Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beef Enchiladas with Homegrown Green Beans

I had ground beef in the freezer and wanted to make something other than tacos. I did some googling and decided to make beef enchiladas.

I found a recipe for beef enchiladas that pointed to a recipe for enchilada sauce. I thought it was tasty.

I also fixed the green beans we picked from the garden. A strange combination but it was good.


Beef Enchiladas
found on a google search at this site
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • enchilada sauce
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350.

Brown beef, onions & garlic. Pour off grease. Season with salt & pepper. Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.

Pour cup of enchilada sauce in a shallow dish. Dip tortillas in sauce, coating both sides. Spoon beef mixture in center of tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam down in 13 x 9 casserole dish. Bake covered for 15 minutes.

Spoon remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas. Top with shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for additional 10 minutes.

Top with chopped cilantro & sour cream.

Enchilada Sauce
found on a google search at this site
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add onion & garlic, saute until soft. Add tomato sauce & spices. Cover and simmer approx 30 minutes.

EGreen Beans
from a friend
  • 1 lb green beans
  • butter
  • chicken stock or water
  • salt & pepper
Melt butter in saute pan. Saute green beans in butter for 3-4 minutes. Add chicken stock (approx 1/4 cup.) Cover pan and let steam for 3-4 minutes. Add salt & pepper.

The enchilada sauce recipe went with cheese enchiladas. It said to fry the tortillas. The beef recipe didn't call for it. I don't like crunchy corn tortillas but I didn't want to fry my corn tortillas to soften them. I sprayed them with cooking spray and baked them at 350 for a few minutes. It worked perfectly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

I read about this sauce last year in Orangette. It sounded wonderful and I even owned the book it came from. DH bought it for me years ago at a random book sale in the lobby of the building where he worked. I had never used it before.

This week A request spaghetti for dinner. I gave into her request just so I could finally try this recipe. It was so worth it, and I wish I hadn't waited this long. It is so simple and tastes so good. I can't wait until this summer when I have fresh tomatoes.


Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan
  • 2 cups whole, peeled, canned plum tomatoes, chopped, with their juices (about one 28-oz. can)
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt, to taste
Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter, and the onion halves in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free from the tomato. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and salt as needed.

Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Roasted Shrimp with Herb Sauce

I get way too stressed out every afternoon when I suddenly realize that it is 4:30 and I have not thought of dinner. We end up eating macaroni & cheese and sandwiches. That is fine every now and then, but not twice a week. I decided I needed to go back to meal planning.

This week I decided I needed to make shrimp because I had some in my freezer. I didn't want to serve it over pasta because I was going to have tortellini another night. I paged through the How to Cook Everything cookbook I checked out from the library and found the recipe for Roasted Shrimp in Herb Sauce.

I wasn't sure what to serve with it. I figured I would make some rice and buy a vegetable. The next day I got the Splendid Table weekly email with a recipe for roasted asparagus. There was my vegetable side.

A couple days later I read the Wednesday Chef's post about baking rice. I sent an email off to my sisters & mom about cooking rice, which turned into a discussion of jack cheese rice, a side dish we had a lot growing up. I hadn't made it in years.

My meal was set.


And it was good!

Roasted Shrimp with Herb Sauce
How To Cook Everything Mark Bittman
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup parsley (thin stems are okay; discard thick ones)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds shrimp, in the 20 to 30 per pound range, peeled
  • 1/3 cup shrimp, fish, or chicken stock, white wine, or water
Preheat the oven to 500 F. Combine the garlic and oil in the container of a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the scallions and parsley and pulse until the mixture is minced. Toss with the shrimp, salt, pepper, and chilis.

Put the shrimp in a roasting pan that will accommodate them comfortably. Add the liquid and put the pan in the oven. Roast, stirring once, until the mixture is bubbly and hot, and the shrimp all pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roast Asparagus with Lemon & Parmigiano-Reggiano Furls

The Splended Table newsletter
  • 1-1/2 pounds pencil-slim asparagus, trimmed of tough stems
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • About 3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a chunk (if not to be had, use Asiago, a sharp cheddar, or any other nutty tasting cheese)

1. Preheat oven 450 degrees F. Soak asparagus in a sink full of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and gently roll in paper towels to dry.

2. In a large shallow baking pan, roll asparagus with oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer. Roast 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Test by tasting or piercing with a knife to see there is still some firmness. Remove with tongs to a platter.

