Showing posts with label dinners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dinners. Show all posts

Monday, November 7, 2011

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my MOST FAVORITEST soups of all time.
Most favoritest. I love making up words.

I just want to share some photos of my dad's French Onion Soup recipe. His is one of the best I've ever had.

Yum Yum Yum.

After making the soup, dish it up.

With the croutons, just out of the oven.

Eat up!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Post: Apple Sausage Pilaf with Pecans from The Saturday Evening Pot

Anne, better known as "The Lucky Wife" from the Saturday Evening Pot, and I first got to know each other earlier this year, when she and her husband were first getting started with their blog. I'm glad to count her as one of my bloggy bffs, and love sharing recipes and emails with her. Please take a look at this tasty treat and enjoy!

Hello, Everyone!  I'm excited to be here today to share a recipe, Apple Sausage Pilaf with Pecans, which I think you will love from talking with Erin about what you've most enjoyed so far from her kitchen.  But first, let me introduce myself... I'm Anne, better known as The Lucky Wife over at The Saturday Evening Pot, another food blog.  My husband, John, or The Chef, and I co-author the blog to share recipes we've enjoyed.
When John decided in 2001 to change careers and go to culinary school, we made a deal that has benefited me ever since (hence, The Lucky Wife!): He would do the cooking in our home since I was going to pay our bills while he was in school. When we started our blog in January, I gave him his title, The Chef, for the blog.  We have enjoyed sharing our passion for food through blogging.

It was not long after we started the blog that I came across EKat's Kitchen.  I enjoyed seeing what Erin was cooking and linked up at some of her Friday Potluck parties, eventually emailing her about something and developing a friendship from there.  Erin's kindness during our conversations online would be of no surprise to you.  She's very approachable, friendly and gracious as a person.  Isn't it amazing the things you learn about people through online communication, even though you've never met IRL?

We are currently hosting a 100-Day Christmas Countdown event, for which Erin offered some guest posts and features.  I am so looking forward to sharing those soon and cannot believe it is already less than 70 days until Christmas!  I told Erin I'd love to share a recipe with you all in return.  So when The Chef recently developed an amazing pilaf recipe, I knew this would be the one to share with you:

Apple Sausage Pilaf with Pecans

  • Approximately 1-1/2 cups uncooked white rice/wild rice blend
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 packet spiced apple cider mix
  • 4 gluten free chicken and apple sausage links
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in large, non-stick skillet.
  3. Slice 4 sausage links into coins. Add to hot oil and saute on both sides until brown.
  4. Add chopped pecans and toss thoroughly.
  5. Add uncooked rice. Stir contents in order to completely coat rice with oil and drippings from pan. Remove rice and sausage mixture from pan and place in 9x13 casserole dish.
  6. In a large bowl, mix cider packet into four cups of chicken broth and gently pour over rice mixture in baking dish. (NOTE: Broth should cover rice completely by at least 1/8 of an inch.)
  7. Cover baking dish with tin foil and bake for 1 hour or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

The Chef bought the sausage links to eat alone but got to wondering how they would taste in a rice pilaf.  He'd never really had much experience with rice pilaf, which has a unique cooking technique with similarities to risotto, in that you can adapt it according to your current cravings or personal preferences.  (Side note... The Chef loves risotto.  His Italian Cheese, Mushroom and Walnut Risotto is to die for.  I know I'm biased... but it really is.)

After "playing in the kitchen," as we like to call it when he sets out to create something new, this was the result, and actually, the first pilaf he'd ever made.  It would be good served with pork roast, turkey at Thanksgiving or by itself with your favorite vegetable, such as carrots, green bean casserole, or squash.  The Chef was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out.  I thought it was delicious, and it is unlike any pilaf I've ever had.  Both of our children loved it as well.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

We've enjoyed sharing with you today and would love for you to stop by our blog to check out our 100-Day Countdown to Christmas series and our recipes.  A few you might enjoy, especially with the cooler weather on the way, are:

And of course, dessert!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Inspired by the one served at Cracker Barrel)

If you have school-aged children, you may also be interested in the lunchbox ideas we recently shared that have been popular on our blog. We hope you have a wonderful week with lots of great eating!

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Cook Pumpkins and Other Squash

Before last year, I didn't know an acorn squash from a butternut squash from a hubbard squash from a spaghetti squash.

