Monday, February 26, 2018

Queso Chicken Bake

Boneless, skinless, chicken breast fillets are on sale this week, in a value pack for just $1.59 lb. - Feb 28 - March 6, 2018, at 6 Harter House locations.  Check out our weekly ad flyer to see everything on sale this week.

This Queso Chicken Bake takes a few simple ingredients and blankets them with the rich and creamy cheesiness of queso for a quick and easy one pan meal that your whole family will love.

The whole thing takes only a few minutes to mix together, so it makes a perfect weeknight meal.

You can serve it over some rice and top it off with fresh diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and cool sour cream if you’re feeling fancy, but that moist chicken and creamy cheese is all you really need. 

Queso Chicken Bake
1 hour, 15 minutes to prepare serves 6-8

4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets from Harter House
1 jar (23 oz) salsa con queso
1 can (15 oz. ) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
Sour cream, to garnish (optional)
Tomatoes, diced, to garnish (optional)
Cilantro, chopped, to garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning and place in baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beans, bell pepper, tomatoes and green chilies, and salsa con queso and stir until incorporated. Pour over chicken, spreading out with a rubber spatula if needed.
  4. Top with shredded cheese and cover dish with foil. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and continue baking until sauce bubbles and chicken is cooked through, 10-15 more minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and garnish with sour cream, tomatoes, and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Pinning Mama.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Slow Cooker Ham and Beans


1 pound dried Great Northern beans, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks (bulb only), cut in half lengthwise
1 pound cooked ham, cut into bite-size pieces
5 slices bacon
4 cups chicken stock
1 pinch sea salt to taste
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place the beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
  2. Combine the soaked beans, 4 cups of water, celery, onion, bay leaves, cumin, garlic powder, and parsley into a slow cooker.
  3. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the leeks in the butter mixture until tender and the smaller pieces start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the leeks to the slow cooker. In the same pan, cook and stir the ham until the edges start to brown; stir into the soup. Place the bacon into the hot skillet, and pan-fry until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and stir into the soup. Pour the chicken stock into the hot skillet, and stir to dissolve any brown flavor bits from the skillet; pour the chicken stock into the soup. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  4. Set the cooker to Low cook the soup until the beans are very tender, 6 to 8 hours. Roughly mash about half the beans with a potato masher to thicken the soup.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Oxtails with Gravy

Oxtails make the most flavorful beef stock. For the most part, the robust beef flavor comes from the bones and marrow, but the meat is also very tasty. The rendered stock will be thick and gelatinous due to the collagen released. 

Long, slow braising in a liquid is the preferred method to derive a tender result while drawing maximum flavor from what is pretty much all bones. Plan on a long cooking time. Oxtails work particularly well in crockpots and pressure cookers.

The first time I tried Oxtail, it was prepared by Tong, owner and operator of Tong's Thai.
I don't know his recipe, but I remember it had a very nice, gravy-like, sauce.  I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try.  I was not disappointed.   ~Shelly 

2 pounds beef oxtail
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
Browning Sauces
at Harter House World Flavors
Gravy Master - 2 oz.  $2.89
B-V Broth and Sauce - 3 oz.  $3.39
1 teaspoon seasoning salt                           
2 tablespoons bacon drippings or shortening
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups broth from cooked oxtails
2 dashes browning sauce
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste

Place oxtails, garlic, onions, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, Greek seasoning, and seasoning salt in a large stock pot. Fill with enough water to cover oxtails, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from heat, and reserve 2 cups broth.

Warm bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and browning sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens. Remove from heat.
Place oxtails in skillet, and stir to coat with gravy. Return to stove, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The Oxtails are very fatty.  I removed the meat from the oxtail portions, separating the fat, before adding the meat to my gravy. 
Add any vegetables you desire to this delicious meat and gravy dish!
This is another Oxtail recipe I want to try next.

2 cups flour
Salt and pepper
6 pounds oxtail, cut into chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic sliced then mashed in salt to puree consistency
1 red onion chopped
1 cup red wine
3 cups crushed tomatoes with juice
Water, to cover
3 bay leaves
2 pounds carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes peeled and chopped into large chunks
In a shallow bowl, add the flour. Season well with salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven over high heat, add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the meat, and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. When all of the meat is browned, remove the meat from the pan and set aside on a plate.
To the pot, add the garlic and red onion and allow to sweat. Add the wine to the pot. Add the browned meat back into the pot and add the crushed tomatoes. Add enough water to cover the meat and add the bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and simmer over low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
Add the carrots and the potatoes and simmer for another 45 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Whole Wheat Honey Banana Muffins

"These Whole Wheat Honey Banana Muffins are so good people won’t even notice they’re healthier, my kids had no idea! Instead of being made with plain white flour they are made with healthier white whole wheat flour, then instead of being made with granulated sugar they are made with honey and about half the amount in comparison to the typical amount of sugar that’s normally added. Then another healthier swap is the coconut oil in place of the butter. I’m not normally someone that’s into healthier baked goods but when they’re this good then I’m all in!"

2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting*
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup  honey
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups well mashed overripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray the holes of 16 muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray and dust lightly with wheat flour. Shake out excess flour, set aside. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together white whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds. Set aside.

Add coconut oil to a large microwave save mixing bowl. Heat in microwave until it's just melted. Stir in honey then whisk in eggs. Whisk in bananas and buttermilk. Add wheat flour mixture and whisk just until combined (batter will be lumpy). Divide batter among prepared muffin cups filling each about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs, about 16 - 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around muffins to loosen. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container.

*Whisk flour in container before measuring, then scoop using a measuring cup and level top using a butter knife.

Yield: 16 muffins
Recipe source: Cooking Classy