Monday, December 8, 2014

Chili Mac...Warms Your Body on a Cold Winter Day

I have been freezing all day. In Wisconsin, we think the 30's is warm. It really is but I think I got a chill at the 5K I walked on Saturday. This chili mac is everything you love about the soup without all of the liquid. Wisconsin cheese added on top makes for the perfect bite. My girl Angie used to invite me over to her house when I was single and make this for me. This is how my Mom taught me how to make chili. (she thinks she invented it.) I have tweaked the recipe over the years to find out what we like. To make a whole chili add water to the soup can and the two bean cans.

Chili Mac

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 of a large onion diced
1 large can stewed tomatoes chopped and drained
2 cans of red beans or kidney beans drained
2 small cans Campbell's tomato soup
2-4 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2-4 shakes hot sauce
1 lb cooked macaroni pasta

Brown the ground beef and onion in a frying pan with high sides. Drain off the fat once or twice and break the meat up into larger pieces. Season a few times with salt as you go. Once no longer pink, add the tomatoes, beans, and chili powder, and salt. Let cook for 10 minutes or so to combine flavors. Cook the pasta and drain. Fold into the chili and add the cheese. Serve with your favorite condiments such as sour cream.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Turkey Left Over Frittata


We still have a lot of left overs. This morning I used some of what I had to make a delicious frittata. You can use the turkey, ham, veggies (I had left over root veggies) green pepper, onion, mashed potatoes, and the cheese of your choice to make this easy and fast breakfast treat. A cast iron skillet works best for this will be placing it under a hot broiler. Otherwise make sure the handle is heat proof.

Turkey Frittata

1/2 cup leftover turkey chopped (we had Gran Mariner injected turkey)
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 cup pepper diced
4-6 large eggs beaten
1/4 cup fat free milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish
2 TBSP oil

Add the oil onion, root veggies, and pepper to the skillet. Brown for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the turkey and warm through. Next add the potatoes. Again, season and warm through 1-2 minutes. Cover with the beaten eggs. Top with cheese and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Serve with cilantro garnished on the top.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Special Breakfast Day: Eggs Benedict with Cheese Sauce

My Eggs Benedict. 
We went to a breakfast at the Wine and Dine last weekend and they had a Eggs Benedict. The students preparing the meal were having some trouble with poaching the eggs and all I wanted to do was step in and help them. Alas, I kept quiet but I am going to give you some pointers on how to make this dish. The hubbs and I don't like the Holindase sauce that is traditional with Eggs Benedict so I made my favorite cheese sauce. I am from Wisconsin after all!  The toast was regular bread cut out with a circle form. I also added some turkey sausage to each (just to be healthy!) PS It's Sunday and we eat off paper plates. The last thing I want to do today is wash dishes!
bad Eggs Benedict on the right side of my plate. 

For the eggs:
Tip one: Add cold water to a pan with high sides. About middle way up the pan. Add two tablespoons vinegar. Let the water heat on low heat until you see small bubbles come from the bottom of the pan.

Tip two: Crack the eggs softly one at a time into a coffee cup. Move the coffee cup directly over the water and deposit the eggs. Don't place the eggs too close together. (No more than 6 eggs at a time)

Tip three: Let the eggs heat up for five minutes and you will begin to see the whites look like angel wings. Take a slotted spoon and cover the yellows like a blanket covering a baby. This only works if the whites are white and not opaque. If the whites are opaque try in a few more minutes.

Tip 4: Don't stir the water too much. This makes the water really cloudy. Remove the eggs from the heat with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to get rid of the excess water. Use a regular tablespoon to pick up the eggs and move them to your dish.

While your eggs are in the pot poaching make this cheese sauce. It will come together in about 5 minutes so have it ready before you are going to serve. If you let it sit the cheese will separate.

