Candy

Thank you cards, cats, cats playingThe last post I wrote July 1993, was a tough one for me, but I got through it. I appreciate all that have liked and left me heart warming comments on that post and sharing their memories too, as well as tweeted and shared via other mediums (Please feel free to continue the sharing). I encourage that! Again, I appreciate you all.

Today I thought I would bring some levity back and another recipe that is so simple a Monkey can do it.

Ask yourself, what kid doesn’t want candy when offered candy.

One could say my Dad had a sense of humor or trickery within him. I think I was just plain naive as a young child.

Dad was cooking something in the kitchen one day when we kids were little, we asked what was that? He said, CANDY!

We go CANDY! We want candy!

You think that I being the eldest would have caught on by now. The Hershey candy bar experience that was not Hershey at all but Exlax wrapped up in a Hershey wrapper should have stuck with me. But, I heard CANDY, all other brain functions are out the window.

On to the photos, of the so called CANDY.

Corn, yellow corn, tortillias
Step1: Three Yellow Corn Tortillas. I used Mission Brand.
Step 2" Cut into bite size pieces.
Step 2″ Cut into bite size pieces.
Corn Tortillas, Tortillas, Yellow corn
Step 3: Heat about a capful or less of vegetable oil in a pan and add the cut up Corn tortillas. Medium heat
Step 4: Stir/flip often we only want to slightly brown and crisp the Corn tortillas.
Step 4: Stir/flip often we only want to slightly brown and crisp the Corn tortillas.
Eggs, medium grade A eggs, Large eggs
Step 5: Add one egg
corn tortillas and eggs
Step 6: Add a little table salt and enjoy. One thought I had was to add some salsa to this, just a pinch.

When I was married, I made this so called CANDY for my brother in-law at the time. What better way to attempt to welcome him. He took one look at it and eyes rolled and his nose became a snob-it was very obvious.

Later on today/evening, once I get my photos to the desktop and cropped, I will show another recipe for Beef Enchilada with Red enchilada sauce. Sauce homemade not canned.

Why did I use that Feature photo on top? It has nothing to do with food!

1: I am fond of the show the “IT Crowd” a shame it only had a four year run.

2. If you look at my menu above where you see the About Me, I have put a PC Help Desk tab/page there. Right now it says “Under Construction” So, I will be working on that page for a while before I publish it.

More food Yum! Yummm!

We get to a certain age in life, and we reflect on the rising cost of food products among other things. Who would have thought that what was once inexpensive to make is no longer the case. Eggs, for the most part have risen due to Avian flu. Less chickens = less eggs. MinnionsI think the image to the left makes a fair statement as to how some of us feel with the rising cost of food products as well as the fuel jumping up which also contributes to the rise in food products. The consumer is taking a licking.

Ok, I am done with my rant.

I thought I would share a recent meal that I cooked the other night. Most everyone, has their own spin on recreating a dish whether it be a recipe handed down or one that we found via the Internet. The most common meal of the day for this particular recipe would be breakfast. But who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner. Today I will show you my spin on the Potato and egg burrito.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Potatoes, I used four of them cut into bite size

Eggs, I used three large grade A

Salt

Black Pepper

Garlic Salt

Onion Salt, my better half does not like onions

Cilantro

Red Bell pepper (Use an amount you want to use)

Green Bell Pepper (Use an amount you want to use)

First, I start by putting Vegetable oil in a large frying pan, about two caps full maybe three. To be honest with you, I never measure, I judge it by eye. Let the pan heat up on medium heat if using an electric stove. Once the pan is heated, add the potatoes and be careful not to get splashed by the oil. Then add a pinch or two of salt and the same amount of black pepper. Next, add about two to three shakes evenly of the garlic salt, now the onion salt-about two shakes. Place a lid over the pan and let it cook for about three to five minutes. Remove lid and use a spatula to turn the potatoes over. When you remove the lid you should get the aroma of the spices hitting your nose. What a delight!

Once the potatoes are turned over, add the bell peppers. Ok, now we want the bells to caramelize but not burnt. Place the lid back on for about two to three minutes and then remove the lid. Turn the potatoes over. Once you see that the potatoes are browning and the bells starting to caramelize is when I added the cilantro. I then placed the lid for about two to three minutes. Remove the lid. At this time I added the eggs. Now, about the eggs. I know some will grab a bowl and scramble the eggs then proceed to add that to the potatoes. I don’t and never have or will when it comes to this recipe. You may do so if you wish, but you’d be robbing yourself of the flavor that you get by doing it this way.

Now for the photos:

potatoes

Red bell pepers, green bell peppers

Fry potatoes

Carmelize

Almost done

large grade eggs

Egg done

Add chesse

The cheese is optional. Fold in a tortilla and enjoy!

