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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shakshuka-Spicy Tomato Stew with Eggs

Anyone who knows me knows I am a Food Network addict. There are times when my husband thinks our television doesn't get any other channels ! So, many of my recipe inspirations come from things I have seen on shows there. I especially love the competition shows. 

I can't remember on which show I first saw shakshuka, but I do remember it was a breakfast challenge of some sort. I make a similar dish that has spinach and chick peas, but this one seems so much more interesting. And then, it seemed like it was stalking me...it kept popping up on TV, and then suddenly on my news feed, it was everywhere ! So, of course, I had to try to make it myself. I followed a recipe the first time, to make sure I had the technique, then I made it from memory. So, this is my version. Apparently, from the research I did, it is North African in origin, but there are many different versions, with different levels of spice. This one was quite spicy, and the feta adds a nice, creamy texture. We ate it for dinner, but you could do breakfast, brunch, it would be good any time of day. 

Shakshuka-Spicy Tomato Stew with Eggs 
1 large or 2 small onions, diced 
1 large red pepper, diced 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 small serrano pepper, finely chopped 
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder 
1 quart chopped tomatoes 
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste 
6 ounces feta cheeese, crumbled 
6 eggs 
Chopped cilantro, for garnish 

Preheat oven to 400. In a large, oven proof skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions, red pepper, serrano and garlic,and slowly saute until all are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, and chipotle powder, and stir until spices start to brown, 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and simmer until sauce starts to thicken, 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and feta. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. Make a small well for each egg, and drop into the tomato sauce. Place the skillet on the center rack of the oven, and bake 8-10 minutes, just until eggs are set. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with cilantro. You can add extra hot sauce at this point if you like, but it shouldn't need it. 

You can serve this with crusty bread or pita, but we just eat it straight out of the bowl. 






Monday, February 23, 2015

Can Can Taco Soup

I know, it's all canned stuff, you say ! 

But, most people have most of these things on hand, or could easily have access to them, and that was my goal. On a cold winter day, everyone needs a "one pot wonder" they can whip up in just a few minutes. And that's where the idea for this came from. 

I love anything with some Mexican flavor, and if it requires little preparation, even better ! So, grabbing some canned items, throwing them in a pot and heating them up seems like the perfect solution for a quick dinner. The refried beans in this virtually disappear, they really are just there to add a richness to the soup. You can add or subtract to this as you like, or it is delicious, just on its own. 

Can Can Taco Soup 
1 jar of your favorite salsa (I like hot, but you choose your temperature)
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with green chiles 
1 small can green chiles 
1 small can refried beans 
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cans Mexi-corn (with peppers), not drained 
2 cans canned chicken
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
Salt and pepper to taste 


Open all of the cans, and put in a large pot. Heat all of these together, until bubbly and hot. Add ins, if you choose: 

Pasta 
Quinoa 
Cheese 
Sour Cream 
Jalapenos 

Now, this isn't quite as inexpensive as my other pantry soups, but if you leave out the chicken, it comes in at under $1.00 a serving ! 



Friday, January 2, 2015

Hangover Huevos Rancheros

This started out as a conversation about New Year`s Day food traditions.  My husband asked me if we had any, and I said it's really about hangover food, isn't it ? When I think about what I want after over indulging,  I think greasy or spicy. When I proposed these options to my spouse,  he chose spicy, and here we are.

I started soaking the beans before we left for the evening festivities.  When we arrived home in the wee small hours, I put them in the crock pot with some spices, and set it to low. We woke up to some completely cooked, spicy beans, which we topped with cheese, sour cream, salsa and over easy eggs. Oh, on top of tortillas as well, in case you are in no shape to use utensils.

Hanogover Huevos Rancheros
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Presoak beans overnight, rinsing, then covering with water, about 2 inches over the top of the beans. Soak 6-8 hours. Roughly 8-10 hours before you will be ready to eat,  rinse beans and place in crockpot. Add spices, and cover with water, about 8 cups. Turn on low, and let cook until beans are tender.  Turn off the crockcrock, and mash with a potato masher.

