Carne Asada on a Spud

Carne-Asada-Stuffed-Potatoes-from-Homesick-TexanYou have seen recipes for baked potatoes with toppings. They are good.

This is in another category all together.

This is a meal.

You will simply adore it.

I mean it.

I think I pretty much followed this recipe as it was given.

So if Tex-Mex is your thing, you might want to wander over and follow this blog. There were plenty of great recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1 lb flank steak

Marinade:

4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne

Toppings:

Guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded cheese of your choice, sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Place all the marinade ingredients into a blender and whirr up.
  2. Place the steak inside a ziplock bag, add the marinade and place in fridge, turning every couple of hours, for at least 4 hours, no more than 24.
  3. Remove the steak from the marinade and throw on a good hot grill. Alternatively, place in a cast iron skillet and put in a 450° oven, turning once after it has seared on the bottom. Try for medium rare, but of course do as you wish here.
  4. Take it off the grill or from the skillet and rest for 15 minutes, lightly covered with foil. Then slice into slender strips across the grain. Cut into smaller pieces if you wish.
  5. Either bake your potato in the oven or in the microwave as you desire. Baking will take about 45 minutes at 425°, about 8 minutes in the microwave. Adjust your cooking of the flank steak accordingly.
  6. Place a nice couple of tablespoons of meat on a sliced open potato, then add your toppings.

SERVES: 2

NOTES: I prefer to do the meat on the grill, but you could also slice the meat first and then saute in a saute pan on top of the stove. All three work. Alter the cheese as you prefer. I make my own pico de gallo and you should too as well as my own guacamole. Both recipes are on this site.

SOURCE: Homesick Texan

Chocolate Mint Poke Cake

Mint-Poke-CakeI know there are a lot of people out there that work hard to “make desserts healthy.”

I say, heck, it’s dessert. If you are going to indulge, well, INDULGE.

This is definitely an indulge dessert.

Poke cakes say, start with a delicious cake and then ramp it up.

This definitely does that.

It is divine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One two layer cake. You can use a boxed cake, but I think that’s bad. Make your own if you can.
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 – 12.8 oz jar Hershey’s Special Hot Fudge Sauce
  • 3/4 of a box of mint cookies. I used Anna’s Chocolate Mint Thins. You can use any you like.
  • 1 – 16 oz container cool whip, refrigerated until soft, or 2 cups whipping cream, and 2 tbsp sugar,  beat into stiff peaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mint Extract.
  • About 1 c of chocolate mint candy. Andes is one variety, but any will do.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare and bake the cake mix in a 9×13 baking dish. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Poke holes every couple of inches around the entire cake.
  3. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake. Because it is so gooey, much will not sink into the holes, so just spread around as best you can.
  4. Warm up the hot fudge in a warm pan of water or the microwave whatever you wish. It makes it easier to spread.
  5. Spread the mint cookies, broken up, over the condensed milk. This will make it easier to spread the hot fudge.
  6. Spread the fudge sauce over the cake.
  7. In a bowl, mix the whipped cream or Cool whip with the mint extract.
  8. Spread the whipped topping over the fudge layer.
  9. Top off with the broken up candies.
  10. Refrigerate until fully chilled.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: You can make this as a layer cake if you wish, but it’s got a lot of toppings so it might be a bit unruly that way. Make sure you 9 x 13 is deep. This just barely fits in a standard baking dish. Also don’t worry extensively on the cookies or candies. Mint is the key. I used some thin mint cookies that essentially disappeared as a “crunch” factor which is okay, the taste is what you are after. I also used a plain mint chocolate because I couldn’t find the Andes. It turned out fine.

SOURCE: Adapted from We Call Him Yes! Chef!

UPDATE: The blogger from the above source objected that she didn’t think that I had adapted “enough” so I of course pointed her to a host of other similar recipes commonly called Grasshopper poke cake, listing the ingredients shockingly in exactly the same order as the blogger from We Call Him. . . . She also objected to her photo being used without giving her proper credit. I have replaced it. We live upon this earth a small time. Amazing that people must quibble about such small things.

One Damn Fine Chocolate Cake

chocolateckeTrust me, I’m an aficionado. Nothing is sadder than to see a big ol’ chunk of chocolate cake, bite into it and find it dry and tasteless with a thin skim of tasteless frosting attached.

I mean it makes a girl want to weep.

Desserts are special things and they HAVE to be special.

This is a great tasting cake, and easy to make. It is great as the base of a poke cake, but is just fine frosted as is. It makes a generous two layers.

Try it. I’m sure you will agree.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine-inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

SERVES: 10

NOTES: As I said, I used this as a base for a poke cake and it worked out perfectly. However it’s more than moist enough to stand on its own.

SOURCE: All Recipes

OVEN: 350°

OVEN TIME: 30-35 minutes

Shoot the Moon Southwestern Shrimp

skewered-shrimp_4x3_lgAre there people out there who don’t like shrimp?

