Eden Isle Chicken

In the midst of Skyping with my new Scottish friend Shaun and his sweet wife Dawn, baking cookies for the girls bake sale for charity and getting ready for Easter…. dinner still had to be made.  Here’s another easy chicken recipe and OMG, so tasty!  Anything with bacon, chicken, cream cheese and sour cream HAS to be good, right?

Eden Isle Chicken

Ingredients:

6 chicken breasts, fat trimmed

1 lb package of smoked bacon

1 jar of dried beef

1 1/2 ups sour cream

3 oz cream cheese

2 cans cream of chicken soup

black pepper

2 tsp dried thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Wash and dry the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle top and bottom of each breast with pepper (NO salt).  Wrap each breast in bacon.  Place the dried beef in the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Arrange the bacon wrapped chicken on top of dried beef.  Meanwhile, mix sour cream, softened cream cheese, soup, black pepper and thyme.  Pour mixture evenly over chicken.  Cover dish tightly with foil.  Bake for 2 hours.  Now warm oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover dish and bake until slightly browned on top (approximately 10 minutes).  Serve with rice.

*Some people serve over a bed of mashed potatoes or pasta.

Restaurant Style File Mignon

You guys HAVE to know the secret to the absolute BEST way to do filet mignons!  It has NOTHING to do with the grill, either.  *shock*  Actually, any of my “foodie” friends may already know this but it’s something new to me and I feel compelled to share 🙂  I teased you with a pic on my hubby’s birthday post.

This is a revised recipe I got off of Pinterest.  If you haven’t tried cooking steaks this way, PLEASE do yourself a favor and give it a whirl.  I PROMISE you that all your family and friends will think you’re the bomb!  You know how you go to your favorite steak house and the steak is better than anything you could grill, ever?  Yeah, this is how you do it!

Restaurant Style Pan Seared Filet Mignon

Ingredients:

4 8 oz filet mignons

4 tsp sea salt

8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 sticks butter

2 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves chopped fresh garlic

2 TBSP dried parsley

2 TBSP dried thyme

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

Take 1 stick of butter, softened.  Mix well with garlic, thyme, parsley and lemon zest.  Form into a log and chill.  Generously season each side of the filets with salt and pepper (approximately 1 tsp of BOTH salt and pepper per side – TRUST me, it sounds like a lot of salt but the salt acts to form the crust on the steak and you really DO need it).  Heat the other stick of butter and the olive oil in a CAST IRON skillet to a SCREAMING HOT temperature.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sear the filets in the extremely hot skillet for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until a nice brown crust forms.  While the steaks are searing, continuously spoon the butter from the pan on top of the steaks.  When the steaks are done searing, place in the preheated oven (center rack) in the same cast iron skillet.  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the temperature reads 135 degrees (medium rare).  During the last minute of cooking, take that delicious herb butter that should be chilling and glob a generous dab of butter on each steak.  The butter won’t be melted ALL the way when you’re ready to take out of the oven.  Let steak sit for 5 minutes before you serve.  The juices will stay inside the steak this way.

*135 degrees is medium rare.  Obviously not everyone likes the cows to be still mooing so cook a little longer if you don’t like that much red.  I think if you’re going to spend the money on filet mignon, you shouldn’t over cook it.  You’ll want that tender flavor.  135 degrees is PERFECT for us 🙂

Harvest Cheesy Potatoes

As I mentioned, last night I made Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken.  I had to have some kind of starchy yumminess to go with it,right? Glad you agree 😉

Harvest Cheesy Potatoes

Ingredients:

5 cups peeled and cubed OR grated potatoes

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

2 tsp creole seasoning (you can use any kind of season salt)

1 medium onion, chopped (optional)

1 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or throw in an extra handful like I always do!)

1 cup panko or regular bread crumbs mixed with 2 TBSP melted butter

OR you can top with cornflakes or potato chips

Directions:

Combine potatoes, soup, butter, season salt, onion, sour cream and cheese.  Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan.  Top with bread crumbs, cornflakes or potato chips (1 cup).  Bake at 350 F for one hour.

This was SO good!

Italian Herb Butter

Remember my love for all things butter and how we talked about Paula Deen being my hero?  I thought it would be a good time to share with you a recipe for Italian Herb butter.  I’ll be using it over either asparagus or broccoli tonight.  The flavor won’t conflict with the Rosemary Chicken that we’re having tonight.

THIS is how to dress up boring vegetables.  I’m always trying to come up with something BESIDES the regular cheese sauce or just plain ole butter.

Besides, it gives me an excuse to use my cute little butter crock!

Italian Herb Butter (from my Aunt Betty’s handwritten recipes)

Ingredients

1/2 cup softened, salted butter (1 stick)

1 TBSP chopped fresh basil

1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Pack into a butter crock or on waxed paper, shape into 1 x7 inch log.  Chill or freeze.  Roll butter log in chopped parsley, if desired, before slicing into patties.

*  From the notes of Aunt Betty:  This zesty spread is easy to prepare and works magic on the most humble of dishes.  Butter may be frozen up to 6 months.

The simple things in life…. FRIED PORK CHOPS! lol

I haven’t been posting about food lately because, well, I’ve been uninspired.  Sadly, nothing I’ve found on Pinterest lately has been working. They look fantastic but taste dry or just plain gross. Recipes I see on WordPress don’t reach out and grab me (for the most part).  Maybe I’m in a slump?  Probably.

