Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Five-Ingredient Recipes

Rocks In My Dryer has a Works-For-Me-Wednesday meme which I thought I'd try this week. It goes very well with getting some of my menu recipes online like I promised. :/ After you are done here, be sure to head over to RocksInMyDryer.typepad.com and take a look at what other bloggers have posted for recipes requiring five ingredients or less.

Soft Tacos/Burritos With the Works

This one is a technical five-ingredient recipe since you add whatever condiments and toppings you desire.

1 lb. ground beef or turkey, browned and drained
1 can seasoned chili beans
1 packet taco seasoning mix (or your own
10 burrito-size flour tortillas
Shredded cheese

Optional toppings:
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Chopped onion
Chopped green pepper
Sliced black olives

Optional condiments:
Sour cream
French dressing

Combine first three ingredients and simmer 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally, to combine flavors and dissolve taco seasoning mix. Add a bit of water if it seems too dry. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for one minute or in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Wrap them in a towel to keep warm. Each person creates their own taco/burrito by placing a tortilla on his plate and running a large spoonful of taco meat mixture down the middle. Top with shredded cheese and any other desired toppings and condiments. Fold up a small portion of the tortilla from one end of the line of meat mixture. Fold in each of the sides, then fold the top down. Pick it up carefully with both hands and dig in! Can be very messy, so have napkins and forks handy to clean up. Serves 5-6

Mama's Chicken and Dumplings

2-3 lbs. chicken backs/ribs (or meaty pieces if you are rich),
boiled and boned, reserve broth
1-2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 - 14-oz. can chicken broth
10 frozen biscuit or homemade, cut into quarters

Cover chicken pieces with water and boil it until the meat falls off the bones. Drain off the broth and set it aside. Let the chicken cool and pull off the meat. Set aside. Combine reserved broth, cream of chicken soup, the canned chicken broth. Heat to boiling. Defrost frozen biscuits until easy to cut, then cut into quarters with kitchen shears or sharp knife (or use homemade biscuits). Drop biscuits, one at a time, into the boiling broth and stir to keep them from sticking together. Cook and stir until dumplings are firm and done all the way to the center (remove one to check). Add more cream of chicken soup if the gravy is not thick enough. Stir in chicken meat and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mashed potatoes. Serves 5-6

Black Bean Tostadas

1 lbs. dry black (turtle) beans
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
12 flour or whole wheat tortillas
Extra virgin olive oil or lard for frying
2 cups grated
Monterey Jack cheese

(Same optional toppings and condiments as above)

Rinse beans and remove stones. Cover with water and soak over night. Drain off soaking water, re-cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off scum and add one teaspoon salt and garlic. Return to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least four hours or until tender. Fry tortillas, one at a time, in a small amount of either extra virgin olive oil or lard over medium-high flame in a heavy skillet. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven until ready to serve. Place one tortilla on each plate and spoon beans over it with a slotted spoon. Top with desired toppings and condiments as desired. Serves 6-8

Note: We get to use strange concoctions like
cortido and chismole on our black bean tostadas because our daughter is a chemist. Not really. But, she did get these unique Hispanic condiment recipes from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs

2-3 lbs. country-style pork ribs or pork steaks
(these ribs are usually very thick and may have a bone
in them like a pork steak)

1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (or less to taste)
4 cloves garlic, minced

Wash and dry ribs/steaks and place in a sturdy gallon-size, zip-type freezer bag or a plastic container with a tight lid. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over ribs/steaks (
may add cracked pepper to taste). Marinade for at least 2 hours, turning steaks in marinade every 1/2 hour to thoroughly coat meat. Drain off marinade and set it aside. Brown ribs/steaks in a heavy skillet coated with oil over medium-high heat. Transfer to baking pan and pour reserved marinade over meat. Cover with foil and bake 30-45 minutes or until juices are no longer pink. You may also discard the marinade and grill the steaks over medium-hot coals until done. Nummy!

Burrito Lasagna - Great for Take-Along!

1 lbs. ground beef or turkey, browned and drained
2 14.5-oz. cans seasoned chili beans, undrained
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix or 1/4 cup of your own mix

8 - 10 medium flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Thoroughly combine cooked meat with beans and seasoning mix. Oil a 4- to 6-quart baking dish or crock pot with cooking spray or oil. Line the bottom with flour tortillas to cover. You may wish to tear them in half in order to fit better. Cover with a layer of meat mixture, then cheese. Continue to layer tortillas, meat mixture, and cheese until you reach the top or run out of any one layer. End with cheese. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through or cover crock pot and cook on low for 2-4 hours or until heated through. Serves 5-6.

Shepherd's Pie

3 lbs. ground beef, turkey, or a combination of the two
1 large onion, minced
2 Tablespoons dried thyme
6 cups prepared instant or real mashed potatoes (good use for leftovers!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown meat with onion. Drain. Return to skillet and add a little oil or butter if it seems very dry. Sprinkle the surface of the meat with dried thyme. You may add salt and pepper to taste at this point (we like a lot of pepper). Cook and stir for 2 minutes to meld spices. Transfer to baking dish. Cover surface with potatoes (warm up potatoes if using leftovers), sealing to edges. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Really good served with buttered corn and/or green beans. Serves 6-8.

Mix and Match Frittata

Note: I don't know how other people prepare this dish, but this is how we do it.

Meat: fried bacon, real bacon bits, diced ham, cooked and drained sausage, diced canned luncheon meat (like Spam or Treet), diced smoked or Polish sausage, etc.
Vegetable(s): canned or frozen sauteed chopped broccoli, spinach or other greens, asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, corn niblets, chopped onion, bell peppers, fresh diced tomatoes (do not pre-cook), etc.
One dozen large eggs
1/2 cup milk or cream (may substitute water)
2 cups cheese of choice, divided into 1 1/2 and 1/2 cups

I use a large iron skillet for this dish, but any large skillet which may withstand high broiler temperatures would work. Prepare meat by browning or frying as necessary. Drain any fat left from cooking. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute vegetables of choice (no more than 2 or 3) in a bit of oil until tender. Crack eggs into large mixing bowl and add milk/cream or water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend thoroughly with mixer or beat vigorously with wire whisk until all yokes are broken and blended with whites and it becomes frothy. Blend in meat and 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Heat vegetables in pan over medium-low heat until oil is warmed. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and turn to low heat. After a few minutes, lift the edges of the mixture to allow some of the liquid mixture to flow underneath. Cook without stirring until mixture is firm, but surface is still moist. Place an oven rack on the top slot and turn the oven broiler on high. When preheated, slide the skillet onto the top rack. Let broil a few minutes or until the surface is cooked and dry. Watch it carefully or it will burn. Remove from oven and immediately top with 1/2 cup cheese. Let stand a few minutes to allow cheese to melt. To serve, slide a knife or sharp, metal spatula around the edges. Cut into desired number of pieces in pie style and serve immediately. Serves 6-8.

Some good combinations we have tried and enjoyed:

bacon, broccoli, cheddar
ham, asparagus, smoked Gouda
smoked sausage, greens, zucchini, Colby-Jack cheese

Eat and Enjoy!