I also had no idea that they were related to pumpkins or that they could often be interchanged with pumpkins.  Nor did I have any idea how to cook them!

Fast forward to Squash-a-palooza 2012.

I'm going to assume that some people are starting where I did, and don't know how to cook a squash. Here is your how to guide... for spaghetti squash, for meatier squashes, and for pumpkins and squash to be made into pies and other sweet treats.

I showed you these photos of my squash bounty from the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago.
From left to right: Sugar Pumpkin, Mini Blue Hubbard, Pink Banana Squash, purple potatoes, Stripetti Squash.
Squash-a-palooza, like it's concert festival forebears, has gone on for more than just one day.

Day 1 featured spaghetti squash and pink banana squash.
Though spaghetti squash can be baked, my favorite way to cook it is by boiling; this makes the "noodles" less crunchy and softer... and therefore is a great way to make the squash serve as a gluten free replacement for traditional pasta.

To boil spaghetti squash, make fork holes in the squash, plop the squash in a large pot of water and boil on high heat for at least an hour. Make sure that your squash rotates in the water, otherwise you'll end up with half soft noodles and half a little crunchier. After allowing to cool, slice in half and scoop out the seeds and fibrous innards (be sure not to take too much out, as the "noodles" will be easily scooped out with the innards). Then drag a fork through the meat to create noodles. Either set aside for dinner, or place in freezer bags and freeze for use later.

Pink Banana Squash - weighing in at 23 pounds!

I know I showed you this banana squash, but it's truly a beast and deserves to see the light again. Twenty-three pounds of squash!!! Though the farmer offered to sell me this baby in chunks, I wanted to buy the whole thing so I could stock up my freezer. K won't let me buy more squash now. :( Understandable, but still makes me sad. I could eat and buy and prep squash for ages!!

This baby got chopped into half, and then half again, and then half yet again! Yes ... eighths. It was that monstrous. How do you cut a giant squash in half? VERY CAREFULLY!

As the chunks of squash became manageable, I then scooped out the goop and seeds from the center. I saved the seeds for roasting, and then forgot about them in the oven. Whoops!

To cook this monster, and most other squash, season the "meat" with salt and pepper, or whatever other seasonings you want, (or you can skip the seasoning step altogether if not sure what you'll be using the squash for), and then place meat-side down in a lightly greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until squash meat is very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.

Pull out and cube, setting aside for your dish of choice, OR place in freezer bags to freeze and then cook later. If freezing, it's worth noting that your squash upon thawing may be best suited for use in soups or purees.

Fast forward a few weeks, when I was ready to tackle squash again. It really did take a while! The 23 pound banana squash and two giant spaghetti squash took a lot out of me! It's now time to bake some sweet treats using the sugar pumpkin.

What's a sugar pumpkin? Honestly? I have no idea. It's a small pumpkin that came to us very green. After several weeks on the counter, it turned a brilliant orange and just screamed to be turned into something delicious. I've been watching Pinterest and Friday Potluck for the best pumpkin sweet treats on the net and opted for Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes from Little Rays of Sunshine and Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from From Apples 2 Zucchini. Watch for my versions of the recipes to come soon.

How to cook a pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin.
Slice the top off and then slice in half. Enjoy the beauty of a gorgeous pumpkin. Scoop out the pulp and seeds. If you wish to save the seeds, you can do so (rinse the seeds and dry with paper towels, then spread out in a single layer of a cookie sheet, seasoning with salt and pepper and put in oven on low heat for a few hours... be sure to check regularly!)

Place the pumpkin halves meat side down on a cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about an hour until the meat is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Scoop the meat from the shells and push through a sieve to reduce the amount of water in the pumpkin. Then place in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside and start cooking!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lentil Chili (Vegetarian): Recipes on a Budget

I just love lentils! 

I've been craving them for the last week or so. So last week (before the great Facebook fandango), I posted on my wall asking for your favorite recipes. The lovely Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips responded with this fantastic lentil chili.

I planned to make it several times, but finally did it tonight! And wow! What an amazing dish.

As Rhonda says, "This is a great vegetarian chili to prepare than standard chili because lentils cook quickly." 

It's thick and tasty and... the piece de resistance -- vegetarian, yet it keeps the meat eaters happy! Not to mention, it's really fast!

