Hot Dog Cornbread Casserole
2 cups leftover Creamy Southern Succotash (recipe)
6 organic all-beef hot dogs cut into half-inch slices
Vegetable cooking oil spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with cooking oil.
Combine the succotash and hot dogs. Spread mixture in the prepared pan
For the topping
Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cheddar into a medium bowl.
In a smaller bowl, stir baking soda into buttermilk. Whisk in sugar, egg, and oil.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients; combine quickly, using as few strokes as possible. Pour batter over the hot dog mixture and bake 30 minutes.
Four 8-inch tortillas
2 cups Leftover steak, peppers, and onion from \the Steak burrito recipe
2 cups Mexican Four Cheese Blend
Salsa for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the quesadillas.
Lightly spray a large cookie sheetcovered with parchment with cooking oil. Place 2 tortillas on the baking sheet. Spread ½ cup of the cheese over each tortilla and then divide the leftover beef and pepper mixture over the cheese. Top with jalapeno slices and sprinkle each with the remaining cheese. Place a tortilla on top of each quesadilla and brush with avocado oil.
Place the baking sheet in the oven for a couple of minutes and bake for a couple of minutes. Open up the oven and with a large spoon, press down on the quesadillas.
Pressing down on the tortillas will flatten them and help them stick to the cheese. Continue to bake until brown and crispy. Remove and slice into quarters Serve with salsa.
¼ cup avocado oil
2 – 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound beef flank steak
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Half a large sweet onion cut into thin rings and rings halved
2 medium sweet bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced into thin strips
6-8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro
1 cup of salsa
Zest the lime and orange. Juice both the orange and lime. In a large resealable plastic bag combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, avocado oil, chipotle peppers, cumin, and the salt. Add steak. Seal bag; turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.
Remove meat from the marinade. Reserve 2 tablespoons marinade; discard any remaining marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. In a large grill pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add steak to the pan. Cook for 14 to 18 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness, turning once halfway through cooking. (Or, for a gas or charcoal grill, grill the steak on a greased rack of a covered grill over medium heat for 17 to 21 minutes or until steak reaches desired doneness.)
Transfer meat to a cutting board. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Heat the same grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers to the drippings in the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Cook 1 minute more. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons marinade and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.
Lay tortillas on a flat work surface. Arrange the meat on the bottom third of the tortillas. Top with cooked vegetables, and cilantro. Roll up tortillas tightly. Serve with salsa.
If using a gas or charcoal grill, use a large skillet to cook the vegetables. Use 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in place of the drippings.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
Stir over medium-high heat until all cheese is melted.
Creamy Southern Succotash
1 recipe cooked southern field peas (see recipe), drained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
Cheese sauce, recipe above
After the cheese sauce is complete, stir in the drained peas and corn. Add the chili powder and simmer over low heat until hot.
Serve with the burritos.
Flank steaks are usually quite large. When I purchase one, I cut it in half and freeze one half for another meal.
1/2 pound or half of a large flank steak
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt to taste
1 red bell pepper
2 medium Poblano peppers (dark green)
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo + 1 tablespoon sauce, chopped
4 small flour tortillas or 2 large tortillas
At least two hours before dinner, coat the steak with salt to taste, the ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Cut the peppers into thick strips, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut the onion into thick slices.
Place oil, peppers, and onions in a medium skillet and cook turning frequently until they are tender. Stir in the chipotle pepper and sauce. Keep warm.
Prepare an outdoor grill or heat a stovetop grill pan.
Place the steak on the grill and cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Remove steak from the grill and cut diagonally into thin slices and add to the pepper mixture in the skillet.
Warm the tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they are warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp. Or wrap in paper towels and warm in the microwave.
Place a portion of the steak mixture into each tortilla, fold and serve.
I like to make coleslaw in small batches because I don’t think it tastes very good after several days. I also like to serve coleslaw with Mexican entrees.
¼ of a large cabbage, shredded or sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
2 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage, carrot, and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate covered for several hours before serving.
Easy Dinner Night
Ingredients for 2 servings
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons lower-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons avocado or canola oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons avocado or canola oil, divided
2 large tortillas
1 small onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco
For the Dressing: Whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.
For the tostadas: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Cook 1 tortilla 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat procedure with 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining tortilla.
Add remaining oil to the pan. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeño; sauté 2 minutes. Add beef; cook until brown. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Continue to cook until the beef and onions are completely cooked, about 5 minutes.
To assemble: Place 1 tortilla on a dinner plate; top the tortilla with 1 cup beef mixture, ¼ cup shredded cheddar, 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup chopped tomato, and 2 tablespoons Mexican cheese. Repeat with the second tortilla. Drizzle each serving with dressing.
