Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Mexican Cornbread Casserole platedHappy Cinco de Mayo! This recipe is like a mash up of my Mexican Casserole and a tamale pie recipe I’ve tried in the past. And for my fellow home cooks who like quick recipes, the 35 minutes baking time is the longest you have to wait.  I love shortcuts, so if you do not have all the required spices in your cupboards you can also use a packet of taco seasoning. Since there is only two of us at home to eat this, I used half the meat and only one box of the Jiffy cornbread mix and an 8×8 baking pan. Otherwise I used the same amount of all the other ingredients. For my vegetarian friends, omit the ground beef and add pinto beans.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (8.5 ounce) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend; separated into 1/2 cup and 1 cup
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans (15 ounce)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced black olives
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (10 ounce) Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
  • 1 1/2 cup chunky salsa

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Meanwhile in a large bowl, prepare Jiffy cornbread mix by combining mix, eggs and milk. Stir well then add 1/2 cup grated Mexican cheese blend. Set aside. (If you like some extra spice, add a small can of diced green chilies to the cornbread mixture.)
  2. In a skillet add olive oil and cook ground beef over medium high heat until cooked through. Drain any grease. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onions are tender.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the meat mixture in skillet. Mix well and remove from heat.
  4. In a 9X13 baking pan, add meat and vegetable mixture. Top with 1 cup grated Mexican blend cheese.
  5. Add prepared cornbread mixture on top of cheese layer. Be sure to spread out evenly.
  6. Bake in oven for 33-35 minutes or until cornbread turns golden.  Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Advertisements

Asparagus Beef

Asparagus BeefWho needs take-out when you can make it yourself? I’m always finding myself looking at various dishes at restaurants thinking I could probably make it. And if you have been following my blog, you know I’m all about quick and easy recipes.  For my vegetarian friends, just omit the beef and you should have a tasty vegetable stir fry dish.

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound of asparagus, sliced in an angle into thirds
  • 1 small bell pepper, sliced into small strips
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster flavored sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a bowl mix together marinade ingredients and add beef strips. Set aside.
  2. In another small bowl prepare the sauce by combining sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and the chicken stock. Mix well. Set aside.
  3. Heat up wok or skillet on high heat.  Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
  4. Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
  5. Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
  6. Add in asparagus, bell peppers, onions and minced garlic.
  7. Stir for about 10 seconds and add the shaoxing wine. Cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
  8. Add the sauce mixture. Stir vigorously and let the liquid bubble up.
  9. Stir up your cornstarch slurry to make sure the starch is dissolved and pour in about half of it. Stir for a few seconds. If the sauce is still thin, add more slurry. If it’s too thick, add a little water or stock.
  10. Plate with rice and serve immediately!

Oven Roasted Tri Tip

tri-tip-doneOkay meat lovers, don’t hate me. I know a lot of the beef eaters out there are literally having a cow (teehee, get it?) seeing my roast not at red rare or medium rare state. But for some reason, any beef cooked under medium does not agree with my tummy. So here you get my pinkish medium to medium well tri tip roast. No worries I will tell you how to cook it to your desired doneness. Best of all, this is a simple recipe that you can make year round especially if you do not have a grill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 pound tri tip roast
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • garlic powder
  • dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • olive oil
  • 2 small onions

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a glass baking dish big enough to hold your roast, season both sides of your tri tip with with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, onion soup mix, worcestershire sauce and olive oil. I did not give measurements for any because I just generally season by sight and it depends on the size of your roast as well. Just make sure your tri tip is well covered in seasonings and sauce and oil.
  2. Peel and cut onions into quarters and add to baking dish.tri-tip-prep
  3. Let meat marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Take tri tip out of refrigerator 30 minutes before putting into oven. Make sure fatty side is on top.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 F degrees.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes to brown.
  6. Lower oven temperature to 350 F degrees. Cook 15 minutes for every pound for medium rare doneness. Cook 17 minutes per pound for medium doneness.
  7. Take cooked tri tip out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.tri-tip-oven

