Married Life: Recipe for Happiness

I’m so hungry. The thought of a new, larger kitchen with counter space, modern appliances, and cabinet space for all the cookware and bakeware I’m about to buy has me salivating!

I’m dreaming of the dishes I can make once we move to our new residence in Fountain Square.  No, we’re not buying – we’re still renting.  Renting a large historic (yet remodeled) home with a nice deck and large fenced-in back yard.  And while the ceilings are cavernous, and the bedroom is about the size of my current apartment, and I will finally have an actual bathtub and not just a shower, the only thing I am looking forward to right now is that kitchen.

I’ll make scallops, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, tilapia, chicken tajine,  …and things that require a broiler, just because I can!

And I’ll start a recipe book – composed of recipes that my friends (that’s you) share with me.  Tell me your favorite recipes that you like to cook in your favorite kitchen!  If they’re not too big a family secret, I’ll try them out and post them!

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5 thoughts on “Married Life: Recipe for Happiness

  1. Taco Pie

    1/2 lb lean ground beef (chicken or turkey would be fine)
    1/2 lb chorizo

    brown meat together, do NOT drain, most of the grease will be full of the Mexican flavor you want!

    2 cups Bisquik or unflavored pancake batter
    1/2 cup water
    1 can tomato/chiles (you can get this at Aldi for sure)

    Blend together, try not to over mix, this will “toughen” the batter, just enough to blend ingredients thoroughly, should look like a pink pancake batter.

    Lightly grease a casserole dish. Spread the meat mix over the bottom, pour on the pancake mix, spred to cover all meat. You can put sliced tomatoes on the top, but this is optional, you want to bake for about 15 minutes at 350, take out, spread shredded cheese over the top, you can use a Mexican blend, pepper-jack, colby, cheddar, what ever you prefer, bake until a knife comes out clean and cheese is melted.

    Some prefer to eat it as is, others like guacamole, and sour cream, I do mine with all the taco fixings, lettuce, jalapenos, sour cream, guac, and crushed tortilla chips.

    I know it sounds weird, but promise its awesome!!

  2. EASY Chicken Tortilla Soup
    Cook Time: 30 Mins

    Ingredients
    3 cups water
    1 T Chicken Boullion
    1 Pack Taco Seasoning
    16oz Jar Salsa
    25oz Canned Chicken Drained
    15oz Can black beans Drained, rinsed
    1 can of Corn

    Mix: water, chicken boullion, taco seasoning, and salsa. Bring to a boil.

    Add remaining Ingredients:Chicken, Beans & Corn

    Simmer for 1/2 hour

    top with tortilla strips and sour cream

  3. This is long…

    Tamalitos with Black Beans & Cheddar OR with Caramelized Onions & Sweet Potatoes
    Serves many – around 40 tamalitos

    Wrapping
    1 8-ounce package of corn husks

    Masa
    1 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
    4 cups masa harina
    4 cups warm vegetable stock or warm water
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 Tablespoons (preferably Mexican) oregano
    1 Tablespoon salt

    Filling
    Olive Oil
    1/2 cup finely chopped onions
    2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tablespoon of cumin seeds, crushed and chopped (I actually like to spread them on the garlic mid-chop, and then chop the two together. That way, the seeds don’t become little projectiles.)
    2 cups cooked black beans, canned or home-made
    1/4 cup roasted, skinned & chopped green chiles (you can also use the little cans of chiles)
    Juice of one lime
    Salt and pepper

    OR
    3 Tablespoons canola or olive oil
    2 sliced onions
    1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    1/4 cup coconut milk
    Salt

    Soak the dried husks: Pour boiling water on top of the husks & soak until they are pliable – about one hour. You may have to put a weighted plate on top of them, to keep them submerged.

    Prepare the masa: Beat the shortening at medium to high speed for about 5 minutes or until it is fluffy. Meanwhile, combine the masa and the stock, whisking until it is smooth. Add the masa about a cup at a time, along with the other dry ingredients. Once you’ve added it all, beat it for about 10 minutes – until it is fluffy and has a texture almost like a sponge.

    Prepare the black beans: Heat oil. Saute the onions over medium-high heat, adding the garlic and cumin after about two minutes. Cook the three together for around two minutes, or until it’s cooked but not browned. Add the beans, chiles, and lime juice, and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, adding water or juice (depending on how lime-y you like it) if it becomes too dry. Once the mixture is nicely combined and warmed throughout, smoosh some of the beans with the back of your spoon. You’re looking for a half-smooshy, half-chunky mixutre. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Prepare the sweet potatoes: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, stirring regularly until they begin to brown. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring the onion for about 15 minutes, or until they reach a nice, deep brown. Put the sweet potatoes in a pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook until soft. Mash them with the coconut milk. Stir in the onions. Add salt to taste.

    You may want to take a break now. I know that Ben and I did. You can refrigerate the masa and/or the fillings for a bit. Or you can soldier on. I’m not judging.

    Assembly:
    Take out one of your pre-soaked husks. You’ll want tear some of the little husks into thin strips, to tie the ends of your tamalitos. Laying the husk in front of you, take around 2 Tablespoons of the masa and plop it in the middle of the husk. Leave the bottom third of our husk clean, using the middle third to spread the masa into a 4-inch square. You want to have at least one-half inch of husk on either side of the masa. Once you have the 4-inch square, spread 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling on the masa, leaving some clear masa on all four sides.

    Take the sides of the husk and pull them together, forming a cylinder. Then, fold up the bottom third and use one of the strips to tie it down. You can also tie the top with another strip. We used the tied-off tops to distinguish the two types of tamalitos for our guests. At this point, you can refrigerate the prepared tamales for up to one day OR you can freeze them.

    Cook:
    Place the tamalitos in a steamer insert and place them over boiling water which is at least three inches deep. Make sure the water cannot reach the bottom of the tamales. Cook, maintaining steam, for around one hour. When they are done, the husk can be pulled from the masa without sticking and the masa should be firm. When you first take them out of their steamer cradle, they might seem a little squishy, but they need to be set aside for about 10 minutes to firm up.

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