Full Dinner Menu: Washday Beans and Rice

I’ve been craving beans and rice for quite some time. On my birthday, we were going to go to our favorite restaurant and have their signature dish, but alas, they had closed, permanently. My craving would go unabated for quite a while.

Fast forward and a friend’s birthday is coming up and I invited her over for dinner and she requested beans and rice and buttermilk cornbread.

Who am I to deny a request?

On the board tonight:

  1. Washday Beans & Rice
  2. Sliced Steamed Zucchini
  3. Corn Bread
  4. Blueberries & Raspberries w/whip cream

Washday Beans & Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14oz can red kidney bean
  • 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy) – slice each link into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced (or 14 oz can)

2-quart saucepan and skillet Continue reading

Guest Recipe: Cilantro Lime Hummus

I have been so busy, I’ve barely been in my kitchen to eat, much less cook, and I’m holding onto several items to post, which hopefully I’ll get to eventually. But until then, once again Joshua D comes to the rescue with another recipe. Thanks Joshua!!!

This is an oldddd dust-off recipe from the long-forgotten files! It’s inspired by a restaurant in Spokane, Washington called Niko’s that serves great Greek food. If you’re one of those unfortunates for whom cilantro tastes like soap, just use Italian parsley. The effect won’t be the same, but I understand the why. This can also be spiced up with a chile if desired.

Cilantro-Lime Hummus

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Break up beans in the food processor. Add in lime juice, sesame seeds, garlic, and cilantro. Blend until well-ground. Pour in olive oil slowly through the feeding tube until it’s the consistency you want. A wonderfully different take on a Mediterranean classic!

Joshua De Mers

Men Who Cook: Joseph Noble’s Pork Enchiladas

DSC_2957 (Copy)

Photo by JeffreyW

Joseph posted this recipe link at my request over at Balloon-Juice during one of the recipe threads (Friday Recipe Exchange is cross posted there each week). I thought while I was away, guest recipes would be a great way to fill the void. ūüėÄ

These sound amazing.

From Joseph:

Joseph’s Savory Chipotle Pork Enchiladas

If you need a little wapow in your life, here’s one way to do it. These enchiladas are savory to the nth degree, which makes them one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. I suggest serving with white rice seasoned with some lime juice and chopped cilantro.

First, you need to caramelize an onion. Chop it up roughly, and saute it in some olive oil for at least 30 minutes. Keep stirring it!

While that’s happening, make some enchilada sauce. Don’t open a can! Here’s the recipe for that:

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 8 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir together over the heat for one minute. Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano). Then gradually add in the chicken broth, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.

I use dark chili powder, so my sauce came out really brown. I imagine using bright red chili powder will make it redder. But it doesn’t matter. This enchilada sauce is so good and easy, you’ll never buy it at the store again.

That’s actually a double batch, which is what I needed for all the enchiladas I was making. If you want to cut down the size of the recipe, just cut it in half. But this sauce stores well in the refrigerator, is all I’m saying.

Now you need to get the filling together. I based this on Emeril’s recipe at Food Network, but he had a sour cream sauce and used green chilies.

  • 2 pounds roast pork
  • Caramelized onion
  • 1/3 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 pound Mexican cheese blend

This is the easy part. Mix that all together. I chopped up the roast pork and then minced up the chipotle peppers. You can find these little cans in the Mexican food section of your supermarket. If you can’t, move to a town where you can! Kidding – I’ll send you some because they’re little.

Now to build the enchiladas. Wait! Put the rice on to cook first, then you can start this.

  1. Corn tortillas
  2. Pork enchilada filling from above
  3. Enchilada sauce from above
  4. 1/2 pound Mexican cheese blend.

Heat the oven to 450. Get you some baking pans to cook enchiladas in. I used 2 square Pyrex pans and one cake pan and got 22 enchiladas out of them. But use what size you have handy. Spray some Pam in the bottoms for easy cleaning later.

Now ladle some sauce in the bottom of the pans to cover. Take a corn tortilla and put 1/4 cup filling on it. Roll it up tight and lay in the pan seam side down. Keep doing that until you run out of filling.

