Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens are the perfect dish to “Wow!” your guests. I particularly recommend them as an entree for a romantic dinner for two.  Cornish game hens are economical, easy to prepare and full of flavor, yet exotic enough to make any guest feel special. The orange glaze and lemon pepper add just the right amount of zing without becoming overpowering.

GM

ORANGE GLAZED CORNISH GAME HENS

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens (defrosted)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • lemon pepper blend

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash hens thoroughly, shake off excess water and place in a baking dish. Mix orange marmalade and orange juice in a small mixing bowl. Once the marmalade is blended smooth brush 1/2 of the mixture on each hen with a pastry brush. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper blend. Bake for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice, wild rice or potatoes.If desired, garnish with fresh orange slices.

Note:  If you are preparing more than two hens simply increase orange mixture by adding 1 tablespoon of orange juice and marmalade for each hen. If using fresh oranges, the zest adds a nice touch.

Pot Roast – Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Food

Pot roast was a family favorite when I was growing up, and I think just about every kid’s mom made pot roast. It’s simply one of those good old-fashioned American comfort foods. It requires very little prep time, and just about anyone, regardless of their cooking skill, can whip up a pot roast. Modern cooks have a few more options, such as using a crock pot instead of a roasting pan, and there are a few other variations you can use as well.

My mother never wrote down her pot roast recipe. Some dishes are so basic they really don’t require one. This is how I make a pot roast. No doubt it’s similar to the way the rest of you make your pot roast too.

I start by putting my roast in the roasting pan, and then adding chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes. (Red potatoes work very well). Then, depending on your preferences, you can add celery, shallots, corn, squash, or lima beans, whatever vegetable you like. One time I even tried adding broccoli. It tasted okay, but broccoli doesn’t always smell so nice when it’s cooking, and it left a strong odor in my kitchen. Season the mixture with season salt and pepper. You can also use celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley, whatever your favorite seasonings happen to be.

I prefer having my pot roast well done, so if I’m baking it in the oven I set the thermostat to 350 and roast it for about 15 minutes per pound.  However, I usually make my pot roast in the crock pot, so I’ll start it in the morning and cook it on low all day. Whichever method you choose, be sure to add about a half cup of water to your mixture before you begin roasting.  That way the roast will stay moist and not get too dry.

Here’s another tip: the leftover roast can be used to make tacos. Place it in an iron skillet, add a little water and some taco seasoning blend, and break up the meat with a spoon as it’s heating.

Enjoy.

GM

My Favorite Barbeque Chicken

Living in southern Arizona means the four seasons are a little different here. It’s well over 100 degrees here during the summer months, so summertime grilling is out of the question. Now that fall is in the air I can start grilling again, and my all time favorite dish is barbecue chicken.

One of my college art professors taught me how to make barbecue chicken, and I’ve been using his technique ever since. His secret was to parboil the chicken for about 20 minutes before grilling. (And while the water may not be a true chicken stock, your dog may love it poured over his dog food.)

Some people have gas grills, and they’re fine, but I prefer charcoal over gas. Charcoal gives the food a more smokey flavor, and there’s nothing more relaxing and stress relieving than sipping a glass of fine wine while watching the coals light.

Once the chicken has been properly boiled, and the coals have turned white, it’s time to put it on the grill. Put the lid down and let it cook a few minutes. Turn the chicken over, brush on the barbecue sauce, let it cook some more, and repeat, brushing a fresh coat of sauce each time the chicken is turned. By the way, there are a number of different barbecue sauces on the market. My personal favorites are KC Masterpiece, Bull’s Eye and Sweet Baby Ray’s. Once the sauce is glazed and the chicken is seared it’s time to take it off the grill. Now it’s time to gig in, but make sure you have plenty of extra napkins, because barbecue chicken is as messy as it is tasty.

Got charcoal?

GM

Creamy Slow Cooked Pork Chops

Photo by CanStockPhoto.com

No doubt Rosie would have loved to have had a crock pot in her day. Unfortunately, they didn’t exist at the time. In fact, I don’t recall my mother buying a crock pot until the early 1970s, and it was quite a novelty at the time. Pop something in, turn it on, go about your business, and by dinnertime, it’s done.

The other day someone posted a photo on Facebook about an easy way to prepare pork chops in the crock pot. I used to love bone in pork chops, but nowadays they are hard to find. My grocer doesn’t carry them, and the leaner, boneless pork chops are simply too dry for my taste, which means I rarely cook them anymore. That said, I thought I’d give this a try, so I added cream to mixture and gave it a shot. The results were surprisingly good.

Enjoy.

GM

 

CREAMY SLOW COOKED PORK CHOPS

  • 6 to 8 pork chops
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or milk
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix

Blend soup and half and half in a small mixing bowl. Set aside. Wash pork chops thoroughly and place half of them in the crock pot. Pour in half of the soup mixture. Stack remaining pork chops on top, and pour in remaining soup mixture. Top with ranch dressing mix. Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 4 to 6 hours. Serve over rice.

 

Chicken Scaloppine in White Wine Sauce

My favorite supermarket carries fresh, thinly sliced chicken breasts which always seem to be on sale. This is my favorite recipe once I get them home. It’s one I’ve tweaked and played with for so long it now truly is my own.

Enjoy.

GM

 

CHICKEN SCALOPPINE IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

  • 4 to 6 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar (approximately)
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked rice, wild rice, or noodles

Wash chicken breasts thoroughly, pat dry with paper towel. Melt butter in skillet and add olive oil. While oil is heating roll chicken breasts in flour until lightly coated. Place in hot oil and cook each side until it is a light, golden brown. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar over each chicken breast and add chicken broth, white cooking wine and salt, if desired. Heat until sauce mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Variation:  Use veal instead of chicken, and balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.

