Monday, October 24, 2016

Greek Casserole with Turkey, Rice, and Feta

This Greek inspired casserole is loaded with ground turkey, a quick cooking tomato sauce, rice, and feta. Bonus? It's healthy and weeknight friendly!

I gotta be honest.... this recipe almost never made it to the blog. Casseroles are really (really) difficult to photograph and it just wasn't that attractive (though most casseroles don't have much visual appeal!). I ultimately decided it should be shared because it's DARN TASTY.

Simply brown ground turkey and onions, simmer it in a flavorful tomato sauce until everything is delicious, then stir in cooked rice, feta, and parsley. Bake. If you can think ahead of time and cook the rice the night before, you can have this on the table even faster!

This may remind you of your favorite stuffed pepper recipe - except without the work!

Greek Casserole with Turkey, Rice, and Feta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked brown rice (can sub white rice)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion and ground turkey. Cook, breaking up the meat, until the meat is browned through and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cooked rice, 1/2 cup of the feta, and the parsley. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of feta.

Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve hot. 

Source: slightly adapted from Cookin' Canuck

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kentucky Hot Brown

The Kentucky Hot Brown - an open faced sandwich of thick sliced turkey, Mornay sauce, bacon, and tomato - is famous for a reason! It's sinfully delicious and so easy to make!

Over the summer, I hosted two chef camps for kids that focused on food around the country. Each day, we created (and enjoyed!) cuisine from a different region. On our "deep south" day, one of the dishes we made were these delicious sandwiches! Kids love assembling things and since most of the recipe is assembling, they loved it. And who doesn't like a cheesy turkey sandwich?

Tip: This calls for 4 oven safe gratin dish; if you don't have one, simply place all 4 sandwiches in a baking dish that will hold them fairly tightly (so the sauce isn't too shallow once poured in). It won't be as pretty but it'll taste just as delicious!

Kentucky Hot Brown
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
2 pints heavy cream
6 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and pepper
4 slices hearty bread, toasted
1 lb roasted turkey, sliced thick (1/2-3/4 inch thick)
8 slices thick cut bacon, cooked until crisp and then crumbled
4 slices ripe tomato, optional
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Dash of paprika

Preheat broiler to high.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking constantly, until it is pale golden brown, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat. Whisk in the grated cheese, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 slice of toast in the bottom of each gratin dish. Divide the turkey between the 4 dishes and layer it on the toast. Ladle the sauce over each sandwich, completely coating them. Place the sandwiches under the broiler until spotty brown and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.

Add a slice of tomato on top, if using, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. Serve hot.

Source: adapted from Serious Eats

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Italian Nachos with Sausage and Chicken (Johnny Carino's Copycat)

Crispy wonton chips are topped with sweet Italian sausage, shredded chicken, olives, tomatoes, peppers, and then smothered in a creamy alfredo cheese sauce. This restaurant copycat is easy to make at home and is a crowd pleaser!

Y'all, I miss Johnny Carino's. They are nowhere to be found near me anymore! I know they are a typical chain Italian place but they had some dishes no one else had - including these nachos! For one, wonton chip > tortilla chip anyday but then that alfredo cheese sauce? Yup. Amazing.

At Johnny Carino's, you can choose chicken, sausage, or both. Obviously we go with both in our house but you could up the amount of either and eliminate the other if you'd like. I typically use shredded rotisserie chicken and, if I've just pulled some from the fridge or freezer, I warm it up in the skillet with the browned sausage.

We love these nachos and consider them a great weeknight dinner! You could easily use them as a twist on the traditional nacho bar, too, and just keep the cheese sauce warm in a small crockpot. They are so delicious!

The chips and cheese sauce cook quickly so prep your meats and toppings ahead of time so you're ready to serve as soon as the cheese is finished.

