Maggies Mentions


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Tex Mex Stuffed Peppers Easy Week Night Dinner Recipe

Pepperstexmex copyThe inspiration of Cinco De Mayo brought this delicious Stuffed Peppers Tex Mex style dish that is quick and easy and goes from stove to table in under an hour. I cannot take the credit for this recipe, it comes from my daughter (an amazing cook) who served these for dinner last night. You could serve these peppers by themselves or with a light salad and cornbread on the side.

What you will need for this recipe:
1-1/2 LB Hamburger (Chuck or Market)
6 Bell Peppers (cut in half from top to bottom)
1 Medium Onion (diced)
1 Bag Frozen Corn (Microwave Steam in the Bag 12oz)
1 15oz Can Black Bean (Bush’s Seasoned)
2 Pkg Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (Instant White Rice in Microwave)
1 Small Container Salsa (or homemade)
2 8oz PKg’s Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1 Small Container Sour Cream
1 Bottle Presidente Beer
Taco Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Prepare the Peppers First. We used Orange, Red, Yellow and Green. Cut the peppers from top to bottom to make two shells. Rinse and dry then clean out the seeds and white ribs. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with Olive Oil (or oil you prefer) Place pepper half’s on baking sheet ( inside up) drizzle with olive oil then season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. * If the pepper half’s do not sit flat, slice a thin piece from the back.

In a skillet, add chopped onion, season with salt and pepper and saute on medium heat until translucent. Pour in frozen corn and black beans, continue to saute until heated through. Remove from pan and set aside. Microwave the Rice and set aside.

To the same pan add hamburger and cook until just done. Drain in a colander and return to pan. Add Taco Seasoning and mix well, then add the rice and onion mixture to pan, combine all ingredients. Add the bottle of beer stir well and let simmer for 15 minutes uncovered stirring occasionally.

Add spoonfuls of the meat filling to fill the pepper half’s, cover with cheddar cheese and return to oven for 20 minutes. To garnish add a dollop of sour cream and top that with Salsa.

(If you want to add a bit of heat, chop up a jalapeno pepper and add with the onions, or red pepper flakes.)

 

Enjoy :}

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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo – Everything You Need to Know About Eating Tacos from Food Network


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BBQ Burger Party Recipe

ID-100188778Warmer weather means opening up the house and dusting off the Bar B Que. One of our favorites on the grill is good ole hamburgers. They are easy to make and do not take long to cook. Put together different toppings, invite friends and family and you have a party!

2 Lbs Ground Chuck or a market brand hamburger that is 80/20 – 80% meat and 20% fat.
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Shape out 6 Patties at 1/ inch thick. You should be able to get 3 burgers per pound
Place on a plate and add Salt/Pepper to each side.
Put a thumb print indent on the top of each burger. This will keep them from puffing up.
Place on pre-heated grill and let cook on one side for 8 minutes.
Cook on other side for 8 minutes more. (Do not continually flip over and over or squish down)

Medium: Aprox: 8 to 10 minutes per side
Well Done: Aprox:10 to 15 minutes per side
To check how done the burgers are, push lightly on the top with your finger.

Here is one rule to follow

If the burger feels like

Touch your cheek – this is rare
Touch your chin – this is medium
Touch your forehead – this is well done.

If your guest would like cheese, add it at the last minute.
Put burgers on soft Hamburger Buns and let your guest choose their toppings.
I use a big platter or several platters and have paper plates ready at the side for the guests to use.

This is a variety of items and you do not have to do them all.
Choose your favorites or add what favorites you like to arrange.

Spring Mix Salad or lettuce of your choice
Sauteed Mushrooms
1 Onion Sliced thin or sauteed onions and even onion rings
2 3 Tomato’s about 1/4 inch thick slices
Roasted red Peppers- you can do these on the grill, put into a plastic bag for a few minutes and the char peels right off.
Slices of Bacon cooked crisp
Melted Velveeta Cheese
Provolone Cheese
Monterrey Jack Cheese
American Cheese
Cheddar Grated
BBQ Sauce
Ketchup
Mustard
Relish

If you have a bigger crowd increase the hamburger 1/4 pound per person for regular size hamburgers and 1/3 pound for larger burgers. You could go up to a half a pound per person, but it is very generous. These estimates are for uncooked burger patties and the burgers will shrink a bit when cooked.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs Recipe Food Network Giada De Laurentiss

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Giada De Laurentiis has an easy recipe for Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs on her cooking show Giada At Home. She uses, parsley, bread crumbs, grated onion, ketchup, Parmesan cheese, hamburger, veal, and more. The smoked mozzarella goes in the center for extra flavor.

