Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Basil Parmasean Pasta with Chicken

I thought I would try a different pasta tonight. I had some peppered parmasean cheese that I had purchased on the Hill. It looked wonderful. I decided to put my favorite pasta ingredients together and make a new pasta dish.

1 pound chicken breast strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 pound pasta - your choice
3 large handfuls fresh basil
1-1 1/2 cup grated peppered parmasean cheese
2 ladles pasta water
salt for pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Peppered Parmasean Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in bowl, add olive oil and italian seasoning, stir to coat chicken. Put chickejn on a sheet pan and cook for 15 minutes or until done, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove chicken from oven and let cool. Cut into smaller bite size pieces.

Basil and Cheese ready for pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding salt to the water to season the pasta. While pasta is cooking, tear cleaned basil and place in large pasta serving bowl along with 3/4 of cheese. When pasta is cooked, add to basil and cheese. Put chicken on top with pasta water, and combine all ingredients. Add rest of cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immedietly.

The flavor of the dish was great. My only complaint is that it wasn't saucy enough. I think the next time I need to use a softer cheese. I really like the parmasean, but it is such a hard cheese and doesn't release much moisture. White wine might also be a nice addition; losing the cheese flavor is something I don't want to do. I guess it is back to the drawing board for me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Path to the Perfect Wing

I have previously published two posts about our quest for the perfect grilled chicken. One recipe that we used had a mesquite rub or Emeril's Essence on it. This time we tried created a buffalo grilled chicken wing. The quest for the perfect wing started one day at Fast Eddie's - a restaurant in Alton, Illinois.

They don't have many food items, but the items they do have are wonderful. My personal favorite is their Hot Chick on a Stick. Hot Chick on a Stick is chicken wings that have a wonderful seasoning on them and are grilled, not fried. They have a wonderful tender, moist, spicy taste, and I just love them. For the past year we have been trying to recreate them at home. We haven't replicated them, but we have come up with our version - see previous post.

Now we are trying to add to the grilled chicken wing repetoire. Buffalo grilled chicken wings are next on the list for us.

The first step was to find a recipe for Buffalo chicken wings. I found one on Chowhound.com called Hellpaso Hot Wings. The author of the recipe stated that she was looking for recipes that didn't require grilling or frying. What I did was take the marinating method, along with the ingredients and grilled instead of baking the entire time in the oven. Following is my version of this recipe.

The wings are marinating in the sauce mixture

Chicken wing drummettes---3-4 lbs. - I prefer fresh to frozen
Cholula hot sauce---one large bottle (16 oz) I used hot sauce that I had on hand.
Worcestershire sauce——1/2 cup
Vinegar (cider or red wine)——1/2 cup

Right before cooking, the wings hang out on a foil lined sheet pan

Put chicken wings in large bowl. Add liquids and marinate for 3 - 4 hours. Bake at 350 degrees in one layer on a foil lined sheet pan for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place on medium to medium high heat grill until wings are thoroughly cooked.

We really liked the texture and consistancy of the wings; however, like I said in my last post, he would really like the wings to be a little more spicy. Once the weather gets warmer, we will be hitting the grill again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Non Traditional Easter Dinner

We had family over for Easter this year. My sister-in-law and I went to the Hill and the Farmer's Market in St. Louis and bought all kinds of food. While we were shopping, we decided on Italian food for our Easter festivities. Our first idea for dinner was filet and shrimp, while the second, and cheaper choice, was pork loin. It wasn't until we were putting artichokes in our cart at an Italian market that we figured out what we really wanted to serve.

I was telling my sister-in-law about this recipe I had seen on TV. Ingredients included sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, fresh mozzarella, parmesean cheese, pasta, sausage, basil, white wine, and chicken stock. It was very easy to make and everyone seemed to like it.