If any one found this interesting or just plain liked it, then please give me a like or leave me a comment.

Basic Home Cooking–Bringing Back Memories

Before I continue with the second part of “Reconnecting with Family – Under A Sad Event Part 1“, I thought I would show another family favorite recipe. I will admit I can be a picky bastard when it comes to food, the flavor, texture, aroma that soothes the soul -taking one back to their childhood providing brief moments of happiness when our Grandmothers or Mothers cooked our favorite meal.

Memories
Memories

The recipe for today is what my Mother called Mole-not the animal, not the unit of measure. This comes from the Mole Sauce. For generations past, the short cut was to use Grandma’s Chili Powder. This one product was the De facto standard in our house as well as our other family’s household growing up and became one of my tricks in the bag later on as well.  However, the manufacturer stopped producing it around 2009. 😦

It has taken me quite some time with experiments to find an alternative that is easy with ingredients that one can find at their local grocery store rather than having to order online and wait, wait, still waiting for the product to show up.  My solution was to use two different types of chilli powder. One provided the deep rich color while the other provided the flavor I was looking for.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients Needed:

Gold Medal Flour

Tones Mild chilli Powder – for the flavor while lighter in color

McCormick’s Mild chili powder / can use Clover Valley brand if in the midwest region.

Nestle Toll House Cocoa –This is a must no exceptions  Key ingredient!

Salt

Garlic Salt

Water

Potatoes Russet or Idaho brand

Top Round Steak Note: If feeding a family of four to five then use the whole slab of round steak that comes prepackaged. What I will do at times is to buy a Top Round Roast and cut it into portions, that way I have some for Mole and fast steak sandwiches.

Russet potatoesGrab two to four potatoes and cut the potato long ways then slice a bit thicker than you would for potato chips or cut the potato in half however you prefer.  Once all potatoes are sliced, rinse then place in a bowl of water and place in fridge until needed. This is to prevent the potatoes from oxidation.

Round steakNext step. Grab the round steak and cut it into bite size pieces.

Now, that we have this done, grab two frying pans and coat with vegetable oil. Allow the pans to heat. Grab the potatoes from the fridge and strain the water. Place the potatoes in one of the frying pans on medium heat with lid. Place the round steak in the other frying pan. For the meat we will use less vegetable oil than we would use for the potatoes, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. While these are cooking on medium heat, grab a saucepan and place a little bit of flour. The measurement will depend on how much sauce you want. Start off with quarter cup of flour and slowly stir in water until smooth. Not too thick nor to loose. Allow to heat up a bit, now Shake some Tones chilli powder in a little at a time until the flour water mixture starts to turn red. Now shake the second brand of chilli powder in. Again a little at a time. Now you should see the sauce getting slightly on the darker side. While on the sauce, do not to forget to turn the potatoes over and to stir the meat around to cook even. Now, add about a tablespoon of the Cocoa into the sauce and stir. You may find that might need to add more Cocoa, add a teaspoon at a time and remember to taste the sauce as you go along to get that flavor and texture that you desire. Use a dash or two of regular salt maybe three depending on your taste buds, add the same amount of the garlic salt. At this time remove the lid from the potatoes and allow to brown a bit. Once the sauce is done pour into the frying pan with the round steak. Stir a few time and shut off burners.

All that is left to do is serve with the optional items like peppers and flour tortillas.

Abondigas Soup AKA: Hamburger Soup

Simple hamburger soup
Finished product

I hope everyone had a good Saint Patrick”s Day. Past few nights have gotten cold once again and I decided to make a very simple Hamburger Soup. On the Internet, you’ll find ones with tomatoes, chillies, harsh spices that are hard for some to handle. I have even seen some versions of this dish with corn or squash and zucchinis.

My Dad taught my mother how to make this very simple Hamburger soup- so here we go.

You will need a pound of ground beef, 80 -93%, for this dish I used 80%. Long grain white rice and about two to four Russet potatoes depending on the size of the potato. Salt, cilantro and 1 14.5 oz to 16 oz can of beef stock. First, peel and wash the potatoes then cut into cubes/bite size quarters. Grab a soup pot, add beef stock and about three to four cans of water in soup pot. Next add the potatoes to the liquid, one to two shakes of salt and a pinch or two of cilantro. If you are allergic to cilantro, don’t care for it or out of at the present time, Parsley can be used as a substitute. Turn on burner to medium heat, cover and set timer for twenty minutes. Check in between, incase it starts to boil over, stir and replace cover.

