Monday, January 30, 2012

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie is simply chili with your corn bread baked on top of it. I remember being a little girl and my Mother would make it for dinner using those jiffy corn bread mixes. Now you have to understand, my parents divorced when I was in grade school. My father was the better cook of the two. Back in the 70's children were always sent to live with the mother. I could have starved!! Thank God for Tamale Pie among a couple other dishes that she could cook. Now I am not bashing my Mother. She has some amazing dishes she can cook. The woman could fry potatoes like no other. And being the potato love I am, I thank her for that. But we are getting off subject completely. I am not making Tamale Pie like my Mother would have. There is no canned chili or jiffy mix involved tonight.

Tamale Pie

1 lb lean ground beef (turkey works too)
1 onion diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 can Ortega chilis
1 can tomato sauce
1 can black beans (or whatever you have on hand)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cheddar cheese for topping of cornbread

Corn Bread
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 cup cheddar cheese for batter
Preheat oven 375 degrees
cook hamburger and onion in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Dang it! I need this today! How can we be out of Cumin???
Sprinkle spices over meat. I eye ball it. You could wait till you add the tomato sauce but really it doesnt matter.

Add the sauce
And the peppers
And corn and beans. Make sure you rinse the beans, the liquid they are sitting in is gross
Let simmer for ten minutes on medium low heat. Taste and make sure spicy enough. My family likes some kick so I adjust it.
Add a little extra water if you think it is too dry. Remember it still has to bake in the oven for an hour.
So I am a little strange, I like the taste of hand grated cheese over the bag stuff. I think the use flour or something to keep it from sticking to itself. Grate some cheese. Youre going to need about 2 cups. Don't be stingy. I am always stingy on the cheese. This is for inside the cornbread.
Mix your batter for the corn bread
Corn Bread
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter melted
1/2 - 1 cup cheddar cheese for batter (depends if The Ballplayer is looking when I put the cheese in)
Trust me on the cheese. It really make the bread good. The Ballplayer doesn't know I put it in the bread. On top....well that is another story and another fight. Don't worry, he wont read this.
Spread the batter onto the "chili"
Take a butter knife and spread it out evenly
Bake 375 degree oven 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (not the chili) Cover with Grated cheese and return to the oven just until melted
Let sit ten minutes before slicing. Trust me

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cheaters White Chocolate Cake

I love to cook. I can spend all day in the kitchen. I love chopping vegetables. Love to chop garlic. Mmmm. Just thinking of mincing garlic makes me calm. Baking on the other hand does not. I grew up in house full of baking women. Even my grandfather later in life took up baking, being nick named the Cookie Monster. But for me, baking has rules. I don't like rules. I can not or have not made a home made cake from scratch successfully. Thankfully there are Duncan, Betty and Pillsbury. I can make a cheater cake like nobody. And my kids love it.

Cheaters White Chocolate Cake

1 White Cake mix
1 White Chocolate pudding mix
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 extra egg

Make cake mix as directed EXCEPT ADD 1 EXTRA EGG and the pudding mix
Pour batter into pan cover with white chocolate chips
Bake according to the package
Frost with White frosting and sprinkle the frosting with white sugar (gives a crunch)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rootbeer Pulled Pork With Coleslaw

Pulled pork is a meal that gets made quite a bit during baseball season around here. I can get usually two meals out of the pork roast. The pulled pork is usually the second night's meal. It was some variation of a pork roast (I have so many) so many, many roast ago that a friend told me I had to try it this way. Of course, I did put my own spin on it being the rebel I am. I do have to say that it is pretty dang good.

Rootbeer Pulled Pork With Coleslaw

1 regular rootbeer (no diet)
1 pork roast
2 TB Firemen's seasoning (or your favorite seasoning for BBQ)
1/2 onion
1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce (I bought what was on sale)
oil for browning the roast
just take a couple TB of oil and a pan...any pan and get it good and hot
I make this seasoning that I call Firemen's Seasoning We love it. I sprinkle it on veggies, potatoes, meats. I make it in huge batches. Its smokey and a little spicy but nothing that the kids will cry over (trust me..The Ballplayer is antispice)
sprinkle it all over the meat. Bathe in it. Get it all over the counters by all means, its that good
Slice up half an onion
Brown up the meat. You could skip this part but I really think it makes the meat taste better
ya...there we go
then gracefully dump the meat onto the pretty little onions in the crock pot
Then dump the whole rootbeer in. Cover and let cook until falling apart (3 hours on high 6 on low)
When the meat is about done I like to make my coleslaw. Mind you I usually forget until the last minute and pull a OH SH!T I FORGOT THE COLESLAW!!!!! No biggie!!!

