Sautéed Cabbage and Onions
I had half a head of savoy cabbage leftover from making the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Leftover cabbage makes a great side dish. Cabbage sautéed this way is quite delicious.
2 tablespoons butter
Half of a medium onion, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups shredded savoy cabbage
½ teaspoon paprika
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan.
Sauté until the cabbage is soft and somewhat creamy, stirring often while it cooks.
Add the paprika, salt and pepper. Toss to mix all ingredients together and coat the cabbage with seasonings. Serve.
Broccoli in Cheese Sauce
I had half a head of broccoli and about 1 cup of the cheese sauce left over from the Chicken Divan recipe. The recipe made a generous amount of sauce and I only uses half of the broccoli when I made that dish.
Half a head of broccoli florets
1 cup leftover cheese sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the broccoli into a medium pot with salted water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 5–6 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Pour the cheese sauce into the empty pot and heat on low. Add the drained broccoli and toss to coat, Serve when the broccoli is hot.
Texas Chili Stuffed Burritos
Instead of reheating the Texas Chili, I decide to use some of it in burritos for our dinner. The original recipe made quite a lot, so there was plenty leftover for the burritos.
1 cup of leftover Texas Chili
½ cup cooked black beans
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 flour tortillas
Heat the chili and beans together. Lay a tortilla on a flat surface. Arrange half of the chili mixture in the middle of the tortilla. Top with 1/4 cup cheese.
Fold two sides of the burrito in, then fold the remaining two sides over to form a small packet. Please seam-side down on a plate.
Repeat with the remaining tortilla and filling. Place on a microwave plate and heat until warm. Serve with Guacamole and Sour Cream.
Are any of you old enough to remember Chicken a la King, Tuna Noodle Casserole, Tunnel of Fudge Cake or Beef Wellington? All popular recipes from the past. I thought I would have a little fun this week and cook up some of these old timers.
Holiday Cheese Balls
The cheese ball is an American party food classic that takes you back to the 1960’s. A cheese ball is the kind of thing you can easily adapt by using your favorite cheeses, herbs and seasonings. Here is the classic recipe.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon (Tabasco) hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 roasted and chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
A few dashes paprika
With a hand beater, combine the cream cheese with the next 5 ingredients ( lemon juice) in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
Refrigerate the mixture overnight. The next day, stir together nuts, parsley and paprika in a large bowl.
Shape the cheese mixture into two balls and roll each in the nut blend to coat completely.
Serve at room temperature with crackers.
Old Fashioned Creamy Tomato Soup
Yes, before the canned version. Don’t forget to have it with a grilled cheese sandwich.
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrot
Two 26-28 oz. containers finely chopped tomatoes (undrained)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and cook the onion, celery and carrot in the butter for 2-3 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cream.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture with a hand immersion blender.
Add cream and black pepper. Return the pot to very low heat and warm gently. Do not let the soup boil.
A chicken casserole dish with broccoli and cheese sauce from the 1950’s that was usually reserved for company dinners. Chicken Divan was the signature dish of aNew York restaurant, the Divan Parisienne. In English, the word “divan” came to mean sofa, from the council chamber’s benches. The owners of the New York restaurant thought it a fitting name for this dish.
2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head broccoli, stems removed and florets cut in half
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half & half
3 tablespoon sherry
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; let cool slightly.
Cut the chicken into four equal sizes and set aside.
Place the broccoli into a large pot, cover with salted water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until barely tender, 2–3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rub the inside of a deep 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter; set aside.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Gradually pour in stock and half & half while whisking constantly. Cook until very thick, about 10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper, sherry, nutmeg, and 1⁄4 cup of the cheese; stir until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove cheese sauce from the heat and let cool slightly.
Arrange the broccoli in the prepared dish in a single layer and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄4 cup cheese. Arrange chicken evenly over the top.
Pour the white sauce over the chicken. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
I remember my years living up north and the wonderful Asian restaurants we had in our area. Missing those dishes, I have been tinkering with recipes and sauces to create some of the tastes I remember. This recipe turned out with the taste I was looking for, especially with the combo of grilled meat and deliciously seasoned vegetables and noodles. Give it a try. It has great flavor.
Asian Grilled Pork Kebabs
4 servings. This recipe may be doubled.
1 (12-ounce) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch chunks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon Sambal owlet chili paste
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a glass dish.
