Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mexican Rice with Sausage and Fried (or Poached) Eggs

This recipe can be made with either hot breakfast sausage or chorizo. You can either poach or fry the eggs.  Serve the mixture with hot corn tortillas. This is a great alternative to Taco Tuesdays. It also works for a breakfast as well. Add some refried beans for a nice side dish for dinnertime.

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 - 2 seeded jalapenos, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. beef base
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. black pepper
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground coriander
1 cup uncooked yellow rice
2 cups water
3 - 4 large eggs
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 or 4 small grated radishes
chopped cilantro
taco sauce
Warm 6-inch corn or flour tortillas

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook sausage, crumbling meat, with onions and peppers until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in beef base, cumin, pepper, chili powder, and ground coriander.

Add rice and brown lightly. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 18 - 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a platter and keep warm. Sprinkle with radishes and cheese.

To poach eggs: Bring 2 - 3 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan or skillet with high sides; adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Break cold eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl; holding bowl close to the water surface, slip the egg into water. Cook, uncovered, until whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but aren't hard, 3 - 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift eggs out of the water.

To fry eggs:  Heat 2 - 3 T. of butter or bacon grease in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Break egg into the skillet and lightly salt and pepper. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes and carefully turn the egg using a thin spatula. Cook for another minute or two until whites are set, but yolks are still soft and runny.

Place eggs on rice; sprinkle with radishes cilantro and serve with the warmed tortillas and taco sauce if desired.

Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Twice Baked Potatoes with Creole Seasoned Shrimp

Oh, my. Where to begin with this dish? It could easily be served as an appetizer. But, it could also be a main course dish with a nice green salad served alongside. This is the perfect recipe to use small size shrimp. They need to be bite-sized. While the potatoes bake, you can peel and devein the shrimp and prepare the filling. You'll impress family and friends with this one.

2 large sized baking potatoes
olive oil
kosher salt

1 stick butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 t. minced garlic
1 - 2 t. Creole seasoning
1 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. sour cream
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chives, thinly sliced

Scrub potatoes well. Lightly coat with olive oil and roll in kosher salt. Pierce several times with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Place in a preheated 400-degree oven. Bake for an hour or so until done. Remove from oven.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so. Slice the potatoes lengthwise. Carefully scoop out potato pulp leaving a thin "rim" of potato in the peeling to help support the shell. Place potato pulp in a bowl.

While potatoes are baking, prepare the filling.

In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions, bell pepper, and celery. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or so until vegetables have softened.  Add garlic and Creole seasoning and cook 1 - 2 minutes longer.

Add shrimp and lower heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Remove skillet from heat. Add sour cream and cheese and stir to combine with the shrimp and the vegetables.  

Next, add potatoes and stir to thoroughly combine.

Using a small spoon, carefully fill the reserved potato shells. Feel free to pile up the filling. Your guests will be glad you did!

Place back into the oven for 5-7 minutes or so to completely reheat the potatoes. Place on serving platter or individual plates, and top with freshly ground black pepper and chives.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Irish Flag Table for St. Patrick's Day 2018

For this year's St. Patrick's table, I used select pieces from my beautiful Fiestaware collection to mimic the colors of the Irish flag. A sprinkling of gold coins down the middle of the table took the place of a table runner.  

If you'll look closely on the Guinness glass, you can Sweet Harold's name etched into the glass. These two glasses were a present from our son and daughter in law from their recent trip to Ireland.

Erin Go Braugh! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cheese and Fruit Night

Do you like boldly flavored cheeses?  As in, HOT, spicy cheese? If so, this was the cheese platter for you.  I found a package of three kinds of cheese which went from hot, hotter, to hottest.  

It's fun to try different brands and flavors. These three were definitely different and we loved all of them. A word of caution though. Cut SMALL slices of these to add to your cheese board. 

We started with a few nibbles of the Red Hot Pepper. So far, so good.  With each had a little bite of roasted turkey and/or fruit or olives between the cheeses cleansed the palate to try the next selection, Sweet Heat Habanero. A definite change in heat level! 

The Ghost Pepper is an exceptionally hot pepper. Blended into the cheese tames the heat somewhat, but it will still definitely get your attention. Take small bites.

I had two types of olives served alongside the cheese plate. Parmesan Romano stuffed olives and lemon rind stuffed olives. Regular readers of the blog know of my well-known love of all things lemon. You know which ones I went to first.  

