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

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

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

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Instant Pot: Roast Beef

Another great Instant Pot recipe.  I know I have said it before but I will say it again - I love my Instant Pot.

The other night, we had a very moist and flavorful roast for dinner cooked in my Instant Pot.  I first browned the roast on the sauté setting  and sautéed some mushrooms.  Deglazed the pan with some red wine and then added some broth and spices to the pot.  I placed the roast in the pot and scatted the mushroom, potatoes and carrots over the roast.  Locked the top and cooked for 50 minutes.   I let the pot do a natural release for about 20 minutes then unlocked the lid very carefully.

I placed the roast on a platter with the veggies and covered loosely with foil.  I added some cornstarch and water the the juices in the pot to thicken up the natural sauce a bit.  I served the sauce with the beef.

Roast Beef
Special Equipment:  Instant Pot


1 (2 1/2 - 3) pound beef eye of round roast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms
1/3 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 carrots cut in chunks
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons water


1. Mix the kosher salt and pepper together in a small bowl.  Pat the roast dry and rub the salt and pepper mixture over the roast.  Set aside.
2. Set the Instant Pot on the Saute setting.  Add one tablespoon olive oil to the pot.  When hot brown the roast on all sides.  When brown remove the roast to a platter.
3. Add the remaining oil - 2 tablespoons to the pot.  Sauté the mushrooms.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms to the platter with the beef.
4. Deglaze the pot with the red wine.  Add the broth, onion powder, thyme, parsley flakes, salt and pepper to the pot.  Stir well.  Add the roast, mushrooms, potatoes, and carrots.
5. Lock the lid on the Instant Pot.  Be sure the valve is set to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes.
6. Naturally release the pressure for 25 minutes.  Move the valve to the venting position   to release remaining pressure.  Open the lid carefully.
7. Remove the roast and vegetables to a platter.  Cover with foil.  Set the Instant Pot to the Saute setting.
8. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the water.  Stir well.  Add  to the the Instant Pot and stir.  Continue cooking until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Taste and season if necessary.
9. Slice the roast crosswise and serve with gravy and the vegetables.

Makes 6 servings

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

I love a nice bowl of hot soup on chilly days.  Not only does soup warm you up but it is a nice hearty meal for a light dinner or to go with your favorite sandwich at lunch.  This soup has a wonderful flavored broth loaded with beans,veggies and pasta.  Top it off with some grated Parmesan cheese and you have a great tasting bowl of soup.    This is a very easy  soup to make.  Start by browning the pancetta in some olive oil.  Next add the onion, salt, carrots, and celery.  Cook for about 10 minutes and then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, both types of beans, pepper, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, Parmesan cheese rind, (if using), and crushed red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook.  Ladle the soup into some bowls, top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth 
1 (15- ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1(15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
Rind of Parmesan cheese - optional
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry  Ditalini pasta
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a Dutch oven heat the oil and add the pancetta.
2. Brown the pancetta and then add the onion, carrots, celery, and salt.  Cook for 10 minutes.
3.  Add the celery and cook until fragrant.  Next place the chicken broth, tomato sauce, both types of beans, pepper, Italian seasoning bay leaf and rind of Parmesan cheese if using. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until pasta is cooked.
5. Remove the Parmesan cheese rind. Taste and season if  necessary and ladle soup into the bowls.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8

Friday, January 27, 2017

Post From The Past: Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is one of my favorite condiments.    I use it as a dip with tortilla chips, spoon it on my tacos,  use as a topping for my eggs,  cook with it.  It has endless possibilities in my kitchen.      I love the tanginess and just the hint of saltiness of the salsa.  The tanginess comes from the tomatillos.

Tomatillos belong to nightshade family like tomatoes. In fact, when husked the tomatillo resembles a green tomato.  Tomatillos are small fruits enclosed in a husk.  The husk is inedible.

When choosing tomatillos for this salsa, they should be firm and bright green

Salsa Verde

1-1/2 pounds tomatillos
½ cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 Jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
Salt to taste

1. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside.
2. Remove husks from tomatillos.  Wash under cold water.
3. Cut the tomatillos in half and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Place under a broiler until the skin of the tomatillos is slightly blackened, about 5 minutes.
4. Place the roasted tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro leaves, lime juice, sugar, ground cumin, and Jalapeno peppers in a blender.  Blend until ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.
5. Season to taste with salt.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with chips or with your favorite Mexican food.

Makes 3 cups

Inside of a Tomatillo

Ready For Roasting

Slightly Blackened

Ready to Blend

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers

The other day at the library I found Sara Moulton's latest cookbook, Home Cooking 101 How to Make Everything Taste Better.  As I was thumbing through the book, I found a recipe that caught my eye - Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers.   It looked delicious and was so easy to make.  I set to work. 

