Jambalaya in the Nesco

Recipes in this PostJambalaya

In the midst of the last move, I forgot to close out the old gas bill. When I called to turn on the gas in the new place, no one mentioned it, and I still didn’t think about it. Then, I get this nasty letter from the gas company saying that they are going to turn off my gas in the new place if I don’t immediately pay the old bill, and that I have to call a certain phone number when I make the payment. To make sure that the payment is properly recorded, I went to the local gas company on July 2, 2013 and paid the bill in person. Then I called the special number at about 3:30pm and got a recorded message that the gas company was open from 8:00am to 5:15pm. I figured all the lines were busy, so I waited a few minutes and called again, and still got the same recording. I figured that in the information age, the payment would be recorded and all would be well.

I was wrong. When I got home yesterday, Monday, July 8, 2013, Spane and I were hungry, so I started dinner early, at 4:30. I chopped the vegetables, cut the meat, put butter in the pan, turned the knob – and ……. nothing. No gas. I called the gas company, the special number and again was told that the office was open from 8:00am to 5:15pm, a full 45 minutes before the office was supposed to close. When calling the regular number, I got a nice woman who I kept on apologizing to because I was so mad, and she said the gas would be turned back on tomorrow, Wednesday, July 10, 2013 between 8:00am and 5:00pm, and to make sure that all pets were secure and gates open. I chuckled and said, “Humph, you didn’t seem to have any problems turning it off, did you?”

That meant that today, I don’t have gas. I have been on the phone with them, and have asked for a supervisor. I’m still waiting for a call back, but I’m not waiting anymore to make dinner. I have a small Nesco, and I’m going to make my Jambalaya in it. This is one of the reasons I have this wonderful roaster oven, so I can cook no matter what.

My recipe for Jambalaya follows, I have more recipes for foods perfect for the Nesco.

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Marinated Flank Steak Tacos

Corn vs Flour Tortilla Nutrition
  One Corn Tortilla One Flour Tortilla
Calories 40 110
Total Fat(g) 0.5 2.5
Carbs (g) 8 18
Fiber (g) 1 1
Sugar (g) 1 1
Protein (g) 1 3
Sodium (g) 5 320

Recipes in this Post

I love to find uncommon cuts of meat on sale. I found a flank steak that I was planning on stuffing, and put it in the refrigerator, hoping that it would get cool enough to warrant heating the kitchen to cook it.
Alas, that did not happen, and to prevent that meat from getting freezer burn, I decided to make tacos out of it.

I won’t use taco seasoning packets, they are full of fillers, salt and preservatives. Why pay for that stuff when you can make it at home – without all the nasty fillers and preservatives.

The great debate about tortillas. When Hernán Cortés invaded the Aztecs, they were using corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are a relatively recent import. Their popularity was driven by the low cost of inferior grades of wheat flour and by their ability to keep and ship well. Wheat tortillas don’t have much flavor, and are probably popular because their appeal to bland American taste buds. But, those taste buds need to change, as corn is a lot healthier than wheat, as you can see in the comparison table.

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Cinco De Mayo – Pork Loin Tacos and Microwave Mexican Rice

Flag of Mexico

Recipes in this Post

So, a few weeks ago I was at the market and there was a package of Uncle Ben’s Taco rice in the Manager’s Special section. I thought, hey, why not? It might be good. I prepared it according to package directions on Tuesday. When Spane tasted it, he made a face. I tasted it, and I made a face, too. I even put Tapatio on it, and sour cream, and it still tasted like dirty, old socks. Mind you, I’ve never tasted dirty, old socks, but I imagine they probably taste like that rice – horrible. Moral of the story, don’t by Uncle Ben’s flavored rice.

After that debacle, I was determined to make good Mexican rice, but my stove, Bertha, is on the fritz. I had to find another way to make it.

I also had a pork loin roast, and I wanted to marinate it, but, it too, could not be roasted in Bertha. I had to find another way for that as well.

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Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Recipes in this PostLasagna alla casa di Boswell - ricotta spinach sausage

A few days ago, I found a box of no-cook lasagna noodles in the sale section of the store. I had never tried no-cook lasagna noodles, so I bought them with the intent of making my own version of Lasagna.

I have been making this lasagna for many years, and it seems to get better every time.  Yes, it is time consuming, but the rewards for the taste buds are worth the time and effort.

I do not make a standard red sauce, although there are tomatoes in the sauce.  There is a lot of meat – a little over three pounds all together.  Mushrooms sautéed with shallots in butter and sherry. Italian sausage cooked and sliced on the bias.

I don’t like ricotta cheese, I never have.  A lot of people who don’t like it use cottage cheese instead, but although I don’t like the texture of ricotta, I do like the flavor, so to compensate for the texture, I add spinach, nutmeg and Parmesan to the ricotta.  It gives nice flavor with more nutrients as well.

This is a great lasagna. Don’t let the complexity of this dish put you off. Once the sauce is done, you are home free.