Though we've only made/had once time, this chili is easily a favorite of mine. Quick, delicious and healthy! I'm in love.

Lentil Chili
modified from a recipe by Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small Jalapeno or cayenne pepper, minced
1 TBSP. olive oil
3 cups brown lentils
6 cups water
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 cup tomato paste
1 small can V-8 or tomato juice
2 TBSP. red wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 large Red Bell pepper, chopped (I omitted due to lack of availability)
2 stalks celery, chopped (I doubled due to the lack of bell pepper)
Salt & pepper to taste

You can also add some toppings: grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, cilantro or parsley

Saute' garlic, onion, and hot pepper in oil. Add lentils, water and spices. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes in a covered pot until the lentils are tender. Add tomato paste, juice, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, and celery. Add salt, pepper, and additional water if needed. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve with brown rice.


I'm proud to enter this into Miz Helen's Chili Cookoff!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Every week, I try to participate in a few recipe hops. When I'm not cooking very much, this is harder to do than at other times. I always find so much inspiration in these hops... of course one of my favorites is my own Friday Potluck.

My favorite hop hosted by someone else is Full Plate Thursday over at Miz Helen's Country Cottage. There are always fantastic recipes, and a great variety of bloggers to be found each week at Miz Helen's place.

A few weeks ago, on September 8, I found a great BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe. Since I still had leftover pizza crusts from my DIY pizza party, in which I trotted out my new Red Star Yeast for this month's Iron Chef Challenge over at A Latte with Ott, A, I figured I'd hit pay dirt with this recipe.

And boy! was I right!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
modified from BBQ Chicken Pie @ 4 Little Fergusons

2  8"-10" pizza crusts or dough (my recipe or yours)
1-2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup bbq sauce
2 small green onions, diced
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
tomatoes, sliced

I like to work with pre-cooked pizza crusts since it really cuts down the cooking time of the pizzas, and because it's nice to work with existing ingredients. I like to grill my pizza crusts; they then last for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge. However, if you have fresh dough, then you can still use this recipe.

Cook and shred the chicken breasts; I seasoned mine with garlic and rosemary and then broiled on high. Mix the shredded chicken with all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions and barbecue sauce. Spread across the pizza crusts.

Split the cheddar cheese between the two pies and then top with the tomatoes. Finally, top the pizzas with mozzarella.

Cook under broiler for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.


Linking this with

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grilled Pizza Crust Recipe: Red Star Iron Chef Challenge

BBQ Chicken Pizza
When Ott, A of A Latte with Ott A emailed me last month to invite me to participate in September's Iron Chef Challenge, I was super excited. When I learned that this month's sponsor is Red Star yeast, I was even more excited - this is finally an opportunity for me to make something bread-y... and get over my incompetence fear of baking.

I'm proud to announce to the world that I have successfully conquered pizza dough!

(Does the word "conquering" imply success? In which case I'd have a doubly successful attempt at pizza dough. I'll take what I can get!)
We had been planning to have friends over for Labor Day weekend, so a DIY Grilled Pizza Party sounded as though it would be right up our alley. And it was SOOOOO good.

I'd first read about a DIY Grilled Pizza Party as a fun alternative to a backyard cookout over at Gourmet Meals for Less, from the wonderful Heather, who is now one of the lovely sisters behind At The Picket Fence. And a FANTASTIC party idea it was!

Ultimately though, since we used the grill for these babies, I haven't yet conquered baking... technically. :)

I took the original recipe and ditched it by making three variations on the dough (garlic rosemary, basil, and pizza seasoning).

Best Ever (and Easiest) Pizza Dough (Grilled)
adapted from

1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active-dry Red Star yeast
1-1/2 cups very warm water (110°F)
18 oz. (4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for dusting
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil  
2 tsp (up to 1 Tbsp) seasoning of your choice (optional)

Mix your yeast and warm water and set aside. Pulse the flour and salt and seasoning in a food processor until mixed well, then slowly add in the water/yeast mixture, followed by the olive oil.

Continue mixing until a big giant ball forms in your food processor. Remove ball and place on lightly floured surface and divide into 6 smaller balls.

