Recipes for an Easy Meal
Three recipes for a great meal from start to finish –
This entrée recipe can be prepared ahead of time and re-warmed when it is time to serve. We have found this recipe is one everyone enjoys, especially men. The recipe for rice is delicious; however, if you are short on time, you can buy the “box” version. Your salad can be a simple one because the main dish has several vegetables. The simple cake is a family favorite because it is easy and versatile. You can cut it into chunks for individual trifles, or perhaps, in strawberry season, make a great shortcake with whipped cream.
Chicken and Pepperoni in a flat 2-quart casserole
1/4 lb of pepperoni (beef or turkey)
1 can of artichoke hearts – drained and cut in half
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
Chicken breasts or tenders (allow 1/3 lb per person; 2 lbs for 8), cut into cubes or strips
2 red peppers, cut into strips
1/2 to 3/4 Cup dry vermouth or other white wine to deglaze
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Italian bread crumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese to coat the chicken
Cut chicken into desired chunks or strips.
Place bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a sealable, plastic bag to coat the chicken. Add 1 tsp salt and fresh pepper to mixture. Shake the pieces.
Next, heat a large skillet with equal parts olive oil and corn oil (about 1/4 c).
As you brown the chicken in small batches you may need more oil. Do not overcook because the chicken will be reheated with all ingredients when serving.
Place all chicken pieces into a casserole dish. In the skillet, deglaze with wine. Add the garlic and the pepperoni, and save this tasty broth to pour over the top of casserole. If you wish, clean skillet, and add 2 T of olive oil so that you can stir fry the mushrooms, peppers, and artichokes .
Next, layer the veggies over chicken and add the deglazed pepperoni sauce. All of this can be prepared the day before. The chicken is the part that takes the longest to brown, so perhaps do that part of the recipe the day before. The remaining ingredients are super easy – no mess!
Before serving reheat until hot.
Rice and Vermicelli (easy to double)
1 Cup white rice
1/4 crushed vermicelli (spaghetti)
2 Cups chicken broth
6 Tablespoons butter
Salt & pepper
Brown the crushed pasta in the butter until it is toasted or golden. Add the rice, broth, butter, plus seasonings. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes for doneness and to see if you might need a few more tablespoons of water. This recipe is great reheated in microwave.
Hot Milk Sponge Cake made in 8” or 9 “ cake pan or 9” x 9” pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter and flour the pan, or line it with parchment paper
In a bowl mix together: 1 Cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
On the stove, heat until hot: 1/2 Cup whole milk and 1 Tablespoon butter
In an electric mixer, beat 2 large eggs and 1 Cup sugar.
IMPORTANT: Beat the mixture for 6 to 8 minutes until it is light & fluffy. The mixture will double in volume.
Then alternately add the dry and hot, wet ingredients .
Bake about 35 min or test with toothpick.
Peanut Butter Topping
Heat the following ingredients, and mix until smooth:
1 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup peanut butter
1/4 Cup milk or Half & Half
.Pour over the hot cake and place under the broiler. Watch carefully! The icing should be only slightly browned.
Paula’s passion for foods began in Tennessee, where she and her family enjoyed entertaining friends and spending time together in the kitchen. Living in New Jersey for many years broadened her interest in ethnic foods and markets. It was while living there that she formed her own business, Creative Catering. She continues to find joy in cooking in her Davidson kitchen.