Barb’s Breakfast Casserole

“You need to put the breakfast casserole on the blog.  Everyone at the office loved it.”

“OK.  Where do I find it?”

“It’s a Trisha Yearwood recipe.  But I changed a few things.”

In today’s world of instant information the recipe wasn’t hard to find.  After confirming with The Boss that the recipe I found was the one she used, I started writing.  But my eyes caught the following:

If I understand this correctly the recipe here is an adaptation of an adaptation of Yearwood’s original 2008 version.

So with all of these credits it’s likely I won’t get slammed for a lack of attribution like I did when I published a slightly altered version of someone’s Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe.

Seriously.

  • Butter
  • 1/2 loaf of sliced white bread
  • 1 pound fresh bulk pork sausage
  • 5 ounces Sharp and 5 ounces Medium Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs beaten
  1.  Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Grease a 9- by 13- by 2- inch casserole dish with butter.
  3. In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to drain the fat.
  4. Spread sausage over the bread and top with the cheese.
  5. Mix half-and-half, dry mustard, salt and eggs. Pour into the casserole dish.
  6. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The morning of serving preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake covered until set and slightly golden, about 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for 15 minutes before serving.

Tips

Pepper?  Definitely add some black pepper.  We used Potter sausage a fine MIO product which IMHO is some of the best pork sausage on the market.  Very good ratio of fat to flesh.  For the bread, use a thick slice bread in the Texas Toast style.  This size helps to create the perfect size bread cubes.  Yes, I also noticed that this recipe and the original do not specify how much butter.  (psst…this is not a low-fat low-calorie vegan dish so how much butter do you think?)  Don’t ask me why two different Cheddar cheeses because I don’t know.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict this dish will be Daughter-in-law Approved.  Anything you can toss together the night before and bake in the morning is a life saver when you have a Tiny Human on board.  Plenty of leftovers too.

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Poached Chicken

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
  • 1 medium carrot, French cut style
  • 1 medium rib celery, French cut style
  • 1/4 large onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 2 T dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Place chicken in a pot just large enough to hold chicken breast halves and add enough water to barely cover.

  2. Add carrot, celery, onion, lemon, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, white pepper, and salt.

  3. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.   When the liquid is almost to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Cover and continue to simmer for around 20 minutes.  If the breasts are large, simmer an extra five minutes.

  4. After 20-25 minutes, turn off the heat.  Leave the cover on the pot and allow the chicken to cool in the broth for around 15-20 minutes.

  5. You’re done.  Remove the breasts from the broth.  Debone, skin, and slice.

I thought it would be fun to document my thought process when deciding upon what to make for a meal.  We were completely out of milk so I had to go to the store.  Note the date of this post.  We are less than a week away from November and the temperature was damn near 90 degrees.  It might have even topped 90.  Despite having reservations for brunch, we had to wait for our table today.

“Would you like a table outside?”

 

“Thank you but Hell No.”

I digress.  So I’m at the store and I pass by the bagged salad section.  Remember, it’s nearly November.  Stacked up and looking fresh were a bunch of salad kits seductively named Endless Summer.  I kid you not. 

Chicken breasts bone-in were on sale for $1.99 a pound.  Dinner. Done.

I guess the title of this recipe really should be Bagged Salad with Chicken.

White Chicken Chili

“I’m not dressed.  Could you water the front patio plants?”

“Yes dear.”

It was rather cool outside this morning.  Fall is definitely in the air and the morning chill made me think of chili.  Since I had just finished breakfast, chili was not an option this morning.  We were leaving on a short road trip in about an hour.  No time to make chili.

I decided to add another chili recipe to the blog!  For years I’ve made a white chili culled from two different recipes.  One recipe definitely came from the NY Times while the source of the second is unknown.  One recipe called for tomatoes; the other recipe didn’t.  So in my grand tradition of never following recipes exactly I have had to pull out two separate recipes to make this chili.  Fading memories instruct me on what to put in and what to leave out.  Fearing the worst, I figured I better write this down before I forget.

Tips:

This chili tastes better without tomatoes but if you like tomatoes in your chili, add a can of diced tomatoes.  It won’t be white anymore.  It will be pink.  Pink chili???

I prefer boneless thighs to boneless breasts but either works well.  If you’re using fresh cilantro, add it as a condiment at serving time.

This chili, like most chili dishes, tastes better the second day.

This chili also tastes better when you drink a good craft beer while cooking it.

