Mushroom casserole

Spring is coming to Michigan.  At least I am hopeful.  Soon all types of mushrooms will be available at the market.  So this is a perfect time to share my recipe for a mushroom casserole.  If you are searching for a great side dish or something for a meatless Monday, I recommend this casserole.  Any kind of mushroom would work and I have made this dish with a variety of types of mushrooms as well.  This is a great recipe that can be doubled as well to make a larger casserole for guests.

Recently, I used these ingredients: 1/2 package of egg noodles, 1/2 box white mushrooms plus 1 jar of sliced mushrooms, 3 Tablespoons margarine, salt and pepper to taste, and one 8 ounce block Swiss cheese, grated.

To make the casserole:

Cook the noodles according to the package and drain.  Saute mushrooms in the margarine in an open skillet.  Prepare a ceramic baking dish with a Pam spray.  Divide one-third of the noodles into the dish and season them to taste with salt and pepper.  Add 1/2 of the Swiss cheese and one-third of the mushrooms.  Repeat the layers and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve alongside chicken, fish or by itself with a side salad. Quite tasty.

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Shrimp and noodles

Here is a fun recipe for the family that is easy to make and fun to eat.  No need for stopping at your favorite noodle restaurant, this one is great tasting and made at home.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in Cooking Light magazine last summer. I used 8 ounces of Lo Mein noodles and cooked according to the package directions and drained.

Next, I combined 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and black pepper to taste in a small bowl.

Then, in a large electric skillet, I drizzled 1 tablespoon stir fry oil and added  1 1/4 cups broccoli tops, 3/4 cup sliced carrots, and 3/4 cup red pepper.  Saute these until soft and then add 1/4 cup chicken stock mixture.  Heat for another 2-3 minutes and then add one bag cleaned large shrimp, along with 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced ginger.  Continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked and pink.  Then add the Lo Mein noodles and the rest of the chicken stock mixture.

Cook until all the ingredients are well mixed and warmed through.  Just prior to serving, add 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.  Top with Sesame seeds if desired for serving.

Noodle bowl

Noodle bowls are very easy to make at home. And, they are often one pot meals, making them very easy for a weeknight dinner when schedules are hectic. I modified a recipe that I found last year in Real Simple magazine, and came up with a great dish. Here are the ingredients needed for this dish:

1 Tablespoon sesame oil, 10 white mushrooms-cleaned and sliced, 1/3 bag of small carrots, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 6 green onions, 4 cups chicken broth and 3 cups hot water, lo mein noodles, 2 small bok choy-chopped, 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

I used my Staub cast iron pot and with the sesame oil, added the mushrooms, carrots, ginger and scallion whites only, cooking for about 3 minutes until just starting to soften.

Next, add the chicken broth and water, bringing the soup up to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Next add the desired amount of noodles and the bok choy and cook for up to 4 minutes maximum.  Stir in the vinegar and scallion greens at the end just prior to serving.

 

This cooking pot is wonderful, as it operates like a rain forest. By keeping the moisture and flavors within the pot, it makes any soup or stew just delicious. This noodle bowl can also include shrimp or cooked chicken breast.

 

Meatless stroganoff

Here is a recipe for your next meatless Monday dinner schedule.  If you like mushrooms, this tasty stroganoff is full of flavor and is also very easy to prepare. This recipe could also be a hit for your next buffet or casserole night with friends.  Simple to make and very creamy and a favorite of the men in the crowd.

Gather these ingredients:  8 ounces of egg noodles, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 packages of white button mushrooms or other favorite mushrooms, minced garlic, dried thyme, sweet paprika, sea salt, ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup sour cream, and dried parsley flakes.

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Begin by cooking the noodles according to the directions on the bag.  Drain and reserve for the next steps.  Heat olive oil and only 1 tablespoon margarine in a large open skillet.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook for about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and the next four ingredients. Next, add the flour and another tablespoon margarine and cook for about 1 more minute.  Add chicken broth and mix well, bringing the entire mixture to a boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes and remove from the heat.  Add sour cream and stir.  Mix in the noodles or serve over the noodles garnished with dried parsley flakes.  If taking to a casserole party or serving on a buffet, place into a warm casserole dish or a chafing dish to keep the stroganoff heated.

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yummy lo mein noodles

During another blog surfing session, I found inspiration for home-made lo mein noodles.  I happen to love my new recipe, as I have changed up the one I found to tweak it to perfection.  It is very satisfying to be able to re-create some of my favorite foods at home.  No more wondering what these restaurants have added to the recipe, and the savings in money and calories is unreal.  I guess this is why these restaurants can make a living.  The mark up on very inexpensive ingredients is amazing.

