Category Archives: Side dish

Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

My Paternal-Grandmother wasn’t too much in to cooking, but man, she made a kick-butt Stuffing Casserole. She ordered her Turkey for the Holidays from a local restaurant, already roasted, so she would make her own Stuffing in a very large Casserole dish, that she baked-off in the oven.

It was unique in that she used Portuguese Sausage or Linguica in it. 
Gram never wrote that recipe down, because she just eyeballed it, so I had to figure this one out on my own.

Usually, I bring my stash of Portuguese Sausage back from Hawaii in my suitcase, but since we could not get there this year, I had to hustle.

I was poking around this past Summer in the supermarket and found this!! Can I tell you guys that I was doing a dance in the aisle … could this be like the ‘real’ stuff?   Let’s try it first.

YUP! That’ll work 

Auntie Doni’s Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

serves 8

6 + Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. Onions, chopped
1/2 C. Celery, chopped
2 pkgs. Garlic & Herb Croutons, crumbled to Pea-size
1 C. Dried Cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. Sage (fresh or freeze-dried is fine), minced
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 C. Turkey Stock (I use Trader Joe’s-it’s seasonal, so stock up)
1 Portuguese Sausage (or Linguica), chopped, sautéed and drained well

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter; sauté the Onions and Celery just until tender.
In a large bowl, combine everything but the Stock.
Slowly add in not quite a cup of the Stock, fold gently. At this point is that wet enough for you? If not keep adding more Stock to your liking (we don’t like it too mushy, so I might pour in about a cup).

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish; add the Stuffing mixture and cover.
Bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Now, what to do with all of this leftover Stuffing?

Make Stuffin’ Muffin’s:
Spray a Muffin tin and pack in that leftover goodness. Stash the entire tin in the freezer until firm. Pop out each Muffin’ and place into a zip-top freezer bag. Mark the date and content and back into the deep freeze it goes for later…

This makes my favorite breakfast. Defrost a Muffin’, heat it up in the micro and top one with a fried Egg

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Spam® With Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Fried Rice

Yup, that’s what I said! Spam® with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning in our Fried Rice.

Back in 2015, Hormel introduced this variety of Spam® in Hawaii, at the annual Waikiki Spam Jam.

We were very fortunate to have been back home at that time, and I got to sample a few bites.

Sorry for the bad lighting, but that’s a Cupcake with Spam® in it!!!

The unfortunate thing was, Hawaii, at the time, was the only place you could find the stuff, and it was always sold out as soon as it hit the shelves. 

Fast forward to 2019 and there we were once again on Oahu. I brought back two cans of this treasure in my suitcase to My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert… I FINALLY broke out a can to make Fried Rice with 

Spam® with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning Fried Rice

1 can Spam® w/Portuguese Sausage Seasoning, diced
3-4 C. cooked Rice, leftover & dried out
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 C. Sweet White Onion, minced
1 C. fresh Carrot, diced & blanched
2 C. frozen Peas
3-4 stalks Green Onion, sliced & divided-tops & bottoms
4 Tbsp. Peanut Oil (or Vegetable Oil is fine too, just it taste better w/Peanut Oil)
2-4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (preferably Aloha Shoyu, we like lower salt)
1-2 tsp. Sesame Oil
A pinch of White Pepper
1 tsp. Sesame Seeds

Heat a large, high sided pan (you really don’t have to have a Wok) over medium-high flame.
Add 1 tablespoon of Oil; pour in the beaten Eggs, creating a flat Omelet. Remove to a cutting board and dice, set aside and wipe out the pan with a Paper Towel.
Fry the Spam® (you don’t need any Oil here) until it’s well crisped, set aside on a plate.
Wipe out your pan with another Paper Towel.
Add the remaining Oil and swirl it around in the pan.
Sauté the Sweet Onion until just translucent and then add the whites of the Green Onion and continue to cook for just a few minutes.
Pour in the Rice and combine well in the Oil, to coat the Rice.
Stirring occasionally, allow the Rice to get a just a bit crispy, this will take a few minutes.
Now add back in the Spam® along with the chopped up Egg, Peas and Carrots (yes, I did make an exception this time, this can be optional ).
Pour over as much Soy Sauce as we feel you need, not too much though, and that pinch of White Pepper.
Mix everything up really good; once the Peas and Carrot are heated through, off heat, pour the Sesame Oil over everything and combine well… you’re done.
Serve by topping with the reserved Green Onion tops and a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds.

 

 

That my friends, is perfect!

YUM!!

Fried Rice is wonderful anytime, breakfast is probably our favorite though.

Remember, a recipe is just someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

ENJOY!

Oven Roasted Brocolli

Have you ever had a big stalk of Broccoli and thought to yourself, meh, not so much.  My husband really likes Broccoli, me, I could take it or leave it.  I was trying to think up another way to prepare this veggie so that I would enjoy them too.

Now, I oven roast Potatoes, so why not Broccoli too?  Let’s try this …

This may sound very elementary, but I’d never thought to do this before, really!

