Monday, May 31, 2010

Easy Peasy: Little Cheesy

Yeah so, somewhere (probably on the internet) I read that "quesadilla" means "little cheesy thing".  Of course, now all I can find is that it means "cheese tortilla", which I guess makes sense, but isn't nearly as cute.  So here's your wiki-link for quesadilla.

Now this isn't really a recipe, so much as a sandwich idea.  Again, no rocket-science involved, unless you plan on making the tortillas and cheese from scratch, then yer on yer own (but I do hope you'll do a little guest-blog-spot and show us all the pictures!)

You Will Need:
Some Tortillas (make 2 tortillas per person, you'll probably have leftovers, but yummers)
Cheese (of the shredded variety, I used Cheddar and Monterey Jack, cuz they're deLISHus)
Some cooked chicken** (or ham, or yanno, what ever sounds good)
Some fresh, raw spinach (I use the baby spinach)
Some mushrooms
Any other kinda stuff you want to add :)

**I tend to cook large quantities of meat once a week, then use it throughout the week in various cooking endeavors.  This week it was chicken, I got the boneless, skinless tenders on sale.
On this particular occasion I cooked:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 can consomme (found in the soup isle)
1 can water
Some garlic
Some turmeric
Some tarragon

Put it all in a large covered pan, on a low-medium-low heat for about an hour, maybe 45 minutes, check it with a meat thermometer to make sure you're reached an internal temp of at least 165 (f).  You can use it for all sorts of things :)

You will want to have all of your stuff prepped before you start cooking, because you will
  1. construct one
  2. begin cooking
  3. construct another
  4. flip the first, then remove
  5. start cooking the second
  6. construction the 3rd
  7. etc and so forth, until you're done

So I shred the chicken with 2 forks then I chop the spinach (not TOO small) and slice the mushrooms (not TOO thick). 

So, at the begining, I probably should have asked if you have a George Foreman Lean Mean Grillin' Machine.    Yeah? Cool.  We love ours and use it for all kinds of deliciousness.  So then, carry on with the "recipe".  (If you answered no, skip to the end for a different technique).

So, if you're using a sandwich press or grilling type of device as noted above, plug that bad-boy in and then construct your quesadilla by covering only 1/2 of the tortilla, thusly:

1.  Cheese first, then chicken

2.  Then a layer of chopped spinach and sliced mushroom

3.  Then a bit more cheese to seal the deal

Fold'er in half and (using a largish spatula) transfer from construction site (plate) to cooking surface (grill).

While that one cooks, start constructing your next quesadilla.  Rinse and repeat until you have:

Then NOMZ.

If you don't have a grill, then you'll construct your quesadilla covering the entire surface, just be careful not to over fill.  

  1. Place your tortilla in the pan (hot, with just a SMIDGE of oil)

  2. Add layer of cheese other stuff, then a smidge more cheese

  3. Once nice and melty, flip HALF over onto the other half

  4. NOMZ

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Super Simple, Super Delicious! Keilbasa with Apples and Onions

I remember my mom making this when I was a kid and I thought, "how weird! apples and onions together??"

While I didn't appreciate them as a kid, I sure do now.  This is another one of my favorites, and it's so simple to make.

What you'll need:

1 Keilbasa (I use the kind shaped like a U, should serve 4 people)
1 Medium Onion (I think I used Sweet Vidalia)
1 Large Granny Smith Apple (or you can use any tart baking apple, but not the Red or Green Delicious variety, they are a bit too mushy for this task)
1 Large Pan (frying)
1 Cutting board
A knife
Optional (but not really) some Perogies (yeah, you can use the frozen kind, I did)

So, if you're going to have perogies with it (and why wouldn't you??!) go ahead and start the water to boiling with a little salt and a dash of olive oil.

Slice the keilbasa on the diagonal and drop it into a fairly hot pan.  You'll want the heat a bit on the high side so you get some nice browning on the keilbasa, but not so high that it burns.  So keep and eye on it and stir periodically to get both sides done.

While that is getting nice and browned, slice your onion.  I've heard a million tricks to slice an onion without tears, but I prefer to just suck it up, it's part of the fun of cooking!  Now you want your onion slices kind of on the large side.  Even if you think you don't like onions, these are going to be so delicious you're going to change your mind!
Once the onion is sliced, toss it into the browed keilbasa and turn the heat down to a fair medium.

By now your water for the perogies should be boiling, so go ahead and toss them (don't toss, they'll splash, pour them gently) into the water and cook according to instructions on the package.