Along with the pasta, we also had salad, garlic bread, salmon dip - see previous post, asperagus with hollandaise and proschuitto, and roasted potatoes with Aioli. The appetizers were wonderful!
For the first time, I made hollandaise on the stove - I used to make it in the blender, keeping the eggs raw - but this time I tried the stovetop method and was pleased with the result. Not only was the recipe easy, it was also very tasty
Hollandaise Sauce

(From the Good Housekeeping Cookbook)

3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup water
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (1 stick cut into 8 pieces; do not use margarine
1/4 tsp salt

1. In heave nonreactive 1-quart saucepan with wire whisk, mix egg yolds, water, and lemon juice until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring contantly until egg-yolk mixtures ust begins to bubble at edge, 6-8 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to low. With wire whisk, whisk in butter one piece at a time until each addition is incorporated and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Strain through sieve if desired. Makes about 1 cup.

Remember, with all these recipes, one can adjust ingredients if needed for diets, allergies and such.
I was very lucky in that I had a lot of help with dinner. Not only did my sister-in-law go shopping with me, she also came over early to help cook the meal. We had a lot of fun and got to catch up as we don't really get to see each other a lot. Hope your Easter was happy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cookies, Pesto and Dinner Guests

We had friends over for dinner last night. The night was filled with laughter fun and food. I made two kinds of pasta - cajun pasta, that I created, (see previous post); and pesto with chicken. My husband and I decided to make two pounds of the Cajun Pasta; trying to fit that into one bowl was impossible. We had to improvise and into one bowl and one platter the pasta went.

In addition to the pasta, I also made salad and garlic bread. For desert I made Sour Cream Cookies. Not only did they have the texture and consistancy of a cake, they also had a hint of lemon, making them the perfect end to a nice meal.

Dinner went well and everyone seemed to have a good time. Enjoy the recipes.

Sour Cream Cookies - from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cram, lemon peel, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture just until blended.

3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons, 1 inch apart, on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until set and golden around edges, 10-12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; with wide spatula, transfer cookie to wire racks to cool competely.

4. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes about 36 cookies.

Pasta with Pesto and Roasted Chicken - From Food Network

Pesto Sauce

2 hefty bunches of basil
1/2 cup pine nuts or 3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup frest grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Juice of one small lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt
About 20 grinds frshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients with 1/2 cup oil in blender and blend. Gradually drizzle in remaining 1/4 cup oil until pesto is thick and smooth.

Chicken - my own concoction
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons italian seasoning

Cut chicken into strips and place in large bowl with olive oil and seasoning. Coat chicken with mixture and place on sheet pan. Roast in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Set aside.

Cook desired pasta type - I prefer a pasta that holds the sauce, like shells or ziti, per package directions. Drain and put back in pot.

Combine pasta, pesto, and chicken in pot - stir gently. The hot pasta will warm up the sauce and the chicken. Serve immediately.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My love of Pasta

I love pasta. It is totally my favorite food group. I could eat pasta every day of the week. So, when I walked into my babysitter's house and smelled her lasagne, I just knew I had to make it the next day. As I was making the lasagne tonight, my son kept telling me that he wanted to eat some; that he loved my lasagne. I smiled thinking about the last time I made lasagne. He just ate and ate and ate. And that is what he did tonight, too. Thank goodness we havce leftovers so that he can eat and eat and eat tomorrow, too.

I prepared my lasagne with sausage, ricotta, mozzarella, parmasan, ,and marinara sauce. I made the marinara sauce using crushed tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, salt and pepper. I cooked the sausage and the sauce separately and I mixed the ricotta with parmasan, and parsley. Layering the sauce, sausage, mozzarella, and ricotta mixture; I made my lasagne and put it into a 400 degree oven until the cheese was melted and the mixture bubbled. It was fantabulous. My hubby and my son loved it. My other son doesn't like green things so he didn't eat any. Oh well, maybe some day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Margaritas, Springtime and Potato Salad

Spring is on the way I decided to celebrate on Sunday. We decided to grill - you saw the post with the chicken wings, and I decided to drink a margarita. I think of warm weather and margaritas. There is just something about it. The margarita was of the frozen variety and it tasted great! Trying out my new blender, I was very excited that the blender was powerful enough to get the top dirty. That was very exciting to me.

