All posts by Sarah Berthiaume

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (11)

Please allow me to introduce you to Magic… Magic, this is the people of the United States, Australia, England, France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Poland, the Ukraine, etc. Sorry for those followers I didn’t list but I really dont know your all of your names so hopefully this introduction will suffice! This is a honestly one of the quickest week night dinners I have made in quite some time, and I have all the faith in the world that if your a fan of Chicken Cordon Bleu, you will love this majestical little gent!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (10)

I have to say that I think aside from dilly-dallying around my kitchen, sipping wine (surprisingly yes wine and not craft beer) it only took me about 35 minutes from skillet to plate! Who in their right mind do not like easy weeknight skillet bakes?! The devil, that’s who!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet Bake (83)

Ingredients

1 Pkg Cooked Penne

2 Cups Cream

1 Cup Cream Cheese

2 Cups Swiss Cheese; shredded

2 Cups Chicken; cooked + chopped

1 Cup Ham Cold Cuts; Chopped

3/4 Cups Bacon Crumbles

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Cup Pepperidge Farms Stuffing

4 Tbsp Salted Butter

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For this recipe as well as any other pasta dishes that include bacon, I use thick sliced bacon. I do this because I feel that it adds to the crispness and well as flavor.

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What we need to do is cook the bacon nice and crisp so that we can crumble and add it in due time to our skillet bake!

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I tend to cook my bacon using the water method but tomato-tomato, so feel free to cook your bacon however you want!

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Personally, I have never over cooked bacon this way and it is always perfectly crispy and beautifully crunchy so until she proves me wrong, I will continue with this controversial cooking method! Pfffft you know I like to live life on the edge every now and then!

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[Insert honey badger narrative voice here]

Would you look at that?!

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Cook your pasta as directed on the packages instructions for al dente, then add your cream and cream cheese in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat all the while whisking to fully incorporate. Once it is all happy and combined, reduce the heat to medium-low.

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Would you look at that! Also note that those are bubbles from whisking, NOT BOILING!

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Toss in your Garlic + Onion Powder as well as black pepper… (Okay, now those are bubbles from simmering)

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Once again, whisk well to combine!

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Toss in 1 1/2 cup of your Swiss Cheese (reserving 1/2 cup for the topping) and you guessed it…. whisk well to combine… See? This is so easy, a monkey could do it!

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Continue whisking until fully melted and at this point we want to reduce the heat to low.

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Toss in your chicken and ham…

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Stir well to fully combine all the magical goodness!

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GAAAH MY GAWD THERE IS SO MUCH MAGIC HAPPENING RIGHT NOW THAT MY FEELING CAN NOT TAKE IT!!!!!

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Finally drain your pasta and add to your skillet!

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Toss well to fully combine and coat your pasta evenly, then remove from heat and set aside.

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In a small sauce pan, make Paula Dean proud and melt your butter.

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Add your Peppridge Farms Stuffing cubes and toss well to coat in the devils goodness AKA butter!

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Scatter the stuffing cubes about the skillet…

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Then sprinkle with remaining Swiss Cheese and your bacon crumbles!

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Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the cubes are slightly browned.

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[Insert honey badger voice once again]

Would you look at that! Just look at it!

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Plate and serve with fresh chopped parsley or scallions tossed about the plate!

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And most importantly, enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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After all, its been a long week and you work hard- so why not dabble a bit in the dark side?!

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CIAO!

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Creamy BLT + Wilted Spinach Pasta

Creamy BLT + Wilted Spinach Pasta (74)

This is something that I started to type up the other day but my WiFi was in and out at the house on top of having a rough day.. so forgive me for giving up and building a fort out of blankets. Yes, you heard right… a fort out of blankets.

DTBBF (Down To Build Blanket Forts)

I have learned that when things get a bit out of whack and you need to take a step back, just remember you are queen of your own domain and no one can judge you for being DTBBF [down to build blanket forts]. Blanket forts are a no fail way for making even your darkest of days that much brighter- so long as you have a string of Christmas lights hanging around at least.