Rosie’s Recipe — Ham and Sweet Potatoes

I once had a friend who loved sweet potatoes. I mean seriously loved them. So much so that she would have done nothing short of grabbing a steak knife and telling you to back off if you get too close to her sweet potatoes. Now that’s a food devotion. However, she wasn’t much of a cook, and when I began testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I passed this one along to her as it’s easy to prepare, even for those who are, “kitchen challenged.” It’s also a nice dish for those who wax nostalgic for “holiday” meals over the course of the year.

Enjoy.

GM

HAM WITH SWEET POTATOES

1 ½ pounds sliced ham or shoulder
3 cups raw, sliced sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon margarine

Cut the ham or shoulder into pieces for serving. If the meat is very salty, parboil it in water and drain. Brown the meat lightly on both sides and arrange the pieces to cover the bottom of a baking dish. Spread the sliced sweet potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with sugar. Add hot water to melted margarine and pour over the sweet potatoes and meat. Cover the dish and bake slowly until the meat and sweet potatoes are tender, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally with the gravy. Toward the last, remove the lid and let the top brown well. Yields 6 servings.

Modern adaptation: Heat oven to 350°. Butter may be used instead of margarine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately one hour, basting the sweet potatoes occasionally as directed in the original recipe. After baking for one hour remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have browned. Turkey ham may also be used, and the sugar can be decreased to one teaspoon.

Rosie’s Recipe — Pigs in a Blanket

Some dishes are destined to become classics, and this is certainly one of them. I loved pigs in a blanket when I was a kid, and I still enjoy them as an adult. This historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is easy, timeless, and delicious. Try it with your favorite fixings, or top it with chili, cheese and chopped onions.

Enjoy.

GM

PIGS IN BLANKETS

8 – 10 wieners or frankfurters

Bisquick

Simmer wieners in hot water for 10 minutes. Make Bisquick biscuit dough from package. Roll thin—cut in squares. Wrap wieners or franks (having ends show). Seal side edge by pinching together. Bake 15 minutes in hot oven. (450º) Serves 8 – 10.

Rosie’s Recipe–Crown Roast of Back Ribs

The back rib. It’s the ugly cousin of the short rib, but with a little creativity you can make them delicious. I’ll admit this recipe seemed daunting at first, but then a friend told me you can attach the ribs together with wooden toothpicks or skewers instead of sewing them together. This made the dish much easier to prepare, and the results were positively yummy. This recipe is included in Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. Enjoy.

GM

CROWN ROAST OF BACK RIBS

1½ lbs. back ribs
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups soft bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasonings

Rub back ribs with salt. Mix remaining ingredients to form dressing. Sew ends of ribs together to resemble a crown. Place stuffing inside of ribs and bake in 350º F oven for 2-3 hours or until tender. Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation: Ribs can be tacked together with wooden toothpicks or toothpicks or skewers. (Do not use plastic.) After cooking, allow the ribs to rest before removing the toothpicks. Three slices of bread, with crusts removed and cut into cubes, can be also be used to make the dressing. You can also add chopped celery, nuts, or mushrooms.

Chicken Divan

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

I’m not a big fan of frozen dinners, but I do recall, back when I was in high school, my mother used to buy Stouffer’s Chicken Divan, and it was really good. In fact, it was awesome. I don’t know if they still make it or not, but I’ve tweaked a couple of Campbell’s Soup recipes to come up with my own version, and I think I’ve come pretty close. It’s easy to prepare, and tasty. And, best of all, it uses ingredients most of us probably already have. Enjoy.

GM

CHICKEN DIVAN

(inspired by Campbell’s Soup recipes)

  • 2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli (thawed)
  • 2 cups cooked noodles
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese blend
  • 1 small can fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bread crumbs

Chop broccoli, (if using fresh), and prepare noodles according to package directions. Clean chicken breasts thoroughly and cut into small cubes. Saute in a skillet until they are cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.

In a 2-quart casserole dish stir milk, melted butter, and cream of mushroom soup. Add pepper and canned mushrooms, if desired. Add broccoli, cooked noodles and cooked chicken, mix well. Top with generous layer of grated cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in 350°oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top layer is brown and sauce is bubbling.

Rosie’s Recipe–Hungarian Goulash and a Happy Accident

Sometimes good things can happen when we really don’t mean for them to happen, and where I come from, we call this a happy accident.

Back when I tested this historic recipe for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I of course started preparing it according to the original recipe. Tomatoes are an option, but I decided to use a canned of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. Popped open the can and dumped them in, only to discover that I’d added Italian style tomatoes instead of plain tomatoes. Well, no harm done. In fact, that extra flavor gave the recipe some added zing. So, even though it’s not listed as an “official” ingredient, try it with a can of Italian flavored tomatoes, or add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. You’ll love it.

Enjoy.

GM

HUNGARIAN GOULASH

  • 2 lbs beef chuck, neck or flank meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter, margarine or drippings
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon caraway seed (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Paprika

Cut meat into 1-inch cubes. Let onion brown in butter, then add meat and let it brown lightly. Add caraway seed, marjoram, salt, chopped garlic and enough paprika to create a noticeable red color. Add 1 cup water, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Add more water if necessary. Whole potatoes may be added to the goulash 1/2 hour before done. Some goulash recipes call for the addition of tomatoes. Strained tomatoes may be substituted for water in this recipe. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Beef or chicken broth can also be substituted for water.