Sunday, December 30, 2012

Southwest Coleslaw

Southwest Coleslaw is a delicious side salad for any Southwest style meal. We sometimes make this to go with taco night or as a side to grilled meats.
This is sort of a 'whatever you have on hand' sort of recipe that I got from my cousin's wife. She made it when I was visiting them, and I loved it! I have sort of adapted it to what we typically have, and mine is the 'same but different'.

My cousin's wife uses purple onions, shredded carrots and purple & green cabbage together. Hers is beautiful, but I find I tend to make this when I have left-over cabbage and it's usually just one color. I also usually just have yellow or white onions, and I find they work just fine....but not as pretty and a little bolder flavor-wise.

Here's what you will need: I made this with 1/2 head of green cabbage that was left-over from our mu shu dinner here. If you need more coleslaw or you have more cabbage just adjust the dressing accordingly.

1/2 head of cabbage (any color)
1/2 onion (any onion will work)
1 can of sweet corn (optional)
1 can black or pinto beans (optional) - I didn't have any this time, and it's fine...
1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional) - I didn't have any carrots this time
1 tomato finely chopped (optional) (we had a couple sad ones that needed using)
1/2 bunch cilantro finely chopped
2 tablespoon lime juice (or 1-2 whole limes juiced)
1 teaspoon rice or white vinegar
1 teaspoon honey, agave or sugar
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I had a couple fresh thai chilis I chopped up instead) 

Shred your cabbage fairly finely. and put it in a bowl.

Add your chopped other veggies (corn, carrots, tomatoes, beans, onions, etc)

Mix together the lime juice, vinegar, sugar / honey / agave, spices and peppers. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the veggies & mix well.


Shrimp Tacos

So we wanted to do an easy dinner that would be ready quick since we didn't have tons of time to prep for dinner tonight. We had some left over cabbage & some sad tomatoes, and a can of re-fried beans, so that pretty much means Mexican night around here!

We settled on shrimp tacos since shrimp are incredibly easy to prepare.
Here's what you will need:
1lb of large shrimp. We used frozen ones, but you can get them from the seafood counter at the store defrosted.
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
6 cloves garlic
1 lemon

Since we bought frozen shrimp, all we had to do was soak them for 15 - 20 min in warm water until they are defrosted.

Then peel and dry them.
Mix your flour & spices together in a ziplock bag.

Season the shrimp with some salt & pepper.

Then toss them with the seasoned flour in a ziplock bag until they are coated completely.

Pour about 1/2 cup of fry oil (vegetable, canola, peanut, sunflower, etc) and heat it up.
Pan fry up the shrimp in small batches. Cook them for about 2 minutes a side until they are just done.
You want to be sure with shrimp that you don't overcook.
Make sure you use metal or wooden utensils when frying!

When your shrimp are done cooking, place them on a plate covered in paper towel to absorb the excess oil until they are cool enough to eat.

Once all the shrimp are out of the pan, toss in the chopped garlic and fry it up until it's golden & fragrant.

Then turn the heat way down to low and squeeze in the lemon juice (be careful! It can splash up  & burn your skin. Long sleeves are a good idea.)

Stir the lemon & garlic together for a second and then pour it over the shrimp (it won't be very saucy since the lemon juice will mostly evaporate, but it will leave a strong lemon flavor!)

Serve with Southwest Coleslaw, tortillas, cheese & beans. We also had some yogurt Tapatio sauce that Tyson made a while back (1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream & lots of Tapatio....keep adding & stirring it until it turns an appetizing dark pink.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Goat Cheese and Tarragon Stroganoff

This is a favorite around here for sure. It's a little hearty, so it's not something we make all the time, but absolutely a must when the weather turns chilly.

Normally we just make this with turkey to save some calories, but we had some left-over beef from our hot pot dinner a little while back.

Here is what you need for this.

1 lb ground turkey
thin sliced beef (whatever we had on hand, but you could make this without any, or with as much as you like)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or 1/2 cup heavy cream.)
1 grocery store container of mushrooms sliced.
1 onion diced
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. paprika
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup goat cheese
dollop of sour cream
3 sprigs fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 package egg noodles

First heat up the oil & butter.

Toss in the mushrooms and let them cook until they start to release moisture. Lightly salt and pepper. They will first suck up all the butter and oil, and then they will turn a beautiful brown. Shortly after that, they will start to release their liquid.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, toss in the onions and garlic and let it cook for a few minutes until they caramelize.  Toss in beef.
When everything is golden, place the turkey in the pan and stir it around until it's mostly cooked (there is no benefit to browning and rendering turkey. It doesn't get any more flavor, and it doesn't improve anything.)
cook the egg noodles and drain.

Once the turkey is close to done, pour in the can of mushroom soup, and re-fill it with water and stir it around to get the residue out. Pour it in. Add the paprika, mustard  and white wine. (we were almost out of mustard, so we used the white wine to 'rinse' it out).

Add the goat cheese and  tarragon. Stir it all around.

Season with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Serve over egg noodles. Yum!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin (Or Other Squash)

We had a few un-carved pumpkins left over from Halloween, and before they get too old, we decided to start cooking with them. This is the easiest thing ever to with old pumpkins.

Here is what you need:
baking tray
big bowl for seasoning

1/2 medium pumpkin (save the other half for future recipes. Just cover with plastic wrap & stick it in the fridge....or cut it up & freeze it)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. unsalted garlic seasoning (you can season with anything you like, but we like this one)
1 Tbs. cayenne pepper (optional...we like it spicy!)
salt to taste

 First, pull out all the seeds and set them aside for roasting.

Then, cut up your pumpkin into even sized chunks. You want all your pieces to cook at the same rate. We made ours slightly large, but still bite-sized.

Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and garlic seasoning until it's evenly distributed. (you may want to just do the oil first, then add the seasoning.)

Spread out evenly on a baking sheet (we used two for less crowding)

Sprinkle salt & cayenne from up high until it's seasoned to your own taste (we like it salty & spicy, so we used kind of a lot - 3 large pinches of salt)

Bake in the oven on 350 until it's golden and the skin is crisped up (about an hour). You can pre-skin the pumpkin if you don't like the skin, but that is where all the good vitamins are, and we happen to love it. We pretty much always leave it on...and all the little strings inside too. They get crispy like hash browns!

Prosciutto and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We had an evening where we just didn't feel like going to the store for anything, but we DID have some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer. Voila! Dinner!

We had a little party a week or so ago, and we had some left-over prosciutto slices as well as some shredded Cheeses. We also had quite a few left-over garlic toasts, so we decided to bread them!

Here is what you will need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves fresh garlic
prosciutto slices
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

First pound out your chicken breasts until they are nice and flat.

then lay each piece onto a piece of plastic wrap and lay out strips of proscuitto evenly.

sprinkle cheese thinly over each breast. (be careful not to over-stuff)

roll each breast up tightly and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. twist the ends closed, and then freeze for 15 minutes.

Place flour, egg and  garlic bread crumbs into separate bowls for dipping.

Un-wrap each breast roll then coat in flour.

after coating with flour dip into scrambled egg to coat completely.

then roll each in bread crumbs and place into baking dish.

bake on 350 for 25-30 minutes.
We served ours with roasted pumpkin and sauteed garlic spinach.