I lined a half sheet pan with Tin Foil, broke that huge bunch of Broccoli down into manageable pieces, tossed it all with good Olive Oil and Miners Mix Steak & Veggie Seasoning & Rub and a bit of Black Pepper.  I had already pre-heated the oven to 400°, so in it went for about 20 minutes, give or take … check for doneness by piercing the stalk with a sharp knife.

Can you see those nice bits of brown goodness, that equals flavor?!

YUM!

Embrace your vegetables, try cooking them in a different way, maybe, just maybe you’ll enjoy them more.

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

I haven’t made Guava Chicken in for-ever !!

Mostly because, I couldn’t get the frozen Guava Juice Concentrate any longer.

WELL!

On our last trip through Las Vegas I found the International Market, YAY!!

So let’s go!

 

Wow, I had to think about this one.  I did not know that there was such a thing as Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice and  I have yet to find Guava Chicken anywhere but Hawaii.

I don’t have a recipe, really, I just MAKE IT.

Guava Chicken is something I learned from my SIL (DH’s sister). Every time that we all went to the beach for the day, she would bring Guava Chicken and Fried Rice. My BIL would grill the meat on his little hibachi and there’d be other goodies to nibble on after Body Surfing for the afternoon (I shouldn’t go there, it makes me homesick). To me, that’s Beach Food.

So years later, here we are In The Middle Of The Desert and I NEED  to have little pieces of home every so often.

Guava Chicken

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken

1 12oz. can Guava Nectar Concentrate

(if you can find the brands from Hawaii, that’s best, but Goya will do)

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1/2 C. Oyster Sauce

1/2 C. lightly packed Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium Aloha Brand)

1/2 C. Ketchup

1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

5 lbs. Chicken thighs (we buy boneless-skinless)

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinade for at least 24 hours, the longer the better. Grill (or bake or broil, I like the charred bits, it’s more like going to the beach) until the meat is completely done, an internal temperature of 165º on an insta-read thermometer

Fried Rice

Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice

this ain’t rocket science! it’s all just leftovers…

start off with steamed White Rice that’s leftover for maybe 2-3 days in the `fridge to dry out

add whatever ‘Goodies’  you like:

scrambled Eggs or that Omelet you didn’t finish

Breakfast Meat (we use Linguica or Portuguese sausage), chopped**

Spam, yup, that’s right Hawaii’s favorite meat!**

Green onions

White onions

IF you must, frozen Peas and Carrots

Soy Sauce (we prefer Aloha Brand)

Sesame Oil

Toasted Sesame Seeds to make it all pretty at the end

 

Preheat a large fry pan, or Wok if you have it, with some neutral oil like canola.

Once you see wisps of smoke coming off the pan, you gotta move fast

Throw in the rice, stir it around until it’s hot

Add in your Goodies, stir again

Pour in enough Soy Sauce to just color the rice, barely

Stir; cover and cook for a few minutes

Dish it up with a drizzle of Sesame Oil and some Sesame Seeds, maybe some more

chopped Green Onions too

Hawaiian Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

**Tip – the Spam and the Linguica really make it, or some Teriyaki Chicken, SIL uses Turkey Hotdogs and Bacon**

ALOHA

 

STOP! Wait, Please Watch The Maiden Voyage Of My New Weber Rotisserie

[This is from my You Tube Channel, please enjoy]

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG! in my world if you haven’t been here before).

I finally took the plunge and got myself a Weber Rotisserie for my ‘big girl’ grill.  I’ve wanted one of these for the longest time, really!

I racked my brain for a while as to what I would make for my maiden voyage on the spit… WELL!  It just had to be a Hawaiian Style Huli Huli Chicken, of course.  Huli, means to turn in Hawaiian, thus making Huli Chicken seemed the natural choice on my new electric rotisserie.

I had a bottle of Hawaii’s Famous Huli Huli Sauce in the pantry; I went out and bought a fresh, whole yardbird (unbrined, that sauce is soy based and could be salty) … so we’re good to go!

I should probably point out here that Huli Chicken as we call it back home, can be found on most weekends in just about any neighborhood as fundraisers, or just because.  Let your nose be the guide, you’ll know when you’ve found it … the smell is like no other.  Keawe Wood (which is in the same family as Mesquite) smoke is in the air and cars are flocking around a particular parking lot.  Large rectangular open grills are set-up with the coolest home-rigged rotisseries you’ve ever seen.  You pull your car up to ‘the lady’ who asks you how many Huli Chickens you would like, quarter, halves or a whole one and hands it off to you in a brown paper bag, piping hot of the grill, MMM!!

Let’s grill some bird.

I marinaded the chicken for 24 hours in the sauce and then trussed and skewered that birdie for the grill.

As the grill was preheating, I trussed the chicken and attached it to the main rotisserie rod and impaled the two forks through the flesh.  My grill was all ready, as instructed on the “how to” video seen on Weber.com.  I was a bit anxious, but I got through it.