I’m serious.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs boneless chicken cubed
  • 1/4 C seasoned flour (salt pepper)
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 Tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • red pepper flakes, dash
  • Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 16 oz can organic white kidney or Great Northern beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine flour and salt, and pepper in a gallon size plastic baggie.  Add the chicken, close the bag, and shake well until all of the chicken pieces are well coated with the flour mixture.
  2. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat to medium high to avoid burning the chicken.  You will get pieces of flour and chicken stuck on the bottom of the pan.  This is OK.  Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add 1 T olive oil, onion, garlic green pepper, cilantro, cumin, and oregano.  Saute 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth and scrape the brown pieces from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add chicken, green chilies and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes.  If the mixture starts to get too thick, thin out with more chicken stock.
  6. Five minutes prior to serving, add the beans.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the beans are warmed through.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, peppers, grated cheese, etc.

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Yum!

We were in Texas this past weekend.  While in Fort Worth, my sister-in-law kept threatening to make a frittata for breakfast.  We all told her, no.  We’re having a huge lunch.  We ate a lot today already.  Please don’t make a frittata.

The frittata was never made but I’ve had frittata on the brain since.  So I made one tonight.  I found a basic recipe and then went off in the direction of whatever was in the fridge.  Yesterday I bought some baby portobello mushrooms and fresh spinach.  Why not?  I’ll post the recipe if it tastes good.  That’s right, we haven’t eaten yet.

But if this frittata doesn’t hit the mark, that’s right, no recipe.

UPDATE 04.02.14

The filler was killer.  I’m posting the recipe.

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt And Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,  sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 large baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced medium thickness
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced, deseeded

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the broiler.

  • Beat together the eggs with the salt and pepper.  Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.
  • In a medium oven-proof non-stick skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Add mushrooms and saute until the shrooms start to release their liquid.  Add spinach and garlic, and stir to cook with the shroom/onion for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower heat to low and continue to saute until the vegetables have stopped releasing their liquids.  This will take 5-10 minutes.  Set aside and cool.
  • In the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil on high until just smoking hot.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and occasionally tilt the pan to allow some egg to drip to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat to low.
  • When the egg mixture begins to set, add the vegetables and distribute evenly.  Add the tomatoes on top.
  • Simmer on the stove top until almost fully set.  This will take 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Pop the skillet under the broiler until the eggs are set and  remove once you achieve a nice browned top.
  • Allow to cool in the skillet for 10 – 15 minutes.  When cool, transfer to a serving plate.  Slice.  Eat.

 

Jack’s Tuna Fish

2 six ounce cans tuna fish packed in water
1/3 C mayonnaise
1/2 apple unpeeled, small dice
1-2 T sweet or red onion, small dice
1-2 T dill pickle juice
2 small dill pickles, small dice

2 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the eggs in a small sauce pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  When the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and cover.  Allow to sit for 10-11 minutes.
  2. After 10-11 minutes drain the eggs and immediately immerse into an ice water bath for several minutes.  Peel, dice and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the onion, pickles, apple and pickle juice.  Mix well.
  4. Drain the tuna thoroughly, then flake into the bowl of vegetables/fruit.  Mix well.
  5. Add the egg, mayonnaise and salt/pepper to taste.

 

This post is the second tuna fish posting of the day.  I lost the first one.  Honest.  So in a fit of anger I went to the kitchen to make tuna fish.  I screwed it up.  The eggs didn’t cook completely.  It was only then that I realized I had written wrong directions on how to fix the eggs in my first post.  Divine intervention I guess.

I never ate tuna fish with apples in it before I got married.  Now I can’t eat tuna fish without apples in it.  If I’m out of apples, I don’t make tuna fish.  I never understood that a good tuna salad had more tuna than mayonnaise.  During my college years The Truck would show up on College Avenue around 11 pm.  I loved their tuna subs at 2 or 3 in the morning.  The Truck’s tuna salad was always the cheaper light chunk tuna in oil with a lot of mayonnaise.  The ratio was probably 2 parts mayo to 1 part tuna.  On a 12 inch white french loaf.  It was like eating a tuna flavored mayonnaise sandwich.  No wonder I topped the scales at 370 pounds, but I digress.

So I’m making two more eggs and I ask my lovely wife of too many years,

“Is this your recipe?”

“No, it was my Dad’s recipe.”

“But your Dad couldn’t cook.  He couldn’t even make coffee!”

“He could make tuna salad.”

Thanks Jack.  Great tuna salad recipe.

Tips:

Mayonnaise should be to taste.  Use only as much as you like.  Or for a low calorie version, substitute plain low fat yogurt (at your own risk).  I’ve used yogurt in the past and I prefer mayo.  Do not use Miracle Whip.  I hate Miracle Whip.  Add parsley if you’re inclined to do so.  Garlic powder adds a nice touch.  Also try curry powder or chili powder for a nice change of pace.

But don’t use Miracle Whip. 

Greek Salad – The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Ree Drummond (One Rotisserie Chicken 50 Meals #8)

I love Ree Drummond.  Never met her.  Never mind the fact I’m married.  I love Ree Drummond.  I love Ree because every recipe of hers I’ve tried is awesome.  This Greek Salad recipe is all Ree.  It is reproduced in its awesome entirity and I’ve given credit to this Goddess via the link below.

