Monday, March 16, 2009

Spicy Italian Beef (Sandwiches)

1 boneless beef roast (3-4 lbs)
1 jar (12 oz) peperoncini
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth
1 can (12 oz) beer
1 pkg. (1 oz) Italian salad dressing mix
1 loaf French bread, sliced thick
10 slices provolone cheese (optional)

Trim fat from roast. Cut if necessary to fit in slow cooker, leaving meat in as many large pieces as possible. Place in slow cooker.

Drain peppers, remove stem ends and discard. Add peppers, broth, beer and dressing mix to slow cooker; do not stir. Cover; cook on low 8-10 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Return shredded meat to slow cooker; mix well. Serve on French bread, topped with cheese, if desired. Add add'l sauce and peppers if desired.

Beef Porcupine Meatballs

Another dinner-exchange recipe from my friend Katie.

8 oz pkg beef Rice-a-Roni, divided
1 lb ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups water
Prepared egg noodles

Combine Rice-a-Roni with beef and egg, setting aside seasoning packet from mix. Shape into small meatballs; brown on all sides in a skillet. Drain. Combine contents of seasoning packet with water; pour over meatballs. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes. Serve meatballs and sauce over cooked egg noodles. Makes 4-6 servings.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

Another dinner-exchange meal from Joy. Super easy and very tasty.

Cut chicken breasts in half and stuff with honey mustard and ham slices.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with crushed pretzels.*

Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees.

*To crush pretzels, place them in a baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.

Chicken Enchiladas (These are SOOOO good!)

My friend's and I have started a dinner exchange where we get together and each cook two meals times three. When we're done, we each have 6 different meals to take home. Since many of the meals are on the larger side, we can often split the dishes and actually end up with more like 9-10 meals. The best part is, our families get to try new dishes that we've never had before and not only is it fun to get together to cook, but it's so much easier to make dinner on those days when I don't have time to make a full-meal.

The following recipe is from my friend, Joy. Both my husband and I enjoyed this dish so much and I will definitely be making it again (or maybe have Joy make it again). It is one of the best enchilada recipes I've ever tasted. It did freeze well but the tortilla's were a little softer than they would have been if it was made and cooked immediately.

Chicken (recipe doesn't say how much. Adjust to how many it's going to feed).
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup onions
4 oz can green chili peppers
3 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp cumin
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken
8 oz. sour cream
Flour tortillas (I think she used the medium size)

Brown in saucepan: 2 tbsp butter, onions, 1 tbsp green chilis

Mix in bowl: cream cheese, 1 tbsp milk, cumin, cooked onion mixture and cubed cooked chicken.
Spoon into flour tortillas, roll and place in greased baking dish.

Mix in seperate bowl: 1 cup milk, cream of chicken/mushroom soup, sour cream & the rest of 4 oz. can of green chili peppers.

Pour mixture over tortillas. Cover with foil and bake @ 350 for 35 minutes.

Uncover, sprinkle with cheese & cook for another 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prawns in Coconut Milk

This is an Indian curry I was served by a Bengali friend in Bangladesh. It's a delicious curry and not very difficult to make.

1 1/2 lbs (750 g) large raw prawns
1 tablespoon ghee (butter) or oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 fresh red or green chilies, clit and seeded (optional)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
8 curry leaves
2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp salt
Lemon juice to taste

Wash prawns well. Shell and devein if liked, but some local cooks say the prawn should be in their shells, for they retain more flavor this way. (I would recommend shelling and deveining).
Heat ghee (butter/oil) and fry the oions, garlic and ginger until onions are soft but don't let them brown. Add chillies, turmeric and curry leaves and fry 1 minute longer. Add coconut milk and salt and stir while bringing to simmering point. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then add prawns and cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice to taste.

Dhal (Lentil Puree)

I went to Bangladesh for a month during college to help out at a school over there. While I was there, one of the Bengali teachers at the school had me and my host family over for dinner. She served us Prawns in Coconut Milk, rice and Dahl. If you're familiar with Indian food, you may know that Dahl is a staple of many Indian diets. It can be eaten as a main course or a side dish. I usually make it as a side dish with a curry & rice being our main dish. Dahl is delicious, healthy and very simple to make. My 14 month old loves it as a meal or a snack.

Here's the recipe as given to me from my Bengali friend:

Any type of lentils can be used for this, but red lentils or moong are the quickest cooking type and do not need soaking. (I was unable to find red lentils so I used green and they worked just fine).

250 grams lentils (This was about half of my 450 g bag)
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee (butter) or oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger (I've substituted powdered ginger but I'm sure fresh tastes much better)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 cups hot water
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala (see recipe on this site if you would like to make your own garam masala)

Wash lentils thoroughly, removing those that float on the surface. Drain well. Heat ghee (butter) and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is golden brown. Add turmeric and stir well. Add drained lentils and fry for a minute or two then add hot water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are half cooked. Add salt and garam masala, mix well and continue cooking until lentils are soft and the consistency is similar to porridge. If there is too much liquid, leave the lid off the pan to speed evaporation. Serve dhal plain or garnished with sliced onions, fried until deep golden brown. Eat with boiled rice, Indian breads or as a light meal by itself.

Dhal can be frozen and reheated well. It might get a bit mushier if reheated but it still tastes great. If reheating, add some water to the dish to rehydrate and so it won't burn while heating up.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

I've had a few people send me this recipe. I have yet to try it but thought I'd post it in case anyone's interested in trying it.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This is a Cooking Light magazine dish, and I usually don't make their recipes because they're too involved for my cooking style! :) But this was a definite exception. Besides being light, it's delicious, easy, budget-friendly, a great source of fiber, and pleases both my husband and 2-year old daughter, no easy feat!! If different members of your family like different amounts of spice, you can leave out the Cajun seasoning, and add it individually.

I have made a few changes, but here is the original recipe and nutrition information: (Megan - you'll have to show me how to link things like you do, without the actual address - looks so much nicer!)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup presliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (more or less to taste - I only use about 1 tsp., which is plenty spicy for us)
8 ounces andouille or turkey smoked sausage, sliced
1 cup Minute rice or Minute brown rice, uncooked
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans or cannelini beans, with liquid

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, Cajun seasoning, and sausage; sauté 5 minutes. Add rice to pan. Stir in broth and beans. Bring mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in salt. (Will be somewhat soupy. You can increase or decrease liquid if preferred) Makes 3-4 servings.

I just made this, and forgot to take a picture! But I will post some next time I make it.

Hungry Jack Casserole

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion (my husband doesn't like onion, and it works fine without)
1 can baked beans
3/4 cup barbeque sauce
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Heat oven to 350. Brown meat with onion, drain. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and biscuits and place in casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Cut each biscuit in half and place on top of casserole. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and biscuits are lightly browned.

This is soooo flavorful. I like it because it's easy to keep most of the ingredients on hand, and make when I can't think of anything else for dinner! I usually use Pillsbury Grands biscuits.