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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Zoodles with a spiral slicer

I finally purchased a Paderno spiralizer slicer and it has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen tool collection.  My three blade slicer is able to cut vegetables very quickly into angel hair noodles, shoestrings and even spiral cut strands.  My first attempt at using the tool was extremely successful, as I made zucchini noodles in place of pasta one evening for dinner.

I sautéed the zoodles with some sliced mushrooms, seasoned with black pepper and parsley flakes in one tablespoon olive oil. I cooked the zucchini noodles until soft and served with pasta sauce.  The noodles were extremely tasty, and confirm the recent enthusiasm from many chefs for using this spiral slicer.

I will be experimenting with apples, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers in the coming months. The slicer is an interesting way to prepare and cut these foods for appealing presentation and to increase food excitement.

For more information on this slicer, it can be purchased online at Williams Sonoma cookware.

Chicken Cacciatore

Easy one pot meals or rustic stews are perfect for cold winter nights.  I look for hearty soup recipes and other meals with shrimp or chicken to help warm us in the early months of the year. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is another hit in our home.  Very easy to prepare and in under one hour, your family will enjoy a delicious and healthy dinner.

Here is how I prepared this meal.  First, gather these ingredients:  2 boneless chicken breasts, ground pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 large box white mushrooms, 1 can stewed tomatoes/14.5 ounces, dried oregano

Using the olive oil in my Staub pot, I heated it first and then added the two chicken breasts.  Season with pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes, turning over to brown both sides.  Remove from the pot and cook the mushrooms.  Cover during the cooking process, stirring half way after 3 minutes.  Cook until soft and moist.  Add tomatoes and season with oregano.  Reduce the heat and cook on medium until tomatoes are in small pieces, and flavors have blended.  I keep the cover on the pot for about 10 minutes during this phase of cooking.

Then, return the chicken to the pot and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and heated. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or other starch. Or, for a lower carbohydrate meal, omit the starches. This dish has great flavor and is very satisfying.

Chicken Scaloppine

Do you struggle with easy weeknight meals? Over the years, I seem to have found a variety of recipes that are “go-to” delicious meals that come together very easily and taste great too. I look for recipes that are low in fat, but nutritious and satisfying. Chicken dishes seem to adapt well to various tastes and flavors which allow the protein to appear very different based on seasonings and cooking methods.

Here is a recipe for a lemon flavored chicken which is excellent.  The way I made the recipe, the flavor profile was subtle, so I would increase the lemon ingredients for a more bold flavor if desired.

Gather these ingredients:  3 tablespoons margarine, about 10 white mushrooms-sliced, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2/3 cup chicken broth, 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, salt and pepper to taste, dried parsley, 1/2 cup white wine.

Using an electric skillet, melt the margarine.  Start with the mushrooms, lemon zest and juice.  Simmer to soften the mushrooms.

Add broth and bring up to temperature.  Next, cook the chicken breasts in the skillet. This step may take 8 minutes.  Then, add the wine and parsley.  Finish the dish and serve.

 

Mushroom rice

Are you looking for a great side dish to accompany fish or chicken?  Here is a great tasting make at home rice that is simply delicious. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, so it will work perfectly for that timed roasting dish in the oven.

Ingredients to assemble:  1/4 cup margarine, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper to taste and 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese.

Melt margarine in a large open skillet that is oven safe.  Soften and brown onions slightly. Add mushrooms and wine next and cook for several minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Next, add uncooked rice and cook for another few minutes.  Pour in broth, and cover. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 25-27 minutes until rice is firm.  Remove from the oven and add Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.

This recipe could also be made with vegetable or beef broth if desired.

Mushroom and Herb gravy

Here is a quick recipe for a mushroom gravy that adds an upscale look to any roasted chicken serving.  This recipe happened to be quite tasty and was an easy pan sauce.  It added to the flavor of the chicken.  If you like mushrooms, you will love this sauce.

I used one box of white mushrooms, which I cleaned and sliced, about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, 2-3 chopped shallots, about 4 teaspoons flour, and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup white wine.

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While the chicken is roasting the last thirty minutes, begin this pan sauce.  Brown the mushrooms in about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil for about 4-5 minutes.  Then, add a bit of the chicken broth to hydrate the mixtures.  Add the shallots and cook until soft, another 3-5 minutes.  Add the flour and mix well.

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Next, add the wine and allow the mixture to come up to a boil, cooking well.  Add the rest of the chicken broth and heat through.  Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Serve over a slice of white roasted chicken breast.

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Roasted pork chops with vegetables

Are you looking for an easy way to make pork chops?  I found that roasting them with vegetables is a delicious way to serve them, as well as speedy, because the dish comes together in about 30 minutes.

For this sheet pan recipe, I used baby carrots, one Gala apple, Brussels sprouts and fresh mushrooms. Bone-in pork chops would be tasty in this format. I had boneless on hand and seasoned them with salt, ground pepper and rosemary.

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Place the chops and sliced apples and vegetables on a sheet pan prepared with cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated oven set at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the ingredients over and bake until the chops are done, around 13-15 more minutes. Monitor and adjust the oven temperature as necessary. Some ovens may need to be decreased to 400 degrees during the roasting process.

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This dish could be served with a starch if desired, such as potatoes or wild rice.