Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blonde Turkey(or Chicken) Chili

Another one of our winter time favorites. This can be done quickly on the stove top or put everything in the slow cooker and let it sit all day. YUM!!

1 TB olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
4 cups chicken stock
3 cans Great Northern Beans or White Beans, drain/rinse 2 cans and leave one UNDRAINED**
1 sm can diced green chilies
1.5 cups frozen corn
1-2 TB cumin(to your taste preference)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TB dried oregano
1 TB dried parsley
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
--in my opinion ,added salt is not really necessary because of the undrained can of beans , they are usually pretty heavy on the salt, but you can add more if you like
**1 lbs great northern beans can be subbed, soaked , rinsed and may want to add a little salt and 1/2 cup water to the recipe to compensate for the missing bean liquid, but not 100% necessary

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sautee until tender.
Add in remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Alternately you can put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it simmer all day..

Topping suggestions: Sour Cream, Green Onions, Monterrey Jack Cheese, Jalapeños or Jalapeño Death Sauce (I chose sour cream and death sauce!)

nutrition info (numbers are approximates) LINK

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Condensed French Onion Soup Substitute

My husband wanted to have Salisbury Steak for dinner and the recipe I found called for a can of condensed French Onion the store the price is OUTRAGEOUS for a single can not to mention all the added junk on the ingredient list!  I set out to make a copy and this turned out quite well in my opinion....just be aware that the color wont be a rich brown like the store bought version....simply because of the lack of added "caramel coloring".

1 small onion(about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 TB olive oil
1 TB Molasses

2 beef bullion cubes
3/4 cup boiling water

2 TB cornstarch
1/4 cup COLD water

In a medium sauce pan heat oil and molasses over medium heat. Add onions and sautee for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft and sticky.

Dissolve bullion cubes in boiling water
Add  broth to onions

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water
Add to onion mixture

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Recommended 1 TB dried cheddar cheese powder if available! (this is an ingredient in the store version, but IMO it does not really make or break the soup,  it does, however, give it a certain "something")

Bring it all to a boil and stir until thickened.

makes approx 1.5 cups....almost EXACTLY 1 can of condensed soup...

Nutritional Info-entire recipe-LINK

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Slow Cooker Blueberry Pork Chops

I modified a version of THIS recipe to fit my slow cooker.  I changed it up just a bit for our tastes.It turned out FABULOUS!!!

4-6 pork chops
3 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup white wine(or chicken stock)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1.5 cups blueberries
1 TB brown sugar
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB butter

1 small onion , sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced

Line your slow cooker(if using a liner)....In the bottom layer the garlic and onions.

In a skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 TB of the oil. Brush the remaining oil over the chops. Season  to taste.

When the skillet is hot sear each chop, about 1 minute on each side.

Add seared chops to the slow cooker.

In a medium sauce pan combine wine, vinegar, nutmeg, blueberries and sugar. Heat to boiling and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add butter and lemon juice and simmer 5 minutes more.

Pour blueberry mixture over the pork chops and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Remove chops to a warming plate.

Mix 1 TB cornstarch in 1/4 cup water and add to remaining blueberry mixture and stir until slightly thickened.
Spoon over the pork chops and enjoy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Simple Cream of Tomato Soup

Only a few extra minutes and you can have cream of tomato soup without the can.
So delicious paired with a Monte Cristo Sandwich or a good old fashioned grilled cheese!

4 cups tomato juice(fresh is SO good, but a commercial brand is just fine too)**
2 cups milk(whichever fat content you prefer, we like non fat)
2 TB butter*
1/4 cup flour*
1/2 tsp baking soda
seasoning salt
garlic powder
onion powder

*omit butter and add 3 TB cornstarch to cold milk before heating  for GF

Melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk until crumbly.

SLOWLY add milk and heat to boiling. Boil and stir until thickened.
Add baking soda and mix well

Add seasonings to tomato juice(to your personal preference, I use about 1/2 tsp S.salt, GP and OP and 1 tsp parsley and oregano)

Add tomato juice to white sauce and stir well.
Heat through and serve!

** V8 juice is a GREAT way to mix it up a little too!

Makes 6 Servings Nutrition facts

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cottage Cheese, Veggie and Bacon Pasta Dish

Another of my experiment with dinner dishes!
I think this would also be great omitting the bacon and making it a vegetarian dish!

8 oz dried penne pasta
4 slices bacon
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes(partially drained) or 2 medium fresh, diced
1 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz baby spinach
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Chop bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp, drain on paper towels.

Boil pasta according to package directions.
 While the pasta is boiling place baby spinach in a colander and rinse(leave in the colander to drain)

In a large bowl mix veggies, cottage cheese, bacon,  herbs salt and pepper. Mix well.

Drain pasta on top of the spinach to wilt it.

Mix pasta and spinach into the cottage cheese mixture. Toss to coat

Lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and add the pasta mixture(note my pictures the spinach looks "fresh" I decided that I did not add enough at first and added in extra but did not wilt it first)

Top with parmesan. Cover with foil and bake @ 350 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake 5 minutes more.

