Wednesday, January 22, 2020

MEXICAN TORTILLA BAKE ~ FOLDOVER TACOS

Your favorite taco in a casserole – perfect for potlucks!

FOLD OVER TACOS
1 pound ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 cup red enchilada sauce
1 can re-fried beans
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
12 6 inch tortillas
6 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature 30 minutes
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook beef until crumbled and pink is gone.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Add tomatoes, sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pour half of the meat and sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Top with half the beans.  Set aside.
  • Stir together the cream cheese and one half of the re-fried beans.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on each tortilla and top with a spoonful of the sauce.
  • Fold each tortilla over and arrange in baking dish partially overlapping.
  • Pour remaining meat sauce over top of tortillas.
  • Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted.

Monday, January 20, 2020

SPAGHETTI with RICOTTA MEATBALLS & PECORINO GARLIC BREAD

In my humble opinion (especially now that bread is a rarity in my diet) a “dressed” garlic bread is the ONLY way to go! The strong penetrating flavor of the  Pecorino cheese in the garlic bread as well as the meatballs raises your normal spaghetti to a NEW level.


SPAGHETTI with RICOTTA MEATBALLS & PECORINO GARLIC BREAD – serves 2
2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Parsley, minced
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH Basil leaves, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced and divide in thirds
3/4 pound LEAN ground beef
2 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
¼ cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/3 pound spaghetti noodles
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
Avocado oil
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 French Roll
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a FULL boil.
  • Prepare a small baking sheet with foil
.

  • Mix together the ground beef, ricotta cheese, parsley, 1/3 of the garlic, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the Pecorino cheese with your hands until well blended.
  • Shape meat into ping pong sized meatballs.

  • Heat avocado oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add meatballs to hot oil stirring occasionally until browned ALL over, 6-9 minutes.
  • Set aside.

  • While meatballs are cooking cook spaghetti in salted boiling water until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Drain pasta. Toss with oil.

  • In a small mixing bowl combine 1 tablespoon of Pecorino cheese and 1 tablespoon avocado oil together into a paste.
  • Stir in 1/3 of the garlic.
  • Place bread on lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Spread paste over bread and bake until golden brown.
  • Top with sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

  • In a medium sauce pan combine marinara, a pinch of salt and reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil.
  • Return meatball pan to a medium heat. Add remaining garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until meatballs are warmed through, 8 minutes or so.
  • Plate and serve immediately.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless chicken things
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic powder. onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add chicken pieces to skillet, turning to coat.
  • Sear one side, 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn to other side, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Skim off fat and return chicken to skillet.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and honey.
  • Drizzle over chicken and cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice.

TOFFEE WALNUT CINNAMON PULLS

I hadn't made this recipe in a LOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNG time. I made it during the winter storm a few days ago because it has a lot less sugar and I was hoping to get a few bites myself. TOFFEE WALNUT CINNAMON PULLS DOUGH
2 1/2 - 3 cups KING ARTHUR all purpose flour
1 package Fleischman’s Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup fine sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 LARGE egg
  • In the bowl of your mixer combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour and package of yeast.
  • In a small saucepan combine the milk, sugar, butter and salt heating just until warm (120-130°) and butter almost melts.
  • Add milk mixture to flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
  • Add egg beating on low 1 minute, scraping bowl continuously. Beat on high 3 minutes.
  • Add as much of the remaining flour as possible.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, kneading until you have a soft, smooth, elastic dough, 3-5 minutes.
  • Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough to coat in grease. Cover and place in a warm place to rise to double in size, about 90 minutes.
 
  • Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly greased surface.
  • Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.
FILLING
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cups chopped walnuts, ground fine**
1/3 cup Heath bar toffee bits
2 teaspoons QUALITY RED APE cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Caramel ice cream topping - warmed (Optional)
  • Combine sugars, walnuts, cinnamon and toffee bits.
**NOTE: I measure straight from the bag and then use my mini food processor to grind the nuts slightly. This gives a better coverage on the dough. ASSEMBLY 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Roll dough into a 20 inch x10 inch rectangle.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Evenly sprinkle nut mixture over butter, leaving about 1 inch unfilled along a long edge.
  • Roll up from the long filled edge, sealing seam by pinching dough together.
  • Place seam side down and cut into 8 equal portions.
 
  • Cut each piece (once from each side) at the 1/3 third mark, BUT DO NIT CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
  • Place each roll on prepared baking sheet 3 inches apart. As you arrange each piece gently pull each end to fan the roll slightly.
  • Cover and place in warm place to rise again for 45 minutes.
 
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden.
  • Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.

DINNER is meant to be DINNER, in a SINGLE pan when possible :D – PORK TENDERLOIN with GREEN BEANS & ROASTED PEARS

DINNER is meant to be enjoyed, and cooked in a SINGLE pan whenever possible 😀  I want to make JUST ONE  fantastic dish that is so flavorful and satisfying that it can stand alone or simply be paired with a salad or FRESH rolls.  Now to be honest this takes 2 pans UNLESS you use a LARGE cast iron skillet which is my weapon of choice 😀 or at least an ovenproof skillet of some sort.
PORK TENDERLOIN with GREEN BEANS & ROASTED PEARSserves 2-4
2 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 pound green beans, washed, trimmed and cut
1-2 BOSC pears, cored and sliced
1 shallot, chopped
5-6 large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH thyme sprigs, trimmed and chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1+1 tablespoon butter
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Heat avocado oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • When sizzling, add shallots and green beans. Stir 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften and cghar.
  • Season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Add mushrooms and pears, sauteing 2-3 minutes more.
  • With slotted spoon transfer to sheet pan.

  • Pat tenderloin dry and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add tenderloin to the still hot pan and quickly sear on all sides.
  • Transfer tenderloin to sheet pan. RESERVE PAN and EVERYTHING IN IT for sauce.
  • Roast 13-15 minutes (140°).
  • Remove from oven and tent with foil.
  • Rest 5 minutes.
  • Return pan to medium heat.
  • Add garlic and thyme, cooking until fragrant.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch until lump free.
  • Add teriyaki sauce and chicken broth to pan, simmering until begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • Plate and ENJOY!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS
3-4 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • Toss flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bag, tossing to coat.
  • Shake off excess and place on baking pan in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Dip each wing in the sauce and return to pan on its opposite side.
  • Bake another 25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Dip in sauce a second time as you plate them.
GLAZE
2/3 cup PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced (optional) for garnish
  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over a medium heat,
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Garnish if desired and serve.

CHICKEN & CORN STEW 2 WAYS

This recipe is SOOOOOO versatile!  It was originally written as a slow cooker recipe that I adapted to NOT ONLY our likes and tastes, but also to a quick week night meal. 

WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds rotisserie chicken pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced small
1 large shallot, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.
  • Add carrots and shallots, stirring to saute until softened.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth.
  • Add broth to skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add corn, thyme, potatoes pieces, chicken pieces, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and croutons are toasted.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced large
1 large shallot, large chop
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs
  • LIGHTLY spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth and pour into slow cooker.
  • Add chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, shallots, corn, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Cook another 10-15 minutes until heated through and thickened.
NOTES: Crushed potato chips works to replace the croutons in a pinch!