The Daily Rush

Life is hard. Make cooking easy.

Archive for the ‘Recipes by Main Ingredient’

Easy Homemade Noodles & Noodles Napoli

November 08, 2008 By: Brook Category: Kids in the Kitchen, Recipe Categories:, Recipes by Main Ingredient, Rice and Pasta, Side Dishes No Comments →

Make-and-Serve Your Own Homemade Pasta Noodles
What kid doesn’t like noodles and what kid doesn’t like playing with flour, and dough, and all that messy stuff! So grab your family, and let everyone get into the act—mixing, and rolling, and messing and drying. Be sure to have your camera handy for some memorable pictures—after a few batches. You’ll all be pros!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
A floured surface and a rolling pin

Mix the flour and salt and form into a pile. Make a well in the center. Put the eggs, oil, and water in the well. With your hands, start pulling the flour into the well, mixing and pulling, mixing and pulling, until all is blended into dough.

Form the dough into a ball and knead for 5 minutes on a floured surface. Divide dough into quarters and work with one quarter at a time (keeping the rest of the dough covered).

On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough in rectangular form as thin as you can get it. Gently fold the dough in thirds; and using a sharp knife cut the layered dough into 1/4 -inch wide strips. Gently unfold the strips to their full length and lay them on a towel or hang them over a hanger, to air dry for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile bring your largest pot of boiling water to a boil; add a little salt; add in the noodles. Cook just until al dente about 3 to 5 minutes. (Remember, fresh noodles cook faster than packaged/dried pasta noodles.) Drain and toss with melted butter, a little chopped fresh parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese; or serve with a favorite spaghetti sauce.

If you find that you and your kids love making your own pasta noodles, invest in a pasta machine that will automatically roll and cut the dough for you! You can store freshly made, uncooked pasta (wrapped) in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for several months. It also might be fun to look into making different ‘flavors’ of pasta, by adding herbs and spices to the dough.

Example recipe using homemade noodles:

Noodles Napoli

8 ounces broad noodles, cooked al dente and drained
2 cups chopped ham or chopped cooked chicken
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Grease a 9 x 13 –inch baking dish. Layer 1/3 noodles, 1/2 the cooked meat, 1/3 noodles, remaining meat, last third noodles. Beat eggs, milk, and cream well; pour over casserole. Top with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Blanch / Blanching

November 08, 2008 By: Brook Category: Cook's Glossary, Recipe Categories:, Recipes by Main Ingredient, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetables No Comments →

Blanching is a quick-cooking process in which food is briefly plunged into boiling water to partially cook for a minute or two, then immediately transferred to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.

Example recipe, using blanched or par-boiled broccoli:
Batter-Fried Broccoli

8 servings

2 pounds broccoli (use the florets and very tops of stems)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

Parboil (blanch) the broccoli florets for 2 or 3 minutes to tenderize but not fully cook. Set aside to evaporate and dry. (Broccoli must be dry, or batter will not stick.)

Meanwhile mix remaining ingredients to make a batter. Heat 4 to 5 cups of vegetable oil to 350° in a deep fryer. Batter the broccoli to coat and deep-fry, in batches, for about 3 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Serve hot as is or with assorted dips, such as a ranch-style dressing or mustard-mayonnaise.

Note* If you do not have a deep fryer, such as a FryDaddy™ or a FryBaby™ an electric-skillet will do just fine. Make sure you get your oil up to temperature and hold it there, frying small batches at a time, so as not to cool down the oil. This will keep your batter from absorbing too much oil and becoming soggy.

Example recipe, using blanched asparagus:
Asparagus-Prosciutto Appetizer Spears

Fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
Cream cheese
Prosciutto (imported Italian salt and air-cured ham)

Trim asparagus by “snapping” off woody ends. Plunge into boiling water until crisp-tender. Immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain and pat dry. Spread middle-third of each spear with a little cream cheese and wrap in thinly sliced prosciutto ham to cover the cream cheese. Arrange on serving platter.

Easy-Style Homemade Pot Roast of Beef

May 03, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Beef, Dinners, Slow Cooker Recipes No Comments →

6 to 8 servings

2 to 3 pounds round steak, trimmed of fat and cut into cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
¼ teaspoon each: dill, chives, parsley, sweet basil, dry mustard
1 cup water
1 tablespoon grape jelly
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in ½ cup water

Place cubed meat in slow-cooker crockery pot. Mix the rest of ingredients
together, stirring well and pour over meat. Stir again well to coat all. Cover with
lid and cook on low setting for 5 to 7 hours, or until meat is very tender. Serve
the meat and sauce on rolls. (Can shred the meat if desired.)

