Effortless Meals

The Gathering of Friends author, Michelle Huxtable, shares her favorite quick and easy recipes to get you through the hectic holiday season. No need to live on candy canes this year.

Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

2 lg. chicken breasts boneless, skinless

2 c. sticky rice, uncooked

4 lg. garden carrots

3 sweet green onions

¾ c. garden green beans

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

½ garden zucchini

½ med. red bell pepper

3 eggs

1 tbsp. milk

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Set aside. Cut chicken breasts in half down the middle. Take each half and slice from side to side into thirds. Place chicken pieces between wax paper, tenderize with meat mallet. Cut chicken into strips and sauté in wok with ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil on high heat. Cut zucchini in fourths, remove seeds and gently cut into small chunks. Clean and cut carrots into bite size pieces, dice green beans, place in wok and drizzle with an additional ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil. Stir fry until vegetables begin to brown on edges. Fold in chopped onions and red bell pepper, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Fold in cooked sticky rice and continue to stir fry on high heat. Push rice mix to the side of wok. In a bowl beat three eggs adding milk, salt and pepper and pour in egg mixture. Cook eggs till light and fluffy. When eggs are fully cooked stir into rice and vegetable mix. Add soy sauce to taste.

From The Gathering of Friends Volume 2, Chapter 6, page 144

Beef Stroganoff

3 rib eye steaks (10 oz. ea.)

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. granulated beef bouillon

12 oz. rigatoni pasta

1 tbsp. dried onion

½ tsp. ground pepper

½ c. flour

2 c. 2% milk

2 c. water

2 sweet green onion, diced

2 c. sour cream

Generously salt and pepper rib eye steaks. Heat a heavy skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil and sear rib eye steaks until medium rare or as desired. Remove from skillet and cut into bite size pieces. Sauté 2 tbsp. olive oil and bouillon with rib eye drippings. With a wire whisk fold in flour, dried onion and pepper. Slowly add milk and water to skillet stirring until gravy slightly thickens. Fold in sour cream and rib eye steak pieces. Gravy will be thin with a rich flavor. Cook rigatoni al dente. Rinse and place noodles on plate and top with beef stroganoff. Garnish with diced green onions, salt and pepper to taste.

From The Gathering of Friends Volume 2, Chapter 6, page 145

Chicken Tetrazzini

2½ lbs. chicken tenders

6 slices of bacon

1 lg. sweet red onion

1 lg. green bell pepper

2 c. sliced mushrooms

1 lb. fusilli pasta, dry

1 lb. grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 tsp. fresh chopped chives

½ c. chicken broth

1½ tbsp. granulated chicken bouillon

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray large stock pot with cooking spray and place chicken tenders in pot. Slowly simmer until chicken is tender. Cut into bite size pieces. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels but reserve bacon drippings. Chop bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onions, green pepper and mushrooms with a dash of salt and pepper in reserved bacon drippings. Combine with chicken pieces. Boil fusilli noodles al dente in a large stock pot, adding granulated chicken bouillon to water. When pasta is cooked, rinse in strainer and place in stock pot. Fold in green peppers, red onion, chicken pieces and half of the bacon, toss gently with Monterey Jack cheese. Pour into 9″x13″ pan and sprinkle with rest of the bacon and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add chicken broth and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Garnish with fresh chives and serve immediately.

From The Gathering of Friends Volume 2, Chapter 6, page 146

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