Friday, April 17, 2009

Tortilla Pie with Chicken

From Everyday Food, April 2009

12 corn tortillas (6-inch), toasted
2 cups cooked, shredded dark-meat chicken
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1 1/2 cups Green or Red Salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In an 8-inch square baking dish, layer 4 tortillas, 1 cup chicken, cup chiles, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/3 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup cheese; repeat once. Top with remaining tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cheese. Bake until top is browned and bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 4.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Meat Loaf in a Breadbasket

This recipe is from the early 1980's--probably from the SF Chronicle; we made it a number of times for canoe trips when we lived in Minnesota. --PKS

It's not a poor man's Wellington, it's meat loaf in a breadbasket.

Wedges of meat loaf baked in a bread round make warming fare for wnter picnics.

Wrapped in an overcoat of crusty French bread, somewhat remindful of the celebrated Beef Wellington filet-in-a-wrapper, this warm, vegetable-laced meat loaf makes a satisfying and easy-to-carry entrée for cool-weather picnics. And with the help of a food processor, you can quickly prepare a meat mixture that's lean enough to bake right inside the bread.

First chop beef round or well-trimmed beef chuck in the food processor until medium-fine in texture. Then process bread crumbs, parsley, onions, and cheese in the machine, blend them with eggs and seasonings, and shape the mixture into a loaf.

Once the savory sandwich loaf is baked and wrapped in foil, it will keep warm as long as 3 hours. Serve it in wedges accompanied with a mild cheese, relishes, and wine or other beverage.

Meat Loaf in a Breadbasket

1 large round loaf (1 1/2 lbs.) French bread, 9 to 10 inches in diameter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds beef round or chuck
1 small onion
1/2 cup packed parsley sprigs
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon each oregano leaves and dry basil
4 ounces jack or Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons soft butter

Using a long serrated knife, slice the bread in half horizontally. Pull soft bread out of both halves, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Then with the metal blade of a food processor, chop enough bread to make 1 1/4 cups crumbs, save the remaining bread for other uses. Turn crumbs into a large bowl; stir in the milk and let stand 5 minutes.

Trim excess fat from meat and cut into 1-inch cubes; you should have 3 cups. With the metal blade, chop 1 cup of the meat cubes at a time with on-off bursts until medium-fine. (Or grind cubes in a electric meat chopper.) add meat to bread crumbs.

Peel onion and cut into chunks. Place in the food processor with the parsley and process with metal blade using on-off bursts until coarsely chopped. Add eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to vegetables and process 2 seconds to blend; add to meat mixture.

Using the shredding disk, shred the cheese in the processor; add to other ingredients. Mix together all ingredients until blended. Pack meat mixture into bottom half of the bread shell; press lid firmly into place. Rub butter all over loaf.

Securely wrap loaf in a single thickness of heavy foil or a double thickness of lightweight foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350º oven for 2 hours.

Loosen foil to allow steam to escape; let stand 10 minutes. To transport, rewrap in foil and pack into a picnic basket; it should keep warm 3 hours. Cut loaf in wedges.

Serves 6 to 8

Lentil Soup with Smoky Ham

From Whole Foods Market

We really enjoyed this soup. Jim though the combination of herbs made it very balanced, but it was a little too herbaceous for me. Next time I make it I will omit the rosemary and sage. --PKS

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried green lentils
1/2 cup dried French lentils
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup finely chopped ham
1 ham bone (optional)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 bay leaf
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth, divided
Black pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar (for garnish)

Heat oil in large soup pot. Add garlic, carrots, celery and onions and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in green and French lentils, tomatoes, ham, ham bone, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, dried thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and bay leaf. Add 1 quart of the broth then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serves 8.

Stir contents of pot then cover again and simmer, adding more broth as needed to maintain a soupy consistency, 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until lentils are soft and tomatoes are broken down. Remove and discard bay leaf and ham bone then stir in chopped fresh thyme and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with drizzles of oil and balsamic vinegar and thyme sprigs.

Per serving (about 13oz/366g-wt.): 160 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 22g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 11g protein

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