Monday, July 11, 2011

Confessions of a Foodie

Ok, so in case you haven't noticed, I'm a foodie... or at least a wanna-be foodie. I love food and not just the eating part although that is fun too. I actually love cooking and creating fun, yumminess with food. Food is flexible, which means you can change things around and alter/create pretty much whatever you want/like and I LOVE that! I am getting to the point that while I'm constantly looking for new recipes I don't always follow them to the letter, particularly when it's the recipe for something I've made several times before.

I said that I would post recipes for a few dishes that I've made recently and that's what this post is about: recipes!
1. Tex-Mex Rice
2. Enchiladas
3. Ravioli Sauce
4. Chocolate pie
{No. 3 and 4 are per special request } 

1. Tex-Mex Rice 

You will need: 
~ 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
~1 medium onion, chopped
~2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
~2 cups boiling water
~ 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
~ 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
~ 1 teaspoon salt
~ 1 can (14ish oz) diced tomatoes, drained {if you wanted to make it hotter you could use Rotel}

In a large skillet, saure the rice and onion in the oil until the rice is browned and the onion is nice and tender {and turning translucent}. Stir in the boiling water, green bell pepper, chili powder and salt. Bring the yumminess to a boil and once the boil is reached reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Once the rice is tender and yummy, stir in the tomatoes {or Rotel} and heat them through. Time to eat! This is what it looks like when finished: 
{recipe is compliments of Taste of Home

2. Enchiladas

You will need: 
~1 lb of ground beef {or turkey or whatever if you are being health conscious}
~1 medium onion, chopped
~1 can enchilada sauce {red}
~1 clove of garlic, minced
~1 {4oz} can of diced green chillies
~6-8 large {8in} flour tortillas
~3 cups {at least} Sharp/medium/whatever kind you like shredded cheese
~1/2 cup chopped green onion {garnish, optional}

Cook the meat, onion and garlic in a pan/dutch oven until the meat is no longer pink and drain off the excess fat {I have also been known on occasion to rinse the meat a little to remove a bit more of the grease/fatty goodness, but that is optional}. While the mean is cooking {aka before the draining of the fatty goodness} begin to heat the enchilada sauce in a medium sauce pan on the stove. Once the sauce is heated and the meat,onion and garlic mixture is all cooked, you can begin to assemble the enchiladas. Assembly works best on a cookie sheet {my hubby usually does this part, although I'm not sure why}. Coat each tortilla in a little bit of sauce and down the center of each layer a little bit of meat, some green chillies and cheese; fold the sides of each over like you would a soft taco and place it in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish that has a little bit of sauce on the bottom. Repeat the filling and placing of the tortillas {single layer} until you are out of tortillas, the pan is full or you don't have any meat left. Now, take the remaining sauce and pour it over the top of the enchiladas. The last pre-baking step is perhaps the most important: pile the rest of the cheese on the top of the sauce coated enchiladas! {We are firm believer that you can't have too much cheese so we use more than I've actually included for the recipe, but use as much or as little as you like}. Once you have covered everything in cheesy goodness, pop it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, just till the sauce and cheese are bubbly and melted. Top with chopped green onions and serve with Tex-Mex Rice and black beans. :) 
{my adaptation of The Pioneer Woman's enchilada recipe}

3. Ravioli Sauce

You will need: 
~1/4 cup butter
~1/4 cup flour
~1/4 teaspoon slat
~1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
~2 cups milk 
~1/4 cups white wine or vegetable broth 
~1/2 cup minced fresh basil 
~1cup shredded mozzarella cheese
~1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
~2-1/2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce

Melt the butter over low/medium low in a large sauce pan. Once the butter is melted whisk in the flour slowly, making sure there are no clumps. The roux should be thick but smooth and not lumpy/clumpy. Stir in the salt and nutmeg and slowly add the milk and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to cook for about a minute or until it has all thickened nicely. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the basil, mozzarella and parmesan cheese and marinara sauce. That's it! You're done! Well, you're done with the sauce now you just need to add it to some cooked pasta. I poured it over ravioli and it was amazing but honestly I think it would be great over almost any kind of pasta. {Sorry, no picture here folks. When I make it again I will try and take a picture.} This is a recipe is part of a larger recipe from Taste of Home

{make sure it is the REAL DEAL! Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to use a butter substitute, it will not work right. Trust me, I know from experience. In most cases it doesn't matter but this will be used to make a roux and if you use margarine then your roux will not thicken properly.}

4. Chocolate Cream Pie 

*this is the Vanilla Cream Pie recipe, it is the base for several others*
You will need: 
~1 cup sugar
~1/2 cup all-purpose flour or 1/4 cup of cornstarch 
~1/4 teaspoon salt
~3 cups milk
~4 eggs 
~3 teaspoons of butter or margarine 
~1-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
~1 9-inch baked pastry shell 

For the filling, combine the sugar, flour/cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually stir in the milk and cook the mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. In a separate bowl, separate the egg yokes from the egg whites. Beat the yokes slightly and gradually stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yokes. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan. Gently boil. Cook and stir the mixture for about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour filling into pie shell and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool at room temperature and then chill for several hours before serving. 

To make it Light Chocolate: 
Decrease the sugar for  3/4 cup and add 3 oz. of chopped semi-sweet chocolate with the milk. 

To make it Dark Chocolate: 
Increase the sugar to 1-1/4 cup and add 3 oz. of chopped unsweetened chocolate with the milk. 

From Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from 25 years ago. I only mention the publication date because it differs slightly from the current edition, which I haven't tried yet. 

{this is the light chocolate pie and it's very yummy
but you want to make the dark chocolate pie. TRUST ME!}

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