Chicken breast cutlets are seasoned with salt and pepper and coated with flour.  They are then fried until lightly golden on both sides.  When the chicken breast cutlets have been cooked, they are transferred to a plate.  Next  lemon slices are dipped in sugar and lightly caramelized.  The lemon slices are transferred to the plate with the chicken.  Now a delicious lemony sauce is prepare with shallots and chicken stock.  The chicken and lemon slices are returned to the skillet and simmered until the chicken is heated through.  The sauce thickens as it cooks.

Serve the chicken with some sauce and lemon slices over the chicken and top with the fried capers.  Wow -  this is the best lemon chicken I have ever tasted.  So tender and flavorful with just a hint of citrus.  The capers add some extra zing.  A very nice addition to the recipe.

Sauteed Lemon Chicken With Fried Capers
Home Cooking 101 How to Make Everything Taste Better By Sara Moulton

1 pound skinless chicken breast cutlets, preferably thin sliced
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and dried very well
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lemon, sliced very thin crosswise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock

1. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, pound the chicken until it is 1/8 inch thick and transfer to a plate.  Pat the chicken dry and cut the pieces in half if they are too large to saute easily.
2. In a large skillet, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with the capers and heat the pan to medium-high.  Cook, stirring until they are crispy, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the capers to a small bowl with a slotted spoon.
3. Spread out the flour on a piece of parchment on the counter.  Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.   Working with half the chicken at a time, season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper and coat them lightly with the flour, lifting the parchment paper on both sides to help coat the chicken and shaking off the excess.  Add the chicken to the oil in the pan and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate.  Add 2 tablespoon oil to the pan.  Season and flour the remaining chicken and saute, transferring it as it is done to the plate.
4. Dip the lemon slices in the sugar, coating them lightly on both sides, and add them to the skillet.  Cook over medium heat until they are lightly caramelized, about 1 minute per side.  Transfer to the plate with the chicken.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring 1 minute.   Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Return the chicken and lemon slices to the pan, along with any juices from the plate.  Simmer gently, turning the chicken over several times until it is heated through.
5. Transfer the chicken to 4 plates and simmer the sauce until it has thickened slightly.  Spoon the sauce and lemon slices over the chicken and top with the fried capers.  

Servings: 4


Monday, January 23, 2017

Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-Up

Tamale Pie  is a great tasting casserole full of southwestern flavor.  You have green chili, chili powder, corn, garlic, and black olives  just to name a few ingredients that make this casserole delicious.   This recipe is very easy to prepare.  All of the ingredients except the cheese are combined together and baked for about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and  sprinkle with cheese and bake for about 5 more minutes and dinner is done.   Perfect for large gatherings or when you need something easy and quick for the family.

Deb Wise's Tamale Pie Mix-Up
From Southern Living Magazine Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 garlic cloves) 
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chile
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 2 cups tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup frozen or drained canned corn 
  • 1 cup cup drained canned sliced black olives 
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. chili powder 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 6 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups) 
  • Sour cream (optional) 
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional) 
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together milk and cornmeal; set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add beef to skillet and break the beef up as it cooks. Cook until all pink is gone. Add  garlic,  onion powder, and green chile.  Cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.  
    3. Stir beef mixture into cornmeal mixture. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, olives,chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Transfer to a lightly greased 13x9inch glass or ceramic baking dish. 
    4. Bake in preheated oven until set and well browned around edges, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven; sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven, and bake until cheese melts, 3 to 4 minutes. If desired, top servings with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro.

    Serves 8

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna Salad is one of my very favorites.  Whether I use it to make a sandwich, or just enjoying a scoop with some rice crackers.   Usually I make the familiar recipe of tuna, mayonnaise, celery, and seasoning.  Recently, I found a tasty recipe on Simply Recipes website.

In this recipe, canned tuna is combined with mayonnaise, celery, cottage cheese, capers,  parsley, and some lemon juice.   At first I wasn't too sure about the cottage cheese but it gave the tuna salad flavor and texture.  The  one change I made in this recipe was substituting onion powder (1 teaspoon) for the diced onions.  I am not a fan of onions in my sandwiches.

This was one of the best recipes for tuna salad.  In fact, it has become my go to recipe.  Try it, I think you will enjoy it.

 Tuna Salad
Simply Recipes 


1 (5 or 6 ounce) can of tuna fish (drained, if packed in water, drain it, and add a teaspoon of good quality olive oil to the tuna)
1/3 cup of cottage cheese
2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
1 celery stalk, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp of capers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch or two of dill
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard


1. Mix all of the ingredients  together in a mixing bowl.  Serve on bread for a sandwich or serve on a lettuce leaf with some crackers.