Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw – (NOT) Bon Appétit

via Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw – Bon Appétit.

There are a bunch of clipped recipes in the cookbook holder by the stove.  This Bon Appétit recipe has been there since 2009, February 2009 to be exact.  We love this recipe for a quick and healthy meatless meal.  Earlier today I glanced at the recipe to make sure all ingredients were on hand because you always have at least one ingredient missing.  I just don’t want the missing ingredient to be missing after I start cooking.

Wait a minute!  This isn’t how I make this dish!  OK, full stop.  No more writing.  I will make my tacos tonight and then write the recipe down.

6:41 PM CST update

I’ve left the link to the original recipe.  I was right.  I make this dish differently than I did five years ago.  So here we go.  I also made some fresh guacamole and to be perfectly honest, the flavors are intense, the textures varied, and it…is…HEALTHY.

1 15-ounce can organic black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (maybe more)
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 whole lime juiced, 1/4 lemon juiced

1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 clove garlic minced

pinch oregano, dash celery salt (trust me on this one)

2 cups organic green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 white or yellow corn tortilla shells, crispy
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Your favorite hot sauce or salsa

  1.  Drain and rinse the black beans, set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, saute the onion and garlic until soft.  Add oregano, cumin, and garlic. Saute until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Add the well drained black beans.  Add lemon juice. Heat until warmed through.  Mash the beans with a spoon but leave it chunky.  Season with celery salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and juice of one lime.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add a dash of sugar to cut the acidity if needed.
  5. Add the green onions, cilantro, and cabbage.  Mix well and set aside.

This recipe will make enough for 4-6 tacos.  If you need more servings, double the bean recipe and buy more taco shells. You will not need to double the cabbage slaw portion.  You’ll have plenty.

Construct your tacos.  Place some beans in the taco shell, followed by salsa, feta cheese, and slaw.  If you are using guacamole, put in on your taco last.

TIPS –

We recently discovered La Tiara authentic Mexican taco shells from Gladstone Missouri.  Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as you until I tried these shells.   Use fresh cabbage and not the bagged sliced slaw next to the bagged salads.  In a pinch, go ahead and use the bagged stuff.  But once you use fresh cabbage, you won’t go back to the bag version.  This taco recipe is perfect for a Meatless Monday.  May I suggest oven roasted sweet potatoes and corn for sides?

Turkey Meatloaf

By now you know the story: I never ate meatloaf growing up and rarely, if ever, made meatloaf when the kids were kids.  Funny things happen to you when you work from home.  I’ve learned how to take short mini-breaks of about five minutes to do prep work for dinner.  It helps to give yourself brain breaks during the workday and you also get a head start on dinner.  You reduce eye strain and the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.  And did I mention you get a head start on dinner?  So the other week I found myself staring at a package of ground turkey that I found on sale, wondering what to make for dinner.

Meatloaf!  I went with a recipe that I sort of recalled from watching too many Food Network shows and stuff I had in the fridge.  Mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery) formed the base of the flavor profile.  Thyme pairs well with turkey.  I was set to go.

Turkey Meatloaf

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery diced

2 carrots diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs, Panko
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a large mixing bowl and cool.
  3. When the vegetables are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together.
  4. Form the meat mixture into a brain shaped loaf in an oiled oven tray or baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Tips –

If you have the loaf in the fridge for any amount of time prior to baking, take the meatloaf out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking.  Bringing the meatloaf back to near room temperature reduces the possibility of under-cooking your dinner.  Do not use ground turkey breast.   There is not enough fat and your meatloaf will turn out dry.  Regular plain old ground turkey is a mixture of white and dark meat, skin, and fat.  Trust me, it tastes better.

Mashed potatoes is mandatory.  You can add a vegetable or salad and no one will care.  But mashed is mandatory.

This meatloaf makes great leftovers for sandwiches.

  

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Portabello Mushroom and Spinach Frittata

Yum!

We were in Texas this past weekend.  While in Fort Worth, my sister-in-law kept threatening to make a frittata for breakfast.  We all told her, no.  We’re having a huge lunch.  We ate a lot today already.  Please don’t make a frittata.

The frittata was never made but I’ve had frittata on the brain since.  So I made one tonight.  I found a basic recipe and then went off in the direction of whatever was in the fridge.  Yesterday I bought some baby portobello mushrooms and fresh spinach.  Why not?  I’ll post the recipe if it tastes good.  That’s right, we haven’t eaten yet.

But if this frittata doesn’t hit the mark, that’s right, no recipe.

UPDATE 04.02.14

The filler was killer.  I’m posting the recipe.

  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt And Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,  sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 2-3 large baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced medium thickness
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced, deseeded

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the broiler.

