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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Santa Fe Chipotle Burger Recipe

 If you could use a little zip and zing in your life, I have a gift for you.

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She is spicy and zesty. She is sauce-y and sweet. She doesn’t care about long walks on the beach or sunsets. She wants to party and sit by the grill with an electric ice tea. She is the Sante Fe burger. You will love her.

Burger Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken or hamburger
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (AKA smoked chili peppers), drained & minced
  • Sea salt & pepper (don’t skimp)
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves

Remove excess sauce from adobe peppers and mince well. Then combine with the burger very well. Mix in salt & pepper as well. A large bowl and a latex glove is very handy for messy jobs like this one.

Shape into burgers and cook until middle of each burger reaches 160 degrees for hamburger and at least 165 degrees for chicken or turkey. If using ground chicken or turkey, drizzle pan or brush grill with olive oil first.


While waiting for burgers to cook, spread a little butter on both sides of each of the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. It’s smart to keep oven door a little bit open so that these are not forgotten and burned – not that I have ever done that or anything.

When burgers are fully cooked, place a piece of pepper jack cheese on each one and cook until melted. Drain excess grease.

Green Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 -4 ounce can mild green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Dash sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For a cool, refreshing sauce to balance out the heat of the chipotle peppers, we make mild green chili sauce.  Stir mild green chiles, minced garlic, cumin, lime juice into sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the hamburger buns are finished toasting, spread green chile sauce on each one. Add lettuce and some slices of sweet bell peppers for even more deliciousness.

You don’t meet a girl like this every day.

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Cinco de Mayo Fresh Fajita Pizza Recipe

This week I’ll be sharing some mix and match recipes.  We’ll put together recipes I’ve posted before that can be combined to make new, amazing fiestas. See what I did there?

Today’s mix & match:

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Pizza Crust + Fajita Chicken + Pico de Gallo = Cinco de Mayo Fresh Fajita Pizza

First, make a double batch of the pizza crust here. to fill a half sheet pan. I’ve used a round pizza pan that I bought at a garage sale in Montana about 10 years ago. One of those happy memories from when my kids were little. A fifty cent pizza pan can make one feel like one is winning the lottery. I bought two and won the lottery twice.

While the pizza dough is rising, you can prepare the fresh salsa. Stir and let it rest.  I replaced the cucumbers with tomatoes for this pizza.

You can find the fajita chicken here.

Bake the crust until light golden brown. I could just sit and eat this. By myself. While watching Celebrity Apprentice.

To prepare the “pizza sauce”, just add some salt & pepper to taste to about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of  Mexican crema.

Yeah. Like that.

To assemble the pizza layer as follows:

  • Mexican crema
  • Jack & white cheddar cheese, grated
  • Fajita chicken
  • Fresh pico de gallo (Give one last stir then use a draining spoon so that the excess juices can be discarded and won’t make your pizza soggy.)

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Such a lovely and easy combination to start the week. Mucho delicioso.

Handy tip: When printing recipes, choose the “remove images” option to save on ink.

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Chicken and Spinach Lasagna With White Wine Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Does the spinach get lost in the back of your refrigerator? Perhaps it’s time to just give in and make it cheesy and buttery and try for salads again next week. As we reach the final stretch of cozy dinners before we sit in the sun and eat strictly watermelon, we might as well do it up big.

Alfredo. Yeah, that big.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine (can be substituted with water and/or a little chicken broth if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Salt (Just lightly since parmesan cheese is salty)
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 -2 pounds shredded chicken breast
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt & pepper and fry in a bit of olive oil until almost fully cooked. Set aside.

In another pan, melt butter on medium heat.

Whisk in flour.

Continue to whisk and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in milk, cream and wine (or chicken broth).

Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

Coat a baking pan (9 x 13 or a bit larger) with non-stick spray. Scoop about one cup of the sauce and spread into bottom of the pan.  Place one layer of uncooked lasagna over the sauce. If you’re starting to feel guilty, there’s always whole-wheat lasagna.

Pour another cup of sauce over noodles then top with about 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach, a thin layer of 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and some shredded chicken. Keep layering the same way until the pan is almost full (should make about 3 layers). Top with the remaining sauce.

