Archives for category: Casserole

Every so often, I like to indulge in a bit of artisan bread. My favorite is jalapeño cheese. Well, Wing and I bought a loaf of the jalapeño cheese, but we weren’t able to finish it before it became stale. My solution was to bake it in a strata. We now needed flavors to complement the jalapeños. After digging around in our cupboards, I pulled out a can of green chiles, some tomato sauce (thinking that it could make our strata reminiscent of chilaquiles), onion and garlic powders, and an almost forgotten seasoning blend by Desert Gardens that we bought when we’d visited Arizona last. This particular seasoning blend’s main ingredient is habanero. It claims it’s “Hot! Hot!! Hot!!!” but we like spice and we don’t think that it’s really that hot. (Since most people probably don’t have the habanero seasoning, chipotle or cayenne powders will work, too.) The strata tasted good straight out of the oven, but heated up the next day, it was even better!

Southwestern Strata

Southwestern Strata

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Habanero seasoning (or chipotle powder or cayenne)
  • 1 can (5 oz) green chiles
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • ½  loaf jalapeño cheese bread, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Jack cheese

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, all seasonings, green chiles, and tomato sauce. Grease a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Lay half of the bread slices in bottom of dish. Top with half the egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 40-50 minutes or until eggs are set and golden brown. Top with salsa if desired.

Every once in a while, I’ll go through my collection of cookbooks that are gathering dust on my bookshelves and pull some out that I haven’t really used since purchasing. Just a bit ago, I decided to do this again. I found a ton of magazines that were awaiting their turns to be recognized and used. The chicken recipe comes from one of those. It’s a “Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications” magazine called 5-Ingredient Meals from 2008. I changed the recipe up a bit, mainly using fewer shallots, which this blog reflects, so feel free to add more depending on your taste. As a side, I made couscous using a recipe (click here for original recipe) I found on allrecipes.com. Each dish was bursting with flavor and they tasted great together.

Chicken Couscous

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-in slices
  • Parsley

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Reduce to med. Add chicken. Brown on both sides. Add shallots to skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring shallots occasionally. Transfer chicken and shallots to a serving platter. Cover to keep warm. Add zucchini to skillet. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to platter with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Company Couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 dash balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (we didn’t have Parmesan so I used Mozzarella)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir couscous into boiling water and return water to a boil. Cover and remove pot from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

While couscous is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, green onions, and peppers. Saute briefly. Stir in tomatoes, basil, cooked couscous, and salt and pepper. Mix together and transfer to a 1 1/2-qt casserole dish. Splash some balsamic vinegar on top.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese while still warm.

It’s been almost two weeks since my surgery and I’m finally sitting down to start blogging again. Part of it’s procrastination, I’ll admit, but part of it is because I’m a little like a cat. I eat, I sleep, I wake up to patter around a bit, then I eat again, then go to sleep. It’s really not that bad, I exaggerate slightly. When I say I patter around a bit, I’ve gone shopping or just out for a walk for a bit of exercise, played video games with Mars (he claims to have purchased the PS4 specially for me so I would be entertained during my recovery…), or watched TV with Wing. But I get tired easily because of the surgery so I usually go on one small excursion a day with my mom, then it’s back home to rest.

Anyway, as this is a food blog, I’ll get to the point. I’ve eaten a lot of foods in this time (in the first few days, I felt sooo hungry!), but most of it wasn’t wow-worthy (like cottage cheese and yogurt or not-so-tasty but edible homemade split pea soup) so it won’t make it on my blog. Actually, this scalloped potato recipe isn’t wow-worthy either, and normally it would be a Friday Failure (as it sort of bubbled over and out of its dish while cooking and the potatoes weren’t completely soft), but it’s perio-diet approved and it wasn’t bad for a quick and easy side (for a recipe that usually takes about an hour in the oven), so I decided to post it anyway.

Scalloped potatoes

You can see where the sauce spilled over into the microwave

I found the recipe in one of my mom’s old cookbooks (1979 to be exact). It’s a microwave cookbook called The Microwave Guide and Cookbook brought to you by General Electric, Co (or more commonly known as GE). Below is my version of their recipe.

Quick scalloped potatoes

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt & pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder *
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups thinly sliced white potatoes (about 3 medium)
  • 1-2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)

In melted butter, mix flour and seasonings. Gradually stir in milk. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.

Layer half of potatoes, half the sauce, and half the cheese in greased 2-qt (microwavable) casserole dish. Repeat layers. Cover. Microwave on high for 17-19 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

* If you’d rather use minced onion (the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons), layer them with the potatoes (I simply forgot to chop any because I had a surgery-addled brain so I opted to use powder last minute).

Waking up all too early for a weekend, Wing and I decided that a nice breakfast would help the horrible situation of being awake before the sun. Before getting started, we battled an army of ants who had invaded the clean dish rack because apparently the SoCal sun (or rather the heat of the night because there was no sun yet) was too much for them and swimming in the water from the clean-dishes side of the sink seemed like fun. Say what you will about us, but Wing and I refused to let their fun pool party continue. I was on ‘smash ant with paper towel’ duty, while Wing was on ‘re-wash the dishes’ duty.

Once the ants were moderately out of the way, it was time to decide what to make for breakfast. We looked in the fridge and saw an expiring can of Pillsbury® Grands!® biscuits left there by Wing’s brother, KlyRad (for KlyRad’s profile, visit the guest profile page). Hey, why not use it? So I looked up some recipes on the Pillsbury® site and decided a quiche sounded good and easy. We didn’t have the ingredients for the specific one we chose, so we used it as a guide for measurements and baking times but added the ingredients we had on hand and to cater to our own tastes (we like spicy, although this dish was very mild for us), making the recipe our own.

The oven was just starting to beep when KlyRad walked groggily into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Wing invited him to try some of the quiche that he was just pulling from the oven. KlyRad at first declined, saying he doesn’t really like stuff like that (hmm sounds a little like something picky Mars would say), but Wing convinced him to try a little bit. KlyRad liked it with an all-too enthusiastic, “It’s not too shabby.” But he did go back for seconds, and poured the salsa verde over that piece and declared it to be like “a cupcake for breakfast!”

Quiche all

Biscuit Ham Quiche

  • (16.3 oz) can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil (we used olive oil infused with red bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 whole pickled jalapeno, chopped (about 2 tablespoons chopped), optional
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • dash of rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • tomatillo salsa (aka green or verde), optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Press the biscuits in the bottom of a medium (we never bother with measurements) glass baking dish to form a sealed crust. Set aside (preferably away from the ant armada).

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute ham, onion, green bell pepper. Add jalapeno and tomato. Stir until desired doneness. Combine ham mixture with eggs. Stir in rosemary, salt, pepper, and cheeses. Pour mixture evenly over biscuit-lined baking dish. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until quiche is set. Serve with salsa if desired.