Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chorizo Chilaquiles Casserole

This was a recipe handed out by my local grocery store. It is more like a Mexican lasagna than a casserole.

Chorizo Chilaquiles Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Vegetable oil
1 pound chorizo sausage (if links, remove from casings)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into quarters
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup sliced green onion
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and lightly coat with oil.
2. Add sausage and stir occasionally until browned.
3. Remove to a plate and return pan to heat.
4. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add garlic, cumin and chili powder. Stir for 30 seconds.
6. Add tomatoes and browned chorizo. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in green chiles and season with salt and pepper.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking pan.
8. Spread half of tortillas in bottom of pan, then top with half of chorizo mixture and 2 cups of cheese.
9. Layer remaining tortillas, topped with chorizo and remaining cheese.
10. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
11. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Top with sour cream and green onions. Serve hot.


Recipe from Central Market Mill Creek - Culinary Resource Center

Cook's Notes:

1. I added chopped avocado to the top and replaced the sour cream with Greek yogurt.
2. Will definately make this again. Next time I'll add bell peppers.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Polenta Pizza

I love polenta. It's one of my favorite things to make for dinner (and leftovers for breakfast with an egg on top- YUM!) so I was curious to try this recipe for a polenta pizza crust from Self Magazine.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups 1 percent milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 lb fresh mozzarella, cubed
10 basil leaves, coarsely torn

PREPARATION

1. Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp oil. In a large pot,
bring milk, 3 cups water and salt to boil over high heat. Whisk in cornmeal
in a gentle stream and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring
often, until polenta is thick and no longer gritty, about 20 minutes.

2. Working quickly, pour polenta into prepared pan, spreading evenly to the
edges. Let stand 10 minutes; cover with plastic wrap and press polenta
along sides of pan to form edges of crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or
overnight.

3. Heat oven to 450°. Bake chilled crust until it begins to brown at edges, 45
minutes to an hour.

4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Sauté
shallots and garlic over medium-high heat until soft, 3 minutes. Add
tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 5
minutes. Mash with the back of a spoon and cook until thickened, 3
minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce onto the crust,
top with cheese and bake until cheese is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Top
with basil and cut into squares.

COOK'S NOTES

1. I used jarred tomato sauce rather than make my own. However, I did add left over roasted tomatoes, zuchinni, eggplant and onion with garlic to the top of the pizza before baking. This would be a great way to use up leftovers (especially sauasge if you have any).
2. This is time consuming to make, but it is worth is. The middle pieces weren't as crispy as the edges, and that is what makes this so wonderful. I recommend eating the outher edges and then putting any remaining middle slices back in the oven to crisp up. 
3. I don't eat gluten free, but if I were to cook for GF friends, I'd use this rather than GF pizza dough. Much tastier!

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This recipe comes from the  October 2011 issue of Coutry Living and has been living in my files for the last three years. Now that it is almost Fall I've been craving pumpkin and comfort food (and cleaning out my pantry in preperation for a kitchen remodel) and now seemed like the perfect time to make this.

Ingredients

  • 24   jumbo pasta shells
  • 1  tablespoon(s) extra virgin olive oil
  • 22  ounce(s) (2 1/2 cups) fat-free ricotta
  • 1  can(s) (15-ounce) pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 ounce(s) pecorino Romano, grated (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1  large egg white
  • 2  clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1  cup(s) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1  tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1  teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1  teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1  jar(s) (26-ounce) store-bought tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions; drain. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pumpkin, 3/4 cup pecorino Romano, and remaining ingredients, except tomato sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread sauce in bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 3 tablespoons ricotta-pumpkin mixture and arrange in pan. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove foil, sprinkle shells with remaining pecorino, and bake for 15 minutes more. (If desired, stuff shells the night before and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container, in between layers of plastic wrap; arrange shells on sauce right before baking.)

Cook's Notes:

1. I made this for dinner guests and served it with a tomato/basil bread salad and sauteed brussels sprouts (in bacon grease) for an ultimate comfort meal. 
2. The filling actually makes more than what you can stuff in 24 shells, so I just cooked the whole box of shells, added more tomato sauce and made two pans of this, one of which I froze. 
3. We were out of eggs, so I didn't use one. Still tasted delicious.
4. I will make this again!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Green Tomato Soup

After summer ended abruptly I was left with a million green tomatoes. We scoured the Internets to find ways to use them, like this soup from Food.com. Snowgoose and Waffle liked the soup okay. I found it vile. The green tomatoes were too acidic for me even though I added sugar. Perhaps I should have roasted the tomatoes first?

Ingredients

    • 8 slices smoked bacon
    • 1 1/2 cups scallions, Leeks work as well
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 whole bay leaf
    • 4 -5 cups chopped unripe green tomatoes
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large 4 quart pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until browning.
  3. Add scallions, garlic and bay leaf until all is tender and cooked through.
  4. Add salt, pepper and tomatoes and stir well, then add broth and water.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cover partially for 35 minutes.
  6. Taste to adjust seasoning if need be.
  7. Enjoy!





Slowcooker smokey braised chicken and fennel

From the September 2013 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

Ingredients


  • 8  boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 3  small fennel bulbs, cut into wedges, plus 2 tablespoons fennel fronds
  • 2 1/2  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  long-grain brown rice
  • 1  small onion, chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  smoked paprika
  • 1  tablespoons  fennel seeds, crushed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • salad, for serving


Directions
1. Combine the chicken, fennel bulbs, broth, rice, onion, paprika, fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken and fennel are tender, on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
2. Sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Serve with salad.
Tip
For a deeper flavor, brown the chicken first in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Then add the chicken to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients. 

Notes:
This is amazing! We substituted quinoa for brown rice and used chicken drumsticks instead of thighs.  

Paleo Carrot Banana Muffins

This is another recipe I photocopied from a book and forgot to note where from.


Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1 TB cinnamon
1 cup dates, pitted (my husband added grapes!)
3 ripe bananas
3 medium eggs
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups carrots shredded
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil.
4. Transfer both mixtures to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
5. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
6. Spoon mixture into paper-lined muffin tins. Or grease muffin cups with coconut oil.
7. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
8. Let cool before removing from pan. Serve hot or cold.

Notes:
These are good, but not as good as the Paleo pumpkin muffins.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe originated from a Paleo book, but I can't find the actual recipe to give credit where credit is due. Just know that I didn't invent this.

Ingredients
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 c canned pumkin
3 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp salt
4 tb raw honey
2 tsp almond butter
1/4 c. slivered almonds


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Coat 12 muffin cups with coconut oil and add about 1/2 teaspoon melted coconut oil to batter
3. Mix almond flour, pumpkin, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, honey,  almonds, and almond butter. Pour batter into muffin cups.
4. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
5. Let cool before removing from pan. Serve warm or cold.


Note:
These are delicious! They don't taste gluten free. We also add about an extra 1/4 cup of pumpkin.