Pasta Carbonara with Brocolli with Garlic Cheese Rolls for 40

Again, just as on the 1st of the New Year, when I made Ascencia Salad, there was no guest chef, and The Good Plate again came to the rescue. When I looked for what was on hand, there was still a lot of pasta in the pantry, so I made my list to make Pasta Carbonara. I wanted everyone to have a well balanced meal, so the green choice was brocolli instead of salad.

Luckily, there were two large bags of French rolls, perfect for my Garlic Cheese Rolls. We also had a wonderful salad of peas, pepper jack and celery made by guest chef Jerome. A good and healthy time was had by all.

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Ham Steaks with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Pilaf

Recipes in this PostHam Steak with Russian Red Eye Gravy and Cranberry Almond Rice Pilaf

Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.

When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.

Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.

Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.

Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!

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Chicken a la King – Weber Style

Recipes in this PostChicken a la King

I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.

The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?

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London Broil with Rosemary and Grilled Mushrooms and Shallots

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Grilled London Broil with Rosemary, Mushrooms and Shallots

Grilled London Broil with Rosemary, Mushrooms and Shallots

Many years ago, when I thought that my oven didn’t work (it did, I wasn’t doing right), I marinated a steak and some fresh rosemary and put that on the grill. It was delicious! As the steak cooked, the fresh rosemary sprigs gave off their own smoky goodness.

I could not think of a better dish to put on the barbecue for 4th of July. What goes great with steak? Mushrooms! What goes great with mushrooms? Shallots and sherry. So, I’m going to grill some mushrooms with sherry and shallots to accompany my London Broil. Spane asked for Barbecued Chips instead of potato salad. In a way, I’m really happy because everything but the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream is going on the grill.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup with Sherry

Recipes in this PostCream of Mushroom Soup with Sherry

I love it when the supermarket puts a large box of whole mushrooms on Manager’s Special. I take them home and make something out of them, this time Manicotti Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Spinach and Pine-nuts. When I opened my refrigerator this afternoon, I realized I had a lot of mushrooms left over, and what could I do with an almost whole box of mushrooms? Mushroom soup seemed like the perfect thing on a cold, winter day.

Some of you are probably saying “Ew! That’s the stuff you make casseroles out of, you don’t actually EAT that!” Well, that’s true. I would never have a bowl of that canned stuff, it’s only good for a few casserole dishes, and then that’s doubtful, too – now that I made this glorious mushroom soup.

This is probably one of the easiest soups you will ever make. When mushrooms go on sale at your grocery store, get a whole bunch of them, and share this wonderful soup.

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Manicotti Stuffed with Cottage Cheese, Spinach and Pine Nuts

Manicotti Served

Manicotti is a child friendly food. Most kids love spaghetti and pasta. What could be more fun than stuffing tubes and then eating them? Kids can get a little messy, but that’s their job, right?

My friend, Chef John Farion, came over and brought me a large container of cottage cheese. I did not think that Spane and I could eat if fast enough for it not to go bad, so I decided to stuff something with it. Quite frequently, cottage cheese is used for lasagna, but I don’t like meatless lasagna, and I wanted it for Friday. Oddly enough, I had everything I needed already at home, so I bought some manicotti and brought it home.

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