Posts Tagged ‘main dish’

Original Recipes: Mexican Casserole

Culinarty Original Recipe Food Blogging EventA couple of weeks ago, we had a potluck lunch at work, the annual Fall Fling. Amy in HR had begged me to bring the pesto pasta I took last year – she had never had pesto before, and loved it. But I like to bring something different each time, so this time, I ended up making up my own recipe.

That was because the recipe I started out with turned out rather dry and bland. So I bumped it up a few notches and came up with something really good. It’s perfect for a potluck, too. It’s a casserole, so after making it the night before, I put it in my Crock-Pot crock in the fridge overnight. I took the Crock-Pot to work and set it on high, and by lunchtime, it was nicely heated up. So I took the heated Crock-Pot to the lunch and it stayed good and hot during the entire hour and a half or so. And it got rave reviews – several people asked how it was made.

Next time I bring something that’s a bit ambiguous, though, I’ll put a little sign next to it. I heard from a few people that they didn’t try it because they didn’t know what it was. To me, that’s a reason *to* try it, but some people aren’t so adventurous.

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

2 lbs. ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped green chiles (I used Anaheims from the garden)
3 tbsp. ground red chile pepper (I used ancho chile powder)
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
8 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
2 14-oz. cans white or yellow hominy
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and ground black pepper

Brown the beef and pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add green chiles, spices, hominy, tomatoes and tomato sauce and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add half of cheese and stir well.

Place the mixture in a 5-quart slow cooker and put on low to keep warm for serving. Or, chill and serve within 2-3 days. Place mixture in slow cooker and put on high for 3 hours to warm up, then put on low to keep warm for serving.

You can also divide the mixture and freeze half for later. Put half the mixture in a 2-quart dish and freeze up to four months. Bake the other half in a 350*F oven for 45 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and serve.

This is my entry in the food blogging event Original Recipe, hosted by Culinarty. The roundup of all the recipes is here.

GYO: Fried Rice with Bok Choy

Grow Your Own 2008I still have some basil and a few green tomatoes in the garden, but a couple of weeks ago, we started our fall garden, including onions, a variety of lettuces and bok choy.

On Saturday, Dan came in from the garden and asked me what I had planned for dinner. I hadn’t really planned it out, but when he told me some of the bok choy we planted was ready to use, I decided to make fried rice with some leftover white rice I had in the freezer; I thought, this would be great with crispy baked chicken and a Chinese-inspired dipping sauce. We also have a few pimento peppers left, so I added those in, too. I looked at a few recipes and then got going. It turned out really well.

Bok choy

Fried Rice with Bok Choy

2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1 small red and 1 small green pimento or bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups leftover cooked white rice (leftover works better than fresh, because it’s more dry, so it browns better)
5 large leaves and stems of bok choy, leaves julienned and stems sliced crosswise

1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat oil in saute pan or hot wok over medium-high heat till it shimmers. Add onions, peppers and garlic and stir-fry 4-5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with oyster sauce and soy sauce and stir well. Add sliced bok choy stems and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and rice and stir-fry 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Fried rice with bok choy

This is my entry in the food blogging event Grow Your Own, which celebrates growing or raising fresh ingredients. It was originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this time by A Laboratory in the Kitchen.

Grow Your Own: Chicken Cacciatore

Grow Your Own 2008It’s been cool and rainy this week, with the Nor’easter we had, so I’ve been craving a nice braised dinner. I still have lots of tomatoes ripening in the garden, as well as pimento peppers, so chicken cacciatore came to mind. I searched around for recipes and finally found one that doesn’t include mushrooms, which are not a favorite of Dan’s or mine. And it’s by a real Italian – Giada de Laurentiis 🙂

It turned out very well, and I made enough to have leftovers at work the next day. It’s one of those things that improves with sitting in the fridge overnight.

Chicken Cacciatore

4 chicken thighs (I used 6 thighs and no breasts)
2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (I used one small red and one small green bell pepper)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I used 3 cups diced fresh garden tomatoes)
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

With a side of spaghetti, a green salad and garlic bread, this was a delicious, warming dinner on a cool night.

Chicken Cacciatore

The peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and basil in this dish came from my garden. This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a food blogging event celebrating the food we grow or raise ourselves, originated by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this time by Denise of Chez Us.

Thursday Night Smackdown: Grilling

Labor Day this year was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and warm, and we just took it easy. We had played poker with Danny and Sally, Paul and Terry, and Steve and Katie on Sunday evening, which was a lot of fun, and then Monday we just … basked in the sun and pulled a few weeds from the veggie garden. Then I remembered to take the ribs out, put a rub on them, and stash them back in the fridge for a few hours.

