Thursday, April 20, 2017

Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops are a very quick and easy dinner to prepare.  There are two types of scallops you can purchase at the market.  Wet (soaked) or dry  scallops. This recipe calls for dry scallops.   "Soaked"  scallops have been soaked in a bath of phosphates. Soaked scallops are a bright white in color.    Dry scallops have not been soaked in phosphates.  They are superior in taste and they also caramelize beautifully.

This recipe is from Alton Brown, one of my all-time favorites.    It is an easy and delicious recipe.

Seared Scallops
From Alton Brown

Ingredients

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

Add the butter and oil to a 12 to 14-inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Instant Pot: Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs

I made another great tasting recipe in my Instant Pot.  Asian Boneless Beef Short Ribs.   They are tender, flavorful and better that you can get in any restaurant.  As with most Instant Pot recipes, this was easy and quick.

You begin by placing some oil in your Instant Pot and place on the sauté  setting.  Cook some garlic and ginger for about 1 minute.  Add some hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion white and cayenne.  Stir well and then add the beef. I turned my beef so both side could be coated with the sauce.

Set your Instant Pot on high pressure and cook for 35 minutes.  Once the ribs are cooked naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Vent the remaining pressure and transfer ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Strain the sauce and return to the Instant Pot.  Set on sauté and add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl.

Serve the ribs with the sauce, rice and top with the scallion greens if desired.

Asian Boneless Short Ribs
From Copycat Recipes Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Special Equipment:  Instant Pot or Other Electric Pressure Cooker

Ingredients: 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 scallions, white parts coarsely chopped, green parts thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 (8 ounce) boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons water
Cooked rice
Directions:
1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté setting.  Add the oil to the pot.  Heat for about 1 minute and the add the garlic and the ginger.  Sauté for about 1 minute or  until fragrant.  Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sherry, scallion whites, and the cayenne pepper.
2. Place the short ribs in the sauce and turn to coat both sides.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to the Sealing setting.   Set the pressure on high and cook for 35 minutes.
3. Naturally release the pressure for about 15 minutes.  Move the valve to venting position to release the remaining pressure. Once the pressure is released carefully open the lid away from you.
4. Remove the ribs and place on a platter.  Tent with foil.  Strain the sauce and return to the pot.  Place Instant Pot on Sauté setting.
5. Place the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Mix well and gradually add to the pot.  Stir until the mixture comes to a boil  Cook for 1 minute.  Pour the sauce in a small bowl and serve with the ribs.
6.  Place some rice on a plate.  Top with a rib and some sauce.  Sprinkle with scallion tops.

Makes 6 servings




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Crockpot: Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Peas and Bacon

Spaghetti squash is a fun squash to cook and eat.  When the squash is cooked these veggie strands of spaghetti are scooped out.  Usually, I just put my normal sauce over the squash, toss and serve.  Today's recipe is different.  It is a "cousin" to one of my favorite recipes of "Pasta With Peas and Ham."

This recipe is very easy to make.  Start by washing a spaghetti squash.  Poke it a few times with a fork and cook on high in a crockpot for 3 hours with a cup of water.  When the squash is done, scoop the spaghetti out.  In a bowl combine some bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt, and pepper.  Mix it well with the squash and place back in the crockpot for about 45 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, stir in the Parmesan cheese and cook for the remaining 25 minutes.  When done, serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

This is a delicious side dish or a main dish.  Enjoy.


Creamy Spaghetti Squash With Peas and Bacon
From Cooktop Cove

Special Equipment:  Crockpot

Ingredients:
1 (about 5 pounds) spaghetti squash
1 cup water
5 slices of bacon - diced
2 cups fresh or frozen petite peas
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup  powdered Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping


Directions:
1. Clean squash and poke with a fork throughout the skin.  Place the spaghetti squash and the cup of water in the crock pot. Cover and set on high and cook for 3 hours.
2. Add the bacon to a skillet and cook until soft.  Set aside.
3. Remove the squash from the crockpot when it is cooked.  Cut open with a knife lengthwise.  Carefully remove the seeds.  Scoop out the spaghetti strands.  Place the squash back in the crockpot.
4. Stir together the bacon, peas, cream cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add to the crockpot.  Stir and mix well.
5. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on high.  Add the Parmesan cheese, stir, cover and cook for another 25 minutes.  Serve and top with additional cheese if desired.  

