Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Crab Mac & Cheese with Spinach

After a long absence, I'm going to try and start posting again.

This week, we went to Red Lobster (Crab Fest is on!) and each got an order of Snow Crab legs. My roommate had a hard time cracking and eating them, but I went through one set of legs and still had one left. We took them home, along with some of the great cheese biscuits Red Lobster serves. I had to find a way to use this delicious and expensive food!

There were 3 "knots" of legs that we brought home. I stored them overnight in the fridge, then removed the meat from the legs and shredded it.  I thought about things I could do: Crab salad, crab Alfredo, crab cakes, etc. Finally I came up with this recipe.

Crab Mac & Cheese with Spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 4-6 oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used mild)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4-8 oz shredded crab meat
  • 1/3 cup frozen chopped spinach

Procedure


Start a pan of salted water on high heat until it reaches boiling. You'll add the macaroni, reduce the heat to medium-high and let it cook per the package directions, usually 8-10 minutes. 

While the pasta boils, sauté the onion in the butter using a sauce pan at medium-high heat. We'll be making a roux as a base for the casserole, so once the onion is translucent and just beginning to brown, reduce the heat to medium low and add the minced garlic (don't let it burn, it makes it bitter) and the flour, along with salt and pepper to taste. Use the flour to soak up the butter, then add the milk and turn the heat back up to medium high. Use a whisk as the roux begins to thicken so that you don't get lumps of flour. Once it thickens it should be about the consistency of cream gravy. Whisk in the shredded cheese, reserving a small amount for the topping.

Put the frozen spinach in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water and microwave on medium for about 2 minutes. Not enough to really cook the spinach, just enough to get it thawed and easy to work with. When the pasta is done, drain and put in a 2 qt casserole dish. Add the spinach and try to distribute it evenly through the pasta. 

Add the crab meat to the cheese sauce and mix it in well. Add the cheese sauce & crab meat to the macaroni and fold it in until it looks like all the pasta has been coated with the sauce and it looks well-mixed. Top with the reserved cheese. Bake in 350° oven for 25-30 minutes. Edges of the casserole should be bubbling when you take it out. 

Optional - I had some of Red Lobster's great cheese biscuits, so I crumbled them up on top of the cheese to make a crunchy topping. It was a good way to use the biscuits and adds a nice contrast to the pasta and sauce.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pork Chili



Here's a recipe for crockpot pork chili that includes Ro-tel and black beans. Very spicy, but very tasty. The recipe came from the website of a local grocery store chain, Hy-Vee. The original post includes nutritional information.
Ingredients:
2 tbsp Grand Selections olive oil, divided
1 pound pork loin chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp Hy-Vee dried oregano
2 (10 ounces each) cans Hy-Vee diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 (4 ounce) can Hy-Vee diced green chilies
1 (15 ounce) can Hy-Vee black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. water
Preparation:
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add cubed pork and cook until browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from skillet and transfer to 3-1/2-quart slow cooker.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in same skillet and sauté chopped onions until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano and sauté 1 minute more. Add diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, diced green chilies, black beans and water. Transfer to pork mixture in slow-cooker. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours.
Daily nutritional values:
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Emerson Microwave Grill - Chicken Breast

I recently got a new microwave oven with a grill unit. Emerson, who made the unit, had info about microwaving various types of food, but no help at all on using the grill/microwave combo.

So tonight I decided to experiment with a couple of chicken breasts. I soaked them in salted water for several hours and added some McCormick Montreal Chicken seasoning. Lemon pepper would work too.

I tried to warm the grill as some sources suggested, but it didn't work. When ready to cook, I took the chicken out of the water, dried it off, and salted and seasoned (again Montreal Chicken) both sides, and sprayed each side with olive oil cooking spray. I put them on the grill and set the oven on combo cooking (combination 2 which is 64% grill, 35% microwave) for 7 minutes.

After the timer rang, I turned the chicken and used combination 1 (55% grill/45% microwave) for another 3 minutes. As soon as I took the chicken out, I wrapped them in foil for 5 minutes.

Result: Juicy, tasty chicken breast!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Expiration Dates

Today I found a jar of "salad dressing," the generic name for Miracle Whip, in the cupboard as I was starting to put the new jar away. Looking at the expiration date revealed it was expired.



"But it's unopened," I thought. "Is it still edible, or do I have to throw it out?"

After some quick googling, I found the Keep It or Toss It database, over at StillTasty.com. Next time you have a similar question, give it a try.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tilapia with Bacon and Green Beans

I was looking for something different the other day and had some tilapia filets to work with. I also had a can of green beans and some bacon, and went looking for a recipe that might incorporate all three. What I found was lots of green bean and bacon recipes and one tilapia and bacon recipe that used some brown sugar. In a moment, I'd combined the two and here's what came of it: 

Ingredients
  • 2-4 tilapia filets 
  • 3-6 strips of bacon, cut into pieces of varying size 
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion 
  • 2 tsp's of lite brown sugar for each filet 


 Preparation

In a non-stick skillet, brown the bacon pieces over medium heat until they're as brown as you like. Sauté the onions until soft. Add 1 Tbl butter or margarine if you don't have sufficient bacon fat to sauté the onions.

Salt and pepper the first side of the tilapia, and use one tsp of the brown sugar for each filet, spreading over the filet evenly. Turn heat to medium-high and lay filets on top of the bacon and onions, sugar side down.

Salt and pepper the opposite sides of the filets and spread with more brown sugar. After 3-5 minutes (edges of fish begin to turn white), slide a nylon spatula under each filet and the bacon and onions, and turn the filet. Repeat for each filet.

Add drained green beans to pan and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice over each filet.

Serve with rice or pasta.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Redneck Turtleburgers

Yes, you read that title right. I have not tried to make these, but got this in my email and just had to share it. This is a real recipe, as far as I know. Not sure who invented this, but they deserve all the credit. What follows is the text of the email:

CALLING ALL COOKS;

A NEW RECIPE FROM MISSOURI

Red-Neck Turtle Burgers

WOW!!! Only in MISSOURI!

Here's a new twist on how to serve burgers and if you don't cook,
give this handy little guide to someone that does and request them.






Handmade ground beef patties, topped with sharp cheddar cheese, wrapped in a bacon weave, then the next step, add hotdogs as the heads, legs with slits for toes and tail.

Next step. Place on an oven rack, covered loosely with foil and baked for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees. A little crispy, not too crunchy...just how a turtle should be, no?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

My local grocer had pineapple on sale this week, so I bought one. While I love pineapple, with only 2 people in the house it can be challenging to use it all.

I incorporated the fruit tonight using this recipe. while the recipe suggests green pepper, I had none on hand. Most Chinese restaurants serve with onion pieces, carrot, and green pepper, so I used the first two. See the result below.



YUM!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone