Sunday, October 31, 2010

Green Chili Beef Burritos

This recipe is similar to another shredded beef burrito recipe I make. It is a little spicier because of the jalapenos, but not too spicy. We only used half the recipe since 3 pounds is plenty for us. Also didn't add the seasoning blend. I did not wait patiently for the sauce to cool and skim the fat. Instead I stuck my immersion blender in the crock pot and then added the meat back right away. It definitely had more flavor after I put it back in the liquid. They are very good burritos and the meat can be used for other, say, empanadas.

Green Chili Beef Burritos

2 boneless beef top sirlion roast (3 pounds each)

4 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves,sliced
3 teaspoons chili powder 
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend,(optional)
1 cup beef broth
24 flour tortillas (7 inches), warmed
diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, (optional)
Trim fat from roast; cut meat into large chunks. Place in a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with chilies, onion, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and seasoning blend. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Remove beef; cool slighty. Shred with two forks.

Cool cooking liquid; skim fat. In a blender cover and process cooking liquid in small batches until smooth. Return liquid and beef to slow cooker; heat through.

Place 1/3 cup beef mixture on tortilla. Top with cheese, tomato, lettuce if desired. Fold in ends and sides

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chile Con Queso

I don't make queso dip very often, because it's too easy too eat way too much. But it sure is good. This recipe is from and is less fat and calories than the typical dip....but not a diet food by any means. It is quite tasty. A little more work than velveeta, but I think it is worth it.

Chile Con Queso

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, preferably orange
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained, or 1 1/4 cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Turkey Tetrazzini

I found this recipe on It seems like a bit of a lightened version of turkey tetrazzini--especially since I decided to use skim milk instead of lightened cream. It made it a bit thinner, but it still tasted good. Nothing fancy, not too complicated.

Turkey Tetrazzini

1 teaspoon olive oil

10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
6 ounces egg noodles
1 can (14.5 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cuplight cream
1 package cooked turkey breast strips
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion to pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 7 minutes or until tender.

Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Remove mushroom mixture from pot and set aside. Return pot to medium-high heat and add noodles, broth, light cream and 2-1/4 cups water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until tender.

Stir in mushroom mixture, remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, the turkey and peas. Heat through; serve.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pushing Daisies' Gruyere Apple Pie

I haven't actually seen Pushing Daisies--despite my sister's insistence that I should. One of these days I will get around to it. Anyway, my sister-in-law actually sent this recipe to me to try. It is not overly cheesy, but when you get the edges of the top crust you can definitely taste the cheese. It's subtle but there. Just enough to give it a unique flavor without overpowering the apple. The pie is very good. Excellent even.

Nerdy pi marking made by my husband.

Pushing Daisies' Gruyere Pie

Makes 1 9-inch, deep-dish apple pie

3 lbs. tart red apples (Northern Spy, Romes, Empires, or Harralsons)--we used granny smith picked from an orchard in Willcox, AZ
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
5 tsp. cornstarch or all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Gruyère Pie Crust–recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take dough out of fridge.
Peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Slice each quarter thinly. Mix with other ingredients.

Roll the larger piece of dough into a disk about fourteen inches in diameter. I use a piece of parchment paper dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Flip parchment paper over 9 inch deep dish or 10 inch glass pie plate, and ease dough into plate.

Roll smaller piece of dough into circle twelve inches in diameter. Pile apples into pie plate, scraping any juice on top of the apples. Place smaller round of dough on top of the apples. Seal two crusts together, brush with the beaten egg, and make three parallel slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

Place pie on a cookie sheet to catch any drips, put in oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, or until you can see the filling bubbling up between the slits in the crust. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.

Gruyère Pie Crust

Making pie dough is governed by three principles. 1) Use leaf-lard. Spare me your gasp of horror; leaf lard makes the most tender pie crust around and unlike Crisco, contains no transfats and doesn’t leave an unpleasant, soapy taste in your mouth. Don’t use lard from the grocery store; it is most likely rancid. Leaf lard should smell pure. Buy from a butcher, or order here. And okay, if you are utterly opposed to lard, you may use butter. 2) Leave pea sized lumps of butter in the dough. Under the pressure of the rolling pin, the lumps of butter flatten into thin sheets that alternate with the flour. In the heat of the oven, they create the flaky layers that characterize the best pie doughs. 3) Keep in mind the pie ough rule of escalating insanity. The more your pie dough makes you weep, gnash your teeth and lie on the kitchen floor convinced that the whole enterprise is a complete disaster, the more likely it is that your pie dough will be heavenly. Beware the pie dough that is easy to work with; it will most likely end up dry and tough.

