Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cheesy Beef and Bow Ties

2 1/2 cups uncooked bow-tie pasta
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar-American cheese blend

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked. Drain.

Reserve 2 tablespoons onions for garnish; stir remaining onions, the soup and salsa into beef. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes.

Stir in cooked pasta; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cheese; cook just until melted. Sprinkle with reserved 2 tablespoons onions.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Margarita Chicken Pasta Salad

10 oz. (4 cups) uncooked rainbow rotini (spiral pasta)
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken strips for stir-frying
1 (1-oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 (11-oz.) can Green Giant Mexicorn Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed


1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons tequila, if desired
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 can(4.5-oz.) chopped green chiles

Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool.

Meanwhile, in resealable food storage plastic bag, combine chicken and taco seasoning mix; shake to coat. In large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook and stir 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink in center. Remove from heat.

In blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine all dressing ingredients. Blend 30 seconds or until well blended.

In large serving bowl, combine cooked rotini, corn, beans and dressing; toss to coat. Fold in cooked chicken. Serve warm or cold.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smothered Chicken and Gravy

1 cups uncooked regular long-grain brown rice
2 2/3 cups water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lb), skin removed
2 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 medium stalks)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Cook rice in 2 2/3 cups water as directed on package, omitting butter and salt; keep warm.

In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix flour, seasoned salt, thyme, paprika and pepper. Fill medium bowl with water. Dip chicken pieces in water; shake to remove excess water. Place half of chicken pieces at a time in bag with flour mixture; shake to coat all sides. Remove chicken; reserve remaining flour mixture in bag.

In deep 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

In same skillet, stir reserved flour mixture into drippings; cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is light brown. Stir in celery, bell pepper and onion. Cook 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in 2 cups hot water until well blended. Return chicken to skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest piece is cut to bone (170°F for breasts; 180°F for thighs and drumsticks). Serve over rice; sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cheesy Stuffed Cherry Peppers

8 pickled sweet red cherry peppers
1/3 cup soft cream cheese with pineapple (from 8-oz. tub)
3 tablespoons finely chopped dried beef
3 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or salad dressing
5 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce

Cut peppers in half vertically; remove seeds. Drain on paper towel.

In small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; mix well.

Spoon filling into pepper halves.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Szechuan Beef Fried Rice

1 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
1 lb. beef flank steak, cut into thin bite-sized strips
3/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup sliced green onions (1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces)
1/3 cup purchased Szechuan stir-fry sauce
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Cook rice in water as directed on package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef; cook and stir until browned.

Add peas and carrot; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in cooked rice, onions and stir-fry sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Beef and bacon stew

2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 lb beef stew meat
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 cup apple juice or beer

In 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until brown but not crisp. Add beef stew meat and onion; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned.

Into 1 1/2-quart slow cooker, spoon mixture; stir in carrots. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients; gently stir into mixture in slow cooker.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Penne Pasta with Spinich & Bacon

1 (12 ounce) package penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add the penne pasta, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Place bacon in the skillet, and cook until browned and crisp.

Add garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook until heated through.

Place the spinach into a colander, and drain the hot pasta over it so it is wilted. Transfer to a large serving bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil, and the bacon and tomato mixture.