Staying Home and Chicken Etouffee’

I hope during these trying times you are all staying safe and remaining at home as much as possible. The virus here in the Northeast is at tremendous levels. My heart goes out to everyone during this awful pandemic and hope we reach an end soon. Prayers for all of those who are caring and serving the community in what ever capacity they are greatly needed. The healthcare workers are going above and beyond and deserving of our love and support, so I just want to put a huge Thank You out to all of them.

So while we are at home I was going through my old recipes and decided to try something I hadn’t made in quite a while. I had only made a version of Shrimp Etouffee so this time I decided to use boneless chicken thigh meat instead and use what I had available in my fridge and cupboard. I only had half a red pepper and a whole yellow pepper but it turned out fine. So if you are in the mood for a big flavors kind of dinner give this one a try.

Chicken Etouffee

Chicken Etouffee

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or Cajun Seasoning (You can adjust depending on the heat level you prefer)

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 (16 ounce) package skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or skinless boneless chicken thigh meat, cubed

1 large (or 2 small) green or red bell peppers, chopped (I like to mix colored peppers depending what I have on hand)

1 large onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 clove garlic, minced 

2-3 tablespoons butter, as needed (See the Directions)

1 (14.5 oz.) can Stewed Tomatoes with Onion, Celery & Green Peppers

1 cup chicken broth, to cover

3 cups cooked rice for serving

Directions

1. Whisk flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.

2. Place a large skillet on the stove and set to medium heat and melt 1/4 cup butter with the olive oil.

Dredge cubed chicken in the seasoned flour and fry in the hot butter and oil until golden brown and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.

Remove chicken, leaving butter mixture in skillet. Reduce the heat to low.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet if the skillet seems dry from frying the chicken and add 1 tablespoon leftover seasoned flour into pan drippings in skillet; cook and stir until the mixture forms a paste/roux and cook to a dark caramel color, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

Add bell pepper, onion, celery, garlic, and 2 tablespoons butter to flour paste and toss to coat vegetables with butter and browned flour mixture. Cook and stir until vegetables are soft, about another 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the can of stewed tomatoes and breaking up any large pieces. Then pour in enough chicken broth to cover vegetables, and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the cooked chicken to the skillet and cook until flavors are combined, about 10 more minutes.

Serve with cooked rice.

Stay Strong

Stay Healthy

Stay Positive

Stay at Home

Thank you for visiting!
Please share this site with your family and friends and ask them to join Sundays in a Small Kitchen to see what my next cooking adventure will be. I hope my recipes will inspire you to get take some time to cook in your kitchen no matter what size your kitchen is.
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Escarole & Bean Soup to Perk You Up

The weather has been pretty gray and rainy here lately and being many of us are remaining indoors to help flatten the curve it’s a good time to make a pot of soup. I’m from the “old school of thought” that a bowl of soup will make you feel so much better whether you are ill with a cold, just feeling a bit glum or maybe chilly from the cold weather. Soups are one of my favorite meals to prepare. Depending on your mood you can make them from scratch if you want homemade stock or you can buy broth already prepared. You can make a very hearty soup or one that is light and still flavorful and satisfying. So why not give making soups a try. Soups can be easy on the budget too.

Escarole and Bean Soup

Ingredients:
3-4 Tbsp. of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of a soup pot)
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 heads of escarole- Cut off the base, spread the leave and wash in a colander very well, rinse them a few times, drain, you can blot the water with a paper towel and chop into bite size pieces
2 (14 oz.) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed- divided: 1 ½ cans whole,
½ can mashed (a potato masher works great for this)
8 cups of chicken broth (or 2-32 oz cans)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Parmesan
Rustic crusty bread – sliced

Directions:
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the soup pot
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes plus a pinch of salt and sauté for a minute or two, be careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the chopped escarole and stir to coat with the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the escarole begins to wilt. Add a pinch of salt.
Stir in the beans (1 ½ cans whole and ½ can mashed)
Lower the heat, and add the chicken broth and tomato sauce
Add salt, pepper to taste.
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes

Serve with grated parmesan cheese (optional).

Serve soup with a slice of warm rustic crusty bread topped with butter or melted cheese.

Giving Thanks – Holiday Sausage Stuffing

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” “If the only prayer you said in your life was ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.” “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.

