Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hellfire Burgers


The people of Earth can be divide into two types: those who enjoy spicy food and those who don’t. I am one of the spicy people. Those who dislike spicy food think that spice is just about the heat, but it isn’t. The spice must also be full of flavor. The heat needs to be enough that you feel it, the bite is part of the joy, but not so much that you are in pain. These burgers are full of flavor because I used so many sources of heat. If you like things a little less hot skip the cayenne. You could also use regular mayo.

Speaking of mayo, you can make the Lime Chipotle Mayo yourself or purchase your favorite brand. I used French’s Crispy Jalapeños. Those are just like the crispy onions that you’ve been sprinkling on green been casseroles all these years only warm!

So, give heat a chance! Dinner will be smokin’.

Servings:  4 burgers
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a large skillet, a knife and a cutting board, food safe gloves, a large mixing bowl, foil, a rolling pin (or a smooth sided glass), a baking sheet
Active time: 10 minutes; Cook: 10 minutes; Dinner in about 30 minutes
Hellfire Burgers are full of delicious heat!
Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef (the best that you can afford)
  • Small Spanish onion (½ cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • Salt
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices of peppered bacon
  • 4 thick slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • Lime chipotle mayo
  • French fried jalapeños (I used French’s)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚
  2. Cut each bacon slice in half. Fry until crispy and set aside,
  3. Dice the onion. Set aside.
  4. Wearing the gloves mix the beef, the peppers and the Worcestershire sauce together. Don’t over handle the beef.
  5. Cover the baking sheet in foil for easier clean up. Roll the beef out onto the foil until it is 8 inches by 8 inches. Sprinkle the top of the beef with the chopped onions. Press them gently into the meat. Score the beef into 4 equal pieces. Don’t cut it all the way through.
  6. Generously salt the burger and place it into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  7. Smear the buns with Chipotle Mayo. Top each burger with 2 bacon halves, a slice of Pepper Jack cheese and plenty of French fried jalapeños.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Nacho Casserole


Nacho Casserole
I have been crazy busy lately. I wanted something easy. I know that I serve a great deal of Tex-Mex dishes, but my husband loves them, they are usually easy and taste great. This casserole was even better the next day.

Another reason that I like these dishes is they are so forgiving and can be changed up to match your tastes and the food that you have on hand. I used Green Giant Team Crisp Southwest Corn. This brand has black beans. However, you could use any corn. You could also stir in ½ can rinsed black beans. If you like heat, then stir in a few chopped hot peppers with the other veggies when you are cooking the meat mixture.

Servings: 6-8
Active time: 20 minutes; Cook: 45 minutes; Dinner in about 1 ½ hour
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a large heavy bottomed skillet, a small skillet, a can opener, a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl, a whisk, a silicone spatula, foil, a 11x 8 x 2 glass baking dish and a baking sheet


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion (½ cup, 4 oz)
  • 1 small bell pepper (½ cup, 4 oz)
  • 1-10 ounce can Ro-tel tomatoes-drained
  • 1-11 ounce can Southwest corn-drained
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup tortilla chips-crushed
  • 1 + 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream, chopped green onions, and black olives
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚.
  2. Dice the onion and bell pepper, the smaller the better. In the skillet, brown the beef, onion, and pepper over medium. Cook and crumble until the beef is no longer pink. (About 7 minutes) Drain. Mix in the drained Ro-tel, corn, taco sauce, taco seasoning and cumin. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
  3. While the meat mixture is simmering, melt the butter in the small skillet over medium. Whisk in the flour and continually stir until the roux is a light golden color. Remove from the heat. This roux will help bind the casserole and help it hold together when you cut it.
  4. Mix the roux and 1 cup of the cheese into the meat mixture. Spoon everything into the glass baking dish. Cover it in foil. In case of boil over, place the dish on top of the baking dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and top with the remaining cheese and crushed chips.  Bake for 5 minutes more or until the cheese melts.
  6. Allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Slice and top with sour cream, chopped green onions and black olives before serving.
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Island Pulled Pork (Instant Pot and Crockpot)


Island Pulled Pork

We have a local restaurant that serves a Cuban pulled pork that is so delicious. My husband LOVES it. I tried to recreate it at home. I landed pretty, darned close. This is delicious, can be used in a variety of recipes and freezes nicely.

This makes a great deal of pork. We had it in Island Pork Tacos, which I served with Tostones and Mango Salsa. For breakfast, we replaced the Canadian bacon with the pork for Island Eggs Benedict. We froze the rest of the leftovers in serving sized portions.

This recipe is foolproof. Exact measures don’t matter. If you slightly over cook the pork, it won’t really matter. I know not everyone has an Instant Pot®, so I have included the times for a crockpot, too. The active time includes separating the fat after the pork is done.

You can find Sour Orange in the Hispanic food section of the grocery store.

Servings: 10-12
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons, an Instant Pot® or crockpot, silicone tipped tongs, an airtight container large enough to hold the pork, (I used a 2-gallon plastic bag,) a large bowl, another container to hold the rest of the marinade, food safe gloves
Instant Pot Time: Active time: 20 minutes; Marinate over night; Cook: 70 minutes; bringing up to pressure and natural release: 30 minutes
Crockpot Time: Active time: 20 minutes; Marinate over night; Cook: 6-8 hours;


Ingredients:
  • 3 ½ pound pork butt or shoulder
  • 2-20-ounce bottles of Sour Orange (I used Badia)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons dried oregano or a huge bunch fresh
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 3 green onions
  • An orange
  • 1 large onion (1 cup chopped)
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Slice the green onions, keeping the white and green parts. Zest and juice the lime. Mince the garlic. Mince about 3 tablespoons of the oregano if you are using fresh.
  2. Mix the Sour Orange, olive oil, water, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, oregano, green onions and a teaspoon salt together. Pour 1 cup of the marinade into a container and place it in the fridge. Make sure to get some garlic and oregano in the reserve.
  3. Generously sprinkle black pepper over the meat. Place it in the airtight container and pour the rest of the marinade over it. Seal it and place it in the fridge overnight. If you think about it, turn the meat over a few times or give the container a shake so that the marinade is evenly distributed.
  4. When you are ready, discard the used marinade. Chop the onion and juice the orange, save the orange.
  5. For the Instant Pot: Generously salt the pork and place it into the Instant Pot on top of the trivet. Add in the onion, leftover orange, orange juice, and reserved marinade. Close the lid and make sure it is on ‘sealing.’ Pressure cook on high for 70 minutes. Allow the steam to naturally release. That means that you just leave it alone until the metal float falls.
  6. For the crockpot: Put the onion, leftover orange, orange juice, and reserved marinade into the crockpot. Generously salt the pork and place it on top of the onions and orange. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.
  7. Remove the pork allow it to rest until it is cool enough to touch. Wearing the food safe gloves, shred the pork and remove any fat or gristle. Taste and adjust the salt.
  8. Then pile it on tacos or over rice or on eggs or sneak mouthfuls when no one is watching!