Friday, March 23, 2018


Here is another one of our favorite Asian dishes. This dish comes from India and you can make it with lamb, if you prefer. Somehow all of those curry spices makes your stomach feel good. I sometimes crave Butter Chicken.

4 boneless chicken breast halves
Juice of ½ large lemon 
1 t hot chile powder
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 t ground turmeric
½ t ground coriander
½ t ground cumin
1 t garam masala
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 T grated fresh ginger

Curry Sauce
1 T coconut or avocado oil
6 T unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 T grated fresh ginger
½ t sea salt
1 t fenugreek seeds, ground (I grind them in a designated coffee grinder for spices) 
1 t paprika
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 ½ cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup half-and-half or Greek yogurt

Cut chicken into chunks and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, chile powder, yogurt turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, garlic, and ginger.
Add chicken to mixture, stir to combine, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Cook the chicken mixture in two to three batches until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a platter or large bowl and set aside.

Heat the butter over medium heat and cook the onion and jalapeño pepper for 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute.
Return the chicken to the skillet.
In a medium size bowl, mix together the salt, ground fenugreek seeds, paprika, tomato paste, and chicken broth.
Pour into the skillet and stir to combine well with chicken.

Cook a couple more minutes, then stir in the half-and-half or Greek yogurt.

Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Place under the broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes to brown the top.
Serve with Basmati rice.
Before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro

Serves 4 to 6 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


These enchiladas are as good as you can get in a Mexican restaurant and you know what the ingredients are. If it's only two of you, you have enough for another dinner. You can also make this a day before you want to serve them. Just cover and refrigerate and bake as directed. If you are in a hurry, use canned enchilada sauce.

3 large bone-in chicken breasts
1 T avocado oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Southwest or Mexican seasoning

Homemade Enchilada Sauce, recipe below, or 2 (10 oz )cans red enchilada sauce
8 flour tortillas
1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1½ cups Monterey Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

Sour cream, for serving
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Pumpkin seeds, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving                               
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place chicken in a large cast-iron skillet and drizzle with oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until skin is golden and juices run clear.
Temperature with an instant-read thermometer should register 165 degrees F.

Remove chicken to a platter and allow to cool.

Add onion and jalapeno to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute. 
Add the Mexican or Southwest seasoning and cook another minute.
Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the Homemade Enchilada Sauce or cans of enchilada sauce to the skillet and let slowly simmer while shredding the chicken.

Grate cheeses and add to a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

Pour enough of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  

Place tortillas on a work surface and evenly divide the shredded chicken and most of the grated cheeses into the center of the tortilla.
Spoon in about a tablespoon of enchilada sauce on top.
Roll up and place filled tortillas, seam side down, in the baking dish.

Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over and top with the rest of the grated cheese.
Cover loosely with parchment lined aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve enchiladas topped with a dollop of sour cream, cilantro, and a lime wedge.

Serve with black beans sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4 to 6

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
4 T tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 T ancho or New Mexican chile power, or your favorite 
1 t chipotle chile powder
½ t oregano
½ t ground cumin
½ t ground coriander
1 t red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place above ingredients, except salt and pepper, in a saucepan and let simmer 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4 to 6

Monday, March 19, 2018


Do you love the smell of homemade bread or rolls baking in the oven? 
Do you love the taste of homemade dinner rolls accompanied with a completely southern dinner or brunch? They are also perfect for sliders or little sandwiches, such as ham or turkey.

2 cups whole milk
6 T unsalted butter, cut up
2 T active dry yeast
¼ cup honey
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, poured into a large bowl
2 t sea salt
2 large eggs
Melted butter for brushing on rolls

Pour milk into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup. 
Add butter and warm in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, until butter is almost melted. 
Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool to lukewarm.

Pour the milk and butter mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. 
Add the yeast and honey, and let proof in bowl for 10 minutes, until foamy.

Add 2 cups of the flour to make a medium batter and mix with a wooden spoon.  
Add the salt and eggs and mix again. 

Attach bowl to mixer and attach a dough hook and while mixing on low speed, add the rest of the flour, ½ cup at a time. 
Mix for 3 to 4 minutes and then transfer to a lightly buttered large bowl. 

Cover with a pizza pan or a damp tea towel, and let dough rise in a warm location until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.

