Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Carne Adovada

Carne Adovada is a favorite New Mexican dish of mine.   Pork that has been cut into chunks cooked in a rich red chili sauce.  Delicious:)    You can eat Carne Adovada with a flour tortilla or corn tortilla, use it as filling for  tacos, burritos or by itself served over rice.

I have never made Carne Adovada in a slow cooker before, so I was delighted when I found a recipe using a slow cooker.  In reading over the recipe, I found some ingredients I haven't used in my traditional recipes.  Soy sauce, brewed coffee, and raisins.  Hmmm - I had to think about that.  I remembered reading somewhere when you are first trying a recipe follow the recipe as instructed.  So I did and  I was very pleased with the outcome.

The result was more than delicious than I could have imagined.  This was the best Carne Adovada I have ever made or eaten.  Being from New Mexico I have eaten alot.   The sauce was rich and thick so it coated the meat perfectly.  The pork was very tender and flavorful.   The lime used in the recipe brought out the flavors in the recipe and added an extra "pop" to the dish.

The family loved this dish.  The first night I served it over rice with a lime wedge for garnish.  The next day I used it in breakfast burritos.  The flavor was actually better the second day.  Try some - it is easy and delicious:)

Slow-Cooker Carne Adovada
From Cook's Country 


1 (4-to-5 pound) boneless pork butt roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 onions chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (parsley can be used in a pinch)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus
1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Season pork with salt and pepper. Combine pork and soy sauce in slow cooker.  Combine onions, chili powder, garlic, oil, chipotle, oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl.  Microwave, covered, until onions have softened and mixture is fragrant, about 7 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving.
2. Puree broth, coffee, flour, raisins, and onion mixture in blender until smooth, about 1 minute.  Stir sauce into slow cooker, then scrape down any sauce from side of cooker with rubber spatula.  Cover and cook until pork is tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 6 to 7 hours on low.
3. Turn off slow cooker, let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.
Stir in cilantro and lime zest and juice.  Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts

The last of the tomatoes for this season.  What better way to use them than  in some savory Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts.  Usually when I see the word tart, I back away from making the recipe.  I do not like rolling out dough.  This recipe is different - little rolling out required and no mixing of dough.  Puff pastry sheets are used.  Thank you Ina Garten.    All you need to do is roll out (very little required) two puff pastry sheet and then cut 4 six-inch circles.  Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until you are ready for them.

Know for the filling.  Onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme - I love fresh thyme are sauteed together.   Remember those pastry circles that were cut out.  First score a 1/4-inch border around each one and prick with a fork.  Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on each circle and top with your onion filling.  Top the filling with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper.  The recipe calls for fresh basil but mine in the garden didn't look too good some I used 1 teaspoon of dried basil that I sprinkled over the four tarts.    Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

These tarts are very appetizing.  All the flavors compliment each other without any being overpowering.  I was a little worried about the onions being that the recipe called for 4 cups.   Perfect for a light lunch or as a starter.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts
From Ina Garten


1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Makes 4 tarts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Brown Derby Cobb Salad with French Dressing

Last week most of the family enjoyed a stay at Walt Disney World.  The ones that couldn't go had college.  October is one of my favorite months to go because the Magic Kingdom is decorated for fall and Epcot has the Food and Wine Festival.  The Food and Wine Festival is a true culinary adventure.

At the Food and Wine Festival you can graze your way eating around the world from Africa to Singapore.

Menu From France
After sampling several countries cuisines I still had room to eat at two of my favorite places in Disney World - Chefs de France in Epcot and the Brown Derby at the Studios.

At the Chefs de France, I had some a bowl of delicious French Onion Soup, Quiche, and Creme Brulee for dessert.  Everything was delicious as usual.

The Brown Derby serves an amazing Cobb Salad that I have enjoyed for years.  The salad consists of chopped romaine lettuce, watercress, chicory, romaine lettuce, tomatoes,  turkey,  bacon, blue cheese, hard boiled eggs, and a delicious French  Dressing.  Toss them together, and you have a delicious salad that sends your taste buds into overdrive.

Cobb Salad with French Dressing
Hollywood Brown Derby
From All Ears. Net


1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 bunch watercress
1 small bunch chicory
1/2 head romaine lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, blanched & peeled
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey breast, diced
3 eggs, hard-cooked
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips crisp bacon, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped chives


Chop all greens very fine (reserve some watercress for presentation) and arrange in salad bowl. Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, and dice fine. Also dice the turkey, avocado, & eggs. Arrange the above ingredients, as well as the blue cheese and bacon crumbles, in straight lines across the greens. Arrange the chives diagonally across the above lines. Present the salad at the table, then toss with the dressing (below). Place on chilled plates with a watercress garnish.

Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing

1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon English mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups salad oil

Blend all ingredients except oils, then add olive oil and salad oils and mix well. Blend well again before mixing with salad.