  • Beat together the eggs with the salt and pepper.  Stir in the Parmesan and set aside.
  • In a medium oven-proof non-stick skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for several minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Add mushrooms and saute until the shrooms start to release their liquid.  Add spinach and garlic, and stir to cook with the shroom/onion for a couple of minutes.
  • Lower heat to low and continue to saute until the vegetables have stopped releasing their liquids.  This will take 5-10 minutes.  Set aside and cool.
  • In the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil on high until just smoking hot.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and occasionally tilt the pan to allow some egg to drip to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat to low.
  • When the egg mixture begins to set, add the vegetables and distribute evenly.  Add the tomatoes on top.
  • Simmer on the stove top until almost fully set.  This will take 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Pop the skillet under the broiler until the eggs are set and  remove once you achieve a nice browned top.
  • Allow to cool in the skillet for 10 – 15 minutes.  When cool, transfer to a serving plate.  Slice.  Eat.

 

Greek Salad – The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Ree Drummond (One Rotisserie Chicken 50 Meals #8)

I love Ree Drummond.  Never met her.  Never mind the fact I’m married.  I love Ree Drummond.  I love Ree because every recipe of hers I’ve tried is awesome.  This Greek Salad recipe is all Ree.  It is reproduced in its awesome entirity and I’ve given credit to this Goddess via the link below.

We had the usual gang over for pizza one night.  Everyone asks “What can I bring?”.  So for one of our couple friends we said “Salad”.

They brought this salad over to have with pizza.

Awesome!

Since that fateful day, we’ve made this salad several times.  One time we put chicken on top of it.  Dinner. Done. Delicious.

Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
  • 4 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Cut Into Six Wedges Each, Then Each Wedge Cut In Half
  • 1 whole (large) Cucumber, Peeled, Cut Into Fourths Lengthwise, And Diced Into Large Chunks
  • ½ whole Red Onion, Sliced Very Thin
  • 30 whole Pitted Kalamata Olives, Cut In Half Lengthwise
  • 6 ounces, weight Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Parsley, Roughly Chopped
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 6 whole Kalamata Olives (extra), Chopped Fine
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 whole Lemon, For Squeezing

Preparation Instructions

Add chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber chunks, onion
slices, halved Kalamata olives, half the feta, and parsley to a large
bowl.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped
olives in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust
seasonings (I almost always add a little sugar.)

Pour dressing over salad ingredients, then add salt and pepper. Toss
with tongs or clean hands. Just before serving, top with additional feta
and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

via Greek Salad | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond.

Tri Tip Too

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The good news is the tri tip steak I made a while ago was deemed very good.

The bad news is I didn’t get to have any.  The steaks were smaller than I thought so I didn’t get a piece.  Same as when I was growing up, Dad would serve dinner family style and let everyone else pick their protein first.  Dad got the pieces everyone else didn’t want.  The last time I grilled tri tip steaks I got chicken.

I had to buy more.  This time I bought the entire roast and carved it into steaks myself.  At roughly a pound and a half I saved $1.50.

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The triangle pieces are small and the first cut had a pretty thick cap of fat making the “steak” even smaller.  I now understand why butchers turned this muscle into stew meat.

Tonight I am marinating the steaks in a lemon soy bath.  We’ll see how they turn out.

Update 6:00 PM

The steaks turned out great.  I froze the strip steak like pieces and grilled the smaller chunks.  I managed to cook the meat until it was medium and it wasn’t tough or chewy.  Don’t cook tri tip past medium or you will end up with chewy odd shaped hockey pucks.  The marinade turned out decent for a throw together bath.

Chili Chicken Fricassee

11.21.20 (yesterday)

“Why don’t you make that Chili Chicken Fricassee dish you used to make?”

“HUH?”

Clearly it’s been years since I’ve made this. When the years start passing by faster than the weather changes in Oklahoma and you’ve been cooking as long as I have you forget. So I’m glad I wrote this recipe down when I did because I had to look it up to remind myself how to make this dish.

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs boneless chicken cubed
  • 1/4 C seasoned flour (salt pepper cumin oregano)
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 16 oz can organic kidney beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine flour and a dash each of cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in a gallon size plastic baggie.  Add the chicken, close the bag, and shake well until all of the chicken pieces are well coated with the flour mixture.
  2. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat to medium high to avoid burning the chicken.  You will get pieces of flour and chicken stuck on the bottom of the pan.  This is OK.  Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add 1T olive oil, onion, garlic, carrots and green pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.  Saute 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth and scrape the brown pieces from the bottom of the pot.  Add tomatoes, bring up to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by one half.
  5. Add chicken and continue to simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes.  If the mixture starts to get too thick, thin out with more chicken stock.
  6. Five minutes prior to serving, add the corn, peas, and beans.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are warmed through.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve in soup bowls, chili bowls, or any bowl  of your choosing.

