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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Enchilada Sauce

2 T. oil
2 T. flour
2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne
2 C. water
8 oz. tomato paste
1 t. garlic
1/2 t. dried onion
1/2 t. salt
Combine all ingredients except flour in sauce pan. Wisk to combine and heat to a simmer. Take 2T. flour and combine with 2 T. water in a cup. Slowly pour flour mixture into tomato sauce, stirring constantly, and simmer till thickened.

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Potato Pancakes-Latkes

Latkes are a traditional Jewish dish made at holidays.  In large batches, they are a meal.  Can also be a side dish served with sour cream and applesauce.

8 Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled and grated

1 egg

1/2 t. black pepper

1 t. salt

2 T. minced dried onions

3/4 to 1 cup Matzo Meal (available in the Jewish food section of grocery store)

I make them in a food processor first grating the potatoes and then removing them to a bowl.   Insert the processor blade into the food processor bowl and put the grated potatoes back into processor.  Add egg, salt, pepper and onion flakes.  Process till blended.  Add 3/4 cup Matzo Meal and process.  If mixture is watery, add 1/4 cup more of Matzo Meal.

Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick fry pan to medium and spoon in heaping tablespoons of mixture, flattening slightly.  Cook till starts to brown and turn them over to cook other side.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven while make remaining pancakes.

Serve with sour cream and/or applesauce.

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Excellent Stuffing

There are as many variations on dressing/stuffing as there are cooks.  Here is my version, that I adapted from a Thanksgiving long ago on Maui.  The original recipe called for Hawaiian chili peppers, not readily available-so I use chili powder with great results.  This is a dressing with a little more zip and complexity of flavor than many, but takes advantage of store bought stuffing mix.  This can be doubled.

1  16 oz. bag of Pepperidge Farms Herb seasoned stuffing (not cornbread)

1 large chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 stick butter/margarine

2 1/2 cups low salt canned chicken broth

dash pepper

1/8 tsp. apple pie spice or cinnamon

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. chili powder to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (washed)

Melt butter/margarine in large sauce pan.  Add chopped onion and celery.  Cook on med-low heat till translucent.  Add pepper, apple pie spice and chili powder saute together till vegetables are evenly coated and begin to brown.  Add dry stuffing mix and stir.  Pour chicken broth over stuffing and stir.  Add chopped parsley, and stir.  Let sit to allow the stuffing to absorb the liquid.  May be served like this, but I transfer it to an oven-proof bowl and dot with extra butter/ margarine and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to get a crusty top.  Serve with gravy.

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Cranberry Sauce with Chambord

Here is a recipe for the best and most expensive cranberry sauce ever!  The raves will make it all worth while.

1  12 oz . package of fresh cranberries (picked through for bad ones)

1 cup sugar

1 cup Chambord or Chateau Monet raspberry liqueur

Heat liqueur and sugar in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Stir till sugar dissolves.  Add cranberries and bring to a boil stirring frequently.  You will begin to hear cranberries pop open, turn down heat to med-high to avoid boiling over.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Leaving the cranberries in the sauce pan, mash about 1/3 of the berries to release the juice, using a potato masher or large fork,   Stir and let sit to solidify.  Refridgerate and serve cold.

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Crisp Almond Chicken

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup honey

Directions:

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Dip chicken in flour and shake off excess. Set aside. Combine the egg, soy sauce and pepper in a shallow dish; set aside. In another shallow dish combine ground almonds and sliced almonds. Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat and in almond mixture, pressing so the coating adheres to both sides. Brown chicken on both sides in oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear when cut with a knife. Remove chicken; set aside. Combine pineapple juice, lime juice and cornstarch. Add mixture to skillet. Add honey.

Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Serve chicken with sauce.

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Fish Tacos

IMG_5541There are many variations of fish tacos.  You  can use corn or flour tortillas which is what I use; salsa, tarter sauce or coleslaw which is my favorite.  I use fresh breaded tilapia, but the frozen tilapia works just as well.

Tilapia-fresh cut into sticks or frozen fish sticks

Tortillas-flour  or corn

Coleslaw with coleslaw dressing

Avocado, sliced or mashed

Cheese, cheddar/jack shreaded

oil

salt, pepper

chopped cilantro

2 tsp. dried onion flakes

salsa

Mix the coleslaw with the dressing, add chopped cilantro, dried onions, and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Cook the fish sticks (fresh or frozen) in a frypan with oil on medium low heat till crispy.  Remove fish sticks and keep warm in oven.  Place a tortilla in frypan and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Top with a fish stick and 2 Tbs. coleslaw and sliced or mashed avocado.  Add salsa if desired and wrap the tortilla around the fish.

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IMG_4178

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, makes the best pizza dough.  Crispy and yet soft.  Here is her recipe with some updates:

4 1/2 C Bread Flour

1 t. salt

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. oregano

1 T. sugar

1 T. olive oil

3 T. Yeast (two packets)

2 C. warm water

1 jar Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce (not Homestyle)

mozzarella and toppings as desiresd

Bake at 450 for 15-18 minutes

DOUGH-I make this in a food processor which dictates that you add dry ingredients first then wet.  Mixing dough by hand you do the opposite:

In a large bowl (NOT PLASTIC) add 2 cups warm water (water has to be warm for dough to rise, too hot will kill it.  I use tap water and then microwave for 1 min. so that it is warm to the touch.)  When the water is warm measure 3 T. dry yeast-OR 2 packages of dry active yeast. Add 1 T. sugar and 1 T. Olive oil to the water/yeast mixture.  Stir to mix, allow the mixture to become frothy which assures that the yeast is OK.

To the yeast mixture add @ a cup at a time: 4 1/2 C. Bread flour mixed with 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. oregano. Mix the flour with a spoon until the dough becomes too stiff to stir, then begin to mix the rest of the flour in by hand kneading the dough as you add more flour.  Knead for 5 minutes to for the flour to release the gluten.  Spread 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a large heatproof bowl and place the dough into the bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil.  Cover with a clean damp cloth (towel) and let rise in a warm area while you make pizza toppings.  If it is very cold in your house, then you may want to turn the oven on to 200 degrees and then turn it off when has reached temperature and place bowl with the cloth covering in oven to be warm enough to rise.

OR YOU CAN USE A BOUGHT CRUST OR A REFRIGERATOR ROLL OUT CRUST FROM THE GROCERY STORE.

Toppings: For sauce I cheat and use: Ragu Pizza Quick Traditional Sauce in a jar.  Thinly sliced onions and green peppers, sliced black olives, pepperoni (regular or turkey for less fat), sliced mushrooms (I use baby bellas), sliced Roma tomatoes, canned pineapple tidbits well drained, grated mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.  Be creative and add/delete toppings as you prefer.

Remove dough in bowl from oven if you have chosen that method, and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Punch down dough and divide in half for large pizzas, or in quarters for individual pizzas.  Grease baking sheet or pie plate with a small amount  of olive oil.  Pat gently or roll with a rolling pin to make the dough fit the pan.  The dough will be elastic and stretch and shrink as you work with it, so it will take a few minutes to work it into shape. I spread the dough with sauce and then allow each person to add their own toppings ending with cheese.  Place the pizza in the oven (once it has reached 450) on the bottom rack, and bake for 15 minutes.  Transfer to the top rack for another 10 minutes or until done.  To make the crust crispier, remove from oven and let cool for 5  minutes, then transfer the pizza directly onto the oven rack for another 5 minutes.

Makes 2 large or 4 small pizzas

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