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: onion

Mussels In Spicy Tomato Sauce

I’m going to share something weird about myself with you today.  There are many weird things about myself, so this is really just one of them. I hate clams.  Don’t even eat an oyster in front of me.  Blech!

But, I LOVE mussels, and this is my most favorite way to eat them.  Simmered in some butter, wine and garlic isn’t bad either, but in a spicy tomato sauce will always be my first choice.

We made a large bowl of these and sat out on the deck just picking them clean. Delish!

MUSSELS IN SPICY TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 2 lbs. Cleaned Live Mussels **See below how to clean mussels
  • 1 – 24 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 10 – 12 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt, to taste

Begin the tomato sauce in a large skillet.  Add the oil, onion and garlic and sauté until just before the garlic begins to brown.

Add the wine and mix well, scraping up the bottom of the pan. 

Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt to taste.  Stir well, place on simmer and cover, stirring occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the sauce.

Go through the bag of mussels and discard any mussels that have cracked and broken shells.  If you have any mussels that are slightly open, don’t discard them right away by assuming they are dead.  Tap the mussel several times.  If it’s still alive it will close immediately.  If it doesn’t close after a few taps, discard the mussel since it’s no longer alive.

In a large bowl filled with cold water (I actually use 1/2 of my double-sided sink), cover the mussels with cold water and allow to soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain the mussels and remove the beards. The beard is a tough stringy substance stuck on the outside of some of the mussels. Grasp the edge of the beard and pull down firmly towards the hinge of the mussel and remove.

Scrub the outside of each mussel with a hard brush to remove any debris or barnacles on the outside of each shell.  Place in a colander and give them a final rinse under cold water and set to the side for a few minutes.

Add your fresh basil to the tomato sauce, stir well, and prepare to add your mussels.  Add all the mussels to the tomato sauce, stir gently and cover immediately.  Keep covered for 3 minutes.  Remove the cover, give another gentle stir, cover and allow to cook for an extra 3 to 4 minutes.  You don’t want to over cook these for any longer than a total of 7 minutes or the muscles will turn tough and chewy. 

Once done, remove any mussels that did not open and discard.  Take the remaining mussels and gently spoon them into a large dish and cover with sauce.  Serve with some sliced lemon for squeezing, sit back and enjoy.

Make sure to use that crusty Italian bread to soak up all that delicious sauce.

You could always serve these over some cooked spaghetti, but I prefer them just the way they are.

  

Chicken & Rice

 

I have made and eaten a number of different versions of Chicken and Rice.  Some I’ve loved and some I’ve never made again. 

After trying so many different versions of this dish, I finally came up with a version of my own that I fell in love with and that my family enjoys as well.   It’s a perfect dish to throw together when you are pressed for time, and is versatile enough that you can add anything else to it you may like.  I’ve made it in both the oven as a casserole and in a slow cooker.  Both turn out a great result.

CHICKEN & RICE:

  • 3 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed.
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Uncooked White Rice (not instant)
  • 2 – 14.5 oz. Cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 – 7 oz. Can Chopped Green Chilis
  • 3 Tbsp. Goya Sofrito (tomato based cooking sauce found in the ethnic food section)
  • 2 packets Goya Sazon (I use the one in the orange & yellow box)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cut up chicken and place in a large bowl.  Add all dry ingredients, including 1 packet of the Goya Sazon to the chicken and stir well.  Transfer to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight.

When ready to assemble, remove chicken from the refrigerator.  In a large sauté pan, add the butter and allow to melt.  Add the chicken to the pan and allow to brown for a few minutes, stirring often so chicken does not burn.  Once done, remove chicken to a clean and large mixing bowl. 

Add olive oil to the sauté pan along with the onion and garlic.  Saute just until translucent. 

Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chilis, chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro, rice and the second packet of Goya Sazon to the bowl.  Stir together well.

If you are planning to cook this in the oven, add the mixture to a 13″ x 9″ greased baking dish.  I just spray the baking dish with some butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.

If you prefer to make this in the slow cooker, follow the above instructions and add this to your slow cooker, set on low.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the rice is tender.

Serve up and enjoy!

I shared this recipe in the Saturday Swap over at Kim’s blog, Quit Eating Out

  

Shrimp & Macaroni Salad

This is my all time favorite macaroni salad, and my family would agree with me.  It’s simple and easy to throw together and I make it often in the warm weather months.

