Spittin’getti Casserole

IMG_8555Comfort food time is rolling around and you shouldn’t be caught short. This recipe is sure to please everyone. Mild enough for kids and sophisticated enough to please the adult palate as well.

It makes enough for an army, and warms up pretty well too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb. ground round, browned
  • 2/3 lb. pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage or other sausage, browned.
  • 1 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced mushrooms
  • 2 c spaghetti sauce homemade or store-bought
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • enough slices of pepperoni to cover the top
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the beef and sausage together, remove to another dish.
  2. Cook the onions in the fat from the meet until translucent, then add the mushrooms and saute until limp cooked.
  3. Heat salted water in a separate pot and cook up the pasta, drain well.
  4. Add the meat back in with the onion mixture and mix.
  5. Add the sauce and the pasta to the meat mixture and stir until mixed.
  6. Spread half of the mixture into an casserole pan.
  7. Top with half the cheeses.
  8. Add the rest of the meat mixture to the top, cover with the balance of the cheeses and then the pepperoni..
  9. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.
  10. Serve with bread and a crisp salad.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can use other cheeses if you wish. Use any type of mushroom you desire.

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Eggplant Sorta Rollatini with Beef

Rollatini3-500x375 Okay, this is a total fraud. This is Eggplant Rollatini minus the roll. It’s the lazy woman’s Rollatini and plus meat.  Tastes like, but doesn’t look like. Company meal for really close friends who won’t care that you didn’t go to enough trouble for them.

Are we clear now?

Besides that minor glitch…it’s damned good.

I mean really really good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic microplaned
  • 1/2 c minced onions
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (best quality)
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c or so of a good quality red wine
  • 1 lb of ground sirloin (keep the fat down) or at least 93% fat-free
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 container of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella shredded
  • 1/4 c minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 c minced fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat up the olive oil and add the garlic being careful not to burn it.
  2. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up and browning it well.
  4. Add the hot pepper flakes, and the wine, bring to a light simmer, and reduce until most of the liquid is gone.
  5. Add the tomatoes and continue the simmer until quite thick. An hour or so. You want to get most of the juice out.
  6. While sauce is cooking, cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise. I found that 12 strips fit perfectly in my lasagna pan.
  7. Place on parchment paper and liberally brush with EVOO and salt and pepper.
  8. Place in a preheated oven at 400° until browned. Turn over and do the same, and return to oven until the eggplants are done. Set aside.
  9. In a bowl add the ricotta, Parmigiano, eggs, and herbs, mixing well.
  10. Assemble oiling your lasagna pan liberally. Then layer a small amount of the sauce in the bottom. Cover the bottom with eggplant slices, then cover with sauce, then add all the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with about one cup of the mozzarella. Place the remaining eggplant to cover all this. Place the last of the sauce over the eggplant and then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella.
  11. Place in a 350 oven for 45 minutes, uncover the last 15.
  12. Let it rest for 15 minutes and serve.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: The traditional way is the place the ricotta mixture on each slice of eggplant and roll them up and place them on a bed of sauce and then add more sauce over. Do this if you are into pretty or a masochist.

SOURCE:  Sherry Peyton

 

 

Beef And Cabbage Casserole

fried cabbage meal This is another one of those comfort food casseroles. I guess casseroles are sorta all comfort food, but I really like this one. No big surprising flavors, not particularly spicy. Just good.

Enjoy. Kid friendly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb leaner ground beef
  • 4-6 slices bacon, diced and fried and drained on paper towels and set aside
  • 1/2 of a large cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 fairly large onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Retain a tablespoon or so of the bacon grease and fry the onions until translucent and then reduce heat and saute until caramelized.
  2. Remove and add to the bacon set aside.
  3. Brown and cook thoroughly the beef, breaking it up into small crumbles. If there is noticeable grease from the cooking, drain off. Add to the onions and bacon.
  4. Place the chopped cabbage in a microwave safe bowl and cook until about half done.
  5. Place garlic in the pan and saute until fragrant, and turn out to the dish with meat and onions.
  6. Melt the butter in the pan and add the flour, making a roux. Cook for a minute or two.
  7.  Then add all the cooked ingredients into the pan. Add the tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring up to a low boil just so the juices will thicken.
  8. Mix well and transfer to a baking dish. 8 x 11 should be fine.
  9. Bake in a 350° for 30-45 minutes depending on whether you do this immediately or set it all aside for final cooking later. Cook covered with foil.
  10. About 2/3 of the way through, remove and stir in the parsley and return to finish off the cooking.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can make this your own by adding chopped carrots or corn, or frankly anything else you like to the mix.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

 

Beef Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

beefenchranch Not everyone likes or can take a serious Mexican red sauce, or green one for that matter. Chiles, even the milder forms are too hot for them.

This is a recipe for people who would like a milder, tomato based sauce, or who grew up on a cuisine known as Tex-Mex.