While everyone from Cook’s Illustrated to Rose Levy Berenbaum recommends the food processor for quick and easy pie crusts, I have never had luck with it. The food processor overprocesses the dough, and my crusts end up tough. If you use the food processor, only use it to cut the butter into the flour. After that mix with a fork. If you don’t use a food processor, a pastry blender will do. You can use your fingers, but you run the risk of melting the butter with the heat of your hands, ruining the effect of those pea sized pockets of butter. Luckily for me, my icy, grim reaper fingers pose no such threat to the pie dough.

Makes one double-crusted 9-10 inch pie.
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar
13 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 in pieces and stored in the fridge
7 tbsp. leaf lard (or more butter, if you must)
2 oz. Gruyère, grated with a microplane rasp grater
6-7 tbsp. ice water

Mix flour, salt, sugar and Gruyere in a large mixing bowl or bowl of a food processor. Using a food processor, pastry blender, or your fingers, cut in the large until no large pieces remain. Add the butter, and cut into flour until the largest pieces of butter are the size of large peas.

Remove flour-butter mixture from food processor, if using, and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle ice water over flour in increments of one tablespoon, toss with fork after each addition. (Try not to add too much extra water, but I usually end up going over the recommended amount.) When dough clumps together when squeezed in your palm, gather dough together into two disks, one slightly larger than the other, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings. It's almost as good as chicken pot pie and easier to make. I often use rotisserie chicken as a shortcut. The recipe recommends Jiffy biscuit mix, but I use Bisquick and use the recipe on the box. Oh, and lots of poultry seasoning.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
2 tablespoons flour, a handful
1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container, preferred brand Kitchen Basics
1 small box biscuit mix(preferred brand Jiffy Mix)
1/2 cup warm water
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas

Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Wash hands.

Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.

Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 1/2 cup warm water and parsley. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

Source: Rachael Ray

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vegan Zucchini Cake

This recipe is very similar to my "family" recipe. It's vegan, but it does't have any weird ingredients. The banana that replaces the egg does give it a hint of banana flavor, but it is still really good. I opted for no nuts or chocolate chips.

Zucchini Cake

2 1/2 cups grated, peeled, fresh zucchini

2 ripe bananas, mashed well
1 cup canola oil
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cups ground walnuts (optional)
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

In medium sized mixing bowl, combine zuchini, bananas, oil, and vanilla. Stir well or beat with electric mixer if you want to be fancy. In large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except chocolate. Add wet mixture to dry, mix well and add chocolate chips. Pour into lightly greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. Let cool upright 15 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack. Allow to cool 30 minutes before tasting.
Source: Post Punk Kitchen

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hamburger Buddy

I haven't really had a lot of Hamburger Helper in my life, but I imagine this is much better---and better for you. Ok, the name is pretty lame, but it's good.

Hamburger Buddy

3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish

Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.

Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired
Source: Eating Well

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spicy Orange Habenero Salsa

Our habenero plant is very fruitful right now. I can tolerate a little spice, but these guys can be hot. We tried to find a recipe that would highlight the spice without knocking us out. This salsa was very good. It was definitely spicy, but it was a good burn. If you don't have a lot of time--or access to fresh tomatillos--there are definitely shortcuts you can take. I have seen canned tomatillos and mandarin oranges if you want a quicker salsa.

Spicy Orange Habenero Salsa

1 pound tomatillos
3 to 4 habanero peppers
2 oranges
6 green onions, sliced
lime juice

In an ungreased iron skillet, roast half of the tomatillos in their husks for about 10 minutes, turning often; remove from pan and cool. When cool, place them in a blender, and set aside. Meanwhile remove husks from remaining tomatillos and rinse them and dice fine, and place them in a bowl.

Roast the habaneros over low heat, turning often, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they begin to char; remove from pan. Stem and remove seeds of habaneros (wear gloves), and add to blender; purée. Squeeze one of the oranges over a sieve placed over the bowl with the tomatillos (to catch any stray seeds). Add the pepper/tomatillo purée and mix well. Peel the remaining orange; remove pith; remove seeds (if desired); dice fine, and add to the bowl along with the chopped green onions. Season to taste with salt and lime juice and allow to stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving to develop flavor.

Source: Clay's Kitchen