Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cooking: Spicy Peppered Jerky

This is my husband's recipe!
And the first "Husband Feature" on my blog, keep your eyes out for more in the future!

Ingredients: Beef eye of round, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce,
Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, granulated garlic,
onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper
salt, pepper 

Trim all the fat off the beef.

Our dogs love this part, they get the scraps :)

This is what it should look like when you're done:

Slice the meat into ¼ inch slices.

Mix together the can of chipotle adobo peppers (diced), 2 teaspoons granulated garlic, 2 teaspoons onion power, 4 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Marinate the meat in this mixture overnight in the fridge.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels (else you'll have wet clumps of spices on your finished product).

Put meat in food dehydrator and pat with fresh ground pepper.

Dry for 8 hours in the food dehydrator. Don't dry it for too long, else it will be too dry and brittle, it should have a slight chewiness to it.

Finished product:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cooking: Enchilada Sauce

Homemade enchiladas for dinner? Yum!
How about the sauce? Hmm... what's in that can of sauce?

Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce

  • Water
  • Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste)
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Dried Red Chiles
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Monosodium Glutamate [MSG]
  • Citric Acid
  • Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten
  • Soy Protein
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Onion Powder
  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract
  • Spice
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Pepper

We often hear that cooking at home is healthier, but if we're still eating crap like MSG and industrialized soy, we're still eating, well, crap! Time to find a replacement!

So I started searching for an enchilada sauce recipe, and came across this Easy Enchilada Sauce by Emeril Lagasse. (Emeril never lets me down!)

Ingredients: Tomato paste, chicken stock, EVOO,
chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, flour

Heat about 3 tablespoons EVOO in a sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon flour. Cook for about a minute (you don't want it to taste like raw flour!).

Add 1/4 cup chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds.

It will be clumpy, that's ok!

Add 2 cups chicken stock, 1 can tomato paste (original recipe calls for 10 oz, I used a 12 oz can), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano.

Put a lid on it! I found out the hard way that it
splatters molten sauce grenades all over the place!

Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt if desired (I didn't).

Result: A rich thick enchilada sauce!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cooking: Swai Fish Wrapped Asparagus

Found this recipe idea from the Youtube user "quotidianlight":

The original recipe called for Sole fish fillets. My grocery store didn't have any, so I got Swai fish fillets instead. And they were on sale, yay!

2 pounds Swai fish, 2 bunches asparagus, heavy cream,
garlic, lemons, olive oil, vermouth, dill, salt, pepper.

Saute asparagus in olive oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt while cooking.

Use the Swai fillets to wrap the asparagus. Add 1/2 cup vermouth, juice of 1 lemon, and drizzle with olive oil.

Juicing the lemon! Yes, I know you all know how to juice a lemon, I just want to show off my juicer! I looked for a reasonably-priced old-fashion juicer for a while at various antique stores, then my mom gave me the one that was my late grandma's on my dad's side.

Then cover with foil and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, drain the juices into a pan. (I used the pan I sauteed the asparagus in so the garlic left behind wouldn't go to waste.) Recover the fish & asparagus with the foil so it stays warm.

Add dill, salt, pepper, juice of the other lemon, and heavy cream. I used 1 cup of heavy cream. (By accident actually... the original recipe called for 1/4 cup, but I ended up liking the creaminess of 1 cup, so I'll re-do my "mistake" next time I make this.)

Reduce for 30-45 minutes, whisking frequently. The longer you reduce, the thicker the sauce.

Pour over the fish and asparagus.

Plated picture:

I will make this again, tasty!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cooking: IDQ (Impromptu Duet Quiche)

Impromptu... because I just threw it together.
Duet... because the husband helped.
Quiche... well, it's quiche!

I didn't actually intend to blog about this, but it came out so well I have to write down the recipe! And if I'm writing it down, why not share it? This quiche was one of those "I'm hungry... what do we have that could make a somewhat-edible meal?" type of things. It came out better than I expected!

  • 3/4 pound breakfast sausage
  • 2 cups hashbrowns
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmasan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • seasoning salt
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried celery leaves (you could use parsley, dried or fresh)
  • hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Franks

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brown the breakfast sausage, set aside in a colander to drain the excess fat.
  3. Spray a pie pan with nonstick spray. Press hashbrowns into the pie pan. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes, until starting to brown.
  4. Reset oven temperature to 350°F. Leave the door open a little so it cools down. (If you don't have an oven thermometer, get one! They are quite handy!)
  5. Mix together sausage, cheese, and onion. Add on top of the cooked hashbrowns.
  6. Whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup heavy cream, celery leaves, seasoning salt, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Pour on top of the sausage mixture.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F, until the top is puffed and golden brown.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cooking: Creamy Cajun Chicken With Zucchini Noodles

I just [finally] joined Pinterest, so I've been collecting all sorts of new ideas to try!

I always try to give credit where credit is due. My inspiration for tonight's meal came from 2 different blog posts I found on Pinterest:

The mats:

Chicken thighs, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash,
butter, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil,
Cajun seasoning, pepper, salt, green onion (not pictured),
and cayenne pepper (not pictured)

I started by using the shoe-string blade on my mandolin to cut up the zucchini and yellow squash.

And also cutting the chicken thighs into strips with kitchen shears. The chicken was then tossed with the Cajun seasoning, about 2 tablespoons.

The easiest way to "toss" the chicken with the spices
is going Alton Brown style and using your hands!

In a large pan, saute the chicken with a couple tablespoons of butter until it's done.

While the chicken is cooking, blanch the zucchini and yellow squash in boiling water for about a minute. Drain well. I gave it a rinse in cool water to stop the cooking process so it wouldn't get mushy.

When the chicken is done, add the heavy cream (I ended up only using 1 cup), minced garlic, diced green onions, diced sun-dried tomatoes (easiest to cut-up with kitchen shears), basil, salt, and pepper. I also wanted a little more heat, so I added some cayenne pepper. Heat a few minutes until everything is warm.

Toss in the "noodles".

Serve topped with fresh-grated parmasan cheese.

Husband Approved! The husband said this was definitely a "repeat" meal! He was skeptical at first (and even tried to talk me out of it) when I told him I was using zucchini and yellow squash instead of traditional noodles, but he was pleasantly surprised!