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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weekly Menu 10/27+


roasted chicken
creamy corn
green beans
caramel apple cake

italian chili
corn muffins

pot roast
mashed potatoes

chicken enchiladas verdes
yellow squash
spanish rice

grilled cheese
extra veggie salad

beef with snow peas
frozen egg rolls
extra sugary candy

frito pie

--Since chickens are on sale this week at Randalls, plan to cook at least one extra chicken tonight and save for chicken enchiladas Tuesday and that makes a double batch so you’ll get a freezer meal for the upcoming holiday season. 
--After you get all the chicken off the bone, pour the drippings on top of the meat and put it all in the fridge. 
--You can also cook an extra chicken tonight for the enchiladas on Tuesday; you can even assemble them tonight to save time on Tuesday. 
--The cake portion is pretty dense, likely thanks to the sour cream. I made mine with three apples, vs. the 2 recommended in the recipe. Also I used an 8” skillet and barely had enough batter to cover the apples, so I can’t imagine stretching that into a 10” skillet. The areas where the caramel came up onto the cake portions were very good. I think a less serious attempt at covering the apples is the way to go.

Roasted Chicken
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Poultry seasoning
2-3T butter (per chicken)
Combine all of the spices in a small bowl.  About 1 tsp per spice is good per chicken. 

Creamy Chili Cheese Corn (Quick Cooking)
8 oz cream cheese
2T butter
4c frozen corn, thawed or 2 cans corn, drained
4 oz chopped green chilies
¼ c milk
¼ t garlic salt
1/8 t salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
In large saucepan, combine cream cheese and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.

 Green beans

Caramelized Apple Cake (Family Circle)
1 ½ c flour
1 ½ t baking powder
½ t salt
½ c (1 stick) + 5T butter
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
½ c sour cream
½ c brown sugar
2-3 large apples (peeled, if you want)
½ t cinnamon
Heat oven to 375.  Using electric mixer on high speed, beat ½ c of butter until creamy.  Add sugar until fluffy, then eggs and vanilla.  Reduce speed.  Add dry ingredients, salt and baking powder, first and then flour.  Finally add sour cream. 
Melt remaining butter in a 10” cast iron skillet.  Add brown sugar and ½ tsp of cinnamon if desired; stir 2 minutes.  Add apple slices and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.  Let cool for five minutes.  Spoon batter over apples and spread to edge of pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool on rack for 20 minutes.  Run knife around edge.  Carefully invert onto a plate. 

Italian Chili
1c cooked ground beef
½ c cooked bulk Italian sausage
28 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz tomato sauce
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped red bell pepper
1 c water
½ c chopped celery
¼ c beef broth
1T chili powder
1T basil
1T oregano
1t sugar
1t minced garlic (1 clove)
½ t salt
16 oz kidney beans (optional J)
1c sliced fresh mushrooms
1c diced zucchini
3T parsley

Combine all ingredients, except beans, mushrooms, zucchini and parsley, into slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for six or more hours until veggies are tender.  Add remaining ingredients.  Serve with mozzarella cheese. 

Jiffy corn muffin mix
½ t sugar
½ c cheddar cheese
2T minced green onions

Prepare corn bread according to directions, add remaining ingredients.  Let sit for five minutes.  Pour into a greased hot cast iron skillet or muffin tin. 

--Tonight we cook in the crockpot.  I really liked Pioneer Woman’s beer braised beef from a couple weeks ago and since pot roasts are on sale this week at Randall’s I’ll be doing that again. If you don’t like beer, then feel free to just use beef broth or bullion for your liquid. 
--PW uses the oven, just put it all in the crockpot instead and you’ll have equally delicious results without having to be at home for 3+ hours to make this meal happen. 
--Add 1-2T of olive oil to the mashed potatoes and they’ll have an extra bit of flavor. 

Beer Braised Beef (Pioneer Woman)
1 whole Chuck Roast, 2 1/2 To 5 Pounds
Salt And Pepper To Taste (Be Generous!)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Onions, Peeled And Sliced Thick
5 cloves Garlic Chopped
2 cans Beer
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
½ teaspoons Rosemary Leaves
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high heat.
Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Sear meat on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove meat from pan. Lower heat to medium.
Throw in onions and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Pour in beer, and add thyme, rosemary, and salt to taste—about 1 teaspoon. (Do not undersalt!) Add meat to pot, put to submerge, and place lid on pot.
Cook in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until meat is fork tender and falling apart.
Shred meat with two forks. Serve on dinner plates and spoon juice and onions over the top

Mashed Potatoes

--The original recipe was enough to make four pans of enchiladas.  That seems like a lot when you don’t know if the recipe is really good or not.  So know that this recipe can easily be doubled and you’ll have plenty of meals to share with friends who need a meal. 