The shrimp I use in this dish are the “tiny” version found in a can.  Before you cover your eyes and run away from that idea I promise you they work and they work well.  I’ve tried it with fresh shrimp and frozen tiny shrimp and just was not happy with the results.  The canned “tiny” version is what works best and I’ve never had anyone who has tried it tell me they didn’t love this salad.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

SHRIMP & MACARONI SALAD:

  • 8 oz. Elbow Macaroni (or any small pasta)
  • 2 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Cans “Tiny” Shrimp, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup Mayonnaise (Use the good stuff!)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the macaroni.  Cook until just done.  When done, drain and rinse with cool water and set to the side.

Dice the celery and the onion and grate the carrot and set to the side.

Drain and rinse the shrimp and set to the side.

In a large bowl add the macaroni, celery, onion, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic powder and the grated carrot.  Mix well and add more mayonnaise if needed.  Once mixed, add the two cans of shrimp and fold in.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. 

Stir well before serving and enjoy!

 

Beef Barley Soup

Do you love soup as much as I do?  I could eat soup three times a day, everyday for a month and never be sick of it.

My husband has another opinion.  He likes soup, but for him it’s a lunch item accompanied by a sandwich.  For me, it’s a meal.  For my children it means grilled cheese, because soup for dinner has to be shared with grilled cheese sandwiches or they won’t eat it.  My family is fickle and they make me crazy sometimes.

If you checked out my Smothered Roast Beef recipe from the other day, I hinted that the leftovers from that dish would be used in another recipe.  This is that recipe. 

And before any of you balk at this I’m going to tell you upfront that some of the gravy from that roast beef is used as the base of this soup.  Don’t go thinking that is weird, gravy in soup, because if you remember that gravy was made with a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.  So really, it’s only fitting for it to be in this soup.  And it works.  Very well, I might add.

I make this in the slow cooker and it works out perfectly fine.

BEEF BARLEY SOUP:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Leftover Roast Beef
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup Leftover Gravy
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Stalk Celery, diced
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3/4 Cup Small Pearl Barley
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in the slower cook leaving out the barley.

Stir well, season accordingly, cover and set to low.  Allow to cook on low for 4 hours.  At the end of 4 hours, stir in the barley and cover.  Allow to continue cooking for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until barley is tender.

Serve up with some grilled cheese. 

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken With Broccoli

I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and realized as I was making it that it was no longer going to really resemble the original recipe at all.  I think the original recipe was a good foundation for this dish, but it needed more.  A lot more. 

All three of my children have always loved broccoli.  Over the past year my 8-year-old decided he hated it and his 4-year-old sister decided to agree.  My oldest still eats it.  My husband will not even look at broccoli let alone eat it, so I was hesitant to add it to this dish in fear that nobody would touch it.

I ended up being pleasantly surprised.  My husband didn’t come near it, which was no surprise, but my youngest son liked it and my daughter ate two helpings of it, asking for more broccoli than chicken.  Go figure.

The original recipe called for frozen broccoli, but I opted to use fresh instead and I think I made the right choice.

I would definitely make this again, but it needs some serious color.  The lack of color from the sauce, pasta and chicken, with only with the green of the broccoli doesn’t make it aesthetically pleasing to look at.  Tastes good, but it needs a little color.  The next time I make this I plan on adding a small jar of drained and chopped pimento.  I have a feeling that will fit in perfectly here!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI

  • 4 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Packet Good Seasons DRY Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
  • 1 8 0z. Brick of Cream Cheese (I used Neuchâtel for a lower fat content)
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Mrs. Dash Original Salt Free Blend
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Small Jar Chopped Pimento, drained. (I didn’t add this to this version I made but plan to in the next one) *optional
  • 2 Cups Fresh Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
  • 1 Can Campbells Health Request Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Pound Penne Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

Add the chicken, olive oil, italian dressing mix and the Mrs. Dash and set to high.

In a skillet set to medium, add the butter.  Once hot, add the onions and sauté until soft.  

Once the onions are soft, add the can of soup, sour cream, cream cheese, chicken broth, nutmeg, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir well with a whisk.  Allow the mixture to come to a low simmer.  Once this is achieved, pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and stir well to combine.  Cover and allow to cook on high for one hour.

After one hour, turn the slow cooker to low and allow to continue cooking for another two hours.  At the end of the two hours, add in the broccoli florets and the drained pimento, if using.  Stir again to combine, cover and allow to cook on low for an additional hour.

Just before done, cook the pasta in a large pot of well salted water.  Once aldente, drain and add to a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well.  Serve immediately with some additional grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: