Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chili Verde

I have been making this for quite a few years and it is still one of my family's favorites. I've also won several church chili contests with this

It is not what most people think of when they think chili. It has no beans, it is not red or white and it uses pork instead of beef or chicken. Many people are afraid to try it because it has a very green (verde) color, but those brave enough to give it a try soon become fans. It is an adaption of a popular dish served in many traditional Mexican Restaurants in the Central Valley in California. The restaurant version is more of a soup with a very thin watery broth

Approx 5 lb pork roast (pork shoulder, Boston butt, etc)
2 cans  Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
1/4 cup flour or corn starch
salt and pepper

Over the years, I have developed a method of making it that is very easy and convenient for me. It takes two days. I buy the cheapest and biggest pork roast I can find. It doesn't matter if it has a bone or not. Pork shoulder roast or Boston butt work great.  I start by putting the roast in the oven at 350 for 3 to 4 hours. I season it liberally with salt, pepper and garlic. Don't add any water and just let it cook. When it is brown all over and juices flow clear when you poke it with a fork, take it out of the oven and let it cool for an hour or two. When the pan is cool enough to pick up without potholders, put it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning, I take it out and scoop all the congealed fat off the broth. The fat will be white and very much like shortening. I put the fat in the trash. Then, I remove the roast from the pan and put it on a plate. Transfer the broth (it will be congealed) to a medium size sauce pan and heat on low.

Cut the roast into large chunks, removing the fat from the meat and discarding as I go. Depending on how long the roast was cooked, it may cut into chunks easily or it may shred...either works fine. If I see a vein of fat running through a piece of meat, I cut on that vein to remove as much of the fat as possible. Chunks should end up being about the size of a six sided die. Once the meat is all cut up and as much fat as possible has been removed from it, I put it in the crockpot. Pour the cans of enchilada sauce over the meat, replace the lid and turn the crockpot on low. Bring the broth to a boil then thicken to a gravy consistency with either flour and water or corn starch and water. The gravy can then be added to the meat in the crockpot. Allow to cook in the crockpot for 3 to 4 hours. Serve with grated cheddar or jack cheese and flour tortillas.

A crockpot of this will feed quite a crowd, it also freezes well and is great to use in burritos or over rice for lunch or a light dinner.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving

For the first time in several years, we will all be off work on Thanksgiving.  It is my favorite holiday, I LOVE spending the whole day cooking with and for my family.  This year we are going to be making a few changes to the standard menu.  Several of my kids have been less than enthusiastic about Thanksgiving.  I sat down with them and found that most of the kids dislike almost everything we usually serve.

2014 Tentative Thanksgiving Menu
My Mom and I will do the majority of the cooking, but Hubby and each of the kids will have jobs to complete to get this feast on the table.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sugar Cookie Day!!

Today is National Sugar Cookie day (according to Facebook).  Click HERE for my favorite sugar cookie recipe.  The almond extract makes it just a little different than your average sugar cookie, but can be left out if you don't like the taste of almond or you don't have any on hand.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Easy Fried Potatoes

Fried potatoes are a FAVORITE in our house.  They may actually be on that very short list of things that everyone eats.

The worst part for me has always been peeling and slicing the potatoes.  Yesterday, I washed the potatoes, poked holes in them to bake and put them in the oven at 400.  After 30 minutes, I took them out of the oven, sliced them up and added them to a pan of smoked sausage.  I used the grease from the sausage to fry them.  I also added a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  They came out amazing!!!

I will not be peeling and slicing raw potatoes anymore!!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Menu Plan for the week

I have tried menu planning in the past with mixed success.  This week, I'm trying to stretch what I have in the pantry to feed everyone until payday.  I will note the things that I need to get from the store.  We've got 4 homeschooled kids home all day, I'm off 2 days at the beginning of the week and  hubby is off 2 days midweek.  Payday is Friday.

Breakfast  choices
Cereal w/milk (need more milk)
scrambled eggs
Biscuits and Jelly
Pancakes or waffles
fruit (whatever is on sale)

Lunch choices
PB and J sandwich
any leftovers
fruit (whatever is on sale)

Sunday...Cheese Enchilada Casserole (need corn tortillas)
Monday...homemade chili w/cornbread (need meat from the store)
Tuesday...fried potatoes and sausage  w/corn or green beans (need potatoes and sausage from store)
Wednesday...Soup and Grilled Cheese (need sliced cheese from store)
Thursday...Spaghetti w/ Italian sausage (need sausage)

Grocery List
corn tortillas
1 lb hamburger
10 lbs potatoes
2 lbs smoked sausage
1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb Sliced cheese
1 gallon milk

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New posts

It has been forever since I've updated this page.  I found a new recipe today that I didn't want to lose, so I added it.  Then I realized I had several recipes sitting in draft form waiting for pictures.  Hopefully, I will eventually get around to pictures, but I added the recipes because they are really yummy!

Dutch Carmel Apple Crumb Pie

We combine several different recipes and brainstormed some ideas at our house recently and came up with this pie.

Peeled, cored and sliced 6 cups of apples.  We used a combination of soft sweet apples and firm tart apples.  Sprinkle cinnamon on the apples, then fill a 4 quart casserole dish and cover with lid or foil.  Cook in oven at 400 until apples are the consistency of chunky apple sauce.

Next create carmel sauce....In a small saucepan combine 1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup milk, 2 Tbs flour.  Heat slowly, stirring frequently.  When it gets close to boiling, stir constantly.  Boil for one minute stirring constantly, stir in 2 Tbs vanilla and remove from heat.

Combine cooked down apples and carmel sauce, set aside. 

Prepare a 10 inch pie crust.  2 cups flour, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2/3 cups shortening.  Cut shortening in until completely absorbed, then add 6 to 10 Tbs ice water until it forms into a manageable dough.  Dough should be fairly dry, do not add any more water than absolutely necessary to create a workable dough.  Roll dough out and place in glass pie plate.

Preheat oven to 350.  Pour apple and carmel mixture into pie shell.  Peel, core and slice 2 additional cups of firm tart apples (like Granny Smith).  Press apples down into the carmel apple mixture, then cover the carmel apple mixture with a layer of apples.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp salt.  Mix together very well.  Add 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter.  Cut in with pastry cutter until a stiff paste or fine crumbs form.  Cover top of pie evenly with crumb mixture.

Cook with a cookie sheet underneath at 350 until bottom crust of pie is golden.