Then ladle the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas. Use a spoon to make sure sauce has hit every square millimeter of tortilla. Then sprinkle the cheese over the enchiladas and cover it with foil.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more.

And it’s done! I got 22 enchiladas out of it and I was proud of myself for stopping after eating four. Now I have 18 to eat through the rest of the week. And I mean it when I say they are savory. They are power-packed – very rich and zingy!

Oh, you want nutritional information? OK…

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size 1 enchilada (5.4oz)
  • Calories from Fat 120
  • Calories 256
  • Total Fat 13g
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Cholesterol 42mg
  • Sodium 1000mg
  • Potassium 300mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 16g
  • Dietary Fiber 3g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 18g

That sodium number is high! I used no salt added chicken broth for the enchilada sauce, so mine were actually a lot lower than that. But if you use regular chicken broth, that’s pretty much what they will be.

Thanks Joseph, feel free to share recipes anytime! – TaMara


Men Who Cook: Joshua De Mers

I love opening up my email and finding that someone has sent me a recipe to post (that’s a hint, people) and it’s doubly nice when it’s one of my Men Who Cook. ¬†From friend of blog, Joshua:

I got a good one! And I kept notes!

Yet Another Tuna Casserole

My opinion of comfort foods is you can never have too many variations of them. They make up childhood memories, start and keep traditions, and warm the soul like nothing else. Virtually every mother in the 60’s had a version of tuna casserole, usually from the back of a soup can. If you’re an ingredient control freak (like me!) you always appreciate making something familiar in a wholesome way. Every ingredient is readily available at any supermarket!

  • 1 pound pasta (any curvy shape like rotini or corkscrews will work, but even basic elbows is good too)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot
  • 8-10 button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese (sometimes sold as Italian cream cheese)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz frozen green beans or peas (whichever you have on hand)
  • 2 6 oz cans or one 12 oz can tuna (any kind)
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers or 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • olive oil (to drizzle)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, mince shallots, cut mushrooms in half, then slice thinly. Saute in butter over medium heat with a pinch of salt and a small dose of pepper. When mushrooms start to release liquid, add in white wine. Cook until wine is almost but not quite gone. Add in flour and mix until paste coats bottom of the pan, about two minutes. Add milk and whisk vigorously. When sauce starts to thicken, mix in cheeses, vegetables, and drained tuna. Check sauce for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as necessary. By this point pasta should be done. Drain pasta and add to medium casserole dish. Pour sauce over noodles and mix thoroughly. Crush crackers in hands (you don’t want them too fine) and cover top of casserole. Drizzle olive oil over topping in thin stream until it coats most of top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Only other thing you need is a glass of milk!!

Joshua De Mers

Looks great Joshua!  Thank you.  Look forward to more (hint, hint).  РTaMara


Kirk Spencer’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A busy day for me, but I thought I’d take a moment and post a recipe from Kirk. ¬†He says this is a family favorite, so I thought we needed share his post. ¬†Because, really, how can you go wrong with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies? ¬†From Kirk:

The original recipe was one of the peanut butter cookie recipes I’ve got laying around. It made peanut butter cookies that were, well, okay. The peanut butter taste was a bit on the subtle side. I had a bag of chocolate chips around, and one day tossed them in the next batch just as a boost. That made a huge difference. The mild PB works great at making the chocolate chips stand out. They’re pretty close to being our favorite cookie.

No pictures. Make a batch and take your own instead. Trust me, you’ll prefer the result.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cream together:

  • 1 cup butter or (good) margarine
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

Beat lightly and add to creamed mixture:

  • 2 eggs

Sift together

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

For the complete recipe, click here:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Men Who Cook: Joshua De Mers’ Pork Enchiladas

I was poking around the W4D cookbook trying to figure out what to post today when I remembered that our old friend Joshua had sent me a great looking recipe.  Here it is:

Sometimes you just look around your kitchen, see what all you have in the house, and figure out what the hell to do with it. This was the end result of one of those long stares into the refrigerator where you calmly await the Lady of Culinary Inspiration to whack you over the head. It’s a take-off from an older recipe of mine that I think works better in this iteration! Pretty much everything here is readily available at the grocery store. A tip for newer cooks: poblano peppers are the largish longish dark green chiles usually in the same section as the jalapenos. They should be dark, firm, and look like collapsed footballs. Enjoy!