I seriously doubt this dish was a family favorite.  But the original recipe was preserved on an aging yellowed 3 x 5 and I’ve made this dish many times over.  But again, I find the same pattern.  The dish I make is not the dish on the recipe.  So, this recipe is how I make it now, the modifications long etched in my aging brain and definitely NOT the recipe on the card.  Let’s be honest here.  The family (to the best of my recollection) never requested this dish.  As best as I can recall, I started making this concoction during a “healthy” phase when I wanted chili but lighter, with more vegetables.

You will need rice and some nice crusty bread, salad on the side, and a tasty light red like Pinot Nowhere.  I’ve used both breast meat and thigh meat for this tasty meal.  Let your preference be your guide.

Ah the hell with it.  Drink whatever you want because this dish ROCKS!

This fricassee freezes well.  ROCK ON.

TIPS

Use a combo of grapeseed and olive oils to brown the chicken. The grapeseed oil has a higher smoke point and will brown the meat better than when using olive oil alone. I tossed in a a stalk of celery diced along with the other veggies. Why? Because I had celery in the fridge. Purely optional. I’m making this recipe for the first time in years and I changed my mind on the nice crusty bread accompaniment. I’m making Texas Corn Bread instead. And since I rarely drink wine anymore (this is a whole other story) grab a PBR instead.

One Rotisserie Chicken, 50 Meals – #7 Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

Sandi’s Memaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

2 C chicken stock

1 T chopped parsley

1 whole onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch each, basil and thyme

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, de-boned and diced

1 lb mushrooms rinsed and sliced

2 T flour

1 C cream

1/4 lb grated cheese, Monterrey Jack and Parmesan

1 lb Spaghetti

2 T Butter

  1. In a medium stock pot simmer tomatoes and chicken stock until reduced by half.
  2. Add parsley, onion, garlic, basil, thyme, Worcestershire, and chicken.
  3. In a separate pan saute the mushrooms in butter.  Stir in flour, cream, and cheese.  Add to chicken/tomato mixture.
  4. Cook spaghetti until al dente.  Drain and combine with the sauce.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

 

When you want a tasty baked pasta dish that’s not exactly Italian try this recipe.  The origin of this recipe is as interesting as the dish itself.   Sandi is one of my wife’s childhood friends.  Sandi called her grandmother “Memaw”.  Hence, this is Sandi’s grandmother’s recipe.  Over the years this pasta supper was made with minor variations.  I’ve always substituted half and half for the cream.  But if your intention is for a creamier dish, go for the cream.  Different pasta shapes work well too.  Don’t just limit yourself to spaghetti.  Be generous with the cheese quantity also.

 

Scalloped Potatoes

4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
Half cup diced sweet onion
Half stick butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Dash salt and pepper
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
4 slices American cheese

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent.
  2. Add flour to create a roux.  Add milk slowly, stirring continuously.  Add salt, pepper, one cup of the cheddar cheese and all of the American cheese.  Simmer briefly until all of the cheeses have melted and you have a smooth sauce.  Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes.  Alternate layers of potatoes and sauce, ending with a layer of sauce on top.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and bake uncovered for another 45 minutes.
  7. During the last five minutes, sprinkle the remaining cup of cheddar cheese on top of the casserole.
  8. Remove from oven and let set for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

 

Simple is good and super simple is better.  Recipes for Scalloped Potatoes are all pretty much the same.  Potatoes, butter, cheese, milk, bake.  But when you get compliments on the potatoes, you put the recipe on the blog to hopefully answer the question:

“So what do you do differently?”

After thinking about the question and  looking a few other recipes, the answer is not much.  (but I think it’s the half stick of butter).

TIPS – slice the potatoes as thin as possible, 1/4 inch is good.  Sauce up every layer of potatoes.  Use a high quality extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Butter, not margarine.

