Showing posts from August 8, 2010


I made a tiny, inconsequential error in yesterday's post.  It has since been corrected.  My bad.


The title of this post is brought to you by one of my faithful readers, who wishes to remain anonymous. Thank you, anonymous!

Finally, the enchilada recipe I've been hinting about for the last few days.  Enchiladas are pretty much burritos, but made with soft taco-sized corn tortillas instead of large burrito-sized flour tortillas and smothered in cheesy sauciness.  This version is a combination of both:  taco-sized flour tortillas and only a little sauce and cheese.  Tasty, yet nowhere near heart-stopping (except for the flavor).

I got the original idea from a burrito recipe by Pioneer Woman, who posts wonderful recipes.  Because she cooks for her family of 5 as well as for the cowboys who work on her cattle ranch, you can gain weight just looking at the photos.  If you decide to visit her blog, please come back eventually.

PW calls hers a 16 minute meal.  IMHO, this is a 16 minute meal like Rachel Ray has 30 minute meals.  It took me more like 25 minutes to make my version of t…

Refried Beans - Easy

Tomorrow I will post the recipe for enchiladas, which use the enchilada sauce from yesterday.  The reason it's not posted today is that you need one more item before whipping up a batch:  refried beans.

The term refried beans is another one of those misnomers since you don't really have to fry even once.  Instead, the beans are first cooked in water, then mashed and cooked again, with or without a little oil.

If you want to be a purist (and save a few shekels), you can start out with dried beans, let 'em soak overnight, then drain, add more water and simmer several hours.  But unlike many other convenience foods, canned beans aren't that much more expensive unless you are cooking for an army (or a couple of teenagers).  Plus the time-savings is significant; the hardest part is finding the can opener after the kids "helped" you by emptying the dish drainer.

It's a bit different, however, with refried beans.  Even with half the label on a can of refried bea…

Enchilada Sauce - Easy

I was in the mood to make enchiladas.  Enchiladas are tex-mex, usually filled (in my neck of the woods) with ground beef and refried beans, rolled up blintz-style in a large burrito-sized soft flour tortilla, then covered with enchilada sauce and cheese (of the parve persuasion in my house).

Except I couldn't find kosher-friendly enchilada sauce or refried beans.  A few brands called themselves "vegetarian," but they contained the dreaded "natural flavor."  In the past I have called companies to find out what that is.  Sometimes the friendly call center person would tell me, "oh, that's just vegetable broth."  I would then ask if there was some meat involved in producing said vegetable broth, and then the friendly call center person would say, "yes, but the meat is removed so there's no meat in the final product."


So I learned to make-a-myself.

Today, I will post the enchilada sauce recipe.  The remaining parts of the meal, w…

Pickled Grapes - Easy

Okay, let's play "Family Feud!" Think of something that is pickled.

Cucumbers! (good answer, good answer!)

Peppers! (right! yeah!)

Watermelon rind! (ooh, forgot about that one!)

Grapes ...

Pickled grapes???

I don't recall how my co-worker and I originally segued into the discussion, but she starts to tell me about pickled grapes she tried at a party one weekend.

The idea of pickled grapes sounded very weird to me, and I'm willing to try almost anything once. Except mint. Don't ever bring mint near me. You will never see a recipe with mint on my blog, nosiree. And when I have to take medicine with mint in it, arrgghhhh!

... but I digress ...

My co-worked insisted that they taste so good, after you try one, you want to grab the bowl, plop yourself down in the nearest corner and sit cross-legged, stuffing the entire batch into your mouth, growling at anyone who dares to come near you.

She didn't really say that. But she did say they are very addicting.

So she …

Quinoa with Onions

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a very healthy grain that can be served alongside an entree, or AS the entree.  According to wikipedia, quinoa is high in protein and fiber, and is gluten-free. 

It is very important to rinse quinoa thoroughly to remove its soapy, bitter-tasting coating.  Supposedly the coating is a natural protection against predators and lazy cooks.  If you ever forget to rinse, you will not make the same mistake twice. 

Found the original version of this recipe while trolling the internet for something else (as usual) that I am unable to recall at the moment (as usual).  Although there are only a few ingredients and you keep reusing the same saucepan, because of the long onion-cooking step it falls out of the easy category.

 This is about a tablespoon of pine nuts.  You will want to add several more tablespoons in order to taste them in the finished product.  Considering how expensive pine nuts are, you better be able to taste them.

You can save a tiny bit of…

Pulled Chicken - Easy

This recipe only has 4 ingredients if you count leftover cole slaw from another day as one ingredient, 6 if you have to take 2 minutes out of your life to make it now.

Chicken doesn't pull apart nicely, at least for me, so the name is a bit of a misnomer.  But the term "pulled" is fairly well-known, semi-descriptive, and it's easier to type than "cut into tiny pieces, mix with a long-time family secret recipe barbecue sauce and serve on a bun" chicken.

There are many recipes for pulled chicken where the chicken is lovingly slow-cooked then mixed into a hearty home-made sauce.

This isn't one of them.

If you have some time, grill a few pieces, preferably with bones and skin on to get that wonderful carcinogenic smoky-grilled taste. Or better yet, next time plan better and throw a few more chicken pieces on the barbie to freeze for another meal.

The day I made this, I was still jet-lagging from a great vacation in California, and was not in the mood to …