Monthly Archives: March 2010

Mexican Stuffed Shells

This is one the most favorite dishes that we prepare in my class.  Everybody loves this!  I have former students that call me because they have lost their recipe and please can I send it because they are dying to make them.    This has been around for quite a while. In fact a students found the recipe and brought it to me to try.  It appeared on a can of Durkee’s French Fried onion rings.  You can view it here on their site.  

You will probably be surprised when I tell you that this is not the easiest recipe for students to grasp.  There are many steps and it is hard for them process all of them.  Even with a demonstration and much discussion they will ask me a million questions and still some will not get it quite right.  

So how did my classes do with Mexican Stuffed Shells? 

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Beef Stroganoff Made Easy

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  It is easy to put together and it taste great. To me it is comfort food.  Rich gravy made with white wine added mushrooms over rice.  Heaven on a plate!  The recipe came from my long ago friend Cile that lives in Baton Rouge where great food runs rampant.  It is one  of those dishes that you can throw together in 20 minutes and leave it alone for about an hour.  When you return to check on it the flavors are unbelievable.  Trust me if you like a nice rich gravy with tender strips of steak this is it! 

In the last couple of years I have had a really hard time finding a top and bottom round steak .  They are now sent to supermarkets as top round steak or bottom round steak.  Even at that they are cut paper-thin.  For this recipe the steak needs to be about 1 1/2 inches thick.     After much experimenting I found that round steak cut for fajitas works fantastic.  It is cut to the right thickness and in strips.  That is even better because the step of slicing while partially frozen can be skipped saving much time.  The results I think are much better.

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Filed under Beef Stroganoff, easy

Savory Seafood Penne

This recipe came from Men’s Health.  Don’t you read Men’s Health every month?  Yea right.  You know it is a good magazine.  Gi Joe and The Athlete read it religiously.  It is a good magazine.  I will have to say that I have sat down and read my share of issues.  This is a recipe that The Athlete found last April.  I have prepared it at least a half-dozen times.  It is good for you and easy to make. 

This week I had a huge bag of beautiful spinach in my box from CSA and wanted to make good use of it.  I also had pesto left over from this recipe that I wanted to use. 

I changed the original  recipe today  and sautéed the spinach then added all the other ingredients.  I like the  original recipe better. The reason?  The hot pasta just does wilt the spinach and it gives more texture to the dish.   So here it is for you to enjoy.  Look at what you are getting:  22 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber . 

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Filed under pasta, quick, Shrimp

Cheese Biscuits and a Mission Accomplished – Vote Here

Today was our last lab for quick breads and  the students ended the unit with a bang!  All the biscuits that were made today were so good!  Biscuits are not the easiest bread to make especially for beginners.  At first you  are not quite sure how the dough should feel and how much to knead it.  And then there is always the question of how much flour to add to the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands.   I was very impressed when I talked with each group about what they learned.  Here are some of their comments

  • These are so easy to make.
  • They are better than the drop biscuits that we made from Bisquick.
  • We have all the ingredients at home.
  • Why would anyone buy those refrigerated things when you can make these?
  • You can make these really small , eat two and fool yourself into thinking you are eating more.
  • I had no idea that I could bake biscuits that tasted so good.
  • We can save money baking biscuits from scratch.
  • I want to make these for my mom.

 

So  my mission for this unit is accomplished and we are ready to move on. 

You will find the recipe for Basic Biscuits here and to make the Cheese Biscuits make the following changes:

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Filed under Biscuits, Cheese, quick

Roasted Vegetables

If you have never roasted vegetables you do not know what you are missing.  Roasting vegetables caramelizes the sugar and intensifies the flavors.    In my CSA package this week were the most beautiful carrots and brussel sprouts.  I did not want just any run of the mill brussel sprouts.   So this is what I did and they were amazing. 

Cory Mosser turned me on to this fantastic dish  so when he published  his recipe for a “Root Roast” I knew it had to be good.  Making it the first time I used all these roots that appeared in my CSA package that I had no clue as to what to do with them.   We had about six guests over to grill steaks and I made the root roast as a side dish..  It is the number one rule when entertaining –  DO NOT try out a new recipe on guests!  Lots of times I do not adhere to my own advice.  Most times the results are not good, but this time it worked out to my advantage and the talk of the evening was the vegetables and not the steak. 

Here is how it is done.

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Filed under easy, Roasted Vegetables

Cajun Gumbo Soup

This is an easy Gumbo.  You can put it together in less than 30 minutes and let it simmer for 3o minutes. It is better the next day.  The flavors have time to develop and the zucchini can thicken the gumbo.  That’s right!  The squash is a substitute for okra which is usually used in most gumbos.  It is hard to find fresh okra in the winter so the zucchini is perfect.  For me this soup ranks right up there with this and also with this.  It  has been a favorite for years while  the other two are new kids on the block.  

Pair this with cooked rice and crunchy buttered toast and you will satisfy any hunger.  

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Filed under Chicken, Gumbo, Italian sausage, Soup, Soup from scratch, Zucchini

Mediocre Muffins and Voting for the best!

These muffins here are not mediocre!  They are fantastic.  You can find the recipe for them here

What we did yesterday as a demo and today as a lab was mediocre.  I really was questioning whether or not I should blog about this lab, but my students convinced me that I should share my opinion about the new Duncan Hines whole wheat muffin mixes.  So here goes. 

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Filed under corn muffins, Muffins, quick

Whole Wheat Waffles and Voting

First Place Winner 2nd Block Kitchen 2!!!

Whole wheat Waffles???  Sure they don’t look like whole wheat.  These are crisp and light. Nothing like I expected.  At least the second go round!

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Filed under Waffles, Whole Wheat

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits and Vote!

I raved in the previous post about these Buttermilk Biscuits.  Southern Living shared four variations of the Buttermilk Biscuits and here is one of them.  These Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits  quoting GI Joe ” are vacation good!”  Before jumping in the kitchen to prepare them  take the time to read the post on Buttermilk biscuits and make the following changes.  You’ll have a breakfast hit on your hands.

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Filed under Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, quick, Recipes

Buttermilk Biscuits

I have been drooling over these biscuits for 2 1/2 years!  Why have I not made these sooner you ask?  It is a little bit of a change.  You see I have been making these since I was 12 years old.  They are good!   

My Gosh, I have  been cheating myself.  These biscuits are absolutely the best I’ve ever eaten.  And  I have tasted my share of biscuits.  2,000 to be exact!  I didn’t even  figure in the ones that I  baked nor the ones I’ve eaten at friends and family.  So I know biscuits.  WRONG!  These are incredible.  I first saw them in Southern Living in November of 2007.  I even pulled the recipe out to save and try later.  I just kept looking at it thinking, ” They can’t be that great.”     

My students made this recipe and I wanted to post something different. So here it is  Buttermilk Biscuits that got pushed to the back burner.  After all I have made buttermilk biscuits many times in my life. What’s the big deal?  It appeared again last month in Southern Living Our Test Kitchen Secrets.  Secret?  What could be so secret about making biscuits?  

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Filed under Biscuits, quick, Recipes