Mike’s Pot Roast

Mike’s Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 lb boneless chuck roast,  well marbled
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large Sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 lb Porcini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 1/2 C Sweet Marsala wine
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 2-3 T organic tomato paste
  • 1 C low sodium beef broth
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Use a cast iron enamel covered pot  large enough to hold roast and vegetables. Heat 2 T of oil and 1 T butter on medium high heat.  Sprinkle and rub roast with salt and  pepper. Brown roast in pot, several minutes on each side.
  2. When roast is browned, remove from the pot and set on a plate.  Drain all but 1 T of the fat from the pot.  Add the onions, diced carrots, and celery to the pot and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to brown.  Add the garlic, Porcini mushrooms and a pinch of thyme, and saute for another minute.  Add the Marsala wine and continue to saute until the alcohol evaporates.   Add tomato paste, beef broth and mix thoroughly.   Create a “well” in the center by pushing all of the vegetables to the sides of the pot.
  3. Place  the roast in the well you’ve created. (It’s OK if a few veggies are underneath the roast)  Sprinkle another pinch of thyme over the roast. Add extra broth if required to bring the liquid level up to the top of the roast.  Cover and adjust the heat down to a low simmer.
  4. Cook for 2 hours, or longer.
  5. Approximately 45 minutes before serving, remove the roast from the pot and set on a plate.  Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  6. Increase heat to medium high and  reduce the gravy to one half its volume.  Add 1 T butter and the carrot chunks.  Reduce heat back to low.
  7. Trim all visible fat and gristle from the roast.  Slice the roast against the grain and return to the pot.  Stir to coat the roast slices thoroughly.
  8. Simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes.

Yield: Serves 4-5.

I have no memories of pot roast from my childhood.  I’m pretty certain we never had pot roast growing up.  Dad did all of the cooking for the family and if you ever tasted my Mom’s cooking you would understand why.  So for me pot roast was  and still is a special dish to be savored.  And this past week, I’ve been thinking about pot roast a lot.  It’s not a hard dish to make and everyone makes it differently.  I kind of made this recipe up and thankfully it worked.

I say thankfully because we were serving this pot roast to friends.  As things turned out, the pot roast turned out.  Mike had seconds.  Mike also won at cards.  So I’ve named this pot roast after Mike.

Tips – Find a nice chuck roast that has a lot of marbling.  This adds tremendous flavor and remember, you’ll be trimming the fat off before serving.  Remember the gravy makes this dish.  I found the addition of Porcini mushrooms to be quite a difference maker. MASHED POTATOES.  You need mashed potatoes, period.  Since we’ve added extra carrots, try a green salad on the side.  And bread.  Some good bread to sop up the gravy is also essential.  One of these times when I have leftover pot roast, I’ll post my Next Day Pot Roast Sandwich.  Sorry, no picture…we ate it all.

More Tips – I have also used a cut of beef called Cross Rib Roast and the results were superb.  Don’t confuse this cut with prime rib or rib roast.  The two are different.  The Cross Rib Roast is basically a different chuck cut.  It is leaner than a chuck roast and possesses a rich, deep beefy flavor.  I also started the dish on the stove top then put the enamel pot covered into a 250 degree oven for three hours.  The roast was fork tender, no knifes needed.

 

Even More Tips – One day I could not find a decent looking piece of chuck for pot roast.  Every roast I saw didn’t have enough marbling.  I did find some well marbled top blade steaks.top blade steaks.  If you’ve ever been out and had a flat iron steak, you have eaten this cut.  But since I bought top blade and not the flat iron cut, it was perfect for this recipe.

Scallion Fried Rice (add Rotisserie Chicken for #5 in the Series One Rotisserie Chicken – 50 Meals)

Scallion Fried Rice

4-6 fresh scallions (green onions)
2 eggs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 T canola cooking oil
3 cups cooked rice (leftover and cold American Basmati)
2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Slice and separate white and green parts of scallions.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a nonstick wok over heat.  Coat pan with the hot oil by twirling.
  3. Add white parts of the scallions and saute about 1 minute.
  4. Add rice and stir-fry while breaking up the clumps until rice is heated through.  Add more canola oil to prevent sticking, if needed.
  5. Turn heat down to medium-high.  Push the rice to the sides of the wok, creating a well in the center.  Crack in the eggs and stir constantly while not allowing the egg to completely set up.  Gradually incorporate the rice until the egg is blended in well with the rice.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Add sesame oil. Garnish with the remaining green tops of the scallions.

 

There have to be as many versions of Fried Rice as there are cooks.  Everyone has their favorite recipe and somewhere along the Path I started making this simple fried rice.  This rice makes an excellent side dish and can be made ahead of time and gently reheated.  The original versions I remember from my childhood had bits of dried Chinese sausage or char siu in the dish.  I’ve also encountered versions made with tiny bits of ham or bacon.  Here I present the ovo-lacto veggie version.

Tips – The rice needs to be cold, preferably leftover from the previous day.  Make fried rice with hot or warm rice and you will make a Giant Clump Fried Rice Ball.  Any white rice will do fine; we prefer the taste of American Basmati.  Better yet, use Texmati American Basmati.  I’ve tried other rices and it’s just not the same.  Now if you want to make a meal out of this fried rice, add some diced Rotisserie Chicken and you have Chicken Fried Rice.

That was easy.

Update 08.23.14

Two eggs, not one.  I’ve also changed the Tips to reflect the type of rice I use.