Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Green Chili Beef

I made up another recipe and it was quite tasty. I had gotten a box of tomatillos at the Farmers Market and wanted to use them in something other than salsa. I combined them with beef and other goodies and served over rice and beans. I used a box of Lund Rice and Black Beans--very good-just add water and cook.

1 lb ground beef
6 large tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
1/2 large red onion in chunks
2 large mariachi peppers or jalapenos, in chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 box of Lund rice and black beans

Preheat oven 400

Combine tomatillos, red onion and peppers with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and add garlic. When veggies are done, add them to beef mixture, stir in and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Make rice and beans.  Add cilantro to beef mixture, stir. Serve beef mixture over rice and beans.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shrimp, Napa Cabbage and Red Pepper Stir fry

Oh, my goodness, this is good. I have to qualify my enthusiasm though because it is spicy and might not be for everyone. In my opinion this isn't "spicy too hot" like some dishes--more just deliciously spicy. You also can control the amount of heat depending on the sauce you choose. I will tell where you can deviate to make a milder version.

10 oz chinese noodles
1/2 cup garlic chili sauce (you can use sweet chili sauce here and it won't be that hot-if you choose to do that then maybe add some red pepper flakes for some heat) Look for these sauces in Asian food section.
3 T soy sauce
3 T sesame oil

14 good size shrimp, cleaned and ready to cook--sprinkle with some soy sauce

4 cups chopped napa cabbage
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium onion in chunks

Cook chinese noodles, drain. Mix the sauce: 1/2 cup garlic chili sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir into pasta.

In wok, add a bit of oil and then sauté onions, red pepper, and cabbage 2 -4 minutes. Add carrots, stir for a couple of minutes. Dump the veggies on to the pasta. Quickly sauté the shrimp and add them--serve! This is so good, if I do say so myself :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beef and Greens Stir Fry

It isn't often that I truly totally make up a recipe but tonight I did. I am writing it down fairly quickly so I can remember what I did! Here's what you'll need:

1/2 lb beef stir fry meat cut in strips
1 bunch swiss chard, washed-stems chopped and leaves shredded
1 carton brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in halves (or quarters if large)
4 green onions, washed and cut on bias
2 large mariachi peppers, cut in rings (little less spicy than jalapenos)
3 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 cup Mandarin orange juice (sub a lot of different juices here)
1/2 soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 T siracha sauce
Mix all togther

In wok or skillet, add some vegetable oil and sauté beef for a few minutes. Remove to large bowl. Next throw in the pepper rings, the chard stems,  the onions and brussels sprouts--stirring and cooking maybe 8 minutes or so. toward the end of the cooking time throw in the garlic. Spoon all that mixture out into the bowl with the beef. Add a bit more oil and sauté the shredded chard leaves in two batches until it wilts. Then add back in all the other stuff and heat through and add the sauce and  heat for a few minutes.

Good served over rice.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Grilled Chicken

Early in the day I took a package of chicken thighs and a package of legs and put them in a big ziplock bag with Italian salad dressing (1/2 cup) and 1/4 cup of hot sauce (whatever you like). When ready to cook, I heated all the burners on the gas grill so the chicken would get a good sear. I  have a grill that has 3 sections that I can control. I put all the chicken in the middle and seared one side for 5 minutes  then flipped for five more. Then I turned the middle section off and turned the other two sections down to medium and cooked the chicken for 30 minutes. It was quite good.

Fresh Beets

We love beets and we especially like them roasted. I picked up a box at the Farmer's Market the other day and decided to roast them all and then keep the leftovers in the fridge. They are super easy to do. Just trim ends, scrub,  and wrap each one in foil to catch the juice. Put wrapped beets on cookie sheet or pie plate in case they leak and stick in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let them cool and then rub the skins off with a paper towel and slice and dice or do whatever you want with them. I added them to chopped romaine, sliced sweet onion and drizzled with Ranch dressing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pork Chops with Apple and Onion

I had two loin pork chops and wanted to jazz them up a bit.  I had one large apple and one large onion as well as some chicken broth in the fridge. If you don't have chicken stock you could always substitute white wine or even beer.

