Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mexican Rice

My husband Dave has made this rice from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook a couple of times and we love it! It turns out just a little crispy (if that's the right word), with lots of flavor (you may want to cut back on the jalapenos; it was pretty spicy).


America's Test Kitchen Live!, Cook’s Illustrated magazine
Serves 6 to 8 as side dish
Because the spiciness of jalapenos varies from chile to chile, we try to control the heat by removing the ribs and seeds (the source of most of the heat) from those chiles that are cooked into the rice. It is important to use an ovensafe pot about 12 inches in diameter so that the rice cooks evenly and in the time indicated. The pot's depth is less important than its diameter; we've successfully used both a straight-sided saute pan and a Dutch oven. Whichever type of pot you use, it should have a tight-fitting, ovensafe lid. Vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth.

• 2 medium ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered
• 1 medium onion, preferably white, peeled, trimmed of root end, and quartered
• 3 medium jalapeno chiles
• 2 cups long-grain white rice
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 4 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Process the tomatoes and onion in a food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that the volume equals 2 cups). Remove the ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos and discard; mince the flesh and set aside. Mince the remaining jalapeno, including the ribs and seeds; set aside.

2. Place the rice in a large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about l 1/2 minutes. Shake the rice vigorously in the strainer to remove all excess water.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed straight-sided 12-inch ovenproof saute pan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains of rice into the oil; if the grains sizzle, the oil is ready. Add the rice and fry, stirring frequently, until the rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and seeded minced jalapenos, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomato mixture, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the cilantro and reserved minced jalapeiio with seeds to taste. Serve immediately, passing the lime wedges separately.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Key Lime Cake

I love, love, love this cake. I think it will be my birthday cake this year. Thanks to my mother-in-law for the fabulous recipe!

1 White Cake Mix
3 T. Lime Juice
12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries or blackberries
8 oz. carton of Cool Whip
Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
Lime Zest

1. Preheat oven to 350. Make cake mix as directed on box except substitute 3 T. of lime juice for 3 T. of the water. Bake in two 9" layer pans.
2. Zest limes and save to decorate top of cake.
3. Whip together condensed milk & lime juice until slightly thickened. Fold in Cool Whip.
4. Layer one cake 2/3 of the berries, then topping, the other cake, topping, berries in the center and lime zest.
5. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chicken Pizza Packets

This recipe is from a blog that I read (According to Kelly). It's super easy & kid friendly!

1 lb. chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tb. olive oil
1 zucchini, cubed
1 small package of pepperoni
1 small green pepper, julienned
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. epper
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, combine everything except the tomatoes and cheese.
2. Coat four large pieces of heavy-duty foil (about 12in. square) with cooking spray
3. Place 1/4 of the mixture in the center of each piece & fold foil round mixture and seal tightly.
4. Grill, covered. over medium-high heat for 15-18 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
5. carefully open each packet. sprinkle with tomatoes and cheese. seal loosely, grill for 2 more additional minutes (or until cheese is melted).

Yummy Yams with Apples

Thanks to my sis-in-law for providing me with my new favorite yam recipe! We all love it!

6-7 medium yams (peeled and sliced)
5-6 yellow delicious apples (peeled and sliced)

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups apple juice

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Peel yams & apples and slice very thin, like chips (a food processor, grater or mandolin works great for this)
3. Stack yams and apples alternately in pan ending with apples.
4. Cook topping on stove until thick and bubbly. Pour over yams and apples and bake for 60-90 minutes.

**This makes a HUGE casserole pan of yams, so I recommend cutting the recipe in half if it's just for your family**

Bacon Chive Mashed Potatoes

6-8 red potatoes
1 T. butter
1 T. sour cream
2-3 T. milk
3 slices bacon
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
Salt & pepper
Fresh chives

1. Wash & cut potatoes into cubes. You can peel them, but I prefer the peels on. Cook until fork tender.
2. Cook bacon until crispy & set aside.
3. Drain potatoes and add butter, sour cream, milk, garlic & onion powders, salt & pepper. Smash to desired consistency.
4. Crumble bacon & stir in chives.

**This goes great with my recipe for Easy Kabobs**