Monday, March 30, 2009

Company's Comin' - Menu Plan Monday

We're back from visiting Momma in Kentucky last week and are jumping right into the work week. We are having some very special company this week, so there are a few special meals. Our friends love authentic Mexican food, so I'll be including a few of those for you to try over the next two weeks.

Recipes for bold-faced items are given below. If you'd like a recipe for something not given, please feel free to contact me, and I'll send it to you right away.

Monday: Shopping Day - Baked country-style pork ribs, baked potatoes, fried cabbage

Tuesday: Baked or fried fish, oven fries, broccoli florets, pumpkin cake

Wednesday: Sour cream and dill chicken over brown rice, steamed brussel sprouts with butter

Thursday: Homemade pizza, salad, cottage cheese

Friday: Black bean tostadas on homemade whole wheat tortillas, tropical fruit salad

Saturday: Shredded pork sandwiches, pickles, chips

Sunday: Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans, strawberry shortcake

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Sour Cream and Dill Chicken

8-10 chicken pieces
pepper to taste
2 condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 packet dry onion soup mix
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry dill weed
1 - 4-oz. can mushroom pieces, drained
1/2 cup white cooking wine or sherry (optional)

Combine all ingredients except chicken to make the sauce. Then either layer with pieces in a crock pot (on Low for one hour, then High for 3-4 hours) or uncovered in a baking dish in a 350-degree oven for one hour or until juices run clear. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 6-8.

Black Bean Tostadas

4 cups black beans
2 tablespoons whey*
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
12 whole wheat tortillas
About 1/2 cup olive oil or lard
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups guacamole
3 cups cortido** (optional)
4 cups chismole*** (optional)

Soak the beans in water, whey, and salt for 7 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse. Place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off scum before adding garlic. Cover and cook at least 4 hours. Meanwhile, fry the tortillas in a heavy skillet, one at a time, in several tablespoons of oil or lard over medium-high flame, adding more oil or lard as needed. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in the oven. To serve, place a tortilla on each plate and spoon on the beans, using a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with garnishes and another tortilla on top. Serves 6.

*Whey is obtained by placing plain yogurt in cheese cloth and suspending it above a cup to catch the liquid called whey.

** Look for this authentic Mexican condiment (lacto-fermented spicy cabbage) in the specialty foods aisle at your grocery store or Mexican store. You may also try making your own with directions given in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook.

*** Chismole (Latin American tomato salad): 4 large ripe tomatoes, diced; 1 medium onion, finely chopped; juice of 2 lemons; 1 bunch chilantro, chopped; 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Mix all ingredients. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour before serving. Also very good with roast beef and grilled hamburgers.

Shredded Pork Sandwiches

1 3-lbs. boneless pork shoulder blade roast
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup beef broth
Hamburger buns or kaiser rolls

In a small bowl, combine garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper; rub into the meat. Place meat in a roasting pan that has a cover; add beef broth. Cover and roast in a 325-degree oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until very tender. Remove meat from liquid with a slotted spoon; discard excess fat from cooking liquid, reserving the liquid. When meat is cool enough to handle, shred it using 2 forks to pull through it in opposite directions. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid to use as taco filling. Or, stir in enough cooking liquid to moisten; reheat in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, and serve on buns with pickles. Barbecue sauce may be used as a condiment, but is not necessary.

May also cook in crock pot. Prepare meat as above and place in a 3 1/2- to 5-quart crockery cooker; add beef broth. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Continue as above. 12 servings.

Marcia's Meatloaf

3 lbs. hamburger or other ground meat
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed fine or 1/2 cup quick oats
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk or tomato juice
1/2 bottle dark steak sauce
minced fresh or dried onion to taste (optional)
1/2 cup tomato catsup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Combine ground meat with remaining ingredients except catsup and brown sugar. I like to squish mine all together with my bare hands (thoroughly washed, of course). Divide into two loaves and place side by side in an open cake pan, baking pan, or in loaf pans. Flatten a bit for quicker cooking. Combine catsup and brown sugar and spoon over loaves. Bake uncovered in 350-degree oven for one hour or until done. Serve with catsup on the side. Serves 12.