Stack of Quesadillas Casserole

quesa1This is a delightful little recipe that combines all my favorite things into one casserole dish. It’s not a lot of work and is perfect for putting together at the last minute.

You can make this as spicy as you wish, or tone it down for children as needed.

Hope you give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb each ground beef and ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1  red or yellow sweet pepper diced
  • 3-4 Anaheim, poblano, jalapeño, chiles, sear the skins, remove and then chop. You can put them together in whatever manner you wish. A Serrano could be added but this bumps up the heat a bit.
  • About three tablespoons of a “taco seasoning” or Mexican blend of spices.
  • 3 cups of a blend of  shredded cheeses (pepper jack, cheddar, queso fresco or any other you wish)
  • 1  1/2 c salsa ( homemade pico de gallo can be whirred up in the blender)
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
  • 6 or so corn or flour tortillas

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the meats along with the onion, and peppers.
  2. Once browned, add the spices and mix thoroughly.
  3. Oil a casserole dish (3 qt is fine, round if you have it).
  4. Place a tortilla on the bottom, spoon some of the meat mixture on, then some salsa  then some cheese. Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro. Continue in this fashion until you have about 6 layers, ending with cheese on the top.
  5. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or so, until cheese has melted and all is bubbly.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: This is very versatile since you can make it as hot or not as you wish, and also play to your own favorites in cheese. This rewarms quite nicely for leftovers.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Charming Chicken Marsala

chicken marsalaI have heard about this recipe for decades. Never got around to trying it.

Well, one day, I ran into another recipe and I decided to give it a try.

TO DIE FOR.

Make it.

Make it again.

I know I surely will.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces of white button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt + extra for seasoning
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper + extra for seasoning
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. dried thyme (or double for fresh thyme)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water, just mixed
  • 2-6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 cup fine sweet marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces (cold)
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put 3 tbsp butter into a saute pan and melt.
  2. Add one medium shallot, chopped finely.
  3. Slice mushrooms and add to the pan, stirring frequently.
  4. Continue cooking until mushrooms are done softened, have significantly shrunk and the shallots are softened.
  5. Add microplaned garlic and stir constantly until fragrant.
  6. Remove all from the pan to a dish.
  7. Take the one breast and split, then split again or butterfly horizontally, giving you four nice filets.
  8. Salt and pepper and sprinkle with the thyme.
  9. Place in flour and coat lightly, then in the beaten egg and then back in the flour. Place each on a rack until all are done.
  10. Heat up the olive oil in the same saute pan. Then add the breast filets and cook until done, turning once. Just get them barely done. You want them nice and juicy. About 3 minutes per side should do it.
  11. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  12. Add the chicken stock and bullion cube to the saute pan and scrape up the brown bits from the pan as you stir until the bullion has melted and the stock is starting to boil. Turn down and add the wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  13. Reduce the heat and add the heavy cream and lemon juice. Bring to a very light simmer.
  14. Add the cold butter a few bits at a time, stirring until melted until all is incorporated.
  15. Add back the shallots and mushrooms and add the parsley.
  16. Return the chicken to the pan, turn off the heat, and just let chicken set until rewarmed.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can serve this over rice, noodles or pasta. I did fettuccine. It can be reheated, but bring it up very slowly to just off the boil.

SOURCE: Therapy Bread

Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin Chorizo and Black Bean Soup 800 5669I kind of came to soup late. Raised on Campbell’s, I never really saw the value of soup much. I never thought to order it in restaurants. I certainly never made it. But something made me try one at one point, and like a piano following on your head, I was sorta hooked.

And I have not been disappointed. You can do so much and vary a soup so easily that, well I tell ya, pretty much give those cans of Campbell’s away and all the other cans of “gourmet” soups, that are easier to make and taste way better anyhow.

This is one of the better ones I have come across. I made it pretty much as directed by the author. You will not be disappointed. Fair warning. It has a “bit” of spicy kick to it. You can tame that as you desire.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed (omit for vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken-broth or chicken stock or vegetable-broth.
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute the chorizo and onion until the chorizo is done and the onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  3. Add the spices and stir in well.
  4. Add the balance of the ingredients. except for the lime juice and cilantro and stir in well.
  5. Simmer for about 10 minutes until all is blended.
  6. Puree about 1/3 of the mixture using either an immersion blender or remove to a regular blender.
  7. Just before serving, add the lime and fresh cilantro, stir in and serve.

SERVINGS: 6

NOTES: If you want to reduce the heat, half the chipotles in the recipe or omit them entirely. You can substitute a milder chile such as a poblano or a jalapeño if you wish. I would however char the and peel any chili to provide a deeper flavor.

SOURCE: Closet Cooking

Related Recipes

Shorty Bread Chocolate Chippers

shortbreadchocoSo you like shortbread cookies do ya?

Well, so do I.

And I love chocolate.

So put them together and well, it’s a great little cookie.