Pork Enchiladas

  • 1 lb. boneless pork, either tenderloin or shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tsps & 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 8 oz bag Mexican cheese blend
  • 12 corn tortillas (or until all of filling is used up)

in a large pot, combine pork, chicken stock, 2 tsps salt, and spices. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until meat is very tender. Watch liquid level so pork is always submerged, if necessary add in hot water to keep pork covered.

About 20 minutes before pork is done, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high. Add in onions, peppers, and 1 tsp of the salt. Allow vegetables to cook 10-12 minutes or until very soft with a little color on the edges. Two minutes before veggies are cooked, add in chopped garlic.

When veggies are good and soft and pork is cooked, remove pork from the remaining liquid. Either with your fingers (if you have the Teflon fingers) or with two forks (if yours are more delicate) shred pork into small bits. Mix together corn starch and water, add to liquid in pot, mix in cilantro, and bring to a boil until thickened. (You want it thicker than water but not too thick, it will thicken more as things bake in the oven.) Heat tortillas in microwave on high for 60 seconds, 5-6 at a time, until soft and pliable. Place about 1 tsp each of the pork, veggies, and cheese in a tortilla, and roll. Place seam side down into a 13x9x2 baking dish, making sure things stay tight and folded in. Continue assembling until all the filling is used (you may need an extra pan) and ladle sauce generously over the top. Cover top of enchiladas with the remaining cheese.

(You can actually stop here and freeze the enchiladas covered tightly in aluminum foil.)

Place pan into oven uncovered and cook 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted thoroughly and enchiladas are hot and bubbly. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.

Joshua De Mers

Thanks Joshua for making my day a little easier.  This looks yummy. РTaMara

Men Who Cook: Joshua D.’s Smoke Salmon Schmear

Sometimes blogging is as simple as opening my email.  From our friend Joshua (also known as Yutsano to some of you) a quick little nosh:

Ever have a last-minute gathering crop up? Sometimes you just have to have SOMETHING to serve folks. One quick trip to the grocery store and 10 minutes will put all this together. And folks will think you slaved over it! Best part is the ingredient list is very short! So it’s even fairly easy on the pocketbook!

Last-Minute Smoked Salmon Schmear

  • 1 large green onion
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon
  • 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese (spreadable cream cheese will also work)
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)

Chop green onion finely. Place in small mixing bowl. Flake salmon over onions, mix well with fingers. Add in cheese and cream and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Depending on how loose you want spread you can add in more cream. Serve either immediately or chill in fridge for two hours to allow everything to marry together. Delicious on crackers, toast points, or bagels!

Joshua De Mers

Men Who Cook: Todd Daily Pizza Crust

Our Men Who Cook series continues with another great recipe from¬†Todd Daily.¬† This one is for a great¬†Pizza Crust.¬† If you’d like to contribute a recipe, please email me.¬†¬† I’ll let Todd take if from here:

Pizza Crust

(enough for two large cookie sheets)

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 c. white flour
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 2 pkg yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¬ľ c olive oil

Mix together and knead. Add enough flour so that it’s not sticky. The dough should be elastic.

Roll out and place on greased cookie sheets. Top with chopped tomatoes, pizza seasoning and parmesan cheese. Then add your favorite toppings and cheeses.

Bake 25 minutes at 400.


Thanks Todd.  So now you have a great pizza crust, what to put on it?  I prefer a  spicy tomato sauce with pepperoni and Italian sausage and lots of fresh mozzarella.  But with a tasty crust like this, why not experiment?  Fresh tomatoes and feta cheese on an olive oil wash.  Spinach, mozzarella, bacon on a creamy garlic white sauce.  Or a nice vegetable mix on either garlic or tomato sauce base: artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, red and green onions.   Up the flavor and add some garlic, basil and oregano to the crust just before you roll it out.  Enjoy.