First Tuesday Recipes for November

To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that fall is a great time for comfort food. And to celebrate this time of year, I’ve got three cozy, warm recipes for you this month.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup (with thanks to my father)

1 pound button mushrooms, caps and stems separated (you can probably use more exotic mushrooms if you’d like, but I’ve only tried it with button mushrooms)

1/2 c. butter

1 t. lemon juice

1 sm. onion, chopped

1/3 c. flour

3 c. chicken stock (use vegetable stock to make the soup vegetarian)

1 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1 handful fresh thyme

Trim tough ends from mushroom stems and discard; coarsely chop stems and set aside. Slice mushroom caps thinly.

In a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sauté sliced mushroom caps with lemon juice until mushrooms are tender, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove caps from butter and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. In remaining butter, sauté onion and mushroom stems until onion is tender. Add flour and and stir until blended. Cook mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Gradually stir in stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.

Using immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth. You can also use a regular blender and blend the mixture in batches, being careful because the mixture is hot.

Stir in salt, pepper, cream, reserved mushroom caps, and thyme. Cook until soup is completely heated through.

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Apple Cider Chicken

1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

3 T. butter, divided

3 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thickly (Granny Smiths work well)

1/4 shallots, finely chopped

1 T. fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried)

1/2 c. apple cider

1/2 c. chicken broth

3 T. heavy cream

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt 2 T. butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm by tenting it with foil.

Melt remaining 1 T. butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add apples, shallots, and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.

Add apple cider and broth; bring to a simmer. Return chicken (and any juices on the plate) to pan; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through, about 10 minutes. Place chicken on platter; keep warm. Add cream to skillet; stir until heated through. Spoon sauce over chicken.

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Apple-Cinnamon Cheesecake

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheets)

5 T. butter, melted

1 1/4 c. sugar, divided

1 lb. cream cheese, softened

1 t. vanilla

2 t. cinnamon

4 eggs

2 oz. apple juice (or 1 oz. apple juice and 1 oz. brandy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 c. sugar in a medium bowl. Press mixture on bottom and about 1/2″ up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. When you take the crust out of the oven, place the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap the foil tightly around the pan, making sure the foil goes partway up the side of the pan. Allow crust to cool slightly.

Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Using a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add juice (or juice and brandy). Mix for 3-4 minutes on medium speed and pour into prepared crust.

Prepare a water bath for the cheesecake. If you need instructions on how to do that, click here for a quick tutorial.

Bake cheesecake for 65-70 minutes or until center is almost set. Allow to cool completely in fridge before serving.

Enjoy!

Got any recipes you’d like to share? Email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll put them in a future post.

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes of 2020!

Happy New Year! Welcome to another installment of my monthly First Tuesday Recipes series. This month we’re going international. I’ve got an Eastern European comfort food, a French-inspired entrée, and a German side dish.

Let’s get cooking!

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Chicken Babka

For the dough:

1 1/4 c. flour

1/4 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1/2 c. solid Crisco (do NOT use butter)

1 egg, beaten

3 T. milk

For the filling:

2 c. cooked chicken breast, chopped

1/2 c. chopped celery

1 T. chopped parsley

1/2 t. salt

1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted and divided (do not substitute another cream soup)

chicken broth

Prepare dough: sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in Crisco with two knives until pieces are pea-sized. In a small bowl, combine egg and milk; add to dry ingredients. Toss with a fork until dough holds together. With floured hands, pat dough into a ball. Chill overnight.

Prepare filling: in a large bowl combine chicken, celery, parsley, salt, and 1/2 c. soup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble: on a floured surface, roll out dough into 16″ by 17″ rectangle. Spread with filling. Roll up lengthwise. Shape roll into a ring and place in a greased 9″ pie pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden.

While babka bakes, in a small saucepan combine remaining soup and chicken broth to make a gravy. The amount of broth you use will depend on how thick you like your gravy. Simmer until heated through. Slice babka and serve with gravy.

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Chicken Monte Cristo

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 slices deli ham

3 slices Swiss cheese

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

Cooking spray

Cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Flatten chicken to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each chicken breast with black pepper. Cut each slice of ham and each slice of cheese in half. Place one piece of ham and one piece of cheese on top of each chicken breast. Roll up each breast lengthwise, tuck ends under, and secure with a toothpick.

Dip each chicken roll in egg white, then dredge in breadcrumbs.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place the chicken on the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve with cherry preserves.

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German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes

6 slices bacon

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 T. flour

2 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 t. celery seed (key ingredient–no substitutions)

dash pepper

1 c. water

1/2 c. vinegar

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Cook potatoes until tender. Drain well and slice. Cook bacon until crisp, reserving 1/4 c. drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.

Cook onion in drippings until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add water and vinegar. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more; fold in bacon and potato slices. Heat through, tossing lightly. Add egg slices; toss lightly just to mix.

Enjoy!

As always, if you have a recipe you’d like to share, please email me at amymreadeauthor@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to include it in a future post!

Until next time,

Amy