Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Fajitas - Sante Fe Style

Let the Assembly Begin!

Chicken marinade:

1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 can chopped green chilies
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
orange juice (enough to cover chicken pieces in marinating dish)

Place 3-4 large chicken breasts in a deep casserole that leaves little room around the edges open. Rub spices on top of chicken. Drain chilies and place on top. Pour just enough orange juice over to cover the chicken pieces and marinate 24 hours covered, turning once. Drain marinade retaining chilies and onion. Grill with the remaining chilies added to the top of the breasts after turning.


1 head cabbage, (about 1 pound) outer layer removed and chopped.
1 medium cucumber, peeled and slivered
2 medium peppers, orange, red or yellow or a combination thereof, as desired, slivered or diced.
2 celery ribs thinly sliced
1 carrot shredded
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed key lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco (I used the whole amount, too much heat if you're just going to eat on its own but as a garnish for the fajitas, VERY good)
1/4 cup sugar (or natural sugar substitute for my diabetic readers)
1 teaspoon salt.

Combine the vegetables. Combine the non veggie ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved (this seems like a lot of sugar but it makes a LARGE bowl of coleslaw). Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to coat about 20 minutes before serving. This does NOT keep well so cut in half if just a few folks over for supper.

Easy Cheesy Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (regular or whole grain but NOT instant)
2 cups chicken broth (I make my own to cut down on the salt)
1 cup mild Salsa (I like Mrs. Renfro's)
2/3 cup shredded regular or low fat cheddar

1.Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
2.Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes (or as per rice package directions, some take longer), until liquid has been absorbed. Stir in cheese and serve
Use flour tortillas (or serve in a bowl if cutting carbs). Layer rice, chopped grilled chicken, and coleslaw. I was trying for a healthy, lower fat dish. The rice is a nice creamy touch for the crispy coleslaw and it really didn't need extra cheese, sour cream or any of the other usual garnishes, but feel free.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Chicken Southwest

The original concept, pairing grilled chicken, tomatillas, and lime juice and peppers came from a lady named Audry Kinne from Elkhart, IN who won a national recipe contest with it.

I of, course, having a penchant for the more "zippy" changed her recipe a bit, as I usually do. The results, one of those where even I sat down and said "OK, this is a keeper".

5 chicken breasts
salt to taste
5 thick slices provolone cheese
1/2 of a VERY large vidalia onion
1 1/4 tablespoon olive oil
8 small tomatillas, half of them chopped roughly, half sliced thinly
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons key lime juice
10 slices of jarred jalapeno
1/2 heaping teaspoon fresh mined garlic
1 small handful cilantro roughly chopped
1 1/3 teaspoon Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Penzey's Southwest Seasoning (or if you don't have it, ancho chili powder)

Salt the chicken breast and place in pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, saute sliced onion in olive oil until translucent. Chop tomatillas and put in a bowl with lime juice, garlic and jalapeno slices.

In another small bowl mix seasoning and cilantro.

When chicken is about 10 minutes from being done, add in lime juice, tomatillas, and garlic to onions on the stove and saute over medium heat to cook, stirring constantly.

When chicken "pings" top with slices of cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes. Add in cumin, Penzey's and Cilantro to the tomatilla mixture and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, until Cilantro wilts (just a few more minutes)

Serve chicken on top of rice, (I use a mix of basmatti and brown rice) and top with tomatilla mixture removed from the pan with a slotted spoon , drizzling the rice with a bit of the extra juice if you like.

Serve with sour cream and more cilantro.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Cowboy Action Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
dash of Penzey's vanilla
1/2 cup of mini dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup M and M's regular or dark chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cream together shortening, butter/margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter in a large bowluntil smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the oats and the candy until just combined.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (for a cowboy sized cookie)

Bake for 11 to 15 minutes, until just light brown. (in my oven it's 12 minutes) Don't over-bake. I usually do just a few, check the bottoms to see if they are too brown and then adjust the time for the next cookie sheet full.

After cooling ,store any left in an airtight container.

Helpful Hints:

I used a half and half mixture of butter and margarine. If you use only margaine, don't use tub, use a stick margarine like Blue Bonnet (cooks up really well).

Use two cookie sheets to give one a little time to cool before putting the dough on it. This keeps the cookie from spreading too quickly and ending up with crunchy edges.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 bundt pan
1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mix
1/2 cup orange juice (no pulp)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/3 teaspoon Penzey's Mexican Vanilla
1 three ounce box jello pistachio instant pudding
4 extra large eggs

Mix ingredients in large bowl with hand mixer on low until blended (about 30 seconds). Beat on medium to medium/high for 2 and 1/2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently.

Pour about 2/3 of the batter into a bundt pan sprayed generously with non stick coating mix.

Into remaining batter, mix with a spoon until blended-

1/2 cup MINI dark chocolate chips (the larger ones will sink into the batter)
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons Hershey's Special Dark chocolate syrup.

Pour onto the batter in pan. You do NOT need to marble this with a spoon.

