Sunday, February 13, 2011

Menu Sunday

Ahhh another week full of schizophrenic weather and satisfying meals....

{and a birthday!}

Twice-Baked Potato with Smoked Chicken & Broccoli

Twice-baked potatoes are my ultimate comfort food.  As a kid, my Mama J used to make them for me if I was sick.  And when I was living in Waco for law school, she'd serve them every time I came over for dinner and send me back to my little, ol' lead-base-painted apartment with a foil pie tin packed with the extra halves... the breakfast of champions, I tell you!  TBPs are perfect when cooking for two... you only need one big ol' potato!  I like to add some protein {usually something I have leftover... like chili or chicken!} along with a veggie and make these the Main Supper Event. 

Basic Twice-Baked Potatoes a la Mama J
- baking potatoes {look for bigger, longer taters}
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- tiny bit of milk or cream {or sour cream, if that's your jam}
- fresh cracked pepper
- "fixins" {cheese, bacon, chives, chicken, chili, broccoli - go hog wild!}

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Scrub potato skins to remove any grim.  Rub taters with olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt on all sides.   Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour.  {You could microwave... but the olive oil + kosher salt rub really sinks into the skins during the baking process and is absolutely delicious.}

Remove from the oven {but keep it heated to 425} and allow potatoes to sit until they are cool enough to handle.  Split potatoes in half.  {At this point, if you find your tater isn't baked completely through, put the halves back together, wrap with a damp paper towel, and finish it off in the microwave.} Using a tea spoon, scoop "innards" out into a mixing bowl, leaving enough of the potato in the skins so that the "bowls" don't collapse.  Mash the innards with a little bit of milk {add a T. at a time - one or two should do the trick unless you're making more than 4 halves}, salt and pepper.  Then mix in the rest of your fixins... Mama J goes traditional with lots of extra sharp cheddar... Go all TGIFridays with cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives... Or make a healthier meal out of them with shredded smoked rotisserie chicken and steamed broccoli!  

Re-stuff the skins with the innards mixture.  Shred a little cheese on top and pop the potatoes back in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tops begin to brown.   Yum, yum! 

Asparagus Soup with Smoked Chicken Chile Corn Muffins

Big thanks to Ms. Samma Faye for the soup recipe!  I halved it so we only had about 4 or 5 servings and it  turned out fabulous!  The only tweaks I made were adding in some red pepper flakes and whisking in the Parmesan at the very end instead of using cheese as a garnish!  For the muffins, I just added roasted Hatches, a can of drained corn, and the leftover smoked rotisserie chicken {from my twice-baked taters} to my normal cornbread recipe {halved, to make only 9 muffins}.  Evs wasn't a huge fan {his comment was "I'm not sure I like bread and meat together... to which I replied "ummmm --- SANDWICHES?"}, but I thought they were a nice addition to the meatless soup.

hoisin pork
{sorry, I went all crazy with the Instagram filter on this one}
slaw

Aaaaaand - thanks to Rachel - we have a new favorite crock-pot recipe!  As you may remember, I had a very, very bad incident with pork shoulder / butt.  This time, I made sure to ask my butcher to trim all visible fat off the meat before purchase.  That almost did the trick.... but I still had to cordon off some fatty pieces as I shredded the finished product.  Next time {and there will be a next time}, I might try pork tenderloin.  Y'all?  The slaw?  Oh yes.  I definitely devoured forkfulls straight from the tossing bowl whilst waiting for Evs to come home!

Flowers

As for the rest of the week... I've enjoyed shrimp & grits with a Pimm's Cup at Neighborhood Services Tavern, sour cream apple cobbler at Hibiscus, my favorite pad thai woon sen at Asian Mint, my namesake bottle of vino, the perfect cup of coffee, and {looking forward to} a patio brunch at Gloria's {this afternoon}!

Pimms Cup
Kathryn Hall
Keurig

It's truly shaping up to be a birthday celebration for the record books - huge thank-yous to the family, friends, and sweet husband who made {are making} it fabulous!    

11 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you are having a great birthday! I bookmarked that recipe for the wraps with slaw not too long ago, looks so good! Pork butt/shoulder has been hit and miss for me, sometimes it is really fatty. I use pork tenderloin in the crockpot now, and it seems to work a lot better. Hopefully that helps!

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  2. Happy Birthday!!!
    I've been dying to make some asparagus soup, yours looks amazing!
    Enjoy the rest of your special day!

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  3. The wraps and twice baked potatoes look awesome! They are on my "to make" list...thanks! Happy Birthday!

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  4. Happy Birthday!! Those TB potatoes look delicious. I agree - classic comfort food. My dad made them EVERY Friday night growing up...steak, potatoes, and green bean casserole.

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  5. Happy Birthday! Those twice baked potatoes look amazing!!!

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  6. You have me craving some twice baked potatoes now!

    Happy birthday!!

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  7. Sounds like a fabulous birthday week! Happy happy birthday! :)

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  8. Happy Birthday! All looks great! And yes, definitely go for a pork loin - they're super easy and delicious. Just make sure you don't get one of the pre-marinated ones. I did that and it turned out super salty, yuck!

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  9. Happy birthday! All that food looks amazing! :)

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  10. I need to make that hoisin pork. I love hoisin.

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  11. Just had the hoisin wraps and cabbage slaw tonight for dinner. Delicious!

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happy little comments!