buttermilk. Stir around with your hand making sure all of the chicken gets coated. Let the chicken tenders set in buttermilk while you move onto the next step.

In a medium size bowl pour in 2 cups of Italian breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp. of flour, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup shredded parmesan, and any additional Italian spices you like. Mix the breadcrumb mixture around in the bowl. To me, this should have a good earthy smell when it’s ready.

In another bowl beat 2 eggs and a tbsp. of water together. Place a large frying pan on the stove with olive oil and heat the pan.

Dip the coated chicken tenders in the beaten egg, then the bread crumbs. Coat well. 



Place the dredged chicken in the hot olive oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
 


Place the fried chicken in a Pyrex baking dish. Layer fried chicken tenders, Cheese (mozzarella and shredded parmesan), and pasta sauce. Pour the last of the spaghetti sauce on top and cover with the Italian Blend Shredded Cheese.

Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes.While the chicken parmesan bakes, boil your spaghetti or other pasta choice and drain. 





Serve the chicken parmesan on the cooked pasta. It goes well with garlic bread and a nice glass red wine.
 


You can make both of these together, like I did, to save time and ingredients. Just make the Eggplant Parmesan dish first and then the Chicken Parmesan second to prevent the chicken from contaminating the eggplant. Then bake them both at the same time. Or you can just make one or the other. It seems like I always make both at the same time.

If you are curious the red wine, it is called Twisted Sisters and came from a winery in Oklahoma called Girls Gone Wine. It went very well with our dinner. If you have a chance, check out their winery. They have a nice gift shop and wine tasting area. If you buy a bottle you get a free wine glass (or at least I did).

I enjoyed my eggplant parmesan and Twisted Sisters wine while our Sherlock marathon continued.