Italian Nachos (Johnny Carino's Copycat)

1 package wontons, cut on the diagonal to make triangles
1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage, browned and cooked through
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, grilled and thinly sliced or 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno peppers
oil, for frying

For the cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2.5 cups half & half
2.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In a Dutch oven, add about 1 inch of oil and heat over medium-high until hot enough to fry (around 350 degrees). Once ready, add a batch of sliced wontons - being careful to not overcrowd the pan - and cook about 15-20 seconds on each side, or until brown and crispy. Remove with tongs to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all chips are fried.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and then sprinkle in the flour; whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the grated Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Spread wonton chips on each plate then top with sausage, chicken, and desired toppings (olives, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc). Drizzle with the warm cheese sauce and serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cowboy Chili

This quick cooking and hearty chili is bursting with beef, beans, tomatoes, and a few of my favorite Texas ingredients!

Chili is a staple during football season - probably because it's easy to feed a crowd (and keep warm for an entire game!) and so darn versatile. This chili is thick enough to be scooped with Fritos (hello!) or just as tasty dished into bowls and topped with gooey melted cheese. There is nothing worse than a thin chili :)

My husband is a huge Cowboys fan so it made sense to whip up a Cowboy Chili for football season! Texas chili typically has no beans but this Cowboy Chili has two kinds: traditional kidney beans and a Texas favorite, Ranch Style! To kick up the spice a tad, and as another nod to a Texas favorite, I included a can of Rotel along with a can of fire roasted tomatoes. If you love spice, you could sub Rotel for the fire roasted, too. To thicken it up, I used a Mexican food staple and added a masa harina and water slurry. It gives the chili a slight corn flavor in the backgound and thickens it up nicely.

Cowboy Chili
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can Ranch Style Beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 (12 ounce) bottle beer, preferably dark like a porter, stout, or brown ale
1 (~15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel tomatoes (original kind)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons masa harina (*see note below)
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for topping

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the ground beef is browned and the onions are soft and translucent. Drain any excess fat and return to heat.

Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; stir to combine and let cook 1 minute. Add the Ranch Style Beans (and its liquid), fire roasted tomatoes (and its juices), and bottle of beer. Stir to combine. Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans and Rotel tomatoes (and its juices). Stir, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water and masa harina. Add to the chili and stir to combine. Let simmer 3-4 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste, along with additional chili powder if desired. *If chili is still not thick enough for your taste, combine another 1/3 cup water and 2 tablespoons masa harina in a small bowl, whisk, and add to the chili.

Ladle into bowls and top with cheese before serving. Chili will continue thickening as it cools.

Football season is well underway! To celebrate, I've joined a group of bloggers from all over the country to bring you football-inspired recipes. Last month, we shared our favorite tailgating recipes (I shared these amazing Texas Toothpicks!) and now we're sharing more than 60 recipes that are perfect for game day! Click on their links to check them out!

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos, or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans - and we want to share our love for our teams, the game, and the food that brings us all together on game day.

 60+ recipes inspired by football teams! Show off your team spirit with everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more as you cheer on your team! #foodiefootballfans

