I had some of that duck confit leftover and decided to do tacos with it. I did an image search for “duck tacos” to get an idea of what sort of fillings would work and saw a lot of pickled red onions:These are pretty easy to make, a cup or so of vinegar, teaspoon each of salt and sugar, plus whatever seasonings you desire. I used some peppercorns and a couple of cloves of garlic. The sliced onions were wilted by dipping them into very hot water for a few seconds. Stuff the drained onions into a jar with the vinegar mixture. I have a glass hockey puck shaped weight atop the onions to hold them down.I also made a slaw with half a red cabbage, an equal amount of green cabbage, and some shredded carrot. It’s seasoned with lime juice, cumin, brown sugar, minced garlic, paprika, cayenne, minced jalapeno, and olive oil.
The Allrecipes site is one of the better places for recipes and that’s where I found this one. Nearly any fresh veggie will work in this – I had onions, broccoli, celery, cabbage, and a red bell pepper. I used their sauce recipe with the addition of a tablespoon of sweet soy sauce.Nearly any pasta, too, will work. I browsed the pictures people sent in and there were a couple of them that had used pasta shells although I’m not sure that one could be properly called lo mein. The recipe’s author used angel hair pasta, I used noodles bought at the Asian foods store, they are wheat noodles, thin and flat rather than round.
In a slow cooker it’s an 8 hour project. It takes several hours to boil one atop the stove. In my Instapot pressure cooker it took 90 minutes for the meat, and the veggies just a few minutes. There is additional time involved reaching temperature, and some spent winding down but this corned beef was so good I ran back to Kroger’s for two more that I’ll cook today to chill and slice for sandwiches.
I opened a jar of habanero hot sauce a while back and there’s been a squeeze bottle full of it in the door rack of the fridge since then, I decided I had better use it on something. Turns out it works very well on a pork taco. Either I’m tougher than I used to be or the aging in the fridge has tempered the heat in this particular batch – it was a lot sweet and just a tad hot.
I thought as the farm stand season winds down it would be fun to focus on recipes that take advantage of super fresh produce before it all disappears.
I was going to make an Eggplant Parmesan for the featured recipe but never got around to it, so I went with the Chili Rellenos Casserole instead.
To get started, a fresh and tangy Asian Pear and Grape Cabbage Salad, recipe here.
These Marinated Mushrooms (recipe here) sounded good and could be used as an appetizer or sliced into a salad.
Pizza is great way to get have a fun and flavorful vegetarian dinner. JeffreyW always does pizzas right and his Margherita Pizza (picture above) is no exception. Click here for his recipe and lots of photos.
This week’s dinner menu sticks with the veggie theme: Pasta with Marinated Vegetables and Bruschetta. Menu, recipes and shopping list are here.
And finally, for the pet lovers, Bixby checked in this week, spoiler alert there was a bath and a stuffed monkey.
What’s cooking in your kitchen this weekend? Have any cool weather recipes to share?
Tonight’s featured recipe, quick, easy and oh, so good:
Chili Rellenos Casserole
- 2-7 oz cans whole green chilies
- ½ onion, diced
- 16 oz shredded 4-blend Mexican cheese
- 4 to 6 corn tortillas, torn into wide strips
- 4 eggs
- 4 oz salsa
- ¼ cup milk
- salt & pepper
- ½ tsp crushed garlic
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro ( Italian parsley or fresh basil if you hate cilantro)
bowl, 8×8 glass baking dish, greased
Drain and seed peppers. Layer 1/3 of the peppers in the bottom of baking dish, top with 1/3 onions, 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 tortilla strips. Repeat to make three layers. Beat together eggs, salsa, milk, spices and cilantro. Pour evenly over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350° for 35-40 minutes until fluffy and center is set.
That’s it for this week. Have a fun and safe weekend. – TaMara
Today sucked. I mean really and truly sucked.
But in other news, there’s water on Mars and the Blood Moon did not bring on the apocalypse and in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, tomorrow is another day.