If you have leftover noodles, just save them for mini lasagnas later.

If you like, add the delicious drippings from the chicken pan too. Mmmmm.

Cover snuggly with foil and place into hot oven for 40 minutes.

Fo’ sizzle.

Tomorrow, watermelon.

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Gruyère Filled Meatballs with Red Wine Mushroom Gravy Recipe

What does one do after a television appearance? I suppose one blogs about meatballs. One can never go wrong with meatballs. Well, unless, you know, one is feeding vegans or something like that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey (or chicken or country sausage)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (divided)
  • 1 small container of fresh mushrooms (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Lemon pepper
  • House seasoning (Johnny’s or Lawry’s) – optional
  • Salt & pepper
  • 6 ounces of Gruyère cheese
  • 1 small package of croutons

Place turkey, hamburger, eggs, milk, Panko breadcrumbs, and seasonings in a large bowl. Set aside.

Dice onion & place all but about two tablespoons into the food processor.

Add all but a couple of tablespoons of mushrooms into food processor as well. Process on low until onions & mushrooms are ground together. Add to meatball mixture.

Combine meatball ingredients very well.

Place package of croutons into food processor and process until finely ground. Remove blade & set aside.

Cut Gruyère into small cubes. Preheat oven to 350F.

Create an assembly line: Meatball mixture then cheese then ground croutons then a baking sheet with edges sprayed with non-stick spray (for good measure) to bake the meatballs on.

And go…

While forming each meatball, place a piece of Gruyère in the middle. Roll meatball in the ground croutons and then place on baking sheet.

Shineeeey.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Cooking time varies depending on how large the meatballs are.

Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

Melt about 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Dice onion finely and place into hot pan. Cook onions until golden and somewhat see-thru. After onions are cooked, stir in diced mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook for about 4 minutes.

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour and stir together with the delicious butter, onions & mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes. This is called a roux. It won’t be pretty, it will look scruffy even but it will make an incredible gravy.

After flour is cooked, add about 1/2 cup of red wine and stir. Then quickly add  1-2  cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of milk and continue to stir. As the gravy comes to a boil, check the thickness and add water if needed.

Stir in about 3 tablespoons of beef base and continue to season to your liking with salt, pepper, and a house seasoning. Chopped fresh herb leaves such as rosemary, thyme and oregano can be nice as well. When the flavors are to your liking, pour gravy over meatballs.

Listen for the oooos and ahhhhs as you serve these savory bites of deliciousness to your guests.

These can also be served over potatoes or noodles for a lovely dinner. Simply replace the the red wine gravy with homemade spaghetti sauce for an Italian dinner. So many options.

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Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

As our family has steered farther and farther away from fast food, one of our favorite take-outs has become teriyaki chicken. If you’ve been to enough teriyaki restaurants or store delis, you know that not all teriyakis are created equal.

It’s such a treat to be able to create our favorite take-out at home.


Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, grated using micro grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated using micro grater
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Over medium heat, cook chicken in oil. Start with a hot pan. The key to perfect chicken is not to over-cook it but chicken can never be underdone. Chicken is done when the thickest part is 165 degrees and no less. A good meat thermometer is a must for a home cook.

While chicken is cooking, place the rest of the ingredients (except for the salt & pepper into a medium bowl or pitcher. Whisk well and set aside.

When chicken is done, cut it into bite-size pieces. Toss back into pan on medium heat again.

Immediately pour your sauce over the chicken and stir as it heats up. It will become thicker. Cook for about 5 minutes or until thick. Salt & pepper to your liking. If you like a bit of heat, toss in a few crushed red pepper flakes. Use sparingly as they are very spicy. My high school friend and I learned this years ago when we mistook them for bacon bits and piled them on our salads once at a salad bar. H-h-h-h-ot.

Serve with some steamy rice or simply in chilled lettuce for a healthy wrap. For a fun touch, find a food-safe container to press a serving of rice into and then turn upside-down on your plates. Ice cream scoops, cookie cutters, or a heart-shaped bowl are all fun options for shaping rice. Happy take-out to you. Only, you know, in.