Grease or butter a 9-by-13 inch pan or a quarter size baking sheet with sides, and set aside. 
Punch down dough and shape into 24 balls and place, smooth side up, in the greased pan.
Let rise in a warm oven with a pan of boiling water set inside (turn on oven to 200 degrees F for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off) until doubled, about 60 minutes.
Remove from oven, but keep pan of boiled water in oven.
Gently brush rolls with melted butter.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Return pan to oven and bake in middle of oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 15 rolls


This is one of our favorite salads to have with pan-fried sole. It would also be good with any grilled meat.

Lemon Vinaigrette 
2 t Dijon mustard
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, pressed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place above ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
You can also do this in a jar fitted with a tight lid and shake to combine.
Set aside while assembling the salad.

1 large bunch arugula
1 large bunch spinach, stems trimmed
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced
1 bunch French green beans, steamed for 3 to 4 minutes
Pea shoots, optional
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 to 6 canned anchovy fillets, drained
Lemon wedges, for serving

Place a bed of arugula and spinach on a large platter.
Add the eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, green beans, pea shoots, scallions, and anchovy fillets.
Drizzle with the Lemon Vinaigrette and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serves 4

Friday, March 16, 2018


Brunswick Stew was served at Virginia's tobacco-curing, sheep shearing, barn building, and other gatherings. The story goes that a hunting party in Brunswick County, well provisioned with tomatoes, onions, butter beans, okra, bacon, salt, and corn, left one man behind to have the dinner ready at the end of the day. He could only find a squirrel within range of the camp. So he shot it, cleaned it, and threw it into the pot with the vegetables. When it was served, all of the hunters agreed that squirrel was the finest and tenderest of all wild meats. Chicken is now substituted. . .and that's a good thing! 
In 1775 my 5th great grandfather, Capt. David Chadwell appeared at the Colonial Capitol in the City of Williamsburg to testify against another man who stole his horse. I like to think that maybe that evening he dined at the one of the taverns and had Brunswick Stew. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
If you do not have or like okra, which also is a healthy thickener, just spoon out 3 tablespoons of the melted butter-bacon grease mixture into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Use this to thicken the stew before you add the boneless chicken pieces.
You can make this stew with your favorite bone-in chicken pieces or 1 whole chicken, cut up, including the back bone.

Chicken Stock
3 to 4 lbs, bone-in chicken pieces, remove most of the skin, or your favorite chicken pieces
1 quart chicken stock or broth
3 cups water

6 slices applewood smoked bacon, diced
4 T unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 (14.5-oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 cups frozen lima beans
2 cups frozen corn
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cups chopped okra 
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 sprig thyme or 1 t dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 t Old Bay seasoning
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce, optional

In a large cast-iron stew pot or Dutch oven, add the chicken pieces, chicken stock, and water.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours.

Remove chicken with tongs or a slotted spoon and place in a bowl to cool. 
Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher or measuring cup. 
You should have about 3 ½ cups of stock.

In the same cast-iron stew pot or Dutch oven, fry the diced bacon until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Add butter to the pot with the bacon fat and let melt.

Add the chopped onions to the butter mixture and sauté for 10 minutes.
Pour the strained chicken broth into the pot with the sautéed onions.

Add the stewed tomatoes, lima beans, corn, potatoes, okra, Worcestershire, thyme, bay leaves, and Old Bay into the pot.
Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile remove the rest of the skin from the chicken and pull the chicken off the bones into bite size pieces and add to the pot. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Simmer another 5 minutes, add the cooked bacon bits and serve with cornbread muffins and hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 6

Monday, March 12, 2018


This was my favorite pink dress that I wore about 3 times in weddings as the flower girl. 


I am in an Asian food frame of mind lately. I have posted my go-to easy weeknight Chinese and Chinese-American dishes lately; Cashew Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Pork Chow Mein, Szechuan French Green Beans, Orange Chicken with Broccoli, and now Broccoli Beef with Mushrooms. I also have some Indian dishes that are quick and delicious that I will post later.

½ cup dry sherry
½ cup beef broth
¼ cup oyster sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 T low sodium soy sauce
2 t rice vinegar
1 T chile garlic sauce
1 t cornstarch
2-inch piece ginger, grated

2 T coconut oil or avocado oil
12 white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
1 lb steak, cut into thin strips
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 scallions, diagonally sliced, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish

In a bowl or measuring pitcher, whisk together the sherry, beef broth, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic sauce, and cornstarch.

Heat half of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
Stir-fry mushrooms for 5 minutes, remove and set aside in a bowl.
Add the rest of the oil and stir-fry the steak for about 3 minutes.
Add the onion, broccoli, and bell pepper and cook another 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Pour in the sauce and heat through for about 2 minutes.
Serve over rice and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Serves 4