Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Southwest Meatloaf

2 pounds ground beef or a mix of veal, pork, and beef
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup corn (thawed if you used frozen)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup salsa (set aside)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl besides salsa. Shape into a loaf pan and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. You want the internal temperature to reach 160 degrees. Warm the salsa in a bowl in the microwave and spread over top (unless you are okay with cold/room temperature salsa).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lentil Herb Soup

2 slices bacon chopped (optional) or 2 tbsp olive oil
(You keep the fat and add to pot to sauté onions/carrots/garlic but I found the bacon didn't produce 2 tbsp so I used the bacon grease and then added a tbsp of olive oil)
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 small to medium red potatoes (optional)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 lb bag lentils
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp Italian herb blend
8 cups chicken stock and/or water

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped and 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (add during last 5 minutes of cooking time)

Cook bacon if desired. Place grease and olive oil (if needed) into large soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add carrots, garlic, and onions and simmer til onions are golden brown (about 6-8 minutes). Add diced tomatoes with juice, Italian seasoning, lentils and chicken stock/water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until lentils are tender.

This is when I cook the potatoes. I leave the skin on but you can peel them. Quarter them and cook to desired softness. I let them cool and then at the last 5 minutes of cooking I added them to the soup pot. You do not want them too mushy, which is why I do not cook them with the soup. Add the bacon if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste

You can also use homemade chicken stock. I am working on a homemade chicken stock recipe I got from a family member. You can freeze the stock into small jars already measured out so when you need it for recipes likes this, you don't have to thaw all of it.

Serve soup with Caesar salad and garlic French bread.

Freezes well for about 4-6 months so long you use air tight containers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coconut Milk Grilled Corn and Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon

Our friend, Chuy, made both of these wonderful treats for us while we were visiting San Antonio, Texas.

Coconut Milk Grilled Corn

1-2 cans of coconut milk depending on how many ears of corn you are grilling. They have the carton size of coconut milk, but you just need to use little by little.
5-6 ears of corn, husks off

Pour milk into bowl and glaze corn. Grill corn for about 8-10 minutes until glaze melts into corn. Do not burn corn.

Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon

1 whole pineapple, peeled and chopped into bigger pieces (about three to a skewer)
Ground cinnamon or grate fresh cinnamon sticks. Chuy had fresh cinnamon already grated and I feel that it made a difference than the powdery ground store bought cinnamon.

Sprinkle onto both sides of the pineapple and skewer. Place on grill for about 8-10 minutes. Serve alone or with some vanilla ice cream.