Add the pork and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
When ready to grill, thread the pork onto two 12-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces. Reserve the marinade in the dish.
Spray both sides of the meat generously with vegetable oil spray.
Turn all grill burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave the primary burner on high and turn off the other burners.
Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill and cook the pork until well charred, 3 minutes.
Turn the skewers, brush with the reserved marinade mixture, and continue to grill until the second side is well charred and the meat registers 140 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer, 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the pork to a platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest while the stir fry vegetables are prepared
Stir Fry Sauce
1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese wine (or dry sherry)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Combine ingredients for the stir fry sauce in a jar and shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Asian Stir Fried Vegetables and Noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups Chinese fresh noodles
Stir Fry Sauce, recipe above
2 tablespoons water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
12 oz broccoli florets, cut into smaller florets
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
3 scallions, sliced
Place the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Let sit in the hot water until ready to add to the stir fry.
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger followed by the broccoli.
Stir fry until the broccoli florets are tender. Add the shredded carrots and stir for a minute or two.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Stir in the stir fry sauce and water.
Return to the heat, gently toss for 1 minute to heat through the noodles and for the sauce to thicken. Add the scallions. Stir.
Pour onto a serving platter and top with the grilled pork to serve.
In my part of the world, produce planted in February is coming into season during the month of April. Friday’s market had plenty of radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, leeks and asparagus. Fresh herbs and citrus fruits are still plentiful and they make excellent flavor additives to savory dishes.
There was lots to choose from, so the menu this week will reflect the variety of spring crops available. Here are a few ideas for when these crops are in season in your area.
Pair this salad with the scallop recipe below. It is a great combination.
4 large radishes
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 oz baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
Whisk together the lemon juice, orange zest, salt, honey and cayenne; whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside
Rinse and trim the radishes and slice into thin rounds.
Line a salad bowl with the spinach leaves and mound the radishes in the center and top them with the olives.
Drizzle the salad with the dressing just before serving.
Broccoli and Ricotta Pizza
1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
2 cups broccoli florets
8 oz mozzarella, sliced thin
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
20 black olives, pitted and halved
2 chopped fresh plum tomatoes
Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Oil a large pizza pan.
Press the pizza dough out on the pan to the edges.
Cook the broccoli in salted boiling water for 2 minutes until it is just crisp-tender.
Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain well.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and garlic. Add a pinch of salt.
Place the sliced mozzarella evenly on the dough.
Drop the ricotta mixture in tablespoons on top of the dough and mozzarella.
Sprinkle with the olives and chopped tomatoes. Arrange the broccoli on top of the mixture.
Drizzle the top of the pizza with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake the pizza for 18 to 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Pasta with Asparagus, Prosciutto and Lemon Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces thin sliced prosciutto, diced
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
1 cup half & half or heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 oz short pasta (I use Barilla’s Casarecce pasta for this dish)
1 bunch very thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 in pieces
1 1⁄2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh basil to taste
Bring 4 quarts salted water to boil in large pot.
Add the asparagus to the boiling water with the pasta for the last two minutes of cooking time.
Cook pasta al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, drain pasta and asparagus and return to pot.
While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking.
Cook prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, (5 minutes) Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
Add garlic to the pan and cook 30 seconds.
Stir in cream and lemon juice and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Add the pasta and asparagus to the lemon cream sauce with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, the cheese and the basil, toss to combine, add remaining water, if needed.
Sprinkle with black pepper and crunchy prosciutto. Serve immediately.
Sea Scallops in a Citrus Rosemary Sauce
I also like to serve this dish with a mango salsa. See recipe:
Serves 2. This recipe is easy to increase the number of servings.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small finely chopped shallot
6 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
Flour, for dredging
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Juice and zest from half a large orange
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Heat oil in a small skillet. Sauté shallots over medium heat until soft. Push them to one corner of the pan.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Season flour with salt and pepper.
Dredge the scallops in the flour.
Increase heat under pan to high; sear the scallops for 1 minute. Turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes.
Add lemon juice, orange juice and orange zest to the skillet (the sauce will sizzle and steam).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and swirl in butter and rosemary. Serve immediately.
2 slices pasture-raised bacon
2 leeks, rinsed well with white and light green parts sliced very thin
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 cups half & half or whole milk
Fresh dill or chives, chopped fine
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Sour cream for garnish, optional
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel. When cool enough to handle crumble into small pieces.
