Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creamy Pork Enchilada Casserole

This dish was one of those totally random kitchen accidents that came together as something awesome! Originally, I wanted to make pork enchiladas with salsa verde. However, my corn shells did not want to behave and work with me. The shells preferred to break. Ultimately, it was formed into a casserole after I almost threw them out the window. I was so happy when I took the first bite, and it was amazing!!! I guess it reminds me that some of the yummiest dishes are born from fixing our original plan. Enjoy!!!
2 lb pork tenderloin
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups monetary jack cheese, divided into 3 portions
4 oz cream cheese
18 small corn tortillas
Salsa Verde
sour cream, black olives, and diced tomatoes for garnish

Salsa Verde (adapted from Tyler Florence)
12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt
juice of 2 limes


Place pork, chilies, garlic, adobo, salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, and broth into a crockpot. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Remove pork from crockpot and shred. Return meat to crockpot and turn off the heat.

Make the salsa: Put the tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion in a saucepan with the vinegar and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and poach until the tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Drain. Put the vegetables in a blender (I use an immersion blender, but a stand-up blender works as well), add the cumin, and puree. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt, and pulse to combine. Set aside.

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Add cream cheese to the pork and stir well. In a large greased casserole dish layout 6 corn tortillas. Layer 1/2 of the pork over the tortillas followed by 1/3 of the salsa, and 1/3 of the cheese. Place 6 more tortillas over the pork and salsa mixture. Layer the second half of the pork, 1/3 of salsa, and 1/3 of the cheese. Finish the casserole with another 6 tortillas and the remainder of the salsa and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, olives, and tomatoes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken (Or Leftover Turkey!) and Rice Soup

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a great holiday. I am thankful for my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my cats, my immersion blender, blue cheese, pickles, Glee, my health, hot chocolate, and soup. especially this awesome soup! This is a great way to use up leftover turkey, and it freezes well! Good luck to those braving the stores today- I was already out this morning, and found a coffee grinder for $7! Enjoy the soup!

2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts (skin removed)
Bouillon (I use better than bouillon paste. If you use cubes I would use 5-6)
Water (enough to cover chicken- you may add more as you go)
1 lb carrots, sliced
2 cups celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup green beans, chopped into large pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 cup uncooked rice (I used brown)

Place chicken breasts in your soup pot. In a separate bowl, mix bouillon paste with water and pour over chicken. If you do not use the paste, add regular water and cubes to pot. Simmer chicken until it begins to fall apart. Remove chicken from broth and shred. Add shredded chicken to broth. Add all veggies and spices. Stir well. You may want to add a little extra water at this point. Cook med-low till veggies are tender. Add rice and simmer till rice is tender.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grown-Up Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs

I have many memories of eating mac and cheese with hot dogs as a child. It was probably one of the go to dishes for my sister and I (or how about the spaghetti oh's with franks? Remember those!?). I decided that I needed to spruce it up a bit for as an adult. My boyfriend is sensitive to wheat, so for the recipes dealing with pasta or flour I use a sub. In this dish, I use a gluten free flour, gluten free bread crumbs, and corn pasta. I can't say enough about corn pasta. It really holds up, and it has a great flavor (maybe a little sweet?). Yummy. Obviously, you can use regular pasta and flour- or you can try it gluten free! I decided to use a chicken sausage (apple and chardonnay) in place of the traditional hot dog. I think that this turned out great, and it made wonderful leftovers. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cup uncooked pasta (I used elbow noodles)
1/2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
2 cups milk
2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz velveeta (I used 2%), diced
3 chicken sausage links (about 9 ounces), sliced and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs, tossed with 1 Tbl of butter

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and set aside. Add sliced sausage to a small skillet and allow it to heat through. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add flour and allow it to thicken. Stir in milk. The roux will thicken at this point and begin to add the cheese. Add velveeta first, and stir to while it melts. Next add the cheddar cheese. Once the cheese has melted, add sausage and noodles. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Place pasta into a circular baking dish (like a pyrex), top with bread crumbs, cover, and bake for 20 minutes

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

I think everyone's mom or family member had a recipe for stuffed peppers they remember from their youth. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but I always loved stuffed peppers. This recipe is different than my Mother's, but still very very yummy. I mixed it up with a few green olives, paprika, and garlic. The peppers came out so yummy! I think that this will stay on rotation. Maybe with a little lamb and feta? Oh the possibilities. Enjoy!
1 lb ground beef
4 bell peppers
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup carrots, chopped
4 large green olives, sliced
1 can diced tomato, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup cooked rice (I used brown)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for sprinkling

Add beef, garlic, carrots, and onion to a large skillet. Cook till beef is browned and veggies are tender. Meanwhile, cut off tops of bells peppers and clean out the seeds. When beef mixture is finished add tomatoes, olives, parsley, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Mix well and add the rice. Allow mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stuff peppers with beef mixture, and place upright in a small casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops

For the life of me I don't remember where I found the original recipe. I made cola glazed ham and chicken before, but this sounded great. My other half loves root beer so I knew this dinner would be an enthusiastic thumbs up. This glaze is yummy. I added a little hot sauce to the original recipe to give it a sweet, but spicy kick. I am so sad that grilling season is leaving us soon (it gets difficult to lug the grill out in half a foot or snow). Boo. Come back soon summer!! Enjoy the chops!
2 pork chops
1 1/2 can of root beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch of salt

Place pork chops in a medium bowl and pour half the root beer over the chops. Let the chops rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Remove and season with salt and pepper. Add remaining root beer, stock, sugar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire to a sauce pan. Allow mixture to reduce on the stove (this may take awhile- mine took about 20-25 minutes). The sauce will have the consistency of maple syrup. When sauce is almost done begin to grill the pork. Just before the pork is done brush sauce on each side to finish. Drizzle remainder of the sauce on the pork chops, and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Game Day Taco Dip

Taco dip is a fantastic treat to bring for a tailgate, or any event for that matter. I love how easy it is, but so simple at the same time. You can also adjust what you put on top of the dip depending on the crowd that will be enjoying this treat. Usually, I add the cheese before any other toppings- however, I forgot it until the end. Oops! Bring this to your next party, and the guests will love it!! Enjoy!
16 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3-4 Tbl taco seasoning (or one packet of store brand)
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can black olives, sliced
4 scallions, diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Spread taco mixture onto a large circular serving platter (you could also use a pie pan if you want to base a little thicker). Top evenly with cheddar cheese. Add lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives. Top with scallions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fluffernutter Cookies

I needed some comfort food. The man I work for lost his election last night. It is a very sad day. So I needed some cookies. However, they are not just any cookie! 3-ingredient fluffernutter cookies courtesy of Picky Palate. These cookies are really yummy, and so easy to make! It always brings back the memories of childhood! Enjoy these with a tall glass of milk!
1 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 cup marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter and egg until well combined with a spoon. Slowly stir in the marshmallow cream until just combined. You want to see the marshmallow cream not fully incorporated, almost like swirled through. With a small-medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until baked through. Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

about 18 cookies