Creamy BLT + Wilted Spinach Pasta (65)

Anyways, when I was making this dish I honestly had not gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks due to a crazy business/personal schedule so it was made up of what I had hanging around in my pantry which is pretty majestical in itself! It was inspired from multiple different Pins on Pinterest but I took some from this recipe and took some from that recipe, so needless to say it was my own Frankenstein of sorts.

Creamy BLT + Wilted Spinach Pasta (5)

Ingredients

1 Pkg Fettuccine; cooked al dente

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese; shredded

1/2 Lb Bacon; cut into 1″ pieces and cooked

3/4 Cup Fresh Spinach; chopped

1/2 Cup Cherry/Grape Tomatoes; quareterd

4 Garlic Cloves; smashed and minced

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

Creamy BLT + Wilted Spinach Pasta (9)

Firstly, cook your bacon… I do mine the water method because I am weird but hey, cant argue with perfection!

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Next drink a beer because your feeling are showing and you need to make them go away! Just kidding, its yummy- so drink!

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Look at that crispy perfection! This is exactly why I love the water method! Transfer your cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and reserve 1 Tbsp of the bacon fat for the next step.

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Using the same skillet and the reserved bacon fat, saute your garlic over medium heat for 1 minute or until tender.

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Add tomatoes and lemon juice, cooking for 1 minute longer.

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Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in your cream, carefully though so that it does not curdle.

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Then whisk in your parmesan cheese…

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And then add your spinach. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

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Look at that happiness!

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Lastly, add bacon and stir to combine.

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Look at that skillet full of magic! Admit it, you want to just eat it like that… Well at least wait until you combine it with the cooked pasta!

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Toss your cooked pasta with your skillet sauce well to combine.

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Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley because you are fancy as fuck and dont let anyone tell you differently!

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Finally, plate and serve.

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Moules a la Mariniere

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

This delectable little number came from Smitten Kitchen who in turn got it from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you are curious about dabbling a bit in the art that is Julia Child, I came across a website dedicated to her recipes here. I know I will definitely be poking around on there in the future and for now, it will have to suffice until I remember to pickup her cook book the next time I am around a book shop.

Honestly, this recipe only took me about 20 minutes from start to finish. Easiest way, hands down, to please any seafood eater. Not only does it have the complexities of a dish from a fine establishment, but it also looks fancy as f**. Just saying. So with all of that being said, click on the links above for Smitten Kitchen’s recipe and other magical creations from Julia Child when you get a moment. You wont be sorry!

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Ingredients

2 Cups Dry White Wine; I used Pinot Grigrio

6 Tbsp Butter

1/2 Cup Minced Shallots or Green Onions

8 Parsley Sprigs

1 Bay Leaf

1/8 Tsp Ground Pepper

1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley

1 1/2-2 Lbs Mussels; soaked and scrubbed

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Combine all the ingredients except for the mussels and chopped parsley in a large pot.

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Bring to a boil over high heat and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes so that all the alcohol evaporates and it reduces slightly.

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Add your mussels to the pot and cover tightly.

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Continue to boil, shaking the pot from time to time to ensure even cooking, for about 5 minutes. You will know the mussels are cooked thoroughly once they all open.

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a large bowl and allow the broth to rest a bit so that any remaining sand falls to the bottom of the pot. Ladle the broth over the mussels and some into a separate bowl to dip some crusty bread in, and finally dust your chopped parsley.

Moules a la Mariniere | Spirits + Thyme

Enjoy!

Truffle Fries

Truffle Fries

This one goes out to all of my fellow gluttons out there- and to all of your inner fat kids just waiting to step out of the shadows. You know your inner fatty is pining away waiting for his/her moment when they can roll around in a big mass of greasy, crispy, crunchy, and salty french fries topped with the most delectable of all toppings. Yea, this is for you.

Gluttonous Truffle Fries Face

This is my “what has my life amounted to” face. OR better known as “I’m about to eat my feels real hard over here”

You know, it is whispered that these sinful little gems make even the devil blush. I am just saying [because no one ever reads these little blips]… if its enough to make the diablo himself blush, sign me up. I am talking super crispy fried french fries topped with fresh minced garlic and parsley, then to take it to a whole other level, we lightly drizzle these guys with some White Truffle Oil.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, we are kicking it up a notch here. 1 out of 7 of the deadly sins just wasn’t enough for us (we already admitted to gluttony) we also have sloth because I made these with frozen french fries. That is for both convenience and laziness. Now there we have it…. 2:7 of the deadly sins….

