Chicken Georgia

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI've been making Paul Deen's Chicken Georgia recipe for several years now, and change it up with different cheeses depending on what's on hand which is usually Cheddar or Provalone.  A few times I've made it with goat cheese.

I've tweaked it a bit, as I use half oil and half butter when cooking, and never have shallots, so use onions.  I also add garlic because I simply love the flavor!

Watch for sales on boneless frozen bagged chicken breasts, and sometimes they can be huge, so cut in half for 4 or 5 oz. serving sizes. They defrost quickly in the microwave, if needed, but I usually take them out in the morning.

This recipe can be made in 40 minutes or less.  Add potatoes, or a veggie and salad for a delightful meal anytime or for guests.  The onions and mushrooms sweat, making a nice sauce for drizzling over chicken or potatoes.

Chicken Georgia
    Georgia Chicken, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
  • 2 Tabs. butter
  • 2 Tabs. of olive oil
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 4 to 5 oz. serving size
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, or use a 4 oz. can of sliced, drained
  • 2 Tabs. minced shallots, or thinly sliced onions
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 oz. grated mozzarella cheese, or cheese of choice
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppMelt butter and oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add mushrooms, garlic and shallots/onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, then set to side in the pan.  Add chicken and cook 10 minutes on each side, or until tender. 

Transfer chicken to platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with mushroom mixture. Let stand 5 minutes or until cheese melts.  Drizzle sauce over all. Extra gravy can be made with the pan drippings if desired and drizzled over all, or used with potatoes if they are served. Serves 4.

Estimated Cost: $3.00 or less; .75 cents a serving or less.

Herbs, Microwave Dry or Freeze

PhotobucketIt's growing or buying time for fresh herbs, then drying or freezing for future use.  I grow Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Chives, Fennel, and Parsley in tubs or pots.

In summer, Basil does well outside, but the rest of the year I keep a plant or two indoors near a window and snip for garnish on salads or to flavor recipes.

For a bulk quantity of Basil, I harvest and make a batch of pesto and freeze in mini-muffin or regular muffin tins, then store in a freezer bag.  

Oregano, wash and freeze
dried fennel
Dried Fennel
Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary grow well year round on the outside porch but need pruning or pinching back, so I harvest, wash, pat dry and store in freezer bags for use in soups, stews, and sauces.  They keep their color well, too.

For Fennel leafs, Parsley and Chives, I dry using the microwave.  Wash and pat dry herbs, place herbs between paper towels in batches and microwave on high for one to two minutes, checking for dryness after a minute, then adding 15 more seconds at a time, depending on the quantity and type of herb.  It never takes me more than two minutes.

It's done when you check its dry or brittle texture and feel no more moisture.

Oregano, also dried
Dried Chives

This method evaporates water in the herb, which dampens the towel then dries without over heating or cooking the herb. It quickly dries herbs compared to using an oven and herbs retain their color and flavor.

Store dried herbs in jars with lids and keep in a closed cabinet away from light.  They're perfect for recipes and garnishes.

Frozen Parsley
I've done Oregano both frozen and dried, but prefer frozen, and like Parsley both ways.
Dried Parsley
Dried Parsley


Chicken Casserole Supreme

A family favorite for over 40 years.  A Great Aunt gave me her handwritten recipe card at my bridal shower saying, " ... it was great for ladies luncheons," which she often attended. I simply love the taste and textures of combined ingredients, and make it anytime there's leftover chicken or turkey  

When taking to potlucks and yes, "ladies luncheons" or card parties,   I'm always asked for the recipe. For two of us, I half the recipe.

Chicken Casserole Supreme
2 cups sliced or diced cooked chicken or turkey
*1 can of cream of mushroom soup or a homemade white sauce like Alfredo Sauce
3/4 cups mayonnaise
3 to 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into large pieces
1 cup rice, cooked
1 tsp. grated onion
1 Tab. of lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tabs. melted butter
1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, mix chicken, soup and mayonnaise until smooth.  Cook raw rice and drain. Add cooked rice, lemon juice, onion, salt and eggs.  Stir lightly to combine.  Turn into a buttered  1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Mix cornflakes, almonds and butter.  Sprinkle over chicken mixture.  Bake uncovered at 375 for 25 minutes.  Canned mushrooms and/or peas can be added.

Serves 6 to 8.  *Note: I've used cream of celery soup, and different flavored white sauces, so be creative!

Estimated cost: $4.00 or less

Seafood Soup

Seafood Chowder photo 7A6AC6AD-37C7-410D-8FE2-DE985A68AA2F-1452-0000015AABA0183A_zps1a506269.jpgI adapted this recipe from a Food Network Show I saw four years ago. It took 1st place at a seafood cook-off. The original recipe calls for a banana which I've tried and it's great, but I don't always have them on hand, so it can be left out. You really don't taste the banana which is used to slightly thicken the soup.

My local grocer sells one pound bags of mixed frozen seafood pieces (mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, scallops) so I use that, otherwise use your own combination of canned or chopped seafood.

The flavors are a culinary delight.  If you want a thicker (chowder type broth) thicken with a rue of flour and broth or water.  I serve this as an appetizer soup before a meal, or as a whole meal with a salad and crusty bread.

Garlic Seafood Soup
Recipe adapted from Ginger Moreno, Rancho Palos Verdes
 photo E66872EC-1820-422E-A993-91417E36A85D-7169-000008307B92E044_zps885b21d0.jpg
1-1/2 pounds of mixed chopped seafood of choice, canned or frozen (clams, shrimp, mussels, fish, oysters,squid)
1/4 cup butter
2 Tabs. minced garlic
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 medium green pepper, finely diced
1 medium red pepper, finely diced
1 medium tomato, finely diced
1 cup clam broth
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tsps. cilantro, finely minced or parsley
2 tsps. finely minced jalapeno pepper, or more to taste
1 can chicken broth
2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Crusty bread, for serving

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, on medium high melt butter. Add garlic, onion,  peppers, and tomato. Saute until soft. Set aside.

In a 3-quart saucepan, add lime juice, chicken broth, clam juice, cilantro, jalapeno pepper. Cover pan and allow mixture to heat for 5 minutes.  Add vegetable mixture, stir to combine, making sure there is enough liquid, if not add more clam broth, then add seafood mixture, cover and cook for 7 minutes. Finally, add cream or coconut milk, stirring in and heating a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.  If desiring a thicker broth, add a mixture of flour and water. Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 8 to 10  one cup servings.

Estimated cost: $6.50 or less; .80 cents a serving or less.