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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enchiladas

Tex-Mex is my husband Jeff's favorite food.  My grandfather, Tuss, grew up in Texas.  So tonight's recipe is in honor of my two favorite men. 

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 15 minutes; Cooking:  30 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, a skillet, wooden spoon, a colander, a large mixing bowl, measuring cups & spoons, a sauce pan, a whisk, a plate, a paper towel, a 9x13 glass baking dish


Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour (I used mesa, which is corn flour, to give this a more authentic taste.  You can use wheat flour.)
  • 1/3 cup mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ - ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper (depending upon how much you like heat)
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Cooking spray
  • 8-6 inch corn tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (I use Publix Mexican blend)




Spray the pan


Spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce in the pan

Put about 2 tablespoons of meat in each tortilla

Place the tortillas seam side down

MMMMMMMM!






  1. Dice the onion, the smaller the better.
  2. In the skillet, brown the beef with the onion.  Drain.  Place the meat in the bowl and set aside.
  3. In the sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to sizzle.
  4. Add the flour and whisk constantly until there are no lumps and the flour is a nice golden, buttery color.  This should take about 2 minutes. (This is called a roux.)
  5. Add the chili powder, cumin, pepper, and onion & garlic powders.  Whisk until every thing is incorporated and you have removed all lumps.
  6. Slowly add the broth & water.  Whisk often, scrapping the sides and bottom of the pan. 
  7. Whisk in the tomato paste.
  8. Simmer the sauce for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove the sauce pan from the heat.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  10. Spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
  11. Spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of the glass pan.
  12. Mix 1 cup of the sauce and ½ cup of the cheese with the meat.
  13. Place the tortillas on the plate and cover with a damp paper towel.  Heat these in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  14. Put about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture into each tortilla and roll up.
  15. Place rolled tortillas, seam side down, in the glass pan.
  16. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.
  17. Bake for 20 minutes.
  18. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the enchiladas and cook for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Allow the enchiladas to cool for a few minutes.  Serve with sour cream.



Monday, October 11, 2010

Beef Stew and Herbed Dumplings

I love using my crock pot.  I can create a wonderful dish and still go about my day.  This stew is easy to make and it is savory and warm and comforting.

Servings:  6
Time:   Prep: 25 minutes Cook:  5 hours
Hardware: knives & chopping block, measuring cups & spoons, crock pot, wooden spoon, frying pan, fork, paper towels, bowls, whisk, pastry cutter (or forks), rolling pin

Ingredients:

  • ½ pounds baby carrots
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1~8 oz package sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic~minced
  • 2 stems of fresh rosemary
  • 2 pieces of bacon
  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Sangria (find it on the wine aisle)
  • 1 cup beef stock + ¼ cup
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables.
  2. Place the carrots in the bottom of the crock pot and top them with the other vegetables and herbs. (You can just throw the whole rosemary stem in the pot.)
  3. Cook the bacon on medium in the pan to render the fat from it.  Remove the bacon from the pan and drain it on paper towels to allow it to cool.
  4. Turn the pan up to high.  Add the stew beef. Sear the beef for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the beef and juices to the crock pot.
  6. Chop the bacon and sprinkle it on the beef.
  7. Whisk the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Sangria, and the cup of beef stock together.  Pour this over the beef in the crock pot.
  8. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours. 
  9. Begin to prepare the dumplings at the 4 hour mark. (see below)
  10. Stir the 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the ¼ cup cold beef broth until there are no lumps.  Add this with the dumplings.
  11. Remove the rosemary stems from the stew and salt & pepper to taste.

Dumplings
 Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon FINELY chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons shortening or butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1.  Sift the flour, the baking soda, and the salt together.
  2. Stir in the rosemary
  3. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two forks until mixture is the consistency of big crumbs.
  4. Add the buttermilk, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times – but DO NOT OVERWORK.
  6. Roll the dough into a very thin sheet (1/4-inch thick), cut into strips or diamonds (2 x 2 inches).   Make sure to roll the dumplings VERY thin as they will plump when cooked.
  7. Drop dumplings into the broth and cook for 20 minutes. 
Garnish this with a dollop of sour cream.  Tastes like home.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bone-in Chicken and Yellow Rice

Today when I woke up it was cool outside.  So in anticipation of fall I am giving you a warm, hardy dinner.
 
Servings: 4
Time:    Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 45 -50 Minutes
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet) with a lid, a wooden spoon, tongs, a can opener, a plate, tinfoil
 
Ingredients:
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 4 chicken thighs
  3. 3 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 small onion
  5. ½ cup trinity pepper mix
  6. 2 teaspoons turmeric
  7. ½ teaspoon cumin
  8. ½ teaspoon saffron
  9. 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes –DO not drain
  10. 1 cup rice
  11. 2 cups of chicken broth
  12. 2 bay leaves
  13. 1 cup frozen sweet peas-thawed
  14. ½ cup green olives with pimentos-chopped (optional)
  15. Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Dice the onion and garlic.
  2. Wash the chicken.  Salt and pepper both sides.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on medium high.
  4. Add the chicken skin side down and cover.  Turn the pan down to medium and cook for 8 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken with tongs, cover, and cook for 7 more minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken to the plate and tent with the foil.
  7. Pour most of the fat from the pan.
  8. Add the peppers, garlic, and onion to the pan and turn the heat up to medium high.  Allow the onions to sweat.
  9. Add the rice to the pan and sauté it until the edges of the rice are clear, about a minute. Stir in the cumin, saffron, and turmeric.
  10. Add the can of tomatoes and the broth.  Allow the rice to come to a boil.
  11. Tuck in the bay leaves.
  12. Place the chicken skin side up on top of the rice. 
  13. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
  14. Allow the dish to simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  15. Remove the bay leafs and stir in the peas and olives (if you are using them).
  16. Salt and pepper to taste.

To plate pour the rice into a serving dish and lay the chicken skin side up in the middle.  Offer hot sauce, salsa, and malt vinegar at the table.

I love the bright red, green, and yellows