Place on cookie sheet or in baking dish and cover, allowing to double in size. 
Isn't this ribbon shaped pan fun?
I made K a yellow ribbon cake last year.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the individual balls into thin disks; these should be ~8-10" in diameter. 

To cook, warm up the grill and set to medium heat. Brush a thin layer of olive oil on one side and set on the grill; thinly coat the second side with olive oil and wait until bubbles form or until a light brown color appears (about 1-2 minutes). Then flip and cook for another 90 seconds or so... until cooked throughout.

Set aside and continue until all pizza dough disks are cooked. (I made 18... six each of the three flavors I mentioned above.) Refrigerate (keeps 3-4 days) or add pizza toppings and cook right away, by putting back on grill until cheese melts or until pizza is heated through.

Suggested toppings to include in your pizza bar:

your favorite pesto or pizza sauce


Canadian bacon
pineapple chunks


shredded chicken
bbq sauce
green onions

Most importantly, be sure to enjoy thoroughly!

And since the inspiration for this party came from Heather, I'm proud to share this also with:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seven-Chile Texas Chili

Chocolate and beer and chiles, oh my!

Who wouldn't fall in love?

As I thumbed through The Homesick Texan Cookbook, I marked recipe pages with my fingers that I was in love with and wanted to try. Soon I was out of fingers.

The world for a sticky note!

I had to start narrowing down my pick for Week 3 of the Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff. Would it be the Radish and Cabbage Slaw? The Seven-Chile Texas Chili? The Queso Cookies? Tortilla Soup?

I kept coming back to the Seven-Chile Texas Chili.

Fall is definitely arriving here in Alaska; leaves are changing, crabapples beg picking, and the night air is bone-chilling cool, even when the days have a little warmth to them. To top it off, K has been moose hunting (and I sure hope I get to blog about moose recipes soon), and when he's home, I would sure love to have a hearty meal to warm him up.

Did I mention I kept coming back to the Seven-Chile Texas Chili? The only potential problem I faced was that it takes about half a day to make, which meant that I couldn't cook it while I was at work, so the One Hour Texas Chili was tempting. I persevered and opted to go with the whole shebang. I mean, why not?

I ran into a few snags when I couldn't find some of the chiles, but life is about improvisation and I really wanted to try this tasty treat. You'll find my substitutions below, and I think you'll love this dish too.

Seven-Chile Texas Chili
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook, page 139

6 dried ancho chiles (I substituted 5 chipotles in adobo, and adobo sauce)
2 dried pasilla chiles
2 dried guajilla chiles (I substituted 1 dried chile de arbol)
2 dried chipotle chiles (I used 2 chiles in adobo)
4 dried chiles de arbol
4 pieces of bacon
4 pounds chuck roas, cut into 1/4" cubes
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brewed coffee
1 bottle beer (I used 16 oz of K's Oatmeal Stout homebrew)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove (I used 3 small whole cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon grated Mexican hot chocolate (I used 1 teaspoon granular Mexican hot chocolate)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste (I used sea salt)
4 dried pequin chiles (I substituted with a poblano chile)
2 tablespoons masa harina
Ground cheddar and chopped onions for serving

Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles and toast the dried peppers for 10 seconds on each side in a dry skillet. Cover with water and leave heat on until the water starts to boil. Then remove the heat and let soak for 30 minutes.

Cook the bacon in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until done. Remove from the pan to a plate covered with a paper towel. Brown the cubed beef in the bacon grease and remove from the pot (this may need to be done in batches). In the same pot, cook the onions until translucent (about 5 minutes), then add the garlic for another 30 seconds or so. Add the beef back in.

Here, because I did have to leave the house to accomplish a few things, I transferred everything to my 6 quart slow cooker and turned to high.

Add all other ingredients except for the masa harina and the cheddar and onion garnish. While waiting for the chili to boil, combine all peppers in a food processor with a cup of water and process until a thick paste. Add to the chili.

The original recipe calls for turning the heat to low when the chili begins to boil, and simmer uncovered for 5 hours. Because of my slow cooker alteration, I covered the chili during its first 3 hours of simmering, and checked periodically, adding water and adjusting spices as needed.

After five hours, scoop out 1/4 cup of broth and mix with the masa harina; pour the mixture back into the pot and stuir until thickened. Simmer another 30 minutes. When done, serve with the cheddar and onion garnish.


