Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: baked

Sausage & Chicken Bake

The other day I decided to switch up my Sausage and Potatoes dish with a new twist.  I had some boneless chicken breasts waiting to be used and thought about what I could make with them.

I threw them all together with the sausage, potatoes, onions, and then added some roasted red peppers to the mix.  The final result was something my family truly enjoyed and a definite keeper.

Here is how to make it.

SAUSAGE & CHICKEN BAKE:

  • 8 Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
  • 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 5 – 6 Red Potatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 – 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers, with the juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

 You will want to start the recipe a few hours before you are ready to bake it.  Overnight would work too. 

Begin cutting up the chicken breasts into equal bite size pieces.  Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Slice the roasted red peppers into strips and add this to the chicken.  To the chicken peppers, add olive oil, garlic, onion, basil and the roasted red peppers.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Leaving the skin on, cut each potato into equal size pieces and add to a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut each sausage link into 3 pieces and add it to the potatoes.  Dump in the entire contents of the chicken mixture to the potatoes and sausage and mix well. 

Add the entire mixture to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for one hour.  After an hour, turn the oven to 400 degrees and remove the foil.  Allow to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sausage browns somewhat. 

Once done, remove from oven and enjoy.  

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Chicken Cordon Bleu – Inside Out & Easy

I learned early on in my marriage that one of my husband’s favorite dishes was Chicken Cordon Bleu.  I also learned early on that it’s a pain in the neck to make.  Getting everything rolled up inside the chicken just perfectly, making sure to bread it fully so that everything doesn’t seep out.  After awhile I just didn’t make it anymore.

A few years ago I came up with the idea of making it easier.  I had boneless chicken breasts, swiss cheese and ham in the fridge and asked myself why it had to be “inside” the chicken instead of on top of the chicken.  So I made it that way, it took minutes to do and tasted just as good, if not better.  In fact the chicken being cooked in a thin layer made it not only easier but kept the chicken more moist.

Give this a try on a night when you are pressed for time and want something delicious but easy!

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU – INSIDE OUT!

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat and filet so that you end up with 8 pieces of chicken.
  • 8 Thin slices of deli ham. (I use Boar’s Head brand since I think it’s best)
  • 8 Slices Finlandia Swiss Cheese (or your favorite swiss cheese)
  • 1 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil for browning

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Set up your station to dip and coat your chicken breasts.  Add two eggs to a shallow pie pan and the milk.  Beat together until well blended.

Trim chicken breast of all fat, then filet so you have 8 pieces of chicken.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in the egg/milk mixture, than coat in the breadcrumbs.

In a large skillet heat a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Once hot, begin browning the coated chicken breasts.  Do this in batches of three or four at a time.  Once you have some nice browning happening, remove from the pan and place in a large casserole dish in a single layer.  I used a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

Place in a hot oven, uncovered, and allow to bake for 15 minutes, or until you are sure the chicken is fully cooked.  If the breasts are no more than 1″ thick you should be able to achieve this in 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place a piece of ham and top with a piece of swiss cheese.  Return to the oven uncovered and allow to bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi – Super Easy

This past Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a subscription to Cuisine at Home.  I fell in love with this magazine immediately because it’s nothing but recipes, they are simple and very often fast, and they show detailed step-by-step photos for each and every recipe. 

The last issue had a ton of great recipes in it, and this is just one of them.  I have to tell you that this is by far one of the fastest and simplest recipes I have made in a very long time.  A perfect choice if you are short on time but want something delicious.

I doubled the recipe since the original version was for two instead of the four I was going to be feeding that night.  I also made the recipe in one large casserole dish vs. the two small individual dishes the recipe called for.  Their presentation was more aesthetically appealing, but I was going for feeding a family and making something that tasted great. 

If you buy the shrimp that are already deveined and peeled you can save a ton of time as well. 

The official name of this recipe is shown below.  But to me, it’s just Shrimp Scampi – Super Easy!

Broiled Greek Scampi with Parmesan Crust:

Serves 2

Recipe from Cuisine at Home April 2010 issue

  • 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Dill
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Bread Crumbs (*See note)
  • 1 Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 10-12 Extra Large Shrimp, peeled, tails left on and deveined, about 8 oz.

Preheat broiler with oven rack 6-8 inches from the heating element.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper.  Let stand-off heat to steep.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, oregano and paprika in a small bowl; set aside.