1/2 package coleslaw mix
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 - 1 TB
1 TB Rice Vinegar
really that is how easy it is. Just Mix the Mayo with the vinegar and sugar. Give it a taste. I usually like mine on the sweet side.

Add the Coleslaw cabbage mix. I know you think it wont be enough sauce but I promise it will

Mix well and chill....if you remembered to make it early enough
Ok so our roast is cooked

Take the meat out
Shred with two forks. Protect from hungry husbands (that is why you use two forks)
Dump out the cooking liquiq. I saved some in case I needed it (if it was dry)
Add the bbq sauce, and be generous
I like to pile on toasted buns

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta with Chicken

Sometimes I feel like eating a dish that I think I would get at a restaurant, but wouldn't order at a restaurant. That's the line of BS I give my family when I spring a new dish on them that they have never eaten and would never have eaten. Seems reasonable? Right? In all actuality, I had a bag of bell peppers and thought "Self what the hell am I going to make?" I could have made Sausage and Peppers but I have a BAG of peppers and I think I still have a couple of peppers in the crisper. I don't know how this happened??? Roasting peppers and then pureeing them into a sauce will use up all the peppers in the bag. Score!!!! Uno problemo...The Ballplayer will not like it. Guess cereal will be his dinner. Oh well, cant win them all!

Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta with Chicken

Bag of bell peppers (5-6)
1/2 package pine nuts (yes really that's my measurement)
1/2 cup minced onion
1 TB Balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Chicken Breasts pounded thin and cut into small portions
1 cup of flour for dusting
salt and pepper
oil for sauteing

Like I said, you need a lot of bell peppers for this sauce. If you have ever made homemade spaghetti sauce, you know, it takes a lot of tomatoes just to get a quart of sauce.
Cut up all the peppers and discard all the seeds
place skin side up on a baking/cookie sheet and put under the broiler until they are BLACK.
Place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Walk away for fifteen minutes. Seriously. This is the time to let the dog out, pay your bills. Get side tracked. Come back and peel all the black skin off. The Fireman helped me. It's a messy job. That's why you have no pictures of it. Do not wash any of the black specks off the peppers. That is flavor that you want. Toss the skins and save the peppers.
I love Pine nuts. This is not normally how I buy them. Normally I buy them in bulk from Costco, keep them in the freezer but whatever. I am out and avoiding Costco. Costco is next to Trader Joes. Trader Joes has Pub Cheese. Pub Cheese makes my ass big. I'm off track anyways. I love these little nuts. Put them on vegetables, in pasta. Mmmmm
Take half a package or about 1/4 cup or the package if you can't resist. It wont harm the recipe and put into any dry pan you haven't messed up today. Put the pan on medium heat and toast the pine nuts. Don't burn them. These nuts are special to me.
Put your peppers into a food processor or blender. Blend well, really well. If it seems like it wont go smooth enough, add a couple TB of chicken broth or water. I didn't have to.
Arent these pretty?
Add them to the party!

In a pan add 1 tsp oil, the garlic and the onion, cook till soft
Now add the sauce to the onions and garlic, and 1 TB balsamic vinegar
let simmer 25-30 minutes
My chicken did not come already pounded into small portions so I am pounding them. Simply put the chicken between to pieces of plastic wrap, place on a plastic cutting board (easier to disinfect) and take a meat cleaver or in my case a cast iron pan, and pound the crap out of it until it is thin. If you have teenagers, it is anger management.
Then take some flour (about a cup, I didnt measure) and a little salt and pepper) and mix it for dusting the chicken
The chicken isnt going to be like fried chicken, we are only dusting it
Get a pan and put just a couple TB's of canola or vegetable oil in it. Get it ot over Medium high heat.
Cook the chicken. They will cook fast.

While the chicken is cooking, cook you pasta and dump into the sauce, let it cook for a good ten minutes so the sauce can cook into the noodles
Top the pasta with chicken and garnish with fresh Parmesan Cheese
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