Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Ham and Pea Pasta Salad

Here's a recipe I saw Miss Lori making on Whippoorwill Holler, (one of my favorite youtube channels.) Of course, I kind of tweaked the amounts here and there, and I may or may not have added a little extra seasoning, but it's basically the same as it was written. It's really the perfect recipe for a big BBQ because you can make it the day before, and it feeds about a million people. Tweak it however you like, add more/less or omit any of the ingredients as you prefer, and season it to taste. Easy peasy. Literally! 
Thanx again, Miss Lori!

1 lb box elbow macaroni, cooked
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
2 green onions, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 large rib celery, finely diced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 cup diced ham, or more if desired
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup mayo, or more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of fresh dill
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
Crumbled bacon on top, if desired

After you prep all the ingredients, just place everything in a big mixing bowl and give it a good toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Top with bacon just before serving, if desired.
If you make it the day before, just store it covered in the fridge, and then give it another stir before you serve it, adding a little more mayo, if needed.
No, you do not have to cook the frozen peas. Just thaw them. Since they're flash steamed before they're frozen, they're ready to eat!
For a little extra zing, add one or two tbs of brown mustard. You wont really taste it, but it will make everything taste brighter!


Monday, June 12, 2023

Joey's Easy Sauteed Parmesan Veggies


  I was recently taking inventory of the contents of my fridge, and quickly realized I had the makings of an easy fabulously delicious side dish. I had already planned to bake some chicken cutlets in the oven, so this simple little veggie saute seemed like just the thing to go with it. 
 I started with a few pieces of bacon, because bacon makes everything better, then I threw in a couple veggies, just to use up what was in the crisper drawer. In this case, it was broccoli, red bell peppers, onions, and some crushed garlic. What's not to love, right? And after they finished cooking, I just tossed the whole thing with grated Parmesan cheese. And that's literally all there is to it! It was heaven in a pan!!! What I had originally thought of as just a little throw together user upper turned out to be a side dish that goes with anything from a piece of grilled chicken or a summer burger to a holiday meal or a roast dinner. Use whatever veggies you have. It will all work! Be creative and enjoy!!

4 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
2 pats butter
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Splash of soy sauce (optional)
1/2 cup (or more) grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, place your bacon and butter over medium heat. Let the fat render, stirring quite often until it starts to crisp. Add the veggies and stir until coated with bacon fat and butter. After a few minutes of stirring and sautéing, add about 1/2 cup water to the pan along with soy sauce, if using. Cover. 
Let it steam for about 10 minutes. Now remove the pan, turn up the heat a little, and continue to cook until almost all of the liquid is evaporated. Top with grated cheese. Toss gently. Serve immediately.

The best thing about this dish is that you can change it from season to season. Use whatever is fresh! Add some asparagus in the spring, some zucchini in the summer, some butternut squash in the fall.
Use any veggies you like! Carrots, cauliflower, and sugar snap peas would be awesome!
The soy sauce I used was just one little packet leftover from take out. It just adds a little umami to the dish, but you can't really detect that soy sauce flavor.