Tags: recipes

hat, smile, happy

LO Soup

I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday, making soup out of the leftovers and odds and ends of vegetables.

This incarnation of LO Soup is particularly good because I started it early enough in the day that I could take my time to do it right.

I very slowly sauteed the sliced mushrooms, lone leek, shredded carrots, chopped celery, the diced edible half of a sad bell pepper,  wilting spinach leaves, and an onion. Leftover chicken broth from the freezer formed the base of the soup, with the last handful of dried lentils and a matching handful of dried bulgur wheat for protein. Flavored with curry powder,cumin, smoked Spanish paprika, salt, and lots of garlic, then finished with a nice splash of lemon juice to brighten it up.

Mmmmm. I have lunch for several days now, and its gooood.

hat, smile, happy

Recipe: Cracker Crack

Cracker Crack is a variant of matza crack, so called because it is made from matza and is incredibly addictive. Making it from saltines takes it to a whole new level of crackitude.

1 sleeve saltines
2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1.5 cups chocolate chips
sea salt or kosher salt
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the saltines in a single layer on the paper-lined baking sheet.

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together, stirring frequently. When the sugar is melted and the mixture comes to a boil, stir constantly  while boiling for 3 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the crackers. Work quickly as it will start to set up as soon as you take it off the heat. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture relatively evenly, but don't worry about uneven spots. Sprinkle  lightly with sea salt.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips over the hot baked crackers. Let sit a few minutes, then use a rubber spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly. You may then add more toppings if you wish, chopped pecans or bits of candied ginger, etc.. Let sit until thoroughly cool, about 2 hours. Break into pieces, don't worry if they are uneven.

Makes 40 + pieces. They never last long.

hat, smile, happy

Recipe: Tuna Pancakes

Note: Measurements are approximate, as I did not use a recipe myself but simply added what looked good as I went along.

4 cans water packed tuna, drained
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 quarter cup Parmesan cheese 
4 large eggs 
One half onion, minced 
One half red bell pepper, minced 
1 large celery stick, minced
1 quarter cup dried parsley flakes
1 quarter cup lemon juice
Several generous shakes Old Bay seasoning
Vegetable oil for frying

Mise en place: Finely chop the vegetables. Put crackers in a ziplock bag and crush them into fine crumbs. Drain tuna.

Preparation: In large bowl, beat eggs with cracker crumbs, cheese, dried parsley, lemon juice, and Old Bay to form a paste. Add drained tuna and minced vegetables. Mix well.

At this point you may refrigerate the tuna mixture. It is easier to work with a chilled tuna mixture, but you do not have to chill it if you do not have the time to do so.

To fry, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Form thin flat tuna patties out of lumps of tuna mixture about as big as an egg. (A little vegetable oil on your hands keeps the tuna mixture from sticking.) Fry just three or four at a time, do not crowd them in the pan. Fry about 5 minutes on each side, flattening the tuna pancakes with the spatula after you flip them. Drain on paper towels.

Makes 16 tuna pancakes. My family loved them. :-)


Swiss Steak

By request...

Swiss Steak
Start three hours before dinner; or you can put it in the crockpot in the morning on low.

1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2 pounds beef round steak, cut 1-inch thick
2+ tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, cut in strips
2+ cloves garlic, sliced (I am of the opinion that you cannot have too much garlic; I threw in 6 cloves.)
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms (optional -- I added mushrooms that I happened to have. Canned sliced mushrooms would be good too, if you like mushrooms.)
Either 1 can of beef bouillon or 1 can crushed tomatoes (I prefer bouillon!)
1 bay leaf (I usually add a bay leaf or two, but none this time since I had no bay leaves in the house. It was just fine without it.)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water

  • Slice the onions and garlic. Cut the green pepper into strips. If using fresh mushrooms, clean and slice them.

  • Cut the round steak into serving-sized portions. Mix the flour, salt and pepper on a plate or in a ziploc bag. Coat each piece of round steak with the flour mixture. Let sit a few minutes, then coat again.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or electric frying pan on medium heat. Brown the floured beef on both sides. You might need to do this in two batches. It will take 7 to 10 minutes per side.

  • Remove the browned round steak pieces to a plate. Add a little more oil if the pan looks too dry, and scrape any browned bits up. Add the onions, turning the heat down to low. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden.

  • Add the garlic, green pepper and mushrooms to the onions. (Note: if using canned mushrooms, wait and add them with the meat.) Turn the heat back up to medium. Stir and cook until fragrant.

  • Return the meat to the pan, along with any juices that may have come off onto the plate.

  • Add the 1/4 cup water, floating a bay leaf or two if you have them. Turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours on low heat until fork-tender. Check every 15 or 20 minutes, gently stirring a little, and adding a few more spoonfuls of water if needed.