Tender Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Ribs PlatedOnce again, I have failed to go exchange my empty propane tank. So using the grill is out of the question. That’s all right. My oven works fine. I decided to add a simple spice rub to my ribs. I normally just salt and pepper them and let the barbecue sauce do all the flavoring.  But I wanted to change things up and give it a try. Plus, since I am taking a short cut and using store bought barbecue sauce, I wanted to do a little extra something. And the ribs came out surprisingly good. My son, who normally loves his ribs slathered in thick, sticky barbecue sauce suggested next time I leave some of them with just the dry rub and no sauce. What the what?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs, about 4 1/2 pounds
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups your favorite barbecue sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. If your store/butcher doesn’t already do so, you will need to peel off the membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder and black pepper.
  4. Cover the ribs with this rub on all sides. At this point, I like to cut my rib racks into sections of 3-4 ribs. You can leave whole and cut when finished. I just hate burning my fingers when cutting ribs. But that’s my issue. You are probably not prone to burn yourself when cooking like me.
  5. Place ribs on two layers of foil. (or one layer of heavy duty foil) BBQ Ribs prep 1
  6. Place another two layers of foil (or one layer of heavy duty foil) on top of the ribs.
  7. Roll and crimp edges up tightly. Be sure edges are facing up to seal.
  8. Place packaged ribs on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is shrinking away from the ends of the bones.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Turn oven to broiler setting.
  12. At this time, if you haven’t already done so, cut your racks into 3-4 rib portions.BBQ Ribs prep 2
  13. Arrange on pan, bony side down. Brush on barbecue sauce generously.
  14. Broil for 1-2 minutes until sauce is caramelized and bubbly.BBQ Ribs prep 3
  15. If you prefer, turn ribs over and repeat with sauce on bony side. I don’t bother since it is all bone. Plus when I tried, the meat fell off the bone.
  16. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy! Don’t forget the extra napkins. BBQ Ribs

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie platedEver get in a dinner rut? I know I do. The same 5-10 dinner recipes on rotation week after week? Sometimes because they are quick and easy and other times just out of necessity.  So there I was. Staring at a pound of ground beef. What do I make? Stick to the routine or change it up? I say change is good.  Now I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this recipe on the back of a pancake batter box years ago.  But I don’t have any pancake batter mix, so I decided to make my own. But if you have some on hand, by all means feel free to substitute and save yourself a few steps.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cooked bacon slices, chopped into small pieces (optional, if you leave out then you are making cheeseburger pie)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. In a skillet, cook ground beef and onions until beef is browned and onions are translucent. 8-10 minutes. Drain fat from skillet. Add Worcestershire sauce to meat and mix.
  3. Spread ground beef and onions onto prepared pie plate.
  4. Using either a food processor or hand mixer, mix flour, sugar, salt and butter together until it forms into small pebbles of dough. (If you have pancake mix, use 1/4 cup and go to step 5.)
  5. Add milk and eggs. Mixing until combined.
  6. Pour into pie plate with meat mixture.
  7. Top with cheese and bacon pieces.
  8. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Or until inserted toothpick in center comes out clean.
  9. Serve with all your favorite cheeseburger sides.

 

Bacon Cheesburger Pie

 

 

Baked Garlic and Parmesan Pork Chops

Baked Garlic Parmesan Pork Chops 1I was originally going to make this recipe with chicken breasts. Then I discovered I actually only had chicken wings on hand. Oops. Good thing I did have a pack of thin cut pork chops. While I was hesitant at first, I am glad I made the substitution.  Crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside and quite tasty from the garlic and cheese combination. If you are in a rush you will love that these can be prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes as well.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 thin cut boneless pork chops (you can use thick cut or bone-in but remember to adjust cooking time)
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large shallow bowl combine Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and Italian parsley. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Prepare pork chops by covering each piece in olive oil. Be sure the pork chops are well coated on both sides.
  4. Individually dip pork chops into Panko mixture. Pat down on both sides to ensure even coverage. Place covered pork chops on non stick baking pan.
  5. Bake pork chops for 15-18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  6. Let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Garnish with reserved Parmesan cheese and Italian Parsley.

Baked Garlic Parmesan Pork Chops

Pan Seared Brined Pork Chops

Pan Seared Pork Chops PlatedI’ll be honest. I’m not much of a pork chop fan. Probably because it is not a forgiving meat. If you are not careful, it will go from moist and tender to dry and leathery rather quickly. So since I usually brine my turkeys to keep them moist, I decided to experiment and try using a brine on my pork chops. This extra step worked wonders. The pork chops came out moist and tasty. And now I will add pork chops into my meal rotation more often.

BRINE INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup salt (I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves slightly smashed
  • 2 cups ice cubes

BRINE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir together the water, salt, and sugar until dissolved.  Add thyme sprigs and garlic cloves. Stir in the ice and cool the brine to 45°F or lower.
  2. Place 4 pork chops in a zipper-lock bag. Pour in the flavor brine and seal the bag. Place the bag in a bowl in case it leaks and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours, depending on the thickness of the chops. Remove the chops, discard the flavor brine, and pat the chops dry. Proceed with the recipe, or wrap the chops in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 2 days.Brined Pork Chps

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 brined pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Let brined pork chops come to room temperature by setting out 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. On medium high heat,  add olive oil to sauté pan.
  3. When the oil begins to ripple, carefully add pork chops to pan.
  4. Next add butter, garlic cloves and thyme sprigs to pan.
  5. Spoon butter over pork chops to baste repeatedly. Continue to do this for 2-3 minutes then flip pork chops over.
  6. Repeat basting butter over pork chops for another 2-3 minutes. (Depending on thickness of your pork chops.)
  7. Pork chops are ready when they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Let rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Pan Seared Pork Chops