Also great served Cold!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tomatillo Pork Roast

My menu got thrown off for the week because on my arrival to the grocery store I found I had been planning my menu for the week off the WRONG AD!!! I hate that. So I did the best I could at rearranging the recipes in my mind to suit what was on sale.
This is an experiment with pork roast, fresh tomatillos and jalapeños

5 large tomatillos, husked and rinsed
3 medium jalapenos
2 cloves garlic
1 small handful fresh cilantro

1 2lb pork loin roast
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder

Slice husked tomatillos in half , slice jalapeños in half(remove membrane and seeds for less heat)
Place them on a baking sheet and put them under your broiler and char.

Flip and char the other side.

Place the tomatillos and jalapeños in a food processor with garlic and cilantro, process until smooth. Salt and pepper to your preferred taste. Set aside

In a small bowl mix cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper and onion powder.

Rub into pork roast.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add seasoned pork roast and sear on each side(about 2 minutes per side should do it)

Place roast in slow cooker and cover with tomatillo sauce.

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Friday, December 3, 2010

CopyCat Red Robin Burnin' Love Burger

I LOVED the Red Robin Burnin' Love Burger but, unfortunately, we do not have a Red Robin close to us so I decided to make up my own!

Jalapeño Kaiser Buns
Ground Beef(about 1/4 per burger, so however much you need, we use 1lb so adjust water and seasonings accordingly if you need more or less)
1 TB cold water
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
Cayenne Pepper
Pepper Jack Cheese
Deep Fried Jalapeños(this recipe is PERFECT)
Salsa(heat depends on your preference)
Chipotle Mayo(in stores or mix 1/2 cup mayo with 1 tsp chipotle powder)

Mix ground beef with cold water and seasoning salt, Shape beef into patties and season with cayenne pepper to taste. You can add cayenne straight to the beef when mixing with water or you can wait to do them individually if you want more or less on some.

Broil or grill you burgers to you preferred doneness. (Remember it SHOULD be cooked to 160, this way it is still juicy and SAFE, invest in a good meat thermometer, even for hamburgers it is very important to reach temperature!!)

Slice the buns and lightly toast each half.
Spread 1-3 tsp salsa on the bottom bun, place on burger, then jalapeño slices, top with cheese and return to broiler to melt the cheese slightly.
Remove and top with lettuce and tomato , spread chipotle mayo on the top bun and top.
Slice and enjoy !!

Jalapeño Kaiser Buns

I am working on a copy cat of Red Robin's Burnin' Love Burger...

For starters we need a Jalapeño Kaiser Bun. I couldnt find any particular recipe so of course I struck out on my own!

1 TB active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups water(105-115 is best)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 TB dough enhancer(optional)
1 TB butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
3- 3 1/2 cups flour
2 egg whites
1 TB minced jalapenos

1-2 TB milk

Separate you egg whites and set aside 1 TB in a small bowl. Beat the remaining egg whites until stiff and set aside.

Directions for a kitchenaid mixer...easily adaptable for hand mixing though!

In bowl combine yeast, water, sugar and dough enhancer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until foamy.

Add melted butter.

With beater attachment slowly add in flour.

About half way through switch to dough hook, add in jalapenos and egg whites and continue adding flour until it pulls from the side of the bowl. Knead until you have a smooth elastic dough.

Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm, draft free location until doubled(about an hour or so)

Punch down and divide into 8 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a 8 inch circle.

Fold left half to the center to make a flap.

Turn 45 degrees and fold again.

Repeat once more

On the last flap lift the first one and ease the last underneath, press to seal the bun and I somewhat flatten it to spread it slightly.

Place upside down on a baking sheet that has been liberally sprinkled with cornmeal.

Allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.

Take remaining egg white and add the milk, beat well.

Paint each bun with the egg wash and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the bun is golden and sounds hollow.

Cool, Slice and Enjoy!

Homemade Mustard

Simple Homemade Mustard, much more flavorful than store bought and without all the extras they wont tell you the name for(think ingredient list ..."spices" and "natural flavoring")

revision 3/18/11- I found this to be a bit smoother, less sharp tasting mustard.

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds(or brown or a combo of the two depending on your taste)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar-1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup water-1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar- added 2 tsp this time to cut the mild bitterness
1 TB dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 pinch of paprika
salt to taste

In a bowl combine mustard seeds, vinegar and water
Allow to stand for 48 hours* adding a touch of water if the seeds absorb all the liquid.
* If you don't want to wait for 2 days you simmer it over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed (I ended up adding a touch more water to get the seeds nice and soft)

After 48 hours add in the spices and puree the mixture in a food processor...Process longer for a smoother mustard, shorter for a grainier version.
Second time I drained and rinsed the mustard seeds in a sieve. You can reserve liquid to add back to thin as you see fit or you can use water.  I found doing this helped to cut the slightly bitter after taste.

You can add a touch of water to thin it if you feel it is too thick.....if it is too thin add a 1/2-1 tsp of cornstarch.

Funnel it into a squeeze jar or store in a air tight container.

Allow to mellow for a few days because it WILL BE SPICY at first!

This recipe filled my 14oz mustard bottle more than full!