How to Cook Rice

Rinse and then place 2 cups of rice into a saucepan with 4 cups of water & 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to lowest setting then cover with lid. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

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Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

9553edda49167640d33ffa27976bb2d9There are some recipes that we probably shouldn’t know how to make from scratch, like alfredo sauce. Alas, it is my joy to bring them to you even so.  You know, for special occasions.

I begged a restaurant waitress to ask the chef for this recipe and, somehow, I walked out with a list of ingredients and free access to make this buttery, cheesy calorie-loaded dish at home as soon… as soon as I figured out the chef’s technique and quantities.

Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my. Help me.


Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)

Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan on low heat. After it is melted, sprinkle in flour & whisk. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk.

Measure other ingredients so they are ready to go when the time is right. Blend milk, cream and cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth in blender.

Pour milk, cream & cream cheese mixture into pan while still whisking. Sauce will thicken within a few minutes of cooking.

Stir cheese & seasonings into sauce and allow to melt while whisking. Add white wine (optional).

Following instructions on package, cook fettuccine (or your favorite kind of pasta).

Drain pasta when cooked and toss with some olive oil and perhaps chopped parsley.

Place sauce over pasta and perhaps some grilled chicken breast and top with whatever you like such as sliced green onions, diced tomatoes or parsley  for a little dazzle of color.

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe

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It’s a snow day here in the Seattle area.

I’m thinking about hopping onto a sled later. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Or maybe I’ll open the B&B for snacks & coffee to the people waiting on the side of the freeway for Snoqualmie Pass to open. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Yeah, I’ll blog.


Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay or chicken broth (add more if sauce is too thick for your liking)
  • 1 can olives and olive juice, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped or sliced olives with juice and, if desired, add mushrooms.

The Noodles:

Follow time instructions on package to cook noodles and remember not to add the pasta until your water is boiling. Keep things interesting by using different kinds of noodles when you make spaghetti. Penne, linguine or Cellentani are all fun options. If you decide to mix them, be sure to pay close attention to the cooking times. Add longest cooking first then add the noodles with the lesser cooking time as you count down. After draining the water off the pasta, stir in a bit of olive oil for added flavor and to prevent your noodles from sticking together.

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 1/4 medium diced yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add diced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool onions.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in bowl.

Blend ingredients together until well combined.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread butter liberally onto bread.

Place in oven and keep oven door a wee bit open so you can keep an eye on your bread.

Remove from oven when golden brown and top is slightly crispy. Cut into slices for all to enjoy… except for the poor people sitting on the side of the freeway. In their cars. In the snow. I am a terrible person.

A terrible person who reeks of garlic and is enjoying her fireplace all to herself. Just for now.

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Tator Tot Casserole Recipe

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Once upon a time there was a little girl who adored church potlucks. She really couldn’t decide which she loved best, hugs from snuggly grandmas or their comforting dishes that sat upon the potluck table. One dish always stood out in the crowd, okay, maybe two. The first was a blackberry crumble. I… er… she was old enough to bake and wanted so badly to ask for the recipe but somehow it felt inappropriate to do so at a funeral.


The other was tator tot casserole. Although anyone can throw together some tots and cream of mystery soup, homemade is always the very best.

 Tator Tot Casserole Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • One 16 ounce package tator tots
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook onions in olive oil until golden brown (caramelized) then remove onions from pan and set aside.

Add and cook ground meat. Season with salt & pepper. I find ground turkey more flavorful than beef. Healthier too. We need all the health we can get because like I said, this dish is quite sinful.

Preheat oven to 350F.

If using ground beef, remove most of the excess grease, leaving a few tablespoons of it in the pan.

Sprinkle flour over meat & onions.

Stir flour into mixture and cook for about five minutes while continuing to stir so that flour cooks (otherwise your sauce will taste like raw flour).

After flour is cooked, add chicken (or beef) stock. Continue to stir over heat.  Over time, the sauce will thicken.

Add fresh or frozen peas & carrots to your liking. Celery or water chestnuts can add a nice crunch if you like. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite house seasonings (like Johnny’s, Spike or Lawry’s). Now is a great time to try your sauce for flavor & see if it needs anything. The meat is cooked, after all.