3. Just before serving, taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. With a vegetable peeler, shave furls of the cheese over the asparagus. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Jack Cheese Rice
  • 1 cup rice, (2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup jalapeno jack cheese, shredded
  • parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients and put in a casserole dish. Top with parmesan cheese (optional). Bake until bubbly at edges.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I saw this recipe on a blog I frequently read. Her picture looked good and I needed to make cookies so I gave it try.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
from A Friend to knit with
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs. Stir in dry ingredients. Drop from tablespoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp

It was the picture that caught me. I was wandering through blogs one afternooon, I saw the photo and I needed to make it. It helped that Lent has just started and I was thinking about non-meat meals for Fridays.

Tonight I finally got around to trying the recipe. I liked it. I think I messed up measuring my salt because the taste of it was heavy. Luckily the squeeze of lemon at the end helped soften the edge of the salt. Of course, DH didn't think it was salty at all.

My picture isn't quite as beautiful or eye-catching but I'll show you none the less.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

Sister #5 called to ask for this recipe this morning. It is a cake that we made all the time growing up. I think the recipe is came from our Aunt Pat.

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 large package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1 c sour cream
4 eggs (best at room temperature)
1 package (12 oz) mini chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients except eggs and chocolate chips. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well. Fold in chocolate chips. Grease a bundt pan lightly and put in mixture. Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 45 minutes and unmold.

Sift confectioner's sugar on top before serving.

Hopefully my sister will provide me with a picture for this post later. Hint, hint , Mims!

Here's the picture:

Sister #5 made it with a devil's food cake instead of the yellow cake mix. She said she liked the yellow cake mix better. The cake tasted fine, but it wasn't want she was used to having.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brisket Chili

Last week, I was spending my morning as I normally do. I yelled loudly asked the children to keep moving/put on socks & shoes/eat breakfast/brush teeth. DH came out of the bedroom telling me that I had to make brisket chili. It seems they had some chef cooking on the morning news program. Lucky for him that Sunday was the Super Bowl and I actually had a reason to make brisket chili. Plus after reading the recipe and checking out his restaurants, I wanted to try it for myself.

We ended up asked a few families over to watch the game plus my mom and sister#5 showed up. I made chili, DH made jalapeno poppers and everyone else brought side and appetizers. The chili was a hit. The batch was huge which was good because people went back for seconds and even thirds. DH is already planning to enter the Dad's Club chili cook off next year with this recipe.

I didn't get pictures of the chili on Sunday, but I ended up cooking it down and make pseudo brisket chili sloppy joes for dinner tonight. It was a great use of the leftovers.


Jason Boso's Brisket Chili
  • 3-5 lbs of brisket
  • 2 large yellow onions slicked
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 large can stewed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 can Lone Star Beer
  • 1 chopped jalapeno
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 5 T ancho chili powder
  • 1 T light chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 3/4 T salt

Trim and chop brisket into 1/2 lb pieces. Sear sides of beef in large cast iron pot or braising pot. Remive meat and saute sliced onions in rendered fat left in pot. In another pan, toast all spices together. Once onions are caramelized, scarpe bottom of pan and then add all ingredients and meat. Cover meat 3/4 of way with beer and stock. Cover and simmer for 5 hours or until the meat falls apart.

I misread the recipe and thought it said 1/2 inch pieces, so I was cubing the brisket. About halfway through, DH noticed and corrected me. It wasn't a big deal, it all fell apart anyway. I just put the cubes on top of the big pieces. I also wasn't sure what to include in the toasting the spices part. I left the sugar and salt out and just toasted the chili powders. I didn't have Lone Star, we had an old 16 oz can of Budweiser that has been in our back fridge for at least a year. I finally found a use for it.

This recipe was definitely a hit. I will make it again.

Spicy Beef

I made this meal back in mid-December. It was in the newspaper, the picture looked okay and I had ground beef. I gave it a try. It was pretty good.

Spicy Beef in Lettuce Cups
adapted from the Dallas Morning News

  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T dry sherry, white wine or Shaoxing wine
  • 2 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 3 T finely chopped scallions
  • 1 T sesame oil

In a small bow, combine soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Stir will to dissolve the cornstarch.

In a medium bowl, break up the ground beef. Gently mix in the soy sauce mixture. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium-high until very hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, tossing once until fragrant but not browned.

Crumble in the ground beef and use a spatula to break it up and spread over pan to help cook evenly. Let it cook until it changes color on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn the meat and let it cook another minute undisturbed. Toss well using spatula to break up large chunks.

When the meat is cooked, add the red pepper flakes and the scallions, then toss well. Add the sesame oil and remove from the heat, tossing once more to mix everything well.

Serve in lettuce cups.


It was late and mid-December so the lighting was bad for the picture. It tasted so much better than it looks. The kids didn't really eat it, too spicy. They like the plain rice I made to go with it. DH liked it but thought it was a little greasy. I think next time I'll use less sesame oil.