Friday, November 17, 2017


These sliders or little sandwiches make a delicious lunch or dinner with a hot bowl of soup.
You can put any leftovers wrapped up in aluminum foil and reheat for another meal. Make these with slider rolls, Hawaiian rolls, or my recipe for Izetta's Homemade Country Dinner Rolls (from a previous post).

1 large sweet onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 T unsalted butter, divided
1 T brown sugar
1 T prepared horseradish
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
12 Country Dinner Rolls
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced into 24 slices
24 thin slices roast beef
2 T poppy seeds

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté for 15 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and cook another 10 minutes, until soft and golden brown.
Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bottom of the rolls in a baking dish.
Place a slice of cheese on top of the bottom rolls.
Place 2 slices of roast beef on top of the cheese.
Evenly spoon the onion mixture on top of the roast beef.
Add another slice of cheese, evenly sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Place on the tops of the rolls.
Melt the remaining butter and brush over the tops of the rolls and sprinkle again with poppy seeds.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Makes 12

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


My mom would make this stew with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, but my favorite was when she made it with chicken. Cut the recipe in half to serve 3 to 4 and use a smaller skillet.

1 whole chicken, cut up or 6 bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
1 qt chicken broth
2 cups water
1 t chicken bouillon
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 t dried thyme

6 T unsalted butter
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
3 stalks celery, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
1 large onion, diced

2 T minced fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup milk

¾ cup frozen peas
12 Southern Buttermilk Biscuits 

Place chicken in a large pot or Dutch oven with chicken broth, water, bouillon, bay leaves, and thyme.  
Bring to a boil, lower heat, partially cover, and simmer for 1 hour. 

Using tongs, remove chicken from broth and set aside on a platter to cool.
When cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones and shred or cut into large bite-size pieces, discarding bones, and set aside in a bowl. 
Strain the broth through a colander into a large heat resistant glass pitcher. 

In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter, then add the flour, whisking constantly.  
Cook and whisk the roux until a light golden color; this takes 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, celery, carrots, and onion, and simmer for 20 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Add parsley, salt, pepper, milk, and peas, and simmer another minute. 
Add the chicken to the skillet and gently mix in. 

Place biscuits on top of stew, place in oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown and stew is bubbling hot.

Serves 6 to 8

* If you use store bought biscuits, you may want to pre-bake them on a baking sheet for 
  about 10 minutes (to ensure biscuit bottoms are not gooey) and then place on top of stew    
  and bake another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and stew is bubbling hot.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


My family always loved Chicken Divan. It was an easy way to get my kids to eat broccoli. I don't normally cook with processed foods, but in this case, two cans of soup are essential in making this casserole so delicious and easy. You can use all cream of chicken soup, if you prefer.

3 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into ¼-inch slices
3 cups chicken broth or stock
2 bunches broccoli, cut into small florets, stems removed
2 T unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup dry sherry
1 can cream of wild mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 t curry powder
½ cup grated Gruyère or Swiss Emmentaler cheese
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Juice of ½ lemon 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed or use all panko bread crumbs
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
2 T butter, melted
1 t paprika

Cooked rice or wide egg noodles

In a large skillet, fitted with a lid, bring chicken and broth to a low simmer. 
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  
Remove chicken with a slotted spoon to a large cast-iron skillet or a large casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the same skillet, cover and simmer broccoli in the broth for about 2 minutes.  
Remove broccoli and lightly mix in with the cooked chicken.
Pour the remaining broth into a large bowl or 8-cup measuring pitcher and set aside.
Add the butter to the skillet and sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté a couple more minutes.
Spoon evenly over the chicken and broccoli.

In the bowl or pitcher with the chicken broth, whisk in the sherry, soups, curry powder, cheese, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Pour over chicken and broccoli and gently mix in.  

In a small bowl, toss cracker crumbs and panko with melted butter and paprika and sprinkle on top. 

Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly hot and serve over hot cooked rice or wide egg noodles.

Serves 4

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Beef Stroganoff was created by a French chef in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 19th century. It is a quick and easy meal to make, even on a weeknight. This recipe serves four but if there is just the two of you, cook half of the noodles and freeze half of the sauce for another night. You can substitute red wine for the Cognac or brandy. 