This is some tasty chili, with a perfect bite!

This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef.

Here are the recipes that my fellow cooking adventurers tried this week:

girlichef: Pasilla Garlic Shrimp + Fried Catfish & Hushpuppies
Kahakai Kitchen: Green Chile Chowder
EKat's Kitchen: Seven-Chile Texas Chili
Stirring the Pot: Mexican Fried Potatoes + Carnitas, Jalapeño Pinto Beans, & Red Chile Rice + Breakfast Tacos & Refried Beans + Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños + Chipotle Pimento Cheese
Sweet Life: Fried Shrimp
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Pasilla Garlic Shrimp  + Tomatillo Cheese Grits
Mangoes and Chutney: Cheese Enchiladas w/ Chile con Carne
Foodness Gracious: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
Cooking for My Peace of Mind: Pan de Campo
Nutmeg Nanny: Sweet Potato and Fig Muffins  
Fudge Ripple: Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas
Rook no. 17: Pumpkin Empanadas
Year on the Grill (posting at other blog): Corn Chowder w/ Roasted Jalapeños & Bacon
Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor: Tomato Cobbler
Creative Kitchen: Migas
Anchovies and Butter: Smoky Deviled Eggs
A Platter of Figs: Mexican Chocolate Chewies  
Bo's Bowl: Carne Guisada   

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Poblano Macaroni & Cheese: The Homesick Texan Cookbook Cook Off

As I scanned Girlichef's email outlining the assignments for our Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off, I giggled with glee to learn that week two would include a twist on one of my favorite dishes - Macaroni & Cheese.

In one of my earliest posts on my own Mac and Cheese, I waxed poetic for a solid three paragraphs on my personal and family history with this classic American dish. If you want, you can read about it on the link above, however, suffice it to say, should old wives' tales start coming true, "you are what you eat" would have serious macaroni & cheese consequences for me. If you start hearing of people turning into random foods, look for me in the pasta aisle.

The "extra" ingredients that Lisa Fain uses in this fab dish really give it the pop and zing that make this M & C special... and give it true Texas flavor! YUM. I can't put my finger on if it's the cilantro, the lime, the cumin, the poblanos... or a combination of all of the above. Every mouthful brings flavors that burst across your tongue and delight the senses.

Six stars on a four star scale!

Poblano Macaroni & Cheese
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook, page 265

2 poblano chiles
8 oz (2 cups) elbow pasta (I used farfalle)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin (accidentally used 1 tsp because I looked at the wrong recipe)
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
salt & black pepper to taste
4 cups grated white cheddar
1/2 cup Cotija cheese

1. Roast the poblano chiles under the broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes per side. Place in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close tightly and allow chiles to steam for 20 minutes. Remove from bag, and rub off skin; then remove the stem and seed, chipping into 2" long pieces.

2. Preheat the oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain and dump into a large greased baking dish.

3. On low heat, melt the butter, then add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute. Add flour, stirring constantly and cook until a light brown paste forms (1 minute). Whisk in the milk and stir until thickened but fluid, then remove from the heat. Stir in remaining seasonings.

4. Add half the cheese and stir until combined into the sauce. (If you need to, return to low heat, but don't allow to get too thick -- adding milk 1 tsp at a time can, however, thin back out.) Pour over pasta and top with remaining half of cheddar. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is browned.

Sprinkle with Cotija and serve. Optional, garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

Until next week, when you learn what Week 3 will bring... a teaser... expect a whole lot of chiles and some red meat!

This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef.

Check out what some of my collaborators made:

girlichef #1 (#2) - Foodness Gracious (#2) - Kahakai Kitchen - Mangoes and Chutney - Stirring the Pot - EKat's Kitchen - A Platter of Figs - Anchovies and Butter - Sweet Life - Fudge Ripple - Miz Helen's Country Cottage - Bo's Bowl - Creative Kitchen - Rook no. 17 - Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor - Cooking for My Peace of Mind - La Cocina de Leslie (#2) - Nutmeg Nanny - My Year on the Grill

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pork Tacos, Dallas Gas Station Style

What, you might ask, are "Gas Station Style" tacos? If you're a Texan, and I'm not, you may know that gas station tacos are renowned for being something special.