A little information on the wine:  Petite Sirah is known for its concentration and intensity, the 2015 vintage is no exception. Inky purple in the glass, this deeply colored wine resonates with juicy blueberries and hints of freshly turned earth. Succulent and savory notes of dark berries and roasted spices create a supple and mouth-filling texture. Aging in American oak for 12 months captures and concentrates the flavors, leading to a finish with chalky and chewy tannins laced with vanilla, toasted brown sugar and dark cocoa.
Pairs well with smoked lamb shoulder with rosemary, braised short ribs with blackberry barbecue sauce, and smoked Gouda cheese.  I thoroughly enjoyed it alongside our spicy cheese platter.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mini Salmon Patties with gravy over mashed potatoes

It seems every single time I make salmon patties, I make them a different way with different flavors.  This time, not only did I change the seasoning a little, I changed the SIZE.  These are slightly larger than half dollars and were so tasty! Using a cookie scoop allowed me to have them all the same size. Be gentle when handling the mixture so that it will hold together until you're ready to begin cooking the salmon.

I have also never made gravy to go with salmon patties. We have seriously been missing a delicious combination.  

I'll provide the recipes for all the goodness on this plate.  We'll start with the salmon patties.

12 oz. boneless, skinless canned salmon
1 t. minced fresh parsley
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. celery salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2 T. flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten

In a medium bowl, lightly mix all ingredients. Using a cookie scoop, measure out a portion into the palm of your hand and gently shape into a patty. Place on a plate and continue until you've used all the salmon mixture.

In a large cast iron skillet, add enough vegetable oil to make a depth of about 1/4 inch. Heat over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles.

Carefully place just enough of the salmon patties into the skillet to not be crowded and fry about 2 - 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove salmon patties to a paper towel lined plate while you continue cooking the salmon patties.

While the salmon patties are frying, make the gravy. 

Heat 2 T. butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 T. flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Slowly whisk in 2 cups chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until gravy has thickened. Set heat to low until ready to serve.

For the mashed potatoes, I normally calculate 1 potato per person and then add one more for good measure. I'd rather have leftovers than not enough!

Peel and cube potatoes. In a medium saucepan, add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Cook over medium heat until potatoes can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and drain. Mash with potato masher until potatoes are smooth (or leave a few lumps for texture like I do). Add enough warmed milk or heavy cream to smooth out the potatoes to your desired consistency. A little butter (or a lot) is never a bad thing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the potatoes, top with a few of the salmon patties, and spoon over some of that delicious gravy.

The Brussels Sprouts are in a separate recipe found HERE.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dill

If the only way you've ever tried Brussels Sprouts is steamed or boiled and you found yourself not a fan, PLEASE try them using this method. Roasting makes every vegetable better. It brings out the natural sweetness of the veggies and definitely gives the Brussels Sprouts a nice crunch.

You can flavor them with any olive oil you like, but I love all things dill and this olive is perfection.  Wild Fernleaf and Dill Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Remove root ends of Brussels Sprouts and, depending on their size, halve or quarter them. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to completely coat.

Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, or until browned.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Chicken Fajita Nachos

I love fajitas, but I also love the CRUNCH that comes along with taco shells. For tonight's supper, I decided to make Chicken Fajita Tacos. If you had rather use tortillas and have a traditional fajita, the recipe for the filling is the same.

1 - 2 T. olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, sliced lengthwise and then thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 t. minced garlic
Taco shells or tortillas
Your favorite toppings: I used taco sauce, shredded cheese, and sour cream

In a large, cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add chicken. Season with salt and chili powder. Lower heat to medium-high, and stir frequently to keep the chicken from sticking.  

After 2 - 3 minutes, add the onion and bell pepper. Continue cooking and stirring frequently until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. You don't want mushy vegetables. Add garlic during the last minute or so cooking.

Remove from heat and load up those taco shells OR tortillas.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hoisin Glazed Baked Salmon with Garlic and Honey Ginger Green Beans

I continue to experiment with some great finds from Sam's Club. Last night's meal began with these. I cooked for 10 minutes and then brushed on some Hoisin Sauce and returned to the oven to set the glaze. 

As one of the side dishes, I was intrigued with this product from Sam's as well. Place in the microwave (or you can cook on the stove top) for 4 minutes and it's ready. 

Isn't that a beautiful plate! And healthy as well.

And as the final addition to our meal I tossed these green beans with Garlic Olive Oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar. They cooked alongside the salmon!

Now for our recipes:

Thaw the salmon (however many of the fillets you need for your meal) in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place salmon on one end of the baking sheet.

