Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beef Chili Verde

Beef Chili Verde

I had a dear friend pass this recipe to me the other day. While I fleshed out the directions, this is basically the same recipe she gave me.

One beef rump roast, about 3 pounds, diced into half inch cubes
Ten mild green chilies( Anaheim or poblono), seeded
between 5 and 10 seeded jalapeno chilies
two medium sized yellow onions, peeled and diced
one bulb of garlic, peeled and minced
five pounds of tomatillos, finely diced
two quarts beef stock
one Tablespoon salt
one teaspoon cumin
one teaspoon oregano
one teaspoon chili powder

First, roast the chilies. One way to do this is to spread out the chilies on a baking sheet in a 475 degree oven for fifteen minutes and then turn them over and roast them for 15 minutes longer. This should blister the skins of the chilies, making them easier to peel. Let chilies cool and peel them. Using rubber gloves at this point to protect the eyes and skin from possible chili pepper irritation is wise. If a person is very cautious with the handling and immediately washes their hands thoroughly with soap and water, they might avoid problems. As an aside note, most jalapenos sold in stores are more mild than they used to be, or than the ones grown in a backyard garden.

Once the chilies are roasted, cooled and peeled, chop finely. Brown the beef cubes with the onions and garlic. After the beef is browned, add the chilies and tomatillos. Add two quarts of beef stock and the spices.

Cook the chili verde for about twelve hours at a low heat. This is important to develop the flavors of all the ingredients together. The beef will magically tenderize, the tomatillos will become sweet and the chilies will soften their heat and complement the other flavors. The end result should be a very thick sauce that is green and rich. Use to smother other Mexican dishes or just eat it with some tortillas out of a bowl. I used some to make enchiladas and passed some back to my friend who sent me the recipe.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fish Chowder

After putting it off for a month, I will address the issue of the Fish Chowder.  Okay, it wasn’t chowder because the recipe used had no bacon or pork fat in it.  However, the results were much appreciated by the fifty people who ate it and, after avoiding recording the recipe for four weeks, I will attempt to recreate it.

Fish Chowder

About 3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dices
I bundle celery, chopped finely
3 onions, chopped finely
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 cup butter

Saute all of these vegetables in the butter until the onions and potatoes are clear.  This will take about ten minutes.  Add:

3 quarts chicken stock or water
Salt to taste(about 1 Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cook until potatoes are soft, about ten minutes.  Add:

2 pounds whitefish (I used tilapia) cut into pieces about 1/2 inch square
Cook until fish is done, about 5 minutes.  Add

1 pint half and half
1 cup cold milk with 1/4 cup flour mixed in until lumps disappear.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the flour has thickened the soup.

Check seasonings. I also added two pinches of hot red pepper, it really brightened up the soup.

Some notes:
Use a big pot.  Stir often to prevent burning.  The fat from the butter, half and half or cream is really yummy, but can be reduced somewhat.  A cup or two of fresh or frozen corn can be added if you like that.  Serve this to a crowd and they will consume it rapidly.  Alterations to the amounts can be made, this is not a precise recipe and can be tailored for your family’s tastes.  The flour can be omitted if you want a thinner soup, it is good both ways.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


A good brownie recipe is a valuable asset. Especially when you get some of those impossible chocolate cravings and you need it taken care of right NOW! Brownies can be very simple to make if you know some of the secrets to simplicity. This recipe can be made in one bowl, without melting any chocolate. The use of cocoa powder combined with the oil makes a passable substitute for melted unsweetened chocolate. If you are willing to try something a little bit new, you can substitute carob powder for some of the cocoa. The type of cocoa used isn’t like hot chocolate, its like dutch processed cocoa, unsweetened and bitter. This is a great brownie for sharing, but make sure you get a piece before the rest of the family eats them all!


1 cup oil
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1-2 cups walnuts, optional

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease sides and bottom of a 9x 13 pan. Mix all ingediants well in a large
bowl until blended. Spread in pan Bake 40-45 minutes or until brownies pull away from sides of the pan. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fish Tacos a laingenuo

Fish Tacos Ingenuo 

Ingenuo means both naive and candid or simpleminded. These tacos are very simple to make and especially tasty when eaten with someone you love. The recipe can be varied like I did today with some beef chopped finely and cooked until done on the stove top. Eating them, standing around the kitchen waiting for the next tortilla to be done is a nice way to have your family interact with your cooking. If you are cooking for one, its pretty straightforward and simple to cook as well.

Fish Tacos Ingenuo

frozen fish fillets or sticks
corn or flour tortillas
tartar sauce or a mixture of ranch dressing and salsa
lime slice

