Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Carnitas, an idea from Carrie

Dinner tonight is carnitas.

In the crockpot I have thrown:

1 16oz jar of Ortega salsa verde
Salt, pepper, cumin, Garlic Garlic
Cubed pork (that I browned first)

Let simmer all day. Serve on tortillias with cheese and lettuce!

Thai Chicken Pizza, an idea from Stacy

Not really a recipe...I just sort of put it together.

TJ's whole wheat crust
hoisin sauce (go lightly, it's strong)
chicken (I cook it and cut it first)
shredded carrots
bean sprouts
green onions
mozzarella cheese

Crockpot Chicken and Veggie Curry, an idea from Carolyn

--- potatoes, baby carrots, and onion on the bottom
--- an overgrown chicken breast, cut into 5ish large chunks on top of that
--- Trader Joes curry simmer sauce (half a jar) over the top, and a big splash of soy milk on top, too
--- cooked on low for 6-1/2 hours (but timing is probably not critical)
--- then added frozen peas, turned up to high, cooked for another 30 minutes or so

Served atop steamed rice, cooked with the rice cooker that resides on the counter next to the crock pot.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grandma Rose's Runzas, from Amy

If you've ever driven through Nebraska, you've probably seen the yellow and green signs for "Runza" restaurants all over the place, this is my grandmother's recipe, handed down from her mother, from her mother, etc. There are other recipes out there for these, but this one, is my favorite.


* 2 lbs ground beef
* 1 medium to large white onion
*1 medium head of green cabbage
*Salt and pepper

*In a large pot, brown the ground beef and then drain and rinse. Then return to pot.
*In a food processor (you don't need to, you can chop by hand, but this is soooo much faster) finely chop the cabbage and then the onion.
*Add both to the ground beef and stir so everything is all mixed up.
*Turn the heat under the pot onto low to medium-low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. You'll want to steam the filling until the cabbage and onion is cooked and soft.
*As it's cooking, add salt and pepper to taste. I like mine spicy, so I add a great deal of pepper. When it's done, set it to cool. I often will put it in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight and use it the next day.

*1 pkg yeast
*2 1/2 C warm water
*5 tbsp sugar
*1 tbsp salt
*6 tbsp melted shortening
*5-6 C flour

*In 1/2 cup of warm water, dissolve the package of yeast
*Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water, sugar, salt and melted shortening
*Add approximately 5 cups of flour and stir to make a dough. Gradually add the remaining cup until the dough is no longer sticky.
*Roll out portions of the dough and cut into "squarish" pieces. These can be any size. The larger the piece, the larger the runza. (I know, not very specific...)
*Place 1-3 spoonfuls of the cooled filling (this is dependent on how large the dough pieces are) in the center of the square.
*Gather the edges together and pinch to close off the "dough packet". You'll end up with an oval "ball" of filling and dough. I usually bring 2 opposite corners together, and then the other 2 opposite corners together to seal.
*Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.
*Brush the tops with melted butter, or just rub the stick of butter along the tops.
*When they've cooled a bit, enjoy!!

These can be frozen once they're cooked to save for later. I'll usually make a double batch so I can do this.

Spring Noode Stir-Fry w/Asparagus and Walnuts, suggested by Amy

From the "Rachael Ray Everyday" Magazine

1/4 C. dark sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (I used dried/ground--fresh would have been better)
1/2 pound vermicelli or capellini pasta
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound asparagus, cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved

*In a small bowl, whisk together: 3 tablespoons sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper.
*In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
*Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast-2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil over high heat. Add the onion and asparagus and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peas and sesame oil sauce; cook for 1 minute over high heat. Lower the heat to medium, add the pasta and cook, stirring, until heated through.
*Top with walnuts

I added some frozen shrimp for protein, but it would be good with chicken or tofu too.

Drunken Chili, an idea from Kris

This is the revised recipe...

- 1.25 lb extra lean ground turkey breast
- 8 cloves garlic (more or less depending on your taste), minced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 large white onion or 2 small ones, diced
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 2 serrano chilis, with seeds and ribs, finely diced
- 3 jalapeno peppers with seeds and ribs, finely diced
- 2 heaping TBPS ground cumin
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 large TBSP Better than Bouillon beef base (or 2 beef bouillon cubes)
- 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bottles dark beer (Guinness works well)
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce (optional - makes it a little more tomato-y)

Sweat onions, garlic, peppers (spicy and mild ones) in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and brown over medium heat, mixing into the onion mixture. Add powdered spices when turkey is done. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer chili for 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. This allows the excess water to boil off, leaving more thick chili. Some like a chili soup, in that case add a little more beef bouillon (or more beer - who's keeping track?!)

This is what my chili recipe has pretty much become. Granted, I never measure anything so all measurements are guesses, not exact. It's mostly a cook by feel/taste thing... I like it spicy, if you don't, then omit and/or reduce the spicy ingredients...

Southwestern(ish) Orzo and Black Beans, an idea from Amy

Cook and then drain orzo pasta-return it back to the pot.

Drain 1 can of black beans, 1 can of corn, 1 can of mushrooms (I love those stinking things!)

In olive oil, saute some minced garlic, diced onion, and 2 diced tomatoes until the tomatoes are cooked, but not mushy.

Throw the beans, corn, 'shrooms, garlic, onions, and tomatoes in with the pasta and some butter, turn the heat on low so the butter melts. Add salt, cumin, and crushed red pepper to taste.
Squeeze some lime juice over it before you serve.
Next time, I'm making it with fresh cilantro.