Osso Buco Chicken

I thought I remembered where I came across this Osso Buco Chicken recipe, but I don't. 

I do know that wherever I found it, it said that it came from one of the Cooking Light magazines. I thought it sounded wonderful, so of course I had to try it. 

And I was right.

The original recipe served the chicken with polenta, which sounded really good, but I didn't have any so I served mine over Cream Cheese Garlic Potatoes. 

I made regular mashed potatoes using some 2% condensed milk and about 1/4 cup of the Philly Cheese cooking creme (Savory Garlic flavor). A rather tasty shortcut.
I did go ahead and include the polenta recipe because, 
who doesn't need a good polenta recipe!

Doesn't this make you all warm inside? A nice plate of comfort!

 The only thing disappointing  about the meal was...I forgot the gremolata.

I know....the recipe even said "DO NOT LEAVE OFF THE GREMOLATA". 
Evidently it just puts it over the top delicious! 

I will be making it again.

Next time I think I'm gonna try the polenta, and of course.... not forget the gremolata!

Osso Buco Style Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
6 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup cubed carrot
3/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
5 cups chopped tomato (about 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked instant polenta
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Gruyère cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced

To prepare chicken, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and 2 garlic cloves. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomato, basil, and rosemary; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes.

Return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until tomato mixture thickens.

To prepare polenta, combine milk and broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; gradually add instant polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

To prepare gremolata, combine parsley, zest, and 1 garlic clove. 

Serve chicken mixture over polenta; sprinkle with gremolata.

Note: Chicken thighs stand in well for veal shanks in osso buco; their higher fat content, compared to other chicken parts, lets them hold up to long cooking or braising.


Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy Corn Topping

These enchiladas are so easy to make. 

The corn/parsley topping just gives them that extra special yum.

Add some delicious garnish and voila....a complete meal in a matter of minutes.

Turkey Enchiladas with Creamy Corn Topping

1 1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
1- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

 3/4 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup mild red salsa
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas, warmed or grilled
1 cup pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup sliced olives, optional

Place the topping ingredients in a food processor, cover and pulse until blended. Do not over pulse.

In a large skillet, cook the turkey, onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat, stir in salsa, cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

Spoon 1/3 cup turkey mixture down the center of each tortilla, top with two tablespoons cheese and a few olives (if using). Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan. Lay the tortillas so you have two rows of four tortillas, side by side. Spoon corn mixture over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover (sprinkle with more cheese if desired), and bake for additional 5-10 minutes longer until heated and top starts to brown.

Serves 4


Rice Stuffed Peppers

These turned out even better than I anticipated.

I love the fact that you don't have to use but a small amount of cheese like goat, feta and Swiss, to get HUGE flavor. I ended up using goat cheese and Swiss.

This recipe is so simple and uses few ingredients but has such a depth of flavor. Also, low in fat and calories which never hurts.

I actually prefer my stuffed peppers without meat, but if that's not you, try these Stuffed Peppers. They are delicious as well and have ground turkey in their filling.

Rice Stuffed Peppers

3 red, yellow or green peppers
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup diced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning  
15 ounces tomato sauce
1 oz goat cheese
2 oz baby Swiss, shredded
1 cup chunky mild salsa
1 1/2 cups hot cooked brown rice  

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Cook rice according to package instructions. I undercooked mine a bit so it still had some bite to it, which will mean all the water won’t be absorbed so I just used a slotted spoon or you could drain it. Start checking doneness about 10-15 minutes before actual cooking time.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise, splitting the stem in half too. (Makes for a nice presentation). Remove the seeds and white pithy insides.

Heat a skillet; add olive oil, onions, Italian seasoning and garlic; sauté until onions have softened. Stir in the tomato sauce, cooked rice, goat and Swiss cheese (I reserved a little Swiss for the top), and 1 cup salsa. Mix together until combined and cheese is melted.

Fill the peppers with the mixture. Top with reserved cheese and cook in a prepared baking dish or baking sheet for 35-40 minutes.


Spinach Portobello Pasta

This is such an easy meal. 

Even though it's meatless, it's really filling, and delicious. 
I think it would be great for lunch or supper. Or if you're like me...breakfast.

I whipped it up for lunch the other day and the whole family loved it.

First thing to do is get your mushrooms softening by adding boiling water. 
Save the liquid for the sauce. Very yummy.

Next, get your bacon browned. You'll need some of the grease to saute the onion in.

Saute the onion with garlic and pepper flakes.

Once the mushrooms are softened, add them along with

the cooked spaghetti noodles, spinach, nuts, reserved bacon, parmesan cheese and the mushroom soaking liquid, then give it a good toss. Oh, and I like to give it a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil because...because it makes it good. (I ended up adding over a 1/2 cup of pasta water to mine. Add enough so it isn't too dry.)

Serve with more parmesan cheese. 

It's just that easy!

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Spinach Portobello Pasta

1/2 oz dried Portobello mushrooms
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
4 slices bacon
Extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
4 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus
Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl cover the mushrooms with at least 2/3 cup of boiling water to soften. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for sauce.

Chop up bacon into small pieces and brown in a drizzle of olive oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour out all but about 3 tsp of the oil/grease and sauté onions, pepper flakes, if using, and just a pinch of salt and some pepper, until translucent. (Add VERY little salt at this point, you can adjust at the end.) Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. By now mushrooms should be softened. Remove with a slotted spoon, reserving water; add the mushrooms to the skillet.

Add cooked pasta (I added just under a pound), spinach, nuts, reserved bacon, parmesan cheese, reserved mushroom water and a good drizzle of olive oil  to the pan and toss. Add pasta water, as needed, to make a light sauce. I think I ended up adding ½ to ¾ cup. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with more parmesan on top.

Note:  To toast walnuts, just add them to a dry skillet and heat over med. heat, stirring occasionally until they're toasted. The nose knows!


Taco Soup

This is one of my favorite soups.

Easy to make, full of yummy veggys, huge flavor and low in fat.
What's not to like?

I know it's been really hot, especially here in Arkansas, and soup isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind, but, I was staring in the cabinet trying to figure out "what's for dinner" and noticed all the cans of beans I have. I mean, LOTS of beans, all kinds. I'm not sure if I thought there was going to be a shortage and stocked up or what. Anyway, the first thing that came to mind was "make taco soup". But then I thought, too hot, then I remembered the left over taco meat from the night before that I needed to use up, so THEN I thought,  it's never to hot for taco soup. And I was right!!! It was as good as ever, 112 degree temperature or not.

Since I had the meat already cooked, I sauteed my pepper, onion and garlic in a little bit of olive oil, then added the taco meat.

Next I  threw in the beans and corn.

Chopped my chilis (dont know whats up with the blurry pic), which I buy whole and chop myself because I hate the skin that shows up in the prechopped cans, and added them along with

the tomatoes, seasoning packets, water and chili powder.

Simmer for a few and you end up with something like this.

Doesn't this look great?

I like to eat mine with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, sometimes avocado,
and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


Taco Soup

2 lbs. grd beef or turkey
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lg bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 small can green chilis
1 can rotel
1-2 cups water
1 pkg each taco seasoning and ranch dressing
Chili powder

Brown meat, onion, bell pepper and garlic in a large pot. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, chilis, rotel, seasoning mixes, water and chili powder. Simmer 30 minutes.

Top with your favorite toppings and serve. (Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and a sqeeze of fresh lime juice are a  few of mine.)

Note: I like to use whole green chilis then chop them myself (can't stand the peel that is sometimes in the pre-chopped cans).