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I love gumbo. But it can be a major undertaking! This slow cook version makes it so easy. And it is SO good. I highly recommend adding the roux at the end. It makes the sauce just right.

slow cook chicken and sausage gumbo

Slow Cook Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
via back to her roots

1 large onion, diced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces frozen or fresh okra, sliced into discs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 bay leaves
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced into half moons
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups water
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large slow cooker, add all ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 or until vegetables are mushy and stock is slightly thickened (it will still be thin; if you find it too thin, stir in a roux to thicken to preference). Serve with brown or white rice.

It was time for a break from the soups and stews, for something a little lighter. Husband found this delicous recipe and it was very much enjoyed.

sesame chicken with toasted quinoa

Sesame Chicken Toasted Quinoa
adapted from how sweet eats

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add chicken and cook through, about 5-10 mins per side. Remove and let cool. Shred or chop into small bites, set aside. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Add in chicken, green onions and dressing, tossing well to coat. Add in sesame seeds and toss once more. Serve!

This recipe is so simple and SO good. And it combines two of my favorite things, slow cooking and cooking with beer. Once the winter sets in, the slow cooker is my best friend. And the flavor of this stroganoff is just WOW at the end of the day. The dijon really adds just the right amount of bite.

slow cook stroganoff

Slow Cook Stroganoff
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into thin slices
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, quartered (I used cremini)
6 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 bottle of beer (I used a Porter)
Egg noodles, for serving

Slice beef, chop the onions and mushrooms, then toss them into a gallon zip lock bag with the minced garlic. Add the bottle of beer and refrigerate overnight.

In the slow cooker, toss beef, onion, and mushroom mixture with 2 teaspoons coarse salt and teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).

Prepare the egg noodles. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water. Ladle 2 cups of cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute (It happens very quickly!). With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, then sour cream and mustard.
Serve over the cooked noodles.

Here’s a classic! Easy too. The only thing you need is a little patience. But it’s well worth the wait!

beefstew-craigclaibourne-raudette

Easy Beef Stew
via the ny times

4 pounds lean, boneless chuck steak
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
6 tablespoons flour
4 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon thyme
6 sprigs parsley, tied in a bundle
6 large carrots, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed and scraped

Cut the meat into two-inch cubes. Using a large skillet, heat the oil and add the beef cubes in one layer (I ended up cooking mine in 2 batches because the pot wasn’t big enough). Add salt and pepper and cook, stirring and turning the pieces often, for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the meat evenly. Add the wine and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the water. Add the cloves, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Cover closely and simmer for one hour.
Meanwhile, cut the carrots into one-inch lengths. If the pieces are very large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add them to the beef. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley.

It’s that time of the year again, soup and stews almost every week! Any my favorite flavor boost – a little beer! Check out this amazingly simple cabbage stir fry, packed with flavor and warmth.

Cabbage-Roll-Rice_simply_stacie

Cabbage Roll Rice
adapted from simply stacie

2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup beer
1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice

Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and paprika to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef is browned (about 10 minutes). Stir in italian seasonings, cabbage, diced tomatoes, water, beer and rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Stir before serving. Serve hot.

I was talking to my lovely friend the other day about how I just haven’t had it in me lately to do anything particularly interesting for dinner. She mentioned one of her favorite quick meals is Zataran’s Jambalaya, jazzed up with extra veggies. Thanks Rebecca! This was awesome and just what we needed after a long day.

rebeccas_jambalaya_recipe_raudette

Zataran’s Jambalaya Mix (family size)
1 lb chicken sausage
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small yellow onions, diced
3 bell peppers, diced — I used: 1 red, 1  yellow, 1 green
32oz of chicken broth
15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
15oz can of diced tomatoes
1 Tbl olive oil
1 bunch green onions, diced

Warm the oil in a large pot, add the chicken sausage, breaking it up a bit. Add the Jambalaya Mix and Chicken Broth. Bring to a boil and then bring temperature back down to low. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, saute the celery, onions and peppers, for about 10-15 minutes. Once the rice mix is done, add the tomatoes (with juice), beans and the sauteed vegetables. Stir in half the diced green onions, reserve the rest for garnish at the end. Serve hot!

OMG! These are SO GOOD. One of my recent favorites and surprisingly easy for meatballs. Definitely going into the weeknight rotation. And there’s something about cooking with tumeric; I love the bright beautiful color it makes everything. For the yogurt sauce, we doubled the recipe below so that we had a little extra to mix into the rice. And it was still amazing the next day for leftovers.

tandoori chicken inspired meatballs_raudette

Tandoori Meatballs
via healthy delicious

For the meatballs:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
lemon wedges (from remaining 1/2), for serving

Heat oven to 350F. Spread the oil onto the center of a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, lemon juice, and spices. Mix gently to combine. Form into 12 balls (a medium cookie scoop is perfect for this). Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and bake another 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and remaining spices. Coat the cooked meatballs in yogurt sauce and return to the baking sheet. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges. We also served over basmati rice and peas.

It’s been so long! But stews have been calling me. And this is the perfect transitional stew. Fresh, bright ingredients that still feel right on a warm summer night, but warm and filling enough as the weather starts to turn. Plus, anything with fresh peas and ricotta is bound to be amazing.

fregola with green peas mint and ricotta

Fregola with Green Peas, Mint and Ricotta
via bon appetit

1 1/4 cups fregola (can substitue pearl couscous, if you’re having trouble!)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
2 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for serving
4 ounces ricotta

Cook fregola in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain pasta (do not rinse), reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fregola and cook, stirring often, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add pasta cooking liquid as needed to adjust consistency. Serve topped with ricotta, mint, and cracked pepper and drizzled with oil.

 

This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

When I’m in a restaurant ordering enchiladas, I almost always go for the cheese filled ones. Creamy and spicy might be my favorite mix. These burritos ended up hitting that craving right on the nose, but with a lot less cheese (!!!). Amazing, right? I’m trying to cut back a bit on the dairy, and this avocado and blended black bean mix went above and beyond.

black bean and avocado burritos

Baked Black Bean and Avocado Burritos
via the kitchn

2 chipotles in adobo sauce, finely minced
1 cup sour cream
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 medium avocados, cut in 1/2-inch dice
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray (or olive oil). Combine chipotle and sour cream in a bowl. Purée half the beans in a food processor; add to the sour cream mixture. Stir in the whole beans and corn until well combined. Gently stir in the avocado. Warm the tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave between damp paper towels to soften. Working one at a time, spoon the bean mixture down the center of each. Roll the tortillas closed and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the salsa over the tortillas and top with the shredded cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes until cheese is melted and burritos are warmed through.