Kefta – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

May 11, 2015

Kefta
(Seasoned Ground Meat Kebabs)

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Finely Diced Onion (grated onion would be better)
  • 3/4 Cup Finely Diced Parsley
  • 1.5 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1.5 tsp. Allspice
  • 2 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp. Ground Red Pepper
  • 1 Tbls. Olive Oil
  • 1.5 lbs. Ground Beef
  • Pita Bread, warmed
  • Diced Tomato, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine everything except the meat. Squeeze the ingredients together with your hands so that the onion release some of their juices and everything is mashedtogether. Add the ground beef and mix together thoroughly. Pinch off a ball of the meat mixture slightly smaller than a baseball. Roll the meat into a cigar shape and skewer with a kebab skewer. Repeat until all the kebabs have been made. Refrigerate the kebabs for at least 30 minutes so that they will not fall off the skewers when you are grilling them.
  2. Cook the kebabs on a heated grill until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce and diced tomatoes.

Alternative Cooking Method: Roll the meat into cigar shape and lay on a lightly
greased cooking sheet. Cook in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until
cooked through.

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Plain, Non-Fat Yogurt
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Mint
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Minced Garlic
  • ½ Cup Shredded Cucumber

Directions:

Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until used.

Jagerschnitzel – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Jagerschnitzel
(Breaded Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy)

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 lbs Boneless Pork Loin, cut into 4 pork chops
  • 1 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Tbls Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Water
  • 2 Tbls Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Diced Yellow Onion
  • ½ lbs Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 1.5 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1 Tbls Corn Starch
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. Place each pork chop between two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten to ½” with the smooth side of a meat pounder.
  2. In a shallow dish, mix together the bread crumbs and flour. Season flour mixture with salt and pepper. Place the egg in a separate dish and beat with 1 teaspoon of water.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each pork chop in the egg and then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Fry in the hot oil until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the pork to a platter and keep warm. Add onions to the skillet and cook until soft. Remove the onions from the skillet, add a little more vegetable oil and cook the mushrooms until lightly browned. Return the onions to the skillet and add the beef stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir together the cornstarch and sour cream. Stir the sour cream into the skillet. Continue to cook over low heat until thickened but do not boil. Adjust salt and pepper as necessary. Spoon over the pork cutlets and serve immediately.

Bratkartoffeln
(Pan-Fried Potatoes & Onions)

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 Slices Thick-Cut Bacon
  • 4 Medium-Sized Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ tsp. Seasoned Salt
  • 1 Tbls. Chopped Parsley, for garnish if desired

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon.
  2. Add the oil to the bacon grease in the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the skillet and saute until onions are translucent. Season the onions a sprinkle of seasoned salt. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a baking sheet.
  3. Working in batches, put some of the potatoes into the skillet in a single layer. Cook and stir until the potatoes start to brown. It is not necessary to cook the potatoes through. You just want them to take some color. Season the potatoes with the seasoned salt and transfer to the baking sheet with the onions. Continue cooking th potatoes in batches until they are all cooked.
  4. Bake the potatoes and onions in a 350 degree oven until they are cooked through and soft, about 25-30 minutes.
  5. To serve, top the potatoes with the bacon crumble and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

View from the Inside

The Marketing Team after the Bryant Chamber Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting.

The Marketing Team after the Bryant Chamber Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting. L to R: Melinda Johnson, Desiree Paulhamus and Catherine Reid.

Hi! My name is Catherine and I am a new member of the marketing team at Dinner’s Ready. I am fresh out of college and ecstatic about starting my career. Although I am nervous about this new chapter, I couldn’t ask for a better staff to help me transition. I grew up in Benton, graduated as a Panther, and watched Serge and Mary start Dinner’s Ready. It is interesting going from a customer to an employee, but getting to experience the behind the scenes has made it totally fun. My first week I got the opportunity to learn a little bit of everything (except cooking, lucky for you), so here is a little inside scoop of what Dinner’s Ready is like from the other side.

My first day in the office I was nervous and scared. Walking in the front door, I thought I was in the wrong place. The newly renovated market caught me off guard and instantly made me hungry. That afternoon I got to work the register and learn about each product we had as Tammy, our market manager, guided me through everything. The “rollups” are what originally caught my eye, because I get wraps everywhere I go, and all the fresh veggies just made it that much more appealing.  Looking across our shelves, I discovered a lot of products come from Arkansas vendors, which I thought was great because I love supporting local businesses. I also learned that all of our spices and sauces can be paired with different items we have in the market to create a full meal for any size family. We even have easy to follow recipe cards to help the unsavvy chef, like myself.

