Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taco Soup

My friend gave me this recipe in order to feed the truly hungry. I have to say, most of these ingredients came from Dollar General, so feel free to buy cheap. This combination also made a real ton of this chili-soup, so feel free to mix ingredients around

1 pound ground chuck
2 cans dark kidney beans (water drained)
1 can corn (water drained)
1 can light kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes with onions and garlic
fajita spice mix
ranch dressing mix

1. In a big stock pot, add the ground beef and the fajita mix. Stir and cook until meat brown.
2. Add all the cans of ingredients and the ranch mix. Stir and add in 2 cans full of water (about 28 ounces).
3. Bring to a boil and let simmer until beans are a little soft. My friend said 30 minutes, but I basically let it go until I was done making dessert, making the quesadillas to go with this, and cleaned the kitchen.

I really think spicing the meat separately is important. It's surprising how flavorful the soup is and I think its the ground meat.

Serve with shredded cheese, crackers, and/or sour cream. If I was feeling fancier, I'd also recommend stir frying some onions with the meat (chopped thick). Also, some cilantro over the top would be delicious.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rosemary Pecans

I was looking for a tasty snack and something to give as a thank you gift. I accidentally modified this recipe

3 cups of pecans
2 tbsp of salted butter (its what I had)
1 tsp of brown sugar
1/4 tsp of cayenne
2 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary.

1. I melted the butter in a bowl in the microwave. Careful not to burn your butter!
2. Add the rosemary, sugar and cayenne. mix well
3. Add the pecans and toss vigorously.
4. Let it sit for a little and then eat

I modified the recipe to make it a little less greasy and to make it more flavorful. I was just too lazy not to roast them, but if you're interested in that, check out the original recipe.

Glazed Carrots

1 cup baby carrots
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

1. Small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the stick of butter.
2. Add brown sugar and mix. Then add carrots
3. Cook for about 5 minutes until carrots are slightly tender.

Let rest for a minute so the sauce thickens and then serve.

Classy beige rice

In an effort to class up my usual rice selection, I tried this combination of foods myself.

rice cooker!
1 cup of white rice
1 cup of brown rice
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of blanched almond slivers
1 tsp of dried oregano

Add all and cook in the rice cooker. The almonds become soft and add a subtle flavor to the rice. I think next time, I'd use almond slivers that had the brown skin on the side to add some color to the rice. I think fresh oregano would have been much better, but it is winter.

Balsamic Cashew Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup of cashew halves
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 packet of Spicy brown mustard

1. Use cooking spray to lightly grease a big skillet. Over medium heat, par cook the chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side. (Watch for thickness, probably 5 minutes on each side).
2. Remove the chicken and put it aside in a covered plate
3. In the heated skillet, add the balsamic vinegar and cashew halves. wait for the vinegar to lightly simmer so that it dilutes itself some.
4. Add a packet of spicy brown mustard and mix.
5. return the chicken and finish cooking the chicken in the sauce.

delicious! I found this recipe in a low carb cook book, but have made a few minor modifications to simplify this. It might still be low carb, not sure. Either way, pretty tasty for minimal effort.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clementine Lime Pie

A wealth of quickly riping clementines prompted me to search for this recipe. here is my modification

1/3 cup of Lime juice (I used the fridge bottled juice)
1/4 cup of Orange juice
1 Tbsp grated clementine rind
4 eggs lightly beaten
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 clementines.

1 store bought graham cracker crust.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Line the bottom of the pie dish with clementines wedges
3. In a bowl, mix all remaining filling ingredients. Pour over the clementines into the pie dish
4. bake for 15 minutes. Then let cool at room temperature and then put in the fridge for 2 hours.
5. To serve, garnish with more clementine wedges and some lime rind shavings.

Couple of things
I know I should make my own crust, but I'm always in a time rush. This is a corner worth cutting in my world, but someday I'll try harder.
Also, don't cheat the fridge time! I didn't let it cool at room temperature and only left it int he fridge for 1.5 hours - as a result, when I tried to serve it, it was difficult. I think more time and it would have geled nicely. As a result, I'm not sure how essential it is to let it cool at room temperature, but baking is an exact science so what do I know.

looked pretty impressive, I think.

Original recipe here