We had the usual gang over for pizza one night.  Everyone asks “What can I bring?”.  So for one of our couple friends we said “Salad”.

They brought this salad over to have with pizza.

Awesome!

Since that fateful day, we’ve made this salad several times.  One time we put chicken on top of it.  Dinner. Done. Delicious.

Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
  • 4 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Cut Into Six Wedges Each, Then Each Wedge Cut In Half
  • 1 whole (large) Cucumber, Peeled, Cut Into Fourths Lengthwise, And Diced Into Large Chunks
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
  • 30 whole Pitted Kalamata Olives, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 6 ounces, weight Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley, Roughly Chopped
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 6 whole Kalamata Olives (extra), Chopped Fine
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 whole Lemon, For Squeezing

Preparation Instructions

Add chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber chunks, onion
slices, halved Kalamata olives, half the feta, and parsley to a large
bowl.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped
olives in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust
seasonings (I almost always add a little sugar.)

Pour dressing over salad ingredients, then add salt and pepper. Toss
with tongs or clean hands. Just before serving, top with additional feta
and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

via Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Mike’s Pot Roast

Mike’s Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 lb boneless chuck roast,  well marbled
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large Sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 lb Porcini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 1/2 C Sweet Marsala wine
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 2-3 T organic tomato paste
  • 1 C low sodium beef broth
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Use a cast iron enamel covered pot  large enough to hold roast and vegetables. Heat 2 T of oil and 1 T butter on medium high heat.  Sprinkle and rub roast with salt and  pepper. Brown roast in pot, several minutes on each side.
  2. When roast is browned, remove from the pot and set on a plate.  Drain all but 1 T of the fat from the pot.  Add the onions, diced carrots, and celery to the pot and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to brown.  Add the garlic, Porcini mushrooms and a pinch of thyme, and saute for another minute.  Add the Marsala wine and continue to saute until the alcohol evaporates.   Add tomato paste, beef broth and mix thoroughly.   Create a “well” in the center by pushing all of the vegetables to the sides of the pot.
  3. Place  the roast in the well you’ve created. (It’s OK if a few veggies are underneath the roast)  Sprinkle another pinch of thyme over the roast. Add extra broth if required to bring the liquid level up to the top of the roast.  Cover and adjust the heat down to a low simmer.
  4. Cook for 2 hours, or longer.
  5. Approximately 45 minutes before serving, remove the roast from the pot and set on a plate.  Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and  reduce the gravy to one half its volume.  Add 1 T butter and the carrot chunks.  Reduce heat back to low.
  7. Trim all visible fat and gristle from the roast.  Slice the roast against the grain and return to the pot.  Stir to coat the roast slices thoroughly.
  8. Simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4-5.

I have no memories of pot roast from my childhood.  I’m pretty certain we never had pot roast growing up.  Dad did all of the cooking for the family and if you ever tasted my Mom’s cooking you would understand why.  So for me pot roast was  and still is a special dish to be savored.  And this past week, I’ve been thinking about pot roast a lot.  It’s not a hard dish to make and everyone makes it differently.  I kind of made this recipe up and thankfully it worked.

I say thankfully because we were serving this pot roast to friends.  As things turned out, the pot roast turned out.  Mike had seconds.  Mike also won at cards.  So I’ve named this pot roast after Mike.

Tips – Find a nice chuck roast that has a lot of marbling.  This adds tremendous flavor and remember, you’ll be trimming the fat off before serving.  Remember the gravy makes this dish.  I found the addition of Porcini mushrooms to be quite a difference maker. MASHED POTATOES.  You need mashed potatoes, period.  Since we’ve added extra carrots, try a green salad on the side.  And bread.  Some good bread to sop up the gravy is also essential.  One of these times when I have leftover pot roast, I’ll post my Next Day Pot Roast Sandwich.  Sorry, no picture…we ate it all.

More Tips – I have also used a cut of beef called Cross Rib Roast and the results were superb.  Don’t confuse this cut with prime rib or rib roast.  The two are different.  The Cross Rib Roast is basically a different chuck cut.  It is leaner than a chuck roast and possesses a rich, deep beefy flavor.  I also started the dish on the stove top then put the enamel pot covered into a 250 degree oven for three hours.  The roast was fork tender, no knifes needed.

 

Even More Tips – One day I could not find a decent looking piece of chuck for pot roast.  Every roast I saw didn’t have enough marbling.  I did find some well marbled top blade steaks.top blade steaks.  If you’ve ever been out and had a flat iron steak, you have eaten this cut.  But since I bought top blade and not the flat iron cut, it was perfect for this recipe.