Rinse the green beans (I used a 1 pound package of French green beans) and let them drain. Place on baking sheet alongside the salmon. Drizzle with equal parts of Garlic Infused Olive Oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.

Place in oven to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly brush salmon with hoisin sauce. Using a spatula, turn green beans over and make sure they're in a single layer.

Return to oven for an addition 8 - 10 minutes, or until salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

During the last 4 or 5 minutes of cooking, prepare the Rice Cauliflower according to package directions.

Now it's time to sit down and enjoy a beautiful, healthy, and delicious meal

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs

Today was going to be one of those days. You know the ones. The ones filled with work, doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, and errands. It was definitely a day to bring out the slow cooker. For this recipe, you'll need about two pounds of presliced "country style" ribs. They will hold up to the time spent in the cooker. Add the sauce during the last hour or so of cooking. 

2 lbs. presliced country styled ribs
Granulated garlic
Onion powder
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Liberally coat ribs with seasonings. Add to slow cooker along with 1/2 cup of water. Set on "high" setting for 4 -6 hours or "low" setting 6 - 8 hours depending on the thickness of the ribs.

During last hour of cooking, add enough of your favorite BBQ sauce to completely coat.  

You'll love them!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Salmon Burgers with Old Bay seasoned Slaw

I had another great find at Sam's this past weekend.  Check this out! Wild caught NOT farm raised Alaskan Salmon. You can prepare these different ways such as grilling, pan frying, or baking.
I wanted to roast potatoes to go alongside, so I chose the baking method. Twenty minutes later, the burgers are ready to eat and the potatoes are roasted perfectly.

Now to the recipe(s)!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a rimmed baking sheet, place the salmon burgers. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.

For the potatoes, wash and peel 3 - 4 potatoes and cut into small cubes. Place the cubed potatoes on the same baking sheet and drizzle with 2 - 3 T. of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer.

Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip burgers over and turn the potatoes over and spread in a single layer.

Bake an additional 10 minutes until potatoes are tender. Place burgers on toasted buns and top with your favorite burger toppings OR Old Bay seasoned slaw as shown!

For the slaw:

16 oz. bag finely chopped slaw mix
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I use Duke's)
2 - 3 T. apple cider vinegar
A few grinds of black pepper
1 t. Old Bay seasoning

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, black pepper, and Old Bay. Add slaw mix and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sheet Pan Supper: Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs, Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts

For this Sheet Pan Supper, I chose skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are much more flavorful and are less expensive than breasts. It's always fun for me to decide which flavor I'll use for these sheet pan meals. Tonight I used lemon pepper along with Limonato Olive Oil. The chicken was moist and full of flavor. You can use any vegetables you'd like, but trust me when I tell you the combination of red potatoes and Brussels sprouts was delicious.

2 T. lemon pepper seasoning
5 - 6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
4 - 5 red potatoes, chopped
2 - 3 cups of Brussels Sprouts, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning.

Coat each chicken thigh with the olive oil mixture and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Toss vegetables in olive oil mixture and place in a single layer on the baking sheet spreading evenly around the chicken.

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. and the vegetables are tender.

Place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the chicken. Serve immediately.

Easy Beef Fajitas

On busy weeknights, it's great to have an easy meal ready to prepare. I found Angus Beef Fajita strips at Sam's Club and wanted to give them a try. 
Here's the link for more information.  These were super easy to heat in the same skillet that I cooked onions, peppers, jalapeno, and garlic. We enjoyed the flavor and texture. I would buy these again!

To start the flavor off right, I cooked the peppers and onions in Cilantro and Roasted Onion Olive Oil. Needless to say, these fajitas were full of great flavor and were so easy to make! This recipe made enough filling for four fajitas. It could easily be doubled.

2 T. Cilantro and Roasted Onion Olive Oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, diced
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 package Angus Beef Strips
Sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa or taco sauce, etc.

In a large, cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add onions and peppers and lower heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to brown, 3 - 4 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook and additional minute or so. 

Increase the heat back to high and add the Angus Beef Strips. Cook, stirring constantly, until beef has heated through, about 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and prepare the tortillas according to package directions.

Fill the tortillas with all your favorite toppings.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Our pre-Spring weather of the last few days vanished overnight. Today has been chilly, damp, and rainy. What better than to warm us up than a lovely nourishing pot of beef stew? With LOTS to do today with errands and such, the slow cooker comes to the rescue once again.

2 quarts water
1 T. Better Than Bouillon (beef flavor)
1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped (include some leaves!)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 envelope McCormick Beef Stew seasoning packet
1 heaping T. chopped garlic
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
a few grinds black pepper

Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover, and cook on high 6 hours or low 8 hours.

