Land O’ Lakes Saute Express – Italian Herb Chicken

While Linda was out of town, I opted for a lot for easy to prepare meals. I made Kraft Fresh Take chicken, burgers, and (I hate to admit it) even hot dogs and beans. Another easy meal I made was from a simple seasoning and butter combination – Land O’ Lakes Saute Express. It’s a simple premise. You probably already saute with either butter or oil and then add seasonings to it. Why not just do it all at once? That’s just what Land O’ Lakes has done.

Land O Lakes Saute Express Italian HerbWe picked up two varieties a while back – the Italian Herb and the Lemon Pepper. I haven’t had a chance to make the Lemon Pepper yet, so expect to see an entry about it at some point in the near future.

These couldn’t be much easier to use. Simply melt a pack in the pan and add the chicken to it. I prefer to cut up the chicken into nice bite sized pieces, but you could leave it whole if you prefer. Then just saute until the chicken gets golden brown.

Land O Lakes Saute Express ChickenI found this to be a pretty quick and easy way to saute up some chicken. However, the real test in in the taste. It doesn’t matter how quick and easy it is if it doesn’t pass the taste test. I’m glad to say that it does meet with this fussy eater’s approval. I look forward to trying the Lemon Pepper variety.

Campfire Potatoes Recipe

Along with the Cajun Flank Steak we had for dinner tonight, we made Campfire Potatoes. We found the recipe on the side of the bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. I wasn’t very keen on the onions, but it looked OK otherwise.

Ingredients:

  • 24oz Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to high heat (around 600).
  2. Slice potatoes thin.
  3. Slice onion.
  4. Spread potatoes and onion slices in the pan.
  5. Cut the butter into pieces and spread them out in the pan.
  6. Mix cheddar cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the potatoes.
  7. Add chicken broth and cover with foil.
  8. Cook on the grill for about 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Campfire Potatoes - Recipe

I had never worked with Yukon Gold potatoes before. I was surprised at how small they are compared to normal baking potatoes.

Campfire Potatoes - Slicing

We sliced the potatoes with a mandolin set at 1/4 inch. That gave us a lot of slices from that one bag of potatoes.

Campfire Potatoes - Prep

Originally we were going to put the potatoes on foil but we found that they were easier to work with in a foil pan we had leftover from our FootBall Food Frenzy.

Campfire Potatoes - Ready to ServeThe potatoes cooked for about 35 minutes and then we let them stand about 5 minutes. They were very tender. It was a little hard to tell that there was any cheddar cheese on them when they cooked.

Cajun Flank Steak with Campfire PotatoesSo I decided it would be a good idea to add a little cheddar on top after everything was plated. The potatoes were very tender, but I didn’t really care for the onion taste they had. I avoided the onion slices themselves. I can’t say I liked them, but I didn’t entirely dislike them either although I didn’t finish them all. I think I might be able to work with these to come up with something I would like better. Linda suggested using a Spanish onion. I might try that as well as adding more cheddar cheese.

Irish Steaks Recipe

I have never found an onion I didn’t want to spit out of my mouth – until now.

My wife found this recipe last week and we decided to try it out over the weekend. She has always been telling me that onions are sweeter when they get caramelized. I tried one of her onions before and found it way to slimy and disgusting, but those were sliced onions. This calls for chopped onions. I also thought the addition of whiskey might make the onions easier to take. I tweaked things slightly, but here is the official recipe. Read below for my changes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 4 ounce beef top sirloin steaks
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup Irish whiskey such as Jameson®
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf

Directions

  1. Heat vegetable oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until butter has melted.
  2. Cook and stir onions in butter and oil until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Push onions aside with a spatula.
  3. Rub steaks with cut sides of garlic clove.
  4. Place steaks in the skillet, leaving the onions to the side, and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned but still lightly pink inside, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat. Slowly pour Irish whiskey into the hot skillet be careful, whiskey fumes are flammable.
  6. Mix browned onions into whiskey and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  7. Sprinkle steaks with salt, black pepper, and parsley
  8. Turn steaks over in whiskey pan sauce to coat both sides, and serve drizzled with sauce.

via Irish Steaks Recipe – Allrecipes.com.

I started off pretty much the same way. I chopped the onion up reasonably fine figuring that it would be easier for me to deal with the texture if it was all tiny pieces. Normally when I caramelize onions for my wife, I just use olive oil in a cast iron pan. The combination of butter and vegetable oil seems to really help brown them nicely.

