Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Italian Drip Beef

Not the prettiest picture, but oh this meat was delish! This was recently featured on the legendary Pioneer Woman's website. Since I had the meat sitting in the freezer and I love pepperoncini pepper I had to try did not disappoint. Yum! I've also seen this same recipe with jalapeno's instead of pepperoncini peppers, that's one that I'll have to try another time. Please link over to The Pioneer Woman's website, she has some amazing photography skills, among many others, but you can also print the recipe directly from her site, it's great. I imagine you can adapt this for your slow cooker too. On to the recipe...

Italian Drip Beef
from The Pioneer Woman

1 whole beef chuck roast, 2.5 to 4 pounds
1 can beef consomme or beef broth (I used water and bullion)
3 Tablespoons (heaping) of Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 jar (16 oz.) pepperoncini peppers, with juice (I used sliced because I wanted them in my sandwich)
buttered, toasted deli rolls

Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid. Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven *for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart. *If meat is not tender return to oven for 30 minute intervals till tender.
Remove from oven. Shred with forks, serve immediately, or keep warm over simmer on stove. You may also make the day before and then store in refrigerator. Remove hardened fat and reheat. Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler if desired. Serve with juice from the pot.

I bet this meat would also freeze well, I would refrigerate until cold remove the fat then transfer to freezer bags. Then you could reheat when you wanted to use it.

Mini Navajo Tacos

Here's a quick recipe for those nights you just need to throw something together...although you do have to plan a little ahead for the dough, the rest is just thrown together at the end.

Mini Navajo Tacos

Rhodes bread dough rolls, thaw and let raise
small amount of oil in pan
can of your favorite chili
topping of your choice; ex. cheese, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes

Let dough thaw and rise. Flatten dough and fry in small amount of oil till cooked through. Open and heat can of chili. Top your fry bread with the chili and add the topping you enjoy.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I've sung the praises of My Kitchen Cafe before, but really she's got some great recipes and Sweet and Sour Chicken was one of the first recipes I tried from her site. I actually had my son's teachers request the recipe after smelling his's that good.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
from My Kitchen Cafe

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch (I used flour last time since I was out of corn starch and worked just as well)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in cornstarch and then the egg. Fry in a little oil until brown, but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together (below) and pour over chicken.

3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt (I use garlic powder)

Bake at 325 degrees for one hour, turning chicken every 15 minutes.

She indicates in her recipe you can double the sauce if you'd like and cook it on the stove, but I've doubled and cooked it in the dish and it worked just as well...and less dishes. I've also cooked it as written without doubling the sauce and it was still quite I'll leave it up to you.

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli

Apparently, this is the original recipe for Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli. I had a room mate in college whose Aunt worked for Olive Garden and this recipe was passed on to her family and then to me. I really can't taste a difference between this and the restaurants soup. This recipe makes A LOT, so you can try cutting it down, or do as I do and save it for another night since this soup also freezes well. Just be sure to leave the pasta out of the soup if you plan on freezing it. We usually make a small pot of pasta, add to our bowls then top with the soup and mix, that way if you are reheating you don't get goopy pasta. I have made this in my slow cooker, but you need to cut the recipe down if you are unless you have a REALLY big slow cooker. Also, cook the meat and onions first before you add it to the slow cooker, then add the rest and cook till done.

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli
from Elizabeth

1 Tbsp. oil (I generally leave this out since I find there is enough fat in the meat)
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded (I usually like to add more of the vegetables)
1 cup celery, diced
30 oz. can tomatoes
1 15 oz. red kidney beans
2 15 oz. white beans
5 cans beef broth
1 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. pepper
1tbsp. and 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
small pasta

Saute beef and onion in oil. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and add. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 10 or more minutes.

This soup does have a kick to it. You can cut down the Tabasco if desired, but don't leave it out completely, I believe it's the ingredient that really makes it authentic.

No Fail Pizza Hut Style Breadsticks

We enjoy our soup with No Fail Pizza Hut Style Breadsticks. I got this recipe from Gourmet Mom on-the-Go. She actually also posted it with the Olive Garden soup that she may or may not have gotten from a good friend of mine...she never responded to her email so I'll never know if the world is that small, although I do believe they live in the same area...any's a great bread stick recipe and my kids love it when I make these. Also, it's a great way to use some of that powdered milk you should be rotating in your year supply.