Serves 6

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Apple-Cinnamon Dutch Baby

Apples and fall go hand-in-hand.  When fall rolls around, I find myself enjoying all sorts of apple dishes.  Today's recipe is for a delicious Apple-Cinnamon Dutch Baby.  I found this recipe in the latest issue of Southern Living Magazine.

I have made puff pancakes before and the family has always enjoyed them.   I like them because they are so easy to prepare and are easy on the budget.   You just need some eggs, butter, milk, flour, and spices for the pancake.  For the fruit, I used one Gala apple.  This recipe has a delicious sauce made from sour cream, brown sugar, and apple cider.  MMM was it ever good.

After removing the pancake from the oven, I sprinkled it with lots of powdered sugar.  I then cut and served with the sauce drizzled over each serving.  Everyone loved this dish:)  

Apple-Cinnamon Dutch Baby
From Southern Living Magazine


1 large Gala apple, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 to 4 Tbsp. apple cider or orange juice
Garnish: powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 450°. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Toss together apple slices and sugar in a small bowl. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in skillet. Add apples, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove apples from skillet, and wipe skillet clean.

Cooking Apples

2. Whisk together eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Whisk in flour and next 3 ingredients. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Immediately pour egg mixture into hot skillet, and top with cooked apples.
3. Bake at 450° for about 20 minutes or until pancake is golden and puffed.
4. Meanwhile, stir together sour cream and brown sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Stir in apple cider, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Serve with hot pancake.

Delicious Sauce

Serves 4-6

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Swedish Meatballs

IKEA.  I love making a day of it at IKEA.  Shopping, eating, and some more shopping.  Did you notice I mentioned eating?  I love eating  Swedish Meatballs at IKEA.  They are so flavorful and the sauce is delicious with the Lingonberry jelly.

Imagine my delight when I found this tasty recipe from "Simply Recipes" for Swedish Meatballs.  In reviewing the recipe for these delectable bites, my mouth started watering.  I loved the spices that went into the meatballs - cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  I love cardamom.  The sauce starts with a classic roux and then some heated beef stock is added to the roux.  To the sauce you add the browned meatballs and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove the meatballs from the pan and add sour cream to the sauce and some Lingonberry jelly - mmm.  The Lingonberry jelly makes the sauce.

Serve the meatballs.  I made some buttered noodles to ladle the meatballs over.  Sprinkle some chopped parley on top.  This was an easy and delicious family meal.  You can find the recipe for Swedish Meatballs here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stuffed Shells

Lemon Zest.  I am constantly being amazed at what wonderful flavor lemon zest adds to food.  Today's surprise was Stuffed Shells.  I have made Stuffed Shells before but never with lemon zest added to the cheese filling and the bottom of the baking dish.  Delicious:)

I found this recipe on "101 Cookbooks" website.  Jumbo shells are stuffed with a simple ricotta cheese filling and smothered in a marina sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes and top with fresh chives.  An easy and delicious meal is ready to enjoy.

Stuffed Shells
From 101 Cookbooks

zest of one lemon

1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup / ~5 oz grated mozzarella
1 bunch of chives, minced

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Oil a 13 x 9-inch / 33 x 23-cm baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of 1/2 the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle.

To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant - you don't want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don't want to burn your tongue)...If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water - until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands - see photo.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Serves 4 - 6.

Prep time: 30 min - Cook time: 45 min

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken-And-Wild Rice Skillet Casserole

A delicious one-pot meal with a slight twist on this traditional dish.  Chicken -and- Rice has been a favorite for decades.  In this recipe, the rice is a wild rice that has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor.  The rice is mixed with a wonderful gravy that is mixed with mushrooms, carrots, ham, and seasoning.  The rice and sauce are delicious.  I am planning on serving the rice for Thanksgiving.  Back to the recipe.

The rice and sauce are placed in the bottom of the skillet and the browned chicken breast are placed on top. Bake the chicken casserole for 30 minutes or until done.  Cool and and garnish with some parsley and pecans.  I did not have almonds like the recipe called for.   Serve. A perfect meal for both company and family.

I hope this meal will become one of your favorites like it is one of mine.

Chicken-And-Wild Rice Skillet Casserole
From "Southern Living" Magazine

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 (6-oz.) container uncooked wild rice
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped country ham or bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 large carrot, finely chopped
8 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.)
Garnishes: fresh flat-leaf parsley, sliced almonds
1. Bring 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1 qt. water to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and next 2 ingredients. Increase heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper.

3. Cook ham in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until beginning to brown. Stir in onion and next 2 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add sherry, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sherry is evaporated. Remove mixture from skillet.

4. Preheat oven to 375°. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet. Cook chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove skillet from heat; transfer chicken to a plate.

5. Drain rice. Stir together rice, ham mixture, and sauce in skillet. Place chicken on top of rice mixture.

6. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and chicken is done. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 Servings