WIMSC: BBQ Pork Nachos – Updated

Modified from this recipe: http://bevcooks.com/2014/03/slow-cooker-bbq-pork-nachos/

bbqpork nachos

So what it boils down to is the simple idea that this uses a lot of fresh ingredients when serving… it’s not a meal that freezes well. Often, the pulled (insert meat here) nachos is the one dish I will start in the AM on a day when I am prepping. We love nachos, and I have discovered through doing the freezer meals that I very much enjoy putting pulled (insert meat here) on nachos.

So what I changed with this in prep and cooking goes as follows:

– added a pork rub to the loin

– added a cup and a half of water to help cook the pork. This was a mistake and why I typically end up with beef stew instead of pot roast. I’ve gotta learn to trust the recipe given to me.

It took 4 hours on high to be able to shred the meat. Low would have been the best bet, but we were under a time frame (which was not met).

Update:

I never ended up making the nachos. Had I, I likely would not have used the broiler (my broiler needs some hardcore cleaning and is currently a fire hazard), instead I would have opted to bake (which I prefer anyway, but probably only because I’m afraid of my broiler).

At any rate, it was not the best pulled pork I have ever eaten, quite possibly because I was convinced it would not cook if I did not drown it, but it also seemed to lack a specific direction – the flavor seemed to rely heavily on the BBQ sauce (I might have made a mistake by getting generic BBQ sauce), onion, and garlic. While great flavors, I think that there are a TON of flavors that could add to the meat (for instance, some sweet and hot sauce paired with a solid rub).

All things considered, based on my experience with nachos, this is a pretty solid nacho recipe. Just treat it as two separate recipes and really focus on the meat flavors. You won’t regret it!

Time to Prep! 1-31-15 Edition (part 2 of 3 or 4)

I always hated people who would comment on recipes with what they changed prior to cooking the meal, then RATE it base on their changes. Thankfully, this is not a place that does that. I used to try recipes as written. But as I am growing in my cooking, I do tend to change some recipes as written.. sometimes it’s to my taste, sometimes it’s to what’s in the bank account/pantry.

Did you know the Superbowl is today? I learned this fact yesterday. Which was date night.

I am currently in school and dealing with a lot of homework in addition to meal prep, house cleaning, and, you know, everything. Homework takes the highest importance behind the kid. That being said, we do need to eat to live and the crock pot meals rock for that… when I’m not in over my head with homework. Because date night is important (and we get one a month), I had to plan. The idea was to do the blogs yesterday, then do the homework in the AM today and the food prep in the PM. I did manage to accomplish these tasks, though I did not finish either. But here are the meals I did manage:

Chicken Teriyaki

chicken teriyaki

Recipe found here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/05/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/

The only change I made was chopping the chicken into large cubes before freezing.

Turkey with Mustard Sauce:

Recipe found here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/slow-cooked_turkey_with_mustard_sauce/

turkey mustard

Good lord, this is an extensive recipe. I changed a lot:

– I used chicken thighs, doubled up on quantity. Froze them in the packages I bought them in.

– This took 3 gallon bags, beyond the chicken packages. I put the parsnips and carrots in one gallon freezer bag, the potatoes and onion in another, and finally the sauce in another.

– I did not brown the meat or saute the onions. Or boil the sauce. I put the spinach, parsnips, and carrots in one bag, the potatoes and onions in another.

So we’ll see! Hoping for the best.

Time with Ty: Beef Stir-Fry Edition AKA The Fryoning

finished 2

With Brian back, of course he’s going to join us for Time with Ty. His advice? Prep your food! Wash your food! So this edition was Ty’s time to choose the dinner and he went with stir-fry (between you, me, and the wall, I think he was a bit jealous that we had the chicken stir-fry a couple weeks ago). We went with beef this time around and played around with a few different ingredients than last time. Also, the sauce was kicked up a notch thanks to one Brian Bullard.

Ty prep

Stir-Fry Ingredients

2 Tbs olive oil

1 lb stir-fry meat (cut thinner)

1 cup baby carrots (chopped or sliced)

2 cups mushrooms (stemmed, washed, and sliced)

1 cup (or 2 small) onions, sliced

4 roma tomatoes (cored and chopped small)

2 cups (or 1/2 lb) snow peas

7oz jar of baby corn (drained and chopped into thirds)

8oz can bamboo shoots (drained)

8oz water chestnuts

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

Sauce ingredients:

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup stir-fry sauce

1Tbs soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp red pepper

1 tsp honey

1 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Add beef to pan and brown, stirring constantly. Whisk together sauce ingredients.

3. Add onions,carrots, and mushrooms, cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Add tomatoes, snow peas, bamboo, and water chestnuts, cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

5. Add corn, garlic, and sauce. Turn to high and cook for five minutes.

6. Cook rice according to the instructions on the box, but add beef bullion and a bit of rice wine vinegar.

Serve in bowls with rice on the bottom.  Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

finished

Time to Prep! 1-31-15 Edition

Usually, the night before the Friday Mo gets paid, assuming we’re running low on freezer meals, I will pick out 8-9, go through what we have, and assemble a shopping list. Which I divide into meats, recipes (where I got them and their names), fresh fruits and veggies, and everything else. It looks something like this:

list

But, you know, not folded and not with stuff crossed out.