Good, then more for us!

I love shrimp, and I loved shrimp on the grill better than any other way. With a strong enough taste, they can stand up to some mighty sharp flavors paired with them.

This is one of those.

Those who don’t like spicy and hot need not apply.

The heat is however adjustable, but if you don’t like cumin and cilantro, well, my deepest  condolences, and MORE FOR US!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (for hotter shrimp, leave the seeds in)
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic (2 cloves coarsely chopped, 1 clove minced)
  • 1 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • couple of turns of your pepper grinder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 lime
  • Lime wedges, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Clean your shrimp and place in a plastic bag or bowl.
  2. Place all the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and whirr up until it is a paste.
  3. Add this to the shrimp, mix well and place covered in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  4. When ready to go, heat up the grill to sizzle.
  5. Skewer the shrimp on wooden skewers, touching but not jammed together.
  6. Place on the direct heat and cook just until done, about 3 minutes per side. When they pink up, they are done.
  7. Eat!

SERVES: 4

NOTES: I love shrimp done like this on a bed of pasta, but with this dish, I think I might do some Spanish rice.

SOURCE: Inspired by Griffin’s Grub

 

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Breast

chickenpopperIf you love jalapeño poppers, then you will love this dish.

It’s a wonderfully sautéed chicken breast, slathered with a jalapeño cream cheese sauce and covered with some bread crumbs popped under the broiler to melt into succulent goodness.

This is easy to make and delicious and you can control the heat easily to adapt to your families desires.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 4 pieces and pounded as necessary to make them even
  • For the jalapeno popper topping:
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, deveined, deseeded and diced
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 /2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • For the topping:
  • ½ cup crushed crackers or bread crumbs of any kind you like. Panko is fine.
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add 1 tbsp of EVOO to a saute pan and heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, salt and pepper the breast pieces on both sides. Place into the saute pan, browning on one side and then turning over. Reduce heat a bit to a medium and continue sauteing until meat is done.
  2. When chicken is done, remove to a separate plate.
  3. Add the bacon, jalapeños and onion to the pan and cook until bacon is crisp and the onion is soft.
  4. In a bowl, place the cream cheese and the mayo or yogurt. Add the bacon/onion mixture and stir until well combined. Add the cheeses and mix again.
  5. Place the chicken in a oven-proof casserole and then paint them with the cream cheese mixture, being very generous, a good 1/4 inch of cheese mixture is fine.
  6. Dust with the additional Parmesan, then the crumbs and drizzle with the butter.
  7. Place under a broiler until the crumbs are browned.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You could use some other cheese such Monterey Jack.

SOURCE: Adapted from Add a Pinch.

 

Omygosh Orzo!

Lemon-Pepper-Orzo_s4x3_lgIn the search for something “other than potatoes” there is nothing better than pasta! And just not any pasta, but lovely orzo, the pasta that looks like rice.

It cooks up just as fast, and has a bit more body to it than rice does. It takes to lots of additions, so you can pretty much do with it what you like in terms of cheeses and adding other crisped vegetables.

I love it with seafood and with some lemon.

This is a dish I didn’t create, but I could have.

And with so many recipes here, it’s versatile. Just think of what you might add to rice, other pasta or potatoes, and your choices are unlimited.

INGREDIENTS:

  • a  bit of EVOO, a tablespoon or so
  • 1/2 c chopped onion (you could use shallots too)
  • 1 c orzo
  • 1 c chicken broth (vegetable would be fine as well)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice and the zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened.
  2. Add the broth and orzo and stir in well
  3. Reduce, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes
  4. Fluff up and add the chives and lemon juice and stir.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Add Parmesan cheese, or Gruyère or any type you desire. You can add other herbs too of course. With a chicken dish, thyme would we wonderful. Also you could add chopped dried tomatoes or roasted red pepper. Also consider some sunflower seeds or pine nuts. Lots of options to choose from.

SOURCE: My Recipes

Beauty of a Blueberry Pie

blueberry-600x458-1The latest batch of pies seem to be coming from Serious Eats, and they have been excellent. Just the right blend of sugar and fruit. Or maybe it’s that I am getting really excellent fruit here in New Mexico.

Either way, this pie turned out wonderfully.

I urge you to make it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe for pie dough, 2 crusts. (I have two here or use your own)
  • 2 pints blueberries.
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • one egg beaten for a “wash” on the top crust
  • some sugar for dusting the top

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Clean the berries and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Mix the lemon zest, cornstarch and sugar together and then pour over the berries, mixing carefully so as not to break any berries.
  4. Pour into the bottom crust.
  5. Cut some vents in the top crust and attach it, fluting the edges to prevent bubble over.
  6. Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar.
  7. Place in oven for 20 minutes, rotating once.
  8. Reduce the oven to 350° and continue baking for about 25 more minutes, or until juices are thick and bubbly.
  9. Cool on a rack.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: you can use frozen berries, but thaw first.

SOURCE: Serious Eats.