No Fail Pizza Hut Style Breadsticks
from Gourmet Mom on the Go

1 1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1 Tbsp. yeast
3 cups flour
1/3 cup melted butter (I try to use less just to cut down a little on the fat)

Dissolve sugar, salt and dry milk in hot water. Add enough flour (around 1 cup) to make a soupy mixture. When the mixture is warm, add the yeast and stir well. Then add the rest of the flour, enough to form a moderately stiff dough. Knead the dough until smooth. Roll dough into a rectangular shape the size of your baking pan. Spread half of the butter onto the baking pan, then place your dough into the pan and spread the remaining butter on top of the dough. Top the breadsticks with garlic salt, parmesan cheese, salad seasoning, kosher salt, or whatever you want. Cut the dough into breadsticks with a pizza cutter and let raise for 10 to 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Taco Soup and Instant Sopaipillas

Several years ago I received a cookbook called Super Suppers in the mail. I have no idea how I came upon this little treasure, there wasn't a note and I couldn't remember signing up to receive it, but I'm glad it fell into my hands. One recipe I found for Taco soup was a little different than the one we had been using previously and so I began using this as my main taco soup recipe.

Taco Soup
Super Suppers Cookbook recipe by Judie Byrd

2 tablespoons oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 cup chopped onion (I just use an onion...who needs to measure.)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (I have family members who claim peppers are from the I leave these out to please them.)
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 14.5 ounce cans mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained (I've used Italian style 9 times out of 10 because that is generally what I buy, you can probably just use plain too.)
2 cans water
1 15 ounce can small red beans, drained and rinsed (I use pinto.)
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cup frozen corn (Really you should try the hominy, they are very yummy! We generally use white hominy.)
1 7 ounce can diced green chile peppers, undrained
1 7 ounce can sliced pitted black olives, drained (I leave these out..again picky eaters, but if you like them, like I do, then you can add to the top later.)
1 package taco seasoning mix

Preheat oil in a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Add tortilla pieces to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown; remove and set aside. (I don't usually do this, we've found we like crushed corn chips on top better than the tortilla strips and I don't add them to the pot either as indicated later in the recipe, but try it, you may like it...we've found we like it crispy better.) Add gound beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to Dutch oven. Cook until beef is brown. Drain off fat.

Stir browned tortillas, undrained tomatoes, water, beans, hominy, chile peppers, olives, and taco seasoning mix into pot. Bring to boiling. Turn heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

We like to top ours with crushed corn chips and shredded cheese. You can also try sour cream, avocado, and sliced green onions.

You can prepare this up to 4 days ahead. Cover and Refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat until hot and bubbly. Or you can freeze it up to 2 months. Defrosting completely in the refrigerator and reheating over medium heat until hot and bubbly.

The kids were ecstatic to follow up the meal with dessert tonight, something we rarely do, but it's a great companion to any Mexican dish.

Instant Sopaipillas
Supper Super Cookbook
Judie Byrd

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 cups vegetable oil (I use canola.)

In a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

Cut bread dough into 16 even pieces. (I used Rhodes rolls thawed and cut each into 4 pieces to make them a little smaller.) In a deep, heavy skillet heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry dough pieces, a few at a time, in hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Roll fried dough pieces in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm.

This sopaipillas recipe is similar to a quick doughnut recipe my Mom made for us when we were younger. That recipe I now traditionally make for a treat when we go camping...the only difference is that you use biscuit dough instead. They're great with a mug of hot chocolate around the fire.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Hasselback Potatoes

We also picked up a package of Tony Roma's ribs on our Costco coupon trip..yum! I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, who found it on another blog, who found it on another blog, who found it...well, you get the idea. It's been passed around enough to know it's a great side dish.

Hasselback Potatoes
as seen on My Kitchen Cafe

5-6 medium baking potatoes
4 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic pressed or finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Put the potato on a cutting board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, making thin slices.

Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet and sprinkle the garlic in between the slits. Scatter some butter on top of each potato. Then drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle some salt and freshly ground black pepper over the potoates.

Bake the potatoes for about one hour or until the potatoes turn crispy and the flesh is soft.

Next time I think I'll need to get the garlic a little deeper in the potato...some of it turned into little charcoal pieces...but it was still yummy.
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