What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Pinto Bean Cottage Ham Stew! Whenever I make a main course meat, I usually have enough excess to freeze a portion or two for recipes down the road. It keeps us from growing weary of eating the same thing over and over until it’s gone. This recipe is one of those “second meals” from the cottage ham dinner recently. It can easily be substituted with ham or completely omitted for a vegetarian meal. It’s nice to have options, isn’t it?
PINTO BEAN COTTAGE HAM STEW
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
6 mini carrots, sliced
15-ounce can pinto beans, with liquid
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water or broth from cottage ham*
1 cup cottage ham, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 bay leaves
In an iron skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, diced celery, and sliced carrots. Cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the pinto beans with liquid, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, liquid smoke, and black pepper. Stir. Slowly add water and cottage ham pieces. Stir to combine. Place the bay leaves on top. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover. Cook for 30 minutes. For a thicker stew, lightly mash some of the pinto beans. Remove bay leaves before serving.
*Broth was saved from the original preparation of the cottage ham.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Leftover Turkey Orzo Soup! You can always tell when I’m going down a road of mealtime shortcuts. It might be because I stayed up late the night before binge-watching Netflix, or I suddenly got a burst of energy to work in the outdoor herb garden instead. Life in the country is always filled with distractions, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean we sacrifice healthy meals for fast-food. Leftover turkey roast can be magically transformed into a bowl of hearty, delicious soup loaded with vegetables, orzo pasta, and earthy herbs. Be good to yourself. You’re worth it.
LEFTOVER TURKEY ORZO SOUP
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
6-7 mini carrots, sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo pasta
2 cups cooked leftover turkey, shredded
In a large deep skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté diced onion, chopped celery, and sliced carrots until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic powder, thyme, and oregano. Cook for one minute longer until fragrant. Stir occasionally. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add uncooked orzo pasta and shredded turkey. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover. Cook 15 minutes until orzo is tender. Remove from heat; stir. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Waste Not, Want Not: Jalapeño Celery Crack! I’m not ashamed to say I’ve found a new addiction. Hence the name. By the time I wrote this post, I had already made this recipe 3 times and shared it once with a close friend. Jalapeño Celery Crack has a spicy creaminess that screams, “just one more bite”. When I ran out of celery, I discovered it tastes amazing on tortilla corn chips. Sometimes you need an appetizer. Sometimes you want a snack. And sometimes making it part of a meal is justification enough. Perhaps you should try it. You know you want some.
JALAPEÑO CELERY CRACK
1 bunch of celery, cut into 4” pieces
8-ounce cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon parsley
2/3 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice
2 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cut celery into 4” pieces. Set aside.
Combine softened cream cheese and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth. Add sea salt, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and parsley. Mix thoroughly. Add chopped jalapeños, pickled jalapeño juice, and crumbled bacon. Stir well to blend. Refrigerate one hour. Arrange celery stalks on a platter. Fill with jalapeño mixture. Garnish with extra dill. Serve.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Something to Savor: Ham Salad Spread! Tired of ho-hum tuna salad or egg salad sandwiches? Think all-natural applewood smoked ham with no artificial ingredients. When you begin with quality, the results are astounding. Add sweet pickle relish, chopped celery, and fresh horseradish. The biggest challenge is deciding if you wish to smear it on rye bread, add a dollop over wheat crackers, or simply scoop it onto a Bibb lettuce leaf. Skip the Deli-made and crank out a batch at home. It’s easier than you think. In no time at all, you’ll have a party favorite or lunchtime energy boost.
HAM SALAD SPREAD
2 cups applewood smoked ham chunks
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
3 green onions, snipped
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Place ham chunks in a food processor. Pulse in batches until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Place celery in the food processor and Pulse until chopped. Add to bowl. Repeat with hard-boiled eggs. Add to bowl. Stir to mix. Add green onion snips, sweet pickle relish, horseradish, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Whole Roasted Chicken! Go nontraditional this Thanksgiving. Scale things back a bit for an intimate dinner for two. By choosing a free-range whole chicken for roasting, you still afford classic results in each juicy bite. Prepare this succulent bird in half the time. Then go crazy with your favorite sides.
