Thursday, August 25, 2016

Beef Lombardi

Meet my new favorite casserole - a Tex-Mex style Beef Stroganoff.   Egg noodles cooked in a rich and tasty  cream cheese sauce covered with seasoned ground beef in a not-too-spicy tomatoes sauce topped with cheese.  Baked at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Out-of-the-oven goodness awaits.

A tasty casserole where the flavors just blend together to make a great meal.  The family really enjoyed this dish.  They weren't quite sure what to expect when I told them we were having Beef Lombardi for dinner.  They were pleasantly surprised.

Beef Lombardi
From Cook's Country Magazine


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 (10-ounce) cans Ro-tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained
12 ounces (7  3/4 cups) wide egg noodles
1 1/4 cups sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 scallions, sliced thin
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish.  Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add beef, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up pieces with spoon, until beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomatoes and cook until most liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.  Add noodles and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.  Reserve 2 cups cooking water, then drain noodles.
4. Whisk sour cream, cream cheese, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water together in now-empty pot until smooth.  Stir in scallions, noodles, remaining 1 1/2 cups cooking water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
5. Spread noodle mixture in even layer in prepared baking dish.  Spread beef mixture evenly over noodles.  Sprinkle Colby Jack evenly over top.

Bake until bubbling around edges and cheese is spotty brown, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes.  Serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Green Chile Roasting

Fresh Green Chiles Ready For Roasting

I can tell fall is coming to New Mexico.  Not only is the air crisp, there is the smell of green chiles roasting. I love the smell.  So to get in the spirit of fall, I went and bought my green chili at my local Farmer's Market.  I usually buy enough green chili to put in the freezer and to enjoy right away.

You can either roast your green chile yourself or have it professionally roasted.  I like to roast my chilies.  The smell that radiates throughout the house is wonderful.

Roasting chiles is not hard.  You can do it in your oven or  on your gas grill.

                                           Roasting Green Chili In The Oven

1.  Preheat your broiler to high heat - 450 degrees.
2. Wash the green chilies and pat dry. With a fork, prick the chile peppers one time.
3.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place the chilies on the foil.  Put the chilies  about 5 inches away from the heating element.
4.  Roast the chiles for about 3 minutes.  Check and see if they are about 60 percent charred.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and using tongs turn the chiles.  Cook about 2-3 more minutes or until they are charred.
7.  With tongs, remove the chilies from the heat and place in a plastic bag or in a large bowl covered with a damp towel.  This is referred to as sweating the chilies.
8. Sweat the chilies for about 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours.  .
9. If you are going to use the chilies right away peel them.  BE SURE TO USE GLOVES.  To remove excess seeds rinse under cold water and drain them in a colander.
10. If you plan on freezing the chilies, put in them in a freezer bag, seal, and date.  You can peel the chilies if you want before you freeze them.  The chile will last about a year frozen.

Chiles Ready  Fore The Oven
Roasted Chiles
Chilies Sweating
Peeling Chile

                                         Roasting Chile On The Grill

1. Preheat the gas grill on high.
2. Wash the chiles and pat dry.  Prick the chiles one time with a fork.  Place the chiles on the grill.  Turn after about 3 minutes.
3. The chile is done roasting when about 60% charred.
4.  With tongs, remove the chilies from the heat and place in a plastic bag or in a large bowl covered with a damp towel.  This is referred to as sweating the chiles.
5. Sweat the chilies for about 30 minutes but no more than 2 hours.  .
6. If you are going to use the chilies right away peel them.  BE SURE TO USE GLOVES.  To remove excess seeds rinse under cold water and drain them in a colander.

7. If you plan on freezing the chilies, put in a freezer bag, seal, and date.  You can peel the chiles if you want before you freeze them.  The chile will last about a year frozen.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

When  I am asked to think of my favorite comfort food - Macaroni and Cheese is what instantly pops into my mind.  I love the rich cheese flavor and the pasta coated with this rich delicious sauce.  I have posted several recipes for Macaroni and Cheese but today's is one I recently discovered.

I found this recipe on the kitchn website.  I loved it because everything, including the pasta was cooked together in the crock pot. The recipe recommended using elbow macaroni and I stuck with that.  At times, uncooked pasta can be tricky to cook in the crock pot.  I have had meals where we have had crunchies in out pasta dish.

