Tag Archive: peppers

PIco De Gallo to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Let’s get this party started! I have several posts for Cinco de Mayo.

First, Cinco de Mayo isn’t, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day — that takes place on Sept. 16. Secondly, it isn’t even widely celebrated south of the border, though that’s beginning to change.

What Cinco de Mayo is is a largely American tradition, co-opted by alcohol companies, that’s based on an arguably miraculous military maneuver during the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when a ragtag group of Mexican militiamen defeated the invading French Army. It was a David versus Goliath moment and Mexicans on both sides of the border saw cause for celebration. Cinco de Mayo (Google)

May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – is a big deal in El Paso.  I think it’s an excuse to eat Mexican or Tex-Mex flavored dishes every meal for at least a week.  While enchiladas and tacos are good standbys I like to add those flavors to a regular meal.

I made a grilled pico de gallo and have used it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Very simple to make and it adds a little spice to any meal.

In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster‘s beak), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, white onion, and chilis (typically jalapeños or serranos). Other ingredients may also be added, such as shrimp, avocado, lime juice or apple cider vinegar, fresh cilantro (coriander leaf), cucumber, radish or firm fruit such as mango.  (Wikipedia)

Grilled Pico de Gallo

I like the lime. When the pico de gallo is used with warm dishes you can taste it just a bit. I like the acid. I have used red wine vinegar if I don’t have the fresh limes.

Now it is ready to use and will add such a nice flavor to eggs, veggies, or meats.  Here is one to get you started.

Hugs and Kisses Eggs

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days.  For me it means sweets to eat and sweeter still notes declaring my fondness, affection and love.  It is just a sweet time.

I met my husband near Valentine’s Day.  I had never received roses from anyone before.  He sent me a yellow rose.  (Those were his favorites.)  In high school I had an English teacher who said if a guy gave you one rose, you should ask where are the other 11?  If he came back with 11 roses he was a “keeper.”  So I did.  They came the next day!  A girl never knows if she doesn’t ask, right?  It must have been ok.  It seemed to work out.  It was so sweet to get roses.  I love flowers too.

Anyway, Hank loved breakfast.  I think it was his favorite meal, especially on the weekends or on vacation.  He had a pretty strict menu.  Eggs, pork of some type, grits or potatoes (maybe gravy) and toast, coffee and orange juice were the order.  How it was prepared and in what combination didn’t matter.  So I was trying to think of a Valentine’s Day breakfast meal when I spied two slices of white cheese and a large bell pepper.  Why not try to cut the bell pepper into a slice that looked like a heart.  It didn’t work.  Next was to use the cookie cutter to cut the cheese into a heart.  That was much better.  Thus, eggs in pepper rings with cheese hearts came to be. Just thinkin’ about Hank and breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Valentines Breakfast

Pimiento Cheese Stuffed Peppers

A guest post by Big Sister

2013 Superbowl and Chili

I can’t stand not to get in on this party. My Mom is having so much fun. I am seeing such great stuff that I don’t know where to start.  So, here is one addition and I have two more coming this week.  My neighborhood is having a Super Bowl Party and I will be bringing these things.  My neighbors love the spicy stuff so I had to take my regular pimiento cheese and add some more zing to it.

Stuffed Peppers

A Tale of Two Corn Chowders

Meals and Memories is what this blog is all about.  So, it is not at all surprising that a slight tinge of coolness in the air makes my family think of soup.  It is also not surprising that a certain meal or menu comes to mind.  My daughter and I made each of our versions of corn chowder on the same cool fall day (for Texas) by coincidence.  Not at all shocking to me.  I taught her how to think appropriate for the season!  So, you pick.  My recipe isn’t too bad health wise.  Her’s is a healthier version.  Is your good diet angel or bad diet angel picking dinner tonight?  Fix a salad or a grilled cheese and get your spoons ready :)

Lightened Up Corn Chowder

When fall is in the air I can’t help but see soup.  Soup, soup,  soup. (see my Mom’s note above)  The kind I usually like has tons of cream, potatoes and butter in it.  That warms my soul.  I can do this though.  Here is a corn chowder that is lightened up and has a little zing to it.  It is based on the Weight Watcher’s recipe but I made some adjustments to thicken and spice it up. How did that cheese get in there?

  • 1 medium yukon gold potato
  • 1 spray cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup uncooked celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup  uncooked onion , chopped (or 1 large shallot)
  • 2 cups corn frozen, canned or fresh
  • 1 cup  sweet red pepper , diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 4 1 ounce slices uncooked Canadian-style bacon, diced
  • 2 cup  fat-free skim milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • tsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Pierce potato in several places with a fork; microwave on high power until tender, turning over once, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool; peel and mash.

  • Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Add celery, onion, corn and red pepper; sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Stir bacon and milk into saucepan; stir in mashed potato and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; stir to combine. Cover and simmer 10 minutes (do not allow to boil). Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
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Quick Southern Corn Chowder with Bacon

A good Sunday Supper is a bowl of soup for me.  I am always looking for soups to make fast that have a good flavor.  What better way to satisfy a hunger than by adding bacon to something.  This one doesn’t even require frying the bacon.  It’s already fried, chopped and waiting to be used.  It is a 2.8 ounce package of Hormel Black Label Real Bacon Pieces (50% less fat).  I used about ½ the package for 2 servings.

My Sundays usually start early with church at 8:00AM, followed by reading the paper, doing laundry while working some in the garden and maybe a shopping trip to the outlet mall and trying to squeeze in some time to take a nap.  Since this food blog began naps don’t usually happen if I want to get ahead for the week, I try to do some of my cooking/photographing on the weekend.

I decided to try my hand at a chowder after reading about several.  This one is basically the vegetables I had in the crisper drawer and freezer.  Now what could be simpler than chopping a few veggies and adding some flavorings?

  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup half and half (low fat is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Put the olive oil in a sauce pan large enough for your soup.  Have all the veggies prepared and diced about the same size for even cooking.  Heat the olive oil and add the veggies (except the corn).  Stir to coat.  Add salt and pepper and cover and allow to steam for about 5 minutes.   Put in the thyme (whole stems).  Add just enough water to cover the veggies.  Cook until the veggies are tender.

At this point add the corn and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the half and half and butter.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Remove the thyme stems.  Heat just to a simmer. Do not boil.

It’s ready to serve with a salad.

Ya’ll don’t forget to check out and link up to the cookie exchange!

Cookies 2012

 

Sharing this week with:
Down Home Blog HopMake-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

 

 

 

 

Back for Seconds

Growing Home

 



Fish Tacos and Steak-Andy Cooks

A perfect post to share with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday’s!

All three of my children cook. They have their specialties and each has their favorites with their own twists.  My son has taken to cooking recently.  Healthy cooking at that!  This is a big change for him.  He was eating out A LOT and it wasn’t healthy.  He’s the baby of the family, but all grown up.  My two girls make delicious things too.  They aren’t too much into baking.  Amy makes great party food and Krista is very creative with herbs and chile.

I think this food blog is rubbing off on him.  He sends me some pictures of what he cooked for dinner and then immediately calls me to describe what it was he made for dinner.  When he calls it is usually around 900PM and I’m not prepared to write down all the ingredients.  He is into fish.  You will notice there are not too many (if any) recipes that use fish from me.  This is new for us all.  He didn’t learn to cook fish from me.

He made fish tacos because someone gave him some homegrown peppers at work.  That spurred him on to combine the peppers, cilantro, onion together in a skillet and sauté them.  He rubbed tilapia with red chile powder, salt, pepper and a seasoning blend and warmed his whole wheat tortillas in a skillet. Then he topped the grilled tilapia with the sautéd pepper mix, added an avocado and some lime juice.  I do believe he has great promise as a home cook.  He didn’t know what kinds of peppers they were, but they were HOT!  They look good.

 

Another evening he made a great steak and sent me that picture.  He uses a George Foreman table top grill that he loves.  I think this steak was marinated in Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and a dry steak seasoning blend.  He marinated this overnight because he decided not to cook one night.  So it was well marinated when he cooked it.  He served it with asparagus and mushrooms he sautéed in butter.  Looks pretty good to me.

When he lived at home he made chicken breasts marinated in Italian salad dressing or he fried flautas.  They were a mess and guess who did the dishes?  Now he cooks things that don’t make a mess as he has to clean them up himself.  At least he is thinking healthy and that is way ahead of when I started thinking of eating healthy food.  Good idea for us all!

Mid-Week BBQ

I guess I am still hungry for Fourth of July festivals as I woke up this morning craving BBQ.  Good thing that I know just the quick fix to cook all day while I am at work.  I’ll set up my crock pot and let it cook dinner.  Throughout the day I began to elaborate on the Tuesday night party.  Maybe I want some Mexican and something fresh and fruity too.  How am I going to get this all in one dinner?  That is how my kitchen experiments start.  I began to imagine the recipe below.  It was good.  Real good.  I have leftovers in case I need some more this week.

