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Archive for the ‘Main Dish’ Category

Baked gnocchi plated

The urge to make some creamy, cheesy gnocchi overtook me the other day. To up the ante, I added in chicken and bacon crumbles. That turned out to be a particularly delicious idea.

Captain Cavedweller isn’t a fan of gnocchi. He can’t seem to forget the one time I overcooked it and the results tasted something like paste, except not quite as good in flavor or texture.

When he saw what was on the menu for dinner, he started digging in the freezer to see if he could unearth a frozen pizza. I assured him, he would like this.

With a dubious expression on his face and a sigh of long-suffering escaping his lips, he sat down to eat.

And eat.

After he finished the second-helping, he made some mention that is “wasn’t too bad, for your weird food stuff.”

You can interpret that as he liked it.

This dish isn’t hard to make, just be sure you keep an eye on the gnocchi while it’s boiling. It seriously goes from tasty to nasty faster than you can blink.

Ingredients

Ingredients (don’t be like me and forget you are out of fresh Parmesan cheese and end up using your husband’s nasty stuff in a can.)

 

Start by frying a few strips of bacon, cut into small pieces.

Start by frying a few strips of bacon, cut into small pieces.

 

Add in about a cup of cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (although mine appears to have been shredded by a wild animal.)

Add in about a cup of cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (although mine appears to have been shredded by a wild animal.)

 

Remove chicken and bacon from pan and set aside. Leaving bacon drippings in the pan, add in butter, stirring as it melts.

Remove chicken and bacon from pan and set aside. Leaving bacon drippings in the pan, add in butter, stirring as it melts. Put water on to boil in a heavy medium saucepan.

 

Add in flour and stir vigorously.

Add in flour and stir vigorously.

 

Add milk and cook until it starts to thicken, stirring frequently.

Add milk and cook until it starts to thicken, stirring frequently.

 

Add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly.

Add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly. The pot of water should be boiling, so add in the gnocchi. It only needs to cook about three minutes, so keep an eye on it.

 

Stir in the cooked bacon and chicken.

Stir in the cooked bacon and chicken.

Add cooked gnocchi and stir to coat, then spoon into a greased baking dish.

Add cooked gnocchi and stir to coat, then spoon into a greased baking dish.

 

Bake at 375 degrees for about twenty minutes, until the top and edges of the gnocchi start to turn brown and crispy. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and return to oven for a minute or two, until cheese melts. Remove and serve!

Bake at 375 degrees for about twenty minutes, until the top and edges of the gnocchi start to turn brown and crispy. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top and return to oven for a minute or two, until cheese melts. Remove and serve!

 

Baked Gnocchi with Chicken (and Bacon)

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

3/4 cup milk

1 cup mozzarella cheese (divided in half)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

3 strips bacon

1 cup cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a heavy skillet (I used cast iron). Add in chicken just before the bacon is cooked, to absorb some of the great bacon-y flavor (and grease). Remove from pan and set aside.

Put water on to boil in a heavy medium saucepan for the gnocchi.

Drop the butter into the skillet with the bacon drippings and melt, then stir in flour. Add milk and continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken.

Add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook for about three minutes, following package directions.

Stir the bacon and chicken into the cream sauce until thoroughly heated.

Drain gnocchi and stir into sauce, making sure to coat all the little dumplings.

Spoon into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges of the gnocchi start to brown. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the top. Return pan to oven and let bake just a minute or two, until the cheese melts.

Remove and serve!

She Who Should Have Salad for Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheesy Chicken Casserole Plated

If you’re looking for an easy to make dinner recipe, this one is really simple.

You can use leftovers to mix this casserole in a snap and serve a piping hot, tasty meal in no time with minimum fuss!

Captain Cavedweller likes this one, as long as I use mixed veggies without the green beans. (Talk about picky eaters… we have two at our house!).

Ingredients

Ingredients – the unknown substance in the bowl is chicken stock that I had in the freezer and had not yet thawed.

Cook your veggies in the chicken stock for about two minutes in the microwave. Just to get them hot and start the cooking process. You can either add in the minute rice and cook with the veggies (using the stock instead of water) or use left-over rice. Either works fine, although the chicken stock gives the rice a nice flavor.

Cook your veggies in the chicken stock for about two minutes in the microwave. Just to get them hot and start the cooking process. You can either add in the minute rice and cook with the veggies (using the stock instead of water) or use left-over rice. Either works fine, although the chicken stock gives the rice a nice flavor.

Mix in a can of Cream of Mushroom soup. You could also use cream of celery or cream of chicken.

Mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup. You could also use cream of celery or cream of chicken.

Layer pre-cooked chicken into a casserole pan (sprayed with non-stick spray - the pan, not the chicken). I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces before layering in the pan. Top with veggie and rice mixture then cover in foil.

Layer pre-cooked chicken into a casserole pan (sprayed with non-stick spray – the pan, not the chicken). I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces before layering in the pan. Top with veggie and rice mixture then cover in foil.

Bake about 20 minutes, until everything is bubbling and looks cooked. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for a few minutes until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!

Bake about 20 minutes, until everything is bubbling and looks cooked. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for a few minutes until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked chicken (cut into small pieces)

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Small bag of frozen veggies

1 small can cream of mushroom soup

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Layer in chicken and set aside.

In a micro-wave safe bowl, cook veggies in chicken stock (or water) for about two minutes. You can also add your minute rice and cook with the veggies and chicken stock if you don’t have left-over rice to use.

If you aren’t cooking the rice in the stock, drain excess off veggies before mixing with rice and soup.

