Friday, August 19, 2011

Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

I know it's been a month since I've posted but honestly, it's just too damn hot to cook. There I said it. Rest assured I will be back in the kitchen once the weather gets below 150 degrees. Good grief this has been ridiculous.

In the meantime, grab your friends, spouse, kids, stranger from the Internet and enjoy someone else's A/C for awhile. Saves you money on groceries AND electricity. So not only do I provide great food ideas, but I'm your social and financial life coach as well.

PS. Notice no mention of Absinthe in my post, yet it works for my title? I'm so punny.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DJ Rutledge Takes Requests

I've been asked to share a couple of recipes. Now, I don't just do this for anyone. It takes a special person for me to actually sit down and think about my recipe and share it upon request.  (We are ignoring the fact that I write a blog in which I do just that, but I digress)  A very special person. Or family. Or friends. Or friends on Facebook. Or co-workers. Hell, who am I kidding. If you are cute and smile at me, I'll spill my guts . The point I'm trying to make here is that I was specifically asked to share my Baked Beans and Chicken Enchilada recipes by some special folks and so enjoy.  Spoiled brats.

Baked Beans

4 Cans Pork N Beans ( don't use those grillin beans with the fancy picture on the can...that's cheating!)
6 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon ( you can use those real bacon pieces that come in a bag or jar if you like.  no that's not cheating, don't question me, it's just not)
2 Tbs mustard 
3 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Maple Syrup
1/4 chopped onion
Salt and Pepper

In a glass baking dish add the beans, onions, mustard and ketchup.  I pick out the fatty pieces in the beans because I think they are weird and the texture kills me. If you like it, more power to ya.  Stir. Next add the brown sugar, bacon and syrup.  Stir.  This is the point where I take a taste to see if it's too sweet or not sweet enough.  If you like really sweet baked beans add some more sugar.  If it's too sweet for your liking, then add a bit more mustard.  Add salt and pepper and stir one last time.  Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Done.  Quick and dirty and full of awesomeness. 

Feeling lazy and figure that since you turned the oven on and chopped things you shouldn't be expected to actually cook anything else? Add some sliced hot dogs or sausage to it and you have a meal.  Let them argue with that. 

Now as we all know I'm a fan of the hot and spicy.  When I make this for my own indulgence I use habanero mustard and chipotle ketchup.  I will also add some chopped jalapenos when I'm feeling feisty, however I will warn you, it is pretty damn spicy. Good but spicy.   

Chicken Enchiladas  ( Mexican again--go Figure)

1 pound Shredded or Cubed Cooked Chicken
8-10 Corn Tortillas Softened ( refer to Beef Enchiladas Recipe)
2- 8 oz containers of Sour Cream 
1/2 package of Cream Cheese
2 Cans Green Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Chopped Onion ( dice if you must, but cmon)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder

Preheat the oven to 350. 

In a frying pan on medium heat add the onion and saute.  I don't like to use oil when I saute, so I just spray the pan prior with cooking spray and go.  Once the onions are soft, add your chicken, garlic powder and chili powder.  Stir everything around a few times and then get ready for the good stuff.   

Add the cream cheese to the chicken and onion in the pan.  It should start to melt pretty quickly, however it will be thick and everything will stick to it. Which of course is good, because cream cheese and anything is heaven.  After the cheese has started to melt add the sour cream and one can of enchilada sauce.  Start stirring.  You want the cream cheese to melt, so you will need to make sure you stir everything really well.  Once everything is mixed into a pan of greatness, let the mixture bubble. This will happen fairly quickly, so you can turn the heat down a bit. Make sure everything gets warm.  You don't want it to get too thick, however you need to make sure that everything cooks together.  Once the mixture starts bubbling, remove it from the heat. 

In a glass baking dish take a spoonful of the mixture and place it in the bottom.  You want to spread it around the dish to make sure that your tortillas don't stick.  You can use cooking spray again if you want, but that's not as much fun.  Live a little.   

Take a softened corn tortilla ( I will normally soften mine while the chicken filling is cooking and I'm waiting for it to bubble) and place it on a plate.  Into the tortilla  spoon a tablespoon or more of the filling. Roll it up and place into a glass baking dish seam side down.  Repeat for the rest of the tortillas or until you run out of room in your baking dish and don't feel like messing up another one. 

This is where the second can of enchilada sauce and sour cream comes into play.  If you have quite a bit of the filling left over pour it over the top of your enchiladas.  It tastes good and you don't want to waste it.  Or you can save it and eat it with chips while you are waiting for the enchiladas to cook. Your call.  Take the second can of enchilada sauce and mix it with the second container of sour cream and then pour over your enchiladas. 

Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  You are just wanting to heat up the sauce on top of the enchiladas so anything longer and you will have rubbery tortillas. 

Serve with your favorite sides and oh, they are so better the next day. I will sometimes make them up the night before and cook them the next day. 

Never said these were healthy recipes. I just stated they were pretty dang good recipes. Life is short people, eat what you like. In moderation. Or if you are having a bad day, screw everything and make both for dinner. 

