Friday, May 27, 2011

Cole Slaw & Cowboy Beans-Quite a Pair!

We are making 2 side dishes this week! Yeh!!! In my neck of the woods, if you serve beans, you serve cole slaw, and if you have slaw, you have beans. Ya know, it's like, cookies & milk, burgers & fries, iced tea & lemon.
So,we are having slaw & beans!!
Cole Slaw Recipe
1 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Sugar
Package shredded Cole Slaw
1-3 teaspoons White Vinegar
 Cowboy Beans Recipe
6 cups cooked Pinto Beans(w/ reserved bean broth)
4 slices Bacon, minced
1-2 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil or Lard
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
Chopped Fresh Cilantro for Garnish

Lets start with the cole slaw. This slaw is best when made early in the day; of the day you plan to serve it. You can make it the day before if you need to. 
Start with 1 cup of mayo in your bowl.
Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
(ignore the 1 cup marking on the measuring cup)
Mix the sugar and mayo together.
Make sure it is well blended.
Add the vinegar one teaspoon at a time. It will probably take
all three teaspoons, but it will depend on the consistency 
of your mayo. You want your sauce to be thick, 
but drip off your spoon a little at a time.
Put your cole slaw in a bowl, then pour some 
of the dressing onto the slaw. Pour just a little at a time.
You can always add more, but you can't take it out
once it's on the slaw. You don't have to use it all.
If you have disposable gloves, I like to mix with my hands, 
but if you don't, then mix with a spoon.
Cover your bowl with saran wrap,
and place in the refrigerator until serving time.
Until you serve, check the slaw every once in a while,
by tossing.
Enjoy your slaw!

Now let's make our Cowboy Beans:
The first thing we need to do is cook our pinto beans.
This recipe takes some time.  Begin the day before.
 To start, put the beans in a bowl or colander and sift 
thru them with your hands, to check for 
questionable beans, or pebbles. Rinse the beans.
 Cover the beans with water, and let them sit overnight.
The next day, drain the beans, and fill the pot 
with water to cover the beans.
Put a cover on the pot, but offset the lid, so that the 
steam can escape.
Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
Cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
We need to keep the juice that has been 
created by the beans and the water. We will use it in the
rest of the recipe. Place your colander over a pot, and then 
drain the juice into the colander, thus into the pot.
Here are your drained beans.
Here is your juice. Put your beans in a pot, and add the juice.
Slice your bacon, and then chop the slices into small pieces.
Chop your onions. Need a refresher on how to chop onion?
 Remember to cut the onion in half, put the half cut side down,
and then slice. Take a few slices, lay them flat and chop
into small pieces.
Chop your garlic.

Chop your jalapeno. Cut the top off.
Slice your jalapeno by cutting down the sides of the pepper.
Wash the pepper slices to get rid of the seeds.
Slice the large pieces down into stick pieces.
Then chop the sticks into small pieces.
Here are your chopped jalapeno pieces.
Heat your oil in a frying pan.
Cook your bacon and onion in the frying pan until the 
onion is golden, about 5-7 minutes. 
Add the garlic and peppers and cook for about 1 minute more.
Add the veggie mix to your beans.
Add the salt to taste, and add the 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
Bring the beans to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Here are our two sides. 
Don't they go good together?
Here is this weeks meal. 
The perfect Holiday Meal, or Picnic Meal,or Sunday Dinner Meal.
The list goes on and on and on.  
I hope you liked everything.

Tomorrow we will have dessert!
Please join me!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our Entree~Roasted Chicken

Today we are making Roasted Chicken as our entree. This chicken recipe can be served hot from the oven for dinner, or cold on a picnic. This recipe is not difficult to make, and could easily become a standard for your Sunday meal. Enjoy!

Here's your recipe:                            
4 to 5 pound Roasting Chicken
2 teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Black Pepper
1/2 large Onion, quartered
2 ribs Celery, cut into 1" lengths
2 Carrots, cut into 1" lengths
1/4 cup unsalted Butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried Sage
1/2 to 1 cup Chicken Broth
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Thoroughly rinse the chicken both in and outside.
Add your salt to the cavity of the chicken.
Add your pepper.
Cut your celery and carrots in 1" pieces, and insert in cavity.