This is a  great recipe for busy days or just when you want a nice comfort meal to enjoy with family and friends.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

From the kitchn   adapted by  From My Southwest Kitchen

Serves 6 to 8

3 1/2 cups shredded  sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 cups  whole milk
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, or 1 teaspoon dijon or yellow mustard 
1 teaspoon Cholula Hot Sauce
6-quart or larger slow cooker


  1. Combine ingredients in the slow cooker: Set 1/2 cup of grated cheese aside, then combine the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker. Stir to make sure that everything is evenly distributed and the pasta is evenly coated. Smooth the top so the pasta is submerged.

  1. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 4 hours: The pasta is done when it has absorbed all of the liquid and the pasta is soft. It will look soupy up until the last half-hour of cooking, and then it will quickly finish cooking and absorb all the liquid. If this is your first time making this recipe, start checking the pasta after about 2 hours, then continue checking it every 20 to 30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Every slow cooker will be slightly different; once you've made this recipe once, make a note of the cooking time for future reference.

  1. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the pasta in the last 10 to 30 minutes of cooking. Cook until the cheese has melted or the rest of the liquid is absorbed into the pasta.
  2. Serve: Serve this macaroni and cheese straight from the slow cooker. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

  • Smaller slow cookers: Halve the recipe to make this macaroni and cheese in a 3-quart or smaller slow cooker.
  • Crunchy-topped macaroni and cheese: For a crunchy top, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and mix in 1/2 cup of panko crumbs, crushed corn flakes, or breadcrumbs. Cook until the crumbs are golden, then set aside. Sprinkle these over the macaroni and cheese in the last half-hour of cooking, and leave the slow cooker partially covered.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

White Cheddar Cheese Soup

Last night for dinner, I made White Cheddar Cheese Soup.  It  has a robust cheese flavor  with just a hint of spiciness.   For those who want my spiciness, I set out a bottle of Cholula Hot Sauce on the table.   You can use your favorite white cheddar cheese but I like Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White Cheddar Cheese.    Most cheese soup recipes call for ale, but I have found using lager enhances the cheese flavor.  However, if you prefer ale, use it. 

A bowl of this soup served with bread  (I use homemade  Soft Pretzels)  and a salad make a nice quick and satisfying meal. 

White Cheddar Cheese Soup

¼ pound smoked bacon finely chopped
1 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 clove garlic minced
1/4  cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more if needed after tasting
1-quart chicken broth
1/2 cup lager or ale
1 bay leaf
1-cup heavy cream
16 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Cholula Hot  Sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Fresh chives snipped


1.   In a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat cook the bacon until limp but not brown.
2.   Add the onion, carrots, celery and salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally or until vegetables begin to soften and bacon is crisp.  Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. 
3.   Add the chicken stock and lager.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Add the  bay leaf.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
4.   Remove the bay leaf.    Remove the soup from the heat. Either with an immersion blender or a conventional blender puree the soup mixture. If using a conventional blender process in small batches.
5.   Return the soup to the stove. Over medium low heat stir in the heavy cream.  When the soup just starts having bubbling around the edge of the pot  gradually whisk the cheese into the soup, one small handful at a time.  Do not add more cheese until the prior handful has melted.
6.  Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, Cholula Hot Sauce,  and white pepper.
7.  Taste the soup and add more seasoning if needed.  If the soup needs heating return to a medium low heat until warmed through.
9.  Top bowls of soup with a pinch of fresh-snipped chives.

Makes 6 servings

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crock Pot Beef Brisket

I love the aroma which fills the house as this beef brisket is cooking in the crock pot.  This is one of the family's favorite dinners and it is so easy to make.   Place the brisket on foil and cover in a mixture of barbecue sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.  Wrap the meat in foil and place in the crock pot.  Cook the brisket on low for 8 hours.  Remove and slice.  I spooned some of the sauce from the pan over my brisket before serving.  MMM delicious and so simple to make.

Beef Brisket


1 (4.5-5 pound) beef brisket trimmed and cut in half
½ cup Barbecue Sauce
¼ cup chili sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon Cholua  Hot Sauce


1. Mix the barbecue sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke together in a mixing bowl.

2. Place brisket on a large piece of foil.
3. Spoon the sauce mixture over the brisket.

4. Wrap the brisket in foil and place in the crock pot.  Repeat steps 2-4 for the other piece of brisket.

5. Cook the brisket on LOW for 6 hours
6. Let the brisket sit for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve with extra barbecue sauce, if desired.

Serves 6