Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Time to Celebrate

December kicked off the release of my novella, Christmas of Hope, available from Red Rose Publishing. If you're looking for a funny, heartwarming read pick up your copy today. Its time to celebrate and that means food.

It's cold in Houston. In fact, its been downright freezing at night at that puts me in the mood for certain food.

Here's a Rachel Ray recipe I really like. I hope I have all the stuff to make it tonight.

Super Nachos
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Adjustments made by Keelia Greer

2 bags corn tortilla chips in 2 colors or different. Or your two favorite flavors. (I used Doritos Corn chips and it was fine.)

Pico de Gallo Salsa:
4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, for medium to hot heat level
1 small white onion, chopped
¼ cup, 2 handfuls, cilantro leaves finely chopped-substitute parsley, if cilantro is not to your liking

Beef and Beans Topping:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground sirloin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons dark chili powder
1 ½ ground cumin, half a palmful
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce, giving you a medium to hot heat level
1 can black beans, 15 ounces drained

*Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
¾ pound pepper jack cheese, shredded, about 2 ½ cups. (I use Colby-Jack cheese and a bit of Velveeta)

*Or, you can use the cheese in the jar and heat it up. Another idea, make a small to medium batch of Velveeta Cheese dip and use it.

Additional toppings, optional:
Sour cream, chopped black olives, sliced avocado, dressed with lemon juice.

Arrange chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.
Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and sauté 2 minutes, then add the meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.

In a medium sauce pot melt butter and ad flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.

Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. Serve immediately.

The other day I pulled out the crock pot and tossed in a small roast, potatoes and carrots. I let it cook all night on low and the meat pulled apart with a fork.

This next recipe is from my mother-in-law. If there were any leftovers, it was who made it to the refrigerator first.

Meatballs Suisse

(1) 10 ¾ oz can cream of mushroom soup, diluted with 1 can of milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup of uncooked rice
¾ chopped onion
1 tsp salt (optional)
¼ tsp. oregano leaves or Italian seasoning
1/3 tsp pepper
shortening or cooking oil, enough to cover the pan

*I also add some Worchestershire sauce to the meat mixture

Dilute soup with milk. Add 1/3 cup of soup mixture to ground beef and next 5 ingredients; mix well.

Form into balls and brown on all sides in shortening in skillet. (They have a tendency to stick.) Transfer to a skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Put browned meatballs in the skillet and pour the remaining soup mixture over the meatballs. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. *Stir very gently since they easily fall apart.
If sauce is too thick add extra milk.

4-5 servings.

I hope the recipes will help make a few of these cold days pass quicker. My books will also add some steam into your life. Be sure to check out my titles from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Aspen Mountain Press and Red Rose Publishing under the names, Tambra Kendall.
You can find my Keelia Greer titles from Red Rose Publishing and Highland Press.

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posted by Tambra at 8:29 pm


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