So here you go Nick, Macey, Sam , Hurricane and the other people of my world who requested I share.  Hope you are happy and I do expect presents...


Monday, June 27, 2011

Killing a Few Vegetables

Yeah. I know it's been awhile. Life, work, etc. I promise to try and keep up with it on at least a more regular basis. Hopefully. Maybe. We will see.

A few things for those who have decided to read my blog for the first time, I love Mexican Food, anything spicy, very simple meals and exclamation points. I love to cook, but I'm not going to spend hours in the kitchen just to make a meal. I'm all about simple, cheap, and quick meals that taste pretty damn good. Maybe you'll find something you like or want to try or maybe you'll realize I've fooled my friends and family for years by making them think I know what I'm doing. Either way, welcome and enjoy!

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for me to return, um, get a life? Hopefully you'll find some new things to try out and improve upon. If nothing else, you'll get some new ideas of what not to cook for dinner. Yes my dear friends. I'm back. Sorry to inform you.

Lately I've been in a vegetarian mood. Now then, pick yourself up off the floor and quit laughing. I'm not in a vegetarian mood because I don't like to eat meat. Have you seen me? I'm the cheeseburger queen and I like my steaks medium rare with enough juice on the plate to change the color of my mashed potatoes. No, the reason I've been going "veg" lately is because honestly, it's too damn hot and I haven't been in the mood to eat meat. Plus, we all know that it's good for your heart, cholesterol, blah, blah, blah. Trust me guys, I'll be throwing some poor animal on the grill in no time. For now, however, I wanted to share a few things I've been cooking up. Haha. "Cooking up". Get it? Cooking? Recipe blog? Anyway....

I'm not a huge fan of chili. Now don't get me wrong, I will partake in a good bowl a couple of times a year and who doesn't like a chili dog? Or a chili cheeseburger? They are greatness. I'm just not one of these people who is "famous" for their chili or who gets excited about. I will only make it if asked or if I'm bored and nothing else is in the pantry. Now that I've said all that, I have recently discovered vegetarian chili. Now before you freak out and think it's full of vegetables or some weird soy meat product and tofu, remember who you are dealing with here.

I had heard of vegetarian chili for awhile and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I looked up hundreds of recipes online and nothing sounded appetizing. The ones I found were for those people who actually weren't making chili, they were making weird concoctions with chili powder and masa. Not my idea of good eats. I decided why not just make chili, without the meat. Simple enough right? Let me tell ya, not only is it tasty, but I actually look forward to eating it. I know. Crazy!

I'm providing my recipe below and I do understand that everyone has their own "secret" chili style, etc so feel free to add or subtract what you want. Trust me, I experiment with people's recipes all the time. Oh, and let's not call it "vegetarian", let's just call it Five Bean Chili. Ok? I'm a Texas gal and have no plans on losing that credibility.

Five Bean Chili

1 Can Chili Beans
1 Can Dark Kidney Beans
1 Can Light Kidney Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
1/2 Jar Jalapenos ( with juice)
1 small Can Tomato Sauce
1 small Can Tomato Paste
I can Rotel Tomatoes
Garlic Powder
Cayenne Powder
Chili Powder
Black Pepper

Before everyone starts flipping out about canned beans, etc. If you want to go through the trouble of cooking all those beans from a bag for less preservatives, etc. Go for it. Me? I personally rinse off all the beans (except the chili beans) prior to putting them in the pot. Do what makes you happy.

Now then, because it is so hot, I cook this in my crock pot. You can also make it on the stove and it's just as good.

Into the crock pot add the diced onion, beans, tomatoes, jalapenos ( with juice, that's the good stuff), tomato paste and sauce.

Now comes the seasonings. I personally do not measure anything. I'm a firm believer in "eye balling" it. I'll do the best I can, but you can add more or less based on your own tastes. If I'm feeling adventurous and have it on hand, I will add masa to thicken it up and maybe a little beer. This is my standard version.

Add 1 TB garlic powder, 2 TB chili powder, 1 Tsp cayenne pepper ( I use a tablespoon), salt and pepper to taste and I will usually add a bit more jalapeno juice.

If you are cooking this in the crock pot, add about 1/2 a cup of water if you did not include the juice from the beans. This will keep everything from drying out. If you are cooking this on the stove and did not include the juice from the beans, add about half a cup of water or less. I personally just rely on the jalapeno juice for the main liquid and about 1/4 cup of water to the crock pot. Again, I like things hot and spicy. If you did just dump the beans in with all their glory, first -GOOD FOR YOU--second, you might not need any additional liquid.

Stir everything in the crock pot and turn the heat to low for 4 hours or high for two hours. If you are cooking it on the stove, it should take about an hour. You can quicken this process by sauteing the onions and jalapenos ahead of time. At this point you are truly just heating up the beans and melding the flavors. I would say it should only take about 30 minutes to cook.

I like to serve this over chips, either Frito's or corn chips with cheese, additional onion on top and sour cream.

It's also good over eggs, in enchiladas or in tacos. Ive tried it over hot dogs and its ok, but....not recommended.

See, now that's not so bad for a meal that doesn't include meat. Oh, did I mention that it's actually really cheap too?