bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pressure Cooker Turkey Tetrazzini

It seems I've completely neglected this blog! Has it really been since January? And here we're already in December.

We have been eating, really we have. I just haven't been keeping track of any of it. I've actually been doing a lot of cooking in my pressure cooker. Yes, I kept hearing about how handy these appliances can be, and I decided to buy one. I got the Farberware one from Walmart. From what I can tell, they're all pretty much the same whether you buy the Instant Pot that everyone is talking about, this one from Walmart, or another brand.

I really didn't use my pressure cooker much at first because I really didn't know where to start. Thankfully, I stumbled across the Farberware 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker Facebook group (although other brands are more than welcome), and that has made all the difference.  Questions answered, recipes shared, and plenty of support. Now, I use my PC all the time. It really is as handy as everyone said.

We had this turkey tetrazzini for dinner tonight. I've made it before on the stove, but it turns out so well, and it's so easy in the pressure cooker, I see no reason to do it any differently from now on.

Pressure Cooker Turkey Tetrazzini 
adapted from the Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals cookbook

  • 3 T butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. dry pasta
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  1. Heat PC on brown/sear setting; melt butter. Add onion, celery, carrot, and green pepper; saute until cooked and starting to brown. Add flour, salt, and pepper; cook for a few minutes. Stir in broth, milk, pasta, and turkey.
  2. Put lid on PC and set to cook for 1/2 the time listed on your pasta bag or box. (For my Farberware, I use the Vegetable setting because the default time is 8 minutes, so there's less adjusting. I set it for 6 minutes tonight.)
  3. Depending on your time schedule, you can either release the pressure when the time is up or do a Natural Pressure Release (NPR). Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and stir in the cheese.
  4. Serve immediately or replace the lid and leave on the Keep Warm setting until ready to eat.

I really love that I can brown or saute things right in the pot before adding other ingredients and setting it for pressure cooking (or even slow cooking). The pressure cooker will also keep the food warm until we're ready to eat, so it's great for throwing everything in whenever I have time and then expecting a great meal ready at dinner time. It's definitely my kind of kitchen appliance.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

White Bean Chicken Chili

It's time for another edition of Fantastical Food Fight, where every month a theme or ingredient is chosen, and we all choose a recipe - from a cookbook, blog, or our imaginations - and then share on the same day. 

This month's theme is Slow Cooker Soup, and what could be better during the cold month of January? I love being able to throw some ingredients into the slow cooker first thing in the morning and have a yummy soup by dinner time. Talk about easy! I could probably eat nothing but soup all winter.

I've made this particular soup twice so far, and we really enjoy it. It's very simple and the flavors are fantastic.

White Bean Chicken Chili
from Burnt Apple

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini), undrained
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  1. Place one can of the Great Northern beans into the slow cooker and smash with a potato masher or back of a fork. Add the second can of beans and all other ingredients to the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred, then return to the slow cooker and stir until combined.
  3. Serve topped with sour cream, grated cheese, and tortilla chips if desired.

The first time I made this soup, I used a can of Great Northern beans and a can of Cannellini beans because that's what I had. I also used a can of diced chipotle tomatoes, which gave the soup a really nice flavor. The second time I used home cooked Great Northern beans - 1-1/2 cups of beans and 3/4 cup liquid = 1 can of beans. And I used the tomatoes with green chilies. Both soups were yummy, and of course that's the beauty of soup - ingredients can be adjusted according to your tastes and/or what you have on hand.

Also, though the theme of this Fantastical Food Fight is Slow Cooker Soups, this soup is just as good when made on the stove; it just needs more attention than when throwing everything into the slow cooker. (and sometimes I just don't get everything together early enough in the day to use the slow cooker) For a little extra flavor when cooking on the stove, cook the onions in a bit of olive oil until translucent then add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or so, until chicken is cooked.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

I found this recipe the other day on Pinterest. I'm pretty sure this is going to become a regular around here. Well, as regular as any recipe can be - there are just so many recipes out there that simply must be tried. That doesn't leave much time for repeats... But, seriously, the flavors in this are so good.

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry
from BudgetByte$

  • Sauce
    * 2 T soy sauce
    * 1 T sesame oil
    * 1 T sriracha
    * 1-1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • Stir Fry
    * 1/2 head green cabbage
    * 2 carrots
    * 3 green onions
    * 2 cloves garlic
    * 1 T fresh grated ginger
    *1/2 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken)
    * Pinch of salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Prepare vegetables so they are ready to go when you need them. Cut cabbage in half, remove the core, and then shred the leaves of one half the cabbage. Peel two carrots, then use a cheese grater to shred them. Slice the green onions. Mince two cloves of garlic. Peel a knob of ginger using either a vegetable peeler or by scraping with the side of a spoon, then grate it using a small-holed cheese grater.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef until browned (about five minutes).
  4. Add the cabbage and carrots to the skillet and continue to stir and cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted (or fully wilted, if you prefer). Stir in your prepared sauce and the green onions; heat through.
  5. Serve with steamed rice, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, some chow mein noodles, and a drizzle of sriracha, as desired.
Note: this makes a medium spicy stir fry, so if you're sensitive to heat, start with 1 tsp. sriracha and adjust as necessary. Pass the sriracha for those who like a little heat.