I love this season, from the crispness of the Fall air to the Halloween decorating that brings us joy when we get to entertain the neighborhood children. The fun we have getting together with our family for Thanksgiving dinner and just sharing conversation and catching up over a wonderful meal. Autumn reminds me to remember to be thankful for our backyard garden and how we enjoyed the vegetables Mother Nature’s earth allowed us to grow through the Summer, no matter how large or small the garden was that year. For those who take the time to read my musings let us remember to be thankful for our kitchens where we get to make our favorite baked goods and meals for ourselves and our loved ones every season of the year.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I love all the many dishes that are prepared for the Thanksgiving family dinner but the one thing my family loves is the sausage stuffing I have been making for years. My mother made a similar stuffing (or dressing as some prefer to call it) but when I had my own kitchen I changed it up a bit and this is the recipe I have stuck to. Whether it’s used in the bird or not it tastes great either way.

Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

2 lb of Day Old Bread, cubed (weight is approximate) Several days before I try and bake a large size loaf of Brioche bread and use that but you can use your favorite store bought bread cubes which is about 1 large bag of bread cubes.

2 Medium size Onions, diced

4 Stalks of Celery, chopped I like to include the tops of the celery too)

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (optional)

Olive Oil

1/2 cup of Butter plus a bit more is needed for greasing the pan

1 lb of Italian Sausage, casings removed, crumbled up

4 Eggs, whisked

About 1 Quart of Chicken Stock

1 tsp of Poultry Seasoning

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup of chopped Parsley

1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice your bread into large cubes, toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and pop it in the oven for about an hour making sure to give it a toss every 20 minutes. Once the bread is toasted, increase the temperature to 375 degrees.

2) Start with a large pot as everything will get tossed in. First start to cook the crumbled sausage in a touch of olive oil until it begins to change color then add the diced onions, chopped celery and sliced mushrooms.

Add a pinch of salt and allow to cook on medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes the vegetables are soft and the sausage is golden and a bit crispy.

3) Stir in the poultry seasoning, cook it for about 30 seconds, then add the toasted bread cubes, then slowly start adding the chicken stock. Toss to mix and make sure you add more stock as needed, as it gets absorbed in the bread.

4) Stir in the whisked eggs and add the parsley, to the bread mixture in the pot. Put the entire mixture in a buttered casserole dish. (I like to use a 9″x13″). Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.

Thank you again for visiting!
Please share this site with your family and friends and ask them to join Sundays in a Small Kitchen to see what my next cooking adventure will be. I hope my recipes will inspire you to get take some time to cook in your kitchen no matter what size your kitchen is.
Please Like and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you and what see what you are making.

Pumpkin Season – Waffles and Pancakes

Pumpkin spice season has arrived!

I just love Autumn, it’s my favorite time of year. You still can get a mix of warm summer days and the nights are becoming much cooler. Then the closer we get to Halloween and then Thanksgiving the sweatshirts and hooded jackets start to come out of the closet here in the Northeast and the aroma of soups, stews and spices fill the kitchen once more. Pumpkin waffles and pumpkin pancakes are a favorite in our house for a relaxing Fall breakfast. The waffles are a little bit of work but the payoff is big in flavor and brings lots of smiles around the breakfast table. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

Homemade Pumpkins Waffles for my honey for Samhain brunch. The best pumpkin waffle recipe ever!

Pumpkin Waffles

INGREDIENTS

Makes 4 large round “Belgian” style waffles

• 1/4 cup light brown sugar
• 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
• 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 2 tsp. ginger
• 1/4 tsp. cloves
• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg*
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
• 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm
*Grated and lightly packed into the spoon, use 1/2 tsp.  If you use pre-grated, dried nutmeg, use 1/4 tsp.

DIRECTIONS

1. Lightly oil the waffle iron with vegetable oil, and set it to the desired temperature.
2. Combine brown sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk together to break apart the cornstarch. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and whisk to blend.
3. Separate eggs: yolks go in a medium-sized bowl and whites get set aside in a smaller bowl.
4. Add pumpkin and milk to the egg yolks. Whisk to blend and set aside.
5. Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form – about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Set aside.
6. Pour melted butter into the yolk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, whisk to combine.
7. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix them together until just combined. A little lumpiness is fine. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added.
8. Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.
9. Once the waffle iron is heated, you’re ready to pour the batter! cook time is about 2-3 minutes for Belgian size waffles. Less if you are using a smaller waffle iron.

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

            Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe

These little beauties are a beautiful color and will keep you full for hours after eating just one serving.

16 min | 10 min prep

SERVES 4

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch clove
1 cup milk (can be any kind)
6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

1.Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and egg.
3. Fold mixture into dry ingredients.
4. Spray or grease a skillet and heat over medium heat: pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
5.Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with butter and syrup.
6.Makes about six 6-inch pancakes.