Then we put them on the grill, and about an hour and a half later, this is what we found:

Grilled spare ribs

Mmm, mmm, good 🙂 Some time back, I made a batch of Neelys’ Dry Rub (from Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys,” which I don’t actually watch, but I figure they know their BBQ) for some baby back ribs; I’m pretty sure I made a third of the recipe, since there’s only the two of us. We still had some in the cupboard, so at about noon, I put a nice, thick layer on the spare ribs and put them back in the fridge to get spicy. Then Dan started grilling around 5:30 and dinner was ready by shortly after 7. These were so good, we will have to do them again … and again … He says they were made with luuuuuv, which is why they were so delicious. I’ll take his word for it.

Grilled Spare Ribs
Neelys’ Dry Rub:
1 1/2 cups paprika
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder

4 lbs. pork spare ribs
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, plus more for serving (because I like a *lot* of sauce)

Put the rub ingredients in a container with a lid and shake to combine. Sprinkle a good coating on the ribs, put in a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag, and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Grill for about 90 minutes. Brush with sauce for the last 10-15 minutes of grilling. Serve with extra sauce, if you’re a sauce fiend like me 🙂

This is my contribution to the Thursday Night Smackdown, Grilling Edition, hosted by Michelle. And the round-up of all the recipes is here. Looks like I owe Michelle some ribs, since I apparently missed the entire point of Thursday Night Smackdown, which is to cook something from a COOKBOOK. Like I don’t have enough of those in the kitchen that I read like novels, but don’t cook from enough. I’ll do better, I promise 🙂

Grow Your Own: Fish Tacos

Grow Your Own 2008Our spring garden of greens is going gangbusters. I actually made a salad for a dinner party for eight using some of the red and green leaf lettuce from the garden, but as usual, I was behind getting the food ready, so I didn’t have time to take a picture. It was delicious, though!

But last night, I made fish tacos for the first time, using a recipe from Cooking Light magazine. Turned out great. Instead of cabbage, of which I am not a huge fan, I used red and green leaf lettuce from the garden. Next week, we’re going to use up the bok choy in some stir-fry. Should be good 🙂

Here’s the garden from a couple of weeks ago:

Greens in the Garden

And here is a pile of washed lettuce ready to be sliced thinly for the tacos:

Red and Green Leaf Lettuce

And the recipe:

Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema

Crema:
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
3 tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream
1 tsp. grated lime zest
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 garlic clove, minced, or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Tacos:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets (I used flounder)
Cooking spray
8 6-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage (I used leaf lettuce)
2 cups shredded jalapeno Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425F. To prepare crema, combine the first eight ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To prepare tacos, combine cumin and next five ingredients (through garlic powder) in a small bowl; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over both sides of the fish. Place fish in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, or to desired degree of doneness. Place fish in a bowl; break into pieces with a fork. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup cabbage or lettuce, 1 tbsp. crema and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

And the fish tacos, served with Mexican rice.

Fish Tacos with Homegrown Lettuce

This is my entry in the food blogging event “Grow Your Own,” hosted by Andrea of AndreasRecipes.com. The round-up of all the recipes is here.

Tasty Tools Food Blogging Event

There’s a new food blogging event starting this month: Tasty Tools, hosted by Joelen’s Culinary Adventures. Wow, there was a huge response to this event! The round-up of all the recipes is here.

All crafts require the proper tools, so each month, Joelen will select a kitchen tool and to participate, you make a recipe that requires that tool and then blog about it.

Not being a fan of corned beef and cabbage, I made a delicious spring-green risotto for St. Patrick’s Day this year. One of the ingredients is Parmesan cheese, so I used my (fairly) new box grater to grate the cheese for the risotto.

I used to have a triangular grater, but it was awkward to use and had little feet on it – I’d lost one of them, so it didn’t balance properly and was a pain to use. So with the kitchen renovation, I bought a new one (along with other new stuff – new kitchen, new stuff 😉 ).

The new grater has a bottom piece to hold the ingredient you’re grating, and measurements on the side, so you can see how much you have. Pretty cool 🙂

Box Grater

And here’s the recipe for the risotto, adapted from Dan’s Ultimate Shrimp Risotto. This is the best risotto recipe I’ve found, and it can be customized for whatever ingredients you would like to include.

Shrimp Risotto

Risotto with Spring Vegetables

5 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine, divided
6 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 dried crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
3/4 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio (risotto) rice
1 1/2 cups steamed spring vegetables such as asparagus tips, peas, green beans
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring broth and 1/4 cup wine to a simmer and hold over low heat.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper and sauté for 30 seconds, then add shrimp. Sauté until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook shrimp or they become tough. Drain shrimp, reserving cooking liquid.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add 1-2 cups broth mixture. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often and simmering until liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes total. Don’t “drown” risotto.

Add vegetables and cream to risotto.

Cook until rice is just tender and creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Add a final shot of white wine. Stir in reserved shrimp cooking liquid. Add shrimp. Add Parmesan. Remove from heat.

Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley into risotto. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon parsley.

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