I love spicy, so I used the entire tablespoon of sriracha in the sauce, and I thought it was nicely flavorful but not really spicy at all. My husband said it was a bit spicy for his taste, but he loved the way all the flavors went together, and he ate it anyway. Next time I think I'll cut the sriracha down a bit for him and just drizzle a bit on top of mine. Or add some of this hot chili oil.

Also, as it's a stir fry, any other vegetables you have on hand and want to use can surely be thrown in. The more vegetables the better, right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Easy Vegetable Soup

I have plenty of recipes 'on deck' but for some reason I just haven't been getting around to posting any of them. I have some pictures, so hopefully I will remember what I actually did with these recipes - because, of course, I can never just follow a recipe. I just really need to sit down one of these days and get them all written up, if only for my own sake.

I've been fighting a cold this week, so the only thing that really sounded good was soup. I pulled some turkey broth out of the freezer, and I was just going to heat that up and drink it. But then I kept thinking of vegetables that would be good, so I just kept adding. Of course, feel free to add more or less or even omit a vegetable if you don't have it on hand. This is just what I did. This time.

Easy Vegetable Soup

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cups turkey (or chicken) broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
  1. Heat olive oil in 2-quart saucepan. Chop onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and cabbage, adding them to the pan as you go. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften; add garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until flavors are blended and vegetables are cooked. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy.

18.366:  Aisle of DelightOh, sure there are aisles full of canned soups in the grocery stores.  So many choices, and all you have to do is open the can and heat it up - but this isn't much harder than that, and it's much better because I know everything that went into it. It was exactly what I needed, and now that it's gone, I'm probably going to make another batch of it tomorrow.

Maybe I should add a jalapeno? That would certainly kick any last vestiges of this cold right outta there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Eggs Jeannette

Today I join Fantastical Food Fight, where every month a theme or ingredient is chosen, and we all choose a recipe - from a cookbook, blog, or our imaginations - and we all share.  Which recipe will come out on top?  It will be fun to find out!

This month's theme is Deviled Eggs.  Now, I've made a lot of deviled eggs in my life. We had chickens when I was growing up, so we always had plenty of eggs, and when we had a church potluck, I usually made some deviled eggs. Strangely enough, I never actually cared for deviled eggs all that much. I mean, they were OK, but nothing special. I wasn't even sure I was going to participate in this month's Fight, until I saw a segment on the Rachael Ray show where they made these eggs. I was definitely intrigued and knew I'd found the recipe.

Eggs Jeannette
Jacques Pepin’s Oeufs Jeannette as seen on the Rachael Ray Show

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 to 3 T milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • For the Dressing:
    * 2 to 3 T reserved egg stuffing (from above)
    * 4 T virgin olive oil
    * 1 T Dijon-style mustard
    * 2 to 3 T water
    * Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil; turn off heat, cover pan, and let sit for 13 minutes. (Optional - add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to water before covering.) Drain off the water; fill saucepan with cold water, and let the eggs cool until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.  Replace cold water as needed.
  2. Shell the eggs and split them lengthwise. Remove the yolks carefully, and mash them in a bowl with the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Add milk and mix until desired consistency. Spoon the mixture back into the hollows of the egg whites, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling to use in the dressing. 
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet and place the eggs stuffed-side down in the skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the eggs are beautifully browned on the stuffed side. Remove and arrange, stuffed-side up, on a platter or dish.
  4. For the dressing: Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk or a spoon until well-combined. Coat the warm eggs with the dressing, garnish with parsley if desired, and serve lukewarm

These aren't exactly potluck fare, but they were egg-cellent for lunch with a tossed salad.  I really enjoyed the simplicity of the filling - egg yolks, garlic, parsley, a little milk, and salt & pepper.  The flavor is really nice, and the creamy dressing adds just the right touch.

If they taste like this, I may just decide I like deviled eggs.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to use large eggs instead of jumbo, since that's what I had.  I just cooked a couple extra to have about the same amount of egg and yolk.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Easy Pepper Steak

The bell peppers in my garden did really well this year.  It's finally supposed to freeze tonight, so I pulled the rest of the peppers out of the garden this week.  So now I need to use peppers for everything!