Lee Kitchen Tips:
Cognac is a type of brandy that is made in an area of France called Cognac. It is a spirit that is distilled from wine and aged in oak barrels for a minimum period of two years. . .all Cognac is brandy but not all brandy is Cognac.

2 lbs boneless sirloin, strip loin, or tenderloin
2 T avocado oil, divided

8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 shallots, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 T unsalted butter
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 T dry English mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving

16 oz package wide egg noodles
1 T chopped Italian parsley

Place meat in freezer for one hour to make it easier to thinly slice.
Cut meat into bite-size thin strips.  
Heat oil in a large skillet.
Working in two batches, add meat and brown.
Set meat aside on a plate.
Add mushrooms and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. 
Add butter and sauté shallots for another 5 minutes.
Add Cognac or brandy and then broth.
Simmer until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in dry mustard, Worcestershire, paprika, and return the meat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 
Stir in sour cream and heat through, but do not boil.

Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4

Saturday, October 28, 2017


If you love seafood chowders, I think you will love this one. It includes a little Old Bay Seasoning and plenty of seafood.

1 lb fresh clams, littleneck or manila
4 strips bacon, diced (I use applewood smoked bacon)
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t fresh or dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 T Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
1 jar clam nectar
1 medium potato, peeled and grated or ½ cup instant potato buds
½ cup white wine
½ lb haddock or cod, cut into bite size pieces
½ lb sea scallops, cut in half
½ lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup dry sherry
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
3 T unsalted butter
½ lb cooked crab meat
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Paprika, for garnish
Diced bacon, for garnish

Place clams in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, place clams in a bowl of cold water and set aside.

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot until crisp. 

Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
Pour off half of the bacon fat and sauté onion, celery, and potatoes for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, Old Bay, clam nectar, and shredded potato or ½ cup instant potato buds.
Cover and very slowly simmer for 10 minutes. 

While chowder base is simmering, pour wine into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil Add the clams, cover and slowly simmer until clams have opened, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Remove clams with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
Pour the clam broth through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof pitcher.

Add the fish, scallops, shrimp, and clam broth (from the clams) to the chowder pot.  
Simmer for 5 minutes. 

Remove the clams from the shells, coarsely chop (if needed), and add to the chowder pot. 
Add the sherry, evaporated milk, whole milk or half-and-half, and butter.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer one more minute. 

Add the crab meat, turn off heat and let chowder sit for 15 minutes. 
Reheat until just below boiling.

Ladle into 4 warm soup bowls.
Sprinkle each serving with paprika and top with some diced bacon.

Makes 4 bowls or 8 cups of chowder.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


This is a perfect drink for the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Most people think of tequila as a summer drink, but mixing it with cranberry juice spreads the holiday cheer deliciously!

¾ cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ cups cranberry juice
½ cup Contreau or Triple Sec
1 cup tequila
Cranberries, for garnish
Lime slices, for garnish 

Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. 
Run lime wedges around rims of four glasses and dip in salt or sugar, if you prefer.

Makes 4 drinks

Saturday, October 21, 2017


This is such an easy, quick, and delicious recipe to make. You can't find it any better in a fine restaurant. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips: 
Ask your fishmonger if your mussels are wild or cultivated. If they are wild, make sure they have beards attached. Do not remove beards until just before cooking. Removing the beards causes the mussels to slowly die. Wild mussels have a strong, more gamey taste. Cultivated mussels do not have any noticible beards and have a more delicate taste. 

2 lbs live fresh mussels, wild or cultivated
2 T avocado oil
4 T unsalted butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
1 t fresh thyme leaves or ½ t dried thyme
½ t red pepper flakes (optional)
½ t saffron threads (optional)
1 cup dry white wine
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T chopped Italian parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving
Crusty Italian or French bread

Scrub the mussels with a brush under cold running water and place in a large bowl in your refrigerator. Discard any broken shells.

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.
Add shallots and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes, and saffron, if using.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Remove beards from wild mussels with a pair of "kitchen-only" needle-nose pliers or by hand, just before cooking. 
Add wine to the pot and bring to a boil.
Add mussels, cover, reduce heat and simmer until shells open, about 6 to 7 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels.

Ladle into a warm serving bowl or two warm bowls and garnish with parsley.

Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread for dipping.

Serves 2