Recently in Main Dishes Category


1. Scrub your potatoes well.

2. Bring (heavily) salted water to a boil and drop in your potatoes. Cook until tender - do not over cook. You can rinse the cooked potatoes in ice water to halt cooking. Halve and quarter them.

3. There are two options now. You can chill your cooked potatoes first - then fold your ingredients directly into the potatoes and serve or chill. This prevents the mayo and other creamy ingredients from 'melting' into the hot potatoes. The other option is to simply toss all the ingredients into the warm potatoes - and then chill until ready to serve (this is what I did). The last option is to fold all the ingredients into the potatoes and serve warm.

4. Chill your salad until ready to be served - or serve warm. We served it wrap-style in grilled flatbread - highly recommended. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper over top.

Original recipe

Daniel's Southwest Chili Simple, hearty, chili. Serve with flour tortillas or cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet. 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
1 medium sweet onion (chopped)
1 can of Rotel (original or lime/cilantro)
2 cans of chili beans (Bush's)
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Saute ground beef and onions until meat is fully cooked. Drain. Add Rotel, chili beans, kidney beans (about 2/3 of can), and about 1 & 1/2 cans of tomato sauce. Add spices. Bring to rolling boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve!

Serve with: Flour tortillas or cornbread, Monterrey jack cheese, sour cream

Variations: Cilantro goes great with it and freshens it up. For some heat, add ground red Cheyenne pepper.

From: Daniel
Veggie Peanut Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens A hearty, satisfying vegetarian curry with tons of vegetables - red pepper, potato, sweet potato, tomatoes, chickpeas, and (a new one for me) collard greens. All in a wonderful not-from-a-mix peanut curry sauce that tastes kind of Thai, kind of Indian. Can be served over rice or as a stew with pita or naan bread.

2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional: I omitted it)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. whole mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 14-ounce can lite coconut milk, or more to taste
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it's hot, add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add all the spices and cook for another minute, then add the red pepper, the potatoes, the sweet potato, and the tomatoes.  Cover and let simmer over medium-low, until the potatoes have cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter.  Add the collard greens and the chickpeas and stir well to combine.  Cook until the collard greens have wilted down enough to be soft, about 15 minutes.  If the curry seems to thick, add more coconut milk or water to thin it. Great with: pita or naan.

Original recipe
roasted_salsa_mexican_casserole.jpgThis is definitely best Mexican casserole I have ever had. Fresh summer corn, zucchini, and red pepper are sauteed in green enchilada sauce with precooked shredded chicken, layered with corn tortillas and homemade smoky tomato salsa, then topped with a mix of cheeses and baked until the flavors meld. It is, however, also a lot of work - and although the casserole is well worth the effort, but I do advise planning ahead before tackling it. I think we ate at around 9:30pm the night I decided to make it. But it makes a ton - would be great for feeding a crowd, and has so many veggies that it doesn't leave you feeling greasy like most cheese and sour cream casseroles.

Salsa:
8  plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
3  garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1  small onion, peeled and chopped
1  seeded jalapeño pepper, quartered
Cooking spray
1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
Casserole:
1  cup  chopped onion
1  cup  fresh or frozen corn kernels
1  cup  diced zucchini
1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast
1  tablespoon  minced garlic
2  teaspoons  chili powder
1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
1  (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
12  (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1/2  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese or queso fresco

Preheat broiler.

To prepare salsa, combine first 4 ingredients on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 20 minutes or until charred, stirring once. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Place tomato mixture in a food processor; add cilantro, lime juice, and pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare casserole, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 cup onion, corn, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Add chicken and next 5 ingredients (through green chiles); sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa over the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of tortillas over salsa. Spoon 2 cups chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with 3/4 cup salsa. Repeat layers, starting with remaining tortillas. Finally, sprinkle the cheeses on top. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes until bubbly

Original recipe

This is one of those recipes that is easy, delicious and can be done without a lot of forethought. I've started keeping cans of chickpeas and tomatoes around just so I can make this dish (and others like homemade falafel) when we run out of groceries and don't want to make another run. Of course that means that we usually make this when we don't have a lot of time. So even though I've made this at least twice, no pictures yet. But take my word for it - it's worth a try.

olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds (or coriander seeds)
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground ginger (I usually omit)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cardamon (or 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed)
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
A pinch of cayenne, or to taste
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6-8 Tbs plain yogurt, optional
A few lemon wedges, optional

Film the bottom of a large saucepan or Dutch oven--preferably not nonstick--with olive oil, and place the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is deeply caramelized and even charred in some spots. Be patient. The more color, the more full-flavored the final dish will be.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, stirring, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup water, and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water has evaporated away completely. Pour in the juice from can of tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them; alternatively, add them whole and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt.

Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro and cayenne, and simmer the sauce gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Add 2 Tbs water, and cook for another five minutes. Add another 2 Tbs water, and cook until the water is absorbed, a few minutes more. This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce's flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Stir in the yogurt, if you like, or garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve.

Yield: About four servings

Original Recipe

ginger_pork_stirfry_with_butternut.jpgI don't generally like ginger in savory dishes, but in this Asian stir fry it blends well with the subtle cinnamon and orange flavors in the dish. Precooking the butternut squash a few minutes in the microwave gives enough of a head start in the cooking process to ensure tender cubes. Serve with rice.

1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons coarsely grated orange rind
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2-inch strips
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped green onions
Place squash in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add water to a depth of 1 inch. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at high 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add rind, ginger, red pepper, and cinnamon stick pieces; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove and discard cinnamon stick pieces.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add pork to pan, and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add sugar mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add squash; toss to coat. Stir in green onions.
sweet_sour_pork.jpgFollowing the standard crockpot steps of brown meat, chop vegetables, combine ingredients and forget about it, this hearty Asian dish makes an easy, comforting, weeknight meal. The sauce is more tangy than the usual tomato based sweet and sour, add hot pepper flakes or chili sauce for more of a kick. Serve over rice.

2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1-3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Hot cooked rice, optional

Time estimate:Prep: 20 min. Cook: 6-1/2 hours

Place paprika in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil in batches over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refrigerate the pineapple. Add the pineapple juice, onion, green pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt to slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Add pineapple. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until sauce is thickened.
Yield: 6 servings.
dill_chicken_salad.jpgThis recipe is famous back home at ladies meetings and potlucks. The dill gives it a delicious spring flavor and if made in a food processor it makes a wonderful creamy spread for crackers or homemade bread. And don't forget the celery salt- it really makes a difference in taste. As with all chicken salads the measurements are approximate.

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tbs. dried dill
1/2 tsp. celery salt
juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)
~2 c. cooked chicken, chopped fine

Combine the first 5 ingredients thoroughly. Taste, adjust, and add to the chicken. Mix well and serve with bread or crackers. Alternatively: if serving as a dip, blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy.

Recipe by Debi Akiyama

tuna_cakes.jpgCrispy pan fried tuna cakes made from pantry staples. Perfect for a light summery lunch with salad or as an appetizer.

1 7-oz can of tuna
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 green onions, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs + another 1/2 cup for breading
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
olive oil

Mix together tuna, mustard, onions, eggs, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Using your hands, pat into 6-8 patties. Roll in remaining breadcrumbs. Place on a flat dry surface for 15 minutes (this allows them to firm up and the breadcrumbs to absorb excess moisture).

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Fry tuna cakes about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.

Original Recipe

split_pea_soup_with_ham.jpgI've never tried split pea soup before on the principle of its color, but it is actually quite delicious. The peas have a sweet flavor and the ham gives the soup a nice heartiness.

1 Tb. butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-7 c. chicken broth
~1/4 lb. thick sliced ham
1 lb. green split peas (~2 c.), picked through and rinsed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
2-3 celery ribs, cut into pieces
Salt & pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add broth, ham, peas, and herbs. Increase heat, bring the soup to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer until peas are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes. Stir in carrots and celery and continue to cook until peas have almost completely broken down, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

From : Cooks Illustrated Jan/Feb 2011
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