Thursday, February 18, 2010

Enchilada chicken over rice

Today is one of my cheat days. I am using up some items I have in the fridge and pantry

1 can green enchilada sauce (or if you have preferred recipe, use that...I need to find one)
2 large chicken breasts
1 large onion, sliced
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup Jalapeno and artichoke dip from Costco (alternately add 1 Cup sour cream, plus diced artichoke hearts, and chopped japalenos)
salt to taste

Cooked rice

Put chicken and onions in slow cooker with the enchilada sauce. Cook until done (6 hours on low). Shred chicken in slow cooker then mix in butter, and dip. Salt to taste and serve over cooked rice.

Somehow I forgot to take a picture...must have been all that taste-testing.

Baked beans

My mum always made these beans. I tweaked the recipe a little because her's are sweeter than I like:

- Soak 1 lb beans overnight. Next morning, boil for 1 hr.
- in bean pot, put 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 Tablespoon mustard.
- Quarter 1 onion, and put in pot along with the beans.
- Cover beans with water, and put block of salt pork on top. Cover
-bake for 7hrs at 300 degrees, then test for doneness. Keep cooking without lid for 1 more hour.

Chicken Nuggets

Cut chicken breast into "nugget" pieces.

Dredge them in flour, then in an egg wash (a few eggs and a drop of milk), and finally seasoned breadcrumbs - I like to save old bread and make my own seasoned breadcrumbs. This time I put in garlic and jerk seasoning. Fry in your preferred oil and you come out with yummy, not processed disgusting, nuggets.

Garlic Butter

...just because it involves two of my most favourite things - garlic and butter.

Whipped up a batch to melt over noodles

1 stick (1/2 Cup) butter - softened
Crushed Garlic to taste
salt to taste

Stir all ingredients together and allow to sit at room temp to blend flavours. Use on bread or over noodles, or just about anywhere.

Ginger Carrot Soup

Wednesday Soup this week was Ginger Carrot soup. It is spicy and sweet at the same time, and so sunny and bright it just make you happy.

1lb of carrots, washed (peel if you like) and rough chopped
1 large onion
1 Tablespoon curry powder
Grated fresh ginger to taste
Two cans or 3 Cups veggie broth

Sautee the onion in your oil/fat of choice - mine was butter and olive oil. After a few minutes add the carrots and keep sauteeing for about 5 mins. Add in the curry powder and grated ginger, and stir. Allow the spices to mix with the veggies by sauteeing for a minute or so. Add the broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30mins or until carrots are tender. Then blend into a puree and enjoy.

Hot (carob) Fudge Sauce

I bought the kids (and us) a treat - ice cream. So, I decided to make sundaes, and cooked up a batch of hot carob fudge to go on top. Obviously the low-carb/good-carb thing is not going well here and we are suffering the consequences, so be prepped to see less sweets and more, well, not sweets.

1 and 1 half cans sweet and condensed milk
2 cups of carob chips (or chocolate)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

Melt carob in the sweet and condensed milk in a double boiler (my doubler boiler is a glass bowl on top of a big pot). Stir frequently until melted, but do not allow to boil. Once melted, stir in butter and vanilla. You could also stir in some other flavours like coffee, mint, orange, liquers, etc.

Let cool a little and use as topping for ice cream. This would also be good on waffles, or, if you add more butter (about a full stick) and allow to cool, would make good filling for the inside of a cake.

Homemade pancakes and strawberry sauce

Owl Momma and the owlettes were over at the house. I had just prepared some batter for pancakes when they arrived. I mentioned to Owl Momma that pancakes are my nemesis - they never turn out. They are either burnt on the outside and mushy on the inside, or just never cook. So, she gave me a lesson in pancake making (although would not vouch for the taste as I did not use her "perfect pancake" recipe - which she needs to give me if she expects me to use it...hint, hint).

Then, I realized I had nothing to put on the pancakes so I grabbed:

1 bag of frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup water

Put it all in a pot and boiled it down until the berries were mushy. Then, I used the immersion blender and blended it up. Let it reduce down some more and then put it on the pancakes.


Alright, I admit defeat....

even if I do make something homemade every day (which I do), it is often the same thing I have already posted about, or I don't have time to put it online every time. So, I am no longer labeling the days with numbers, but rather, will just post the thing itself.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I do have some things to post....

but I have been crazy busy organizing a bi-weekly organic, farm-fresh and local egg co-op here in San Antonio. I have several things to write about so hopefully things will slow down and I can take a minute.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35 - Körözött

My Dad is Hungarian, so I think alot of my culinary foibles are shaped by that. We always had a soft cheese spread, called Körözött to eat on wonderful rustic bread. I was craving a little bit of "home" so I whipped up a batch today to eat on some Jewish Rye bread. It is a very forgiving recipe and you can tweak it to your family's taste. As with most traditional recipes imparted to you by a grandmother/mother/aunt, etc. this one involves a lot of "just put some of xyz in" or "you know just make it look like mine". Here is my version

1 block of cream cheese or equivalent soft cheese like cottage or goat
2 to 3 T soft butter
1 to 2 sour cream or creme fraiche
minced garlic to taste (I use 2 big cloves)
grated onion to taste (I use the juice and about 1/4 of a large yellow onion)
coarse mustard to taste
paprika to taste
caraway seeds and/or chives

mix all this together. It should be a very light orange colour with little specs of black and/or green. It is wonderful spread on bread, with cold cuts, hard boiled eggs...the possibilities are endless.

Growing up in Montreal, which has a sizable Hungarian population, I was spoiled by ready access to the wonderful products that make up the Hungarian diet. I have missed it sorely since moving to first Kansas, and now Texas. There is one store in California called Otto's Hungarian Import Store and Deli that I have ordered from before. Damn, now I want some Kolbasz, and Hideg Meggy Leves.

Edit - I was nursing the baby a little bit after I wrote this, and decided to watch Guy's Big Bite on Food Network. He was talking about making Spaetzle and that a friend of his makes it by pushing it through a sieve which reminded me of Nokedli which are little Hungarian dumplings you serve with Goulash or Paprikash. My mom had a special Nokedli maker (I think my brother might have it now, but I know she doesn't), but you can just use a colander or two spoons. Hmmm, honey, I see a Goulash and Nokedli in our near future.

Day 29 - Dishwashing Soap

Our dishwasher sucks. It doesn't clean up to the top rack, and frequently stops draining, so I hate buying dishwasher soap. I found a recipe for homemade dish powder and gave it a try. It did leave a white film on our dishes, but we have really hard water and it was no worse than the regular soap does.

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup coarse salt like pickling salt
1 to 2 T lemonade Kool Aid or store brand (this is for the acid to help with hard water - I end up using 1/4 cup which is about 10 little packets)

Day 30 - Dishwasher Rinse

If you saw the last post, you know I have issues with hard water and film on my dishes. So, I decided to try this homemade fix - vinegar. It worked like a charm.

Day 34 - Milk Kefir

Well, I just realized I haven't posted about milk kefir yet. I made a batch today, which reminded me to post about it. If you want to do some research on kefir, I think the best resource is Dom's Kefir Page or various recipes from Cheeseslave.

One of the other lovely things about Kefir is the sense of community you get - if you meet another kefir maker you have an instant bond. You can also bring people into your "community" by sharing your grains with them (hey, I'm Canadian so I am a socialist at heart.)

Step 1 - put grains in clean mason jar
Step 2 - fill jar up with organic whole or raw milk
Step 3 - cover with muslin, cheescloth or coffee filter
Step 4 - let ferment in warm place for 12-48 hours
Step 5 - remove the grains and put the kefir in the fridge
Step 6 - do it all again