Serves 6 main servings






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Skillet Chili Mac

I love Chili Mac.  Macaroni cooked in a nice semi spicy sauce with ground beef and beans.  A great meal for the family or for a pot luck.  It is one of my favorite quick meals to prepare.

Start by browning your ground beef in a large skillet.  Stir in the green chile and spices.  Be sure the meat is covered with the spices.  Add the liquids and bring to a boil.  Then add the pasta and cover.  Cook until the pasta is tender.  Add the beans and cook until heated through.  Top the chile mixture with cheese and cover skillet for a couple of minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Remove from the stove and serve.

Your family is in for a delicious and hearty meal that they will enjoy.


Skillet Chili Mac
From Our Best Bites adapted by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients
1 lb. extra-lean (93%) ground beef
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups V8 juice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
8 ounces  dry  elbow macaroni
1 can pinto beans, drained
4 ounces shredded Mexican Cheese

Instructions
1. Heat a 12" skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently. Stir in  the green chile and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the chili powder, onion powder,  cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  Mix well until the meat is throughly coated. a

2. Add the V8 juice, tomato sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and stir to combine and then cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15-ish minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Add the beans and heat through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese, and replace the lid for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve.

Makes 6 servings



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Biscuits

Who can resist nice flaky tender biscuits?  I sure can't.  I love eating  them for breakfast with butter and jam,  or when I am eating a rich and hearty soup/stew.  They are great for getting the last bite of that good broth.  And how could I forget that delicious dish biscuits with gravy.  Biscuits are just great and so easy to make.

I found this easy biscuit recipe on the NYT Cooking website.  Instead of using a food processor, I combined the butter and the flour with my fingertips until the mixture resembled corn flakes.


Biscuits
From NYT COOKING

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, preferably European style
1 cup whole milk

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat it down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
4. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 6-8




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Another great Instant Pot recipe - Beef Stew.   Beef Stew is your classic Comfort Food.  It is great for chilly days or when you are feeding a crowd.
Tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and an assortment of veggies cooked in a delicious broth flavored with wine, thyme, and spices.   A rich, delicious, and hearty meal for your family or guest to enjoy.  I served mine with biscuits to get every drop.

Instant Pot Beef Stew
Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless beef short ribs cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces sliced  white mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 stalk sliced celery
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 cup green beans cut into 1 1/2-inch length
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional Thickening:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


Directions:
1. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a Ziploc bag.  Add the meat a small amount at a time to the flour mixture and shake until the meat is coated.  Shake off excess flour mixture and place meat in a bowl.  Repeat until all the meat is coated.
2. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot.  Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When the oil is hot add the beef and brown on all sides.
3. Remove the beef to a bowl.  Add the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 2 minutes.  Add the carrots and celery.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Remove the vegetables from the Instant Pot and place in the bowl with the beef.
4. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with the red wine.  Add the meat and vegetables, the beef broth, green beans, potatoes, Worcestershire Sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well.
5. Place the top on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select the Meat/Stew setting.  When the stew is done let it rest for 10 minutes.
6. Move valve to venting.  When done venting open the lid carefully and away from you.  Stir the stew.  If the stew broth is too thin set the Instant Pot to the saute setting.   In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water.  Be sure it is mixed well.   Add the cornstarch mixture  to the stew and cook until thickened.
7. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Makes 4-6 servings






Sunday, February 12, 2017

Slow Cooker Carne Asada

Carne Asada is my favorite meat for making burritos and tacos. It is very flavorful and tender.  When making Carne Asada, I usually use flank steak and marinade it.  You can also use skirt steak.  This is the first time I have made it in a slow cooker and it was delicious.  The meat was tender, moist, and had a wonderful flavor.  I usually serve the Carne Asada with tortillas, sliced radishes, cilantro, avocados, and lime wedges.

Slow Cooker Carne Asada
From Slow Cooker Gourmet Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 (2.5-3) pound flank steak
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Flour or corn tortillas
Garnishes: Cilantro,  lime wedges, sliced radishes, avocado chunks

Directions:
1. Place flank steak in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Add the olive oil, orange juice, garlic, lime juice, honey, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.
3. Pour the marinade over the flank steak.  Cover and set the slow cooker to low.  Cook for 8 hours.
4. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks.  Place the meat back in the slow cooker and coat with the juices.
5. Serve on tortillas and garnish with lime wedges, sliced radishes, and avocado chunks.

Serves 6