The price we pay for committing these traitorous acts? One night in purgatory. That is it. [Oh and maybe another inch on your waist line, but no one is judging]. Its okay though, one night is one night! And just think, when the devil asks you why you are there, you can make him blush by telling him you sinned with a big ole’ bowl of truffle fries!

Truffle Fries

Ingredients

1 Pkg Frozen French Fries (I used shoestring cut but use your favorite, or if your an over achiever make your own)

5 – 7 Garlic Cloves; smashed and minced (if you dont like a lot of garlic then feel free to scale it down a bit)

1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley; finely chopped

White Truffle Oil

*Oil for frying; I used coconut oil but use whatever you prefer

(*omit if you decide to bake your fries)

Truffle Fries

Smash and mince your garlic into smithereens then finely chop your parsley and set both aside.

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Cook your fries using your preferred method. If you are pan frying like me, heat your oil in a skillet and once hot, carefully drop in small batches of fries so that they cook in a single layer.

Truffle Fries

Once crispy and golden, remove your fries from the oil and allow to drain on a cooling rack over paper towels or a baking sheet.

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Combine garlic and parsley and mix well either using a mortar and pestle OR the flat of a spoon. The key is to smush it up just a little so that it is not exactly a paste but still pretty happily combined.

Truffle Fries

Transfer your fries to a large bowl or platter and drizzle lightly with the White Truffle Oil tossing well to coat. Finally scatter your garlic and parsley mixture on top and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Truffle Fries

If you really want to make it more interesting, add a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese! I wont judge!

Truffle Fries

Ciao!

Perfect Roasted Potatoes

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This little gem is hands down my favorite way to make roasted potatoes. I know what you are all thinking…

“Sarah, its just potatoes… how good can they really be?”

But I am here to tell you, “Pipe the f*** down! They are more than just potatoes and I am here to tell you why!”

You know when you go to a lovely restaurant much like our local Publik House Historic Inn or Salem Cross Inn and you get a roast with the most crispy roasted potatoes that you have ever had? They are most akin to little potatoes bombs perfectly crunchy and crispy on the outside but a lovely burst of soft fluffiness on the inside? One bite in, you can hear the angels off in the distance singing their songs of praise, the trumpets start blaring, and then you look to your left and see Paula Dean give you her head nod of approval…

That is when you know you have made it. You have had the most delectable roasted potato in the universe, and the spirit of Paula Dean approves.

I am telling you now, you must try this if my description of these little gems dont give you an idea. Honestly it really doesn’t do it justice, but all I have are mere words as my weapons, its all up to you to take my advice and give it a go.

Perfect Roasted Potatoes (3)

Ingredients

6-8 Red Potatoes; peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil; Melted (you can use canola, olive oil, or vegetable oil instead if you wish)

1/4 Cup Flour

Kosher Salt

Ground Black Pepper

 

Preheat your oven to 425F. Add your oil to a roasting pan and heat in the oven while you prep your potatoes in the next step.

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Bring a pot of salted water with your potatoes to a roaring boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover, cooking 4 minutes to they are not fork tender but getting there.

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Strain potatoes in a large colander an toss well with flour to rough them up a bit while ensuring they are coated well.

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Look at those little gems!

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Remove your pan from the oven and carefully add your potatoes to the oil. I say carefully because the oil may spatter a little from the flour.

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Use a large wooden spoon toss the potatoes a bit so they are coated with the oil and evenly distributed along the pan.

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Roast in the oven 20-25 minutes then toss about the pan with your trusty wooden spoon again. Return back to the oven for another 20 minutes to get a bit more crispier.

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Now look at that magic!

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I served these guys with my Meatloaf Cups. They go great with anything and are also amazing the next day when making skillet home fries!

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What is your favorite way to make potatoes, and do you think it will blow this out of the water?

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I am telling you…. magic….