Lisa Fain, author of the upcoming The Homesick Texan Cookbook, writes "It's a wonderful thing -- y ou walk into a gas station and in the back will be a short-order cook heating up tortillas and stuffing them with all sorts of savory fillings."

If that doesn't draw you in and and encourage you to hop plane, train or automobile to the closest Texas taco-serving gas station, particularly one in the "Dallas' South Buckner taco belt," I don't know what will!

Pork Tacos, Dallas Gas Station Style
from The Homesick Texan Cookbook, page 167

For the Pork
4 pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into ½" chunks
1 canned chipotle in adobo
4 garlic cloves
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
small pinch ground cloves
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. pineapple juice
1 Tbs. white vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
salt, to taste
1 Tbs. vegetable oil

For the Tacos
6 jalapeños
tortillas, flour or corn
cilantro, chopped
yellow onion, small dice
1 lime, cut into wedges/slices

Lisa's six steps are:
1. In a dry skillet heated on high, toast the pasilla chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover chiles. Leave the heat on until water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let the chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes.

2. While the pasilla chiles are soaking, rinse the pork and trim the fat. Cut into half-inch-size pieces.

3. Once the pasilla chiles are hydrated, drain and rinse. Place the chiles in a blender (or food processor) along with the chipotle chile, garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, orange juice, pineapple juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Blend until a smooth puree forms. Add salt to taste.

4. Toss the diced pork with the chile puree, place in a non-reactive container, and store covered in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

5. Before cooking, let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. To cook the pork, heat the vegetable oil, in a heat skillet on medium. Fry the pork in the skillet for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. While the pork is cooking, place the jalapenos under the broiler and cook for 10 minutes, or until blackened, turning once. 

6 1/2. Serve pork in warm tortillas, topped with cilantro and onions, along with the roasted jalapenos, lime wedges and salsa on the side.

Yum!  Given the amount of food, we invited friends over for dinner, and the result was a unanimous two thumbs up! The Homesick Texan wins the first time off the bench! YUM!

Check out some of my co-posters' dishes:

This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ranch Style Hash -- Recipes on a Budget

After K and I got married, it didn't take long for me to learn that our ideas of what comprised a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal were a ways apart.

We're talking the Grand Canyon of ideological rifts.

I have since learned that Wisconsin cooking is all about meat, cheese, and potatoes. And more meat. And more potatoes.

Before my mid west friends are up in arms, I need to share with you that I know this is not true of all in the mid west. That some of you like a nice big salad full of fresh veggies.

All kidding, and 30 pounds aside. I've learned that meat, cheese, and potatoes are pretty danged good!

I'm sharing with you K's mother's Ranch Style Hash. Though it doesn't have potatoes, it's Wisconsin to the heart!

K even cooked it for us today. I'm such a lucky girl!

Ranch Style Hash
1 lb hamburger, browned and drained
3 1/2 cup tomatoes (or one can diced tomatoes in juice)
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice (not minute) -- we used brown so needed to cook this a little longer
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
pinch of garlic

Simmer all ingredients in a large frying pan for 25 minutes, then top with cheese until melted.


Linking this up to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Foodie Friday @ Designs for Gollum

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Dressing & Alaska Salad -- Friday Potluck Recipe Hop #47

One of the only things in the fridge when I returned home was a container filled with kiwi fruit. After pawning some of the kiwis off on various grateful friends, I was still left with 8-10 kiwis. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to do something with them.

I love kiwis... the fruit, the birds and the people. However, outside of eating them plain, which I had already burned out on, I had no idea what to do with them.

So I did what any sensible lady would do when faced with such a dire dilemma, I turned to Google.

I found a lovely blog That British Woman, which has lots of fun posts.

Back to the matter at hand though -- kiwi fruit! She has a post titled 50 + 1 Recipes for Kiwi Fruit, a round up of some of her favorite kiwi recipes from which I was able to draw wonderful inspiration.

Taking inspiration from recipe number 33, and the contents of my fabulous CSA box, I created an amazing, mainly Alaska-grown salad. The salad didn't feature my mystery veggie, which turned out to be kohlrabi, because I had no idea what to do about it; you can read about my adventures with kohlrabi another day.

However, complete with Alaska red and green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and non-Alaska grown baby bellas, 1/2 apple, and bleu cheese, this spectacular salad goes perfectly with the new kiwi fruit dressing.


Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Salad Dressing
as seen here

3 Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Grated Fresh Root Ginger
5 tbsp Olive Oil
The juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor, then add to your salad.

*Note: the original recipe calls for 2 Kiwi and 1 teaspoon of ginger; however the dressing tasted too olive oil-y for me. Adding an third kiwi and the additional ginger made a fantastic flavor, though the dressing was a little thick. This is a keeper.


In addition to Friday Potluck, I'm pleased to be linking this up to

And now, on to Friday Potluck!

I love all of the recipes that you've been bringing by, and can't wait for this week's edition!

grab the code!

Just a few quick and easy rules for joining the party:

1. Link directly to your recipe (not your main blog).
2. Only one recipe per blog each week.
3. Be sure, in the linked blog post, to link back here to Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen using the button above or text.
4. Have fun, do some visiting and enjoy!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Low Carb Portabello Burgers w/ Kidney Beans

Ready for an incredibly tasty burger?

I was too! I'm doing a cleanse - the Advocare 24 Day Challenge - so I haven't been cooking a whole heck of a lot. That's why you haven't seen too many posts from me recently... that and life has been C-C-C-razy!

I've been craving pasta like you wouldn't believe. A visit to the grocery store today for a few needed items, had me gasping over the chip aisle. I prevailed though. Here's a tasty treat that's nutritious, filling and delicious!

I originally found the recipe on e-How and ended up making several adjustments. I can't find it again for reference, but this is a really tasty treat.

1 14 oz can kidney beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot
1 cup portabello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion
1/2 large orange or yellow pepper (or one whole small), seeded
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp garlic powder

6 small slices tomato
3 large leaves romaine lettuce
horseradish dijon

Using a food processor, shred your carrot. Add the beans and all other ingredients, except the tomato and lettuce.The original recipe calls for the mix to cool for an hour, but I was hungry, so I just split into six patties and broiled for about 5 minutes on each side.

Plate up on half a lettuce leaf, topped with a small amount of horseradish dijon and a small slice of tomato.


Linking this up to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Memorial Day and Friday Potluck #35

Happy Memorial Weekend!

Memorial Day is an American holiday that, at least historically, signifies remembrance of soldiers who have died in the line of duty, to remember the sacrifices they've made and to ensure that they'll never be forgotten. With my personal connection to the U.S. military, this holiday means more to me each year, but I also feel that we should remember all of those who've gone before us, in every country and culture. I wish you joy, peace and love during this holiday of remembrance.

I also wish those of us who have a long weekend, three (or more!) days full of family, friendship, and celebration... with good food and great times! Maybe you'll find some great recipes to take to those barbecues and parties right here, in the pages of EKat's Kitchen or at Friday Potluck.

Following are some of my favorite ideas for party food that I've had the pleasure of making (successfully) over the last few years.

Brie-Stuffed Buffalo Burgers
Buffalo Chicken Bites
"Cool Ranch" Popcorn
Grilled Baby Bok Choy
Homemade Onion Soup Mix (for Sour Cream & Onion Dip, low sodium)
Jalapeno Artichoke Spinach Dip
Jalapeno PoppersSmoky Baked Beans

Welcome back to Friday Potluck today!

We had a record 92 entries last week! I'm loving all of the fantastic recipes that you all have come up with and shared with bloggy land. I can't wait to see what you bring this week.

It's funny, each week, there seems to be a theme of some kind... completely unplanned and due to chance. Some weeks are "soup weeks," others are "dessert weeks," while still others are "baking" or "fresh" weeks. I always try to guess, and sometimes I'm right, while other times I'm wrong.

Just like telling people your wish before you blow out the candles, it seems as though it might jinx my prediction for this week. However, I'll hazard a guess that the theme is going to be cookout and finger food this week. This by no means is a guideline, just for my own personal entertainment. Time to sit back and wait... to watch and see.

Happy Potlucking.

grab the code!

As always, there are just a few rules, but they're super duper simple!

1. Link directly to your recipe (not your main blog).
2. Only one recipe per blog each week.
3. Be sure, in the linked blog post, to link back here to Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen using the button above or text.
4. Have fun, do some visiting and enjoy!

(Friday Potluck is open Thursday night until Sunday night)

This linky list is now closed.


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