Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Who doesn't love a baked potato?  And what makes them better than loading them up with all of our favorite indulgences?

6 baking potatoes (3 lbs)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
6 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
3 green onions (sliced)
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits (about 1/2 lb)

Wash and pierce potatoes with a fork.  Place on a plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Remove from microwave, turn over, and then return to microwave.  Microwave on high for 4 more minutes.

Place microwaved potatoes on heated grill and grill for 12 - 15 minutes (until potatoes are crisp).  Turn potatoes occasionally.  Remove potatoes from grill and split.  Top with desired ingredients.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Perdue Seasoned Roaster

I found yet another new product in the grocery store tonight and I can't wait to try it.  I think everyone will be home for dinner tomorrow night, so I think we'll try this then.  It is a 6 lb seasoned roasting chicken already in a cooking bag sealed in airtight packaging and sold with the fresh chicken in the meat case at Dierbergs.  The cooking directions say to bake it at 350 degrees in the cooking bag in a 9 x 13" baking dish for about 2 hours (115 minutes to be exact).

This is something I can have the hubby get in the oven about an hour before I get home.  That will give me an hour to prepare a veggie, salad, and bread or pasta item to compliment our yummy roasted chicken.  It doesn't get much easier than this.

Thanks, Perdue!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kraft Fresh Take - Cheddar Jack & Bacon

I have been eyeing the new Kraft product in the grocery stores for the last few weeks, but finally had a coupon and decided to give it a try.  There are six flavors of the new Kraft Fresh Take.  They are a combination of cheese, spices and breadcrumbs in one package and are intended to be used to coat fish, chicken or pork, or mixed into ground beef.  They are found near the cheese products in the dairy section of your grocery store.

I bought the Cheddar Jack & Bacon flavor Fresh Take and used it to coat boneless pork chops.  It was so simple.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  I dropped each of my boneless chops into the bag of mixed cheese, spices, and breadcrumbs to coat them and then placed them on a baking stone.  I placed them in the oven and baked for about 30 minutes (I like my pork fully cooked - not rare or medium).  The instructions said not to turn the chops over half way through.  The did get a little mushy on the bottom, while crunchy on the top.
Maybe preheating the baking dish would help to crisp the bottom.  I'll try that the next time.

I heard only positive comments from the whole family about the flavor of the chops.  I served them with a fresh green salad and steamed cauliflower.  A really tasty dinner in about 40 minutes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

I needed dinner in a hurry tonight and looking in the fridge and pantry, I found two jars of Ragu Alfredo Sauce, chicken breasts, and fresh broccoli.  Hmmm perfect for Fettuccine Alfredo - just add chicken and broccoli.

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Pampered Chef Herbs de Provence
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 lb fettuccine noodles
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 jars Ragu Alfredo Sauce

Combine olive oil, Herbs de Provence and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add chicken breasts and and turn to coat with seasoning.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.  Preheat the grill pan and press.  Place chicken breasts on hot grill with press on top.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Turn and cook for 5 minutes on the other side.  There should be good grill marks on both sides.  Turn off heat.  Turn chicken breasts one more time and leave on grill pan still covered with press for another five minutes.  Then, move chicken breasts to cutting board and slice into chunks.

Pour chicken stock and salt into stock pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add fettuccine noodles and salt.  Add broccoli and allow to cook for three minutes.  Remove broccoli and set aside.  Let the noodles boil in the stock until soft.  There should still be a small amount of chicken stock left in the pot.  Add broccoli back.  Add chicken chunks and pour in both jars of Alfredo Sauce.  Stir well to combine and heat through over medium heat.

This is so yummy and simple.  I served it with fresh fruit on the side.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sirloin Tips and Rice Pilaf

Are you looking for that simple but really great tasting dinner to wow your family?  This just may be it.  Dinner will be ready in about 40 minutes and everyone will love it!

4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken broth
6 green onions sliced (white and green parts)
2 Tbsp fresh chives (sliced thin)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 lbs sirloin steak (cut into 1" cubes)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add orzo and toast until golden (about 4 - 5 minutes).  Add rice and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Remove from heat, add green onions, chives and cheese.  Stir to combine.

Toss cubed beef with salt and pepper.  While the pilaf is simmering, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook steak until browned on all sides (about 5 mins).  Add garlic, parsley, and zest; cook for 1 minute more.

Add lemon juice and wine to the pan and deglaze.  Serve steak with the rice pilaf.