I have a bunch of nice vegetarian sides and main dishes piled up in my to post file, so I thought this week would be a good time to focus on a few. Farm stands are still going strong, the weather can’t decide if it’s grilling or soup weather, this seemed like a safe bet.
Asian Pear and Grape Cabbage Salad
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together all the ingredients, except oil, slowly whisk in oil to create vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- 1/2 head of red cabbage
- 1/2 head Savoy cabbage
- 1 Asian pear, halved, cored and sliced into thin strips
- 1 Red Anjour pear, halved, cored and sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup toasted walnut or almond pieces
Cut each cabbage in half to create two wedges, remove core and slice crosswise into thin shreds, toss with pears, grapes and nuts. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss thoroughly. Let set for 10 minutes and serve.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had requests to pull together some of my recipes that go easy on the salt. I found quite a few and this week lemon made the biggest appearance, but tonight’s featured recipes bring in a whole host of other flavors that make it easier to go lighter on the salt.
Reducing salt with out losing flavor can be managed with several steps. First of all, try to use fresh foods whenever possible. If you begin to read labels you’ll see many packaged foods contain extra fat, salt & sugar that you wouldn’t add if you prepared it fresh. And good, fresh ingredients bring their own flavors to a dish.
When you need to buy something, such as canned tomatoes or frozen vegetables, go with the no-salt version whenever possible. Then you can be in control of the sodium.
Adding flavors that enhance a dish is the key to cutting back on salt. Wine vinegars (especially on potatoes and meats), lemon juice (great for fish, vegetables and chicken), limejuice, and different spice mixes, including peppers, garlic, basil, rosemary, celery seeds, dill, toasted sesame seeds and citrus zest – go wild, try something new, you might surprise yourself – can transform a dish. You can also buy prepackaged spice mixes to shake on, just make sure to read the label looking for sodium content.
With all that in mind, I went searching through my recipes to find ones that used a dash less salt.
I started the week with Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Chicken and Spinach, recipe here.
This week’s dinner menu (pictured at top) is Cranberry Chicken and Lemon Cheese Cauliflower, click here for menu, recipes and shopping list.
JeffreyW makes a flavorful Shrimp,Ham and Kale in Garlic Lemon Sauce, recipe here.
And finally, click here for Grilled Lemon Salmon with Corn Pepper Relish.
For the pet lovers, lots of pictures of Bixby in the next Bixby Diaries installment here.
How about you, what do you use to spice up a dish? What’s on the menu this weekend?
Tonight I’m featuring a few recipes that bring in some sweet and spicy flavors. These beans and rice are a nice change-up from the standard Wash Day Beans and Rice I usually make.
Caribbean Jerk Beans & Rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- ½ green pepper, sliced
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 lb lean boneless pork, cubed in large pieces
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- salt to taste (this is a good recipe to substitute white wine vinegar for salt)
- pepper to taste
- ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 tsp Caribbean jerk spice (you can buy it or make your own, recipe below)
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro (Italian parsley works well in this recipe if you aren’t a fan of cilantro)
- 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or substitute dry beans, soaked and cooked)
saucepan & skillet
Add water & rice to saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Heat oil in skillet, add pork and brown on all sides for 5 minutes, add onion, celery, pepper & garlic, sauté for additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes & spices. Let simmer 15 minutes, add cilantro, black beans and simmer additional 5 minutes, until beans are heated through. Add cooked rice & mix thoroughly.
Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons crushed dry thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Blend together and store tightly covered (I keep old spice jars around for mixtures like this)
- 8 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1-1/2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
- ½ medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine cabbage, mangoes, bell peppers, green onions and cilantro in large bowl; stir gently to mix. Add Orange-Mango Dressing; toss gently to coat. Serve, or store in refrigerator up to 1 day.
- ½ mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
- 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
- ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (not diluted with water)
- 3 tablespoons limejuice
- ½ to 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
- 2 tsp minced fresh ginger (substitute 1/2 tsp ground ginger if desired)
Place mango in food processor; process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend – TaMara