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Creamy Ham Casserole

17 Jan

creamy ham casserole 1

It’s certainly not low-fat (lots of “cream” ingredients), nor is it a true favorite of Derek’s or mine, but it’s pretty good and is great for serving to little ones.  It is an especially good beginning finger food for eight month old Henry, just learning to feed himself.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces kluski noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked ham
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded colby jack cheese

Cook ham, pepper, onion and celery in oil in a large skillet over medium heat for five minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat; stir in soup, sour cream, and cooked pasta.  Spoon into a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

Cover and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered for five more minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

creamy ham casserole 2

Recipe by Southern Living: Easy Weeknight Favorites

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Sloppy Joe Loaf

17 Jan

sloppy joe loaf 1

Easy and tasty.  I like to drain the mixture before topping the loaf.  Nobody likes a soggy sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1 pound loaf Italian bread
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded nacho-and-taco cheese blend

Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until beef crumbles; drain and return to skillet.  Add tomatoes, brown sugar, and vinegar; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes.

Slice bread in half lengthwise; place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for 5 minutes or until toasted.  Spread bread halves with meat mixture, and top with cheese.  Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and loaf is thoroughly heated.  Cut each half into 3 pieces.

sloppy joe loaf 2

Recipe from Southern Living: Easy Weeknight Favorites

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Creamy Spinach Mushroom Orzo

10 Dec
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 4
I buy huge tubs of spinach at Sam’s and can never get through it fresh before it starts to get oh so slimy.  I’m always looking for ways, other than a basic sautee, to serve it, and found a winner here.  But don’t take my word for it.    IMG_8693-001
IMG_8695-001
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed well & chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook orzo according to package directions.  In a large skillet over med-high heat, cook garlic, onion & thyme in oil for about a minute.
Add mushrooms, cook about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to brown& their juices begin to run.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo
Sprinkle with flour& stir about one minute, then slowly begin to add the milk, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the spinach, basil, salt& pepper& cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 2
Serve sauce over pasta & grate fresh parmesan cheese over individual servings.
creamy spinach mushroom orzo 3
Recipe inspired by Moody on food.com
Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Fried Potato and Hamburger Skillet

16 Nov

About as basic as they come.  I almost hate to admit I had to find a recipe for this.  Be sure to cook the beef in the same skillet with the potatoes as it does improve the overall flavor of the dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 2-3 medium russet potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp or more salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Add diced potatoes and cook for twenty minutes or more, stirring once or twice, until potatoes are cooked through and golden brown.

Add ground beef, onion, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until juices run clear; drain off excess fat.  Serve hot.

 

Recipe inspired by Emily Elizabeth on food.com

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Cottage Pie

14 Nov

I’m not sure where this recipe came from but I know for a fact that the extra tablespoon of melted butter on top was MY idea.  It gets the potatoes to a nice golden, buttery brown.  You will want seconds.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut in half
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup canned beef gravy
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram

Cook potatoes in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to same saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons butter and mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl. Add beef, onion and garlic to same skillet and cook over medium-high heat until beef is brown, breaking up with spoon, about 8 minutes. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, gravy, parsley, carrot, Worcestershire and marjoram. Simmer 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon beef mixture into 8-inch square baking dish. Spoon mashed potatoes over; smooth top and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of melted butter. Bake until potatoes are heated through and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

9 Nov

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry rice
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2  pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 1  tablespoon Cajun seasoning, salt-free
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1  bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4  cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2  cup canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon black pepper

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While the rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning; toss to coat. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add the pepper, onion, green onions, and thyme; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in cooked rice, shrimp, tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Recipe by Southern Living

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce

3 Oct

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, a couple of sprigs, chopped or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, eyeball it
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, a couple turns of the pan
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a generous handful, or 1 tsp. dried

Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add orzo pasta. Cook to al dente.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the skillet to the heat, turn heat back a bit, and add the butter. Once the butter melts add the mushrooms and brown stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are brown season with salt and pepper then add the garlic, thyme and shallots. Cook stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes or until the shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in the stock, balsamic vinegar and the cream. Turn the heat up to high and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice the chicken on an angle. Add the parsley and the chicken back to the skillet to heat up, about 1 minute.

To serve, pile orzo on dinner plates and top with the sliced chicken and sauce.

Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

6 Sep

I transferred this recipe from our old website, knorrbuzz.  It’s old school Knorr fare.  I introduced my grandmother to it and she makes it a couple of times a month and takes it to many family reunions, where it always seems to be a hit.  I enjoy all the flavors, as well as the different textures;  the chewiness of the wild rice and the crunch of the water chestnuts.  I very often make it without the wild rice, using just basmati.  It’s good that way but we prefer it with the wild rice; it provides a depth of flavor.  My grandma suffers from celiac disease so she makes hers compatible with a gluten free diet.  The only change needed is substituting a gluten-free creamed soup for the cream of celery.

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz can green beans, drained
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 onion, diced and sauteed
  • 8 oz can chopped water chestnuts, drained
  • 4 oz jar pimientos
  • 10 3/4 oz can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • pinch salt

Preparation:

Cook rices according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 3-quart casserole dish.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Recipe inspired by Paula Deen.

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Beefy Spanish Rice

6 Aug

As many times as I have made this, I wondered why it hadn’t made it to this blog.  I generally have all the ingredients on hand and it’s a super easy, quick fix when I don’t know what to make.  I last made it with home-frozen tomatoes.  I typically squeeze as much juice out of them as I can before freezing and they were still way too juicy.  So, if you’re substituting fresh or frozen tomatoes, you’ll probably need to experiment on how much juice to drain from them.  We always scoop it up with tortilla chips.  And in case you care, I love any kind of olive, but Derek takes his without.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1 T instant minced onion
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup instant long-grain rice, uncooked
  • Garnish: pimiento-stuffed olives

Brown ground beef in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles.  Drain and return to skillet.  Add tomatoes, onion, chili powder, salt and pepper, stirring well.  Bring to a boil and add rice.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until rice is tender.  Garnish, if desired and serve with tortilla chips.

Picture by me, My Little Food Spot

Sweet and Sour Steak with Peppers

20 Jun

Don’t have much to say besides, yum.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb flank steak

Marinade:

  • 5 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T olive oil

Sauce:

  • 2 T ketchup
  • 1 T Worcesterhire sauce
  • 2 tsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Other:

  • 2 small tomatoes, peeled and wedged into six equal pieces
  • 2 bell peppers (colors of your choice), cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, cubed
  • 6 T oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • Electric wok

Cut the beef across the grain into 1-inch cubes. Add the marinade ingredients and marinate beef in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the beef is marinating combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.  Prepare the vegetables.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons oil.  When the oil is hot, add half the beef. Brown briefly, then stir-fry until the beef changes color and is nearly cooked through.  Remove from the wok and cook the remaining beef, adding more oil as needed.  Remove from wok.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to the wok.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onion.  Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).  Add the bell pepper.  Stir-fry for two minutes and add the tomato wedges.  Stir-fry until the vegetables are softened.  (Total cooking time is about 3-4 minutes).

Push the vegetables up to the side of the pan.  Add the sauce in the middle of the wok.  Heat briefly then add the beef back into the pan.  Mix everything together.  Taste and add extra sugar or soy sauce if desired.  Serve hot over rice.

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot