Tag Archives: onions

Spiced Mediterranean Squash

In the Mediterranean, particularly Syria and Lebanon, stuffed squash is a very popular dish. Called koosa, it is a staple of family meals throughout the Mediterranean Middle East. It is usually served with hummus, pita, and a green salad. However, it is often difficult to find squash large enough to stuff. Other times you just don’t want to go through all the work of hollowing out and stuffing those squash  So I often make this simple alternative that contains all of the flavor with just a fraction of the work. You will need the following ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice

One 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

One 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes

Three yellow squash, sliced

One tablespoon of McCormick Greek seasoning

Two teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper, ground allspice, and tumeric

2 tablespoons of olive oil

In a large dutch oven heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. Stir often to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the ground beef and brown until the meat is cooked completely. Add the Greek seasoning while you are browning the meat. Once the meat is cooked through add the squash, salt, and pepper and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve.



Continental Chicken

Coq au vin is a very traditional French dish that is made by stewing chicken in red wine along with onions, mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes. I had it as a child and really enjoyed it but never made it as an adult because I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and don’t believe in consuming alcohol. Last year I moved and I have slowly been unpacking boxes and stumbled across a cookbook that I had bought at a thrift store a few years ago. It had a book mark in it and I wasn’t sure why and so I decided to make the recipe to find out why I had marked it. Well the recipe turned out to be a non-alcohol based version of coq au vin called continental chicken. Needless to say I was quite happy with the results.

To make continental chicken you will need the following ingredients:

Eight bone-in chicken thighs

two tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

One medium onion, sliced*

One clove of garlic, sliced

One 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes

One 16 ounce can of sliced mushrooms

One 16 ounce can of medium black olives

One 8 ounce can of tomato paste

One half cup soy sauce

Three cups cooked white rice

In a large Dutch oven heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to brown slightly. Add the chicken to the pot, skin side down, and brown on each side (about five minutes per side). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the rice according to package directions. Serve the cooked chicken and sauce over the rice.

*If you can find them try using spring or BBQ onions instead of  regular onions. You’ll need three to replace one medium yellow onion but they have a milder taste and give the sauce a wonderful flavor and texture.


Jaeger Schnitzel

Schnitzel is a type of meat that is pounded or sliced thin then breaded and deep fried. In Germany the meat used is generally pork and that is what is used in this recipe. Normally the cut of meat used is a cutlet which is then pounded flat with a meat mallet. However, following our tradition of simplifying things for busy people we will be using thin sliced pork chops instead.

There are many different types of schnitzel, more than we could possibly discuss right now. Today we are going to be making jaeger schnitzel, or hunter’s cutlet as it would be in English. This is a schnitzel served over egg noodles with a mushroom gravy. I made it for my family this past weekend and the results were very positive. My father’s exact words were “feel free to make this again any time.” To make this dish you will need the following ingredients.

Two pounds of thin sliced pork chops

One cup of flour

Two eggs

One half cup milk

One medium onion, halved and sliced

One package sliced mushrooms

Three strips of bacon, cooked

Four packages of brown gravy

cooked egg noodles

cooking oil

Combine the eggs and milk and blend well. Put enough oil in a pan to cover the pork chops and heat it to aprox. 375 degrees. Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture and then dredge each one in the flour and then place in the hot oil. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove it from the pan, and add the mushrooms and onions to the same pan and brown them in the bacon grease. Cook each pork chop for five minutes, turn, and cook for five more minutes. Chop the bacon and add to the onions and mushrooms. Prepare the brown gravy according to the package directions. Add the gravy to the mushroom mixture. To serve, plate up a serving of egg noodles, top the egg noodles with a pork chop, and then smother the pork chop and egg noodles with the mushroom gravy. Enjoy

Give Hunger The Bird

Once upon a time there was a menu item at Winger’s called “Loaded Chicken.” Aside from their wings this was my favorite dish that they served. At some point Winger’s revamped their menu and loaded chicken disappeared. Another revamp and loaded chicken was back, sort of. It was now called “The Loaded Bird” and the recipe had changed. I was determined to have the loaded chicken that I loved no matter what it took but it turned out that it was pretty easy to make actually. To make this extremely delicious dish and give hunger the bird you will need the following:

Four boneless skinless chicken breasts

One medium onion quartered and sliced

One package of sliced mushrooms

One half of one stick of butter

Teriyaki sauce

Twelve slices of thick cut bacon

Shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each chicken breast with three strips of bacon; you may need to use toothpicks to keep the bacon in place. Place the chicken in a baking dish and smother with teriyaki sauce. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions and mushrooms until the onions are soft and translucent. After 45 minutes top each chicken breast with roughly equal amounts of the onion and mushroom mixture. Cover the whole delicious mess with the cheese and bake for another fifteen minutes. Serve hot out of the oven with rice and coleslaw.

