Summer Time Fun

Summer Time Fun

Friday, July 18, 2014

Smoked Jalapeno Vinaigrette

This is a  version of a dressing that I had at a local Mexican restaurant. It was on a great salad with chicken and all the fixings.
I am actually making Vegetarian Black bean tacos for dinner tonight and am going to place a slaw as the first layer of the taco. I am using this vinaigrette to marinate the slaw in. I will put the slaw down first in the corn tortillas, then spiced black beans and top with fried onions and jalapeno pepper. Serve with any sauce you like. I think it will be great. Anyway onto the vinaigrette.

This is what I did:

6 cloves garlic minced
3/4 C rice wine vinegar (you could use any mild vinegar of choice. Even a white balsamic would be good.)
3 tsp. of pureed (or more depending on how spicy you like it) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 Tbl. honey
1/4-1/2 cup fine chop cilantro
salt and pepper
1 Cup olive oil

Place in blender and blend till smooth. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Not my photo.

These are delicious. I found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman web site. I made just a few minor changes to suit our taste buds. Easy and great.

2lbs. Ground beef
3/4 C seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. powdered beef base or crumbled beef bouillon cube
1 Tbl. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix together and form into meatballs.

1 stick of butter
1 lg and 1 small onion sliced thin
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup beef broth with 2 Tbl. corn starch mixed into it and set aside
1 Tbl. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. brown mustard
1 tsp. beef base
2 tsp. kitchen bouquet

serve with buttered egg noodles.

In large skillet add half of the butter and brown the meat balls. You wont be cooking them all the way through. Remove to a place. Add 1 Tbl. butter and the sliced onions. Fry till onions are soft. Add the beef broth, beef base, worcestershire sauce, mustard, kitchen bouquet. Stir and heat. Add the beef broth mixed with the corn starch and mix. Add in what is left of the stick of butter and stir till melted.  Add back in the meat balls and simmer for 10 minutes or so. While they are cooking cook your egg noodles. Serve

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spicy Chicken Stir Fry

6 lg. chicken breast sliced (I used chicken tenders that were equal to 6 breasts)
4 yellow and red bell peppers sliced in thin strips
2 cups shredded carrot (used bag shredded for cole slaw)
3 white onions sliced in thin strips
2 cups (I would add more next time) sugar snap peas

3 Tbl. sugar
3 tsp. ground garlic
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 Tbl. cumin
3 Tbl. dried cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbl. chili powder
3 Tbl. honey
3 Tbl. lemon juice
pinch red pepper flakes (to taste)
oil (I use grapeseed oil)

combine sugar, garlic, ginger, cumin, cilantro, 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes in a small bowl and mix to combine.
slice chicken in thin stir fry sizes. Pour all but 2 Tbl. of dry mix on chicken and mix to combine and coat all chicken. I did this early and let it sit in the fridge till ready to cook.
Pre-slice the veggies and set aside till ready.

In a wok or large pan heat pan till very hot and add a couple Tbl. of oil. If you have a lot of chicken as I did (I fried it in three batches) fry in batches. remove to a bowl and set aside. Add in the onions and fry for 3 minutes, add in the bell peppers, sugar snap peas, and carrots and fry till veggies are crisp yet slightly tender. This is a personal taste thing on how crisp you like your veggies. Add the rest of the seasoning mix in and stir around for another minute. Add back the chicken and stir to mix and heat through. then add the honey and lemon juice and stir to combine and coat. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Santa Fe Salad

3/4 lb. Zuchinni, cut into rounds 1/4" wide
3/4 lb. yellow squash cut into rounds 1/4" wide
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green onions, thin slice
1/4 - 1 Cup jalapeno, minced
1/2 Cup pumpkin seeds
1 C cilantro minced

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup evoo
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

mix dressing well and pour over cut up veggies. chill for at least 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Baked Mac and Cheese

This is my most recent Mac and Cheese recipe. After much research this is what I came up with and it is wonderful. Give it a try.
Heres what I do:

Macaroni and Cheese 
5 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

White Sauce
½ cup good quality butter
¼ Cup flour
3 ½ cups whole milk
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. Lowerys season salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Two sprigs thyme leaves stripped from stalk
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tsp. dry mustard
8 ounces greyer cheeses, shredded  
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces velveeta, cubed
 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
 4 ounces Cheddar cheese
 ½ cup Parmesan cheese
Mix the topping ingredients together and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil pasta till al dente (no more or it will be mushy when done.)
While the water is heating and coming to a boil start the white sauce. Measure the milk into a large measuring cup or bowl and add in the salt, lowerys season salt, black pepper, thyme leaves, cayenne, mustard and a scant pinch of nutmeg or grate small amount of nutmeg into the milk and whisk together. Set aside.
 In a pan melt butter over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk till blended with flour and cook for a few minutes. Pour milk into the cooked flour and whisk together. Cook till thickened. About 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the Gruyere, Velveeta and cheddar cheese. Stir till cheeses are melted. Taste for salt. You want it to have plenty of salt so that when put on the pasta it isn’t tasteless. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the cheese sauce. Stir together and put into a casserole dish. Top with panko/cheese mixture. Bake 30 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Home Made Yeast Rolls

These are so good and pretty easy to make.

Heres what to do:

1/3 Cup real butter
1 Cup full fat milk
1/3 Cup sugar
1 Tbl. active dry yeast
4 Cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs

I use a Kitchen Aid blender. You can do this by hand also. These directions are for the kitchen aid.
Place milk and butter in saucepan. You are not going to even let this simmer. Watch this close and melt butter. You want the milk to reach 120 degrees. Yeast works best in a temp. of 110 - 115. So if the milk is 120 by the time you pour it into the metal bowl it will cool off. I check it with a thermometer and make sure it is not below 110 as this will not activate the yeast and not above 120 as this will kill the yeast. Pour warmed milk and butter into blender bowl (have the dough hook on the blender) and add the sugar and stir. Then sprinkle with the yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. It should start to foam up and smell like yeast. Add 3/4th of the flour and the salt. Start to blend. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to blend. You will blend on number 2 to 3 for 5-7 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should pull together and be smooth. If it is too sticky add a tablespoon of flour one at a time till it blends to a smooth consistency. It should feel moist and not dry at all. Sprinkle the counter with what is left of the flour onto the counter and put the dough on it and knead for a minute or two till dough is soft and slightly sticky. form into a ball and place in a oiled bowl. Oil the top of the dough and cover with plastic wrap and then a towel. Place in warm area and let rise 60-90 minutes or till dough has doubled in size. Once dough has doubles place dough on counter and pat down slightly. Cut into 12 equal pieces and form into balls. Place on lightly oiled sheet pan. Cover and let rise another 60-90 minutes till doubled in size. Bake in preheated over (350 degrees) for 20-30 minutes till deep brown and done.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beef Guinness Stew

This is a really good stew anytime but perfect for one of those Irish holidays. It is adapted from a few recipes that I researched. Heres what I did: You can half this if you want.

Guinness Beef Stew:
 5 lbs. bonelss beef chuck. Trimmed and cut into chunks. (chuck roast in my opinion makes the best stew meat.)
8 strips of bacon, cut or sliced into small pieces
4 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper (the salt and pepper is really to taste)
8 cloves of garlic minced
2 (14oz. Guinness beer. I actually used a little less. I probably used about 20oz.)
1/2 cup tomato paste
8-10 sprigs thyme
6 carrots, cleaned and cut into one inch slices
4 ribs of celery cut into one inch slices
5 Cups of chicken stock (enough to just cover ingredients in cooking pot
1-2 tsp. sugar (to offset the bitterness of the guinness)

In large stew pot add bacon and fry till crisp. remove to a bowl with slotted spoon. Leave bacon grease in pan. Liberally salt and pepper your beef chunks. On med-high brown the beef chunks and remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon (you can add the browned beef to the same bowl with the bacon.) Add chopped onions and saute till they start to get some color. You should have a nice brown glaze stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is where a lot of flavor is and will impart good flavor to the stew. Add the minced garlic to the onions and stir for a minute. Be sure not to burn the garlic. Pour beer into the pot to de-glaze the pot. Stir and scrape all the brown off the bottom. Add the beef and onions and any juice that has collected in the bowl. Add tomato paste,thyme, sliced carrots and celery. Stir. Add enough chicken stock to just cover ingredients. Add 1 tsp sugar and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a mild simmer. Cover and cook one hour. Skim fat and foam off top and give it a good stir. Cover and cook another hour and skim fat and foam again. Cover and continue to cook till beef is very tender. Once meat is tender remove lid and stir and remove thyme stems. Turn heat up and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook till liquid cooks down some and thickens. Stir regularly. Test and adjust for seasoning.
Serve on mashed potatoes, colcannon, or buttered noodles.