Friday, December 31, 2010

Green beans that taste homemade but from a can

I have to give credit to my late step mother for this one but its been on regular rotation in my house and to potlucks for about 5 years.

2-3 TBS Olive Oil
chopped Onion (Quantity to your liking or personal taste)
salt and pepper
leftover ham or bacon or any meat of choice. It can be deli meat, sliced, whatever you have.
2 regular sized cans of green beans

Drain the green beans.
Heat olive oil on low-medium heat (olive oil does not like high heat).
Saute Onion until translucent.
Add finely chopped meat and stir.
Add salt and pepper
Once the onion, meat, salt and pepper flavors have all combined and heated through, add green beans.
Stir well and cover for about 40 minutes on low eat, stirring occassionally.

This recipe scales up nicely. I've cooked this for about 30 people before or just 2.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homemade Chicken Broth

I know its easier to buy Chicken bouillon cubes than to make your own - well thats what you say at least. But bouillon cubes are about 1.50-2.00 a package depending on where you live. The small cubes make 1 cup, the large ones make 2 cups. Let's assume that it costs 2.00 for a pack of 6 cubes and that each cube makes 2 cups of broth. The joke in my house is that I am the math wiz so it won't be any surprise if I fudge this up in the process. This would mean that this pack of bouillon would be about .17 per cup. (Store bought - 12 cups for 2.00 - no chicken, high sodium)

I purchased a 4 lb chicken from Target for about 5.00. I boiled the chicken with sea salt, pepper and some random seasonings that I had on hand. (Cover chicken with Water about an inch above) BTW, the chicken was frozen. When you boil it, it will thaw on its own! Anyway, I boiled it on low for about 4 hours and then turned it off enough to cool but still be warm (due to safety reasons). I took the chicken out, in pieces due to the tenderness), then poured the remaining broth through a strainer into a bowl. I then poured the brother from that bowl in to individual containers to freeze. I got 5 containers, 4 cups each. Now lets do the math. 1 chicken - $5.00, 20 cups of broth, plus a chicken to eat :) So each cup of broth came to .25 vs .17 cents. However, you have half the sodium based on my research and recipe and I have an entire chicken to eat as a result of that 5.00 as opposed to a bunch of blocks of yellow stuff that I'm not entirely sure of what its made of!

great deal on queso and salsa for NYE @ Kroger!

If anyone in Dallas needs a great NYE deal on appetizers, I have one for you that will be sharing very soon on her blog. Kroger (mine is 14th and los rios in E. Plano) has Wholly Salsa and Queso Buy 1 get 1 Free. The queso has an attached instant coupon for free salsa with purchase of Queso. I got two quesos and two salsas for 1.70! Normally 2 quesos and 2 salsas would have been $16.60!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Whiskey Bacon BBQ shrimp

12 shrimp
4 slices of bacon sliced in half
1 cup of BBQ sauce
1 shot of whiskey

Heat grill
Whisk BBQ sauce and whiskey

wrap shrimp in bacon and secure with toothpick
brush with bbq and whiskey mixture
place on grill for 5-10 min each side

remove from grill and enjoy

New posts coming

I've been busy with the holidays and visiting my Dad. I am planning to post recipes of marinated mushrooms that I made for my office party that we hosted and nutless banana bread that I made at my dad's yesterday as well as some yukon gold dill potatoes that I am making tonight. Hopefully once we get back to TX, I will have time to get those up quickly. Hope everyone had a nice holiday and has a happy new year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Remedy or Remedial?

Developer I am NOT. I swear it took me 2 hours to try and learn how to strike through text, just trying to be funny. Not worth it but whatever. I truly wish I didn't have to use some free blog background just to make my 'area' look nice but it is what it is. The true reward is the recipe and your feedback not some stupid image of some lame forks. BTW, I tried to find a catchy name for my blog. What I really wanted was "The Remedial Cook" . I floated it by a friend that said the connotation associated with the word remedial leads you to believe that my cooking is bad. When in fact, my initial reason for choosing that name was not to put down my cooking but instead, indicate that perhaps the people I would be attracting were in search of some remedy for their cooking skills.