Pulled Pork Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

For the pork:

  • 1 pork tenderloin fat trimmed
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 16 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Corn or Flour tortillas
  • Cheese and/or toppings

In the morning place all the ingredients through the salt and pepper into the crock pot and set to low.  Leave to stew for 6-8 hours.  Before removing from the pot fix the salsa (see below).

When ready to eat remove to pan and finish the shredding.  This should be very easy and almost done for you.  Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa and your favorite cheese.  I used Cotija.

 

 

For the salsa:

  • 2 pineapple rings
  • ½ of a red onion finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 1 cup of tomatoes finely diced  (I take mine as I get them from the garden, today’s crop was cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro finely chopped
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Salt

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium.  Spray with cooking spray and add pineapple rings.  Spray the top side with cooking spray and let cook for three minutes or until deep grill marks appear.  Flip.  Cook 2-3 minutes more to char the other side.  Remove from pan to a plate and put in the refrigerator to chill.  When they are about room temperature, cut into small pieces.

Add all of the fruits and vegetables to a bowl and pour lime juice in and stir.  Salt to taste.  Serve over tacos.

I grilled a few extra pineapple rings for dessert!

Sharing Salsa!

Sharing this week with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

I think a lot of people have wonderful family recipes that they never write down.  It takes a lot of time to explain how to make something you have made forever and make it clear and correct so someone else can make it.  This is one of those recipes.

I have a friend at work who has the most wonderful mother.  She is a dedicated mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She sounds like a lively lady and makes her daughter laugh a lot.  She cooks dinner for Nelda and her boys a lot of days.  I never had the pleasure to come home to a home-cooked meal, unless I got up early and got things started in the crock pot.  That is such a nice thing to do.  I always hear them talking about dinner as the day goes on, so I check out their menu selections.  Sometimes I get a good idea.

One day she shows up at the office with a jar of salsa her mom made.  I immediately had to come up with a meal to serve this with.  So I made enchiladas, rice, tostados and a salad.  I shared some of the salsa with my daughter too.  It was so good, and so much better than the bottled stuff off the shelf.  Very fresh and you know what is in it.

This would be easy and good to make for your party snacks.

Grama Jo’s Salsa 

  • 10 jalapenos
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 –  8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water (maybe a little more)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt

Boil the jalapenos in a pan with a lid until they are soft.  Cut off the stems (leave the seeds in) before you put them in the blender.  Add the onion chunks, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, the water, salt and garlic salt.  If you want to cut back on the salt you can eliminate the 2 teaspoons of salt, but not the garlic salt.  Blend until chunky.  Don’t make it into a puree or you will have a salsa smoothie, Grama Jo says.

Put in clean jars with lids and store in the frig. (It won’t last very long around hungry spicy food lovers.)  It makes a lot.  Everyone is addicted to it.  Enjoy!

Thanks, Jo for sharing your secret recipe with us.

Sunday Night Garden Supper

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Sunday Night Garden Supper

This blogging has really stirred up memories of the good food my momma used to make.  That and the bumper crop of tomatoes, squash and peppers I have this year.  Meals and Memories is what it’s all about with me some days.  Nothing is more pleasurable than picking squash, green peppers and tomatoes and then deciding what to do with them all.  Tonight it caused a walk down memory lane with my momma’s black cast iron skillet, yellow squash, corn meal, a bell pepper and onion.  Next was some pepper steak with some browned round steak, bell peppers, onions and the rest of the tomatoes I have picked this week.  My momma always had tomatoes on the window sill above her kitchen sink in various stages of ripeness.  I have a corner of my kitchen counter in the same shape.  With the heat they were all about to be too ripe.  So I diced them up and made a rich pepper steak with them.  Now if I could just get my hands on a Pecos cantaloupe I’d be perfectly fine.

It has been so hot I don’t think I’ll have too many more tomatoes for a while.  The weather man is forecasting rain, but I won’t quit watering until I see it for myself.  Probably on the 4th of July parade we will have a shower or two.

Pepper Steak

  • 1 small round steak tenderized
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups water or beef broth

Cut the meat in 1” pieces (I have mine tenderized at the butcher).  Lightly toss in flour to coat and brown in the olive oil.  I used about 2 tablespoons.  It depends on how much meat and flour you use.  Once browned on both sides remove and add the onion, bell pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan.  When they have started to soften add the tomatoes, water or broth, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

Simmer this on medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly from the flour.  You may want to thicken it a bit more with some corn starch and water.  Serve over rice.

Skillet Squash with a Corn Meal Crust

  • 3-4 medium yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • Corn meal
  • Vegetable oil

Slice the squash into bite-size slices.  Dice the bell pepper and onion into about the same size pieces.

