Monday, May 27, 2013

Chicken Taco Burritos or Salad

This recipe is founded in the craze that many people have of going to Izzo's, Cafe Rio, or some other build your burrito eatery.  It is super easy with no mess or fuss

4 skinless chicken breasts or a whole chicken if you like (you can use boneless for ease)
2 packages of McCormick Chicken Taco mix
1 can of black beans
Mexican Cheese
Flour or corn tortillas -- your choice

Cook the chicken with NO seasonings in your crockpot for three to four hours on high -- every crockpot cooks differently it seems to me so you will have to gauge the time.  When the chicken is shreddable, it is done.

Let chicken cool somewhat and then shred.  Mix in taco mix and a few tablespoons of water.  Voila -- your meat is done.  All you need to do is put the meat and the fixings out and let everyone make their own.  It makes a great chicken taco salad also -- just use everything except the tortilla!

I like to top with a mixture of ranch dressing and puree of avocado with a little lime juice for a dressing.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Crockpot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I made this at my sister Melanie's house this week. Very easy though not as good as the old fashioned way. But it is a great way to make Sunday lunch while at church.

3 or 4 chicken breasts or thighs ( I use boneless)
1 lb of smoke sausage link
1 lb frozen okra
1 can chopped tomatoes regular sized can
1 small onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
2 celery stalks sliced
1 - 2 teaspoons liquid crab boil
1 -2 tsp garlic salt
2 bay leaves
For roux
1/2 cup oil
1 cup plain flour

Chop chicken into large pieces while raw.  Also chop sausage ino rounds. Put meat in crockpot. Put all other ingredients except oil and flour in crock pot. Cover with water or chicken stock. Cook on high for four to six hours depending on your crockpot. Near end of cooking make roux in skillet by browning flour and oil mixture.  It should be the darkness you want your gumbo to be. Add finished roux a spoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.  Save any extra roux in fridge for up to three weeks to use on another dish. Serve over rice.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Georgia's Red Beans and Rice

When I was a little boy, my mother worked at our family's sporting goods store with my father.  We children had a daytime nanny named Georgia.  She cooked red beans every Monday.  We loved them.   And we would often eat them everyday until the huge pot was empty. Below is a tribute recipe to Georgia.

2 lbs. Camellia Red Beans ( you can use other dried red beans but they won't be as good)
One onion cut in quarters
One smoked ham hock (I like to use one from a bone-in ham we have had for Sunday dinner)
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight in enough water to fill your large crockpot.  Drain water after soaking.  Put ham hock and onion in beans.  Cover with water and cook on low for six hours until falling apart somewhat.  Remove one cup of cooked beans and smash finely into a paste. Add back into mixture to cream the beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.  Add Louisiana hot sauce to your own bowl as you like.  We also like to fry smoked sausage links to eat with this.  Sometimes we cut up the sausage into slices and precook them to add into the completed beans.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cheesy Crawfish Potatoes

5 lbs small red potatoes, washed and sliced (peel on) into quarters -- boil in salted water until just done --  not mushy.
1 lb package of mexican velveeta
1lb sharp cheddar grated
8 oz mild cheddar grated (for topping)
1 pint half and half
1 package (usually a pound sometimes 12 oz) of frozen crawfish tails -- Louisiana are better but Chinese will work
Optional -- for more seafood flavor -- add a can of crab meat or package of frozen crab when you add the cheese in later.
1 stick of  butter
1/2 cup flour
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder of salt
In a large pan or pot -- melt butter -- sautee onions until translucent -- add garlic and sautee one minute more (or add garlic powder).  Add crawfish tails.  Sautee for a minute.  Add flour and mix until all crawfish are coated and the butter has been absorbed.  Pour in half and half -- use a wisk and mix it well.  This will form a somewhat thick sauce.  You may need to add milk to loosen it -- it should be the consistency of a thick gravy.  Next, add cubed velveeta - and stir until melted.  Add sharp cheese until melted.  Season with Tony Chachere's or season-all to taste.  Again, if the sauce is too thick, add milk to thin it to a thick gravy consistency.
Drain Potatoes and put in large baking dish.  Pour sauce over potatoes and top with cheese.  Baked until bubbling through and through and the cheese is somewhat browned.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fajita Seasoning Mix

Last night I wanted to make fajitas but I did not feel like firing up the grill and I did not have a fajita seasoning mix in the pantry. What to do? I looked online and found a couple of fajita mix recipes. I modified them to my taste -- using Tony's instead of salt, adjusting proportions, etc. It worked great -- better that store bought. This is a great way to use up spices.

1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. crushed chicken bullion cube
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Tony Chachere's or other cajun seasoning
tsp cumin

Mix together and store in a airtight container. You can double, triple, whatever to make some for use later.

To use mix, combine 3 tbs of water and 1 tbs of canola oil with the the mix above (if you make a larger batch, it is about 3 1/2 tbsp of mix). Cut up four chicken breasts and pour the mainade over it -- mixing well. Let the chicken marinade for about one hour. Cook in a hot skillet with onion and peppers.

Serve with your favorite tortillas and fixings.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Really Easy Granola

Melissa Campbell, who just moved from our ward, taught me to make granola -- it is really easy and quite tasty. I modified her recipe as I only observed her make it and did not write down the proportions -- I also mixed and matched recipes I found online to come up with this one I really like. Granola-making is a good way to rotate your oats in your food storage -- while oats last a long time, they lose their taste quality after a few years. I used some 10 year old canned oats with really good results. For Christmas, we put granola in quart jars and wrapped them with ribbon. It made a nice homemade gift that is different from the usual cookies.

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar (light brown)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon

To be added during baking process:
1/3 cup whole almonds (you can also use other nuts)

To be added after cooled
1/3 cup raisins (or cranberry raisins)
1/3 cup other dried fruit to your taste (optional)

In a a saucepan, melt the honey, brown sugar, salt, and oil. Do not bring to a boil as it will turn to candy. In a large mixing bowl, mix your oats and cinnamon together. Then, with a spatula, pour and mix the liquid mixture into the oats -- a little at a time. Make sure all the oats are well coated. Pour the granola mixture on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with baking spray -- make sure that they are in an even layer. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the almonds on top. Mix with a spatula and distribute evenly again. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and mix again. Bake for five more minutes (you can omit the last five minutes if you like your granola chewy and lighter).

Let cool. Using a spatula, loosen the granola. When fully cooled, add your dried fruit (raisin, craisins, etc.) and mix. Put in a sealed storage container. This will store for 2 weeks on the counter -- up to a month in the refrigerator.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Abel style

Green peppers grow very well in our climate. These were utilized by my family for this favorite dish. We always served them with mashed potatoes to utilized the resulting gravy to its fullest potential.

5 - 6 medium bell peppers (any color will do but we always used green)
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground meat
1 1/2 cups rice after cooked (day-old is best)
1 small onion diced
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
1-2 tbs milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbs ketchup with more to top the peppers

Cut the bell peppers at the top and removes seeds and core. It will be like a little bowl. You may have to trim the bottom is the bell pepper won't sit up straight. Place in a baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the ground meat, rice, chopped onion, garlic powder, eggs, salt, pepper, and 3 tbs ketchup. Mix well. If the mixture seems dry, add 1 - 2 tbs. milk (or water). Fill the bell peppers with the meat mixture. Place back in baking dish. Top the bell peppers with ketchup (a somewhat thick coating). Then, sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of granulated sugar on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 - 40 minutes until done.