Anyway, so (as expected) it snowed last night into today. Now, for those of you who have followed me that are not aware of my current car situation, I drive a 1982 Toyota Tercel that has a window malfunction (it’s stuck about an inch down, we put a towel in it when expecting weather, and this is absolutely relevant… eventually).

I bundled and loaded the kiddo into the Tercel, checking most everything and warming the car before we left (thank goodness the heater works). We made it (at 35 mph) about six miles before I remembered I forgot the freaking list, 7 miles before the windshield wipers started getting icy and not giving me an easy visual. I pulled over at the bank in Tijeras, and handle my wipers. We went back home, picked up the list, and ventured back down the mountain (at 35 mph). We arrived at Smith’s.

Don’t forget your shopping list. Seriously. Also, check ALL the things you may need.

We went shopping and got everything on the list. Headed home. Got a wave of slush into my left ear and face and glasses thanks to an asshat driver who was speeding and passing on a road in which we could not see the lines.  Popped the kid in front of SpongeBob. Tossed everything in the freezer/fridge (chicken went to freezer as it was frozen prior, everything else went to fridge):

fridge

When we got home, I got the kid set up and handled the dishes in the dryer. I learned that my husband had slid off the road, but was okay (on his route). Anyway, I set out to get on prepping my meals…. until I got the first one…

ingredients

Annnnnnnnd I realized that I had one gallon freezer bag. So this is my prep tonight.

The recipe is here: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/05/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/

I put the chicken breasts (already frozen) into the main gallon bag and the sauce into another. Easy freezy.

Beastly Goulash-ish Breakfast Casserole

So, a good friend has recently moved back to New Mexico. He is a former chef and loves to cook (which is one reason why we love him, but certainly not among the biggest). While hanging out last night, he volunteered to cook. He made a modified goulash, which the next morning got turned into breakfast. As Morgan proclaimed “it hits all the walls.”

Beastly Goulash-ish Breakfast Casserole (serves 8)

1 lb ground beef

1/2 small yellow onion

6 small red potatoes

1/2 cup bably carrots, chopped small

1 Tbs salt

1 Tbs pepper

1 Tbs basil

1 Tbs oregano

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs garlic powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper

approximately 1/2-1 lb roasted green chile, diced

1/2 lb shredded cheddar

8-16 eggs (cooked to taste, 1-2 per serving)

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1. Boil the tomatoes in water until softish. Then add the salt and pepper and reduce until most of the water is gone.

2. Cook the beef in the olive oil, then add onion. Drain most of the grease, but reserve some.

3. Saute potatoes in a separate pan, cook, stirring often, until almost soft.

4. Combine all pans into a casserole dish, season with the remainder of the spices.

5. Top the casserole with green chile and cheese (Brian said to don’t skimp on either!)

6. Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes until cheese is golden brown.

7. Cook the eggs and place on top of each serving. If your taste is over-easy, pop the yolk and enjoy!

So this was our friend’s recreation of the awesomeness and he’s so much a chef that he doesn’t measure things. This is my best guess, so any feedback is welcome!

Craveables – Green Chile Cheese Puffs

chileingredients

A while back, this new sushi place opened up in Albuquerque. Morgan and I , of course, jumped on this place shortly after they opened. They had this appetizer that I’ve been craving ever since we tried it – I believed it was called chile puffs. Think green chile tempura. It’s heavenly. So, today I had a crippling craving for those things as I have most days for the last week. Being New Mexican, the drawer in my freezer is full of green chile, so I decided to try to find a comparable recipe that does not require deep frying. I came across this:

http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2011/02/green-chile-cheese-puffs/

I used what I had on hand, which was slightly less cheese than recommended and some previously frozen roasted green chiles (which I pretty much just eyeballed as far as getting 8oz). I did not manage to get 24 golf ball sized balls of delicious, delicious dough, I only managed 11 (then again, I have never played golf, so my idea of what qualifies as “golf ball size” might be skewed).

precooking

Using recipes for baking is a little rough at a high altitude, as it typically takes longer and requires constant checking. I took mine out at 25 minutes of baking time and they were still a touch underdone.

cooked

All in all, I thought they were quite good, especially for such an easy recipe. For my own tastes, I would add 1/2 tsp of garlic salt (or garlic powder, if you’re not as into salt as a woman who constantly eats sunflower seeds). The green chile was wonderful, just enough bite and cut by the sharp cheddar in a way that I adore. I will definitely do this recipe again, just fine tune a bit for my own tastes and altitude.

WIMSC – Parmesan Garlic Chicken

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/01/crockpot-parmesan-garlic-chicken-with-orzo/

When I found this recipe, I was elated, as we love both garlic and parmesan, especially when they are combined into deliciousness. I used canned peas in mine, and based on smell alone, I would definitely use fresh frozen veggies if/when we do this again. Stay tuned for a pic and comments!

parmchicken

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never made orzo before tonight. I’m pretty sure it’s under-done (it’s and under-done kind of day). The chicken was delicious (even the littlest viking ate it), but definitely would have benefited from fresh frozen veggies. Definitely going to do this again, just the right way!