Now let's pretend that I wasn't in such a hurry and that I actually remembered to take a picture of the chopped Granny Smith Apple before I tossed it in after the onions.  You want to core the apple, then slice into wedges and make sure all the seeds and tough bits are done.  But don't peel the apple, that's where all the vitamins are!  Besides, if you peel the apple, you make baby kittens cry, and we don't want that.  Once the apple is cored, wedged and de-seedified, chop each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces and toss them ito the pan.

Add: a few shakes of tumeric.  Yep, that's all.

Continue to stir, but gently.  You want everything cooked equally, but you don't want to mush up the apples.

Once the perogies are done, drain the water and add the perogies to the pan and allow them to absorbe some of the color and flavor. 


Sorry the last picture is so fuzzy, but I was hungry and wanted to eat!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

World's Easiest Recipe: Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Crispies

So, by now you've probably figured out that none of the recipes I post are very complicated or difficult.  If you want complicated and difficult, you'll need to convince my brother or sister to start a blog.  No, really, my brother is a musician/chef, and my sister is a rocket scientist who makes her own fondant and whipped cream (but not together, that'd be odd...)

I'm the slow one in the family :)

But that's good news for you, because it means none of these recipes should require anything more than the most basic kitchen would normally have.

So, without further ado, the World's Easiest Recipe! No really, it's as easy as making toast!

What you need is....

a tortilla (I used flour)
a smidge of butter or margerine
a sprinkle of cinnamon
a sprinkle of sugar
a cutting board
a cookie sheet (foil is optional)
a spoon
a pizza cutter (or knife, if your pizza cutter is in the dishwasher!)

Preheat your oven to 350(f)

So, place 1 tortilla on the cutting board.
Schmear with a smidgen of butter. (I find this task infinitely easier when I use the back of a spoon instead of a butter knife)
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Sprinkle with sugar (I used raw, cuz I like the taste better)

Cut into 8ths and place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes at 350(f), then crank the oven up to BROIL, BABY!  Watch closely and remove when the crispies are bubbly and just starting to brown.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Taste Like Home: EggInnaHole for Breakfast

In the chaotic ballet that was my childhood, there were some repeat players in the form of Rick, Clara and Angela. Angela is actually my baby sister's age, and for one reason or another it seems we were constantly at one another's houses. Happy times to see Amy and Angela running around playing while the grown-ups chatted and the older kids (that’d be me and Michael) were torn between kidsplay and grownup discussions. The very first time I remember eating this dish, Rick made it.

For me memories are mostly vignettes: short moments in time caught on the grainy, slightly jumpy super8 of my memory, with the color, focus and cropping all slightly out of whack. In this particular vignette the kitchen is filled with light, people are happy and there is an air of anticipation. Sometimes the best part of a meal is the memories that come with it. Memories can make even the simplest ingredients come together to form your favorite dish, and this is one of mine.

EggInnaHole is a very easy dish, and requires very little in the way of prep or cooking. This is a GREAT dish to cook with kids who are just beginning to show an interest in cooking.  I've also heard it called Egg in a Basket and Toad In a Hole, though I understand that typically refers to a different dish.

Here are your Implements of Construction :  If you’ve got those things (or an adequate substitute for them), then you’re ready to go!

Eggs (2 per person)
A Hearty Bread (2 slices per person)
Butter or Margarine (but not cooking spray or oil)
A few herbs or spices of your choice
A cutting board
A butter knife
A small tea-cup or round cookie-cutter
A frying pan
A stove

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s a pretty simple operation.

Butter the bread on both sides (This is why you want a good, solid bread. Floppy white bread just can’t stand up and talk back to being buttered on BOTH sides!)

Turn on the stove to a medium – medium high heat.
Lay the buttered bread on the cutting board, and use either a round cookie-cutter or a teacup with a small rim to cut a hole in the center of the bread. (We save the bread “hole” and fry that up in the pan with everything else.)

Place the Bread With a Hole in the pan, and crack an egg into it.
  • Cooking two at a time is perfectly acceptable, provided your pan is large enough
  • I never actually crack the egg into the pan because I am MORTALLY FEARFUL of eating eggshells. I crack them, one at a time, into a bowl and then into the pan.

Cook for a few moments, as you would an “over easy” egg. Flip and repeat, adding a few spices for some extra flavor if you’d like. (I really love chili powder, cumin and a little Madras curry on eggs!).


These are really great if you serve them while the eggs are still a little runny.

Awesome with other breakfast foods like bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, slice tomatoes, or whatever floats your boat. Best served with fresh ground coffee and good friends!