  • Turn meat pieces over. Pour in the bouillon OR the canned crushed tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 30 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Serve on rice or mashed potatoes.

Cooking, Indian food

Tijuana Tuna Salad

I tried a new tuna salad concept, and it's really good. My 16-month-old granddaughter, Aviva, ate a big scoop on crackers for lunch today; she kept demanding more with a loud "YUM!"

Tijuana Tuna Salad
For the best flavor, make the day before and refrigerate overnight.
Mix well and serve with toasted tortillas, corn chips, or crackers:
2 cans albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1/2 bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped fine
2 heaping tablespoons salsa (I used a fresh medium-spicy tomato salsa)
1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
Tabasco to taste
salt and pepper to taste

I had wanted to make tuna salad this week. At the grocery store last Saturday, I was about to get curry powder so I could make that yummy curried tuna salad that bbwoof had liked so much.

Then I remembered that bbwoof had liked it so much. And I crumpled over my cart in sloshy tears for a moment, and bought frozen corn instead.

So life goes on.
at work

Curried Tuna Salad

I have had a couple of requests for the recipe for tuna salad that Woof liked.
Here it is. Just mix together:

Two cans (7 oz each) tuna, well drained
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Add more mayo if you like a wetter tuna salad. Woof prefers it dry and well-spiced. (I shook a little extra curry and garlic on his portion.) Good on a sandwich, but super yummy served with green onions, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and hardboiled eggs.
hat, smile, happy

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

I have to make a note of this tasty, easy, inexpensive salad, based on this recipe.

Simply mix together:
  • 1 bag cabbage slaw (the kind with shredded carrots mixed in with the shredded cabbage)

  • 2 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced

  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, chunked (I buy large bags of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts when they're on sale, poach or bake them immediately, then refreeze the cooked meat to have it ready for recipes like this)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tablespoon freshly-ground black pepper

Best made the day before, so the chicken can marinate in the dressing overnight. I'd like it with less onion, Woof would like more, but it absolutely has to have lots of black pepper. Yum!

crossposted to [community profile] thriftycooking

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hat, smile, happy

Food Links

The good: Cake balls sound delicious. They remind me of a recipe that my son-in-law introduced me to, a treat that his grandmother makes, so rich that just one small piece satisfies all desire for dessert. I need to try these.

The bad: The worst of retro food. I do love kitsch, and '50s recipes, so normally I'd want to try a recipe for, say, Hotdog Salad Dressing. Fortunately, someone else has already tried them for me. Hotdog Salad Dressing? No thanks, I'll pass.

The ugly: Food tattoos. Some very unfortunate food tattoos. (Although the Little Debbie tattoo doesn't look too bad. I could see getting it. If I were the CEO of Little Debbie.)

And the fun: Make your own Ice Planets! This problematic food looks like so much fun to make and eat. I'm looking forward to a hot summer day, a few guests, and asteroids-onna-stick in the backyard.

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Squeezed Jews


I read the book of Esther out loud to Woof today, with extrapolations, gestures, and funny faces. I got him to laugh out loud, score! And we ate lots of hamantashen.

Hamantashen are the traditional Purim food, triangular cookies that are supposed to look like Haman's hat. I suppose it makes sense to eat the villain's hat, if you don't think about it too long.

I tried a new recipe for hamantashen that I think may be my favorite ever. It makes a crisp, shortbread-like cookie. The traditional filling, poppyseed, is my favorite. I didn't have any this year, though, so I used mixed berry preserves. They were very good. I made 3 dozen large hamantashen with this recipe:

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, beaten

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
2. Mix in butter and eggs.
3. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut in circles (mine were about 3 inches).
4. Put a scant teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Fold up the sides over the filling to make a 3-cornered cookie, leaving just a peek of filling at the middle.
5. Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper for 12-15 minutes at 400 F. (I used parchment paper. I have fallen in love with parchment paper. I would marry parchment paper if it were legal in this state.)

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hat, smile, happy

Thankful Thursday

  1. My sister's biopsy was negative. We remain a cancer-free family.

  2. Woof and I owe less on our car insurance than we thought.

  3. I got to watch Eitan attempt to feed a strawberry to the cat today.

  4. I have more job leads!

  5. The new recipe that I tried this evening, for hominy casserole, is a keeper. Just four ingredients, and very tasty. (So simple: Mix in a 2-qt baking dish: 1 lg can (29-oz) hominy, drained; 1 4-oz can chopped jalapenos, drained; 1 2-cup bag shredded cheddar; 1 8-oz container sour cream. Bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 45 minutes, until golden and bubbly.)

  6. A friend who I thought was mad at me, wasn't.

  7. We still have a lot of store credit at the Magic shop, so we can have fun drafting cards this weekend after all.

  8. Baked apples with raisins and dates and spices.

  9. Real sudafed is still legal.

  10. Flannel sheets on cold nights.

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