Saturday, September 8, 2012

Corn and Bacon Chowder

I am so ready for fall, I decided to rush it and make a chowder!  Also, my child has turned into a picky eater  - much to my dismay.  But, I really am not surprised.  I was a picky-eater as a child and her father is a really picky-eater. I decided to make this chowder with only ingredients that she would eat - and that is just what she is doing at the moment!  My picky-eater husband liked it, also!  Double-score!

This is what I put in my chowder:  bacon - about 10 slices chopped up and fried crispy,  1 Tbsp butter, 1 onion - small dice, 1 bell pepper - small dice, 4 small red potatoes - small dice, 1 1/2 cups corn, 2 handfuls of shredded cheese, 1 cup of half & half, salt to taste.

While cooking the bacon, prep your onion, bell pepper, and potatoes.  After you take your bacon out of the pot and drain it on paper towels, take the rest of the bacon fat out of the pot.

Add the butter to the pot you cooked the bacon in, when it melts, add the onion and bell pepper, cook until tender.

Add the potatoes and enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.  Cook until potatoes are tender.

Add corn and mix well, bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.

Turn the fire off and add a couple of handfuls of cheese, mix well to incorporate.  Then add your half and half.

Stir well and serve with bacon and a bit more cheese!

YUM!  This is a great chowder to please picky-eaters - and those who will eat all good things!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Crab Dumplings

I am having another food jag and it is the delicious treat:  Crab Dumplings.  I enjoyed them at two of my favorite Asian restaurants and decided I needed to make my own.  They are actually quite easy to make.  Three simple ingredients in the stuffing and wonton wrappers.  They are usually served with a spicy plum sauce, but I couldn't find plum jelly or jam, so I substituted orange marmalade - which I thought would be a nice compliment to the crab dumpling's flavors.  I was correct!

These are the few simple ingredients:  for the dumplings - won ton wraps, crab, cream cheese, onion and salt to taste.  For the dipping sauce - Orange Marmalade and Sriracha sauce.

I used about 1/3 of the onion above and 1/3 of the package of crab.  I put them in a small food processor with a pinch of salt and pureed the mix.

I added about 1/3 block of cream cheese and blended the mixture until well combined.  This would be enough to make at least 20 dumplings!

Put about a 2/3 teaspoon of mix into a wonton wrapper, wet the edges to seal, and fold over into a triangle.  Fry in 350 F oil.  

Meanwhile, make the sauce:  about 2 Tablespoons of Orange Marmalade, 1 Tablespoon of Sriracha and 1 Tablespoon of water.

Blend until you have a smooth sauce (well as smooth as you can get with lumpy marmalade hehehehehehe).

Serve the crab dumplings with the sauce - dip and enjoy - but be careful - the insides are steaming hot!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anasazi Beans and Ham

I love Anasazi Beans, which are heirloom beans from out West around Colorado.  My dear friend, Kristy, sent me some freshly processed beans last year and I still have some I decided to cook with my leftover ham from Easter.

First step is rehydrating the beans.  Either soak them overnight in cool water - which I didn't do because I just thought about cooking them this morning.  Or, boil them in a large pot of water for about an hour, drain, then cook - which I did.

Meanwhile, small dice a large onion and start to sauté it in some olive oil - about a tablespoon or two.  At this point you can start to add your spices to fry them up a bit.  I added the following:  1 Tbsp Cumin, 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika, and 1 Tbsp Chile Powder. (If I would have had coriander, I would have used that, too.)

I also chopped up the ham in bit sized pieces and fried them up a bit, too.  The smell in the kitchen was heavenly!

I then added a can of Chopped Green Chiles and fried that up a bit, too.  Then I put the onion/ham/chile mixture in the crock pot and covered the mixture with water - after I added the can of Green Chile Enchilada Sauce.  I drained the beans - which had boiled for an hour, and added them to the crock pot.  I made sure the liquid totally covered all of the beans and ham and such.  

I diced up a few cloves of garlic and put that in the Crock Pot, also.

I covered the Crock Pot and made sure it was on High and let the mixture simmer for several hours - like 4.  

I added salt to taste and chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, and green onion for garnish to serve with fresh baked cornbread.  YUM!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dirty Brown Rice Stuffed Zucchini

I am trying to sneak - ok - shove - more veggies into our diets.  Instead of serving just the normal Dirty Brown Rice - I stuffed it into some zucchini boats - talk about good!

Start off by cooking your brown rice - in the rice cooker will work out just fine - about 2 cups cooked total will be great!

I used this seasoning packet to flavor and color the rice - it is found in the Hispanic section of the grocery...

Make the rice like you normally would - but add the seasoning packet - isn't that pretty?

Don't forget to season the rice with a bit of salt.

While the rice is cooking, sauté a small red bell pepper in a bit of olive oil - season with a bit of salt!

Sauté a small onion with that bell pepper - again, season with a bit of salt.  It helps break down the veggies and adds flavor.

When your veggies become translucent, add your ground beef (about a pound).  Break up the meat and brown everything good.

Time to add the spices - Ancho Chile (1 Tbsp.), Ground Cumin (1 Tbsp.) and Garlic Powder (1 Tbsp.).  And salt to taste.

When both the rice and the meat mixtures are cooked - combine them in your pan to form a dirty rice.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

While the meat and rice are cooking, prep your zucchini.  Cut in half lengthwise.  Then, with a sharp parring knife, cut out a trench in the middle of the half, like a pirogue or canoe.  I just discarded the stuff I cut out...   
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Fill the zucchini boats with the dirty rice mixture and place in an oven safe casserole.  Put in the 350 F oven until the zucchini are cooked through - about 30 minutes.  I would cover the dish with foil to keep the rice moist.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.

Garnish with freshly grated parm and fresh cilantro - serve hot with a lovely side such as baked sweet potatoes cooked at the same time in the oven!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pickled Peppers

I pickled peppers today - jalapeño peppers to be specific.  I had about 8 jalapeños laying around waiting to be used and I realized that I was out of pickled peppers - which I LOVE on pizza - so I decided to make a quick pickle.  This is what I used:  1/2 jar of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the 8 jalapeños sliced up.  That's it.  All into the jar and shake it up baby!  Put it in the refrigerator and you are good to go!   Just remember to wash your hands well after handling peppers and don't touch your face for the rest of the day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Some Good Cornbread

I made some GF (gluten free) cornbread the other day - just trying a recipe I found on the internet - here when I googled gluten free cornbread - of course - I had altered the recipe - I always do...  And I was well pleased with the results.  My Dad was also, he told me it was just like cornbread my Moma used to make!  Score!  I made some more today to go with some meatloaf and boiled potatoes.  Here is how I made it:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.  First you need to get your dry ingredients together in a bowl.  1 cup multi-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

Next you need to get together your wet ingredients:  1 cup of milk (I used a mix of a bit of half and half and 1% milk); 2 eggs, scrambled; and 1/4 cup butter, melted.  Mix all of the wet ingredients together, then add them to the dry ingredients, that you have blended together.  

Mix the wet and dry together until just blended.  Do not over mix.

Coat the bottom of the container you will cook your cornbread in with butter.  Then pour in the batter and toss in your preheated 400 F oven for 25 - 30 minutes.

You can test the doneness by sticking a toothpick in it - if it comes out clean - the bread is done!  Another indication is when it is golden brown and delicious looking!