Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Tomato Salads

This is the tale of two salads that use tomatoes. Yeah, yeah..I know. Tomatoes kill. So grow your own already!

Tomato Feta Salad
Combine: Cherry tomatoes ( cut in half), Feta Cheese, salt & pepper, Italian dressing and chopped fresh basil.

Let sit for 2-4 hours, covered, in the refrigerator. (Finely chopped sweet onions or garlic might be good in this as well.)

(Made that one up myself. Real elegant, right? I had feta left over from some shindig with the Launders...and it was delicious!)

Tomato Onion Salad (adapted from Taste of Home)
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
¼ olive oil
Rice vinegar, to taste
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. salt
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 t. (or to taste) sugar
1 clove fresh garlic, mashed to a paste
Pepper, to taste

Layer tomatoes and onions in shallow serving dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients, whisk until mixed. Season to taste. Drizzle over tomatoes and onions. Allow 2 hours to marinate in the refrigerator.

Millionaire Rotisserie Salad

So, this little series of posts is to help Big Mama out, and because the West Coast needs to perk up and get their Summer on already! (I know, I would if you could. But it's hot, here, and the tomato scare is on the way out...and we need some summer food around here, y'all!)

Big Mama, this one's for you. Oh, and get the rotisserie chicken from Costco - it's the same price as anywhere else (about $6), but it's nearly twice the size!

Millionaire Rotisserie Chicken Salad (4 servings) (From Rachel Ray)
3 T. vegetable oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
One 2 inch piece ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, grated
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
Grated peel and juice of one lime
¼ cup tamari (dark soy sauce)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat thinly sliced
1 small or ½ large head napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)

1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the scallions, ginger, garlic and black pepper and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the lime peel and lime juice, then whisk in the tamari and honey to combine. Turn off the heat.
2. In a large bowl, toss the chicken and cabbage with the sauce to combine well.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bacon Salt, Re-Visited

I posted here, wondering about the new "JD's Bacon Salt" product. J and I found it at the grocery store, it was $4 (expensive for a seasoning salt, but cheap if I could use it to salt my beans and do without meat!)

We used it the next morning on hash browns, and I tried to use a heavy hand to really let the bacon flavor come through. Nothing. Not a smoky whiff. I tried a "plain" taste test- it didn't even seem to have a taste, but the fumes (msg?) DID burn my nose.


Flour Tortillas

I found this recipe on a blog, but she hasn't written back with permission to post. And, she got the recipe from a book. So....I'm putting a copy here :o) I've made these with all white flour and with half white/half wheat. The white tortillas were so yummy, it was like eating donuts. All that white flour, glycemic-index boosting, soft goodness. The half wheat were still yummy, but more like pancakes. Dense, a stickier dough, and not as stupor inducing. Meaning, the three of us ate 4 tortillas on the wheat night, as contrasted to 8 on the white.

Original recipe from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.

Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

1) Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed.

2) Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

3) After the dough has rested, roll into a cigar shape and cut into eight pieces, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)

4) After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

5) In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil.

Makes eight tortillas.

Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Rap

This is one of my favorite things to order at Red Robins so I felt like making one at home. It's quick, not TOO bad for you, and abnormally, satisfyingly, satiatingly delicious.

Flour Tortilla
Tortilla Chips (Strips work best)
Chopped Lettuce
Grated Cheese
Chicken Strips
BBQ Sauce

First, take the chicken strips and throw them in a pan with a bunch of barbecue sauce (The BBQ Sauce will condense, so put a lot more than you need). Throw the pan on medium high and stir everything up occasionally, making sure that all the chicken is coated in the thickening BBQ sauce while you get everything else ready.

Throw your tortilla in the Microwave for ~10 seconds, or heat it up on a pan or whatever else you'd like to do.

Now put it on your plate, and arrange some tortilla chips in such a way that you'll be able to rap it up later.


Doesn't look like much now.. but just wait :)

Now take all that chopped up lettuce and throw it on top.

I like a lot of lettuce, keeps the wrap pretty light.

Next grate some cheese on top. I like to make sure the cheese is on top here so that it'll melt when we add the hot chicken, but if you'd rather it didn't melt throw it somewhere else!

Next put in your chicken.

Wrap it up and enjoy a taste sensation!

And oh yes. It is very good :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mild, Tomatoey, Chili

Is tomatoey a word? You know what I mean. Ordinarily I wouldn't post a recipe like this- I made it up last night, trying to doctor up the weekly pot of beans. Turned out as a mild, almost sweet chili (the tomato sauce matched with the pinto beans to make something very different than kidney-bean chili.) BUT, Ernie has eaten 4 servings of these beans now, which marks the first time she has ever polished off a bowl of beans and asked for more. Amazing! So, if you want a spicy, hearty chili- doctor this up. Use kidney beans, add chuck meat, add chilies, etc.

If you want a 3-year-old to eat her fiber-filled beans- cook it up! I'm guessing if your kid likes ketchup, they'll like these beans (especially if you let them tear up a thick homemade tortilla and start out by dipping it in the beans.) (As a side note, beans and rice both contain partial proteins that, oddly enough, exactly match to form a complete protein like you'd find in meat.)

Ernie's Chili
3 cups pinto beans, soaked and cooked
Stir in:
2 cans tomato sauce
1/2 an onion, diced
2-3 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper

Let simmer, taking care to stir and keep the beans from sticking and burning. Serve over rice, topped with a little cheese (but not on Ernie's bowl).