Saturday, August 9, 2014

Taco Stack Casserole

I didn't like the recipes I found online, so I invented this one, with the added benefit of using my garden's roma tomatoes.

6 tortillas
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed (can use refried)
1 lb. ground beef
8 roma tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups fiesta blend grated cheese
1 c. salsa
1 can sliced black olives
3 sliced green onions

Brown ground beef (or pull it, conveniently pre-cooked, from your freezer). Drain fat and set aside. Chop roma tomatoes and place in skillet with seasonings. Cook 10 minutes or until soft; add the beef.

Spray bottom of 9x13 pan with no-stick spray. Line bottom with two tortillas; they should overlap a little. Spread the beans over the tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Place two more tortillas over beans. Top with tomato/beef mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Add two more tortillas; spread with salsa. Sprinkle with black olives, green onion, and remaining cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Homemade rotel

This recipe is a great way to use up summer produce. It is easy and freezes well. It probably cans well too, but I don't can. Yet. I've adapted it from a larger recipe because it suits me to work in small batches. The recipe was originally four times every ingredient.

1 lb. tomatoes (my romas weigh about 2 oz each, so I used 8), diced
3 jalapenos, diced (deseed if you want less heat)
1/4 tsp. salt

Place in a saucepan. When tomatoes boil, reduce heat and let simmer until a thickness you like. This batch took me 60-90 minutes. It's so pretty when it starts; it's tasty when it's done.

My saucepan might be a little small, but it cooks way down.

This recipe yields a cup and a half. One cup is the equivalent of a small can of Rotel that you buy at the store.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Monterey mashed potatoes

Wash one poblano pepper; deseed, cut in half, and spray with olive oil. Roast until blackened. Place in plastic bag for 10 minutes and peel off skin. Dice.

Clean 4 potatoes (biggish? not huge, but not really medium either), cut into pieces and boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Mash with milk (or cream), 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add diced poblano, 2 T. chopped green pepper, 3/4 c. grated cheese, 3 T. butter. You may also add sour cream or cream cheese; I omitted these because of calories.

I used a potato masher and worked in the same pan I cooked them in (less cleanup), but I finished smoothing them with a heavy spatula.

Salsa verde

I love green salsa, but I find it just as easy to buy (unlike red, which I think is amazing homemade). Maybe I just need to tweak my recipe.

However, given tomatillos, one makes green salsa! Here's my recipe.

6 tomatillos, husked & halved
1 thick slice onion, separated
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 anaheim pepper, halved & seeded (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper, halved & seeded

Coat with olive oil and broil. When blackish, turn, spray with oil and roast the other side. My tomatillos were very soft, so I left them alone and turned the other veggies.

Process in a blender with juice of half a lime, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro. Mine turned out quite spicy, so I have the option of mixing it with 1-1/2 cups chicken broth and dousing enchiladas with it. My husband, however, wants to claim it for chips. Next batch, I'm omitting the anaheim.

Ninja salsa

This recipe came with my Ninja--hence the name. It is superb. I use whatever peppers I have on hand, which sometimes is just a serrano or jalapeno. When you roast the salsa, eat as much of it as you can while it is still warm. If there is ever any leftover, I use it in Mexican skillets or to top enchiladas in lieu of enchilada sauce.

Spray vegetables with olive oil and roast in the broiler. Then turn everything over, spray again, and broil some more.

I have a small Ninja that I throw the vegetables in, along with some onion (maybe 1/4 of a small onion). I often roast the onion if there's room in the roasting pan. Then I add a teaspoon of sugar, teaspoon of salt, pinch of cumin, pinch of oregano, some lime juice. I always add fresh cilantro, but today I was out and just used the dried variety. Drat.

My husband and middle daughter love homemade salsa. When I make it fresh, it seems like a wonderfully nutritious health food. When I buy it at the store, I think of it more like ketchup. Who knows!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicken and kale enchiladas

I adapted this recipe from Barbells and Bellinis--in fact, I adapted it so much, I needed to rewrite it entirely. I made it with ingredients I had on hand. No guarantee I'll ever be able to repeat! My recipe made an 8x8 pan of enchiladas.

For the filling...

Saute kale (I had about 2 cups) in olive oil. Toss with 1-1/4 cup Mexican chicken (a staple in my freezer). Saute half of a large onion (again in olive oil) and add to the mix. Stir in about 1/2 cup cheese (your pick).

Meanwhile, for the top...

Saute 5 chopped roma tomatoes in (you guessed it) olive oil. Season with cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and a generous amount of chili powder. Let the liquid cook down on a lower temperature while you roll the enchiladas.

Spread the bottom of an 8x8 pan with salsa verde (another staple I keep on hand). Divide the filling among six tortillas. Roll and place seam side down in the dish. I place a small saucepan lid on the top if they try to unroll.

Smother the enchiladas with sauce. I placed the tomato sauce that I concocted over half the pan and salsa verde over the other half, so that each enchilada is half red, half green.

Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese, and bake another 5-10 minutes. I used queso fresca and mozzarella--you can pick whatever cheese you like. I was very hungry, so I clipped the initial baking time by about ten minutes.

Feeds 4 people (1-1/2 enchiladas apiece). Goes well with salad and Spanish rice.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Poblanos and corn

I'm always excited when we get corn at my produce co-op, but that's rather ironic: this recipe only calls for one ear of corn (I use two) and three poblano peppers. If I get fresh corn, I buy poblanos. It's sort of a programmed response.

3 poblanos: blacken them, then place in a plastic bag to steam for 10 minutes.

In a skillet, heat 1-1/2 T. olive oil.

Saute: 1/2 medium onion and the kernels from one ear of corn (I use two!).

Add 1 T. cream (or half-and-half; if I only have milk, I add a little butter too), 2 T. creme fraiche, and the poblanos (cut into strips). Salt and pepper to taste. Stir together until everything looks melty and yummy. Add 1/4 c. Monterey Jack cheese (I use colby jack or whatever is on hand).

Eat on soft tortillas. You wouldn't think something this tasty would have so little seasoning.