Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chicken Croquettes

 

 

 

I ate at a local diner last week and ordered chicken croquettes.  I really haven't made or eaten them in years.  When I was a kid I use to love the frozen ones.  I think they were Howard Johnstons brand?  Anyhow, the diner served them up with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn.  Sadly, they were horrible.  They had absolutely no taste and not a shred of chicken.  I decided to make my own this week and turned to one of my go to chef's, Rachael Ray.  She never lets me down and she certainly didn't let me down with this chicken croquette recipe. 
For the most part I followed her recipe but I did make a few small changes using ingredients that I like and  that I thought would enhance the flavor.  I also left out some ingredients that I don't like.  Some cooks put all the chicken in a food processor but I like to chop the chicken finely and leave a few bigger pieces as well.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.


For the chicken:

 


Two and 1/2 Cups Cooked, Chopped and Cooled Chicken 

 

For the croquettes

 

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bells All Natural Seasoning
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of cream.  ( I use 1/2 and 1/2 )
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
  • About 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple small handfuls)
  • 1 extra-large  egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Frying oil

For the gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, beaten


Preparation


For the croquettes, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and Celery and season with salt, pepper and Bells Seasoning. Stir for 5-6 minutes to soften, then add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock, then cream. Add some to a small bowl with the egg yolks to temper, then add everything back to the sauce and let thicken. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs – the sauce should be very thick. Let cool, then pour room temperature sauce over cold chicken. Combine and chill at least 1 hour more.

Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven or in a counter top fryer to 360°F-365°F.

Pre-heat the oven to 275°F and place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

Combine the remaining breadcrumbs with the panko, parsley and cheese in a shallow dish. Beat the egg with water in a second shallow dish.

For the gravy, melt the butter in a sauce-pot or skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock and let thicken. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Ladle some gravy into the egg yolk to temper, then add back to the gravy; adjust the seasoning, to taste, and reduce the heat to low.

Use an ice cream scoop to form shape or use damp hands to roll balls and form 12-15 croquettes. Turn the croquettes in the egg wash, then gently press the breading mixture evenly all over the croquettes. Fry the croquettes 3-4 at a time until deeply golden, turning the conical shapes gently as they cook to evenly brown, 5-6 minutes per croquette.

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Serve croquettes topped with gravy with Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips and Caramelized Onion Green Beans alongside

This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie




Really easy, really fast and really tasty.  This family favorite recipe came right off the box of Bisquick.  My mom reminded me about it a couple of weeks ago,  I can't believe I had forgotten.  It goes great with baked potatoes, garden salad and the best part of all is that it only takes 40 minutes from start to finish.   Can't beat that....






Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time:  40 Minutes
Serves:  6
Nutrition Info:  1 Serving, 325 Calories

Ingredients:

1 lb Lean ( at least 80%) Ground Beef
1 Large Onion, Chopped ( 1 Cup)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese ( 4 Oz)
1/2 Cup Original Bisquick Mix
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs

Directions:

1.  Heat oven to 400 Degree.  Spray 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2.  In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally , until beef is brown; drain.  Stir in salt.  Spread in pie plate.  Sprinkle with cheese.
3.  In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended.  Pour into pie plate.
4.  Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Crock-Pot Stuffed Peppers













This is a pretty simple and delicious way to cook stuffed peppers.  I don't know about you but I  love Crock-Pot cooking. I love coming home and having my entire house smell like I've been cooking all day.  There are so many different ways to cook stuffed peppers. Some people cook the beef and rice ahead of time but I really think that  the way you do it in this recipe is the best.   Because they simmer in the sauce all day the peppers and the stuffing end up with the perfect texture and flavor.   Just make sure to use instant rice with this recipe so you don't end up with crunchy rice..  
Oh, and one more thing .... I never know what to serve as side dishes with stuffed peppers.  You already have your meat, rice and vegetable but it just not enough to make a complete meal.  Tonight I'm serving the peppers with a side salad, fresh rolls and spaghetti. Spaghetti is the perfect side dish because you have all that extra yummy sauce in the bottom of your Crock-Pot!  Enjoy..
P.S.  This time around I threw in some Dried Cranberries, just because I love them.  





Ingredients:


4 Large Bells peppers, ( Red, Orange, Yellow or Green)
Olive Oil 
1 Small Onion Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely chopped
28 Ounce Can of Ground Peeled Tomatoes 
1 Cup of Water
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt 
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Lb Lean Ground Beef ( at least 90%)
3/4  Cups Instant Uncooked Rice
1/4 Grated Parmesan Cheese 

Directions:

1.  Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds.  Set these aside.

2.  In a medium size skillet, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  heat to medium low and add diced onion and chopped garlic.  Saute until onion is translucent being careful not to burn ( a few minutes ).   Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, add ground peeled tomatoes, cooked onions and garlic, tomato paste, fresh basil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.  

4. Set two cups of this prepared sauce to the side.. pour the remainder of the sauce in the bottom of your  5-6 Quart Crock-Pot. Add one cup of water to the bottom of the Crock-Pot and stir until combined.   

6.  To the remaining 2 cups of sauce that you put to the side,  add the ground beef, instant rice and Parmesan cheese.  Mix with your hands until well incorporated.  

7.  Divide meat mixture evenly and stuff into each of the bell peppers.

8.  Place each pepper in Crock-Pot and bake on high for 3- 4 hours or on Low for 5-6 Hours.


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