On the second day, I got to explore what it was like to represent Dinner’s Ready in the community. I visited all of the local schools in Benton and dropped off fliers for a promotion we were having that week. There was a little adrenaline rush each time I had to tell someone about the promotion and Dinner’s Ready. Also that day, I learned about food photography by taking photos of our Mother’s Day assorted treat box. Who knew staging food could be so difficult? The light has to hit the food right, you have to get the correct angle, and you must pose the food just right to get the perfect shot you need.

The third day was probably my favorite. With the help of Michelle, our catering coordinator, I got to set up my own catering event. The amount of preparation that goes into setting up the catering, checking off the items, and making sure we get everything to the customer on time is overwhelming. Thankfully, Michelle is great at making sure every customer has exactly what they need, if not more, to make sure their Dinner’s Ready experience is amazing. There is so much work, communication, and organization skills that this team uses everyday to get things ready and delivered to make each customer a life-long customer.

On the fourth day, we had our Bryant Chamber grand reopening ribbon cutting event. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of people that were representing businesses in the area. While I enjoyed getting to mingle, I got the chance to taste some of our food after all of our guests were full. Let me tell you, everything I tried was amazing, even if it was something I wasn’t sure if I would like. My favorite item we had out for the Bryant Chamber to try was the creamy ranch crab dip. I have never had crab before and I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I was so surprised when I had it, it’s like a little taste of heaven on top of a Ritz cracker.

To wrap up the week I got the chance to go out on my own and talk to some of our customers. I introduced myself to them as the new member of Dinner’s Ready marketing team. Getting to interact with our customers first hand was rewarding, and letting the customers get to know me a little too so they could put a face with a name. I also got the opportunity to be a part of one our catered weddings this weekend. The wedding was at Maumelle Park on the River. The colors were a blush pink, gold, and ivory with antiques located all around the reception area and as centerpieces. I was on my feet a lot that evening but I got the chance to make sure all of the wedding guests were satisfied with the food.

I am so excited for my future here at Dinner’s Ready and happy to be back home. I’m ready to learn the skills to help Dinner’s Ready succeed, it’s going to be a wild ride, but I could not be more ready to start this new chapter as the Dinner’s Ready Marketing Assistant.

Catherine tasting our Chicken Stew samples and learning about our food and products.

Catherine tasting our Chicken Stew samples and learning about our food and products.

Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi Soup – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 (6 ounce) bonesless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 Tbls unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tbls minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (16 ounce) package cheese gnocchi
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, torn into small pieces
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the over to 325 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place on cooking sheet. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced celery, onion and red bell pepper, the shredded carrots and the minced garlic to the hot butter and cook until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir flour into the mixture and continue to cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Stir the chicken broth into vegetables until the flour combines with broth and soup is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour in half-and-half and heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 more minutes. Add the shredded chicken, the gnocchi, and the spinach into soup. Season with salt, black pepper, thyme, and nutmeg. Adjust thickness by adding more chicken broth, if desired. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the fresh thyme springs before serving.

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar prepared basil pesto sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi, and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Drain the gnocchi and return it to the cooking pan. Toss the prepared basil pesto sauce. Sprinkle with the shredded Parmesan cheese to serve.

Sage Butter with Gnocchi – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Sage Butter with Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 5 leaves fresh sage, torn
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbls shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi, and cook until they gloat to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes. Darin the gnocchi and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic has softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the fresh sage and salt for a few seconds, then add the cooked gnocchi. Toss gently with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the pepper. Allow the cheese to melt and slightly brown on the gnocchi.
  3. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to serve.

Chicken Curry & Naan Bread – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken into 1″ long, thin strips.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Add the curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk together.
  3. Add the chicken to the olive oil mixture and stir to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably up to 4 hours.
  4. Preheat a wok over high heat. Working in batches, cook the chicken in the wok until fully cooked through.
  5. Serve over warm white rice or basmati rice.

Naan Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (.25 oz)
  • 1 cup warm water (105 – 110 deg.)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbls. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let stand for 15 minutes, until frothy. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, salt and flour in a separate bowl. When the yeast is frothy, add the milk and egg and stir to combine. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, until it forms a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until smooth. Oil the inside of a large bowl with vegetable oil and place the rounded dough in the bowl. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set it aside to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. When the dough has doubled, punch it down. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a tray sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat.
  4. Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle, either by hand or with a rolling pin. Place the dough in a hot, dry cast iron skillet and cook for a minute or two, or until puffy and lightly browned. Turn dough over and continue to cook until browned, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Combine the melted butter with the garlic and cilantro. Brush one side of the cooked bread with melted butter. Continue process until all the naan has been prepared.

