Food Hero


Emergency Dinner: Huervos Rancheros and Roasted Veggies by Rachelle
September 22, 2009, 6:46 am
Filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

huervos rancheros and roasted vegggies

I threw two parties this weekend: one for 15 11 year olds, and another serving dinner and dessert to 25 folks. Needless to say, I did NOT feel like cooking again come Monday night.

Alas, the children, they demand to be fed.

I had a bunch of leftover cornbread and wanted to make Katy’s Huervos Rancheros with Chorizo to go with it. But I didn’t have the right ingredients.  So this is what came up instead. I bet you could do something like it with what you have on hand as well. Here’s the un-recipe:

Roasted Veggies: Put a couple halved, seeded bell peppers cut side down on a baking sheet. On the other half of the sheet put a row of asparagus. (I snap the ends. Some people peel.) Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast at 375 until the asparagus are bite-tender. Set aside. (They are fine room temp.) Keep the pepper in there until the skins blister slightly. Remove peppers and cool until you can just handle them. Pinch off the skins and discard. Slice.

“Emergency” Rancheros Sauce: In a skillet or saucepan heat olive oil. Sautee a some onions (I used green) and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. Add a can of stewed tomatoes (mine had peppers in it). Add 1/2-1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Adjust to taste.

Scramble up or fry some eggs and serve the whole feast with corn tortillas, chips, rice…whatever you have on hand. Have Yum.



Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup by Rachelle
September 21, 2009, 7:10 am
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Soup | Tags: , , ,

Jamacian Black Bean and Rice Soup

Last night was our Annual Fall Chili Fest for the Autumnal Equinox. I try out a different chili every year, and this one got rave reviews from our guests. It goes well with easy Pineapple Salsa and Buttery Cornbread, both of which can be found here. Have yum!

Jamaican Black Bean and Rice Soup
(serves 10)

1/4 olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2 tsp each cumin and oregano (adjust to taste)
2 tsp salt
4-5 cloves minced garlic
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 c veggi stock
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
2-3 T red wine vinegar (I use balsamic)

Toppings: sliced radishes, sour cream, limes, pineapple salsa

1) Saute onions, bells peppers, spices and salt in a large pot until onions are tender.

2) Add veggie stock. Add beans and tomatoes. Heat thru.

3) Right before serving, add cooked rice and heat thru. When soup is steaming add vinegar and adjust salt.

Tip: Only add enough rice to the amount you are planning to eat right away. Store rice and soup separately to avoid the rice breaking down into starch in your leftovers.



Strawberry Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Salads | Tags: , ,

strawberryspinachsalad

Too hot to cook? I’m a huge fan of “big salads.” (Remember how Elaine on Seinfeld always wanted to order “big salad.”) But sometimes you just can’t think of something yummy to put on your salad greens. My soulssitah Jen Payne to the rescue! Jen passed this great list of 101 Salads from the New York Times on to me, and I offer it now to you. (I understand #7 , the carrot blueberry salad  is especially great.)

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite combos: Strawberry Spinach Salad. Start with clean, dry baby spinach leaves. Toss in a couple hand full mint leaves. Add very thinly sliced red onions, chevre (goat cheese), and cashews. The lightest splash of olive oil and rice vinegar, or poppy seed dressing is nice.



Chicken Mole with Rice by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, Medium Fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , ,

chickenmole

For almost ten years we hosted one kind of group or another that met in our home for dinner on a regular basis. This recipe for a chicken mole comes from a cook book one of those communities, The Well, produced together. Lisa Hashbarger contributed this particularly yummy dish, and while we’ve lost touch long ago, we still think of her fondly whenever this is on the table.

It’s very simple and you need only one special ingredient, Ibarra Mexican chocolate. This is a hard chocolate with a grainy, sugary texture and a cinnamon flavor. You can find it at most well-stocked grocery stores in the U.S. — tho’ I have to bring it back in my suitcase to Denmark. (Ibarra also makes fabulous hot chocolate when grated and melted into warm milk!)

Chicken Mole

4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 c broth
3-6 cloves
1 – 28oz can peeled and diced tomatoes
1/2 c raisins
1/4c cilantro, chopped
3 T chili powder
one round Ibarra chocolate
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin
2 T peanut butter
2 T lime juice

2 c cooked rice

Place the chicken in a pan and cover with water. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from water and cool slightly. Then shred into strips. Saute onion in 2T  of broth, covered until softened. (4-5 min) Uncover and add garlic, tomatoes, raisins, cilantro, chili powder, chocolate, salt, cinnamon, cumin and peanut butter. Simmer 5 minutes. Add remaining broth and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken and lime juice. Heath through on low until hot. Spoon over rice and serve with lime wedges



Lazy Gourmet: Caprese Bites by Rachelle

I always think a  cocktail while cooking is a good idea, don’t you?

Created by: Katy K

This appetizer is so easy you can throw it together in minutes. After a friend sent an article from the NY Times about what to put on a toothpick, I put these together for a party. They were gone in minutes! With a loaf of crusty bread and a nice glass of wine, you could sit on the porch and call this dinner. Enjoy!

Shopping List

toothpicks
black pepper
cherry tomatoes
small fresh mozzarella balls
fresh basil leaves
coarse salt
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Put a lot of fresh ground black pepper in a pie plate or shallow rimmed dish. Wash your toms and basil and spin the basil dry. (Have you noticed how important the salad spinner is? It’s a kitchen must!) Stack your toothpicks with a toms, a piece of basil and a mozzarella ball. Line ’em up in the pie plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt and drizzle with olive oil. Right before serving, splash with balsamic vinegar. Pass ’em with the red wine.

What you would put on a toothpick? Tell us in the comments below, or give us a link to a recipe!