Archive for the ‘Supper’ Category

These came highly recommended by one of my co-workers named Erin. I quickly made them for dinner tonight and we dove in. They are really tasty and the basil mayo adds a nice touch. Only now do I realize that I forgot the cheese. They still tasted pretty good.

The recipe seems to have left out a step. Before you marinade the mushrooms gently pop out the stems and then turn the caps upside down. Take a large spoon and gently scrap out the gills. You don’t have to remove all of them from every crack and crevice of the mushroom. Just remove the bulk of them and then give the cap a light rinse to remove any loose pieces. The gills won’t hurt you. They just taste funny.

Serves 4


4 large portobello mushroom caps

3/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

4 slices mozzarella cheese

4 Hy-Vee bakery onion hamburger buns, halved, toasted


Place mushrooms in shallow dish, gill-side-up. Pour vinaigrette over mushrooms. Let marinate at room temperature 10 minutes; remove mushrooms from marinade. Discard marinade.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and basil; cover and refrigerate.

Preheat grill for medium heat; brush grill grate with oil.

Grill mushrooms, turning occasionally, until tender and grill marked, about 10 minutes.

Top each mushroom with a slice of mozzarella cheese during last 2 minutes of grilling.

Spread half of each toasted bun with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture. Top with grilled portobello mushroom and remaining half of bun.

From: Hy-Vee 

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Chicken and I have not had a good relationship. Typically I cook and worry that I’ll end up serving raw chicken so I overcook and wind up dishing out a chewy piece of dry meat. This buttermilk brine seems to offer something of a buffer. The fine folks at Fine Cooking call it your next “go to” chicken recipe. Serves 4. 


2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1 Tbs. kosher salt

Four 1-pound bone-in chicken breasts

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1 Tbs. ground cumin

1 Tbs. ground coriander

1 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. granulated garlic

1 Tbs. onion powder

1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. ancho chile powder

1 tsp. chipotle chile powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground sage

Your favorite sauce for chicken, barbecue or otherwise (optional)


Pour the buttermilk into a large zip-top bag. Add the salt and the chicken breasts. Close the bag and squish the liquid around the chicken breasts. Put in the refrigerator and let sit overnight, turning the bag several times.

Combine the 11 herbs and spices in a small container with an airtight lid. You won’t use all of this mixture for this recipe, but use the extra within 6 months.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

When the grill is hot, cut off the center or back burner and adjust your heat to medium-high.

Remove the breasts from the bag and discard the brine. Pat the breasts dry and then sprinkle about a tablespoon of the rub on each breast, gently massaging the rub into the meat.

Place the chicken breasts, skin down, over the direct heat section of your grill, close the lid, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until nicely seared. Turn and sear the other side for 3 to 4 minutes. Move the chicken breasts to the indirect area, cut your burners to medium, and close the lid. You want to maintain about a 325°F temperature. Grill-roast for about 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 170°F in the thickest portion of the breast. During the last 5 minutes glaze the chicken breast with your choice of sauce on the skin side only. Remove the breasts from the grill to a platter and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve.

From: Fine Cooking


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Previously I’ve written about the thousands of recipes our friend Rusty left behind. His life’s work was our Easter dinner. Like the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” I may start calling these posts “Meals with Rusty.”  

This ham is unbelievably easy to make and bake. Carving it up is especially simple.

Serves…a lot with leftovers.


6-8 pound bone-in ham

1 tbsp ground mustard

1 tsp ground allspice

3/4 cup of orange marmalade

oven safe thermometer


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Score ham in a cross pattern. Combine mustard and allspice and smear all over the ham.  Place in a shallow pan, insert thermometer at least 1 inch deep making sure not to make contact with a fat pocket or the bone under the surface.

Bake uncovered for 2-2/12 hours or until the internal temperature reads 140 degrees. During the last hour of baking smear the orange marmalade all over the ham. Baste occasionally.  Carve.

From: Rusty Banker

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For most of my young life I assumed that everyone ate Mac and Cheese from a box provided by the kind folks at Kraft. Those culinary geniuses had found a way to not only make noodles in the shapes of cartoon characters they also managed to package an ungodly amount of cheese in a silver powder packet.  When I went go to elementary school I was horrified at the Mac and Cheese the lunch ladies would serve up. Clearly they had led deprived, Kraft-less, powdered cheese-less lives.