I cut the garlic and rubbed it on the steak, but somehow I doubt this really adds anything to the dish. If your fussy eater is really cautious about what you use when you cook, I’d suggest leaving it out. I just used one large sirloin steak rather than several small ones. Instead of waiting to season the steak when it went on the skillet, I sprinkled Instant Gourmet and salt on it while I let the onion cook. I then added the steak to the skillet and browned it up.

I added 1/4 cup of whiskey and didn’t think it covered enough of the steak so I added another 1/4 cup and mixed in the onions. Be sure to keep the burner off when adding the whiskey or you might just end up with and unexpected flambe.

Once I added the whiskey safely, I turned the heat back on medium. Once it started simmering, I turned it down just a bit. I kept stirring the onions up in the whiskey too. Eventually, after about 5 to 10 minutes it had reduced down to a nice sauce.

I removed the cast iron pan from the stove and cut the steak down into 2 portions. The only thing I dislike about sirloin is that it is a little bit fattier than I care for so I did have to cut it up a bit to get enough meat to eat. I only put a little bit of the onion/whiskey sauce on my steak until I knew what to expect. I didn’t have high hopes.

To my surprise, the onions really did add a sweetness to the steak and they didn’t have that same slimy feel that the sliced onions usually have. I think finely chopping them made a huge difference in the texture. They were soft and mushy, but not slimy. I made sure to just put a little on each piece of steak so I didn’t get much of that mushy texture either. I’m not quite sure why the recipe calls for sirloin. I think the next time I make steak this way I’m going to try a London broil or maybe even a strip steak. They are a bit more lean.

I can’t believe I actually found a way to eat onions! It was totally unexpected. I never would have thought I’d be looking forward to trying an onion dish a second time (or first for that matter).

Are there any recipes that have surprised your fussy eater? Let me know and I’ll give them a try too.

Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey Recipe

My wife bought a butternut squash at least a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been putting off using it till we could figure out what to do with it. Well, the other day she found a recipe that looked like something I might actually like that has honey and cinnamon in it. Cinnamon is one of my favorite ingredients after all. I’ve modified the original recipe to include brown sugar and nutmeg based on some of the comments on the site.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Scoop seeds out of butternut squash.
  2. Arrange butternut squash pieces, cut-side down, in a large baking dish.
  3. Pour hot water in the baking dish to a depth of about 1/4-inch.
  4. Bake butternut squash at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Cool squash; peel.
  6. Cut squash into 1/2-inch squares and place in a 9x13x2-inch baking dish.
  7. Pour butter and honey over squash, then sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon.
  8. Return to oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until butternut squash is glazed and hot.

Unlike regular squash, butternut squash is kind of hard. It was not easy to slice it open to get the seeds out. Once I had it cut open, it kind of resembled pumpkin. It was orange inside and had seeds that looked a bit like pumpkin seeds as well. Because it is such a hard vegetable to cut, I’d suggest using a rather large chef knife or something similar.

I wasn’t quite sure how the recipe called for them to be quartered lengthwise, so I just made another long cut which left them kind of looking like giant spoons of some sort.

While I let them bake in the oven to soften, I chopped up the pecans and mixed the other ingredients. I did things a little differently than called for in the original recipe. They mentioned pouring the butter and honey over the squash and then sprinkling with pecan and cinnamon. I decided it would be better to mix them all together and pour the whole thing over them.

I added the butter and honey to the pecans with the other ingredients and mixed them thoroughly before pouring them over the squash. I put it back in the over for about 20 minutes and went on to prepare the tilapia we were having. The butternut squash looked great when it came out of the oven.

We fixed up out plate with tilapia, butternut squash, and peas. As we headed out into the other room to eat, I was hopeful that the cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey had made the butternut squash sweet and delicious.

Well, that didn’t quite go like I planned. The initial taste of cinnamon, brown sugar and honey was OK, but there was an awful aftertaste that I didn’t care for at all. I haven’t had pecans before so I wasn’t sure if it was them or the butternut squash at first. I’m pretty sure it was the squash since it kind of tasted a little like the squash smelled when I first cut it open.

Linda didn’t care for it either. At first maybe I thought I had messed up or the squash wasn’t ripe or maybe over ripe. However, Linda took it in to Gold’s Gym the next day and some of the people there loved it.

All in all, I’d have to say this probably won’t go over well with a fussy eater, but it may be quite a treat for those with a less picky palate.

via Butternut Squash Recipe – Candied Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Honey.

Here is Linda’s take on the butternut squash. http://www.getmotivatedgetmovinggethealthy.com/2012/09/29/butternut-squash-oy-vey/

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