This is on a basic wheat flour crust. I suppose if you were to go all in on one of these you could make a crust with masa but I chickened out. I spread refried beans over the crust as a sauce analog.A good measure of roast pork was laid down over the beans along with tomato slices and fresh jalapenos (on my half only).My first thought for cheese was sharp cheddar but I opted for queso quesadilla. It’s a good melting cheese. Quesadillas are named for the cheese, not the other way around.I gave the pie an overall sprinkle of my favorite Tex-Mex seasoning and baked it for about 20 minutes at 350. I added a little hot sauce to mine just to kick it up.
This is my first try at cabbage rolls and they came out well enough that I’ll probably add them to the rotation. My first notion was to do these in the pressure cooker and the recipe I used was written for that method but I ended up with so many I decided to just use the oven.I’m sure the folks who eat these regularly will giggle at my ham handed rolling skills but these aren’t all that bad! I used ground beef and hot Italian sausage in the filling, along with the rice. The recipe made 12 rolls, with the last one a jumbo in order to use all the meat mixture up. They used about 1/4 cup each.After pouring the tomato sauce mixture over the rolls they were covered in foil and cooked for 2 hours at 350 degrees. I used a can of tomato bits with green chilies and a can of roasted garlic tomato bits along with the tomato sauce. I’m pretty sure these are hard to overcook.Yum! I wasn’t sure what sides would work but a scan of a few forums saw many mentions of mashed potatoes so we went that way. Good call, they worked well.
Down the road a piece, these things have been growing since the beans were cut. Had no clue what they were but our curiosity was piqued when the tops of the root started showing.I stopped and pulled one to get a better look at it. I was thinking some kind of turnip, I had an idea that they were known to be a winter cover crop but a search quickly turned up the answer: They are daikons – a type of radish. I’ve even made a pickle out of them before, with carrots, as a garnish for sammiches. The one I cut up for that was huge! I guess the one I pulled was a youngster.The pork mole was so good yesterday we had it again today, with the addition of another go at the mole sauce. I looked at this recipe and let it be a guide but mine was with it more in spirit than in fact. Still, I think I hit the highlights. Today’s sauce is the darker one poured across the burritos with the sour cream on top of it.Post needs moar kittehs! Frank is the long hair, he’s been there a long time, found in a dumpster and still a bit feral. The black and white one is Susie, she’s 5 years old and is an old timer at the shelter. She’s shy, you can pet her but don’t try to cuddle. Just sayin’.Sloppy Joe! A family favorite. We like them with cheese. This one has hot giardiniera as a garnish, I’d mix it right in with the ground beef but Mrs J would not. stand. for. that.Moar kitteh! Mrs J says she is just a sweetheart, purrs and loves to cuddle, reaches out for you. She’s 4-5 months old and plays well with others, has had her shots and is spayed and ready to go!Here’s a turkey breast and leg quarters that have been salted and refrigerated overnight. Most of the green salt has been brushed away and the pan is ready for the oil.Here it is five or six hours later, hot out of a 225-250 oven. I tossed in several garlic cloves before it went in.This is Tammy, her brother has been adopted out already. He learned to socialize a little quicker but she is coming around.
Valued commenter donnah mentioned in the pressure cooker gadget post that she found this cookbook to be worth purchasing. I ordered it and it came yesterday. The pork mole recipe caught my eye, we did it today. I hoped to find the recipe online so I could link to it. This one appears to be the same one but it doesn’t have any attribution. I don’t know who stole from who! Well, you can’t copyright a recipe, so no harm no foul.
I probably used too much broth and didn’t let it reduce far enough so the sauce is a tad thin, but it tasted great. I’ll reduce it farther before I put it away today.
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.
That beef roast we used to make the veggie beef soup yesterday was plenty big to allow for leftovers. Chili sounded good, what with the nighttime temps dipping into the 40s. I almost brought out the meat grinder for the beef but decided against it in favor of a knife. I left it in the freezer for a tad too long so it was more frozen than firm but my knife is sharp and I am able to bring a lot of weight to bear. It ended up in a 1/4 inch dice – almost a mince. I added the same amount of pork sausage, ending with 2 pounds or so in total. I wanted to try a marinade so I put the meat into a stainless bowl and drizzled in rice vinegar and soy sauce, sprinkled on garlic powder, onion powder, and various chili powders, grated in half a big onion, diced and added the remainder, several minced garlic cloves, a couple cups of chopped peppers (green bell, poblano, jalapeno), salt, pepper, dry mustard, brown sugar, and maybe a few things more, I’m sure I’m forgetting something but this is most of it and should suffice. I sealed that all into a plastic container and left it in the fridge overnight.
Cooking it down today was by far the easiest part. Cook the meat and marinade in small batches and dump those into a bigger pot. I like my Dutch oven for that. Once you have the big pot going add your favorite beans and canned tomatoes – I like the tomato bits with green chilies. I also stir in tomato paste or sauce, depending on how liquid it is, and bring out my secret weapon – anchovy paste. A tablespoon will do and it adds a nice “something” I’d have trouble describing. We’ve borrowed a word from the Japanese that covers it: umami. Let it simmer for a couple of hours on the stove top, or in a 325 oven. Add water as needed.
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