Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

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National Soup Month

When I think of Beer Cheese Soup, the first thing that pops into my mind is Lazlo’s Brewery. It’s a restaurant in Lincoln, NE. The original location is located in the Haymarket District. When I was in college, my friends and I used to walk down there to eat a lot. To this day, I could still tell you what everyone would order. Dan would get the Lazlo Burger and an Empyrean Amber Ale (made in Lazlo’s owner’s brewery). Rob wasn’t a drinker. He always got the French Dip but added Swiss Cheese and sautéed onions. He also ordered a side of ranch dipping sauce for his fries. Lazlo’s makes these great fries. They are crinkle fries with seasoning salt. And Ben always ordered a cup of Beer Cheese Soup. Ironic because Ben was the baby of the group – just 17 years old his first few months attending college.

After college graduations and break-ups, I ended up working for the owners of Lazlo’s. I worked in their neighboring restaurant entitled Jabrisco’s. It was an unusual Italian restaurant named after the owners Jay, Brian, and Scott. (They also had a financial partner who was a dentist but I can’t remember his name.) They had things on the menu like a PB&J wood-fired pizza, homemade spinach pasta, and this to die for chocolate dessert. We also had this amazing patio where I would sell coffee during the weekly Farmer’s Market. I worked there for about eight months as a host/head host. I could sell the bar area better than most on a busy Friday night or Saturday home football game. Following my college graduation, I left to pursue AmeriCorps full-time. But during the time I worked at Jabrisco’s, I learned some great customer service skills, importance to details, and a lot about the hospitality industry.

Today, Lazlo’s has doubled in size and now occupies the space that was once Jabrisco’s. The food is still delicious, reasonably priced, and the service is top notch. The Haymarket has also turned into this major entertainment district.

Although this recipe is very different then Lazlo’s Beer Cheese Soup, it did make me think back to some pretty cool people and an experience that greatly impacted my life.

Beer Cheese SoupBacon Beer Cheese Soup with Chicken from Pinterest
6 slices of bacon
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. beer
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half
8 oz. mild cheese
1 tsp. Worchester sauce
chives
croutons

Cook bacon and chicken. In a large sauce pan, cook butter, flour, and spices. Add beer, broth, and half and half. Whisk to combine and bring to a bubble. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Add Worchester sauce, chicken, and bacon. Allow to simmer. Garnish with chives and croutons.

Notes:

  • This recipe is good but spicy. One bowl had me drinking three glasses of water, blowing my nose, and dotting my watering eyes. My recommendation is to cut the spice at least to half or maybe a third of the recipe listed above. That’s my plan for the next time I cook it.
  • I didn’t have chicken stock so I used water and put in about 2 oz. more of beer. Veggie stock is also an option.
  • When I make a soup like this I know I am sharing with vegetarian friends, I make meat more of a topping. Canned chicken is another option. I used about a ½ lb. chicken and pre-cooked bacon.
  • I used fat free half and half. I think our Nutrition Manager at work also said that Fat Free Evaporated Milk is another substitute option to make a creamy soup healthier.
  • I used light beer.
  • I used Velveeta cheese.
  • I added parsley instead of chives.

On the second day, I picked up some chicken stock and frozen hash browns. I added about 1 cup of hash browns and ¾ c. chicken stock. I also added homemade croutons. It decreased the water consumption.

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Potato Cakes

I have to admit, I had never cooked potato cakes before. Last fall, I ran across a recipe for them which included corn and scallions plus sour cream topping. I thought it looked good. I quickly learned potato cakes can be more difficult to form than a crab cake. But if you use your spatula, you push it together once everything gets hot. I think the real success of this recipe is the sauce. I just put a light shrimorror on top and it was perfect.

Potato CakesLoaded Cheddar-Corn Potato Patties by Darlene Brenden
1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream
2 T. plus 1/3 c.  sliced green onions (scallions)
2 c. mashed potato flakes
1/3 c. cornmeal
1-3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 c. milk
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
1 c. (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, mix sour cream and 2 T.  scallion and refridgerate. In a large bowl, mix the potato flakes, cornmeal, garlic salt and paprika. Add the milk, corn, cheese and remaining green onions; mix until blended. Shape into patties. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium and coat with cooking spray. Cook patties in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sauce.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and I still got about 20 corn cakes.
  • Since you aren’t cooking the sour cream, this is a situtation where you can use fat free sour cream.

Spicy Chicken and Noodles

I think I found this recipe in a Betty Crocker email. It’s a super simple and quick recipe. The paprika gives this recipe a little bit of a kick. I also like that it uses yogurt because it is much healthier than most sauce ingredients. The sauce is a little limited on this recipe so double it if you want a more coated recipe.

Chicken and Noodles Paprika

2 c. uncooked cholesterol-free noodles
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 c. plain fat-free yogurt
2 tsp. flour
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. chopped fresh or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
Chopped green onion (optional)

Cook and drain pasta. Cook chicken, then slice into 1/2 inch strips. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and flour. In the same skillet you cooked the chicken, heat broth, thyme, paprika, and onion to boiling. Reduce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually stir in yogurt mixture into broth. Stir constantly, until thickened. Add chicken back to pan to coat. Spoon over noodles and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 420 Calories. 7 g. of fat, 70 mg. cholesterol, 240 mg. sodium, 55 g. carbs, 5 g. fiber, 6 g. sugar, 37 g. protein. Recipe serves two.

Notes:

  • I make this recipe without the slices of onion.
  • I grill the chicken because it is healthier than cooking it with oil.
  • The website recommends serving this with steamed fresh broccoli.