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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Weekly Recipes: November 7

I've decided to put my weekly recipes in one post. If I have something else come up, I'll post them separately, but this way I'm not cluttering things up too much, I hope. Only the Mexican rice has photographic records. And I didn't get the finished rice photo.

Quick and Dirty Mexican Rice
I make this when I don't have time to make the roasted salsa for tomato rice.

3 tablespoons lard or oil
2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
1 small onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups long grain rice (I use basmati, because I keep that, brown basmati, jasmine rice and rice for sushi/risotto/rice pudding in the house)
4 cups chicken broth
salt, to taste, I use maybe 1/2 teaspoon
2 whole pickled jalapenos, split open

Prepare your vegetables while you heat the lard or oil over medium heat.

Saute the vegetables until the onion begins to wilt.

(Please ignore the dirty stove)
Add the rice and saute until it turns opaque and gives out its fragrance. Add the chicken broth, salt and pickled jalapenos and bring to a boil. Let boil until you see a steady stream of bubbles coming from "tunnels" in the rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook (without peeking) for 15 minutes.

Uncover and stir to fluff. Serve.

Tex Mex Skillet
This is a great way to get lots of protein in a one dish vegetarian meal.

3 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
3 peppers, seeded and cut into strips
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups cooked beans (I use black beans or pinquitos)
2 cups corn kernels (frozen is fine)
1 can black olives, drained and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten

Heat oil in large, oven safe skillet. Saute onions, peppers and garlic in oil, stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Add the beans, rice, corn, olives, cheese, milk and eggs. Stir to combine. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the center is set.

Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Herbed Rice Pilaf

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions

Saute onion in butter over medium heat. Add rice, tarragon, thyme, basil and pepper and saute until rice is opaque. Add chicken broth, parsley and scallions and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes without peeking.

Stir to fluff and serve, taste for seasoning and add salt, if necessary.

Lamb and Guinness Stew

Lamb stew is my favorite stew, I like it better than beef stew or venison stew, though I like both of those. I even like it better than the pork and green chile stew I make, though that is pretty close.

Olive oil
2 pounds lamb stew meat
4 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (they have to be peeled)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 bottles of Guinness (possibly some water or beef broth to thin stew toward the end)
6 large carrots, scrubbed and diced
4 medium potatoes scrubbed and diced (peeled or not, I generally use nice looking potatoes and scrub well without peeling)

Heat oil in large pot. Add lamb and brown on all sides. Add onions, sliced potatoes, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until onions soften and start to brown.

Pour in Guinness and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about an hour.

Uncover pot and add carrots and diced potatoes. Cover and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Taste to adjust seasoning (remove thyme stems if you used fresh), thin with water or broth if desired.

This makes a thick, rich, sauce. It is not the gravy like sauce found in other stews. This is stand a spoon up sauce, it is supposed to be that way. The base potatoes make it very substantial. So, do not thin it too much.

We serve this with soda bread (it is the raisins that are optional not the buttermilk, and we do not use the raisins), a salad or sliced tomatoes and fruit. It is very filling.

With accompaniments, this can serve between 10-14 people, or leave leftovers to be frozen for later. On its own, it can serve eight with enough for two lunches the following day.

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