Mel’s Favorite Fare


A good main course is the center of the meal. Try these.

Yes, to this chicken
2 lbs. chicken breasts
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 C mild salsa
3-4 TBS brown sugar
1 4-oz. can mild diced green chilies
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 TBS chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 tsp. each smoked paprika, dry oregano and pepper
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chili pepper
1 tsp. liquid smoke
hot sauce to taste
Rub chicken breasts with oil and place in bottom of slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except for hot sauce. Cook on high for 2-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours, until chicken is tender enough to shred. Remove chicken to a cutting board, and let rest 5 minutes before shredding (there will be liquid remaining).
Return shredded chicken and let cook on low for an additional 20 minutes to absorb some of the liquid/juices. Drain all excess liquid. Taste and add hot sauce to taste if desired.
Angel hair Caesar
12 oz. angel hair pasta
1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 pint creamy Caesar dressing
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBS juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C freshly chopped parsley
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper then add to skillet. Cook until chicken is golden and cooked through, 8 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes and then slice into strips. Wipe skillet clean.
Return skillet to medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve about two tablespoons of bacon fat in skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Pour in broth to deglaze pan. Stir in Caesar dressing and bring mixture to a low simmer. Add chicken back in to warm then add angel hair, Parmesan, lemon juice, and parsley and toss until combined. (If sauce is too thick, gradually add pasta water, about 1⁄4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.) Serve on a warm plate.
The best hamburger casserole
16 oz. dried farfalle pasta
1 C onion, chopped
1/2 C green pepper, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1-1/2 C water
3/4 C chili sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
2-1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded/divided
2-1/2 C Mozzarella cheese, shredded/divided
1-1/2 C soft fresh bread crumbs
3 TBS butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11×14-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook noodles according to package directions in salted water until al dente. Drain thoroughly. In a large nonstick skillet, on medium heat, cook onion and green pepper until veggies are beginning to soften. Add beef to skillet. Sprinkle meat and veggies with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until there is no longer any pink in the meat, about 10 minutes. Drain excess fat.
Dry pasta pot, then use it to mix together soup, water, chili sauce, Sriracha, 1 cup cheddar cheese and 1 cup Mozzarella cheese until combined. Stir in drained noodles and beef mixture. Transfer to a greased 11×14 baking dish. Sprinkle top of casserole evenly with remaining 1-1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1-1/2 cups of Mozzarella. Toss breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
She said, “I might wake up early and go running. I also might wake up and win the lottery. The odds are about the same.”
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
(Melanie Behrens –
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