I also made potato salad. Now, I am not a big fan of potato salad, but my husband likes it, or he likes his mom's I should say. Anyway, I found the recipe that called for baby reds, celery and dill, so I thought I would try it. It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. My only complaint would be the thickness of the sauce. The only wet ingredients are mayonaise and sour cream. I thought it was kind of difiicult to mix everything together. I ended up bringing the whole dish to room temperature before completing the final mix. I have been thinking about what to add to it make it just a little creamier. The recipe will be at the end of this post.

Dilled Potato Salad

Yield 8-10 servings

3 lbs. small red potatoes (in skins)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 1/2 cups diced clelery
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonaise
8 thin slices prosciutto ham cut into bits
1/2 crumbled blue cheese - (I used feta because my husband doesn't like blue cheese)
  • Boil potatoes whole in salted water until fork tender
  • Drain and slice or quarter
  • Put drained potatoes into large bowl and sprinkle with vinegar immediately
  • In separate bowl, combine dill, scallions, celery, sour cream, mayonaise, prociutto, and blue cheese
  • Pour dressing over potatoes. Toss gently to coat thouroughly
  • Cover; refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

I added salt and pepper to the dressing to add some more flavor. I thought it really needed it. The salad turned out very well. The only thing I would change other than adding salt and pepper would be trying to make the sauce a little more liquidy - for lack of a better word.

I found this recipe in a cookbook called St. Louis Days, St. Louis Nights. It is a cookbook put together by the Junior League of St. Louis. There are some very good recipes in there that I can't wait to try.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chicken Wings - Take Two - Grilled "Buffalo" Style

Working with same basic chicken recipe as before, my husband and I tried a twist. Instead of working with a rub or one type of spice, I thought I would try to make buffalo style grilled chicken wings. I found the recipe for the sauce on Chowhound.com. The sauce called for hot sauce, worchestersire sauce, and red wine vinegar as the basic ingredients. I marinated the wings in the sauce for most of the day and then I baked them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. After that my husband put them on the grill until they were cooked through.

They turned out pretty good, but I think I need to work on the marinade a little. My husband didn't think the sauce was spicy enough. He really likes hot wings. The flavor, I thought, was very good; however, I feel that the red wine vinegar took away some of the spice in the dish. I would gladly take suggestions or recipe ideas for the hot sauce. I just don't want to use just regular hot sauce and nothing else. I want another flavor to come through, but I am not sure what yet.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Donut Muffins

I was so excited this afternoon. During lunch I was surfing the net and happened across a recipe for Donut muffins. After school I picked up the boys and we made donut muffins. The process is very similar to making a coffee cake or a crumb cake. The butter and sugar are creamed together and the dry ingredients are mixed in intermittently with the wet ingredients. The dough was very thick and I put it into the muffin tins with an ice cream scoop.

After the muffins were cooked, I dipped them in butter and then dipped them into cinamnom sugar. When they cooled down a bit the boys and I tried them. They were very good; however, they reminded me of basic muffins, which I had made in the past. I looked up my recipe for basic muffins and found the difference in ingredients wasn't that great. The donut muffins have nutmeg in them and the basic muffins contain vanilla. Donut muffins also have buttermilk which is not included in the basic muffin recipe.

The only other difference is in the texture. The doughnut muffns have a more cake like texture - that is in part due to the preparation method. The buttermilk made the doughnuts a little more moist as well.

