Sunday, September 22, 2013

Puerco de Cremoso Papas

I guess it's true.  I tend to lean  heavily toward old fashioned comfort food.  My favorite dishes include one's with potatoes.  Mashed, baked, doesn't matter.  It's the main reason I do my best to grow my own.  Home grown potatoes have so much more flavor.  Start this dish in the crock pot and it's almost done by dinner time. Any cut of pork will do.  Just be sure to pick one that is lean.  I like to visit my supermarkets discount rack and pick up bone in pork steaks at more than half the normal cost This will serve 4 to 6.

Pork Chops with Mushrooms

3 Lbs. Pork
2 16 Oz. Packages White Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tsp. Liquid Mesquite Smoke
1 1/2 Cup Minced Onion
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
3 to 4 cups of water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place pork in an oblong slow cooker so the meats sits easily on the bottom.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Remove meat carefully (it will tend to fall apart) and pull both ends using two forks to cut the meat into chunks.  Leave remaining broth in crock pot for now.

Creamy Potatoes

6 Medium Russet Potatoes
1 16OZ Container French Onion Dip
3 Tbs. Margarine
Salt and Pepper to taste

Scrub and dice potatoes leaving skin on.  Boil on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes or unit they are tender enough to stick a fork through.  Remove from heat and drain all water.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  On low speed begin to whip the potatoes with a mixer.  Add butter and French Onion a little at a time until potatoes are the consistency you like.  If too dry add additional dip. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom Gravy

1 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Cold Water
Pour all broth and mushrooms left in crock in a large pan and heat on high.  Once broth begins to boil rapidly mix flour and water in a bowl whisking briskly to remove any lumps.  Slowly stir mixture into broth in intervals stirring constantly until gravy is as thick as you like.  You may not need to use the entire bowl of flour and water.  Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Place a large helping of potatoes (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups) on a large dinner plate.  Leave an empty well in the center by spreading potatoes to the outside.  Fill the well with meat. Cover meat and potatoes with gravy.


Banana Chocolate Muffins

It's always nice to wake up to a house filled with the aroma of fresh baked muffins for breakfast.  I serve these warm straight out of the oven.  No need to drench them in butter (unless you really prefer them that way).  They have enough flavor without it.  These muffins freeze well too.  Simply place then on a cookie sheet and heat at 350 for 10 minutes.  This recipe will make 2 to 2 1/2 dozen muffins.

2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Medium Ripe Bananas Mashed
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 TBS Cinnamon
1/2 TBS Nutmeg
1 TSP Ginger
2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  In large mixing bowl whip egg and sugar together until well blended.  Stir in mashed bananas until mixture is smooth.  You will find a few banana chunks, but don't worry about them. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bows.  Add small portions (about 1/4 cup at a time) to banana and eggs to avoid flour lumps.  Mixture should not be too doughy or too runny.  It should be smooth and slightly runny.  Add tiny amounts of additional flour, if necessary, until batter is the right texture.  If mixture is too doughy add a tablespoon of milk at a time.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spray two six cup muffin pans with spray (or use pre coated muffin cups) and place approximately 1/2 cup of batter in each cup.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crispy Breakfast Bites w/Pepper Gravey

I love coming up with something really different for breakfast.  It believe it is the most important meal of the day.  You can only eat so many eggs and than they are just eggs.  Breakfast bites don't have to be just for breakfast.  They work well anytime you want to make a tray of finger foods to enjoy a peaceful afternoon.  The crunchy crusty outside is really tasty, and the inside is soft and full of flavor.  This will make one tray of about a dozen.

4 Slices of Bacon
1/2 16 oz. pkg. Breakfast Sausage
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
1/4 Cup Minced Green Pepper
1 Small Jalapeno Pepper Minced
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Egg
2 Cups Flour
2 Medium Potatoes
Canola Oil

Cook bacon until crisp.  Let cool and crumble to fine pieces.  Brown and crumble sausage in same skillet.  Add bacon, onions and peppers and stir for two minutes adding salt and pepper.  Drain all grease and save for later use.

Shred potatoes using a cheese shredder, or shredder attachment for food processor.  Toss potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add meat mixture.  Add egg and flour (you may not need the entire 2 cups) stirring until you have one sticky mess.   Heat oil in a skillet filling about 2 1/2 inches full.  Roll potatoes into one inch balls and place into hot oil.  Cook on one side until golden brown (about 7 to 10 minutes).  Turn with a slated spoon and cook other side until brown.  Serve with pepper gravy using grease left from bacon and sausage..

Pepper Gravy

1/4 cup oil
1 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 TBS pepper

Heat oil and stir in flour until you have a smooth paste
Stir in cold milk while whisking briskly to avoid lumps.
Add salt and pepper. Serve with Breakfast Bites.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Sandwich de Puerco Y Asiago

To me it is one of the most versatile ways to cook meat.  Pulled Pork will go on just about anything.  It makes a great pizza, chalupas, enchiladas and of course tacos.  Here is an idea that turned out so good my husband couldn't stop talking about it.  The meat was so tinder it melted in your mouth and had just the right flavor.  The secret to good pulled pork is the right combination of spices.  Make sure you let it cook long enough so that it falls apart.  I usually start if first thing in the morning and let it simmer in the crock pot all day.

2 to 3 LBS Pork Ribs, or Roast
3 Cups Water
4 Cloves Minced Garlic
3 Chopped Jalapeno Peppers
2 Cups Minced Onion
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBS Mesquite Flavored Liquid Smoke
1/2 Cup Chili Powder

I like to start by poking the meat with a carving fork to allow the juice to flow throughout.  Place all of the ingredients (except chili powder) in a crock pot and simmer on medium heat for 4 to 6 hours (the longer the better). Remove meat from crock pot and place on a large baking dish or cookie sheet.  With two forks pull the meat apart in sections until it is fine and completely shredded.  Sprinkle with a dash of chili powder and stir in.  Let set for 15 minutes to cool.

4 to 6 Sesame Seed Hoagie Buns
1 16 oz container shredded Asiago Cheese
1 Large Tomato sliced and split length wise (to fit properly on bun)
1 Large Avocado sliced
2 Cups diced cooked chilies (I used my own home canned Hatch Chilies)
Mesquite BBQ Sauce

Once meat is cooled and ready for use split buns in half and place in oven top down to toast the insides.  Remove from oven and place a tablespoon of cheese directly on one side of warm bread.  Top with meat and sprinkle a slight drizzle of BBQ sauce.  Layer with tomato, avocado and chilies.