Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Overnight Egg 'n Sausage Strata

I had this dish at one of our MOPS breakfasts and it was so yummy, I asked for the recipe. I just received it so here it is! This is the healthy version as it came from my friend, Cheryl. It includes her tips and changes. Obviously, it's a very flexible dish so make the changes you want!

4 cups slices of white bread, cubed (for a 9x13 I did about 2/3 of a loaf?)
8 eggs, slightly beaten
4 cups milk (low-fat)
2 cups grated cheese (2%, cheddar, Mexican cheese blend, mont jack, whatever - I think I only use 1 cup)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground dry mustard
1 roll Jimmy Dean sausage / reduced fat

Fry up sausage. Rinse in VERY HOT water using a collander, and then blot sausage inbetween paper towel layers. (this helps reduce fat even more)

In large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt and mustard.

In greased 9x13 baking dish, sprinkle half of your bread cubes. Sprinkle a layer of sausage over cubes, and sprinkle with some cheese. Cover with the rest of your bread cubes and a little more cheese. Pour egg mixture over the bread cubes, trying to get all covered. Use a spoon to gently press down so all cubes soak up some liquid.

Refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes (it always takes longer than I expect due to altitude.)



ps......you may have to use less or more bread cubes.....I kind of don't really follow the recipe (smile!)......and sometimes make up more egg mixture if it doesn't look like I had enough. Good luck! Oh....original recipe calls for green peppers and scallions......but I left those out in case nursing / pregnant moms had problems with those!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pork Pozole

1 can yellow or white hominy, drained
1 can Mexican-style diced tomatoes
1 can mild green enchilada sauce
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin (I'm not a cumin fan and leave this out - still tastes great)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 T. lime juice
tortilla chips, diced avocado and lime wedges (key limes are especially tasty here) - optional

1. Combine the first six ingredients in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Top with pork, spooning hominy mixture over the meat. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

2. Place pork on a cutting board. Add cilantro and lime juice to the slow cooker. Coarsely chop pork; return to cooker. Stir well and heat through. Spoon into shallow bowls. Serve with chips, avocado and lime as garnish. Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is from Parents magazine and is a far cry from the authentic Mexican version - but much easier, and still tastes delicious. I like it because you can use various cuts of pork loin, which are often on sale and very affordable, but come out of the slow cooker very tender.

Easy Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 eggs, separated
2 T. oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni
8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Roll out bread dough into a 12x15" rectangle; set aside. Combine egg yolks, oil, and spices; spread over dough. Arrange pepperoni and cheeses on top. Roll up; place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Brush with egg whites; bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with warm garlic butter or pizza sauce for dipping. Makes 8 servings.

We all love this recipe, and have experimented with different toppings, such as chopped veggies, Italian sausage, and Hawaiian (ham and pineapple - although for that one I leave out the oregano). In my oven, the stromboli is done after about 25 minutes, so watch it carefully.

Also, the trickiest part about this recipe is sealing the edge of the bread dough to prevent the toppings leaking out. I've tried moistening the edges with water, pressing with a fork, etc. Anyone have any ideas for this, or should I just get used to it? :)

This is one of the dishes I'm bringing to the cooking co-op I do with Megan, where we assemble and freeze dinners for each other. For this purpose, I followed the above directions, including baking (as I didn't want to re-freeze unbaked dough). But I left it slightly underbaked, so it won't get too brown when we take it out of the freezer and bake it again. I wrapped the stromboli tightly in aluminum foil, followed by Glad Press 'n Seal, and froze it. Megan or Joy, feel free to leave feedback on how it turns out when you do bake it!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Senate Bean Soup

2 cups dried navy beans (1 lb)
12 cups water
1 ham bone, 2 pounds ham shanks or 2 pounds smoked pork hocks
2 1/2 cups mashed cooked potatoes (with milk and butter)
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup) (I left this out and increased the celery, and it was still full of flavor)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1. Heat beans and water to boiling in Dutch oven. Boil uncovered 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour.

2. Add ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 2 hours or until beans are tender

3. Stir in remaining ingredients. (The mashed potatoes won't really mix in at first, but after simmering they'll make the broth nicely smooth) Cover and simmer 1 hour.

4. Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir ham into soup. Makes 12 servings, about 1 cup each.

I found this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, which says it is served in the US Senate cafeteria every day. It's a delicious way to use up leftover Easter ham. I had fully cooked ham on hand, so I used that, but didn't add it until step 3.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sauerkraut Stew

This is a flexible stew that is apparently rather popular in Eastern Europe. I first had it at a restaurant in Old Salem, NC, and liked it so well that I looked up recipes online so I could make it for myself. This recipe is my own adaptation of several variations. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that nothing has to be measured exactly! I like to prepare it in a crock pot for convenience. This recipe is for a 5-6 quart crock pot.

2 lbs meat (I used beef stew meat and kielbasa, but have also made it with beef and pork - any combination will work)
6 medium-large white potatoes
1 lb Carrots
1 lb Sauerkraut
Seasonings, to taste
3-4 cups water

Cut the potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces and put into the crock pot. Spread sauerkraut over the carrots and potatoes. The sauerkraut can be drained and rinsed first, if preferred (I do not drain mine). Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and brown it briefly on the stove. Add meat to crock pot. Add seasonings, to taste (I used black pepper, celery salt, celery flakes, freeze-dried chives and a vegetable bullion cube). Pour water over the meat to draw some of the seasoning down into the vegetables. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-5 hours. Stir and add water as necessary before serving. You can serve it with sour cream or prepared brown mustard for additional flavor and character.

Prep time is approximately 30 minutes.