Monday, March 27, 2006

Chicken-Fried Steak and King Ranch Chicken

It ain't healthy, but you'll be happy. Soak good meat overnight in
milk, dip small pieces in flour with a dash of salt and pepper, and fry
in pretty hot oil; serve with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.

Haven't tried this King Ranch Chicken, but it looks OK:

10 oz cream of chicken soup
10 oz cream of mushroom soup (or replace both these with 20 oz poblano
cream of chicken soup)
2 cups chicken broth
10 oz can of RoTel
16 corn tortillas, cut in pieces
1 whole cooked chicken (or cook chicken breasts in the broth)
1 large chopped onion
4 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook chicken breasts in broth, cool and shred.
Grease a 3-qt casserole
Add soup and Rotel to broth
Layer: 1/2 of the tortillas, chicken, onion and cheese
Pour half the broth over
Layer again, and pour rest of broth on.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Week 1: Garlic pork loin, pot roast, salmon

OK, it's crunch time. I'm under a tight budget for the next 6 weeks and it's time to really give this a run. Here's the plan for Week 1:

Garlic Pork Loin with raspberry chipotle sauce and wild rice
Bobbie's Pot Roast
Ginger Soy Salmon
lots of almond haricots verts

Grocery list

from HEB: frozen haricots verts

4 salmon fillets
Chuck roast, 3 lb
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pound boned pork loin

2 lemons
3-4 carrots
2-3 russet potatoes
2 lb new potatoes

Can of mushroom soup
Packet of onion soup mix
Can Ortega diced green chiles
Uncle Ben's wild rice
garlic (2 cloves for potatoes, a few for pot roast, 8 for pork)
ginger (4 tsp for salmon)
dried thyme
sliced turkey breast
wheat bread

have on hand: butter, olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar, garlic salt, sliced almonds, F&W raspberry chipotle sauce, Miracle Whip

Plan of attack: Pick up the haricots verts Friday on way home. Shop for the rest Saturday, chop the garlic and make the rosemary potatoes, eat a turkey sandwich and go to Kelly's party. Sunday, start the pot roast, chop veggies, make the salmon, wild rice and haricots verts. Monday night after work, roast the pork loin.

Rosemary Potatoes

2 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
1 tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
2 tsp. snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Roasting directions: In a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish arrange raw potatoes. In a bowl stir together oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, in a 450 degree oven about 25 minutes or until brown and tender.

one to try: Ginger Soy Salmon

(double recipe)

6 pats melted butter
4 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp soy
juice of 2 lemons
4 tsp sugar
4 salmon fillets

Mix first 5 ingredients (if lemon juice is warm, it will blend with butter easily)
Sear the fillets in a buttered pan, then add lemon-butter-soy mixture
Cook on high heat, turning to coat, until ginger-colored.
Turn down heat and simmer 5 min each side.
Pour sauce over to serve.

Bobbie's Pot Roast

With love to my lifelong friend Bobbie, who knew me when I was young and even more annoying than I am now (I think). May have evolved from original slightly.

Chuck roast, 3 lb
Can of mushroom soup
Packet of onion soup mix
Can Ortega diced green chiles
dash garlic salt (try also garlic cloves?)
1/2 can of water
Carrots, diced
Potatoes, cubed

Preheat oven to 450. (Sear roast in pan?)
Mix together mushroom soup, onion soup mix, chiles, garlic salt (garlic cloves?)
Place roast in a stock pot, pour mixture over, and cover. (I pour a little on bottom first)
Place roast in oven and turn heat down to 250 for 6 hours.
Toss the carrots and potatoes in halfway through.

semi-quick: Pizza alla Mom

Mom makes killer homemade pizzas. She uses Brick Oven pizza sauce from the grocery store (may need to squish it through a strainer so it's not too watery first). Her signature toppings are garlic, mozzarella, ground sirloin and fresh jalapeƱos. The dough she makes with Fleischmann's yeast (comes in packets or jar) according to the Mario Batali recipe appended below.

The dough is pretty quick, but all the chopping could slow the project down. I might try to roast some garlic and pay homage to the "Bela Lugosi," a pizza from Frank & Angie's that is studded with garlic cloves every square inch, I swear.

Notes from the Mom herself:

I slice garlic cloves very thinly with my ceramic knife and I used to lay them around on top of the tomato sauce, but last night I just stirred them into the sauce and spread the sauce on the pizza. They were distributed evenly and it was quicker. This only works if everyone wants garlic. Then, for one kind of pizza I use fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced, and chopped fresh jalapeno. For the other kind, I use shredded Stella d'Oro mozzarella from Sam's, good lean ground sirloin (cooked and crumbled), pepperoni, and chopped fresh jalapeno.

I am very complimented that you like the pizza.

Pizza dough (from Mario Batali)

1 cup tepid water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Stir the water, oil, sugar, and salt in a liquid measuring cup until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the flour and yeast in a large bowl, make a well in the center and add the liquid mixture. With a wooden spoon or your hand, gradually stir the flour into the liquid to make a rough dough. Pull the dough together into a ball (if there is a bit of flour left, don't fret).

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface dusted with flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, using more flour if necessary to keep from sticking. Divide into 4 equal portions, form into balls, and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the tops of the dough with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza dough
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 45 minutes


Place oven rack pretty low, about 1/3 from the bottom, and preheat to 400 or 450. Smoosh the pizza crust into the pan and bake 6 or 8 min, til it starts to look dry and firm (but not brown).

Then take it out and top it with whatever. Bake at 400 or 450 til the topping looks hot and bubbly. That will be about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how thick the toppings you put on. Since all toppings are precooked, it just needs to get hot and the cheese needs to melt and bubble.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Garlic toast alla Mom

A day or two before (if you want), soften some butter and stir in minced garlic and dried parsley. Stick it back in the fridge.

When it's spaghetti time, re-soften the butter/herb mix, slice the bread (baguette, etc.), spread it thickly and warm up in the oven. Snarf!

something to try: Garlic Pork Loin

adapted (i.e. simplified beyond recognition) from an Emeril TV recipe:

Uncle Ben's wild rice, F&W raspberry chipotle sauce, and garlic green
beans (haricots verts in big frozen package from HEB recommended by

Garlic Roasted Pork Loin
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pound boned pork loin
8 large cloves garlic
1 Tbsp rosemary
1 Tbsp sage
1 Tbsp thyme
Olive oil
2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 500.
Cream the garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme into a paste (add olive oil,
salt, pepper if needed)
Put large roasting pan over 2 burners and add a little oil.
Season pork with salt & pepper and sear all sides, 2-3 min per side.
Rub garlic-herb paste over the pork (which will be hot -- careful).
Roast pork 40-45 min until center is 140 degrees. Make the rice.
5 min before taking roast out, glaze with some of the raspberry sauce.
Let it rest 10-15 minutes. Stir-fry the green beans with garlic salt
and almond slivers.

Slice the pork loin, set atop rice and drizzle some more sauce on it.