Otherwise, mix in the soup then spread over the chicken.

Cover the pan with foil and back about 15-20 minutes, until everything is hot and bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven (uncovered) and bake about five minutes, until cheese is a  melted pool of gooey deliciousness.

Serve and enjoy your one-dish meal.

She Who Needs to Pick Out the Green Beans Next Time

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ravioli plated

Since I have been so focused on Italian food lately, I thought you might enjoy this easy recipe for ravioli.

It isn’t hard, although it does take a little time and muscle (rolling out the dough).

If you have a fork, a rolling pin and a something you can use to cut out the ravioli, you can make this recipe without any special kitchen gadgets.

ravioli dough ingredients

Ingredients – all basic and probably on hand in your kitchen right now.

Make a well in your bowl of flour (after mixing in the salt) and stir in eggs and oil.

Make a well in your bowl of flour (after mixing in the salt) and stir in eggs and oil.

Mix until well blended and no longer crumbly.

Mix until well blended and no longer crumbly. Cover with a damp towel and let rest while you mix the filling.

Ingredients for cheesy chicken filling. You can use any sort of meat and cheese combo you like.

Ingredients for cheesy chicken filling. You can use any sort of meat and cheese combo you like.

This is where the muscle comes in. You want to roll out that dough until is pretty thin and light. At least it gives you a great arm and upper body workout!

This is where the muscle comes in. You want to roll out that dough until is pretty thin and light. At least it gives you a great arm and upper body workout!

Drop a spoonful of filling on the dough then cover with another piece of dough.

Drop a spoonful of filling on the dough then cover with another piece of dough.

I found this cutter for making sandwiches in my kitchen junk drawer (there are all sorts of forgotten wonders in there!). If you don't have a fancy cutter, just use a knife or a drinking glass to cut out your ravioli and then seal the edges by crimping. Make sure you have a good seal.

I found this cutter for making sandwiches in my kitchen junk drawer (there are all sorts of forgotten wonders in there!). If you don’t have a fancy cutter, just use a knife or a drinking glass to cut out your ravioli and then seal the edges by crimping. Make sure you have a good seal.

I'll state again to make sure your edges are sealed. (Isn't this pretty?)

I’ll state again to make sure your edges are sealed. (Isn’t this pretty?)

Slide ravioli into a pot of boiling water and cook over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, until cooked through. You'll be able to tell my looking at the dough that it's done.

Slide ravioli into a pot of boiling water and cook over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes, until cooked through. You’ll be able to tell by looking at the dough that it’s done.

Top with creamy alfredo sauce, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with a side of roasted zucchini or a fresh garden salad.

Top with creamy Alfredo sauce, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with a side of roasted zucchini or a fresh garden salad.

Ravioli

2 cups flour

3 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. olive oil

Scoop flour into a mixing bowl and mix in salt. Create a well in the center and add in eggs and oil. Blend with a fork until no longer crumbly and dough forms a ball. Set aside and cover with a lightly dampened towel to keep dough from drying.

Filling

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or chopped

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. seasoning (can use Italian or Mrs. Dash works)

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

Blend ingredients together, set aside. Set pot of water to boil, adding a pinch of salt.

Roll out pasta dough until thin. Cut in half. Drop pasta dough by rounded spoonsful on the dough then cover with second piece. Cut out ravioli (using a special cutter if you have one or a knife, biscuit cutter or drinking glass if you don’t.

Crimp edges and make sure they are sealed then slide into boiling water. Boil on medium-high heat for about 12 minutes or until dough looks done.

Serve with pasta sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

This recipe makes about 12 super-gigantic ravioli or a two dozen small ones.

She Who Needs to Step Away from Italian Food for Awhile

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ribs done

You can thank Captain Cavedweller for today’s post.

Since so many of you will be barbecuing for Memorial Weekend, here is his easy recipe for ribs that fall off the bone in glorious, tender bliss.

Ingredients for delicious ribs

Ingredients for delicious ribs

ribs bbq sauce

Add barbecue sauce.

Then place the ribs in the slow cooker.

Then place the ribs in the slow cooker.

Finish adding honey, the rest of the barbecue sauce, liquid smoke and Dr. Pepper. (Don't be like us and drop the bottle of pop then open it and have it spray all over the kitchen.)

Finish adding honey, the rest of the barbecue sauce, liquid smoke and Dr. Pepper. (Don’t be like us and drop the bottle of pop then open it and have it spray all over the kitchen.)

Although it looks like a witch's brew, this will cook down into something fabulous.

Although it looks like a witch’s brew, this will cook down into something fabulous.

When the meat is done it will fall of the bone and make you wonder what took  you so long to make something so good.

When the meat is done it will fall of the bone and make you wonder what took you so long to make something so good.

Barbecue Pork Ribs

3 pounds pork ribs (on the bone)

6-8 cups Dr. Pepper

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp. liquid smoke

1 bottle barbecue sauce (CC likes Tony Roma’s Carolina Honeys best)

Salt

Seasoning

Rub ribs with salt and seasoning. CC like to mix his own, but any sort of meat rub, steak seasoning, even Mrs. Dash will do.

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with a shot of non-stick cooking spray then put in half the bottle barbecue sauce.

Add the ribs, then the honey, liquid smoke, remaining barbecue sauce and Dr. Pepper. Fill the slow cooker with the pop until the liquid is about an inch away from the top.

Cover and cook on medium heat for about eight to ten hours, until meat falls off the bone.

Serve with more barbecue sauce and savor every wonderful bite!

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