Now in my older years I fight the same fight with my kids…that Mac and Cheese is best when it doesn’t come from Kraft. This recipe has had some success at breaking the powdered cheese barrier. My youngest loves blue cheese pasta so he was a fan of the goat cheese in this recipe. It also calls for 8 ounces of noodles, but I probably added around 10-12 ounces.

And the shallots add a delicious crunch and make for excellent burps later. Serves at least 4.


3 tablespoons butter plus more for baking dish

3 cups sliced large shallots (about 6)

8 ounces small elbow macaroni (2 cups)

1 1/4 cups half and half

2 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Cholula)

2 cups (packed) coarsely grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2/3 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, until shallots are deep brown, stirring often, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally; drain well. Reserve pan. Bring half and half and hot sauce to simmer in same saucepan over medium heat. Toss cheddar cheese and flour in medium bowl to coat; add to half and half mixture. Whisk until sauce is smooth and just returns to simmer, about 2 minutes. Mix in pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread pasta mixture in prepared dish. Top with shallots, then goat cheese. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

From: Epicurious




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No muss, no fuss.

Bake up a loaf of crusty bread to mop up the oil and you’re in heaven!


6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

6 fresh thyme sprigs

3 large fresh rosemary sprigs, halved

Freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 lb. extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), preferably wild, peeled and deveined

1-1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

Kosher salt


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.

Pour the oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add the thyme, rosemary, and 1 tsp. pepper and bake until the oil mixture is fragrant, about 12 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the dish and toss with tongs until coated. Bake the shrimp until pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and 1/2 tsp. salt, toss well, and let rest at room temperature until the oil cools slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard the herbs (if you choose) and serve.

From: Fine Cooking

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Add some buttered toast to mop up the yolks and you’ve got a breakfast treat that you can eat any time of the day. Top with some shredded cheese? Maybe chop up some crispy bacon and toss it inside? 


tsp. unsalted butter, softened

4 large eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh chives

2 Tbs. heavy cream


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Butter 2 oven-safe 6-inch gratin dishes with 1 tsp. butter each.

Crack 2 eggs into each gratin dish. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the chives. Drizzle 1 Tbs. cream in each dish, starting over the yolks and working around the dish. Bake until the eggs are bubbly and browned on the edges but not quite set in the middle, 5 minutes. (For firmer eggs, bake an additional 1 minute .)

Heat the broiler on high. Broil the eggs, still on the center rack of the oven, until the center is just set, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven immediately—the eggs will continue to set.

From: Fine Cooking

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Earlier, I posted a recipe for taco truck tacos. In it you brown bacon and ground beef in separate pans and then dump the drained ground beef into the bacon to simmer and get flavorful in the bacon fat. 

My oldest son and I got this taco truck taco recipe when we took a bacon cooking class. We liked these tacos better. They’re not as greasy and the steak really tastes better compared to the ground beef.

Serves 2 but easily expandable to serve 4.


1/3 to 1/2 pounds steak sliced thin or stew meat chopped up.

2 slices of bacon sliced into short thin strips

1 poblano chile or green pepper chopped into thin strips

1 large shallot or 1/4 yellow onion

2 tsp adobo cumin season (Goya, green lid)

6 small flour or 12 corn tortillas

1/2 cup farmer’s cheese

1/2 avocado, trimmed and sliced

pico de gallo (equal parts chopped tomato, onion and cilantro)



Prepare pico de gallo and set aside

Heat bacon on hot griddle until it begins to crisp, add onion and stir for 2 minutes. Add steak and adobo spice and cook for 5 minutes until beef is cooked through.

As beef cooks sear tortillas on both sides to crisp them up.

Add peppers to steak miuxture and stir.

Dress tortillas with cheese,scoop of meat mixture and top with pico de gallo and avocado.

(You’ll want to cut avocado in half, remove pit, slice avocado in half-shell and then remove slices with a scoop of a spoon.)

Again, this is from Genie Maybank’s Bacon Class at New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville, IA



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