Chicken Lazone

This is one of those fabulous recipes that is so simple and easy to make, but tastes like you spent a long time on it. BONUS.

It originally comes, I’m told, from Brennan’s in New Orleans; I found it here on Food.com.

The sauce is rich and creamy without being complicated, and because I used chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts, this cooks up really quickly — perfect for a weeknight meal.  I used more cream than the original recipe called for because I wanted enough sauce for the pasta too; I also added some olive oil, and some cayenne pepper for a little kick.

Chicken Lazone

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Angel hair pasta

Instructions

  1. Get a large pot of water boiling for the pasta
  2. Combine spices and sprinkle over both sides of chicken tenders
  3. Heat olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in heavy pan until sizzling, then cook tenders till the pink is gone, about 4 minutes a side
  4. Add remaining butter and cream and simmer till sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes or so
  5. Cook pasta while sauce thickens, then serve chicken and sauce over pasta

Now here is my question: who is good at reheating cream sauce? Know any tricks? This is amazing the right out of the pan, but I have not yet learned how to reheat cream sauces without them separating and being weird. Who can school me?

Pepperoni sauce

So when I say pepperoni sauce you either immediately think of Top Chef or you think, “Wait, what?”

Michael Isabella made this during the 2011 season of Top Chef and I was fascinated by it.  How had this never been done before? It’s brilliant, and certainly never occurred to me to make it.

I’ve made some tweaks to it for us — we like a little more sweetness in our tomato-based sauces, and I also used bacon grease instead of olive oil — sticking with the pork theme, right? But I didn’t stray too far from the original.

This sauce is fantastic on a meatball sandwich, on pasta, or anything you’d use red sauce on. I definitely want to try it with pizza soon. Love it!

Pepperoni sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. or so bacon grease (or olive oil if that sounds better to you)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 6 ounces pepperoni, cut into thin slices (I used Boar’s Head)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat the bacon grease in a large, heavy pot till it’s nice and hot, then cook the onions over low to medium heat till they’re very soft — a good 15 minutes or so. If you’re worried about them burning you can add a few splashes of water to the pan to help with that
  2. When the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or so until they’re soft — keep an eye on them because they’re easier to burn
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 45 minutes, but longer won’t hurt anything
  4. Puree with a stick blender or in an actual blender till completely smooth, and enjoy!

I need more ways to incorporate this into my life. What would you use it on?

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Red and white pasta

I found this recipe on here via Pinterest. In fact, it’s all over Pinterest, as it should be! It’s great! I added some Italian sausage because we’re meat eaters around here, and I had some in the freezer anyway. This is great without being too spicy, and is so quick to throw together on a weeknight! I actually divided the mixture and froze half of it in a zip top bag — bonus, two meals for one prep! This is definitely worth adding to your rotation.

Red and white pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned and crumbled
  • 1 (15 oz.) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (24oz.) jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta for three minutes shorter than package al dente directions*; drain
  2. Stir Alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and cooked sausage together in a large bowl, then add cooked pasta and stir to coat
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×13 baking dish (I coated mine with olive oil for easier cleanup) and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes or until dish is bubbly; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted

Notes

For cooking the pasta, if the package says “cook for 12 minutes for al dente” then cook for 9 minutes; you’ll be baking it in the sauce, and mushy pasta is not your friend.

I’m never sure what to serve with pasta dishes besides the obvious garlic bread. What do y’all do? Would love your side dish suggestions!

Thai peanut noodles

This is, no kidding, Peanut’s new favorite lunch. And mine too! It’s one I found on Rumble in the Kitchen a while back, and I can’t believe how long it took me to try it! I’m on my third batch of it in as many weeks.

I doubled the spice level of mine because my heat tolerance is certifiable; otherwise I didn’t adapt it much. Any suggestions for other things to add to this to get some variety going?

Thai peanut noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 box spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste (this makes it SPICY; use more like 1/2 tsp. if you don’t want a lot of heat, or substitute with cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. While the pasta cooks, measure everything but the pasta water into a large serving bowl; mix till well combined (this will make a very thick sauce)
  3. When the pasta is done, add it along with 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the bowl and stir it all around till everything is well mixed and the noodles are coated
  4. Serve warm, or store in the fridge and eat it cold!

Notes

*That’s 128 grams of peanut butter, if you’re interested; scooping it into a bowl on a scale is easier than smooshing it into a measuring cup!

Add-in suggestions welcome! :)

Tex-Mex Stuffed Shell casserole

I’ve had this recipe bookmarked forever, and finally got to play around with it. And I’m so glad I did! Mine is, um, not photogenic. But it sure is tasty! It’s like Tex-Mex comfort food, which is exactly what sounds great to me this time of year. Well, really, any time of year, if we’re being honest here. It’s a nice departure from my standby of cultural divide casserole (have you weighed in?) which gets made a lot in winter weeknights.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Shell casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz box large pasta shells
  • 1 large (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can Ro-Tel
  • 4 Tbsp. (or one packet) taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Boil the pasta shells in well-salted water for about four minutes less than the time indicated on the box for al dente (mushy noodles = bad)
  3. Make the sauce by combining tomato sauce, Ro-Tel, taco seasoning, and black beans; heat to a low simmer in a saucepan
  4. Make the ground beef mixture by browning the beef, onion, and garlic together, then stirring in cumin, chili powder, and salt; turn off the heat and stir in the cream cheese
  5. Assemble the casserole by putting in a bottom layer of shells into a large baking dish, each shell stuffed with about a Tbsp. of the ground beef mixture (a small cookie scoop works great for this), follow with about half the tomato sauce mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat the layers, then cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until cheese is bubbly

I would love to hear what your cold-weather favorites are! What else should I try?

Cheeseburger macaroni

I found this recipe at KevinandAmanda.com and it is such a keeper! I’ve made it three times already, and it easily converts to a freezer meal — something I’ll be needing before too much longer with baby girl on the way. It’s got a little kick of spice to it without being overwhelming, and it’s just such a comfort food. It’s everything you wanted that supper-in-a-box to be. ;)

Cheeseburger macaroni

Ingredients

    • 1 lb lean hamburger meat
    • 1 pkg taco seasoning
    • 1 can Ro*tel
    • 2 cups beef broth or water
    • 1 cup elbow macaroni
For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the hamburger meat and drain off any grease, then stir in taco seasoning, Ro*tel, broth or water and macaroni. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium/low and cover; simmer for about 12 minutes or until macaroni is tender
  2. While it’s simmering, make the cheese sauce: in a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Cook while whisking for about five minutes until the roux turns light brown, then keep whisking while you pour in the milk and bring to a boil. Keep whisking (see a trend?) until the mixture is smooth and thick, then remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese till it’s completely melted in. Add in the salt and pepper, then pour over the hamburger mixture and stir it all together. Supper is served!

Notes

To make this a freezer meal let the macaroni cook for only about six minutes, but complete other steps as written. Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish then cover with a layer of plastic wrap then a layer of foil; when it’s cooled off, pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to heat it up, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes or so until heated through.