Grab a small bowl and pour some rice in and set aside. Next, grab the hamburger and pinch off an amount that you would like your meatballs to be. Roll the hamburger in the bowl of rice then form into a ball and place on a plate. Keep doing this until all the hamburger is used. Retain the leftover rice that is in the bowl.Rice and meatballs

If the potatoes are fairly easy to cut with what utensil you are using then it’s time to add the meatballs. Place the meatballs in one at a time to avoid the hot water splashing up. Next add the leftover rice that is in the bowl. Reduce heat to med-low and cover. Set timer for thirty minutes.

Serve with flour tortillas and a soup spoon.

Note: For beef stock: One thing you can try is the next time you are cooking a beef roast in a slow cooker, add some brown gravy mix to the water. I did this once and I now prefer it that way. The broth comes out richer and deeper in color.

Cerdo picado -Chopped Pork

Chopped prkWhat does food have to do with Genealogy you might ask, and I will say everything. Food is a gateway to our past, our heritage inspiring us to create new dishes obtained from the past. The photos, the stories, heirlooms handed down from generations is not that different from the foods we eat.  Most of us have recipes filed somewhere that came from our parents or grandparents and if not on file then is retained in our minds from our childhood. Walking into a house, a whiff of aroma that delights our olfactory nerve sending a fond memory to our brain; like the commercials we see of waking up and smelling coffee brewing producing a smile on the face. Food like a certain photo or heirloom, can take us back in time for a moment providing a break from our daily mundane routine of life making us feel better for the moment.

On Finding your roots Tom Colicchio was a guest on an episode that aired on October 21, 2014 and discovered a long line of descendants from Italy which provoked him wanting to book a flight and learn all that he could about the foods that were created during that time period to honor his ancestors. a clip of the show can be seen here.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365346867/

Food has everything to do with Genealogy.

Line cookI have cooked for over twenty years in the restaurant industry starting out as a dishwasher while maintaining my studies with high school. I was thrown to the wolves one day when the line cook on duty walked out during dinner rush. The owner came to me, “you’re on the line”. I was promoted from dishwasher to line cook in a matter of two months. But, I had a knack for it and my parents started teaching me how to cook at the age of seven. The dish above is Carne de cerdo picada en salsa de tomate, translation Chopped pork in tomato sauce. It is a simple dish to make and only takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to make.

What you will need:

 

1 cup of long grain enriched rice

I used four small boneless pork chops and cubed them

1 cup of tomato sauce, I use Hunts brand

8 oz of water. Add a little more water if the tomato sauce seems to thick

About a tablespoon of butter

1 14.5 oz can of Chicken broth I used the 33% less sodium (the brand I used was Hy-vee similar to Great Value-Hey it was on sale) What I would suggest is that when you boil chicken the next time retain the stock and freeze it.

Canola oil spray to coat the pan to cook the pork in. (you can use vegetable oil as well)

Mild chilli powder

Dash of salt

Dash of garlic salt

Dash of black pepper

Let’s get cooking!

First, grab a pot to cook the rice in and place the tablespoon of butter in the pot.

Turn the burner on low to melt the butter slowly so that it will not burn. Once the butter is melted increase the heat to med low or medium if you feel confident. Next, add rice to pot. We want to brown the rice lightly be careful not to burn the rice. Once the rice is lightly brown then add the chicken broth, it should produce some steam from adding the broth. Next add the chilli powder. The chilli powder provides two benefits. One is to give it slight red color and a little zing. The adding of the chilli powder will be an eye judgement so be careful not to put too much in. Next, once it is boiling, reduce heat to the low setting and let simmer for fifteen minutes. I used to use Grandmas chilli powder so did all of my relatives and parents but when they discontinued it, I had to find a solution and that was using two different types of chilli powder. I used Tones mild chilli powder and Clover Valley chili powder to get the flavor and color I was looking for.

While the rice is on simmer, grab a teflon pan and spray with the canola oil then place the cubed pork in pan, add the dash of salt, dash of black pepper and the dash of garlic salt and cook thoroughly. Once the pork is cooked add the tomato sauce and the water and stir. Be sure to taste test to make sure the flavor is not overpowering. If over powered with salt or the tomato sauce to your liking add a little more water to it and stir and when I say little I do mean a little at a time. Once the pork is done set the temp to the low setting so it stays warm and stir from time to time.

Check the rice five minutes before the fifteen minutes are up and see if you might have to add a little more water to it. This is where the fifteen to twenty minutes comes into play.

Once the rice is done, dish up on plate and serve with banana wax peppers and warmed up corn tortillas.   A slice of heaven from my past and generations back. I hope you like this dish as much as I do.

Butter
Melt Butter
Red rice
Lightly Brown Rice
Chilli powder
Add chicken broth and chili powder, cover and reduce heat
Pork
Cubed pork
Pork chops
Cook pork and stir from to time
pork with tomato sauce
Add tomato sauce and water
Pork with tomato sauce
Done
Chopped prk
Bon appetit

 

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