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
4lb chicken, cooked and deboned
32 oz mild salsa verde
4 c fresh cilantro
16 oz sour cream
16 oz frozen corn, thawed
4 c grated Monterey jack cheese
Salt & pepper
16 6” flour tortillas
In a blender or large bowl + hand blender, puree the salsa, cilantro and half of sour cream until smooth.  Pour sauce into a saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, 15-20 minutes.  Stir in remaining sour cream.   Place chicken from earlier in the week or from freezer in the large bowl that you pureed your sauce in.  Add corn, half of jack cheese, ½ c sauce, ½ tsp each salt and pepper.  Toss to combine. 

Spread 1 c  (2 cups total) of remaining sauce into two 9x13 roll the chicken mixture into the tortillas (about ½ c per tortilla) and place seam side down in the dishes (8 per dish).  Top each pan with 1c each of the remaining sauce and cheese.  Bake one pan’s worth at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Freeze the other pan first covering with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil.  Be sure to write what is inside and also the directions on how to bake.  Thaw, bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 

Spanish Rice
Yellow Squash

--Tonight is one of those 10% nights.  You know where you throw caution to the wind and eat a bunch of junk.  If you only do that 10% of the time and eat well 90% of the rest of the time, then you are doing things right.  Because of that, I included a list of extra veggies to throw on a salad. 
--If you want to get kids in the mood for the night, use pumpernickel bread and cheddar cheese.  You could also cut the sandwiches into pumpkin shapes with a knife or cookie cutter before grilling. 
--Wash extra lettuce tonight for a salad later in the week.  Don’t cut or tear the lettuce until Thursday, but you’ll have the first step taken care of. 

Grilled Cheese sandwiches with lunch meat
Extra veggie salad
Chopped yellow squash
Shredded carrots
Wash the veggies, dry the lettuce in a clean dish towel, peel things that should be peeled.  Chop, shred, dice.  Mix it all together and eat. 

Dessert: 5 KitKats, 4 peanut butter cups, 4 packs of sweetarts, 2 snickers minis….

--You can use another cut of meat for this, maybe buy an extra-large roast and cut off some of that for this recipe to save money.  Flank steak is about $3.50/lb vs. $2/lb for the roast if you catch it on sale. 
--Or you could use leftover cooked roast from Tuesday to work into this.

Beef with Snow Peas (Pioneer Woman)
1-½ pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sherry Or Cooking Sherry
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Half-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.
Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.
Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.
Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Need ideas for what to do with all that leftover Halloween candy?  Check out these ideas from Real Simple magazine;

Frozen resees banana pops: cut banana in half crosswise.  Insert a wooden stick into each piece.  Freeze the bananas and 4 peanut butter cups for two hours (better set a timer).  Chop the frozen candy.  Coat the frozen bananas in six ounces melted chocolate; sprinkle or roll with candy.  Freeze on parchment/wax paper lined plate until firm. 

Candy pretzel bark: line a pan with parchment/wax paper, leaving an overhang.  Spread 8 oz melted white chocolate in the prepared pan and sprinkle with 1c miniature pretzels, peanuts, dried cranberries, and chopped up candy.  Chill until firm.  Remove from the pan and break into pieces. 

Other ideas: skittle meringues, peppermint patty brownies, dulce de leche snickers terrine, twix cheesecake pie, peanut m&m and jelly cookies, twizzler popcorn snack mix, sweetarts milk shake, kit kat filled angel food cake. 

Do your teeth hurt yet?  The recipes all say to add more sugar to the sugar you are trying to 'get rid of', serve and peel the family off the ceiling 10 minutes later.  Perhaps a game of tag outside is a good idea.  J

Frito Pie
Ground beef (cooked from freezer)
Can of diced tomatoes
1 c or can of beans (optional)
1-2T chili powder
1t cumin
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine first six ingredients and simmer on the stove for 15-20 minutes.  Put fritos in a bowl.  Top with cheese, then top with chili.  Add a little more cheese if you like to see it and taste it. 

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