Fill bottom of dish with meat sauce. Place tator tots in an orderly fashion on top of sauce. I used two 8 inch pans (since I was taking one of them to a couple who is celebrating having their first baby) but this recipe works great for one 9 X 13 pan.

Bake about 20-30 minutes or until tator tots are golden brown & sauce is bubbly.

Do three hail Marys, take communion, complete one Zumba class and then add grated real cheddar cheese over tots.

Bake again until cheese is melted and bubbly and sign up to take Zumba class regularly.

Consider yourself snuggled by a grandma, then go eat an apple. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

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Individual Chicken Cottage Pies With Sage Recipe

There’s just something about meals that are served in individual servings that makes one feel special.

These individual buttery, sage chicken pies are a cozy treat that your family will appreciate after a long day of being lost in the crowds.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or ground beef)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or beef broth if making beef pies)
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 cup frozen peas & carrots

Cook onion in olive oil.

Cook until caramelized, then remove from pan & set aside.

Cook ground chicken in same pan. If cooking ground chicken, add a little olive oil. Add onions back into pan. Cook until done. If cooking ground beef, drain most of grease.

When done, you should have a few tablespoons of oil in the pan with meat.

Sprinkle flour over meat. Stir well.

Stir flour into meat and cook for a few minutes.

Pour in milk and continue to stir. Quickly add broth and continue to stir until it becomes thick like a gravy. You can use water in place of the broth but broth is tastier. Thickening could take up to five minutes depending on how high your heat is.

For a fancier cottage pie, replace one cup of broth with red wine.

Add sage, salt, pepper, and Better Than Bouillon. Stir in and allow to melt in completely.

Stir in peas & carrots.

For chosen container/s about 3/4ths full with gravy. These short jars took about 3/4 cup each – enough gravy for about 6 servings.

Using a decorating bag (or a Ziploc bag with a hole cut out of the corner), swirl mashed potatoes over the top of the gravy.

Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes and then broil until tops of pies are golden brown. When done, top with a little butter and freshly chopped chives or parsley.

Serve hot and in front of a cozy fireplace. With family. And play games. And talk about your day. And share smiles. The end.

 

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General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

General Tso’s Chicken. The same family favorite, only now you’re the chef.

General Tso's Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken Sauce

Place in blender and blend just until combined:

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger or about a tablespoon of freshly minced ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Set aside just for a moment.

Place into a medium-large saucepan on medium heat for a couple of minutes:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons crushed red peppers or a few dried whole red chili peppers (use more for spicier dish)

Gently whisk blended ingredients into a saucepan. Continue to whisk on medium heat for a couple of minutes until thickened. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Keep warm until ready to pour over fried tempura chicken.

Breaded Chicken

  • 4 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat canola oil for frying in a small deep fryer to 365-375°F. If you’d rather, you can heat it in a heavy duty pan and use a thermometer. While waiting for oil to heat up, cut chicken breast into long, thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick) then set aside. Thinner is better because they are able to fully cook during the frying process.

Food Safety Tip

Poultry must reach 165°F in the middle to be safe for eating. 

Place milk, 3 T. oil, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well. The mixture should be thick but nice & smooth. Allow tempura mixture to sit while oil finishes heating up.

When frying oil reaches at least 365°F, coat a piece of chicken with tempura mixture and carefully place in fryer. Repeat with one or two more pieces. Do not crowd fryer because if you do, your chicken sticks together during cooking or will cool down your oil too much. Consequently, oil that has cooled down too much will make for soggy breading rather than a lovely crunchy coating.

Cook chicken pieces for about 4 minutes. Use a utensil that’s safe in hot oil to move chicken pieces around a bit during the cooking process so they are cooked on all sides. The coating should be a beautiful golden brown and, most noteworthy, the chicken inside should be fully cooked.

Cooking Tip

If you discover your chicken pieces were too thick and didn’t reach 165°F in the middle, just turn on the oven and cook them at 350°F until they are fully done.

When removing from the deep fryer, place chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towels to drain the excess oil off.

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook chicken and stir into General Tso’s sauce. 

 

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016