The tortilla strips and the garnishes are best prepared on the day of serving. The rest of the soup can easily be prepared ahead by several days.
I make my own chipotles en adobo, so I included the recipe at the end of the post. Canned chipotles can also be used.
Makes about 9 cups, serving 6
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon avocado or vegetable oil
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (total about 1 1/2 pounds)
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium onions (total about 1 pound), peeled, 1 cut in half and the other onion finely diced
2 cups corn kernels
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled, 2 cut in half and the other two minced
2 sprigs fresh epazote or 2 teaspoons dried ( or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano if you don’t have epazote)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 medium jalapeño chile, chopped
1 chipotle chile en adobo with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Hass avocado diced fine
8 ounces shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Mexican crema or sour cream
Note on Epazote
Epazote is a Mexican herb with an acidic lemony flavor.
I use the dried version since fresh is not easy to find in my area.
FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until the strips are deep golden brown and crisp, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through the baking time. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels. Set aside.
FOR THE SOUP: Bring the chicken breasts, broth, 1 onion halved, 2 garlic cloves cut in half, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate. With a spider or slotted spoon remove the onion and garlic halves and discard them. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
To the broth add the tomatoes, the chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, jalapeño, corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chipotle chile, and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in the bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.
Loaded Nacho Platter
I save leftover steak in the freezer for making dishes like nachos.
1/2 pound leftover steak or lean ground beef, cooked
1 cup chopped bell peppers
3 cups tortilla chips
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup sliced jarred pickled jalapenos
2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup salsa or pico de gallo
Shred the cooked steak.
Preheat your oven to 375 F, or you can use your broiler.
Spread the 3 cups of chips over the bottom an ovenproof platter so that you can’t see the bottom of the plate.
Sprinkle1 cup cheese over the top of the chips. Evenly distribute the toppings so that every chip has some toppings.
Top with the remaining cheese. Place the platter into the oven or under the broiler.
When the cheese is melted, remove the platter from the oven and use a metal spatula to put nachos onto individual serving plates.
Homemade Chipotle Chiles en Adobo
12-14 dried Chipotle Chiles
3 cups of water
1/2 medium onion finely diced
6 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Simmer all the ingredients in a covered pan for one hour, stirring occasionally or until the liquid reduces to about a cup.
I store the chilies in snack bags in the freezer for when I need them-1 pepper and 1 tablespoon sauce in each snack bag. They defrost very quickly. when you need them.
Serves 4 to 6
Chipotle Steak Marinade (Make this one day ahead)
Makes 11/2 cups
14-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes in juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 canned chipotle chile en adobo, diced
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 flank steak (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
Taco Herb Topping
½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 medium scallions, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Marinated flank steak in the sauce
1 tablespoon oil
Taco Herb Topping, recipe above
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, soft or crispy, warmed
Grated cheddar cheese
For the Marinade
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a small (2-quart) saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until cold.
With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the steak into 1 inch by 2-inch pieces.
Pour the sauce into a plastic ziplock bag and add the steak pieces. Seal the bag and refrigerate for several hours before cooking.
For the topping
Combine all the ingredients together in a medium serving bowl and set aside.
For the steak
Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steak and marinade in the skillet and cook the meat for about 2 minutes. Turn the steak pieces and cook the second side for 2 minutes.
For the tacos
I like to place the tortillas in a holder. They are easy to warm in the oven and then fill. Spoon a small amount of sliced steak into the center of each warm tortilla and add a teaspoon of the prepared herb topping. Add additional topping ingredients as desired.
Most people know Rick Bayless from Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, his Public Television series, Mexico–One Plate at a Time and his many cookbooks. He is also the owner of multiple restaurants, including the outstanding Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, where my family ate numerous times when we lived in Chicago. I recently discovered that he developed a line of Mexican cooking sauces that are sold in most supermarkets. While the sauces have been available for a while, I just recently discovered them and find them to be delicious, authentic and so very convenient. I especially like these sauces because they are made from fresh ingredients with no preservatives, are gluten-free, and low in carbohydrates. They also come in convenient, easy to use pouches.
These sauces are so convenient when you are busy and want a good tasting dinner fast. I used one of the taco sauces for my recipe below. There are quite a few made by his company, Frontera Foods, and you can check out the rest with this link.
Serves 4. Since I only wanted two servings, I made half the recipe. I also used half of the sauce and froze the unused portion for another occasion. I also changed the directions from the one listed on the package in making this dish.
Serve this entree with a salad and ranch dressing.
