Southwest Egg Rolls

I got inspiration for this recipe sitting at a Chili’s in some airport.  I was eating this dish, and thought, “I could make this.” So now I do make this. This is my meatless version of the chicken egg rolls, but I have also made it with chicken. If you want your meat, just add a cup of diced cooked chicken to the corn-bean mixture

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  •  1 package of flour tortillas
  • toothpicks
  • cooking oil

NIGHT BEFORE

If you are using frozen vegetables, take them out of the freezer to defrost. Canned vegetables work fine also.

corn and black beans
corn and black beans

Chop the cilantro, onion, and jalapenos.

cilantro, jalapeno, and onion
cilantro, jalapeno, and onion

Mix the chopped vegetables with the corn and black beans. Stir in the garlic powder and cumin.

Mixing together the ingredients for the "eggrolls"
Mixing together the ingredients for the “egg rolls”

Place a couple of spoonfuls of the corn-bean mixture on the edge of a flour tortilla.

A couple of spoonfuls of corn-bean mixture on the tortilla
A couple of spoonfuls of corn-bean mixture on the tortilla

Fold one end over the mixture. Then fold the two sides and continue rolling the tortilla.

rolling the "eggrolls"
rolling the “egg rolls”

Secure with two toothpicks.

ready to fry
ready to fry

BEFORE SERVING

Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry the “egg rolls” until they are golden brown on all sides.

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Southwest egg rolls in a skillet

Remove the toothpicks and serve with sour cream, guacamole, or your favorite dipping sauce.

crispy and ready to dip in your favorite condiment
crispy and ready to dip in your favorite sauce

Cheesy Potatoes

I know most people consider potatoes a side dish, but I love cheesy potatoes enough that I consider it a meal. I hope you will enjoy my version of cheesy potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • about 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 chicken flavored seasoning packet from Ramen Noodles
  • 1 pound of grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup carmelized onions
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)

NIGHT BEFORE

Carmelize the onions if you don’t already have some stored in the freezer. This takes a LOT of time, so I do this whenever I have a big block of time to stay in the kitchen and then I throw them in a freezer bag and use them for soup or casserole. I use Alton Brown’s method of carmelizing onions.

Peel and slice the potatoes.

Sliced potatoes
Sliced potatoes

Cover them with water in a saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes until fork tender.

Sliced potatoes in water
Sliced potatoes in water

Be careful not to over cook them because you want them to hold together after they are boiled while you stir in the cheese sauce and other ingredients. Drain the potatoes and put them in a large mixing bowl.

Cook and chop the bacon if you plan to use bacon.

chopped bacon
chopped bacon

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter.

Melting Butter
Melting Butter

Then, add the flour.

Add the flour.
Add the flour.

Stir over low heat until it becomes a thick paste.

Flour and butter forms a thick paste.
Flour and butter forms a thick paste.

Add the milk and the chicken seasoning packet.

Chicken Flavor from a Ramen Noodle package
Chicken Flavor from a Ramen Noodle package

Whisk over medium-low heat until it thickens.

Add the milk.
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Add the cream cheese and all but about 4 ounces of the cheddar.   You want to save some to sprinkle on top of the potatoes. If the sauce becomes too thick, just add more milk.

Cheese Sauce
Cheese Sauce

Stir the cheese sauce, carmelized onions, and bacon into the potatoes.

MIxing the ingredients
MIxing the ingredients

Place the potato mixture in a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheddar.

Topped with grated cheddar
Topped with grated cheddar

BEFORE SERVING

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes until the potatoes are bubbly and brown.

Lightly browned and yummy!
Lightly browned and yummy!

Banana Nut Muffins

My personal claim to fame at my workplace is my ability to bake muffins. The most beloved muffins and the ones which I think I have perfected are the banana nut muffins. The great thing about bananas are their self-enclosed wrapper.  This means that when they become overripe, you can just stick them in the freezer in their peel.

frozen banana
frozen banana

About 3 bananas will get you enough to make 1 cup of mashed bananas for this recipe.  The photos show a double recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

First cream together butter, cooking oil, and brown sugar.

butter, cooking oil, and brown sugar
butter, cooking oil, and brown sugar

Then mix in the eggs. Measure the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a separate bowl.

flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder
flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder

Stir in the flour, then bananas, then flour alternately, ending with flour. Stir in nuts and heavy cream.

muffin batter
muffin batter

Spoon into a muffin tin.

muffins ready to go into the oven
muffins ready to go into the oven

This recipe makes 8 or 9 large muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes.  Then finish baking for about 16-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Check to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick in the center.

golden brown muffin
golden brown muffin

When the toothpick comes out clean they are done.

Golly

After I was an adult and had learned Spanish, I realized that this dish is actually Carne Guisada. However, my uncle was married to a Mexican woman who made this dish. We loved the dish and my dad asked her what it was. When she replied, “Carne guisada,” my dad responded, “Golly!” Therefore, in my family this dish was and still is called “Golly.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lbs cubed beef roast
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

NIGHT BEFORE

Chop the onion and jalapenos.

Chopped jalapenos and onion
Chopped jalapenos and onion

Cube the roast. Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker except the beef broth and cornstarch to the slow cooker.

Tomato sauce, onion, jalapenos, beef, garlic powder, and cumin in the slow cooker
Tomato sauce, onion, jalapenos, beef, garlic powder, and cumin in the slow cooker

BEFORE SERVING

Cook in the slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours. Remember, I use a lamp timer, so that it will start after I’ve already left the house because I’m gone for about 10 hours.

Whisk the broth and cornstarch together and add for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking to help thicken the sauce.

Cornstarch and Broth
Cornstarch and Broth

Serve over rice.

Golly over rice topped with sour cream and fresh jalapenos
Golly over rice topped with sour cream and fresh jalapenos

 

Asian Noodle Salad

My inspiration for this recipe comes from a Thai Noodle Salad I once had on a cruise ship and my desire to use the left over Special Sauce from my lettuce wraps recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • about 5 oz. Bean Thread Noodles or other rice noodles
  • 1 bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cucumber (seeded and sliced)
  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • 1/4 cup basil (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro(chopped)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef (optional)
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts

DRESSING (AKA Special Sauce for Lettuce Wraps) INGREDIENTS

  • 2  T. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/8 t. sesame oil
  • 1/2 T. hot mustard
  • 1 t. red chili paste

NIGHT BEFORE

Soak the rice noodles in warm water according to the package directions.

Bean Thread Noodles
Bean Thread Noodles

Slice the bell pepper,  onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Julienne the carrot.

Sliced Bell pepper
Sliced Bell pepper
Seeded and sliced cucumber
Seeded and sliced cucumber
halved cherry tomatoes
halved cherry tomatoes
sliced onion
sliced onion
julienned carrot
julienned carrot
basil and cilantro
basil and cilantro

Chop the cilantro and basil. Brown the ground beef. Mix together Dressing ingredients.

Dressing for Asian Noodle Salad
Dressing for Asian Noodle Salad

Mix together all of the ingredients except the peanuts. Stir in the dressing.  Refrigerate.

BEFORE SERVING

Toss the salad and add the peanuts when you are ready to serve.

Asian Noodle Salad
Asian Noodle Salad