So when I picked up some marked down steaks at the store - don't ask me what kind; I don't remember - I figured pepper steak would be just the thing.  Easy pepper steak is even better.

Easy Pepper Steak
adapted from Gimme Some Oven

  • Marinade:
    * 1/4 cup soy sauce
    * 1/3 cup water
    * 2 T  white wine vinegar
    * 1 T corn starch
    * 1/4 tsp. black pepper
    * 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 lb. thinly sliced steak, cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips
  • olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Mix all marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Add the sliced steak and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat large pan over medium high heat; add a little olive oil. Remove steak from the marinade with a slotted spoon (reserving the marinade) and saute about 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add onions, peppers, and garlic; saute until onions start to soften (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add reserved marinade and cook for a minute or two, until thickened.
  4. Serve immediately with rice.

This really is an easy recipe.  I changed it up a little and just cooked everything together.  Who has time for cooking the vegetables, removing them from the pan, and then cooking the meat - only to put everything back into the same pan in the end?  Not me!  OK, maybe it would make a difference, and maybe some day I'll try it just to see.  Maybe.

I will definitely be making this again.  Next time I think I'll add a few more veggies.  You can never have too many veggies!  I'd especially like to add a bit more color, but the peppers were what I had, and the peppers were all green.  Next time maybe some red.  And some carrots for the orange.  And... whatever veggies happen to be in the fridge.  Isn't that how it's supposed to work?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal!  Sadly, this is also also the final SRC reveal for Group A. The Secret Recipe Club is coming to an end.  Started back in April 2011, SRC and has had a wonderful five and a half year run and connected hundreds of bloggers throughout the world with our love of food and support of our fellow bloggers. My first SRC post was in February 2013, and I've loved all the new bloggers I've met and recipes I've tried. I know we're all going to miss it.

My final secret blog assignment is Mother Would Know with the tag-line Home Cooking Beats Take-Out - which I whole-heartedly agree with.  Written by Laura, it's a great blog full of mouth-watering recipes and helpful kitchen tips.  While Laura has no 'real' cooking credentials, she began cooking in college, and she's got plenty of experience in the kitchen. She's always willing to offer help and advice - the kind of cooking questions you would love to ask your mother, but these answers come from a guaranteed 'no nagging zone' where you won't be asked about your love life or your job prospects.  So, like Laura says -'whether you already cook reasonably well, have a few simple meals you can prepare or just have the feeling that you had better learn how to cook before your take-out bill ruins your credit rating' - Mother Would Know is the place for you.  (for the record, my daughter uses my blog as her cookbook, and both my kids call me with their cooking questions, but not everyone can do that, so it's great that Laura offers such help)

I browsed through Laura's blog and find several recipes I definitely want to try. Sweet & Sour Brisket, Rhubarb, Apple, Pear Crisp, and Java Chip Ice Cream were just a few of them.

I wish more of the chocolate chips showed in this piece, but believe me,
they were there.  This cake has long since been devoured!
When I saw this apple cake recipe I knew I had to try it - just a touch of sweetness, studded with apple chunks and chocolate - why have I never thought to use chocolate chips in apple cake?  I also really want to try this Bundt Pan Apple Cake Laura mentions in the post, but first, the Apple Chocolate Chip Cake.

Apple Chocolate Chip Cake
from Mother Would Know

  • 4 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Cut the apples and mix them with the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl; let them stand for at least 15 minutes, giving the apple chunks time to absorb the sugar.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix (or whisk) together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. After the 15 minute 'rest' for the apple/sugar mixture, lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the oil and eggs to the apples. (I used the glass measuring cup I measured my apples in to beat the eggs - using the whisk I mixed my flour with - and to measure the oil)
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the apple, sugar, oil and egg mixture in 3 additions, mixing thoroughly after each addition. The batter will be very stiff. 
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and then spoon the batter into the greased baking pan. Even it out with the spatula or the back of the spoon.
  7. Bake approximately 40-45 minutes, until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

The only thing I changed about this recipe was to cut down the sugar from 1-1/2 cups to 1 cup, and to mix the cinnamon in with the apples and sugar instead of whisking it with the flour.  That last part probably didn't make a huge difference, but I think cutting the sugar down worked out really well because this cake was still plenty sweet.

My husband and I just had to try it the same day I made it.  It smelled so good!  And it was really good that first evening, but this cake gets even better after sitting overnight.  It's dense and moist, and absolutely delicious.  I took it to church to share on Sabbath, and we barely made it home with another piece for each of us.  Everyone seemed to really like it.  I will definitely be making this one again.  And again.

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