Coast 2 6 oz. casserole dishes with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet.  Arrange shrimp evenly in each dish.  Divide butter mixture evenly between dishes and top with bread crumb mixture.

Broil until shrimp are cooked and bread crumbs are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Let cook 1 minute before serving.

I served this with some rice, but next time I plan on doubling the butter sauce and serving it over some linguine instead.

Some changes I made; I didn’t add the oregano because I’m not a big lover of oregano.  It’s a little over powering for my taste.  I also did not use fresh breadcrumbs.  I used 1/2 seasoned breadcrumbs and half Panco and I plan to use that the next time I make it as well.  It was a nice combination.

This is definitely a keeper.  Enjoy!

Creamy Crunchy Mac And Cheese

 

There is nothing better on a cold and wintery day than a classic comfort dish like Baked Mac and Cheese! 

To compensate for hubby’s unemployed (temporary) status, I took on some extra hours at work.  Normally I work the overnight shift, which I am still doing.  But I took on some extra evening hours from 3pm to 11:30 pm.  So for the next month that is going to drastically cut into my cooking time. 

Packed with that knowledge, this week I’ve planned a few make ahead meals I can throw together during the day and hubby can just heat up later.  Now my husband can cook.  No doubt about it!  But I know what it’s like trying to cook dinner during the “witching hour” of getting kids home from school, helping with homework, getting dinner on the table, baths, showers, bedtime stories, and into bed.  Not fun folks.  So I figured I would make life a little easier on him and try to have a few things he can just throw in the oven to re-heat, along with allowing for plenty of leftovers. 

Now I’m going to tell you something else.  My middle son HATES this macaroni and cheese.  He doesn’t just hate it, but he refuses to eat it.  And it’s not this recipe in particular…it’s ANY homemade Mac and Cheese.  See he’s freaky that way.  If it doesn’t come out of a blue box with an orange powdered cheese pouch, he won’t eat it.  The rest of us, however, devour it!

I was talking to a woman at work who said she adds potato chips to the top of her macaroni and cheese because she likes the crunch factor it adds.  The idea appealed to me and I told myself the next time I made this I was going to try it.  So of course, the day I decided to make this we had no potato chips in the house.  But…we did have…corn flakes.  I figured they were the next best thing.   I’m never making my Mac and Cheese without corn flakes again.  Unless I have potato chips in the house which I will use instead. 

Since I was unsure how much to add, I ended up adding a 1/2 cup of crushed corn flakes to the dish.  I’m upping it next time to 3/4 of a cup because I definitely wanted more crunch!

CRUNCHY CREAMY MAC AND CHEESE:

Serves 6 – 8

  • 1 Lb. Elbow Macaroni
  • 5 Cups Shredded Cheese (I used Cheddar this time) **See Note
  • 1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt (I used Lawry’s)
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon White Ground Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Flour
  • 2 Cups Warmed Milk (Whole or 2%)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Crushed Corn Flakes

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.  Just before the water starts to boil, begin making your cheese sauce in a separate pot.

In a Pyrex measuring cup, measure out 2 cups of milk and put in microwave on high.  Heat for four and a half minutes.  You want the milk warm and steamy but not boiling hot.

In the separate pot, throw in the butter and melt, watching the heat so it doesn’t burn.  Once melted, add in the 3 Tablespoons of flour and whisk together quickly.  You want to do this quickly so you end up with a nice smooth consistency, not lumpy and grainy.  As soon as the milk is heated, pour it into your butter and flour mixture and whisk until smooth.  Add in four cups of the shredded cheese and stir well until smooth.  Remove from heat and set to the side. 

Dump the macaroni into the boiling water and cook through until just “almost” done.  Mine took less than 6 minutes to reach this stage. Once done, strain the macaroni and add it to a large mixing bowl.  Immediately dump in all the dry ingredients EXCEPT the corn flakes, into the macaroni, and stir well.  Add the cheese sauce mix and stir until fully combined.

Pour this into your baking dish and top with the crushed cornflakes, followed by the reserved cup of shredded cheese.  Place into your hot oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until bubbly and the top has achieved a golden crust.

NOTE:  I buy and shred my cheese for this because I think it makes for a creamier sauce.  This time I used regular sharp cheddar, but in the past I have mixed it up using half cheddar and half Colby, or Monterey Jack.

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