2 thick boneless pork loin chops
1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 large onion sliced
2 T butter
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock, wine, or beer

In medium large skillet, sear the pork chops about 5 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper them and set them aside. Melt the butter in the same skillet and add the onion and apple stirring for five minutes or so. Add the chops back in and continue to cook about 15 more minutes to be sure the chops are cooked through.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore

I can't believe I  don't have a recipe for chicken cacciatore on this blog. Seriously, what kind of pseudo Italian am I?

There are a million recipes for this dish, but it's really pretty simple: chicken, mushrooms, red sauce and simmer :-)

1 pkg boneless chicken thighs
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves. minced
some olive oil
salt and pepper
dried rosemary
28 oz crushed or diced tomatoes ( I used unsalted)
3/4 cup white wine

In large skillet with lid, brown chicken thighs in a little olive oil. When brown, remove to plate. Add onions and mushrooms and brown. Add salt and pepper and 2 T rosemary stir around, add garlic-stir. Add the tomatoes and wine, and then add the thighs--stir well. Cover skillet and cook over low heat 50 minutes. Serve over pasta or rice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak Sammies

Whenever I buy flank steak at Costco they often come two flank steaks to a package. If I'm planning to use the grill I often marinate and grill both and then freeze one for later. Flank steak makes really tasty sandwiches. This time I switched up the flavors and used bleu cheese.

1/2 small grilled flank steak, sliced thinly
1/2 large onion, sliced

3 large panini or hard rolls, sliced
some arugula
some bleu cheese
a little mayo
thin tomato slices

Sauté onion sliced in skillet for 8 minutes and then throw in the grilled flank steak just to warm it briefly.

On bottom half of roll spread some bleu cheese, then add some arugula, pile on some steak and onions and season with pepper, add a slice of tomato and top with other half (can add some mayo to the top if you wish).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bacon Fried Rice

Some times you look in the fridge and there are just a few bits and pieces, but if you're lucky enough to have some cooked rice in there, then you've got lunch!

2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 and 1/2 cups cooked rice
soy sauce
2 eggs

In skillet or wok, sauté the bacon pieces and then add the onion. Stir for several minutes as they brown. Add the rice and stir well. Push the rice mixture to the side and pour in the eggs. Scramble and then fold the scrambled pieces back into the rice. Drizzle on some soy sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Taste of Fall

Here's a good dish to add to any Sunday brunch: Sausage and Apples! This is a very tasty one pan dish that pairs well with eggs, greens or whatever.

4 smoked pre-cooked chicken sausages, slice diagonally
2 large tart apples, cored and sliced
2 T maple syrup
1/4 t dried thyme
salt and pepper
some olive oil

Brown sausage slices in a bit of olive oil in medium skillet. Once browned, remove to bowl.

Sauté apple slices in same skillet in a bit of olive oil. Add thyme, salt and pepper and maple syrup. Cook around ten minutes or so to soften apples. Add sausage back into skillet to warm-stir and serve.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sausage, Kale, White Bean Stew

This is a wonderful fall dish. I like to call this "cozy" food. The nice thing about this is that you can tailor it to your tastes. We like spicy food so I crank up the heat factor but you needn't do that and it would still be lovely.

3/4 lb hot turkey sausage ( or mild)
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
1 onion thinly sliced
1/2 large red pepper, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt, pepper, and dried red pepper ( I basically put a few shakes of dried red pepper in everything I cook)
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

In large skillet with lid, brown sausage for a five minutes or so, add onion and red pepper and cook maybe five more minutes. Start adding kale, do it in bunches as it cooks down. Add salt, pepper, and dried red pepper. Add the chicken broth, cover and cook five minutes. Add the beans, stir and cover for about five more. You can hold here on a simmer.

