CHICKEN PERLO

This is a classic dish that has been around for years. My husband has fond memories of his mother making it for the family when he was young. It’s a Southern dish with Cajun overtones. It’s absolutely delicious and a one dish meal!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in (or 4 chicken thighs 2 breast with bone), sprinkled with Rub* recipe below
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 kielbasa or andouille sausage, cut into rounds about 3/4 inches apart
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups diced ripe tomatoes (beefsteak or heirloom) (about 2 large tomatoes or 3 small)
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, (use Mahatma Extra-long Enriched Rice)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (Optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

Mix onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder together in a bowl and set aside.

Set the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle then pat the rub on both sides of the chicken until coated. Set a fry pan on the stove and add 1/4 cup olive oil. Sauté the chicken on both sides until lightly brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Place large pot with a lid on stove and turn on to medium-high heat. Place cut bacon into the pot and cook at medium-high temperature for approx. 5 minutes. Add kielbasa and cook another 5 minutes, until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove from the pot and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the bacon grease in the pot. Add the celery, onion, and bell pepper to the bacon grease & butter in the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes and cook approximately 3 minutes.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil, add back in the bacon and kielbasa. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt & pepper (or more to taste). Add in the chicken. Add the rice into the pot and stir. Cover the pot and cook for approximately 25 minutes or until stock is absorbed. Let sit approximately 10 minutes for any remaining liquid to be absorbed. Serves 6 (Optional, top with chopped parsley when serving).

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1890 SALAD (AKA. FILET MIGNON SALAD)

I had this salad years ago in San Francisco and never forgot how good it was. I’ve recreated this recipe from memory and it was just as good as I remembered.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (6 or 8 oz.) filet mignon
  • 1 bottle 1890 salad dressing
  • 2 sourdough English muffins
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • 4 hardboil eggs, cut in quarters
  • 1 can of asparagus
  • 1 cup black olives
  • 1 package green beans

Cook the filet mignon on the stove or grill, your preference, until medium-well done. Cut the filets in bite-size chunks, set aside.

Cook the green beans on the stove or microwave and set aside. Boil the eggs until hardboiled, cool and peel, then cut in quarters, set aside.

Assemble the salad:

Place salad greens on a large plate. Split and toast the sourdough English muffins. Place 1/2 of the sourdough English muffin in the center of each plate on top of the salad greens. Place 4 hardboiled egg wedges around the plate. Place asparagus on one side of the plate. Place green beans on the opposite side. Add the black olives down one side.

Top the English muffin with a large spoonfuls of filet mignon. Drizzle 1890 salad dressing on top of the filet and more dressing around the plate. Serve immediately. Serves 4

1890 Salad Dressing

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LENTIL SOUP-ITALIAN STYLE

I have always loved a warm, nurishing bowl of lentil soup. With fall in the air, it was time to fix this delicious dish and share it with my family. Rich in flavor and so healthy for you. I hope you’ll try it for your family!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups brown, green, or red lentils, (rinsed & drained)
  • 2- 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 vadalia onion, diced
  • 56 oz. vegetable broth
  • 2 cups baby spinach, raw
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated plus more for serving
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil in a large pot until onions are soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.

Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth and lentils. Cook on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes. Add spinach and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Cook on low heat for an additonal 30 minutes. If it seems too thick, add water. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top. Serves at least 10-12 depending on servings. Store in the refrigerator.

Note: can sit on the stove at very low temperature throughout the day for frequent servings!

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PUMPKIN BREAD with CHEESECAKE STUFFING

Time to at least start thinking about fall baking. I love anything pumpkin and here’s a twist on pumpkin bread. It’s moist and delicious and makes a great appearance!

Before and after cream cheese stuffing is added in the middle

INGREDIENTS:

Pumpkin bread ingredients:

  • 1 stick melted butter (plus more for pan)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (more for dusting pan)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cheese cake center ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, very soft

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9” by 5” loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk pumpkin purée, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, sour cream, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Set aside.

Make cream cheese filling: In a small bowl, stir very soft cream cheese, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons flour, and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix with a fork until it’s well blended.

Transfer half the pumpkin batter to prepared loaf pan. Dollop cream cheese filling on top and smooth in an even layer with the back of a spoon. Top evenly with remaining pumpkin purée and spread around.

Bake until deeply golden and a toothpick comes out clean; 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.

When completely cooled, sprinkle powder sugar on top. Serves 10-12

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CRISPY BAKED SHRIMP SCAMPI

If you are like me, you are always looking for a delicious yet simple way of preparing shrimp. This recipe will fit the bill. Easy to prepare and really is delicious with lots of lemon and garlic and butter! Make sure you use wild caught shrimp such as Key West Pinks.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • juice from one lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour wine and 2 tablespoons of melted butter into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place in the oven for 10 minutes to let sauce reduce. While baking dish is in the oven, add 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat.

Remove baking dish from the oven and spread out the shrimp in a single layer, though they should fit snugly together. Pour any leftover marinade on top of the shrimp. Set aside.

Topping:

Mix the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, melted butter and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley. Spread the breadcrumb mixture evenly on top of the shrimp. Bake until the shrimp are cooked, about 12-13 minutes. It should be toasty brown on top. When serving, sprinkle with a small amount of chopped parsley. Serves 6

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