Fair warning–there are your bendable soft cookie lovers and there are your crispy cookie lovers. Shortbread is a crispy cookie, think succulent grains of vanilla drenched sandy morsels kissed with chocolate. So if you want a wimpy cookie, look elsewhere! 🙂

And best yet, these come together in record time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in a bowl and mix (standard mixer) until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add flour and cornstarch and continue until it comes together as a dough.
  3. Add the chips and mix just until distributed.
  4. Place the dough on a plastic wrap and form into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Roll up and twist ends to make a tight package.
  5. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, more like 60 minutes to let the butter really firm up again.
  6. Cut into 1/4 inch rounds and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake in a 350° preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are starting to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes until cookies start to firm up. Then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

SERVES: about a dozen

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

OVEN TEMP: 350°

OVEN TIME: 15-20 minutes

Lemon-Blueberry Almond Bundt Cake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made this last weekend and it works as both a desert cake and a breakfast coffee cake. I prefer the latter actually, since I’m a sweets eater for breakfast.

I adapted this recipe, and it worked out quite well, so I think the basic structure of the recipe is stable and you should feel free to experiment as you wish. I’ll give some suggestions in the notes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lemons, remove the zest and then juice both
  • a tsp or so of shortening to grease the bundt tin
  • sugar for dusting the bundt tin
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 c flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 3/4 c dried blueberries
  • 1/2 sliced almonds
  • For the glaze: 1 c powdered sugar, lemon juice, zest, a tbsp buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  2. Place the butter in a mixer bowl and beat until light and creamy.
  3. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
  4. Add 3/4 of the lemon rind and 2/3 of the juice to the mix and blend in.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately in three parts each, mixing well after each addition.
  7. Place the blueberries in a small bowl and add some flour shaking until they are covered.
  8. Add the blueberries to the batter with the almonds and mix gently just until distributed throughout.
  9. Pour in the bundt pan.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Cool for about 10 minutes on a rack, invert onto a plate and continue to cool.
  12. When cool, make the glaze, starting with the sugar, remaining lemon juice and zest. Mix and add the buttermilk if needed to get to a pourable consistency.
  13. Pour over the cooled cake.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: You can use any dried fruit you wish, and I think it would hold up with fresh berries as well, but if you use fresh, hand mix them into the batter very gently so as not to break them. You can use other nuts if you wish as well. You could sprinkle the still wet glaze with some chopped nuts along the top.

SOURCE: Adapted from My Recipes

OVEN: 350°

OVEN TIME: 45 minutes

Sublime Steak Sauce

steak-sauce-recipeThere are purists of course. DON’T TOUCH MY STEAK WITH ANY SAUCE!

Then there are the ketchup lovers. *Shudder*

Then there are the A-1 types. And the Heinz 57 types.

This is sorta in the middle. A bit more Heinz than A-1.

It’s more tomato, a little sweet. Almost too sweet. I may tinker with it a bit more. But I definitely liked it.

Why did I make it?

Oh, because mine has no preservatives, no emulsifiers, no stabilizers, no weird stuff. Just regular ingredients.

And it was easy.

And I had just finished up a ketchup bottle so I had a free bottle to fill, which is great to store your homemade stuff in. Just label it steak sauce.

So go try it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. molasses
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 6 shakes of hot sauce (about 3 tbsp or less or more as you desire)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Store in fridge.

SERVES: 1 1/2 cups

SOURCE: Juanita’s Cocina

Apple Caramel Crisp Bars

apple-caramel-crumb-bars-2-thumb-518xauto-357581This is a lovely fall recipe just fine for a snack with hot cocoa after a day of raking leaves or other outdoor fun.

It’s great as a football Sunday treat, easily cutting up into two or three bite-sized pieces.

It comes together quickly and the caramel sauce can be made ahead and kept in the fridge and just warmed to room temp (pourable) to incorporate in the recipe.

And all those wonderful fall apples should have a lovely place to go.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One recipe of Caramel sauce
  • 5 c peeled and sliced apples (about 4 medium-lg Granny Smith). You can use other apples if desired, just nothing that mushes up too much
  • 1 c sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c butter, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make your caramel sauce or have it ready at room temperature in a pourable condition.
  2. Mix the apples with all the ingredients up through the nutmeg. Set aside for 10 minutes, mixing once more before putting in the baking dish.
  3. Use a stick-free 9 x 13 or 9 x 15 baking dish (you can use a regular one and line with foil, but I find that awfully messy and hard to deal with.) Coat liberally with shortening. (I do not use butter because during the baking the butter breaks down and the water releases and will bond with the flour making it stickier. Shortening does not do this)
  4. Using a food processor for best results, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together and pulse a few times to mix thoroughly. Add the butter and continue to pulse until pea-sized.
  5. Add the eggs and cream and pulse until it starts to pull together. If you pinch it together and it holds, it’s done.
  6. Remove 3/4 of the dough and place in the baking pan and press around until you have it evenly layered.
  7. Spread the apple mixture over this evenly.
  8. Pour on the caramel sauce and again spread evenly.
  9. Scatter the rest of the dough in crumbly pieces across the top.
  10. Bake in a 375° oven for up to 50 minutes, or until golden and bubbly and just browning.
  11. Cool well before cutting and removing.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: You could use bottled caramel sauce I guess, but I don’t think you will get the same rich flavor. Works in a pinch however.

SOURCE: Serious Eats

OVEN: 375°

OVEN TIME: 50 minutes