Friday, August 27, 2010

May 17th's Meal Updated

So, after trying the Southwest Egg Rolls again in the oven I realized that they are just not anything like what I was hoping for. I am a true lover of Chili's Southwest Egg Rolls and that is what I wanted mine to be like. So, with a minor tweak in the recipe, we are much closer! Instead of baking them, I pan fried them instead. They came out crispy and flaky and wonderful. So, here is the updated recipe.

Southwest Egg Rolls

1 cup chopped grilled chicken (leftovers work great!)
2 cups canned corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, chopped
1 t ground cumin
½ t chili powder
1 t salt
½ t pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers (about 18 total needed)
Vegetable Oil

Directions:In a large bowl, combine everything except the egg roll wrappers. Mix well. Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and wet the edges of the wrapper with a small amount of water. Place a heaping ¼ cup of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center. Finish rolling and press to seal closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Heat a large skillet on medium with about 1 or 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in it. Once the oil is hot, place the egg rolls seem side down in the skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side. Remove to a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat with the remainder of the egg rolls. ENJOY!

Note: I burnt mine. Yes, I tend to do that a lot lately. I did 1 minute and 10 seconds on each side and it was too long. Moral of the story, don't get distracted while making these!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"What Makes a Potato Gourmet?"

Cheese. Sour Cream. Onions.

So, I've got a little story for ya Ags. (Oh how I miss College Station today.) I met an amazing man back in the fourth grade. No, I didn't know that I would end up marrying him, but I did know that I had met someone special. Although he has tortured and teased me for years, I am so thankful that our wonderful God has graced me with such an amazing man. This amazing man has opened my eyes to so many new things. You see, there are very few people in the world that can get me to try new things. I am exactly like my mother in this regard. I like things the way they have always been and change brings about a great deal of stress. One of my worst areas of this is my taste palate. I hate trying new foods. I know what I like and I like what I know. Except....since dating Mark I have realized that there are foods out there that although seem scary, are actually wonderful.
The first thing I began to love after being introduced to it by Mark (well, actually his mother) was pork. I love pork tenderloin now. Who knew that I would love both white meats! Another is mushrooms...these days I will eat them in anything. Especially Mezzaluna from The Grotto (hint hint nudge nudge, Mark you should take me there). And last but not least is Sour Cream. My first reaction is still "GROSS" but I am getting better. Debbie (my mother in law) made these amazing potatoes one day and when I asked what was in them, she wouldn't tell me until I tried them. Well, after about 3 servings she finally told me....and heaven forbid there was Sour Cream in them! I was so mad that Mark hadn't told me but it worked out in the end. One of my new favorite meals is pork tenderloin with these Sour Cream potatoes. they are, my mother in law's Gourmet Potatoes.

Gourmet Potatoes

3 medium potatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup sour cream
1/3 yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes for 30 minutes (with the skin on). Let cool, preferably over night in the fridge. Peel the potatoes. Shred the potatoes using a food processor. (If you don't have a large enough food processor with the shredding blade, a large cheese grater will work too.) Mix together the potatoes, cheddar, sour cream and onions. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish. I like to put half the mixture into a pie pan and the other half in a glass dish with a lid so I can freeze it and bake it later. If baking it all at once you should use something larger than a pie dish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. If you like a crispy edge, like I do, broil them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. ENJOY!!!

Note: These are not very healthy but SO good. They go with just about any dinner and will leave your husband wanting more. You know, Mark and I are just never going to be that skinny couple. We love dishes like this too much.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reconciling My Hatred of Meatballs

Meatballs. Gross. Or at least gross is what I used to think. I hate ground meat unless it is extremely well seasoned taco meat. But, I am also married to an Italian man who loves meatloaf and meatballs which means I needed to find a compromise. The meatloaf compromise is that whenever I will be out of town I buy the groceries for Mark to make his own meatloaf because NO ONE will ever get me to eat catchup-y ground beef....that for me is the epitome of disgusting. The meatball compromise is a new one though. I had never even thought of making meatballs because I don't like ground meet with my pasta. Really, I don't like any meat in my pasta. Pasta in my mind is to be enjoyed with cheese....lots and lots and lots of cheese. Parmesan, no Romano. So, I present to you my meatball compromise. The other night I made Chicken Meatball Subs. They were so delightful that we ate them two nights in a row, and probably could have eaten them a third night but we ran out of meatballs on night two. I merged a few recipes that I found through Google, which is what I always do, but these just came out amazing. This is rare for a first try of a recipe. Thank goodness it came out better than my first try at Chicken Divan (SO GROSS). So, here is the recipe for the meatballs and to make them into subs just add some garlic bread, mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce. SO GOOD, YOU MUST TRY THEM NOW!!!!!

Chicken Meatballs
3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 c milk
3 oz sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 egg
1 lb ground chicken
3 T tomato paste
1 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about the time it takes to get everything else ready.
Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic with a little bit of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool while getting the rest of the ingredients together.
Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Make 14 meatballs and arrange them in two 9 by 13 pans.
Stir together remaining tablespoons of tomato paste and oil and brush over meatballs then bake until meatballs are just cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Note: This was my first time using pancetta because I think it looks kinda yucky and smells even worse but it really helped with the moisture level in these. The chicken is so lean that you really need that extra fat content. If you can't find pancetta or it is too pricey, I am sure either canadian bacon or regular bacon could be substituted.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Breakfast + Pizza = AWESOME

So it is a well known fact that breakfast for dinner is a great idea. Whoever said eggs were made only for the morning?? I tend to make brinner (breakfast at dinner) quite often but my go tos were getting a little old. I decided to try something new and boy, am I glad I did! I decided to make a breakfast pizza and it turned out really good. Mark enjoyed it as well which means it will be worked into our normal dinner rotation. The recipe is not complicated and sometimes those are the best kind.

Breakfast Pizza


½ recipe of Pizza Dough

1 T Melted Butter

1 t Parsley

1 t Oregano

1 T Garlic Salt

Shredded Mozzarella

Grated Parmesan

Bacon, baked and crumbled

2 eggs, 2 egg whites, scrambled dry


Stretch pizza dough out on a large cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle parsley, oregano and garlic salt evenly over the dough. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a small amount of shredded mozzarella on the dough. Add the bacon and eggs and as much additional mozzarella as you like. Finish with some grated parmesan and return to oven for 5 minutes.