Chinese Eggplant and Chicken in Spicy Garlic Sauce made in the Instant Pot

I thought this week I would share one of my Instant Pot recipes. This is an easy dish to make, doesn’t take much time at all and tastes as good as if it were from your local Chinese take-out. I usually have my rice cooker set up and going as I prepare this dish so both are finished in about the same time but you can make the rice ahead of time.

Chinese eggplant and chicken

Instant Pot Spicy Eggplant & Chicken or Pork in Garlic Sauce

Servings: 4-6

A mildly spiced chicken or pork and eggplant in a savory garlic sauce

Ingredients

3-4 Chinese eggplant (depending on size) cut down the middle and quartered then into 2 inch long pieces

1 pound ground chicken or ground pork

1 tablespoon cooking oil

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 green onion, chopped

1/2 inch fresh ginger peeled and finely minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you prefer a spicier dish)

1/4 cup chicken broth

Sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce (you can also use oyster sauce if you prefer)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons corn starch

Cooked white or brown rice for serving

 Instructions

Mix in a bowl the sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and corn starch well and keep aside.

Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté mode and heat oil. Add garlic. ginger, green onion, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 secs.

Add chicken or pork, cook for 4 minutes breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth then stirring to making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and add the cut-up eggplant. Close the Instant Pot lid with pressure valve to sealing.

Set on Pressure Cook High for 2 min then do a Quick Release.

Open the Instant Pot and set to Sauté mode. Add the sauce and stir everything together. Adjust salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Bring to a gentle boil as you allow it to thicken and then turn off the Instant Pot.

Serve over white or brown rice.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls in a Skillet

Well, the temperatures have been a bit cooler here in the northeast so I’m looking forward to digging out some recipes and doing some cooking. As you know I’m not one to make many long involved complicated meals, I’ll leave those dishes to the experts. I like to think if you have a good recipe with a handful of ingredients, cooking can be a breeze. My version of unstuffed cabbage rolls made in a skillet is one of those types of dishes. You have all the flavor of the traditional recipe but takes considerably less time to prepare. I hope you will give it a try.

Skillet Unstuffed Cabbage1

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls in a Skillet

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 large Onion (diced)

1 Green or Red Bell pepper (diced)

2 cloves of Garlic (minced)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (or 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley)

1 Small Head of Cabbage (shredded or chopped)

2 cans (14.5 ounces) Diced Tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) Tomato sauce

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Cooked White or Brown Rice

  1. Heat a large, deep skillet or sauté pan (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil then add the ground beef. Break up the beef with a spoon and cook, stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the diced onion, green pepper, parsley, and garlic and continue cooking, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is translucent and the green pepper has just begun to soften.
  2. Add the chopped cabbage to the ground beef mixture along with the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, simmer about 15-20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. Adjust any salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
  4. Serve over cooked white or brown rice

 

skillet unstuffed cabbage 4

 

Thank you again for visiting.

Share this site with family and friends and ask them to join Sundays in a Small Kitchen to see what my next cooking adventure will be. I hope my recipes will inspire you to get take some time to cook in your kitchen no matter how small it may be.

Please Like and leave a comment, I would love to hear from you and what you are making.

Summer Seafood – Linguine & Clams

As Labor Day approaches there is still time left to enjoy the fruits of the sea here on the East Coast. By this time I had my fill of BBQ meals so I thought I would share one of our favorites when getting together with friends and family, Linguine & Clams. No matter what the season is this meal is good anytime.

It’s simple to make and feeds a crowd. A fresh loaf of Italian bread, a delicious green salad, some white wine, and Parmesan cheese and you have a Summer feast.

linguine and clams

Linguine with Clams

1 pound dried linguine

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

5 to 7 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed clean and sand purged

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup dry white wine (I prefer using Pinot Grigio when making seafood)

2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, zested, for garnish

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water.

Add linguine, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking together.

Cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. When almost smoking, add shallots and garlic and saute until soft and translucent,

about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the clams and wine. Cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until the clams have opened.

Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Whisk in butter to thicken sauce slightly.

Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water – this will remove the pasta’s natural starches.

Pour linguine into a large serving bowl or large platter – arrange clams over linguine and pour the sauce overall.

Garnish with remaining parsley and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Skillet Potatoes and Smoked Sausage

I prefer to cook at home as often as I can. We usually only eat out in restaurants or have Take-Out when we really need a night off or a date night. There are many easy to make recipes that only take about 30-45 mins from start to finish and when you think about it that much time will usually pass while driving to the place, waiting for a table or your order, then the drive back home.

