Taco Salad

I’ve tried every diet out there. After I had my children I had 20 lbs to lose after each one. The only diet that worked, with exercise of course, was the Suzanne Somer’s diet. In the process I bought 2 of her books and still make a handful of her recipes. This particular recipe is found in her book, Eat Great, Lose Weight. You can make taco salad or tacos if you want the carbs.

Ingredients;

  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 head lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 oz cheese, grated
  • 6 TBS sour cream
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • Salsa

Directions;

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Turn up heat to high and add beef. Cook until browned. Drain excess fat. Lower heat and add all spices, water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Assemble salad.

Chicken Teriyaki

 

My daughter loves Asian inspired dishes and chicken teriyaki with steamed rice is one of her favorites. There are many teriyaki recipes out there but this one is really yummy and simple. Found on foodnetwork.com by Nigella Lawson.

Ingredients;

  • 2 TBS sake (Japanese Rice Wine)
  • 1/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBS light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • Splash sesame oil
  • Chicken breast
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • Sushi rice

Directions;
Combine the sake, mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and sesame oil in a bowl. Slice the chicken into strips and place in the sauce for 15 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan and add the chicken, sauté until cooked on the outside and then add the remaining teriyaki sauce. Cook thoroughly.

Serve with cooked rice.

Braised Short Ribs

 

 

This is a recipe from one of my co-workers. We have lost touch so hopefully he doesn’t mind me sharing it with you. I’ve made it several times and my children say it makes the house smell like Thanksgiving. Rich and delicious in flavor.

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 to 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • 3 to 4 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thick bacon slices, diced
  • 2 large white onions, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 stalks of thyme
  • 4 shallots, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups or 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 to 3 oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz canned chopped tomatoes

Directions;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine flour, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add short ribs, coating them lightly in flour mixture.

In a large dutch oven or deep oven proof pot over medium heat, melt butter until golden. Add the ribs, shaking off excess flour and sear until brown. Remove and set aside.

In same pot, sauté the bacon for 2-3 minutes then add onions, shallots, mushroom, celery, and carrots and sauté until golden. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, adding a little at a time. Let reduce over high heat for 1 minute. Replace ribs in pot with thyme, rosemary, canned tomatoes, remaining wine, tomato paste and beef stock. Bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook 2 to 3 hours, taste and adjust seasoning.

Strain liquid and reduce to make gravy with a roux.

Coq Au Vin

Every other Friday my best friend Dawn comes over with her son and I make a new dish. Having a meal with friends makes it so much more fun. This recipe called for adding cognac and then lighting it on fire. That was a blast and now I want to find more dishes that I get to light on fire. This is the one and only Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Ingredients;
3 to 4 oz chunk of lean bacon
2 TBS butter
2 – 3 lb chicken, cut up.
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups full-bodied red wine
1 to 2 cups chicken or beef stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 TBS tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 tsp thyme
12 to 24 brown-braised onions
1/2 lb sauteed mushrooms
salt and pepper
3 TB flour
2 TB softened butter

Directions;
Remove the rind of the bacon and cut into lardons. Simmer for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water and dry. Use a 10 inch fireproof casserole dish. Saute the bacon slowly in hot butter (2 TB) until it is lightly brown. Remove to a side dish.

Dry the chicken thoroughly. Brown it in the hot fat. Season the chicken, return bacon, cover and cook for 10 minutes turning the chicken once.
Uncover and pour in the cognac. Averting your face, light the cognac with a match and shake until the flames subside.

Add wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to simmer, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Recipes are as follows:

Brown Braised Onions

Ingredients:

18-24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter

1 Tbs butter

1 1/2 Tbs oil

1/2 cup beef stock, wine, or water. (red or white wine is fine)

salt and pepper to taste

A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme.

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onion and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in the liquid, season to taste, add the herbs. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Sauteed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs oil

1/2 lb fresh mushrooms

Directions:

Heat the butter and oil and as soon as it starts to foam add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. As soon as they have browned

Returning to Coq Au Vin recipe

Remove the chicken to a side dish.

Simmer the chicken cooking liquid for a minute or two skimming off the fat. Raise heat and boil rapidly, reducing the liquid to about 2 1/4 cups. Season and discard bay leaf. Blend the butter and flour into a paste and beat into hot liquid with a wire whip until thick enough to coat a spoon.

Place chicken, onions, and mushrooms together and baste with sauce.

Fried Chicken

 

I haven’t had much luck with making fried chicken, until this recipe. I found this recipe in the book Secrets of the Best Chefs by Adam Roberts. This is Angelish Wilson’s recipe and I can’t get over how simple it is.

 

Ingredients;
1 to 2 (4 pounds) chickens cut into pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil

Directions;
3 hours before you want to fry, clean the chicken, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate. 1 hour before frying remove from fridge and bring to room temperature.
Set up 2 bowls. One of room temperature water and the other of flour. Heat the oil. In large stock pot or dutch oven , pour in the vegetable oil and do not fill it more than halfway. Heat until it reaches 370 degrees. Dip each piece in water than the flour than place in oil. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning every so often.