Monday, October 27, 2008

Salmon Cheese Casserole

Sometimes you have cans of things in your pantry, and you just don't know what to do with it. When I was growing up, my mom made salmon patties out of the canned salmon, so that's what I always made. And they are pretty good. But sometimes you need to shake it up a bit.

This tastes almost exactly like those salmon patties, except this recipe calls for cheese. I like cheese. So I double the amount called for. You decide whether you want to do that or not. Also, I left out the mushrooms. Mushrooms don't like me.

And, I didn't have any bread crumbs. I used a combination of crushed Fiber One cereal and crushed crackers. And I didn't feel like mincing an onion, so I used onion powder.

So what I'm saying is, do what works for you. This will still turn out great! Remember, salmon is a great way to get your Omega-3 fatty acids!

Don't forget to visit Lisa for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Salmon Cheese Casserole

14 3/4 oz can salmon, canned without salt, but with liquid
4 oz can mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced onion

1. Flake fish in bowl, removing any bones. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into lightly greased slow cooker. (I used my 4 qt. crock pot.)

2. Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours.

I served this with brown rice and steamed vegetables. Now, go make some salmon and help your heart!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Crockpot Applesauce

Is there anything better than the fragrance of apples on a crisp, fall day? Nothing says fall more to me than all things apple. I remember over-doing it many times with the fresh apple cider when I was a kid.

When my mom made applesauce, I remember her cooking it on the stovetop, then using a food mill to puree the apples into a creamy sauce. These days, I prefer a chunky applesauce. And I leave the peel on. But feel free to peel your apples if you prefer.

Also, my mom never added cinnamon when cooking the apples. But I love cinnamon, and I was feeling like a rebel so I added it. YUM!

This is more of a tutorial (sans pictures - sorry!) than a recipe. I use my 6-qt slow cooker for this.

Cut up enough apples to fill your slow cooker about 2/3 full. Depends on the size of your apples how many this will be. I try to use a variety of apples. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook down.

As you are cutting the apples, toss them with a bit of lemon juice, up to 1 Tbs. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle about 3 Tbs brown sugar over the apples. Then add 1-2 tsp cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract. If you are really daring, also add a dash of ground cloves.

Stir all around so the apples are coated. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, stirring once every hour. The apples on the bottom will cook faster, so stirring will ensure more even cooking.

Once the apples have reached a desired consistency, turn slow cooker off. Use an immersion blender (a boat motor as Emeril calls it) to puree apples to desired chunkiness. Or use the back of a slotted spoon if your immersion blender starts making weird noises or konks out altogether. (Guess what's on my Christmas list.)

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Easy-peasy, lemon squeezie. Yummy applesauce goodness from my kitchen to yours!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sloppy Joes

I have never attempted making my own sloppy joe mix before. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good this tasted! Good is an understatement - this was fabulous!!! This is adapted from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook.

Instead of serving this on buns, I made sloppy joe pockets. I made pizza dough in my bread machine using the dough cycle. (I use this recipe from The Natural Mommy.) When I took it out of the machine, I kneaded it for a few minutes then divided it into 8 (mostly) equal parts.

Once I had each dough glob worked into a circle, I piled on the sloppy joe mix, piled it with shredded cheddar cheese, then folded the dough over and pinched the edges to seal. I baked them at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Fantastic!!

For more tempting recipes and kitchen tips, click over to visit the home of Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Sloppy Joes

1 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup sweet potato puree (you can use baby food as a shortcut)
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup squash puree or pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs worchestshire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

1. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to skillet. Once the oil is heated, add onion, celery, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent.

2. Add ground turkey to skillet. Break apart and brown until all pink has disappeared.

3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pasta e Fagioli al Forno

This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I tried recently. It takes just like the Pasta e Fagioli soup at Olive Garden. I was pleasantly surprised! (EDITED TO ADD: This tastes like the Olive Garden soup, but is actually a casserole!)

This recipe is not really labor-intensive, but does involve 3 pots/pans on the stovetop. A little juggling ability is needed. That's my only criticism of this dish. But the taste is worth it, if you can keep up with it all!

For more great recipes and kitchen tips, visit the home of Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Pasta e Fagioli al Forno
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray, 2008

1 pound penne rigate or whole-wheat penne
1/4 pound pancetta, 3 to 4 slices thick cut like bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ribs celery from the heart with leafy tops, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
1 fresh bay leaf Freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans "Roman" beans, such as Goya brand or, cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Nutmeg, to taste
1 1/2 cups grated Romano

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, cook pasta to just shy of al dente.

Chop pancetta into 1/4-inch dice.

While pasta cooks, heat a skillet with olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add pancetta, cook 2 to 3 minutes then add celery, carrot, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf to the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add beans and heat them through. Stir in 1/2 cup wine, simmer 30 seconds more and turn off heat.

Remove bay leaf.

While vegetables cook, place a small sauce pot over medium heat, add butter, melt butter then whisk in flour and cook 1 minute then whisk in milk. Season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg and reduce 4 to 5 minutes, stir in half the grated cheese, turn off heat and adjust seasoning.
While sauce cooks, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat broiler to high.

Drain pasta and return to the pot, toss with white bean mixture and sauce, stir to coat, transfer to a casserole dish, top with remaining cheese and place in oven to brown, 5 minutes.