Baked Hawaiian-style Pork Chops

Years ago I found a recipe for “Polynesian Pork Chops” on a Campbell’s Soup can, tried it, and loved it. However, as is my habit I continued to tinker with the recipe working on tweeking it to my personal tastes. Finally I developed this recipe which is a blend of the original recipe and my own personal tastes. Among other changes I made was to bake the pork chops rather than fry them like the original recipe called for. The idea was to make the recipe healthier and take the recipe up to 11. For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

one pound of pork chops (bone in or boneless), aprox. 4 to 6

One 15 ounce can of Campbell’s Golden Mushroom soup

One 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks

One medium onion, chopped

One teaspoon of honey

Three teaspoons soy sauce

one fourth cup cold water

garlic powder

Korean BBQ seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season the pork chops by sprinkling them with garlic powder and Korean BBQ seasoning and bake them for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a sauce pan combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. After the pork chops have cooked for 30 minutes pour the sauce over them and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Served with cooked white rice and stir-fry veggies.

Enchiritos…From Your Kitchen

One of my favorite items on the Taco Bell menu was the enchirito, which was their take on a smothered burrito. Sadly they got rid of the enchirito and replaced it with a fairly generic and less tasty smothered burrito. So I had to learn to make my own. This recipe actually makes quite a bit so when you make it you might want to invite some friends over or freeze them for later use. You will need the following ingredients:

Two pounds of ground beef, cooked

Two 15 ounce cans of refried beans

One package of burrito seasoning

One medium onion, chopped and divided

One 8 ounce can of sliced olives

One 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce, red or green

One package of enchilada size flour tortillas (aprox. 10)

Shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend

Okay, so you start by sauteing half the onions in a hot skillet. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the ground beef and brown it until it is cooked all the way through. Add the burrito seasoning and the refried beans and warm through, making sure that everything is mixed together well. Spoon the meat and bean mixture into tortillas, roll them closed, and put them in a 13×9 baking pan. Over the top of the tortillas layer the enchilada sauce, cheese, the rest of the onions, and the olives; in that order. Cover the pan with foil and place it in the heated oven. Bake until the cheese is melted which will take roughly 20 minutes. Serve with Spanish rice, pinto beans, chips, and salsa for a fabulous fiesta feast.

Asian-style Meatball Soup

Nearly a decade ago a man’s fantasy became reality in a form never seen before…okay, yes I am totally riping off the introduction from iron Chef but there is a reason for that. This recipe I am about to present was inspired by an episode of Iron Chef. It actually was about a decade ago and Iron Chef Chen was squaring off against Hisao Oidate, who is an expert in Chinese Medicinal Cuisine. As an aspiring chef the idea that food could be both used to nourish and to heal interested me. I knew that food could help make you feel better but Chinese medicinal cuisine is much more than just that. They believe that what you eat affects your health by creating imbalances in your spirit. And to put it right you need to eat foods that restore the balance between Yin and Yang.

So this recipe comes from what I learned researching medicinal cooking. It is perfect for the cold winter months because it is chock full of ingredients that are meant to be eaten in that season. However this is also great to eat at other times of the year as well. To prepare this wonderfully balancing meal you will need the following:

One pound of ground pork

One head of cabbage, diced

One carrot, sliced

one medium onion, halved and sliced

Two cups of sliced mushrooms

One teaspoon of ground ginger

Four green onions, chopped

Four cloves of minced garlic

Two tablespoons of soy sauce

One-half teaspoon of pepper

Six cups of chicken broth

One half pound popcorn shrimp (optional)

One package of rice noodles

Combine the ground pork, ginger, soy sauce, egg, garlic, and the tops (the white parts) of the green onions into an even mix. In a large stock pot add the cabbage, carrot, onion, mushrooms, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Make meatballs either by hand or by using a scoop and drop them into the boiling broth. Stir gently and cook for ten minutes. Add the shrimp and rice noodles and cook until the noodles are soft. Garnish with the remaining chopped green onions and serve.