RUSH HOUR TIP… using dark brown sugar in your recipes adds depth and a nice caramelizing flavor to sauces and glazes.

Veggie Packets

April 15, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Vegetables, Vegetables 1 Comment →

Slice and dice a mixture of potatoes and vegetables, add a dab of butter and fold into a tightly-sealed aluminum foil packet. Place packets in with roasts during the last hour of cooking. Experiment with adding different herbs, salt and pepper for seasoning.

Simple Sloppy Joes

April 14, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Beef, Sandwiches 1 Comment →

3/4 pound ground round
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
4 hamburger buns, toasted (I like to use whole wheat)Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic; cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in water and next 7 ingredients (through mushrooms); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Split buns and toast. Spoon 2/3 cup meat mixture onto bottom half of each bun; cover with top half of bun.

Vegetarian Pasta and Tomato Toss

April 11, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Dinners, Rice and Pasta No Comments →

8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
4 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning. Chop tomatoes into bite-size chunks and stir to coat in oil mixture. Drain pasta and toss with tomato mixture. Add cheese and toss until just melted. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Perfect Pepperoni and Penne Pasta

April 09, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Dinners, Rice and Pasta No Comments →

This simple recipe is a “reader’s favorite” and goes over well with kids too. Be prepared-they will likely request seconds!1(16 ounce) package penne pasta
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Mexican-style cheese, shredded
1 container part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces pepperoni sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Spray a 9 x 13 -inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk eggs lightly. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drain pasta and add to mixture, tossing to coat. Transfer mixture to baking dish. Bake at 375º for 25 minutes or until edges are golden. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Brook’s Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

April 08, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Dinners, Recipe Categories:, Rice and Pasta 1 Comment →

Makes 4-6 servings

1 lb. lean ground chuck
1 medium onion chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (I use 2, love that garlic!)
2 cans (15 ounce) Hunts tomato Sauce
1 can (15 ounce) Hunts Tomato Sauce with Basil and Oregano
1 small can (6 ounce) Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3 tablespoons light Brown Sugar
16 ounces pasta

Brown beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Drain. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT tomato paste and let simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Check for consistency - if you like a thicker sauce add paste by spoonful to reach desired consistency. (I add the whole can at this point in the cooking process.) If you add paste, stir and let simmer another 10 minutes. Sample. it should be delicious! If you like a sweeter sauce, add one more tablespoon of light brown sugar. Serve

Note: Although we only have a family of 3 and my daughter is going through her anti-sketti-sauce phase, I still make the full batch and sometimes even double it! This freezes easily and keeps for 3 months. Simply transfer from freezer the night before and then reheat in a saucepan. You can add fresh green peppers, mushrooms, garden tomatoes… to jazz up the sauce to your liking.

Joan’s Chicken in a Pot

April 04, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Chicken, Dinners, Slow Cooker Recipes 1 Comment →

6 to 8 servings
1 (3 pound) chicken, left whole
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks, with leaves, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed basil
½ cup water, chicken broth or white wine
Put vegetables in bottom of slow cooker. Salt and pepper the chicken and put
on top of the vegetables. Pour in the ½ cup liquid and sprinkle with basil. Cover
with lid and cook on low setting 7 to 10 hours (or 3 to 4 hours on high setting,
adding another ½ cup liquid). Carefully remove chicken from the crockerystyle
pot using a spatula and place on serving platter Strain remaining cooking
juices and make gravy.

French Bread Chicken and Cheese Melts

March 30, 2008 By: brooknoel Category: Chicken, Recipe Categories:, Sandwiches No Comments →

6 servings


  • One loaf French bread, *split the long way, down the middle; then each half cut into thirds, for a total of 6 individual pizza-style portions
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, such as Contadina®
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 pound chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 425º. Place bread cut-sides-up on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bread is lightly toasted. Spread pizza sauce over bread; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet; add garlic and chicken. Cook chicken until no longer pink. Add basil, bell pepper, and onion. Cook until heated through and onion is transparent, about 3 minutes more. Spread chicken/onion mixture evenly over French bread “pizzas.” Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and return pizzas to 425º oven. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from baking sheet with spatula and serve.