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Here is how I make my own yummy lo mein noodles:

First of all, I use about 4 ounces or 1/2 package of spaghetti noodles. Boil according to the package directions.  Next, mix these ingredients in a small bowl:  2 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

In a large open skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm.  Add a small amount of minced garlic to taste, one box of white mushrooms, thinly sliced and chopped, 3/4 chopped red pepper, and about 15 chopped petite carrots.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring until softened.  Then, stir in about 10-15 snow peas or Chinese pea pods, and 1 cup of fresh leafy arugula.  Cook another 4 minutes.

To finish the dish, add the drained noodles and prepared sauce.  Toss and serve with home-made egg rolls.  This is a delicious dish for those who love Asian meals.  My egg roll recipe can be found here:  

https://angelfoodgarden.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/easy-egg-rolls-and-cranberry-dipping-sauce/

Egg rolls can be adapted to what is on hand.  I have used shredded cooked chicken or shrimp, chopped carrots, chopped green onions, bean sprouts, and even chopped water chestnuts for filling.

Noodle inspiration from http://www.damndelicious.net .

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Champagne Chicken Fettuccine

Over the years, I have tried to search for new ways to serve simple pasta dishes.  Pasta is often an easy entrée that can be made upscale with only a few additions.  Rachel Ray published a similar recipe last year, that I adapted and revised.  Her recipe called for Gorgonzola dolce cheese and sage leaves.  My recipe added chicken and grated fontina cheese. Her inspiration led to a delicious entrée that we thoroughly enjoyed recently.

To prepare the recipe:  SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIn a large deep skillet add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon margarine, and saute one package of chicken Tenderloin.  As chicken begins to brown, season with salt, pepper and parsley flakes.  Next, add 1/2 medium red onion chopped and minced garlic to taste.  I added 1/4 teaspoon.  Allow to cook about 2-3 minutes until the onion softens.  Start the fettuccine noodles (1/2 bag) to boil in a separate pot of boiling water. Boil the noodles 1-2 minutes less than the recommended cook time.

Return to the chicken in the skillet.  Evaluate the cooking process.

Add one cup of champagne. I usually purchase a lesser expensive bottle, as the flavor seems to be diminished during the cooking process. I save the more expensive bottles for drinking.

The champagne should be kept at a low simmer with the chicken.  Be sure to loosen any bits that may stick to the pan during this cook time.

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Prepare to add 3/4 cup cream or half and half.  I add the cream slowly while using a flat whisk to incorporate into the sauce.  The sauce should be simmering for 6-8 minutes, with reduced heat.  Drain the noodles and add to the sauce.  Quickly add 1/2 cup of Fontina cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Toss with the noodles to cover.  Garnish with freshly ground pepper and parsley flakes.  This was delicious.  Serve with a side salad, and crusty bread for a complete meal. Don’t forget a glass of champagne too!

This recipe made 4 pasta servings.

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shrimp thermidor

Here is one of those all-time best recipes to save when you plan to entertain and want something very different to serve to guests.  This is one of my favorite recipes, which I happened to see again in the August issue of Southern Living magazine. They suggested using for a hot appetizer, but I have served my version of the recipe for a main dish. It pairs nicely with noodles, pasta or mashed potatoes.  It could also be served with puff pastry shells if desired. If used as an appetizer, it would be important to purchase smaller shrimp or cut large shrimp into smaller sections for use on baguette slices.

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Making the shrimp thermidor:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Melt  1/4 cup margarine in a skillet on the stove top.  Slice one large box or two smaller boxes of cleaned fresh mushrooms and add to pan.  Saute to brown.  Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, along with 1 teaspoon kosher salt , 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, and ground black pepper to taste.  Add 2 cups of fat-free half and half, and cook the mixture while stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.  This may take more than five minutes.

Next, add the cleaned shrimp in the preferred size for your meal, along with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.  Cook until the shrimp turn pink, and then transfer to a ceramic baking dish. Continue to season the shrimp with any desired herbs, such as thyme, basil or dill.

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Bake for 15 minutes allowing for the mixture to boil.  I served this shrimp thermidor with a small amount of mashed potatoes, and sautéed green beans and onions. If serving for an appetizer, add to a chafing dish to keep warm, making certain that the shrimp are bite-sized.