Heat the oil in the cast iron skillet and just before adding the squash toss them in a little yellow corn meal.  This won’t form mush of a breading on the squash, but it does form a crust that browns in the skillet.  Don’t turn it until it begins to brown.

Drain on paper towel and serve on a warm plate.

Happy old fashioned eating from my memories to your table.

Dusting this one off for:

 

Homage to Ouiser-Artichoke and Mushroom Stuffed Tomatoes

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

One of my favorite movies is Steel Magnolias.  I love Ouiser!  This is one of my favorite conversations involving her:

Ouiser – Tomatoes. (put’s em in Clairie’s lap)
Clairee – Don’t give these all to me!
Ouiser – Somebody’s gotta take em. I hate em. I try not to eat healthy food if I can possibly help it. The sooner my body gives out the better off I’ll be… I can’t get enough grease into my diet.
Anelle – Then why do you grow them?
Ouiser – Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!

Ain’t that true?  And what do I have?  Tomatoes.  So, today’s post is about tomatoes.  I was trying to think of something different.  What could I do with big tomatoes?  Stuff them of course!  How boring would another chicken or tuna salad be though?  Here is my attempt at creative thinking.  This was filling and tasty with the added bonus of leaving the kitchen nice and cool on a hot summer’s day.  Don’t worry if you aren’t old enough to grow tomatoes this big.  The grocery store has a fabulous selection right now.

Mushroom and Artichoke Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can of water packed artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ of a small onion finely diced
  • 1 small pepper finely diced (I used Jalapeno but Bell would work)
  • 1 cup of croutons
  • 3 tablespoons of crumbled bacon
  • 2/3 cup of cheese crumbles (I used Cheddar but blue might be good too)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of salad dressing (see recipe below or use your favorite)

Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup olive oil (I used Chipotle Olive Oil from Con’ Olio)
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Supremely Salad seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl combine artichokes, mushrooms,  onion, pepper, croutons, bacon, cheese, parsley and dressing.  Stir to coat and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

While the other ingredients mingle slice off the top and scoop out the inside of your big tomatoes.  I used a knife to cut out a big chunk and then I used my melon baller to get all the way through the seeds.

After an hour pack the stuffing into the two tomatoes and serve.

I thoroughly enjoyed this!  Some of the rules serve a good purpose, Ouiser.  I’ll have to watch that movie again soon.

I am dusting this one off for This Week’s Cravings on July 30th!

 

Fresh from the Garden Week-Okra Fritters

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

For This Week’s Cravings on Mom’s Crazy Cooking.

Summer is the only time to get fresh okra.  At our local farmer’s market you have to be there first to get any.  People buy it all at once!  I would share and buy just enough to cook up or maybe a little extra to freeze.  But noooo, they take it all.  This summer I am trying to grow my own.  I still won’t pass up any at the market, if I can get it.  I like it best breaded in cornmeal and pan fried.  I know that isn’t good for you, but it takes me back to my momma’s cast iron skillet fried okra and fresh Pecos cantaloupe for dinner.  Just a side for some delicious chicken fried steak and gravy.  Oh my, how good does all that sound?  I feel a cooking frenzy coming on.  I better keep writing.

These can be made with fresh or frozen sliced okra.  I have to give credit for the recipe to Paula Deen.  I have taste-tested this one with my family and it is good.  I did add the jalapenos and dipping sauce.  They just spice it up a bit, and my kids LOVE the heat.

Serve them hot with a baked brisket and a pot of beans alongside fresh sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe (icy cold).  Yummmmm!

OKRA FRITTERS WITH CHIPOTLE DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon The Lady’s House Seasoning (see below)
  • 1 cup buttermilk plus extra for thinning, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 cups okra, sliced
  • 4 fresh jalapenos finely diced, seeds in for extra heat
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Heat the oil in a cast iron Dutch oven to 350° or until a small piece of white bread toasts in the oil.

In a large bowl add flour, seasoning, buttermilk and egg. Mix well together. Add okra and jalapenos to mixture and coat.  You may need to add a bit more buttermilk to make the batter consistency easy to spoon into the oil.

Using 2 tablespoons, scoop mixture into the hot oil. Constantly flip fritters to cook and brown evenly on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Salt while still hot.  (May keep warm in a 200° oven while completing the remainder of the fritters.)

Place in a serving bowl or platter and serve hot.

A tasty sauce for dipping that I created is chipotle in adobo and mayonnaise.   Finely dice 2 chipotle peppers with the sauce and mix well with the mayo.  Make this a few hours ahead of time and let sit for the flavors to marry.

The Lady’s House Seasoning

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.