Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Canning Peaches

I have been busy canning peaches this past week.  Usually I just make some jams and jellies.  I decided to mix things up a bit this summer.    This is one of my first adventures into canning fruit.  I found a terrific and very informative website.  It gave me step by step instructions on preparing the fruit, the equipment needed, and canning time - water bath.

The canning process wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought.  In fact, I enjoyed it.  It was kinda of satisfying preserving summer's produce to enjoy in the winter,   My next adventure in canning is going to be Crushed Tomatoes.

Here is the link to the website I used for canning peaches.  They have canning tips for various produce.  Pick Your Own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

 I love Mac and Cheese.  A creamy cheesy dish that is very comforting and satisfying.  What could make it better?  Adding some green chile to it.   It gives this traditional dish a nice spiciness but not a hot spiciness. Coming from New Mexico we like green chile in just about everything.

In this recipe a creamy sharp cheddar cheese sauce is spiced up a notch with some hot sauce - my favorite is Cholula.  Add some Worcestershire sauce and you have a very flavorful sauce that will coat your macaroni and green chile.  All ingredients are then mixed together and poured into a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Let the mac and cheese cool about 20 minutes before serving.   A traditional comfort food dish with some added zing.  A very tasty and satisfying meal.


Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

1 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
4 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 (4-ounce) cans green chile, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.   Cook until mixture bubbles.
3. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream to the mixture. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently.  Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly add in 3 cups of the cheddar cheese. Whisk until  the cheese has melted then add some more cheese.  Next whisk in the cream cheese until melted.
5. Stir  in the hot sauce and the Worcestershire sauce.
6. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, and green chile.   Stir until the macaroni  and green chile are  well coated.
7. Lightly spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour in the mac and cheese into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the macaroni.
8. Place the mac and cheese in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving.   Serve


Makes 8 servings







Thursday, August 3, 2017

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca  pudding is one of those desserts I make  that brings back fond memories.  My mother used to make Tapioca for dessert when I was growing up.  I loved it.  Simple but delicious.      I used to dread making the pearl tapioca because of the time involved.   Not any more.  The Instant Pot came to the rescue.

The Tapioca pearls are cooked in the Instant Pot for a few minutes.  Release the steam, stir  in the milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Mix well and bring to a boil.   Let the Tapioca cool.  Your Tapioca Pudding is ready to serve.  The result is a rich and tasty pudding that will be enjoyed by all.

Instant Pot Tapioca Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup Reese’s small-pearl tapioca*
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. In Instant Pot cooking pot, mix together tapioca and water.  Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure with a quick pressure release.
2. Whisk sugar and salt into tapioca in pressure cooking pot.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with milk. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into pressure cooking pot. Select sauté and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker and remove pressure cooking pot. Stir in vanilla.
4. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (Pudding will thicken as it cools. ) Pour into serving dishes and chill. Optional: Served garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

*Do not use minute tapioca. Use a small pearl tapioca that has package directions that instruct you to do an overnight soak, such as Reese’s Small Pearl Tapioca. If the package directions don’t recommend an overnight soak, you may need to reduce the cook time on this recipe.

 Serves 4









Friday, July 28, 2017

Fish Stew

The other night for dinner, I made a wonderful Fish Stew.  After having it for dinner, I wondered why I never made this dish more  often.  It was easy to make and tasted wonderful.   The broth was very tasty and it had just the right amount of halibut, clams, mussels, and shrimp.  The recipe was from Bobby Flay and I modified it ever so slightly.  I used crushed tomatoes instead of diced - the family doesn't like chunks  of tomatoes,  I reduced the number of clams and added some mussels to the dish, and finally instead of chicken broth, I used vegetable broth and instead of snapper I used halibut.

As I mentioned earlier, this dish was delicious and enjoyed by the family.  I also served a nice French Baguette  so we could get all of the delicious broth.

Fish Stew
From Bobby Flay in Food and Wine Adapted Slightly by From My Southwest Kitchen
INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups vegetable
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 dozen little neck clams, scrubbed
1 dozen fresh mussels, debarred
3/4 pound skinless halibut, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
French Baguette

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, clam juice, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.



2. Add the clams and mussels, cover and cook just until most of them open, about 5 minutes. Add the halibut  and shrimp, cover and simmer until they are cooked through and the remaining clams and mussels have opened, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to 4 bowls. Add the butter and parsley and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, swirling the pan. Spoon the broth over the seafood and serve with the French Baguette.

Makes 4 servings



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Iced Tea

Iced Tea is one of my favorites during the summer.  So cool, refreshing, and great tasting.  In this recipe, the refreshing flavors of mint, orange and lemon are combined to make one of the best tasting teas I have had in a long time.

Brew some tea and make a simple syrup.  To the syrup add some fresh mint sprigs.  In a large pitcher add some orange juice, lemon juice, water, tea, and the syrup - mint sprigs removed.  Stir and chill.  Serve over ice and you will enjoy a very tasty and refreshing summer beverage.



Summer Iced Tea

Ingredients:
4 black tea bags
8 cups water - divided
1 cup sugar
3 mint sprigs
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:
1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  In 2 cups of boiling water brew the tea bags for about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
In the remaining 2 cups of water add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let set for 20 minutes.
2. In a large pitcher add the remaining 4 cup of water, orange juice and lemon juice.  Remove the mint sprigs from the simple syrup and pour into the pitcher along with the brewed tea.  Stir well and chill for about 2 hours.
3.  Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig if desired.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding is a wonderful comfort dessert.  A rich pudding made with milk, rice, raisins, vanilla extract and some cinnamon.   This recipe made in the Instant Pot is truly one of the best recipes for Rice Pudding I have made.  The rice is cooked perfectly, the pudding is not too runny, and has wonderful vanilla flavor.  I did not put any cinnamon in the pudding.  I let individuals sprinkle it on top of the pudding after I served it to their taste.

This is a easy tasty recipe to serve.


Instant Pot Rice Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
Ground cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine rice, sugar, salt, and milk in Instant Pot. Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, cover and lock lid in place.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select Low Pressure and set timer for 16 minutes.
2. While rice is cooking, whisk eggs with half and half and vanilla.
3. When beeps sound, turn off pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and then use a quick pressure release. Turn valve to venting setting. Carefully remove the lid. Stir the rice in pot.
4. Stir the egg mixture in to the pot. Select Saute and cook uncovered until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker. Stir in raisins.
5. Serve immediately, or put into serving dishes and chill. When serving serve with some ground cinnamon.  Note:  The pudding thickens as it cools.



Serves 8

Tuesday, July 4, 2017