Friday, October 31, 2014

Chili Corndog Casserole

So, I have this slight obsession with corndogs.  I've always loved them, but it's not something I typically buy or even eat often.  But I do really love them.  I also love chili dogs.  Once again, not something I buy when I'm out or even eat very often.  Then I came up with this crazy idea:  what if I made a casserole with all these ingredients in it?!?!?  Boo-ya!  You can thank me later.

Chili Corndog Casserole
Serves 4

4 Hot Dogs
1 Small Can of Chili with No Beans
1 Box Jiffy Cornbread Mix + Ingredients needed to prepare
3 Green Onions
Cheddar Cheese, Shredded 

Step 1:  Grease and prepare a 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish.  Preheat the oven according to the Jiffy Cornbread box (following the instructions for 'Johnny Cake').

Step 2:  Prepare the Cornbread batter as directed on the Jiffy box.  Set aside.

Step 3:  Slice the hot dogs in coins and add to the cornbread batter.  Stir until well combined and pour into the prepared baking dish.  Bake according to the Jiffy Cornbread box (following the instructions for 'Johnny Cake').

Step 4:  While the cornbread is baking, open the can of chili and empty into a heatproof container and microwave until hot.  As well, clean and slice up the green onions.

Step 5:  Once the cornbread/hotdogs are done baking, cool for 5 minutes.  Cut into slices for serving.

Step 6:  To serve, top each piece with a heaping spoonful of chili, a sprinkling of cheese and smattering of green onions.


Friday, October 24, 2014

White Cake with Lemon Filling

This fall my hubby and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  Still newlyweds, right?  To commemorate the date, I made a white cake with lemon curd filling - which is what we served at our wedding reception oh so long ago.  It is such a great flavor profile - tender white cake with thick layer of lemon curd along with creamy white frosting.  Hope you enjoy!

White Cake with Lemon Filling

1 Box White Cake Mix + Ingredients to Prepare
1 Can White Frosting (or one batch of your favorite homemade vanilla frosting)

Lemon Filling Ingredients:
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
2 Egg Yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice 
Yellow Food Coloring (optional)

Cake Instructions:
Step 1:  Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.  Preheat the oven per the directions on the cake mix box.
Step 2:  Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box.  Pour into the cake pan and bake as directed.  
Step 3:  Once cake is baked, set aside and let cool completely.

Lemon Filling Instructions:
Step 1:  In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and the cornstarch.  Gradually stir in the water.  Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils.  Boils and stir for 1 minute.

Step 2:  Gradually stir in at least half the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Stir well.  Pour that mixture back into the pan.  Boil and stir for 1 more minute.  Remove from heat.

Step 3:  Stir in the butter, lemon juice and food coloring.  Set aside and let cool.  Store in fridge until the cake is completely cooled.

To Assemble:
Step 1:  Remove the cake from the pan.  The easiest way I know to do this, is to run a butter knife around the edge of the pan.  Then, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap.  Standing over a counter or table (so you have someplace to place the cake) - tip the pan upside down and set on the table.  Lift the pan and if you had greased and floured your pan well, the cake should have popped right out.

Step 2:  Slice the cake in half.  To do so evenly, I like to mark the edge with toothpicks.  I use a ruler to measure where the middle of cake is on the edge and then place a toothpick there.  I do this twice on each short end and three times on each long side.  Using a serrated knife, gently saw through the cake, aiming for the toothpicks as markers.  You should know have two slabs of cake.

Step 3:  Place the bottom of the cake (1 slab) back into the cake pan with the cut side on top.  Slather on the lemon curd in an even layer.  Place the top of the cake onto the curd.  

Step 4:  Frost with your favorite vanilla frosting.  I recommend a soft frosting - because you will need to store this cake in the fridge due to the lemon curd.  Stiff frosting will be hard to cut through when refrigerated. 

