Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 Chicken Breasts Uncooked (can be frozen)
2 15 oz cans mexican stewed tomatoes
1 cup salsa
1 4 oz can of diced green chilies
1 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 15 oz cans canned corn drained
2 15 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed

Put all ingredients except corn and black beans in crockpot. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Remove chicken breasts. Add corn and black beans. Shred Chicken and add back to pot.

Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, avacado, cheese etc.

Beef Stew - Food Network

Vegetable oil, for searing
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, or to cover
10 cups cold water, or chicken or beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
6 sprigs parsley or 1 Tablespoon Dried
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Tablespoon Dried
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 pounds medium red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
7 canned whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed (1 28 oz can)
2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste

Heat a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to fill the pan about 1/4-inch deep. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Saute the meat, uncovered, stirring only occasionally, until well-browned, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef. Discard the oil and wipe out the pan.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the reserved beef and scatter the flour over the vegetable and beef mixture (enough to lightly coat) and cook stirring until lightly toasted. Add the water or broth, and bring to a simmer. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot. Season with 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook the meat until just tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (This can also be done on the stove at a low simmer.)

Remove pot from the oven. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid with a spoon or ladle. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and the tomatoes, and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the herb bundle. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among bowls and serve immediately.

Cook's Note: Beef chuck, from the shoulder, because of its marbling of intra-muscular fat, is the choice for any type of stew. If you can't find chuck cubed for stew in your meat department, buy a thick chuck steak and cut it into 2-inch cubes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pretzel Bites - Fake Ginger via Tracey's Culinary Adventures

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (I used instant)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
coarse sea salt

On low speed, mix the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Spray a bowl with cooking spray (or oil with with vegetable oil), add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray two baking sheets liberally with cooking spray.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring about 22 inches. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches of about 10-15 for 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place the pretzel bites on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they aren’t touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Effen Black Chery Lemon Drop - Chantel A.

1 1/2 shot of Effen Black Cherry Vodka
1 shot simple syrup
1 1/2-2 shots of fresh lemon juice.

Shake...and you know the rest.

Pommegranite Margarita - The Food Network

Lime wedge, plus more for garnish
4 ounces white tequila
2 ounces Triple Sec
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 lime, juiced (optional)
Club soda

Pour salt onto a plate or shallow dish. With a lime wedge rub along the rim of a glass and dip glasses upside down to salt the rim. Fill glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice place the tequila, triple sec, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour into the salt-rimmed glasses and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired.

Peanut Butter Pie - Food Network The Neely's


Hot Fudge Sauce:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Peanut Butter Pie:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream, plus whipped cream, for garnish, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces shaved milk chocolate
Chopped peanuts, optional

1 (9-inch) baked chocolate cookie pie crust

Sauce: Add the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chopped chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and the sauce has thickened, roughly 3 to 4 minutes. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pie: In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar and the peanut butter until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until thick and light. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Pour the batter into the pie shell, sprinkle with the shaved milk chocolate and freeze for 4 hours.

If desired, serve with the hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mini Monkey Bread

Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 20

12 Rhodes™ Dinner rolls, thawed but still cold
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cut each dinner roll into 6 equal pieces. In a bowl, combine butter and corn syrup and stir until well mixed. In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Dip each roll piece in the butter mixture and then in the sugar mixture. Place 6 pieces in each well sprayed cup of a 12 cup muffin tin. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. Cool 3-4 minutes before removing from pan. Combine icing ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over monkey breads if desired.
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