Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Medallion Masterpiece

It's What's for Dinner:
Tonight we shared Medallions Four Ways. Beef fillet, pork tenderloin, chicken breast and large sea scallop - each bacon-wrapped and grilled, served over a grilled Portobello mushroom cap and accompanied by sautéed mushrooms, peppers and onions. Well, at least there's no carbs...

Pulled Pork / Hatch Chile Enchiladas

American Cross-Cultural Cuisine

This easy to make and yet very satisfying dish combines arguably the some of the best food contributions from North Carolina and New Mexico, and in very little time, makes a creamy and delicious meal.

1 lb pulled pork, already smoked and shredded
6 each Hatch chiles, roasted, seeded and peeled (can substitute 2 each 4 oz. cans)
12 corn tortillas
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced fine (can substitute 1/2 tsp granulated garlic)
1 pint green enchilada sauce (recipe follows) (can substitute 1 can sauce)
12 oz. shredded queso quesadilla cheese (can substitute mozzarella)
4 oz roasted red pepper, peeled, chopped and seeded


First, here's a look at some raw materials. Below is one fresh-off-the-smoker pork butt:

One pound of pulled pork and the diced up peppers, all getting acquainted in the pan. Here's where the ground pepper and garlic are added.

This paragraph below is good info:
Tortillas - a new process. Corn tortillas are notoriously fragile when new. Try and fold them too much and they crack and crumble. The common solution is to pass them through either hot oil or simmering sauce to make them pliable without tearing. There's a better, faster, easier and calorie-free way to do this. Take the corn tortillas and put them in a tortilla warmer, and run them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Turn them over and run again for another 30 seconds. This in effect 'steams' them, making them easily rolled without tearing. Don't have a tortilla warmer? Take a clean dish towel, wet it and then wring it out well. Wrap your tortillas loosely in this instead, and follow the above directions.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Next, pour a bit of your enchilada sauce in to the bottom of your baking dish and tilt to cover the entire bottom.

Divide your filling into 12 equal little bundles in your pan. One at a time, distribute a bundle evenly across one of the steamed tortillas as shown below. Now roll it up away from you just snugly enough to keep it all together.

Here's what they look like in the pan after all 12 have been rolled:

Top with the rest of your enchilada sauce and a good layer of the shredded cheese:

Twenty minutes later, the oven has worked it's magic and the the taste buds are working overtime:

Here you see a serving of 3 enchiladas, plated up and accented with some chopped roasted red peppers. This dish has a little tang to it but is certainly not loaded with heat. this has been given the Kathy seal of approval to be added to the "make it again" list.

Salsa Verde for Enchiladas


1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
4 Hatch peppers - roasted, peeled and seeded (can substitute Poblano)
1/2 cup cilantro, without stems
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
chicken broth

Add the first 5 ingredients together in a blender and pulse together.

Add chicken stock (if necessary) a little at a time just so it will blend. Once smooth, remove to a sauce pan and heat to a low boil.

Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or so, check consistency, and adding chicken stock as needed to thin. Add salt to taste.

Right before serving, stir in lime juce to incorporate.

Depending on chicken stock used, makes about 4 cups.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

We are both fortunate enough to both have our parents living so close that we can all get together on occasion. Mother's Day 2011 was one of those occasions A good time was had by all, and most importantly no one went away hungry. There are much fewer pictures of this occasion than I usually have, because either I was busy cooking, or we were busy eating!

Here are a few that sneaked in... and the recipes will soon follow.

Roast Leg of Lamb

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom & Onions

Home-made Buttery Rolls

We also had prosciutto-wrapped melon balls for an appetizer (only surviving prep picture)...

... and a choice of Key Lime or Strawberry pie for desert (no surviving pictures).

Easy Buttery Dinner Rolls

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 -oz.) packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
8 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening

Place 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast, salt, sugar and dry milk.

Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine water and egg and stir to blend. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour water mixture into the well. Mix by hand, beating 150 strokes and frequently scraping bottom and sides of bowl. Add 1/2 the melted butter and beat to incorporate. Add remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating to incorporate each addition. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set dough in a warm, draft-free place such as oven with pan of hottest tap water on rack below. Allow batter to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Coat cups, bottoms and sides of a 12-cup muffin pan (or two small round pans) with butter-flavored vegetable shortening. Punch down batter (batter will be extremely soft and sticky). Drop by hand or spoonful into prepared muffin pan cups to make 12 rolls (if in pan, each roll touching the next). Brush dough with 1/2 remaining melted butter.

Let rise, uncovered, in warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. In preheated 400-degree oven, bake rolls on middle rack 16-18 minutes. Brush tops of cooked rolls with remaining melted butter. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti Squash

2- to 2 1/2-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

This can be prepared in 45 minutes or less instead of baking forever, using a microwave oven.

Wrap the squash half in microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave it, cut side up, at high power (100%) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it feels soft when pressed. Let the squash stand for 5 minutes. In a small microwave-safe dish combine the butter, the onion, and the mushroom and microwave the mixture at high power (100%), stirring once, for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Discard the squash seeds, scrape the flesh with a fork into a bowl, and toss it with the mushroom mixture, the parsley, the chives, the Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

You can use this as a side dish or as a pasta replacement (without all the added ingredients) in Italian dishes to drastically reduce the carbohydrate counts.

Yield: Serves 4

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Garlic Snow Peas
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 4

2 C fresh snow peas (washed, dried, and trimmed)
2 T vegetable oil
2 T sesame oil
3 minced garlic cloves
sesame seeds
salt & pepper

Heat wok over medium-high heat. Add oil until it is shimmering hot, then dump in the peas. About 1 minute after stir frying, add garlic and seasoning. Quick fry just till bright green and still crisp.

Cooking time is an estimate -- do not over cook or they will turn dull green and limp.

Remove and serve while still hot.

Quintissential Leg of Lamb - Mother's Day

serves 8 - 10
• 1 (5 lb) leg of lamb - boneless
• 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
• 2 teaspoons of dry oregano
• 2 teaspoons of dry thyme
• 2 teaspoons of dry rosemary
• 1/2 cup of olive oil
• 1/2 cup of lemon juice - fresh squeezed
• 2 cups of dry red wine
• 2 teaspoons of salt
• 1 teaspoon of pepper
Combine in a small bowl the garlic, dried oregano, thyme, rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Rub the garlic and spice mixture all over the lamb. Put the lamb in a large plastic bag and pour in the olive oil, lemon juice, and red wine. Squeeze out as much of the air as possible from the bag and seal it closed. As a precaution against the bag leaking, wrap a second bag around marinating lamb. Set the bag in a dish and let the lamb marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (After 20 minutes of cooking the oven temperature will be lowered to 325 degrees). Remove the lamb from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade, it is no longer usable. Combine the 2 teaspoons of salt with the remaining 3/4 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper. Season the lamb with the salt and pepper.
Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan.
Roast the lamb for 20 minutes at 450 degrees then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue cooking until desired internal temperature is reached – approximately 135 F - 140 F. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Slice the lamb into 1/2 inch thick slices across the grain.