The smells that came wafting along were so heady, I sat outside with an adult beverage, even though it’s still Winter and freezing cold and windy out, just to enjoy that smell of HOME!

An hour and fifteen minutes later, it was all over with…

MAN!

Earlier in the day, I had made Zippy’s Macaroni Salad, Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of steamed White Rice … or as we would say in Hawaii, we had one Huli Chicken Plate with one scoop mac and one scoop rice (vegetables are always optional 😉 ).

This chicken was so moist and flavorful.  The soy sauce in the marinade acts as your salt, no need to add anything else, I’m not kidding, just remember to keep turning it while in the `fridge.

MMM!

I’m very happy.

*Cook’s note: Also, please take a peck at my You Tube channel 😀

Hawaiian Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

Wow, I had to think about this one.  I did not know that there was such a thing as Hawaiian Fried Rice and  I have yet to find Guava Chicken elsewhere but Hawaii.

I don’t have a recipe, really, I just MAKE IT.

Guava chicken is something I learned from my SIL (DH’s sister). Every time that we all went to the beach for the day, she would bring Guava Chicken and Fried Rice. My BIL would grill the meat on his little hibachi and there’d be other goodies to nibble on after body surfing for the afternoon (I shouldn’t go there, it makes me homesick). To me, that’s beach food.

So years later, here we are in the middle of the desert and I NEED to have little pieces of home every so often. We’ve got plenty of sand here…

Guava Chicken

Hawaiian Guava Chicken

1 12oz. can Guava Nectar Concentrate

(if you can find the brands from Hawaii, that’s best, but Goya will do)

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1/2 C. Oyster Sauce

1/2 C. lightly packed Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium Aloha Brand)

1/2 C. Ketchup

1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

5 lbs. Chicken thighs (we buy boneless-skinless)

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinade for at least 24 hours, the longer the better. Grill (or bake or broil, I like the char, it’s more like going to the beach) until the meat is completely done, an internal temperature of 165º on an insta-read thermometer

Fried Rice

Hawaiian Fried Rice

this ain’t rocket science! it’s all just leftovers…

start off with steamed white rice (we use Calrose medium grain rice)

add whatever ‘goodies’ you like:

scrambled eggs or that omelet you didn’t finish

breakfast sausage (we use Linguica or Portuguese sausage)**

Spam, yup, that’s right Hawaii’s favorite meat!**

Green onions

White onions

if you must, frozen peas and carrots

Soy Sauce

Sesame Oil

Toasted Sesame Seeds to make it all pretty at the end

Preheat a large fry pan, or Wok if you have it, with some neutral oil like canola. Once you see wisps of smoke coming off the pan, let’s move fast

Throw in the rice, stir it around until it’s hot

Add in your goodies, stir again

Pour over enough soy sauce to just color the rice, barely

Stir; cover and cook for a few minutes

Dish it up with a drizzle of sesame oil and seeds, maybe some more chopped green onions

Hawaiian Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

**Tip – the Spam and the Linguica really make it, or some Teriyaki Chicken, SIL uses Turkey hotdogs and Bacon**

ALOHA

 

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, In My Best Peter Brady

When we first moved here to the middle of the desert, we took a class excursion out to an orchard, that’s right, they farm profusely here in Arizona. I am not a fan of tomatoes, but so my mother tells me, they grow some pretty tasty ones in Willcox. On this field trip we went for Apples, yum.

Apple Annie’s Orchard is a blast, they have all types of activities and they sell anything and everything apple that you could think of. My mother was crazy for this place, she must have spent a fortune.

Apple Annie Apple Butter Syrup

One thing that she bought for me to try was apple butter syrup, never heard of that. We had it on waffles and, meh. So here I have this practically full bottle of syrup, what to do? I have a couple of chef-y friends, so I posed the question to them. Here’s what I dreamed up …

If you’re old enough or you watch late night TV, you remember The Brady Bunch and Peter Brady saying, Pork Chops and Apple Sauce. As I was making this dish, he would not get out of my head, ARGH! I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing though.

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Pork Chops & Apple Butter Syrup Sauce

1 Apple, cored and sliced thick (we had golden delicious)

2-4 Pork Chops (I like to find the ole’tyme cuts with good marbling)

1/4 C. Apple Butter Syrup

1/8 tsp. ground Chipotle Pepper

1/4 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice (just a little bit goes a long way)

Season the Pork chops with S&P

Grill the chops to medium rare and the apple slices to a crisp-tender

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Tent the chops on a plate with tin foil; let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes, this makes for juicer meat

In the mean time chop the apples into cubes

In a small saucepan heat the syrup; add the chipotle pepper and stir until fragrant

Apple Sauce

Add the apples and syrup mixture to a bowl and combine

Slice the pork and spoon your apple sauce over

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

Serve with rice pilaf and a veggie of your choice (I steamed some green beans)

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce, dang you Peter Brady!