This dish is good with cornbread. I made a basic corn bread from a mix, added cheddar cheese and jalapenos and baked in a small cast iron skillet. Yum!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole is an example of an iconic comfort food. My mom didn't really make this because she nor my father were really fans of tuna (or any fish really). However, I had the opportunity to eat this when I had dinner at friends' homes and I always loved it. Later, when Hamburger Helper came on the scene, there was also a tuna version and I would make this for us. It was quick, easy and I usually had all the ingredients on hand. The problem with all these various versions of tuna casserole is that they were usually made with processed ingredients--most likely using a condensed soup for the base. Which brings me to recipe I tried tonight from Martha Stewart. It was very good and was made from scratch so you can control the amount of salt that does into this dish. If you haven't had this dish for a while and have a hankering, this might be your opportunity.

4 T unsalted butter
8 oz papparadelle
salt and pepper
1 bunch of broccoli florets
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 T flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cans of tuna (5 oz solid tuna, drained)
3 t Tabasco (or less)
a dusting of bread crumbs

preheat oven to 375
grease 2 1/2 qt baking dish

Cook pasta and broccoli in large pot of boiling-after adding the pasta and broccoli, bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water

Drain pasta and broccoli.

In same pot melt the butter and cook celery and onion for about seven minutes-add salt

Add flour and stir well and then slowly add milk, constantly stirring to make thick sauce. Add salt and pepper. Into the sauce, stir the pasta mixture and the tuna. If mixture seems too thick add some of the reserved pasta water.

Turn mixture into casserole and dust with bread crumbs. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes.

Turn heat to 425, uncover casserole and bake another 15 minutes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eggplant Lasagna

If you happen to have a big old eggplant in the fridge you can always make a pretty decent lasagna with it.  I put ground beef in my tomato sauce but you certainly don't need it.

Preheat oven 400
1 large eggplant, sliced longways in 1/4 inch slices
put slices on baking sheets, spray with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
Bake 15 minutes, then turn for 15 minutes more.

In the meantime you'll need:
1 lb ground beef
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
1 carton low fat ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 cups mozzarella

Brown ground beef, drain and then add spaghetti sauce, simmer covered.
In medium bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, and Parmesan

When eggplant is cooked, layer in 8 x 11 baking dish:

Layer of eggplant, then 1/2 ricotta, half the sauce, half the mozzarella-repeat ending with mozzarella.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350

Then let sit for at least 15 minutes so that it will cut well.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Roast Turnips and Greens!

I saw the most beautiful bunch of turnips at the Farmers Market and I knew I had to work them into a dinner soon. Here are two recipes-one for the turnips and one for their delicious green tops!

Roast Turnips

Wash and cut the turnips into medium chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 375 for an hour, stirring a few times. Before serving I like to toss the turnips with a little melted butter,  a splash of maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon and some red pepper.

What I really loved was cooking up the tops. Turnip greens are so good. Slice them up and wash well. Then put them in a pot of water and boil for 20 minutes, drain. In pan, sauté 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic with 1/2 t cayenne pepper. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, stir. Add the greens and 1 cup chicken broth, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and add salt to taste. These are GOOD!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Go Martha!

I get Martha Stewart Living magazine and this recipe caught my eye. I pretty much followed it verbatim which is unusual for me. However, it doesn't really have that many ingredients. It's pretty straightforward and if you happen to like sauerkraut, it's pretty good.

Braised Chicken with Sauerkraut

preheat oven 375

4 whole chicken legs (with thigh)
half a large onion, sliced
1 bag of supermarket sauerkraut
3 carrots, peeled and shredded in processor
salt and pepper

In large oven proof skillet, brown the chicken 4 minutes each side. Set chicken aside on plate. Add onion and stir for a minute, then add sauerkraut and carrots. Mix well. Add the chicken back to the skillet and cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.  Increase heat to 425. Take foil off and put pan back in oven for ten minutes or so.