Recipe roundup, leftover style.

I have been ultra busy, but as always, I have been cooking and eating.  This post will be a round up of some of the dishes I have made over the past week or so.  We will be talking a lot about leftovers today.

I hate to waste food.  The only dish in this post to use ingredients that were specifically purchased for a recipe is the green bean casserole I made.  The rest are odds and bits that were hanging around in the fridge, too small to make a meal, but perfect to add to a few other morsels to make a great meal.  When ever I pull like that off, I am very proud.

I made a delicious green bean casserole using this recipe.

My only adjustments were to use two tablespoons of flour, white mushrooms, and a 16 ounce bag of frozen french cut green beans.  I added more flour, because the recipe wasn’t thickening the way I wanted it to.  I would highly recommend making this casserole.  I have never liked the one that uses  canned soup, but this dish is amazing.

As you read in a previous post, I made so-so enchiladas. I had a little leftover enchilada sauce that I hated to waste, so the Sorta Enchilada Pie was born.  Here it is before it went into the oven:

This pie used a lot of leftovers, yippee! I layered three tortillas in the bottom of a greased Pyrex pie plate, making sure the whole bottom of the pie plate. Next, I layered some shredded cheddar cheese on the tortillas, then a layer of my homemade salsa (see recipe below).  Next, I added a layer of chopped, about to be inedible  red and orange peppers and I diced up a tiny hunk of red onion to add to this layer.  I covered the veggie layer with some more salsa.  Next, I mixed the remainder of the enchilada sauce with about 1/2 cup of black beans and spread the beans on top of the salsa and topped the whole pie with more shredded cheese and a sprinkle of chili powder.  I covered the pie with foil and popped it in the oven on 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, just long enough to warm the pie and melt the cheese.

The consensus on the pie? It needed more cheese.   Also,  I think some black olives and jalapeno peppers would have improved the flavor.

In case you were wondering about my homemade salsa, here is the recipe:

Mandy’s  Fresh Salsa

1 or 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes ( I prefer to make this in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh, but any tomatoes will do)

1/2 cup chopped red onions

A squirt of lime juice

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder to taste

1 seeded and diced jalapeno pepper  (optional, but remember to wear gloves when cooking with fresh jalapenos)

Mix together and refrigerate for a least one hour to let the flavors meld.

My last post mentioned the Celebration Roast.  Since I hate to waste food, I decided to doctor up what was left of the roast along with some other odds and ends in the fridge.  I sauteed garlic and red onions together in olive oil and added the mushrooms, cooking until tender.  I had mushrooms on hand because I bought too many for the green bean casserole.  I sliced the roast into strips and added the remainder of my bottle of a bottle of Pickapeppa sauce (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons) and a few dashes of liquid smoke.  As you can see here, I let it cook down for a little while in my cast iron frying pan.

The good thing was, all of the other ingredients killed the overwhelming sage flavor. I used a sesame seed bun leftover from earlier in the week and spread on it some nacho cheese jalapeno dip.  I spooned some of the roast and mushroom mixture on the bun and dug it.

It was tasty, but because I don’t think I will ever buy the Celebration Roast again, I would use seitan to make this in the future.

And there you have it, a week or so of meals in review.  I love the challenge of using leftovers, don’t you?  For my next trick, er, recipe, I plan on using the leftover black beans and some sweet red peppers to make some sort of spread/dip.

I hope you all have a great day and keep cooking!

Polka dots, enchiladas, and frogs.

We had some not-so-fresh flour tortillas in the fridge, so I decided to make enchiladas.  I love to make enchiladas because they are easy  to throw together and they are tasty.    I grabbed some Old El Paso enchilada sauce, a can of black olives, some chopped red onions, cheddar cheese, a spice mixture I mixed up, and made enchiladas.

I have made many batches of enchiladas, but the best ones I have ever made were the exploding enchiladas. It is worth your time to click on the link and read the story/see the photo. Those particular enchiladas were the most delicious enchiladas I have ever made.

This particular batch was mediocre. The tortillas were sorta stale, so they didn’t roll as easily as fresh ones would. I ran out of cheese, so they didn’t have the normal, delicious layer of cheese on top. Also, my spice mixture is simply hot paprika, white pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. I sprinkle the mixture inside the enchiladas and on the top of the whole thing. It gives the dish a kick.

Here is a photo of me and tonight’s enchiladas. This is the outfit I wore to work and would have been the outfit I would have worn tonight to the Robyn Hitchcock concert, had it not been canceled for this evening. Also featured, my cat Isabella and my frog potholders.

I hope you are all doing well. Have a great day and keep cooking!

The spice!

Now, I admit I have never seen Dune, so I am not sure I am using that correctly. But I am here today to talk to you about spice blends, specifically a blend I made the other day.

As the cliche goes, necessity is the mother of invention. I was making enchiladas the other night (sorry no photos, they were snarfed too fast for that) and I love to sprinkle a little chili powder and other spices on top of the cheese before I roll up the tortilla. Unfortunately, there was nary a grain of this beloved spice to be found.

I decided that the enchiladas would just be boring without the spices, so I came up with this:

Regular paprika
Hot paprika (Try this if you can find it! OMG!)
White pepper
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Cumin

Of course, all the spices are measured to taste 🙂

This was fantastic! I just bought some chili powder today, but the next time I need a spice blend, I am using this, plus chili powder.

On a related cooking note, last night I threw together one of my famous refrigerator meals. I am sure you have made your share of refrigerator meals, the ones where you clean out the fridge and end up making one of the tastiest things you have ever eaten.

I made a casserole thingy with a crust. It has portobello mushrooms, broccoli, onions, garlic, various cheeses, and Quorn pieces with a croissant crust on top and bottom. We are having leftovers tonight, so I will snap a photo and post the recipe tomorrow if I have time.

Remember, have a great day and keep cooking!