One easy comfort food dinner we like is simple Skillet Potatoes and Smoked Sausage. This was a recipe that I grew up on. My mother would often use Italian sausage which I sometimes do as well. This recipe can be easily doubled.

If you give this a try I hope you enjoy it!

Skillet Potatoes and Smoked Sausage

Serves 2-4 depending on portion size

2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes…

14 oz. smoked sausage, thinly sliced (You can use Kielbasa, or links of Italian Sausage cooked whole then sliced.)

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 c. chopped bell pepper (red or green)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 c. chicken stock

1 1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper

1/4 tsp. dried parsley

2 tbsps. veg. Oil

In a large skillet heat oil…add in the smoked sausage and cook, turning often till browned on edges. Remove meat from skillet and add in the potatoes and cook over med. high heat till they begin to brown and become tender. Add in the Onions, Bell Pepper and Garlic cooking for about 5 minutes then add in the chicken stock and cover. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and check potatoes for doneness. Add the spices, stir and add in the smoked sausage.

skillet potatoes and Kielbasa

 

 

Thank you for visiting my blog I hope you will enjoy this dish.

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Easy Weeknight Chicken Croquettes with Gravy

I love to make a nice plump roasted chicken on a Sunday for dinner then I can have leftovers for another meal during the week. This past week I made a roasted chicken by just stuffing the cavity with a quartered lemon and a handful of rosemary from the garden, oh so flavorful. There was still plenty of chicken leftover for another meal so all I had to do was decide which recipe to make. I use this croquette recipe in several ways, it’s super easy for a weeknight dinner after a long workday. You can easily swap out the chicken for cooked salmon, tuna, ham, turkey or anything you like really, just adjust the portions of meat to stuffing to your liking.

IMG_2502

Easy Weeknight Chicken Croquettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Stove Top Stuffing (6 0z box)
  • Leftover roast chicken shredded approximately 3-4 cups, not tightly packed down
  • 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Grease a baking sheet and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Also, have an ice cream scoop handy.
  2. Pull and shred by hand the leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken
  3. Prepare the stuffing according to box directions
  4. Add the shredded chicken to the stuffing and add the beaten egg.
  5. Mix all the ingredients well
  6. Using the ice cream scoop portion out the croquettes on to the greased baking sheet. (The ice cream scoop I have makes 9 croquettes)
  7. Put into the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes
  8. While croquettes are baking prepare the chicken gravy.
  9. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Simple Chicken Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Poultry Seasoning

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Add flour and blend thoroughly.
  3. Slowly add in the broth, mixing with a whisk,
  4. Add salt, and pepper and Poultry Seasoning.
  5. Allow to simmer and continue to mix with the mix until mixture thickens.
  6. Serve!

I hope you will enjoy this dish and thank you for visiting my blog. Please Like and Comment, I love hearing from you. Also, share this site with family and friends and ask them to join Sundays in a Small Kitchen to see what my next cooking adventure will be.

 

A Dish from the Garden. Summer String Bean Salad with White Zinfandel Salad Dressing.

Since my husband retired last year he was looking forward to starting up a vegetable garden again. Really just the basics to pique his interest. Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, yellow wax beans, and string beans. The zucchini plants didn’t make it this year otherwise I’d be posting one of my many versions of zucchini bread. The herb garden did well with lots of fresh Basil, Parsley (flat and curly), Rosemary, Chives and some Oregano. I hope to expand it a bit more next year. This dish starts with great produce from the garden or your local vegetable stand. Here is my delicious Summer String Bean Salad with White Zinfandel Salad Dressing.

This recipe has no measurements. You can make as much as you need and season to taste. It’s a very flexible recipe.

IMG_2412

Summer Bean Salad

Fresh Blue Lake Green Beans, cook or steam but leave a bit firm.  (I used a combination of green beans and yellow wax bean this time)

Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half

Mozzarella cut into small bite-size cubes (You can also use Feta cheese or any semi-soft cheese to your liking cut into small bites)

Fresh garlic, grated fine on a Microplane. How much you use is up to your personal taste

Add your favorite herbs of choice. The dish in the photo has a chiffonade of some basil and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the bean salad with your favorite Oil & Vinegar dressing, or a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Here is one of my favorite ways to make salad dressing.

 

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White Zinfandel Salad Dressing

1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar (I used Colavita)

3 Tbsp. Water

1 pouch Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup White Zinfandel Wine

Pour Vinegar, Water, Olive oil and white zinfandel into a Salad Shaker. Then add contents of the Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix. Shake until well blended. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before using it.

I hope you will enjoy this dish and thank you for visiting my blog. Please share this site with family and friends.