Taste before serving and add additional salt and/or pepper, if desired.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cheese Night!

Oh, my, y'all know my love of cheese! I'll try any and all. Here's a true international variety. BTW, the Belgian Fontina was most definitely my favorite. Fontina is an Italian's cow's milk cheese. Mild and creamy, this was SO good with these crunchy whole-grain crackers.   

Some nights, especially after you've had a large lunch, a light supper is perfect.  A choice of different flavors and textures of crackers is a nice touch. Add a few varieties of olives and your light meal is elevated to another level.  

Instead of my usual prosciutto and/or salami selection, this time I chose a Bresaola. Bresaola is air-dried salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple color. It is made from top inside round beef and is lean and tender.  It originated in Northern Italy's Lombardy region.  Try it drizzled with a little olive oil and topped with freshly cracked black pepper or shaved Parmesan.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sheet Pan Supper: Chicken Parmesan with Broccoli

If you're looking for a recipe that helps to cut fat and calories from your Chicken Parmesan, give this one a try. The chicken is lightly coated with crunchy Panko breadcrumbs then baked. You won't miss the heavy breading or the time spent pan frying at all with this version. A nice side dish of roasted broccoli cooks right on the same pan.  A few minutes prep time, 20 minutes or so to bake, and dinner is ready!

1 large egg
1/2 cup panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. dried Italian Seasoning
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
Olive oil flavored non-stick spray
4 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Chopped parsley and a little more Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil flavored non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. In a separate shallow bowl, stir together the next six ingredients. Dip chicken breast in egg; allow excess mixture to drip off.

Then dip chicken into breadcrumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere to the chicken. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.

Place chicken on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray.

Bake 10 minutes.

While chicken bakes, toss broccoli with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from oven.

Spread broccoli in a single layer along both sides of sheet pain. If using frozen broccoli, break pieces apart. Return to oven; bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Preheat broiler. Spread marinara sauce over the chicken; top with mozzarella cheese. Broil 3 - 4 inches from the heating element until cheese is golden brown and vegetables are tender, 3 - 5 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle with the parsley and extra Parmesan.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sheet Pan Supper: Italian Sausage with Onions and Peppers

Time for another easy and convenient Sheet Pan Supper. The potential here for a variety of meals is wonderful! You can make sandwiches (which is what I did), toss with buttered noodles, or even enjoy it as is right off the sheet pan.

You can use your choice of sweet, mild, or hot Italian Sausage. I chose the mild version and served the filling on a toasted hoagie roll with melted Provolone Cheese.  Simply delicious.

1 lb. uncooked Italian Sausage links, roughly chopped
3 medium bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 - 2 T. olive oil
Hoagie Rolls
Provolone Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place sausage pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange onions and peppers around the sausage. Drizzle olive oil over sausage and vegetables and place in oven. Let bake 15 minutes and stir.

Return to oven for another 15 minutes until sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 20 minutes or so longer.

During the last five minutes of baking, arrange rolls on a baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Top one (or both) sides of the roll with sliced Provolone cheese. Bake until rolls are browned and cheese is melted.

Spoon sausage and vegetable mixture onto bottom of roll and top with the melty cheese top portion.

Doesn't that look delicious!?!

Serve immediately.

Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sheet Pan Supper: Limonato Broiled Catfish with Roasted Vegetable Medley

This recipe is healthy from start to finish! There are many flavors and textures with the variety of vegetables. Roasting the vegetables brings out their sweetness. If you've never tried a roasted radish, you're in for a treat!

Instead of using butter to flavor the vegetables and fish, I chose Limonato Olive Oil. Tunisian green lemon (Eureka Green Limonato™) is made by crushing very green olives with young green Eureka Lemons in November. The result is an incredibly complex, pungent fusion. By picking certain Eureka lemons at the precise moment for maximum lemon aroma and flavor, this powerfully fragrant oil is the result.  It's absolutely delicious!

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
1 (12 oz.) bag shredded Brussels Sprouts
3 - 4 large radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 t. granulated garlic
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 - 1 1/2 lb. catfish fillets
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Sprayed a rimmed sheet pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. Add olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Place vegetables in a single layer on prepared sheet pan.

Bake until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and preheat broiler. Arrange vegetables on one side of the sheet pan. Add catfish to the other side. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil.  

Broil 4 - 5 inches from heat until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5-6 minutes.  

Serve with lemon or lime wedges. A little lemon or lime zest on the fish is a great finishing touch.