Tomato Bisque – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

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Tomato Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbls. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Slice Bacon, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 5 Tbls. All­Purpose Flour
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can Diced Peeled Tomatoes with Liquid (28 oz)
  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • 3 Parsley Sprigs
  • 3 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium ­high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crisp and most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-­lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Using a submersion blender, puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
  4. Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 Slices Sourdough Bread
  • 2 Tbls. Grape Seed Oil
  • 2 Tbls. Butter
  • 1 Slice Muenster Cheese
  • 1 Slice Swiss Cheese
  • 1 Tbls. Basil Pesto Sauce
  • Sliced Tomato
  • Romaine Lettuce Leaf
  • Thinly Sliced Red Onions

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat the grape seed oil and butter over medium heat. Dip 1 side of each slice of the bread in the oil/butter mixture. Place 1 slice of bread, buttered side down, in the skillet and top with both cheeses and basil pesto sauce. Top with other slice of bread, buttered side up. The goal is to “fry” the bread slightly so that the bread has a nice crust, melting the cheeses.When the first side is browned, flip the sandwich over and cook the other side until nicely browned. Top with fresh sliced tomato, lettuce and thinly sliced red onions.

Tomato Basil Pasta – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Tomato Basil Pasta

2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbls. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 1 Pt. Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbls. Unsalted Butter
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 8-10 Leaves Fresh Basil, cut into ribbons
  • 4 oz. Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for garnish
  • Option Add-Ins: Panko Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Sliced Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Shrimp, sauteed sliced fresh zucchini or summer squash

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to your skillet and one tablespoon of unsalted butter and heat. Add diced garlic and shallots and saute for a minute or two until the shallots turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until tomatoes have wilted, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook because you want the tomatoes to retain their shape.
  3. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter and melt. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss in fresh basil, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish on the plate, and stir in cooked pasta. Heat through.
  4. Divide the pasta into two bowls and top each with the reserved fresh basil and freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese.

Panko Parmesan Crusted Chicken

2 Servings – Optional Add-In

Ingredients:

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • ½ Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbls. Water
  • 4 Tbls. Vegetable Oil

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic film and flatten with a meat mallet to a uniform thickness.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine the Panko bread crumbs, parmesan and dried basil in a bowl. Put the flour in a second bowl, and combine the beaten egg and water in a third bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Dip the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in egg and then into bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Put the chicken in the hot oil and cook until browned on first side, about 3-4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook until browned on the second side.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and continue to cook in a 325 degree oven until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 20 minutes.

Pan-Grilled Filet Steak – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

KARK Valentine's

Pan-Grilled Filet Steak

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 2 8 oz. Beef Filet Steaks
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • White Wine Mushroom Reduction Sauce (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Bring the filets to room temperature. Rub a little bit of olive oil on all sides of the filet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pat the seasonings into the meat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high heat. Put a little bit of olive oil on a paper towel and, while holding the paper towel with a set of tongs, wipe the griddle with the olive oil. The oil should slightly smoke if the grill pan is hot enough.
  3. Place the steaks on the grill pan and leave them untouched for 3 minutes. Rotate the steaks 90 degrees and continue to cook on the same side for another 3 minutes. Turn the steaks over and leave them untouched for 3 more minutes. Again, rotate the steaks 90 degrees and continue to cook until it reaches the desired temperature (about 5 more minutes for a medium steak – 145 deg. to 150 deg.) using a good kitchen thermometer. Temp the steaks in the center.
  4. Remove the steaks from the heat onto a platter and allow the steaks to rest 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Slice the steak across the grain and top with the White Wine Mushroom Reduction Sauce.

White Wine Mushroom Reduction

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbls. Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 4 oz. Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Garlic, finely minced
  • 1?2 Cup White Wine
  • 1 Fresh Leaf Basil
  • 1?2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 Green Onions, diced

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium­high heat. Add 1 Tbls. olive oil and 1 Tbls. butter and heat.
  2. Add the sliced button mushrooms and spread out into a single layer. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown, stirring to cook both sides. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the diced shallot and minced garlic to the mushrooms and continue to cook and stir until shallots start to wilt.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the fresh basil leaf. Lower heat and reduce liquid by half.
  5. Add the chicken stock and diced green onions. Reduce liquid by half again.
  6. Add two remaining Tbls. of butter and incorporate the butter into the sauce with a whisk. Adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.