Heat the reserved bacon fat over medium heat and add the leeks, garlic, celery and carrot.
Cook until tender, about five to six minutes or so.
Add the broth, cubed potatoes and a teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Cover the pot.
Cook the potatoes, vegetables and broth together over medium-low heat until the vegetables are softened and fall apart when pressed with the tines of a fork, about thirty minutes.
Puree with an immersion blender or use a processor.
Add the half & half, dill or chives to taste, crumbled bacon and adjust the seasoning. Reheat over low.
Serve with a tablespoon of sour cream, if desired.
Over the past week and a half, I cooked several meals that yielded plenty of leftovers. My plan was to create some new ways to use these leftovers and this post is the result of that planning. The chicken breasts were really an economical buy because they yielded 3 different meals. The same with the pot roast. There was also plenty of kale remaining to make a hearty soup and the leftover stuffing makes a great breakfast hash.
Chicken Divan Redo
Roasted chicken recipe: https://jovinacooksitalian.com/2016/11/14/dinners-in-the-oven/
- 6 leftover roasted broccoli floret spears
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups reserved lemon broth from the roasted chicken or use chicken broth
- 1/4 cup well-chilled half & half
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Italian fontina cheese
- 4 leftover roasted chicken slices
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
In a heavy saucepan combine the broth and flour. Stir until the flour is absorbed. Add the half & half and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and then simmer until thickened
Stir in the cheese and season the sauce with salt and pepper, if needed. Heat until the cheese is melted.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the broccoli in two individual baking dishes or in a 2-quart gratin dish and pour half the sauce over it.
Arrange the chicken on top of the broccoli, pour the remaining sauce over it. Sprinkle the top with of each dish with one tablespoon of the breadcrumbs and sprinkle each with paprika.
Cut two pieces of foil just large enough to cover the dishes. Coat the foil with cooking spray and use that side to cover the dishes. Bake the covered dishes for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes.
I had served the pot roast with mashed potatoes and made extra potatoes so I would have some leftover.
- 2 cups diced leftover pot roast and gravy
- 2 carrots, diced carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Combine the pot roast, peas and carrots in a mixing bowl. Divide the mixture in half and place it in two individual ovenproof dishes.
Spread half of the potatoes over the mixture in one dish and spread the remaining potatoes over the mixture in the second dish.
(You can even fix this earlier in the day and refrigerate until dinner time.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the casseroles for about 30 minutes or until the potato topping is golden brown.
Caesar Salad with Leftover Roasted Chicken
- 2 cups chicken cut into cubes
- 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, washed and finely chopped
- 1 cup croutons, see recipe below
- Grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper for garnish
- 1 anchovy, finely chopped or use anchovy paste
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise made with olive oil, if available
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Add the anchovy, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and Worcestershire sauce to a bowl and whisk together.
Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil, whisking until the dressing is emulsified.
Place the chopped lettuce in a bowl and toss it with the dressing, cubed chicken and croutons. Top the salad with extra cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2 cups cubed bread
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In mixing bowl combine the bread cubes and olive oil. Toss well to coat.
Pour the bread cubes onto a baking sheet. Spread them into a single layer.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes to prevent burning.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container or ziplock bag.
Kale and Lima Bean Soup
I used homemade cooked dried baby lima beans for this soup, but you can use canned white beans, if you choose.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 10 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or homemade broth
- 4 cups packed chopped fresh kale or 2 cups leftover cooked kale
- 1 large fresh tomato, diced
- 4 cups home cooked dried baby lima beans or canned no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained
- 3 large carrots, cut into coins
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning; cook 2 minutes longer.
Add broth, kale, tomatoes and beans and heat thoroughly. Serve hot with grated cheese and Italian bread.
Easy Hash and Eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups of leftover Italian bread and sausage stuffing, (see link above from Dinner’s In The Oven)
- 4 large eggs
In a medium skillet with a cover, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the butter.
Add the stuffing, flatten with a spatula and cook until light golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Gently turn the stuffing over and cook for 3-4 minutes more.
With a large spoon make four round holes in the stuffing mixture. Crack eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and gently pour into each hole in the stuffing.
Cover the pan and cook the eggs to your likeness or until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Serve immediately.