My slump is your gain!  God I crack myself up!  lol  No seriously, I don’t have a recipe that will blow your socks off but I DO have a great recipe for deep fried pork chops!  I don’t mind sharing with you my love for Ms Paula Deen, the Queen of Butter 🙂

 I’m not ashamed of my love for butter or simple food.  Hell, I pretty much love ALL types of food, it just has to taste great!  AND, BTW…  I’m not fat, in case you were wondering.  I think you should be able to enjoy a good pork cop (or stick of butter) in moderation 😉

Tonight, at MY house, we had deep fried pork chops (thanks to Paula) and garlic mashed potatoes (can I tell you that I use real cream in my taters?) with broccoli and LOTS of butter.  I wonder why my hubby won’t even try to lose weight?  Guess I’m not helping matters BUT!!!!  But why can’t you eat what you want sometimes and exercise a little so that you CAN enjoy a pork chop every now and then?  lol  BTW…  these were SO tasty and delicious.  It’s not like I needed a recipe for fried pork chops because this is something that I could do in my sleep.  I just wanted to see how OTHER people did chops.  Who better to consult than the Southern Lady and her Sons!?

Lady and Son’s Fried Pork Chops           Fried Pork Chops

Ingredients 

4 cups vegetable oil
8 (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch celery seeds
2/3 cup buttermilk  (*I used about a cup)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Heat oil in a deep skillet to 350 degrees F.

Arrange the pork chops in a large shallow dish. Season each pork chop, on both sides, with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and celery seeds. Pour the buttermilk over the chops and turn to coat.

Place flour into a large shallow dish. Dip each pork chop into the flour mixture and coat well, shaking off the excess.

Using tongs, gently lower the chops into the deep skillet in batches if necessary. Fry for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Transfer chops to a paper towel-lined pate to drain. Serve hot.

And there you go!  Simple, easy and it didn’t take a lot of time.  Probably the only downfall, besides the almost half a can of Crisco I used, was the amount of cleaning that my teenage munchkin had to do afterward.  lol  It’s not fun to do greasy dishes with wet flour dried to them 😦  BAD mom!  What do YOU do when you’re uninspired?

President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak …. is what’s for dinner!

It’s just me and the hubby at home today cause the munchkin is visiting her daddy for the weekend.  I look forward to cooking on these “just for 2” kinds of weekends.

So I had beef eye of round steaks.  What to do with them?  They’re a tougher, less expensive cut of meat so I knew I’d have to cook the heck out of them but I’m SO tired of making “Swiss steaks” with this cut.  

This is what I found and it was absolutely delicious and PACKED with flavor!  Give it a try, I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed 😉  Btw…  the note said that former US president Gerald Ford requested this dinner regularly.  It was his favorite.

President Ford’s Braised Eye of Round Steak

Ingredients

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 large onions, sliced thin 

4 eye of round steaks, about an inch thick

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup flour for coating

1 cup beef consomme, undiluted (I used 1 can of Cambell’s beef consomme)

1 cup burgundy wine

1 tsp chopped parsley, optional (can be fresh or dried for garnish)

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes but don’t brown them (just long enough to soften and let the juices run).  Remove onions from skillet using a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.  Season the steaks with thyme, salt and garlic powder on both sides.  Rub in seasoning.  Dust steaks lightly with flour on both sides.  Fry steaks in skillet over medium high heat until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour beef consomme and burgundy wine over steaks and return onions to skillet as well.  Cook over medium high heat until aroma of wine dissipates, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until steaks are fork tender.

Serve over rice, potatoes or egg noodles.  I made my porcini risotto YUMMMMMMMMM!

Individual Amish Beef Potpies

I’m feeling a little under the weather right now, be that as it may, dinner still has to be made, right?  I mean, if we want to eat, that is.  So what do I do when my heart isn’t really in it?  All I know is that I have a package of ground beef and I’m pretty disappointed with the recipes on Pinterest lately… SO I dug out one of the 100,000 cookbooks (yes, I collect cook books the way I collect shoes!).  This recipe comes from The Homestyle Amish Kitchen Cookbook, Harvest House Publishers.  I grabbed my daughter and we went to work making:

Individual Beef Potpies

1 beef bouillon cube

2 cups boiling water

3 1/2 cups cooked beef or cooked hamburger (*I used 1 1/2 lb ground beef)

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp salt (*I used 2 tsp)

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

1 package frozen mixed vegetables (*I used California Blend – Green Giant)

1/4 cup flour

pastry (see below)

Dissolve the bouillon cube in the 2 cups boiling water and add the beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper.  Add the frozen vegetables and cook mixture for 5 minutes.  Combine the flour with enough water to make a thin paste and slowly add it into the meat and vegetable mixture.  Continue stirring and cooking until mixture thickens.  Keep warm.  When you have made the pastry, spoon the meat and vegetable mixture into 6 individual oven-proof custard cups or ramekins that are 6 to 8 ounces each.  Do not overfill (like I did!  lol)

Pastry

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

3/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup shortening

4 TBSP cold water (I had to use about 8 TBSP)

Sift together the flour, cornmeal and salt.  Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the water by tablespoonfuls over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork until just damp.  Then, using your hands, work dough gently and as little as possible until the dough holds together and forms a ball.  You might need to add a bit more cold water.

Divide dough into 6 parts and roll each to form a ball large enough to fit over the top of the meat and vegetables in each baking cup.  (Julia and I patted them kind of flat like you’d do if you were making hamburger patties).  Turn under and crimp edges.  Make several cuts (or make a cross) in the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.

Bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes