Monday, October 27, 2014

Cornbread Taco Bake

We love tacos.  We love cornbread.  This one pot wonder was a no brainer for us.  Hearty, satisfying and easily put together, this is a great go to all through the fall and winter months.
The original recipe called for a ranch dressing drizzled over the top (no thank you), so we opt for fresh pico or restaurant style salsa instead.  Delicious.
We also switched out the rotisserie chicken with ground beef, and added a home made cornbread crust, rather than the store bought kind.  
Cornbread Taco Bake
Recipe modified from Barbara Bakes

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 c. flour
1 c. corn meal
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. milk

1 1/2 c. cheddar and pepperjack cheese blend
3 c. shredded romaine lettuce
1 c. chopped tomatoes
sour cream

Brown beef and onion in large skillet over medium heat.
Add jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper, and continue cooking until beef is done.
Stir in cilantro and tomatoes and heat through.

Meanwhile, add dry ingredients for crust and mix.
Add eggs, oil and milk and whisk to combine.

Remove beef mixture from skillet and wipe out with a paper towel.
Spray skillet with Pam, and pour cornbread mixture in.
Spoon beef mixture evenly over cornbread and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut into wedges.
Top with desired toppings.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quick Caramelized Chard and Onions

This hearty side dish comes together quickly and balances perfectly with a light sauce of butter, vinegar and a touch of brown sugar.
This recipe works well with any green that can hold its shape, not just chard, and I've tried it without the onions as well if I'm really short on time.  
Quick Caramelized Chard and Onions
Recipe modified from My Recipes 

1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 onions, sliced thin
16 c. chopped swiss chard
2 Tbsp. water
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar, to taste

Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet and add onions.
Lightly salt and pepper onions and let cook until starting to brown, 10 minutes.
Add water and chard, and stir to coat.
Cook until chard is just wilted, about 4 minutes.
Stir in vinegar and brown sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Soft Pretzel Rolls

Soft pretzels...  Use these to upgrade your everyday sandwich to something spectacular.  Bypass the roll idea all together and form actual pretzels.  Whatever you choose, this is a winner.  Soft and chewy on the inside with that classic salty, slightly crunchy exterior.  These are a must have for every baker.

Pretzel Rolls
Recipe and technique combined from The Kitchn and Our Best Bites 

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 3/4 - 5 c. flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. melted butter
1 egg, separated
1/4 c. baking soda
8 c. water

In large measuring cup, combine warm water, sugar and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
In mixing bowl combine salt and 4 1/2 c. flour.
Add melted butter, egg yolk and yeast mixture to flour, and mix to combine.
Turn on mixer and slowly add additional flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until dough pulls away from sides.
Mix or knead dough for 6-8 minutes.
Knead dough to form a ball, return to bowl, and cover - let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Once risen, turn dough onto sprayed surface and divide into 12 pieces.
Shape into balls, and place on silicone lined baking sheet.
Cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.
Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
When boiling, add baking soda and bring back to a rolling boil.
One at a time, place each roll, seam side down into the boiling water.
Boil for 30 seconds and flip to boil the other side for 30 seconds.
Use a slotted spoon to remove from water and place seam side down again on the baking sheet.
Use a sharp knife to score an 'x' on the top of each roll (optional).

Whisk egg white and 2 Tbsp. of water together.
Brush each roll with egg white mixture.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until browned and glossy.