Friday, November 22, 2019

Green Beans and Potatoes

 























Really, is there any other way to eat green beans?   It’s my favorite way to eat fresh green beans, hands-down.  I have eaten this dish many times as my main course and I even serve it at Thanksgiving.  Although I have to be careful because nothing else gets eaten when there’s a big bowl of fresh green beans and potatoes on the table!

Green Beans and Potatoes 

2-3 pounds fresh green beans
8 slices bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces and fried
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (or any potato except Russet) 
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Wash and trim beans and break them into 2-inch pieces; set aside.






















In a large skillet, fry the bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate when done but do not drain the fat from skillet.
























Add onion and green beans to the bacon fat and saute just until onion is tender and translucent. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Once again, do not drain the fat.

 






















 In a large Dutch oven or pot, add chicken broth, butter, salt, pepper and stir. Cut potatoes into large cubes or chunks and add to the liquid. I use Yukon Gold but you can use any potato you like other than baking potatoes.  Russets get too mushy when you boil them.  






















  
Add the green beans and onions, including the bacon drippings to the pot and bring to a full boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender…..about 30 minutes.  Don’t overcook or potatoes will get mushy. Serve in bowls and top with crumbled fried bacon pieces.  OH YUM!

NOTE:  You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker.  Just follow the same exact recipe but cook on high for about 4 hours or until potatoes are fork tender.
 






















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My Favorite Mac and Cheese

























I have several recipes for Mac and cheese here at Welcome Home that are my go to recipes for most occasions. So why did I choose this one for this Thanksgiving? Because when you want a really cheesy and creamy mac and cheese dish, this is the one. Absolutely delicious!

My Favorite Mac and Cheese
 
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
Pinch of cayenne powder
1 (16 ounce) box of elbow or spiral macaroni
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 cup Fontina cheese,
divided
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, divided
 
In a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half a little at a time. Stir 3-5 minutes while sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, season with the salt, pepper, dried mustard, cayenne and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside. 



























Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt and then pasta. Cook for about 5 minutes, until pasta is just slightly under cooked. Drain in a colander and return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir until melted and pasta is coated. Set aside


















Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter or non stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the remaining cheeses and toss lightly to blend. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the mixed cheeses for the topping and set aside.

Place one third of the pasta in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.  Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees on center rack of oven for about 45 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly and topping is golden brown.

 
 





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Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
























I like Cracker Barrel but I love their Hash brown casserole. I have made a lot of these in the past but this is my favorite.  There is something about the beef broth that truly brings this to a whole new level.

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

26 -30 ounces of shredded hash browns
2 cups of shredded cheese  (I use Colby Jack or sharp cheddar)
12 cup beef broth
14 cup finely diced onion
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic salt
14 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in microwave. Mix in milk, beef broth, garlic salt, pepper, and onion in large bowl. Set aside.

 




























In large skillet heat the hash browns and fold in shredded cheese until melted.

 



     















     


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour hash browns and cheese mixture into prepared pan.  

 




























Next pour in the broth mixture and mix well. Keep flattening hash browns with the back of a spoon or spatula until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes.  Serve as
a side dish.  YUM!


 



























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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Light and Fluffy Dinner Rolls

















These dinner rolls are so easy to make you’ll never buy store bought rolls again. They are so soft and light and fluffy and you taste just a hint of sweetness from the added honey. Warning:  You may eat too many buttery rolls and not want dinner!

Light and Fluffy Dinner Rolls
2¾-3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup honey
¼ cup butter
1 egg
2½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
½ cup water
¼ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted (for brushing tops)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Once it reaches that temperature, turn it off.  This will give you a warm place for your dough to rise.























In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Set aside.





















In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the honey, butter, water and milk. Heat in the microwave on high for about 90 seconds until the mixture is hot and the butter is almost melted. Allow the mixture to sit on the counter for about 4-5 minutes to cool slightly.

Stir the milk mixture and the flour mixture together and stir. Add the egg and stir until a soft and sticky dough forms. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach your dough hook.  Put mixer on lowest setting for 4 minutes until you see the dough becomes stretchy and elastic.  























NOTE:  If you do not have a stand mixer with dough hook, simply flour you counter or work surface with a little flour to keep the dough from sticking. Use very little four.  Turn the dough out of the bowl onto the lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 4 minutes until dough becomes elastic.

NOTE:  The dough should be soft and smooth but still slightly tacky to the touch. After a few minutes of kneading, pinch off  a small piece of dough to test to see if it needs more flour or not. It might leave a little bit of sticky residue on your fingers, but if you can roll it into a small ball without it sticking all over to your hands, it is good to go. If not, gradually add a bit more flour as needed.


















Once the dough is the right consistency, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest on the counter for 5 minutes. Once the dough has rested, cut it into 12 equal pieces.

Roll the dough into circles and place into a well-buttered 9 x 13 baking pan. Generously butter the tops and sides of each roll with the melted butter and then place a clean kitchen linen towel on top.  Set aside in a warm place to allow dough to rise. I like to use my warm oven that I had previously preheated.






























Remove the rolls from the oven once they have risen.  Turn the oven back on to 375 degrees.  























Bake the rolls for 17-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown in color.  Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter. Serve immediately.
























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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pan Fried Country Pork Chops






















So, somewhere along the way, we seemed to have gotten away from pan frying. We were convinced that it wasn’t good to fry and so those good old southern recipes got lost in the shuffle of recipes that called for baking and grilling your food.  Well, I think it’s time to bring it back.  Especially when it comes to pork chops. There is nothing more gorgeous than a perfectly seasoned, beautifully browned, moist and tender pork chop.




















Now keep in mind not all pork chops are alike. If you truly want a moist chop, it all starts with the right cut.  I only buy the Porterhouse cut when I buy pork chops.  Also known as the bone-in Loin chop, it is the Cadillac of all chops. It includes the loin and a small piece of tenderloin, separated by a T-shaped bone for extra juiciness.




















Pan Fried Country Pork Chops

4 bone in pork chops (rib or porterhouse) about ¾ to 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons of bacon fat or use ½ cup peanut oil for frying
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.  Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel to absorb all moisture. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.

























Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.  Lightly dredge each side of the pork chops in the flour mixture, shake off excess flour and set aside on a plate.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet), heat the bacon grease or oil over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle.  Add the butter. When the butter is melted and the butter and oil is hot, fry the pork chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. You want the skillet very hot so you get a nice sear on the outside. 




















Make sure they are not crowding each other too much. There should be space between the chops in the pan or the meat will steam and not sear properly.  I usually fry two at a time.


Once the chops are beautifully browned, move the skillet to the oven and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees.  Allow the chops to rest about 5 minutes or so before serving.



















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