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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hodge Podge Casserole

Last night I didn't feel like cooking, but the kids were nagging and I knew I had to whip up something for them. I opted out of the breakfast for dinner idea, since I was sort of hungry, too, but not in the mood for eggs. I perused the cupboards, pulled out everything that sounded good, and did the same to the fridge. The Hodge Podge Casserole was born!

 Hodge Podge 
(serves 4-6)
1/2 C orzo pasta
1 C ground beef (or veggie crumbles)
1 small shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 C water
1 T olive oil
1 C spinach, chopped
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 T sour cream
1/4 C salsa
2 T butter

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat, then add beef (or veggie crumbles) and cook for 5 minutes. Toss in shallot and garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in orzo and water, bring to a boil and cover tightly, dropping down to a simmer. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Slice up butter and dot the top of the casserole. Broil in middle of oven (not too close to top), until breadcrumbs are brown. Serve with a slice of bread and a salad.

Monday, March 19, 2012

SupBreak Rancheros

My kids will always ask for 1 of 2 things for dinner if I leave it up to them - pizza and breakfast. They don't want bagels or cereal, or even pancakes - they want eggs. I usually whip them up some fried eggs and toast, then make a real meal for the adults. Last night, though, I decided to make something we could all enjoy. It wasn't quite breakfast, and it wasn't quite supper, so I shall call it SupBreak. Catchy, no? Either way, it was good and filling for all.

SupBreak Rancheros
(serves 4)

4 large tortillas
4 eggs
2 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 package of hamburg (real if you eat it, fake if you don't)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 C water
2 t chili powder
1 t salt
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
sour cream & salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place tortillas on cookie sheets. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat then add onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes then add hamburg, chili powder, salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. Add water and cover for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet heat 1 T butter and fry two eggs - DO NOT FLIP, just cook one side. Remove from pan, add remaining 1 T butter and fry the other two eggs. Now to put it all together -

1) put down 1/4 of the meat mixture on the center of the tortilla;
2) put a 1/4 of the tomato mixture over it;
3) then put 1/2 C cheese sprinkled over the pile;
4) put egg on top and sprinkle with pepper;

Repeat these 4 steps then bake rancheros for 15 minutes in oven - just long enough for the tortilla to start to crisp. Serve with a dollop of sour cream & some salsa.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Turkey Balsamic Orzo

Tonight's dinner was born from the fact that I had exactly a half hour from star to when we had to leave to attend a school concert. I had thawed some turkey (still left-overs from Thanksgiving), and some kale in advance, hoping to use it up sometime this week. I rummaged the cupboards and realized I didn't have any rice, quinoa, or pasta to serve it with - luckily my parents live downstairs and had a bit of orzo. I gathered up all my random ingredients and just started winging it. I was happily surprised at how delicious it turned out and will definitely be making this again.

Turkey Balsamic Orzo (serves 2 adults and 2 kids or as a side dish)

1 C cooked turkey, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 C kale, chopped (mine was pre-cooked, if yours isn't, boil it separately for 3 minutes ahead of time)
1 C orzo
3 C water
1 T olive oil
4 T unsalted butter
1-2 T capers
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 t garlic powder (fresh garlic would be better, but I was out)
1 t Maine sea salt
pepper to taste

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, then toss in onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add in kale and mix thoroughly, cooking another 2-3 minutes. Add in water and orzo and turn to high, covering pan until it comes to a boil. Drop it down to a simmer and watch it closely - if pasta starts to stick before it's cooked, add a bit more water and bring it back to a boil, then drop it back to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat 2 T butter over medium-high heat and toss in turkey and garlic powder. Cook for about 5 minutes until turkey is heated through. When orzo is done, toss in turkey and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and stir thoroughly. Add in salt, pepper capers and balsamic vinegar. Stir thoroughly and serve with a slice of crusty bread. Enjoy!!!