For those who want the recipe, follow this link. http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/doughnut_muffins.aspx

Google donut muffins - there are many variations to this recipe; one site even said that donut muffins have been around for over 80 years. Amazing

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chicken Soup and Garlic Cheese Biscuits

There is nothing like sitting down with a hot bowl of soup and a warm biscuit. The chicken soup is my friend, Dot's recipe which I changed up a bit, and the cheddar bay biscuits are from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 ½ pounds chicken tenders
3 quarts chicken stock, not broth – You can make your own or buy stock.
3 stalks celery – chopped the way you like
3 carrots – chopped the way you like
3 cloves garlic – peeled only
Salt and pepper
½ pound very thin spaghetti broken up into small pieces
Handful of fresh parsley chopped

Pour stock in large pan, bring to boil and add chicken, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook until chicken is done, about 15 minutes over medium heat. Remove garlic, discard. Remove chicken; allow to cool a little and shred with fork. Add chicken back to pan and bring to boil, add pasta and cook until noodles are done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley, stir and serve.

Garlic Cheese Buscuits

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese - 2 oz.
1/4 cup stick margarine or butter - melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder - that is what the recipe calls for. I at least double it.
1 teaspoon dill

Pre-heat oven to 450

Mix baking mix, milk and cheese to make a soft dough. Beat vigorously 30 seconds. Drop dough by 10-12 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet - I spray a little Pam on mine because they have stuck before.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix margaring and garlic powder, brush on warm biscuits before removing fro cookie sheet. Serve warm.

You can halve this recipe - I have sometimes because they really don't reheat well in the microwave.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blue Corn Meal Pancakes

Having received a gift of blue cormeal from a friend of mine, I decided to try making blue cornmeal blueberry pancakes. The recipe wasn't difficult, although I dirtied a couple of bowls. It worked out well; however, we all agreed that the pancakes would be more to our liking without the blueberries. I really enjoyed the blue cornmeal. It was interesting to cook with something different.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Salmon Cheese Spread

This is a recipe that was given to me by my mother-in-law. It is great for a quick appetizer. Serve it with crackers and you have got it made.

2 pkgs (3 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3 Tblsp mayonaise
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
1 can 7 oz salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonaise, and lemon juice. Add the salt, curry powder, basil, and pepper mix well. Gently stir in salmon and onion. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with crackers.

Grandma P's Cold Tuna Casserole

My husband told me about his grandma's cold tuna noodle casserole - he told me the indredients, but not the measurements. This is pretty close - probably not exact, but he likes it. It is something we often have in our house. I am glad I can make something that reminds him of his childhood.

List of ingredients is based on one pound of pasta. This recipe is easy to double.

Tuna drained – 2-3 cans per pound of pasta
1 lb. noodles – cooked and drained, cooled down
3 Hard Boiled Eggs
3 stalks Celery
Celery salt to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Mayo – not miracle whip – enough to bind the tuna and noodles.

Chop eggs and celery – Steve likes the celery really small. I use the food processor to chop it. Mix all ingredients. Season to taste. Serve with crackers if desired.
Allow to sit in refrigerater for at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tonight's Dinner

I thought I would try a recipe I saw on 30 Minute Meals. She called it a BLT - Beef, Leeks, and Tomato, with an extra B - Bacon. I made my own version. I used baby arugula instead of leeks, and I only used two strip steaks. I cooked the steaks on the grill and wilted my lettuce. I also made a bacon dressing that you can see on the top. We really liked it; however, Steve wants me to not wilt the lettuce next time and serve it more like a traditional salad. It was very good.

The Best Chicken Wings

There is a restaurant in Alton Illinois called Fast Eddie's Bon Air. They don't serve many different foods, but what they do serve is fabulous. I am in the process of trying to recreate some of their items. The one I think I have mastered so far is Hot Chix on a Stick. Fast Eddie's takes chicken wings, puts seasoning on them and grills them on a kabob stick. They are wonderful. What follows is my take on the recipe. Enjoy.
5 lbs. chicken wings - not frozen
Emril's Essense or grill seasoning of your choice.

Rub seasoning on fresh chicken wings and let marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 300. Spread wings on sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes in oven. Take wings out of oven and finish on grill over medium to medium high heat.

You can either skewer these or not. My husband and I have made them both ways and we feel that cooking them without the skewers is a little easier.

We have made these several times and everybody who has eaten them has just loved them. We are going to try them next time with hot sauce on the grill. We will keep you posted.