Cheese Sauce (I use this sauce in everything from Mac and Cheese to Cheesy fries)

2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP butter
8 oz. fat free milk
4 oz. cheddar cheese shreds
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
squirt mustard

Stir the butter and flour with a whisk until a pale beige. Add the milk and stir. Don't let the sauce come to a boil. Add the cheese and continue stiring. Lastly add the mustard, salt, and pepper. Spoon over the eggs.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shrimp Masala, Black Pepper Cumin Rice with Cashews

My oldest daughter has once again decided she wants to go semi vegetarian. She still will eat shrimp though. About a week ago I visited our local Indian market on 13th Street named Best Foods and picked up a variety of spices. The selection was amazing. I found this cooking show on our local MPTV PBS that had these two recipes featured Shrimp Masala and the Black Pepper Cumin rice. The thing about Indian cooking is the sheer amount of spices can be overwhelming. The best thing to do is have your spices ready ahead of time. Also it can be a bit more hectic when preparing two dishes at once. I purchased some ready made Basmati rice and then added the ingredients in a wok and heated it though. Also I used frozen uncooked shrimp. We don't have many fresh fish markets here. The dish still turned out great.

Shrimp Masala

1 Tbsp. oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 diced onion
1/4 cup diced roma tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper and cumin powder
1 lb. shrimp uncooked, shells off, and deveined
1/4 cup cilantro chopped

Start in a large frying pan heating the oil and adding the cinnamon stick, turmeric,  and cumin seeds and powder.Cook on low heat until the spices are fragrant. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the onion, tomato, garlic ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes more. Add the tomato sauce, water, salt, black pepper and simmer for another few minutes. Lastly add the shrimp and cook in the sauce until light pink in color. Serve with cilantro on the top and the cashew rice on the side.

Black Pepper and Cumin Rice

2 cups cooked Basmati rice
1 TBSP canola oil
1/4  tsp. curry powder
1 dried chili pepper our you could use fresh
1 stp black mustard seeds
1 tsp. urad dal (lentils)
1/2 cup onion diced
1 tsp. black pepper and cumin powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dry roasted cashews

Add the dry spices and urad dal to the oil along with the nuts. stir fry until the mustard seeds pop and the spices become fragrant. Add the onion and stir fry for one minute. Add the rice and combine. Serve with the Masala or alone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Empanadas Round Two

The recipes you will find out there for empanadas are endless. I had a craving for pastys which are a larger version of empanadas. They contain meat and potatoes. I made two different kinds of empanadas: one with ground beef, Serrano peppers, potato and onion. The second had platanos, ground beef, onions, and queso fresco. The addition of carbonated water (I used my Soda Stream) gives the batter lightness.

The Dough (makes 20-25 small ones)

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick butter cut into slices
2/3 to one cup carbonated water
2-3 cups Canola oil for frying
a wok

The Filling

2lbs ground beef divided
1 onion divided and diced
1 Serrano pepper diced
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 large potato diced
1 tsp. minced garlic

Sweet filling
1 ripe blackened platanos diced
1/2 onion
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp. Cumin

In a food processor make the dough by adding the flour, butter, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add the water until the dough combines. Let set covered for 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Brown the ground beef and add all of the ingredients until browned. Let cool. For the sweet filling add the platanos at the last minute.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Turn the dough around and roll out until uniform thickness is achieved. Cut out with a small pie form. Stretch dough to cover the form Add one tablespoon of filling. Close the form and crimp.  Egg wash may be used to seal the edges. Use a fork to crimp the edges if not fully closed. Poke a few holes in the sweet ones so you can tell them apart. Fry in the rippling oil for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. These can be refridgerated and heated later in the microwave for a minute.











Saturday, November 8, 2014

Better Fried Sunny Side Up Eggs


I watch a lot of food porn and came across this trick for better set whites on my sunny side up eggs. Normally you wait for the whites to stop being runny forever and then the bottom is burnt to a crisp. This simple way will save your eggs and give you the perfect runny sunny side up eggs.
1. Crack the eggs into a egg pan with some butter.

2) Cover with a lid for one minute. Remove the lid and then place it back on for another minute.



Here's how they look when you remove the lid.


Break into it and you have the prefect sunny side up egg. Cook a minute longer if you want it more set. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I made these for dinner tonight but they would be awesome at a party or on football Sunday...Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. The recipe came to my inbox I think via tablespoon. Here is how I made them:

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 scallions chopped
salt
pepper
onion powder (1 tsp)
1 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Mix the chicken, spices, green onion, and bread crumbs with the egg. Roll into 20 or so meatballs. Try to make them all the same size.

Bake for 5 minutes in the oven so they firm up and place in a crock pot. Cover with the buffalo sauce
and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.

Place the blue cheese dressing in a bag and cut off the edge. Apply the sauce over the meatballs. Enjoy!