Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicken and Stuffing Bake

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 (6 to 8 ounce) package stuffing mix
1 2/3 cups water or chicken broth
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 inch
chunks **
1 (10 ¾ ounces) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream or milk
16 ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained

Melt butter in a medium saucepan and sauté onion and celery until softened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in stuffing mix (and seasoning packet if included), coating well. Add the water or broth and stir to combine. Set aside to allow liquid to be absorbed. Prepare chicken and spread evenly in the bottom of a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. Top with thawed mixed vegetables. Combine soup with sour cream or milk and spoon evenly over chicken. Sprinkle stuffing mixture evenly over all. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

**Can also substitute equivalent amount of cooked, chopped chicken as a great way to use up leftovers. This version can be cooked easily in a crock pot on low heat as well – just heat until all ingredients are warmed through and stuffing on top looks slightly browned. Yummy!

Serving Suggestions – additional steamed vegetables and homemade rolls

Golden Chicken Casserole

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted (10 ¾ ounces)
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted (10 ¾ ounces)
½ cup water or milk
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
1 package frozen tater tots (32 ounces)
1 package frozen mixed vegetable (16 ounces)
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Combine soups, water and salt and mix well. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish and layer one third of the soup mixture, half of the tater tots, half of the vegetables and half of the chicken. Repeat layers, finishing with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle top with cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until browned and heated through.

This is a great casserole to sneak in some extra vegetables. Any cream soups will work well and other frozen potatoes could easily be substituted if your family does not like tater tots (frozen hash browns, French fries, etc.)

Yield: 6-8 servings
Serving Suggestions – green salad and homemade rolls

Crock Pot Usable Chicken

1 whole chicken or package of your favorite parts
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons parsley
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon minced onion or onion flakes
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (salad seasoning also works)

Place all ingredients on crock-pot. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. I love the fact that I can just put the ingredients in my crock-pot and the chicken cooks by itself while I do other things. If you do not have a crock-pot, simply put the ingredients in a large pot on the back burner of the stove and allow the pot to simmer.

Allow chicken time to cool and then remove from bones. You have several cups of usable chicken all ready for any of your favorite chicken casseroles or recipes.

You can also use frozen chicken parts with this recipe. Cooking the chicken on low allows you to start this cooking before bed at night and have cooked chicken ready in the morning – all ready for use in a casserole for dinner that night! This recipe adds a terrific smell to the kitchen versus simply boiling a pot of chicken parts.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 batch of 30 meatballs
1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
hot cooked rice

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside. Add enough water to pineapple juice to make one cup. Pour into a large skillet. Add 1/3 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and corn starch. Stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Add pineapple, meatballs and green pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve over hot rice. Yields 6 servings.

Meatball sandwiches (homemade BBQ sauce)

1 batch of 30 meatballs
1 cup ketchup
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ to ½ cup chopped onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
6 sandwich rolls, split
liquid smoke, optional (approximately 1/8 teaspoon)

Place meatballs in an ungreased one quart baking dish. Combine the next five ingredients and pour mixture over meatballs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve on rolls or with toothpicks as an appetizer. Yields 6 sandwiches

Make ahead Meatballs / Meatloaf

4 eggs
2 cups dry bread crumbs
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon pepper
4 pounds lean ground beef

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add next five ingredients. Mix well. Add beef and mix again. Shape into 1 inch balls, approximately 12 dozen. Place in single layers in ungreased 15 inch by 10 inch by 1 inch pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain and cool. Place about 30 meatballs each into freezer containers. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Yields 5 batches of approximately 30 meatballs each.

This recipe also works great for meatloaf – shape a full batch into 4 loaves and bake on cookie sheets in 400 degree oven until cooked through. Or, shape into hamburger patties for an easy start to Salisbury Steaks (just add your favorite brown gravy!)

Serving Suggestions
Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread or breadsticks and green salad
Sweet and sour meatballs over rice with steamed vegetables and homemade rolls
Barbeque meatball sandwiches with cold salads, fresh vegetables or chips
Barbeque meatballs served over rice with steamed vegetables and homemade rolls
Meatloaf with baked or mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and brown gravy
Salisbury steak patties with mashed potatoes, brown gravy and steamed vegetables

Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup (10.5 oz. size)
½ cup catsup or chili sauce
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 drops Tabasco sauce
12 rolls

Brown ground beef over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add onion, celery and green pepper and cook for five minutes. Add tomato soup, catsup (or chili sauce), salt, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch closely as it will burn easily as it thickens.

Serves 12.

Serving Suggestions
– cold salads (garden, macaroni, potato, etc.), chips, fresh veggie tray