If you live in the southwestern part of the United States, you can find tortillas at almost any grocery store. These are essentially a thin flatbread made by rolling out with either a wheat four based dough for the flour tortillas or a mixture of corn called masa for the corn tortillas. If you have gluten issues, the corn tortillas are going to be a good idea. Some people don't like using corn tortillas because they only have experience with them breaking as you try to wrap them. I learned a secret from my friend who was married to a Mexican(grew up in Mexico, not just born of Mexican ancestors like a lot of people I know): You have to heat the tortillas up before you use them or they will break. The way I like to do this is to place them one at a time on a hot skillet and flip them over after a few seconds. You can, however, heat a stack of tortillas in the oven or microwave wrapped in a clean, dry dishtowel. So, if you are using the Fish, first thing you do is to preheat the oven and cook them according to the instructions on the box. I like Van de Camps brand. Consistent quality and yummy. How many? Oh, if you are cooking for you and you want one taco, one fillet or three sticks. Multiply that out by the number of tacos that you need to feed your family and you will have a good idea. While the frozen fish is cooking, shred your cabbage as finely as you can manage. We are talking the thinnest shreds possible. The thinner they are, the more sauce they get per area cut and it makes the tacos extra easy to eat. It can be disconcerting to find a huge piece of cabbage just as you are trying to chew your taco. The voice of experience here. I made my own salsa last year from some tomatoes someone gave me. I canned it and haul it out when I want good sugar free stuff. Limes are optional, but they can be a great flavor note to add to your taco, just slice in wedges and squeeze one wedge per taco. Take out your fish, place on either one flour tortilla or two corn tortillas, place  some cabbage and sauce on top, squeeze lime wedge and eat. Its simple, and it might not sound yummy but it is. The aha point on this came for me when I realized all the taco places around here sell fish tacos for about $2 each, but use generic frozen fillets that they deep fat fry. I could buy my own frozen fish fillets, bake them, and save a lot of money and have better, less greasy tacos. I was especially flattered that a friend told my husband he followed my 'recipe' and was surprised that the tacos were really good. Simple and good. Try them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fat-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fat-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these on a hunch. The hunch was that if I used vegetable purees instead of butter in a cookie like recipe, the result would be like the cookies I was craving from the store, but less fat laden and more nutritious. I was right, but the cookies were actually better than any other pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I had made before. Its saying a lot that they turned out as well, if not better. I baked them as a bar cookie; in a 9x13 pan. I think they would work as well formed on cookie trays.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 oz butternut squash puree
8 oz sweet potato puree
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose wheat flour
1 cup rice cereal(baby food)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix purees, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl. Mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the wet ingredients. 
The finished dough will be thick. It can either be formed into balls and placed on a greased cookie tray or pressed into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes for the cookies or 25 minutes for the pan. Allow to cool before eating, at least enough to not get burned. Trust me on this... Its pretty important. If you love pumpkin, you will love these cookies. Unless you hate chocolate like my little sister. I'm not sure if she is really my sister.... just kidding, I know you are my sister, you are too abnormal not to be :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pumpkin Flax Seed Granola

Pumpkin Flax Seed Granola
Sometimes I fall into a bit of a rut with breakfast. Lately, I have been eating eggs or oatmeal. Now I love both eggs and oatmeal, but I wanted to make something different. I had purchased a um, large bag of oatmeal, like 25 pounds, or 21 kilos a couple of months back. Abandoning the idea of steadily eating eating away at the fifteen pounds left is not really an option. So, what to do? GRANOLA! Now, while granola bought in the store is hideously expensive, making it at home is pretty easy and relatively quick. So, because I love the pumpkin flax seed granola from a great natural brand, I decided I would try to make up my own recipe. So, here it is. The amounts are approximate, but the results should be delicious even so. If this mix of seeds isn't really your thing, feel free to change it up.
Pumpkin Flax seed Granola
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup oil
1 cup water
5 lbs of oatmeal(this I did measure on a kitchen scale)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup flax seed
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the sugar, honey, oil and water together to make a syrup. I recommend doing this in a LARGE saucepan on the stove, under careful supervision. I opted for the microwave and it didn't really satisfy my desires to have it all melted together. The stove top works much better. Mix the oatmeal and various stuffs in a really big bowl. Yes, a really big bowl. I really should measure how big my bowls are, but I used the biggest one I had in my kitchen that was stainless steel. Then carefully pour the syrup over the oatmeal/seed mixture. Stir generously to coat as much as possible with the goodness of the syrup. The syrup is going to be your main prevailing flavor, so make sure it coats the oatmeal well.
Next, in some baking pans, spread out the coated mixture. This is going to be your granola after it bakes, so treat it with love and respect because it might be going into the oven looking kind of wet and sticky but it will emerge triumphant and proud and delicious! Stir carefully after 20 minutes and it will be done when it has baked for between 40 minutes to an hour. This range is because everyone has personal preferences. You might like your granola darker or lighter. When the granola is close to being done, it will start smelling awesome, so let the aroma be your clue to watch it carefully.
This granola will be so much better than anything you have ever had from a store if you don't burn it. It might still seem a bit moist, but it will continue to dry after it has been removed from the oven. Stir it well as it cools to remove any traces of moisture and then store in the freezer or refrigerator for up to six months. At room temperature, I can't say how long it will last because everyone in your house will eat it. This granola makes a great gift when you just want to show off to someone how totally cool you are. Or not, you can just eat it yourself.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Its the sweet stuff. Seriously, this is amazing frosting.
1/2 cup softened butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup  heavy whipping cream
Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Then add the whipping cream and whip it up. The frosting will become stiffer than whipped cream but will spread easily.
Some issues to be aware of: this frosting has sugar and fat. Yes, I know, it is caloriffic! Just don't eat it every day for a week and you should be fine. Also, ideally, the cake should be refrigerated once it is frosted. If it lasts that long. This frosting goes well with just about any cake, but especially well with carrot, chocolate zucchini and raw apple.