Thursday, February 24, 2011
Feel free to call it Rice Pilaf if it makes you feel better. That's what I call it when I fix it for someone so that they too aren't turned off (without reason) by the name Rice-A-Roni.
I probably shouldn't be calling it that anyway, I'm sure it's a licensed trademark something or other. So let me say this is, by no means is this meant to be the original Rice-A-Roni brand or lead anyone to believe that it is. No Roni's were harmed in the making of this dish, except the tender one's. (Insert gong here...hello, is this thing on?) You probably only understand that if you are a child of the early 90's & were a Bobby Brown fan.
Rice Pilaf, aka Rice-A-Roni, the southern Alabama treat used to be one of my favorite things my Grandma fixed. She was the only person that would fix it & she usually did this because she knew I liked it so much. My sweet Grandma was a jewel & I miss her terribly. I also miss Rice-A-Roni which is one of the reasons why I came up with this recipe. The other reason is because I try to stay away from boxed, semi-prepared food. From scratch can be just as easy & taste much better.
So here we go.
Just imagine this same picture but with the rice pilaf aka rice-a-roni mixed up. Mmmm, doesn't it look delicious?
So now you get the finished product where I garnished it with more parsley.
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 med. onion, diced
1 cup of arborio rice
1 cup of vermicelli broken into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
2-3 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh chopped italian parsley
Heat oil & butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted add onion & cook until transculcent. Add rice & pasta. Saute until pasta becomes golden brown, continuously stirring. Add broth, stir, reduce heat, cover & simmer for about 20 minutes. If broth is absorbed before rice & pasta is done, simply add more broth, re-cover & continue simmering. After your rice pilaf is done toss in your chopped parsley, mix well & serve immediatley.
Note: You can saute mushrooms and/or green peppers with your onion to add a different flavor. You may also substitute beef broth or vegetable broth if it compliments the rest of your meal better.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I do...& I don't care who knows. I'll scream it from the rooftops!
I LOOOOVE MEXICAN FOOOOOD!!
See...that's me, screaming from rooftops.
I'm sure most people would agree with me because I haven't met many people that do not enjoy meat & cheese rolled up in a tortilla. Mexican food is mostly some version of that right? I know for a fact everyone likes cheese dip & tortilla chips. If you don't, I don't think this relationship between you & I is going to work out. That's just crazy talk, not liking cheese dip, pssshhhh!
Anyway, cheese dip does not have a single thing to do with this recipe. I kind of got off on a tangent.
Back to the task at hand.
Burritos! Not just any burritos, burrito enchiladas. Why the two names you ask? It's pretty simple, they are just burritos covered in enchilada sauce & they are delicious.
And here's how ya make 'em...
Yes, I could just stop here & eat this & be happy. But there is so much more to come that makes it even more tasty.
Spread about 2 Tbsp of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of your dish.
Here comes the fun part.
I'm no tortilla rolling expert, but this was a pretty good attempt if I do say so myself. I cannot promise however, that the other four turned out as nicely as this one did. Just sayin'.
Place them in the oven at 400 degrees & bake for about 20 minutes to get the inside as melty & delicious as the outside. You may choose to bake them a little longer or a little less, it's up to you.
Garnish with sour cream & a few more green onions & serve.
Note: I know that I often say you can add or take away or basically do what you want with my recipes. That's because I want you to try them but I want you to adapt them to your taste. If your taste is the same as mine & you want to follow the directions to a tee, then please do so, I'm flattered that you might kinda wanna be like me. But if you change it up that's great. That's what cooking is all about experimenting & preparing delicious food & what is delicious to me may not be the same for you & vice versa. I just want us all to get along & cook good food.
Beef & Bean Burrito Enchiladas
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1 can diced tomatoes & green chilis
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 package of burrito (large) sized flour tortillas
4 green onions, sliced
1 can of refried beans
2 cups of shredded mexican blend cheese
2 cans of enchilada sauce
1 small can of sliced black olives
Sour cream to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Brown ground beef with taco seasoning & diced tomatoes until done. Set aside. Chop green onions. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray & spread about 2 Tbsp of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of dish. Place one tortilla on your work surface. Spread 1-2 Tbsp of beans just off-center on tortilla. Layer 2-3 Tbsp of your beef mixture over beans, then sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of shredded cheese over beef & top with a few green onions. Fold & roll up tortilla (see instructions above). Place burrito in baking dish. Repeat layering of ingredients with each tortilla, rolling each & placing in baking dish. Once complete, pour remaining enchilada sauce over burritos being sure to cover as much of each burrito as you can. Sprinkle the tops with the shredded cheese & dot with black olives. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with sour cream & garnish with remaining green onion.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
My boyfriends niece, who I might as well call my niece too, told me not so long ago that it was the best french toast she'd ever had.