Red Sea Party Punch by Celebrating Family
Bird Gang Sonoran Nachos by Love Bakes Good Cakes
GameDay Cheesecake Bars by Body Rebooted
Healthy Dirty Bird Dip by Dash of Herbs
Purple Potato Salad by The Culinary Compass
Chocolate Blackberry Cheesecake Parfait by Mom's Messy Miracles
Easy Buffalo Chicken Sliders by Beer Girl Cooks
Quick and Easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Sliders by The Life Jolie
Blackened Steak + Blue Cheese Nachos by Feast + West
Easy Pimiento Cheese Crackers by Family Food on the Table
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Breadsticks by Honey & Birch
Italian Beef by Bread Booze Bacon
Welcome to the Jungle Cocktail by Love & Flour
Bengal Striped Bundt Cake by Foodtastic Mom
Polish Boy Potato Skins by A Mind Full Mom
Sweet and Salty Brownies by The Secret Ingredient Is
Cowboy Cookies by The BakerMama
Cowboy Chili by See Aimee Cook
Green Chili Pulled Pork Poutine by Cake 'n Knife
Blue and Orange Jello Shot Gummies by Sustaining the Powers
Greek Town Loaded Potato Skins by The Mexitalian
Marbled Scotcharoos by Club Narwhal
Beer Cheese Fondue by Off the Eaten Path
Easy Beer Cheese Soup by Hello Little Home
Chicken Stack Sandwich by Around My Family Table
Bratwurst Sandwiches with Pub Mustard by What A Girl Eats
Game Day Cupcakes by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
Brownie Batter Dip by The Crumby Cupcake
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes by Two Places at Once
Tomahawk Cooler by Mixplorology
Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese by Simplify, Live, Love
Game Day Snack Tray by Coffee Love Travel
Bacon Mac Cups by West via Midwest
South Beach Punch by 2 Cookin Mamas
Miami Mahi Mahi Sandwich by foodbyjonister
Swedish Meatball Dip with Tater Tot Dunkers by Peanut Blossom
Fruity Dessert Pizza with Peanut Butter Chocolate Glaze by Bucket List Tummy
New England Rum Punch by Order in the Kitchen
Crawfish Etouffee by The Speckled Palate
Cajun Crawfish Fritters with Remoulade Dipping Sauce by For the Love of Food
Reuben Sliders with Homemade Russian Dressing by A Dish of Daily Life
Big Blue Cheese Steak Stromboli by Simple and Savory
Spinach & Artichoke Bites by Lauren's Kitchen
Herb Pesto Arancini by A Little Gathering
Beluga Lentil Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Philly Cheesesteak Nachos by And She Cooks
Philly Cheesesteak Cheesecake by Nik Snacks
Game Day Cookie Cups by Me and My Pink Mixer
Primanti Style Sliders by Macheesmo
Pineapple Salsa by Living Well Kitchen
Tex Mex Cream Cheese Wontons with Bacon by Shaws Simple Swaps
Blue Cheese Blitz Dip by Cafe Terra
Chicken Adobo Fries by Brunch-n-Bites
Game Day Candy Bark by Life's Ambrosia
Chicken Teriyaki Pizza by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
High Seas Sour Cherry Slush by Lizzy is Dizzy
Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs by Casa de Crews
Avery Williamson American Cake by Loaves & Dishes
Game Day Sriracha-Honey Nut Mix by An Oregon Cottage
Double-Stuffed Potato Skins by A Simpler Grace
Red Skin Potato Chili Nachos by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dan Dan Noodles (30 minute recipe!)

This savory, creamy, and slightly peanuty noodle dish is like a combination of all your favorite Asian dishes! It's family friendly and weeknight friendly, too!

I'm not going to pretend that this noodle dish isn't completely Americanized. It totally is. But it's sooo good and super simple to whip up even after a busy workday. I actually made this for dinner the night before I left for summer camp a couple of months ago. I knew I'd be eating more than my share of kid friendly fare so I wanted something Asian inspired before loading up on the bus. This hit the spot! It was simple and fast (helpful, since I was packing at the last minute!) and SO tasty.

While the pasta cooks, you brown some ground beef and then simmer it in a sauce of peanut butter, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, and more. All staple ingredients that you likely already have on hand! Start to finish, you're done in 30 minutes or less - including the time you're waiting on the water to boil. (Does anyone else get incredibly impatient waiting on water to boil?)

Time saving tip: use your microplane grater to grate the garlic cloves and ginger right over the pan! 

Dan Dan Noodles
12 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 pounds lean ground turkey or beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Once al dente, drain and rinse with cool water. Return the noodles to the pot and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil until smooth. Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground meat, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until no longer pink, around 6-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease, leaving the meat in the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium, whisk the sauce to recombine, and pour the sauce over the drained meat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the cilantro.

Pour the sauce over the pot of noodles and, using tongs, gently combine. Serve immediately.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

See Aimee Cook

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