If you look at the Merriam Webster definition and not rely on some lame negative perception that human nature leads you to believe the word refers to you inadequacy in school or that you once feared the 'short bus" it actually refers to this meaning:

re·me·di·al, adj
1: intended as a remedy
2: concerned with the correction of faulty study habits and the raising of a pupil's general competence

That said, I am still considering "The Remedial Cook" because well, its smarmy and so am I. By the way, here is the definition for smarmy in case you don't know it, or me. /smarmy grin

smarmy, adj
: revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, or false earnestness

Filipino Adobo Chicken

Tonight I am making something that is in its second rotation on our dinner plates. Thanks to Gina over at Skinny Taste for posting it. Its a modified (healthier) version of another blogger's family recipe. Its soooo good. The first time I made it with chicken legs and took some in to work for Mike ( and he raved. Its SO easy! Go Visit (and follow) Gina. She's awesome. This recipe really leaves a wonderful scent in the house. BTW, I had to come home and walk / jog today. I ate THREE of those sweet potato muffins while sitting on my duff during a very boring interesting training. Here is a link to Gina's blog and specifically, the WONDEROUS Filipino Adobo Chicken recipe.

Italian Turkey Sausage Soup

1 lb of Italian turkey sausage
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pasta (uncooked)
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (I used Hun'ts)
1 zucchini quartered and sliced
4 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic.

Heat Sausage until thoroughly cooked, stirring and breaking up until its done - drain most but not all liquid. Throw in onion and garlic until onion is clear. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and cook thoroughly until noodles are done or simmer for as long as you like. Use a lower heat to cook through as the wheat pasta may disintegrate.

Eat =)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cornmeal crusted Mahi Mahi

3 peices of thawed Mahi Mahi (we buy the frozen individual packets from Costco)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup or less of yellow corn meal (for dusting one side)
2-3 Tbsp of cooking oil (I use olive or canola)
salt and pepper.

Dry off filets well on both sides while heating oil at medium heat in a pan. You want the filets to sizzle but not spray you with grease when you lay them in. Be careful.

Once filets are dried well with paper towels.  Sprinkle each side with yellow cornmeal, creating a layer.  Brush lightly with the butter over the cornmeal. Add salt and pepper.

Gently lay the filets in the pan, cornmeal side down first.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side. Take the filets out of the pan and lay on top of rice, your refried black beans and chickpeas or some colcannon mashed potatoes.  Take a few Tbsp of water in to the pan, turn on medium heat and create a juice with the drippings.  Pour over the fish and whatever you bedded it on top of.

Black Bean and Chickpea "refried beans"

I made some a bag of dried chick peans (garbanzo beans) the other day and I had no idea what to do with them honestly.  Last night I was making mahi mahi and thought they would be good so here's basically what I did.

2 cans of black beans - 1 drained, 1 not.
1 small yellow onion, chopped finely.
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup of chickpeas
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp of chopped garlic
sprinkle of salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan saute onion, olive oil and spices until onions are translucent. In your food processer or you can just mash in the pan, mash 1 can of the black beans (with their juice) and the chick peas.  I used the food processer because chick peas are hard to mash.  Combine this mixture with the oil, onion and spices and mix well. Add last can of black beans, drained (you don't need to rinse). Cook until hot.

Sweet Potato Bread / Muffins

Here’s how I modified because I didn't want to use the vegetable oil or as much fat. So I split the fat in half, used 1/4 cup of butter and a 1/4 cup of applesauce. I also doubled it after I modified it.  Below is just the single version. 

For the cooked and mashed sweet potatoes - some cooks bake the sweet potatoes then take the skin off. I find that entirely too labor instensive. I peeled the raw sweet potatoes (1-2) and then cut them in to 1 inch peices and boiled until soft, then used a hand mixer to mash.

When I doubled it, I used one loaf pan and one 12 muffin tin. If you are doubling, fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full THEN do the loaf pan so you are sure you have enough for the muffins and don't pour too much in to the loaf pan.  The muffins came out more dry than the loaf.  Both are great.  The kids love the muffin size.  Also on the loaf, in the last 12 minutes I poured about 2 Tbs of butter and sprinkled some cinnamon sugar over top.  

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar  (used 1 c.)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water
  •  ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
It also called for chopped pecans which I did not use.

  1. Combine sugar and butter; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes, applesauce and chopped nuts (optional) 
  3. Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about one hour. (The muffins don't take as long - maybe 30-40 minutes!) Stick a toothpick in to test doneness. If it comes out clean they are done)

Killer Turkey Burgers

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 egg whites
1 cup of chopped spinach
2 small chipotle peppers finely chopped ( i had a can of them in sauce and just pull two from it - be careful, they can add alot of heat)
dash kosher salt
dash ground pepper
tsp of paprika
tsp basil
enough breadcrumbs to help with binding meat (I used leftover garlic bread that I dried out in the oven - use what you have)
Combine all ingredients and form in to 4-5 patties.

Finely Chopped yellow or sweet onion
Finely chopped mushrooms
1 TBSP Olive oil
Sautee together - top burger with it.

Grill them until cooked through and then top with the onion mushroom topping.

We added finely chopped grape tomatoes, romaine lettuce and dill relish to the top also.

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