Recipe: Lasagna alla casa di Boswell

Ingredients

Sauce
  • 1 pound Ground beef
  • 1 pound Ground pork
  • 2 Garlic chopped
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 2 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Green pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 can Whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Ricotta Layer –
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 package Frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
– Mushroom Layer –
  • 10 Mushroom sliced
  • 1 Shallot chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dry sherry
– Other Layers –
  • 1 pound Italian sausage sliced
  • 2 cups Mozzarella sliced
  • 1 package Lasagna Noodles cooked (or uncooked in this case)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Make the sauce
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl it around so the whole pan is covered.
  • Sauté the vegetables until they are translucent.
  • Add the meat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, then add some of the milk.
  • Turn the heat down.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until you cannot see the milk. Then add more milk. Do this until all the milk has been incorporated.
  • When all the milk has combined, add the wine and the tomatoes, then cook down on low heat until the sauce is thick. Set aside.
  • Make the Ricotta layer

    1. Defrost and remove all the water from the spinach. You can do this by putting the spinach in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then add the ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Set aside.
    Make the Mushroom layer
    1. In a sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and let them cook until they are translucent, then add the mushrooms. Add the sherry. Sauté the mushrooms until they brown with the shallots in butter and sherry. Set aside.
    Make the sausage layer
    1. Pan fry the sausages on medium heat. Turn to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan, cool slightly, then slice them on the diagonal.
    Make the pasta layer:
    1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta just until it’s done, then drain and leave in cold water while assembling the lasagna.
    Assembly:
    1. Spread some of the sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan.
    2. Put a layer of pasta.
    3. Put the some of the sauce on the pasta, then put the mushrooms.
    4. Put a layer of pasta.
    5. Put a layer of sauce and mozzarella.
    6. Put a layer of pasta.
    7. Put the ricotta layer.
    8. Put a layer of pasta.
    9. Put some of the sauce and then the sausages.
    10. Put a layer of pasta.
    11. Put the rest of the sauce.
    12. Put the last layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan.
    13. Bake in a slow oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheeses are brown and bubbling.
    14. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 10 minutes so the lasagna can settle.

    Quick notes

    If you have sauce left over, freeze it for another dish.

    Variations

    If you don’t like spinach, you can omit it. If you don’t want to use pork sausage, you could use turkey sausage instead.

    Preparation time: 3 hour(s)

    Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

    Number of servings (yield): 8

    Culinary tradition: Italian

    My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 22 review(s)

    Copyright © The Good Plate.
    Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
    Microformatting by hRecipe.

    50 Again? Great Northern White Chicken Chili

    Recipes in this Post

    • Great Northern While Chili

      Well, it’s that time of year again. Until I was in my late thirties, it always rained on my birthday, then it stopped raining on my birthday. I was rather amused when I looked a the weather forecast and saw that it was supposed to rain on the 16th of February, 2011 in Los Angeles.

      As we have just moved in, and some things are still not completely organized, I thought I would make a simple dinner and a simple cake. It turned out I did not have to make the cake, my friend Adel brought a great cake from the bakery for me. But what to make for dinner on a cold, wet day?

      Chili, of course, was the answer – but not any chili – no I wanted something special for my birthday, and I remembered that I used to make Great Northern White Chili. I had not made it for years.

      The like this chili because it’s not too hot, so it’s perfect for people who don’t tolerate heat very well. I love a lot of heat, but I know a lot of people don’t. This chili is also rich because it has cream in it. This chili also does very well in the crock pot, just precook the ingredients and let the beans cook in the Crockpot.

      Recipe: Great Northern White Chili

      Summary: This is a great change from the usual bowl of red

      Ingredients

      • 1 package Great Northern Beans
      • 2 Pasilla Chilies
      • 1 Green Pepper
      • 1 Onion
      • 2 Garlic Cloves
      • 1 Chicken Breasts skinned and boned
      • 3 cans Chicken Stock
      • 1 tablespoon Oregano
      • 1 teaspoon Basil
      • 1 teaspoon Thyme
      • 1/4 cup Cream

      Instructions

      1. Rinse beans. Fill a large pot with beans and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat, let sit, covered for 2 hours. Drain beans and set aside.
      2. Char and peel chilies and green pepper.
      3. In food processor with chopping blade:
      4. 1. Chop charred peeled chilies and pepper.
      5. 2.Chop onion and garlic.
      6. 3. Chop cut up chicken breast.
      7. Reheat the pot and add oil. Add chilies, pepper and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.
      8. Add chicken and break up with a spatula as you sauté, about 5 minutes.
      9. Add beans and broth.
      10. Add seasonings.
      11. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are almost tender. Remove the cover and allow some of the broth to reduce.
      12. Add the cream and reduce further, stirring to prevent scorching.
      13. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.

      Quick notes

      This is also a very good dish for a Pot Luck.

      Variations

      You can make this in the Crockpot as well. Sauté the onions, pepper and chicken separately, then add them to the beans and liquid and cook for 8 hours.

      Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

      Cooking time: 8 hour(s)

      Number of servings (yield): 6

      Culinary tradition: USA (Southwestern)

      My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 10 review(s)

      Copyright © The Good Plate.
      Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
      Microformatting by hRecipe.