Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tamale Pie Dinner Muffins

Corn Bread
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg

Tamale Pie Filling
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef (browned and drained)
1 can cream-style or regular corn (or equivalent frozen)
1 1/2 tsp. chile powder
Optional: chopped olives, green peppers, onions

1. Make corn bread mixture:
  a. Combine dry ingredients.
  b. Stir in milk, oil, and egg.
  c. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened (do not over-mix).

2. Make tamale pie filling:
  a. Brown beef (and green peppers and onions if desired), then drain.
  b. Add remaining ingredients (corn, chile powder, olives) and mix together.

3. Grease muffin pan.  Pour in a layer of corn bread mixture, then a layer of tamale pie filling, then another layer of corn bread mixture into each cup of the muffin pan.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until corn bread is golden brown on top.

Notes: The proportion of ingredients for the corn bread and the filling may be off a little (there may be more filling than corn bread), since this is just a combination of 2 different recipes.  See also our Tamale Pie recipe.  I believe Brittany's sister, Kimberly, came up with the idea to make these.  Other fillings can also be used.

Homemade Pizza

BBQ Ranch Pizza

Pizza Dough
3/4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. (or 1 package) yeast
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. shortening

1/2 - 3/4 c. light sour cream
Ranch dressing (dry) mix
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
BBQ sauce
Green pepper, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Sift together all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Cut in shortening. Add yeast and water mixture to flour mixture. Mix well with a fork and knead until smooth. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
2. While dough is resting, prepare toppings. For the sauce, combine sour cream and your desired amount of dry ranch dressing mix. Start with a little bit and taste as you add to your liking. Add desired amount of BBQ sauce to shredded chicken.
3. Press dough onto a greased pizza pan or place on a preheated pizza stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. (If using a pizza stone, you may want to shape the dough and add the toppings, then transfer it to the pizza stone, although this can be tricky without a pizza peel.)
4. Assemble the pizza by adding sauce, shredded chicken, green peppers, green onions, pineapple, and cheese.
5. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and crust is cooked through.

Jalapeno Bacon Pizza

1 pizza dough recipe (above)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
Bacon, cooked and chopped
Red onion, chopped (optional)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Prepare pizza dough by following the instructions above.
2. If you want a spicy sauce, add some of the seeds from the pepper to the cream cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is soft enough to spread over the pizza crust.
3. Press dough onto a greased pizza pan or place on a preheated pizza stone that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. (If using a pizza stone, you may want to shape the dough and add the toppings, then transfer it to the pizza stone, although this can be tricky without a pizza peel.)
4. Assemble the pizza by adding cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon, onion, and mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and crust is cooked through.

This is one of John's favorite meals. You can make the crust with all white flour, but we have found that the half-wheat crust really enhances the flavor. I got the topping ideas from my sister, Kimberly, who makes really delicious pizzas! See also: Scrambled Egg Pizza.

Fried Rice

2 eggs, beaten
3-4 slices cooked ham, chopped
1 c. frozen peas
1 carrot, shredded
4 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy sauce, if desired

1. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Scramble eggs in skillet. Remove from pan and keep warm. Heat chopped ham in skillet until slightly brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
2. Add peas and carrots to skillet and cook for a couple minutes until they are tender. Add rice, cooked eggs and ham to the skillet and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, serve with soy sauce.

Dinner Braids

Enough bread dough for one loaf of bread (Brittany has a homemade bread recipe here)
Your choice of ingredients for the filling (see some options below)

I found it a little difficult to write the instructions in a clear way of how to braid the dough, and since we don't have a picture of the entire bread braid, I searched for a video that you can watch to see how it is done. You can use any combination of ingredients that you would like. This is a recipe that you can be very creative with. You can find the video here.

Just a few notes on what I do a little differently than the lady in the video: I roll the dough out onto my greased cookie sheet so that I don't have to transfer it later. Instead of using a ruler, I just eyeball it and try to make my strips equal. I also cut the strips using the edge of a large metal spatula, since it is about the length needed for the strips. You can choose to brush the dough with an egg white, or you can bake the braid without brushing it. If you add bread crumbs or spices on top, though, you will want to brush it with an egg white, oil, or melted butter. This recipe isn't as complicated as it seems, and is a fun variation of some common meals.

Dinner Braid Fillings
Chicken Broccoli and Cheese
1 ½ to 2 C. cooked shredded chicken
1 to 2 C. cooked broccoli
½ can cream of chicken soup or chicken gravy or more to taste
1 C. cheddar cheese

Chicken Cordon Bleu Braid
Ham or canadian bacon slices—enough to layer on bottom of braid
1 C. cooked shredded chicken
1 C. shredded swiss cheese
Layer the ingredients on the middle section of dough; braid. Spread egg wash or oil on braid and sprinkle seasoned bread crumbs on top before you let it raise. Bake.  You may pour gravy on to serve.

Taco Braid
½ to 1 lb. cooked ground beef flavored with taco flavoring
½ to 1 C. favorite cooked beans (kidney, black, pinto, refried, etc.)
Diced tomatoes
Green onions
Sliced olives
Cheddar cheese
Any other taco toppings that would bake well.

Chicken and Cream Cheese
2 cups cooked chicken shredded
cream cheese
green onions
Mix together and fill in braid.

Cream Cheese Dessert Braid
4 oz. softened cream cheese
½ C. powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Mix together well and spread in middle section of braid. Spread a small layer of jam or fresh fruit on top—you don't need a whole lot. Braid and bake. After it comes out of the oven, let it cool for 5-10 minutes then spread frosting on.

Frosting –this is about twice as much as you will need for one braid, so you can half it.
2 C. powdered sugar
¼ C. softened butter
½ tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. water

Other ideas
Chicken alfredo with peas, broccoli, carrots (all vegetables pre-cooked)
Cabbage bun filling (see here)
Pizza toppings—any variety, Hawaiian, supreme, etc.
BBQ pork or beef
Sloppy Joe

Chicken Club Brunch Ring

1 c. mayo
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. onion
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 can chicken or 2 shredded chicken breasts
1 c. Swiss cheese
2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine mayo, mustard, parsley, and onion. Mix well. In a 2nd bowl mix bacon, chicken, cheese, and 1/3 cup mayo mixture. Arrange crescent rolls on circular pizza pan with points of triangle hanging over the edge and wide ends overlapping. Place chicken mixture on rolls. Pull point to wide end and tuck under. Slice tomatoes and put on each roll. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve the leftover mayo mixture as dipping sauce.

Notes: This is another recipe we made a while ago from the Recipes and Remembrances cook book.  I had forgotten about it until I went looking through old photos.  I remember really liking it.  The raw onions in the leftover dipping sauce were too strong for my taste, though.  I prefer my onions cooked.

We tried this with taco meat, sour cream, and cheese as the filling.  It was also tasty that way, although I think I prefer the original.

Crockpot Beef Enchiladas

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1 (15 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 tomato, chopped
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 (7-inch) tortillas

In a skillet, brown and drain ground beef.  Add onion and pepper.  Add beans, chilies, enchilada sauce and tomato.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.  In crock pot, layer some beef mixture on bottom, then cover with a tortilla, then cheese.  Repeat over and over until meat mixture is gone, reserving some cheese for later.  Cook on low for 4 hours.  Add cheese on top for last hour.

Notes: We actually had this a few months ago, so I don't remember too many details.  I believe the tortillas we used more or less disintegrated, and, as can be seen from the photo, it didn't really end up looking like an enchilada.  Still, it was tasty and we enjoyed it.  The recipe comes from the Prairie 4th Ward's Recipes and Remembrances 2nd Edition cook book.