And I believe her.
That's quite a compliment coming from her because she's 8 years old & 8 year olds know good french toast. Plus, this eight year old speaks her mind, no holds barred. She also told me, her dad & his girlfriend once that she knew why we liked to hang out with her...because she's a fun girl.
See, she knows what she's talking about. I love that kid!
Here's my french toast story. When I was a wee-little thing it was always a special treat to have french toast. I think it made me feel fancy. So when we would go out for breakfast I would usually order french toast...because I like to look fancy.
I remember one time in particular we took our first trip to Disney World, I was about 17 & my brother & I went with my dad & my stepmother. Our last full day there, the boys (my dad & brother) and the girls (me & my stepmom) went our separate ways. Us girls decided to go eat breakfast somewhere nice which happened to be a cute little restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. We looked over the menu & I immediately saw french toast & knew this was what I wanted. When it arrived at the table, it looked beautiful & delicious & all fancy with it's powdered sugar, strawberry slices & mint leaves. Ever since that moment every time I eat french toast whether it's in my pajamas from a paper plate, french toast sticks from Burger King or somewhere really nice, I think about that.
Okay, I've bored you enough with personal stories. I know all you're really interested in is what happened this time.
So here we go.
Oh wait! One more quick story. My boyfriend, the Hunk (my mother actually gave him that name) loves french toast too, it reminds him of his childhood as well. But he said it didn't make him feel fancy, he just liked it & still does.
Men...boys...gotta love their simplicity.
Okay, french toast here we come.
The salt really makes a difference, trust me on this, I'm a professional. Well, okay, not quite, but almost. Okay, not even almost. Just trust me.
Your mixture should look something like this. The cinnamon has a tendency to settle so I suggest whisking between bread dips.
Brown each slice for about 2-3 mins.
I will admit that sometimes I get wrapped up in the pressing down, moving around & transferring to the skillet & forget to flip the slices I put in first. If you do that too it's okay, they'll be a little more brown but will taste just fine.
When you are done you have lovely, delicious french toast.
Garnish with your favorite syrup & a little powdered sugar if you like. Serve this to your honey on Valentine's Day morning for breakfast in bed.
4 Slices French Bread, cut almost an inch thick & sliced on the diagnol
1/2 cup of millk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Melt a pat of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk eggs in a shallow dish. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon & salt whisking until well blended. Dredge one slice of bread in the egg mixture, being sure the bread is completely coated. Flip bread over & coat the other side. Remove bread from egg mixture allowing just a little of the liquid to drain from the bread. Place bread in skillet. Repeat the dredging with each slice of bread. Brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve hot with syrup.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I only baked because of the simplicity of this recipe. I was inspired one cool Sunday morning as I was paroozing through a couple of cookbooks & sipping my coffee. I saw a couple of different recipes
for cobbler & thought it sounded like just what I needed that day.
I decided to make individual sizes so that I wouldn't overindulge for the next three days because I made a cobbler large enough for a family of 8.
Granny Smith is the best for making apple desserts, they hold up well to the cooking process & are tart enough to allow for the extra sweetness desserts have.
And yes, before you ask that is a blueberry cobbler you see in the background. I made one for my boyfriend, The Hunk, using frozen blueberries. I don't care for blueberry anything.
I know I'm weird, it's the berry that makes the world go 'round & is everyone's favorite, except mine.
I'm not a fan.
Back to the apple cobbler.
You'll bake these at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. I baked mine for around 35 minutes because it will continue to cook a little once it's removed from the oven. If you like your cobbler gooier then I suggest you only bake it for the 30 minutes.
Now for the cream, this is even easier to fix, if that's possible...& it is.
Place a dollop of the whipped cream on your apple cobbler while it's still warm...
Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream
2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whipped cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place apple chunks, 1 cup of sugar & water in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat & simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar, milk, flour & butter until well blended. Spray 2 small baking dishes with non-stick spray & distribute batter evenly between the two dishes. Do not stir. Tap dish on hard surface just enough to help it settle & smooth out. Pour fruit & most of simple syrup on top of batter, again distributing evenly between the two servings. Still do not stir, the batter will rise to the top while baking. Sprinkle each cobbler with a pinch of sugar. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
For Cinnamon-Vanilla Cream:
In a small bowl mix whipped cream, vanilla & cinnamon together until blended well.
Top cobbler with whipped cream & serve.
You can double all of the ingredients & prepare one large cobbler in about an 8x8 baking dish. The cooking time & temperature would remain the same as mentioned above. You can also make this with any fresh or frozen fruit you look, just clean, peel & core.