Store the cake in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sunny Italy Hot Dish

Looking for a great way to change up your ho-hum spaghetti routine?  This recipe could be the winner for you!  It's all your regular spaghetti ingredients spiffed up some extra cheese and pepperoni and then baked.  Not only is it delicious, you can assemble it ahead of time - and then bake it later.  Yeah baby - that's my kind of recipe!  We are in full blown hockey season here, so I assembled this in the morning before I went work.  Later that day, I just popped into a preheated oven and voila!  Delicious dinner, happy hockey player.

Sunny Italy Hot Dish
Serves 6-8

1 LB Ground Meat (I use sweet italian sausage)
1 LB Shredded Mozzarella (approximately 2 cups)
1/2 LB Spaghetti Noodles
1 Egg
1 Cup Milk
28 OZ Spaghetti Sauce
Parmesan Cheese

Step 1:  Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.

Step 2:  Brown the ground meat and drain.  Meanwhile, cook the noodles as directed on the package.  
Step 3:  Drain the noodles and place in the 9x13 pan.  In a small bowl, mix together the egg and milk.  Pour it over the noodles.

Step 4:  Now, sprinkle the mozzarella over the noodles.  Then, sprinkle the cooked, ground meat over the mozzarella.   Pour the spaghetti sauce over the ground meat.  Top with pepperoni and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.

Step 5:  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes-1 hour or until hot in the center.

To make ahead, complete steps 1-4.  Then, cover the pan and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.  When it's time to bake it, you may need to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Yum.  Mad props to my girlfriend who originally shared this recipe many, many years ago.  My family loves, loves, loves it! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Spanish Rice

Here is my favorite recipe for Spanish Rice.  Once you make this, you will never go back to buying the canned or boxed version.  Trust me, this is easy and delicious!  Added bonus:  this freezes great!  Cook up a double batch and freeze half . . .then thaw out at a later date.  Totally worth it.  Ole!

Spanish Rice
Serves 4-6

1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/8 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
14 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
3/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Uncooked Minute Rice
1/4 Cup Chili Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Celery Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

In a large saucepan, add the butter and saute the onion and green pepper until fragrant and translucent (do not let it get brown).  Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the cheese.  Simmer on low and uncovered until thick - about 35 minutes.  Check frequently and stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the pan.  To serve, sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Close your eyes and set the way-back-machine to 1996.  Alanis Morissette, 2Pac, Coolio, Oasis . . .baggy sweaters, clunky loafers, tall socks and CKOne.  Good times my friends, good times . . .and that's where I first learned about these amazing Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.  I was in college and a friend-of-a-friend used to make these enchiladas along with Spanish rice on the side.  

This recipe is pure nostalgia for me . . but the I love the flavors.  They are not spicy, but creamy and oh-so very flavorful.  Yum.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4-6

1 (12-count) Package of Flour Tortillas, 6-inch size
4 oz Can of Green Chiles
2 Cups Shredded Chicken (cooked)
1 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
5 TB Butter, divided
1/4 Cup Flour
1 and 1/2 Cups Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 and 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

Step 1:  Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by greasing it or spraying with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, combine the chicken and green chiles.  Set aside.  

Step 3:  In a large sauce pan, add 2 Tablespoons of butter and the onion and green pepper.  Saute until tender.  Add to the onion/pepper mixture to the bowl with the chicken.  Set aside.

Step 4:  In the same (now empty) sauce pan, melt the remaining butter (3 TB).  Stir in the flour, coriander and salt. It will form a thick paste.  This is good and this is what you want! 

Step 5:  Slowly add in the chicken broth to the flour paste you just made by adding a little broth at a time and stirring until well combined.  Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.  This should only take a few minutes.  Once thickened, stir in the sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Step 6:  Take 1/2 cup of the sauce you created and add it to the chicken mixture.  Stir to combine.

Step 7:  Time to assemble!!  Take one tortilla and place approximately 1/4 cup of the chicken filling on top of it and then roll it up.  Place it in the baking pan and repeat until all the tortillas are filled.  

Step 8:  Pour the sauce over filled tortillas and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes (until heated through, hot and bubbly).  

Serve it up with some Spanish Rice and you will be patting yourself on the back and waiting for more!