Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sausage, Chicken, and White-Bean Gratin


I wanted a warm and filling dish for a cold winter evening, and this cassoulet-inspired recipe fit the bill.  I liked it, and we had enough leftovers for several meals which were still good the next couple days.

Sausage, Chicken, and White-Bean Gratin
Recipe from One Pot
Serves 10

Ingredients:
1&1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
salt and pepper
4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves (~1 lb), cut into cubes
1&1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cans (14.5 oz each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Directions:
Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon sage, and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

In a dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels.

Add chicken to pot and cook until browned, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.   Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.   Transfer to plate.  

Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat.  Add garlic and onion to the pot and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the chicken, sausage, beans, tomatoes, broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon sage.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.

Cover pot and bake at 375º until bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake until golden brown, another 10 minutes.  Crumble bacon on top and serve.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Salmon en Croûte with Roasted Purple Cauliflower


I saw this Salmon recipe in the free Walgreens WebMD Diabetes magazine and decided to give it a try.  I thought it was excellent.  The salmon was juicy and had a nice lemon flavor, the spinach was good, the basil-cream cheese mixture added delicious creaminess, and the phyllo contributed an interesting crunch factor.  I baked some purple cauliflower along with it for vibrant color and a healthy side dish.  Note: My salmon from the meat department was only 1 pound and it just barely fit wrapped in the phyllo, but I also had a lot more spinach mixture because I didn't pare down the rest of the recipe.

Salmon en Croûte
Recipe from Walgreens WebMD Diabetes Magazine
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed
juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons basil pesto
6 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted
1 large skinless fillet wild salmon (~1&1/2 lbs)

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add spinach and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and add in lemon juice.  Set aside to cook.  Set oven to 400º.

Mix together the cream cheese, pesto, and lemon zest.  Set aside.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil.  Place a sheet of phyllo on the sheet and brush with olive oil.  Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the first and brush with oil.  Continue layering with the remaining phyllo sheets.

Spread the cream cheese mixture on the phyllo, leaving a one-inch border.  Place the salmon across the width of the phyllo, about 1/3 from the bottom.  Spread the cooled spinach mixture on top of the salmon.

Wrap the salmon in phyllo, folding the bottom edge up and top edge down.  Fold edges to seal.  Brush with remaining olive oil.  (At this point you could chill the salmon for 3-4 hours until ready to bake it).

Bake at 400º for 25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

For the cauliflower:  I just tossed it in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and put in on the same pan as the salmon.  It was a nice crisp-tender at the same time and temperature.