Sorry this is a day late! I was under the weather all last week and I am just getting caught back up. Here are the dinner suggestions for week #4.
What’s for Dinner Week #4
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper
Chives and Parsley, Dried or Fresh
All Purpose Flour
In between 2 pieces of wax paper flatten multiple breasts with a flat kitchen mallet or rolling pin. Once flattened and thin enough to roll easily set aside and finish flattening all of the chicken. On a cutting board lay one of the breasts face down and put a pat of cold butter at one end. Sprinkle breast with salt and pepper and parsley and chives. Carefully pick up one end and roll the butter and herbs up into a short log. Secure with toothpick if it doesn’t want to stay closed. Repeat until all of the breasts are used. You will have some large and some small when finished.
Set up your breading station with three wide mouthed bowls. The first with flour, the second with 2 beaten eggs and the third with the breads crumbs. Coat a rolled breast first in the flour then move it to the eggs to coat it and then to the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated and ready to fry. This is a messy process so be prepared to wash your fingers multiple times along the way.
Heat oil such as canola or peanut oil in a cast iron skillet. Oil should come to about halfway up the sides of the pan. Fry each breast until thoroughly cooked and golden brown on each side. About 15 minutes for the largest down to 8-10 minutes for the smaller.
Serve with mashed potatoes and my dad’s favorite, green peas.
Build your own Pizzas
I love using pre-baked Naan flatbreads for this because they are quick and easy and come in lots of different varieties. My store carries white, wheat and garlic and two come in a package.
Cheese and pepperoni may be your favorite but don’t hesitate to try something different like artichoke and feta, or spinach, tomato and ricotta. There are endless possibilities!
The reason I like writing this series is to not only give you new recipe ideas but also to perhaps remind you of recipes you haven’t made in awhile for whatever reason.
Stuffed shells is one of those recipes for us. If you have made them in the past, I urge you to go find your recipe in your recipe box and go to town with it. If you have never made them before, here is a classic recipe for stuffed shells from Chrisy at Homemadehooplah.com.
Everyone has their own favorite chili recipe. I bet some are even award winners. Am I right? Or passed down from previous generations?
In any case here is mine.
Brown 1 lb. of lean ground beef in a heavy bottomed pot along with 1 chopped medium onion, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 whole sweet green or red bell pepper chopped small.
Add a large can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz. I think?) and a small can of tomato paste, plus water to fill the small can.
Next I add a can of black beans and a can of red kidney beans, including all of the liquids from the cans.
Then, the spices. I swear it takes almost a whole container of chili powder to get it tasting right but let’s just say it is at least 3 Tbsp. Then a couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, a couple of Tbsps. of sugar to mellow it and cut the acidity and fresh parsley if you have it otherwise dried will do.
Simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours stirring it frequently to prevent scorching.
Serve with sides of sour cream, shredded cheese and oyster crackers.
If you like it spicier by all means add all the jalapenos or chili peppers you like.
Beef stew is another one of our cold weather favorites. Stew with warm buttered bread…Yum!
Coat 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of stew meat in flour, shake off excess. In a Dutch oven heat 2 Tbsps of oil. Add the floured meat and brown meat on all sides. I deglaze the pan with a cup of beef stock just so I can scrape up the flavorful drippings on the bottom of the pan. It will also start to thicken because of the flour. If you prefer a bolder flavor you can deglaze the pan with a good red wine.
Add a can of whole peeled tomatoes along with the liquid in the can. Then add 2 celery stalks chunked including the greens and 3 carrots peeled and chunked and 2 medium to large onions chunked to the pot. Add your choice of herbs. I like parsley, and Thyme or Sage. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and let simmer on low for a good two hours in the Dutch oven, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
About 1-1/2 hours into the cooking process I usually add potatoes chunked up. They don’t take as long as the rest of it does and then if you like mushrooms you can add them then too. Mushrooms add that rich earthy flavor to a stew.
Serve when meat is tender and breaks apart easily with a fork. Add more stock if the stew boils down too much and becomes dry.
Serve with homemade French bread.
There are many different types of hams out there. Some boneless, some bone-in. Some are sweeter like honey or brown sugar, some are saltier. Some are pre-sliced and some are do-it-yourself. Either way any ham you get is already fully cooked so all you have to do is put it in the oven covered until the internal temp is satisfactory. Easy peasy right?
I like the simple approach of just putting the ham in a roasting pan and covering it with tin foil until hot and browned. But for those of you that like to pretty your ham up with things such as pineapple slices, cloves and cherries go for it. Any kind of ham is good to me!
Serve with a side of potatoes or perhaps squash.
Ham sandwiches anyone?
Note: All of these recipe amounts are based approximately on 4 people and might have to be adjusted if you have teenagers with a healthier appetite.