WHOLE ROASTED CHICKEN
3-pound chicken, whole
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoon butter, sliced
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Place chicken in a shallow roasting pan. Season cavity with sliced butter. Insert rosemary sprigs. Generously sprinkle outside of bird with Herbs de Provence, onion powder, celery seed, sea salt, and black pepper. Brush skin with melted butter. Bake uncovered 1 1/2 hours. Skin will be golden and internal temperature should read 180°. Juices should run clear. Remove from heat. Baste with drippings. Cover. Let rest 20 minutes to allow juices to absorb before serving.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Narrow Noodle Harvest Soup! Comfort food. We nurture our bodies as well as our minds with childhood favorites that are food for the soul. Take advantage of the abundant supply of fresh vegetables right now for a health-conscious main course meal. I chose peas, carrots, and green beans to compliment the grilled chicken breast and Amish-made narrow noodles. When it’s all said and done, there’s “no place like home.”
NARROW NOODLE HARVEST SOUP
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup mixed vegetables
1/2 cup chicken, precooked and chopped
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Herb and Garlic seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 cup narrow home style noodles
2-3 sprigs fresh cilantro
In a heavy pan, combine onion, celery, mixed vegetables, chopped chicken, herb and Garlic seasoning, bay leaves, and white pepper. Bring to a boil. Add narrow noodles and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley flakes. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 35 minutes longer until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food for Sharing: Leeks and Wild Mushroom Stuffing! With the holiday season on the horizon, here’s a tasty side dish that is sure to please. If you have the time, I suggest substituting homemade breadcrumbs (which is about one loaf of day-old bread) for the stuffing mix. I split the difference and added homemade croutons on top of the casserole.
LEEKS AND WILD MUSHROOM STUFFING
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces shiitake wild
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
6 ounce box chicken stuffing
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a covered casserole dish. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the wild mushrooms and sauté until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Using the same pan, add one tablespoon olive oil. Sauté leeks and celery until translucent, approximately 7-8 minutes. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth, butter, and parsley flakes. Bring to a boil. Stir in contents of stuffing mix. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Fold in wild mushrooms, leeks, and celery. Stir until well combined. Transfer stuffing mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Bake covered for 20 minutes; remove lid and bake 20 minutes longer. Serve warm.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Timeless Classics: Stuffed Tomato Tuna Salad! Pat yourself on the back for choosing today’s recipe as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. For the weight-conscious, opt out for a lighter version of mayonnaise or substitute using plain Greek yogurt instead. The tomato contains a high water content, plus the fiber will provide a feeling of fullness. That being said, go stuff yourself. Permission granted.
STUFFED TOMATO TUNA SALAD
6 ounce can tuna in water, drained and flaked
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
2 tomatoes, cored
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
Fresh lemon tarragon
Romaine lettuce leaves
Chill two luncheon plates. Place flaked tuna in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Add mayonnaise, sea salt, celery seed, chopped celery, and dill pickle relish. Mix well. Chill. Cut tomatoes into 8 segments without slicing the bottom portion. Place one or two romaine lettuce leaves on a chilled plate. Transfer one tomato. Open it like a pinwheel. Spoon tuna salad into the tomato, filling it with half the portion. Garnish with walnuts, lemon tarragon, and a lemon slice. Repeat with second serving.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Be Our Guest: Cantaloupe Chicken Salad! Indiana Cantaloupe is a popular fruit these days. Some even dub it a “labor of love”. As a sweet and fragrant melon, it quickly becomes a perfect alternative to the summer watermelon. Wonderfully rich and appealing in color, the cantaloupe becomes an ideal serving vessel. One scoop and the seeds are gone. Fill half with a savory chicken salad and save the other for vanilla ice cream later on. Win, Win!
CANTALOUPE CHICKEN SALAD
1 cantaloupe, cut in half or quarters, seeds removed
10-ounce can premium chicken breast, chunk in water; drained
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
10 seedless green grapes, halved
1 tablespoon pecan pieces
1/8 teaspoon fresh Mexican tarragon, chopped
One cantaloupe serves four. Cut the cantaloupe in half; using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Tip to remove any juice. Slice each half into a quarter wedge. Place each wedge into a luncheon plate. Set aside. In a large bowl, add drained chicken chunks. Shred chunks slightly, using two forks. Sprinkle with celery seed. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Fold in green grapes and pecan pieces. Stir to blend together. Divide chicken salad equally over each cantaloupe wedge. Garnish with chopped tarragon. Serve.