It’s quick to throw together, will freeze well, so consider making it in large batches and you will always be able to put together an authentic Tex-Mex dish in minutes and pop it into the oven.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 or so corn tortillas (wrap them in a dampened towel and microwave for 30 seconds when you are ready to assemble the enchiladas
  • 1 lb of beef (from a skirt steak, tri-tip steak, or ground beef
  • 3 c of shredded cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack, divided
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled and then chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (or one)
  • 1 Poblano or Anaheim or Hatch, roasted, peeled and seeded and diced fairly fine
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil tomatoes until soft and skin peels away; remove, let cool and chop.
  2. Saute the beef until no longer pink. If using steak, chop into fairly fine dice before you cook (it helps to freeze the meat for about 20 minutes or so in order to make the dicing easier)
  3. Saute onions and jalapenos in a little oil in a skillet; set aside.
  4. In saucepan, add oil, heat, and flour to create a roux.
  5. Slowly add in warmed chicken broth until it begins to thicken.
  6. Add tomato sauce, garlic, cumin, black pepper, tomatoes, peppers, and onion.
  7. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Add a layer of sauce in a lightly coated 10×14 baking dish.
  9. To prepare enchiladas:
  10. Oil the baking dish and place a cup or so of the sauce on the bottom to help with sticking
  11. Spray with a bit of cooking oil or brush some on each tortilla,  and heat lightly in skillet (spraying helps prevent sogginess).
  12. Stack on a plate and keep covered until ready to fill.
  13. Layer in beef strips (or shredded beef or ground beef), along with the chunky sauce pieces (use a slotted spoon), and a sprinkling of shredded cheeses.
  14. Roll up each tortilla and add to the baking dish, packing in tightly.
  15. Pour remaining sauce over tops and around sides.
  16. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  17. Bake about 30-40 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until top is bubbly and browning.
  18. Serve immediately with sides and freeze remainder if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: Vary the chiles as you desire. You can also add your favorite hot sauce if you want it hot, as much as 1/4 c actually. You can vary the cheese and include other Mexican cheeses such as Queso Fresco. Also substitute chicken, or beans instead of the beef.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Queso Fundido Mac & Cheese

fundito Fundido means molten or melted and that certain is the case here. The Internet is besieged with fundido recipes it seems, and so you should consider it molten in more than one way.

In other words, play with it and make it your own.

This plays with the concept of mac and cheese and takes it to an all-time high with chiles and chorizo and tons of cheese and crema.

It should be considered comfort food.

It should be considered in your next meal-planning session.

Trust me.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 ounces Mexican chorizo
  • 2 large poblano pepper
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 C  extra sharp cheese, shredded or a combination of Jack, cheddar, Queso Fresco etc.
  • 1½ cups Mexican crema
  • 8 ounces small pasta shells
  • ½ cup crushed, taco chips
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Canola or olive oil spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blacken your chiles, peel, seed and chop and set aside.
  2. Brown your chorizo and 1/2 diced onion in a skillet and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, stir to a roux and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk and cream and heat until it starts to simmer and thicken. Add the mustard and nutmeg.
  5. Add the cheese, and stir until melted. Add a bit of pepper.
  6. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  7. Drain and place in an oiled or buttered 10 x 14 baking dish
  8. Add the cooked chorizo, onions, and chiles.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and spread evenly.
  10. Cover with the panko/taco chips.
  11. Bake uncovered at 375° for about 30 minutes.
  12. Set to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

SERVES: 8 generously

NOTES: as always, substitute any peppers or add more. I added one chopped Serrano to the cheese sauce. Also you could use ground pork or ground beef if you don’t like chorizo, but you will lose a lot of flavor. If you do so, add a tbsp of chile powder and a tsp of cumin to the cheese sauce.  If you leave out the pasta, make in a cast iron skillet and put under the broiler to brown and serve with chips.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Mexicali Hash

green-chile-chorizo-hash-food-lab-17-thumb-518xauto-395511This is simply a superb Sunday brunch.

But make it any time.

Because it’s grand.

Eat it in a traditional way, or do it the Mexican way, wrapped in a tortilla and sprinkled with salsa or pico de gallo and slices of avocado.

Either way, it fills the bill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 3/4- to 1/2-inch dice (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced (If you can’t get Spanish Chorizo, then you can substitute with bacon, other sausage, ham, etc)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, or olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts cut into 1-inch lengths, greens sliced and reserved separately
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim (Hatch)  peppers,  charred, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 small avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup salsa or pico de gallo for serving (optional)
  • 12 warm corn tortillas for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts cold water. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes in a colander and let drain for 2 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, place chorizo chunks in a cast iron skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until chorizo is crisp on all sides and fat has rendered out, about 10 minutes total. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, leaving fat in skillet. Set chorizo aside.

  •  When potatoes are drained, add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add drained potatoes and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until potatoes are deep brown and crisp on all sides, about 20 minutes total. Add cumin and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl with chorizo and set aside.
  •  Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat over high heat until shimmering. Add scallion whites and light greens and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until charred, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper then transfer to bowl with potatoes and chorizo. Toss contents of bowl and return to skillet. Make 4 wells in potato mixture.
  •  Carefully break 1 egg into a small bowl and slide into a fine mesh strainer over the sink. Swirl egg very gently until excess loose white drains away. Carefully add to one of the cavities in the skillet. Repeat with remaining three eggs.

  • Drizzly eggs with a few drops of oil, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to oven. Cook until whites are barely set but yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with sliced scallion greens, chopped cilantro, and avocado. Serve immediately with salsa and tortillas.

     

    SERVES: 4

    NOTES: You can skip the swirling of the egg in a strainer and just crack directly over the hash with no alteration of taste, and very little of the “look”.

    SOURCE: adapted from Serious Eats