1 tablespoon avocado or vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
1 pound peeled, deveined medium shrimp;
1 pouch Frontera Key Lime Shrimp Taco Skillet Sauce
8 tortillas (crispy or soft), warmed
Toppings: cheese, jalapenos, shredded cabbage or lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc
Heat the oil in a nonstick 10 or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the onion and poblano pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, about 4 minutes. Add the sauce and let it sizzle for a minute or two and then add the shrimp. Cook and stir over medium heat until the shrimp turn pink and are just cooked through about 4 minutes.
Speedy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas
I used the last of my roasted chicken in this recipe. Here is a link to the post:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
One (8 oz) container enchilada sauce (I use Frontera brand), divided
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add 1/4cup of the enchilada sauce, chili powder, and the chicken. Hest over low heat until warm. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Wrap tortillas in paper towels; microwave at high 30 seconds or until warm. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; roll up tightly and place tortillas, seam side down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas, and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream mixed with the cilantro.
Soft Beef and Cheese Tacos
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 (15-oz.) jar salsa (I used Tostitos Chunky Salsa Medium)
2 cups fresh corn
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
½ cup of water
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 medium flour tortillas, warmed
Sliced pickled jalapenos and sour cream, for serving
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion in oil until soft, 5 minutes. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes more, then add salsa, corn, taco seasoning, and water. Simmer until reduced and thickened about 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Spoon mixture into warm flour tortilla and top with cheese. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds. Top with jalapenos and sour cream and fold in half. Serve with a green salad with a store-bought or homemade ranch dressing. Recipe below.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
Pinch of onion powder
Pinch of paprika
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, chopped herbs, onion powder, paprika, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Mix until well combined then cover and place into a refrigerator for at least 30 before serving so the flavors have time to mingle.
Tip: Did you know you can freeze whole lemons and limes? They are perfect for cooking. Leave the frozen fruit on the counter for an hour. The zest is easy to remove, and the fruit slices and juices easily also. Next time you see lemons and limes on sale, buy a bag and freeze them for future cooking.
Southern Italian Style Lemon Chicken
Cooking a whole chicken is very economical because you get several meals from one chicken.
3 large lemons
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 garlic clove minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
4-pound whole chicken
Remove the zest from the three lemons and set aside. Cut the lemons into thin slices and set aside.
Cut the chicken along the backbone on one side with kitchen shears. Do not remove the bone. Turn the chicken over and flatten it. (The reason I did not remove the backbone is that I want to use the entire chicken carcass for soup.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil on the baking sheet. Lay the lemon slices in the olive oil down the middle of the tray as a “rack” for the chicken. Sprinkle one-third of the lemon rub on the underside of the chicken. Turn the chicken over and rub the remaining lemon mixture over and under the skin of the whole chicken. Lay the chicken, skin side up, on the bed of lemons and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Roast, basting every 15 minutes until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F in the thigh about 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Using a fork, mash the lemon pulp into the juices on the baking sheet, discarding the rind. Mix the pulp into the drippings and use this mixture to spoon over the chicken just before serving.
Serve some of the chicken for dinner. I was able to remove about 4 cups meat. I left some meat clinging to the leg, wing and breast bones for soup. Shred 1 to 2 cups for the recipe below. Use the carcass and some of the cooked chicken for chicken noodle soup. You may even have enough leftover for some chicken salad.
Baked Chicken Taquitos (Rolled Tacos)
The entire recipe makes 20 taquitos. I cut the recipe in half and made 10 for my family. I like tortillas made from cassava flour for this recipe because they are grain-free, light and easy to roll.
For the Taquitos:
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
20 corn tortillas
For the Toppings:
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Pico de Gallo
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and fresh lime juice. Stir until chicken is well coated with the seasonings. Stir in the shredded cheese.
Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and place on a plate. Microwave for 1 minute or until the tortillas are warm and pliable.
Layout the tortillas on a flat surface and divide the chicken and cheese mixture among the 20 tortillas. Roll up each tortilla tightly and secure with a toothpick.
Place a heaping tablespoon of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place the taquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone.
Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the taquitos are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Leave some meat on the bones, especially the legs, wings, and breast bone
Chicken bones leftover from the roasted chicken recipe above
1 whole onion, cut in half
2 carrots, cut in half
4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon peppercorns
8 quarts water
Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Cover the pan with the lid ajar.
Strain the broth in a colander lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Let drain completely. Pick out any meat in the cheesecloth and set aside. Discard the cooking vegetables and bones and return the broth to the stockpot.
Reserved chicken meat
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
5 scallions, diced
6 oz fettuccine or noodles
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the strained broth, carrots, celery, and scallions in the stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook the vegetables, about 20 minutes. Return toa boil, add the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt (I added 2 teaspoons) and black pepper to taste. Stir in reserved chicken meat, dill, and parsley.