 Cut your onion in half, and insert in cavity also. 
If all the veggies will not fit, you can 
place them in the pan on the side of the chicken.
Tie the legs of the chicken together. 
You can use string or thread.
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter.
Add the 1 teaspoon of dried thyme & 1 teaspoon
of dried sage. Mix well.
Brush the butter mix over the chicken.
I used this basket to put the chicken in because I recently moved, 
and I can not find my roasting pan or the rack. So the basket takes the 
place of the rack, and the pyrex dish takes the place of the roasting pan. 
Just a little improvising!!
It doesn't really matter what you use, as long as the chicken
is just a little bit above the pan. I also sprayed the pan and the 
basket with pan spray for easier cleaning.
Here is your chicken in the oven. Pour 
chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. Cook the 
chicken at 400 degrees until the internal chicken 
temperature is 170 degrees. Insert a thermometer
into the thickest part of the thigh to get an accurate temp.
Throughout the cooking process, baste the chicken with 
the broth.
This is your cooked chicken.  Let it sit for 10 minutes
to rest before cutting into it. You can tent some aluminum
foil over it so it stays hot, if you want.
Ready to cut!
Start by cutting on one side. I sliced off the leg first.
Then I cut the wing from the chicken.
Cut the thigh next.
Now cut the breast off.
Here are your 4 pieces. 
Now do the same to the other side.
Tomorrow the entire meal will come together with the
cole slaw and cowboy ranch beans recipes.
I can't wait. This stuff is good!

Enjoy the chicken and I will see you tomorrow.
Please join me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Southern Cornbread

Today we are making the soup or salad portion of our meal. So, lets make cornbread!. I don't know why I keep calling it soup or salad. I am going to have to change the name, but for today, let's go with it. I am trying to think of what to call this part of the meal~maybe side #1? OK! I will give it more thought, and get back to you by Sunday, when I post the recipe for next week. No pressure here!!

Here's your recipe for:
Southern Cornbread
( adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook 1989)

1 1/2  cups  CornMeal
1/2 cup all purpose Flour
1/4 cup Bacon Fat or Shortening
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

Heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Mix the flour and corn meal together in a bowl.
Add  Bacon Fat
Add Buttermilk
Add Baking Powder, Sugar, Salt, Baking Soda & Eggs
Mix all together and pour into an 8" X 11" baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, then check for doneness by
putting a toothpick in the bread.
Let bread cool. When cooled, cut into pieces.

Enjoy with butter and honey!

Tomorrow we will make the entree for the week~Baked Chicken!
This will make a great family meal, or perhaps a holiday weekend 
picnic meal~lots of possibilities

Thanks for joining me today.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Red, White & Blue Crudite' w/ Dried Herb Ranch Dip

Today's appetizer has a holiday flair. I used the blue nacho chips, and the white dip, so I wanted red vegetables. Simple? Right? No!! I had a hard time finding the right red veggies. I know!!! I thought it would be easy. But I did find grape tomatoes, radishes, and red peppers; and I think they worked just find.
Here is what you need:

Blue Nacho Chips
Fresh Radishes
Fresh Grape Tomatoes
Fresh Red Pepper

Dried Herb Ranch Dip Recipe:
(makes 3 cups)
2 cups Sour Cream
1/2 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Buttermilk Powder
1 tablespoon dried Parsley
2 teaspoon dried Chives
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper

The first thing to do is to make the Dried Herb Ranch Dip. 
It should be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before serving.
Whisk together the sour cream, milk, and buttermilk powder.
Add all the spices.
Whisk together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
before serving. It can be kept for up to 4 days.
Cut your radishes from the greens, and wash thoroughly.
Chop the ends off of your radishes.
Then cut the radishes in half.
Now we are going to roast the red pepper.
Wash the pepper, and raise the rack in your oven to right below
the top. Set your oven to broil on high. As the pepper begins to roast,
you will hear a couple popping sounds. Check the pepper
constantly, and as it gets dark and blackens on the top, turn 
the pepper around so that another side can be roasted. When
it is roasted all the way around, remove it from the oven,
and place it in a bowl.
It should look like this.
Immediately cover the bowl with plastic. The plastic wrap
will make it easier to get the skin off of the pepper when it is time.
Let the pepper sit for about 30 minutes.
After about 30 minutes, the skin of the pepper will
release itself from the pepper.
Pull the skin off of the pepper and throw it away.
It should look clean, like this.
Cut off the top and bottom of the pepper, then
cut into quarters.
Start slicing down the pepper into small thin strips.
Chop the thin strips into about 1" to 1 1/2" pieces.
Put your plate together like above. 
Red, White & Blue!

You could make a few changes if you would like:
Chop up the tomatoes. The chips dunked in the dip, topped with a couple 
pieces of roasted pepper & chopped tomatoes ~delicious.

Red onions would taste great, and go with the color scheme.

Plate the appetizer on a holiday plate with some red, white & blue on it.

If you are not concerned with the red, white & blue, 
add pulled chicken & shredded cheddar. It is delicious.

Thanks for joining me today. 
Tomorrow we will make southern cornbread 
to go with our roasted chicken.

See you then!