Friday, September 30, 2011

Baked Seasoned Fries


Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, hash browns, home fries, potatoes au gratin, twice baked potatoes; there are thousands of ways to make potatoes.  I love starches and most of all potatoes but french fries are my go to.  In college, I would go to the McDonald's across the street to get dollar fries every time I had a craving.  Now, it seems like such a waste of money and time when you compare the amount of time it takes to drive and the time it takes to cook fries.  I prefer to bake fries because time can be spent doing something else instead of looking over a pot of oil and double frying; plus, there is less oil used and absorbed.  It took me many tries to finally get crispy, tasty fries.  Enjoy!

BAKED SEASONED FRIES
serves: 4

4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 400 ° F.
Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch strips and put in a large bowl. To the potatoes add the oil, salt, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix with hands.
Place fries on a baking pan in one layer and place in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crisp, turning fries halfway through.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spinach and Feta Quiche


So, to save money on our weekly grocery bill, we have a meatless dinner night. In my house, there is some hesitation when dinner does not include meat. This one though, was received very well. Maybe because cheese makes everything yummy or because eggs can be so filling for less than a dollar. The best thing about this recipe is that it can be change to include what ever vegetables are on hand and cheese that may be in the fridge. I've already tried broccoli, and it was great. And of course, Honey said it would be even better with bacon, but the point is to be meatless.


SPINACH AND FETA QUICHE
servings: 6

vegetable spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup crumbled feta
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a casserole or pie dish with vegetable spray.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until softened. Add spinach and heat through.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into prepared dish.
Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Adapted from Allrecipes.com - Spinach Quiche Recipe

Monday, September 26, 2011

BBQ Burgers

My family would find it odd that I even like this because of the onions. Well, I still refuse to eat raw onions, but I love the awesome taste caramelized onions give food.  I realized this after making pork chops with caramelized onions and cinnamon apples. The best combo ever, so now I constantly look for foods that go well with onions.
Burgers are so satisfying.  Now days, it's more than just meat in a bun. So many restaurants that are gourmet burger restaurants have made the endless topping possible. There is no Red Robin around these parts, so I'm always in search of great burger ideas to get that restaurant feel.  I saw this recipe on 5 Ingredient Fix, and had to make my version because I knew it'd be better than a regular ol' burger.

BBQ BURGERS
serving: 4 burgers

1 pound ground beef (preferably 85/15)
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil spray
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
4 burger buns

Divide ground beef into 4 equal pieces and mold into a round thin disk. Handle as little as possible to get juicy and tender burgers. Salt and pepper both sides. Spray vegetable oil over grill pan and place on medium heat. Place patties on the hot griddle and let cook 6 to 8 minutes per side.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan. Add the onions and caramelized over medium heat, adding water as needed, to deglaze the pan. Add the BBQ sauce to the onions when they are mostly caramelized and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Toast burger buns. Top each burger bun with beef patty and spoon BBQ caramelized onions over the top.

Adapted from BBQ Turkey Sliders by Claire Robinson
 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tacos and Corn Tortillas



We eat tacos almost every week. Tacos may seem complected when watching cooking shows and read taco meat recipes, but it doesn't have to be. If you go to a real Mexican Taquería, you get tacos for a dollar and in the tortilla there is meat, cilantro, onions, and salsa. Nothing else. So why make them so complex at home? We use leftover meat for our tacos and we always have cheese. This is an easy way to get Bebé to eat peas and spinach too. I heat the tortilla with cheese and veggies to make more of a quesadilla and he loves it.

TACOS

12 homemade corn tortillas (recipe below)
2 cups refried beans or 1 can
2 cups shredded chicken (leftovers from the chicken roasted the night before)
2 cups shredded roman lettuce
1 cup shredded jack cheese
salsa

Heat the beans and chicken by microwave or stove top. Dress your tortillas with beans, chicken, lettuce and cheese. Add salsa as desired.


As I've said before, corn tortillas have 2 ingredients, but there's a lot more to the technique. I've gotten really good at it because we eat corn tortillas every week so I practice all the time now. The key is to be patient, and if it doesn't work the 1st time, try again. Also, you do not have to have a tortilla press to make tortillas. As long as you have a large pan, you can make them. I have my Calphalon skillet and it works perfect.

CORN TORTILLAS
serving: 12 tortillas

ingredients:
2 cups masa harina like Maseca
1-2 cups warm water

equipment:
frying pan to flatten tortillas
2 pieces of wax papper
flat iron or large frying pan for cooking

In a bowl, pour the masa harina. Slowly add 1 cup of water and mix with your hands. Continue adding water until the masa is soft, but no longer sticky. Divide the masa into 12 rounds. Place 1 ball of masa between 2 piece of wax paper and flatten with the frying pan. Peel the top sheet of paper off and place the tortilla in your dry hand and peel the other side. Place tortilla flat on the hot iron skillet cook until lightly tanned on each side, about 2 minutes on each side.

TIPS:
If the masa is not moist enough it will crack. Test by getting a small ball of masa in your hand and flatten. If the sides begin to crack, add a little more water.
Keep masa moist by putting a damp cloth over the masa balls.
Keep hands dry by dusting hands with dry masa harina before placing the tortilla in your hand.
The tortillas do not need to be as thin as the store-bought kind. They will not come off the wax paper easily and only 1 tortilla will be needed for tacos instead of the 2 needed when using store-bought so they don't fall apart.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waffles


Growing up, I never thought that waffles could be made at home. I knew nothing about waffle irons or waffle batter. I knew how to go to the refrigerator isle in the store and choose between plain, blueberry, or strawberry. Now, I make waffles every other weekend. I love waffles, and they are so diverse. I've made waffles with brown sugar and cinnamon, banana, walnuts, chocolate chips, and buttermilk. Oddly enough, my favorite is whole wheat; it is healthy, but I love the taste. When I make waffles everyone's happy.

WHOLE WHEAT WAFFLES
serving: 10 waffles

2 eggs
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Heat waffle iron.  Beat eggs until fluffy; beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. Pour batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake until steaming stops, about 5 minutes. Remove waffle carefully.

"Cinnamon Rolls." Betty Crocker's Cookbook. 2nd ed. Racine: Western, 1979. 197. Print.


BLUEBERRY SYRUP

2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

In a sauce pot add all ingredients. Let simmer on medium to medium-high heat. Stirring occasionally, let liquid thicken and reduce to half, about 15 minutes.