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes (check at 50 minutes, a thin knive inserted into the cake near the middle should come out clean).

Drizzle with a bit more syrup or eat plain.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Butter Cream Frosting Base

(recipe from blogger sweet fiend).

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

¾ sugar

a Pinch salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 16 pieces

1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a large heat proof bowl. Set the bowl over (not on) simmering water in a sauce pan and heat, whisking constantly until sugar has dissolved. The mixture is ready when with it is very warm to the touch, about 2 minutes and approximately 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.

2. Remove from mixture from heat and transfer to a stand mixer bowl and beat on high until egg white mixture is fluffy, led to room temperature and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
3. Turn the speed to medium low, add salt and the butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed to high and beat until mixture is creamy, about 3-5 minutes more. Add flavorings as you like such as 4 ounces of melted dark chocolate or two tablespoons of your favorite liquor and/or a little cocoa powder.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Guinness and Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Serving Size : 1 3/4 cup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion - chopped
2 tablespoons garlic - minced
1 cup tomato sauce (I use Muir Glenn organic, not for the organic part but for the flavor)
1/2 teaspoon of wild honey or a pinch of sugar
.1/4 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar - packed
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
3 tablespoons Guinness
2 tablespoons light molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Chipotle peppers - minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sauté until tender and beginning to caramalize (about 5-8 min). Add all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally (about 25 min). Season with salt.

Serving Ideas : Brush on chicken or pork during last 10 min of grilling.
Notes : Sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Canned chipotle in adobo sauce can be purchased at most supermarkets as that style of cooking is popular across the country.

Friday, January 7, 2005

Sourdough Rosemary Bread

Ingredients -
2 cups proofed sourdough starter *
1/2 warm milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 eggs beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups white flour
another egg beaten

Measure the starter into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, milk salt, sugar and rosemary and the two beaten eggs and mix well. Add the flour 1 cup at a time stirring until it is too stiff to mix by hand. Leave a little bit of flour out as you stir it and then knead that in, until the dough is satiny. Form into an oblong or round loaf, cover with a clean dry lightweight kitchen towel and let raise, in a warm room free of drafts for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in bulk.

Make a couple shallow slashes across the top, brush with extra beaten egg (optional) and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. You can make this in a bread machine on the dough cycle, adding the ingredients in the order given, just save that extra egg for the top.

*For a good article on proofing sourdough go to http://www.ehow.com/how_5433462_proof-sourdough-starter-before-breadmaking.html (or just google it).

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits

Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits
adapted from a recipe by Chef Michael Gagne of the Robinhood Free Meeting House

4 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, in small chunks
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup, approximately, whipping cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, extra, in shavings or slivers
Melted butter for brushing

Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper.

In a large food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and pulse to blend. Add in the cream cheese and the first 1/2 cupbutter in chunks and pulse to make a grainy mixture, keeping the chunks of butter and cheese visible to the eye. Turn out into a large bowl. In the center, drizzle in most of the cream and mix to make a soft dough, adding more cream as necessary until dough holds together. Lightly knead on a floured work surface. Pat into a rectangle of 10 by 8 inches and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll out to 12 by 10 inches. Cover two-thirds of the dough with the slivers of butter. Fold like a letter, covering the dough once over the butter and the final third (usually the right end) inwards over the rest of the butter (you want dough touching butter). Roll the dough flatter again to make that 12 by 10 inch shape. Turn the dough (so the open ends are horizontal) and repeat the folding procedure. Do this 4 times but for the last time, roll into a thicker shape, about 8 by 10 inches. If the dough gets springy, let it rest 10 minutes or chill 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut the dough into 2 inch circles. Place on baking sheet and brush with butter. Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes. (check after 9 minutes).

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Gun Show Meat Sauce

2 cans (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
(Note, if you are really short on time you can substitute two jars of basil tomato marinara sauce for these first four ingredients).

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon Penzey's Italian seasoning (a general mixture of thyme,oregano, rosemary and basil)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 or 3 grinds of fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
1 large onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic roasted and chopped (or used jarred minced garlic).
1/2 heaping teaspoon wild honey
1/2 cup red dry table wine (I used Smoking Loon Merlot)
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
1 tube of "hot" breakfast sausage (I used Jimmy Deans but Bob Evans also has a good one)
9-10 pieces center cut bacon
4 ounces goat cheese

Mix tomatoes, paste, spices and honey and let simmer for 15 minutes while you do the next steps.

Saute onion with garlic until softened in the olive oil, do not drain. While it caramelizes, fry venison, drain (if needed) and set aside. Fry pork sausage, drain and set aside. Cook bacon, drain and chop. Add meats into sauce and let simmer, covered on low for another 15-30 minutes. Add red wine and continue to cook for another 15-45 minutes on low, covered. (Times are estimate, I put the burner on very low and let it sit, covered, for an hour after just adding the meat and the wine, as I had a couple guests running late).

Just before serving stir in 4 ounces of goat cheese (or cream cheese) and stir until blended

Serve over pasta with Parmesan/Romano to sprinkle on the top.