To assemble:
6-8 flour tortillas
6 eggs
Salsa
Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
When ready to eat, place tortillas between two paper plates, and heat in microwave for 45 seconds. Cook eggs to your liking, and serve with salsa, sour cream and cheese.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Post Thanksgiving Mini Breakfast Frittatas

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love planning the menu, cooking all the food, and I especially love the leftovers !

This was an idea I had to use up some of the massive amount of stuffing we have left from dinner. I wanted to re purpose some of it into a breakfast dish, and these little guys turned out perfectly.  So good, in fact, that we are running out to get more eggs so we can have more !

These are good warm or cold, and you can freeze them easily,  and have a grab and go breakfast later.

Post Thanksgiving Mini Breakfast Frittatas

1 1/2 cups leftover stuffing
1/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes
4 eggs
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 6 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Divide stuffing evenly into muffin cups, then top with a spoonful of mashed potatoes. Place eggs in a bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Pour eggs into muffin cups,  then top with bacon. Bake for  20 minutes, then top each muffin with cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes,  then enjoy !

For more Thanksgiving leftover ideas, check out my podcast with Fresh and Local !

 http://www.mplsfarmersmarket.com/FreshNews/fresh-local-podcast-lisa-zara-leftovers/

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tavern Sloppy Joes


There are mythical things in Iowa/South Dakota called taverns,  and everyone has an idea about how these are made. I always thought my grandma made the best, so this recipe is a bit of an homage to her.

I don't know why I was craving these lately,  but they sounded good to me. So, the traditional taverns are pretty plain meat, simple spices and not very saucy. You add mustard,  onions and pickles on the bun. My grandma's version had most of these flavors incorporated into the tavern. I updated the recipe for my tastes,  so my husband calls these "Sloppy Lisa's"...maybe they are "Tavern Vi's" after Grandma....

Tavern Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Brown hamburger in a large skillet. Add onions and green pepper,  and saute until tender. Stir in tomato soup, and remaining ingredients.  Simmer over low heat until thick, serve on buns with cheese and pickles.The version you see here are sliders served with shredded cheddar and pickled onions.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

French Pear Martini

We went out to dinner and a show awhile back, and Ray ordered a "French" pear martini before dinner. Apparently it was also a magic martini, because it vanished before I could even sip have my drink. He quickly ordered a second one and told me I had to reverse engineer a recipe for us to enjoy at home. 

After tasting it, and looking at the ingredients on the menu, it wasn't that difficult, but they are  magic, for sure ! They will magically disappear into your belly, but beware...they are very potent !

French Pear Martini


2 ounces pear flavored vodka
1/2 ounce elderflower liquer
1 ounces pear syrup (just use the juice from canned pears)
Splash of lemon soda, if desired
Fresh pear, thinly sliced for garnish

Place vodka, elderflower liquer and pear syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. Top with chilled lemon soda if you want some bubbles. Garnish with fresh pear slice.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Smoked Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatloaf

This was one of my most popular recent posts, and it should be, it's delicious ! Part of the fun for me having a blog is having people make my dishes, and make them their own. When someone pinned this recipe, then made a note about putting it on the smoker, I fell in love !

I never thought to smoke a meatloaf. But I had to try it. The smoke made this even better, and it was already one of my favorites ! So here is the original, with additional instructions for smoking. You have to try this, check out the smoke ring on that baby !

Smoked Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatloaf 

1 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 small jalapenos, diced finely
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and diced

Prepare smoker to a steady temperature of 250. In a large bowl, mix together panko bread crumbs and milk. Let the milk absorb completely, then add ground beef, eggs, steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and eggs. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, jalapeno peppers and bacon. Using a 9 by 5 loaf pan, press half of the meat mixture into the bottom. Spread cream cheese mixture over the top, then press remaining meat mixture over the top of this. Poke some holes in the bottom and sides of an aluminum hotel pan, and invert the loaf pan into the hotel pan. Place on the smoker and let it go. After 2-3 hours you should be able to easily remove the loaf pan. Let it continue to smoke for 2-3 more hours until you reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Let it rest for 30 minutes then slice and eat. It's so pretty !