 

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of tiramisustudio  at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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St Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage – Crock Pot – Stove Top – Oven Recipe

cornedbeefdinner44 copySt Patrick’s Day is coming up and the wonderful aroma of Corned Beef will fill our house. Since I can remember we have had a corned beef and cabbage dinner every year for St. Patrick’s Day just like having a turkey on Thanksgiving.

There are three ways to cook up the corned beef, traditionally on the stove top in boiling water, in a crock pot/slow cooker, or the oven method. Ok, there is another way, a pressure cooker, but they intimidate the heck out of me, so I focus on three methods. If you click on the link above it will take you to how to cook corned beef and cabbage in a pressure cooker.

Anyway you choose to cook this, the goal is to have a melt in your mouth, delicious brisket that pairs perfectly with cabbage. In our house, we also have cabbage, mashed potato’s and honey roasted carrots on the side. The contrast of colors on the plate make it eye appealing and going back for seconds in definitely an option.

Once the brisket is cooked, there is another step that must be taken to insure it will be tender, the way it is sliced. The brisket has to be cut across the grain. This means if the lines in the meat are going east to west, cut it north to south. It makes all the difference…

You may see in your grocery store two different cuts of corned beef, a round or point cut and a flat cut. The round/point cut is thicker and has more fat. The flat cut is more lean and shows off the grain and this is the one we cook with.

Here are the recipes and methods for cooking the corned beef and the sides, Sour Cream Mashed Potato’s, Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon and Honey Roasted Carrots.

Always wash off pre-packaged corned beef before cooking and don’t forget the season packet.

Flat Cut Corned Beef with season packet included

Oven Method

3 – 4 Lb Corned Beef Brisket
Water
Season Packet

This is by far for us the easiest way to cook corned beef and the tastiest. Baking the corned beef retains great flavor that can be lost by boiling the brisket however, it will have a bit more saltiness unless you rinse it well under cold water before cooking.

Line a roasting pan or baking dish just big enough to fit your brisket with aluminum foil. Place brisket fat side up on rack. Sprinkle the seasoning packet on top and around the meat. Add enough water to reach the bottom of the rack. Cover entire pan with foil so it is sealed. Cook for 3-4 hours or 50 minutes per pound at 325 degrees.

 Stove Top Method

3 – 4 Lb Corned Beef Brisket
Large Stock Pot
Water
Season Packet

Place corned beef in stock pot, add season packet and enough water to go about 3″over the top of the brisket. Cover and bring to a low boil and continue on low boil for 3-4  hours, or 50 minutes per pound. I tilt it so the steam can release. Be ready to add more water as you continue to boil the brisket.  Check with fork for tenderness. You could also add some large cuts of carrots and celery for added flavor.

Crock Pot / Slow Cooker Method

3 – 4 Lb Corned Beef Brisket
Crock Pot / Slow Cooker
Water
Season Packet

The crock pot as well as the oven method seem the easiest way to cook the brisket for me because you do not have to baby sit through the cooking like you do with the stove top method. Make sure your crock pot is large enough to handle the entire corned beef for best cooking. Place corned beef in crock pot, add season packet and enough water to cover over the top of the brisket. Cover and set to high for 7-8 hours. Check with fork for tenderness at 7 hours. You could also add some large cuts of carrots and celery to the bottom of the crock pot before you add the corned beef for added flavor.

The Sides

Cabbage

1 Large Head of Cabbage
4 Slices of Thick Cut Bacon
2 Cups corned beef cooking water or no salt vegetable broth
1/2 tsp Pepper
Salt to taste if needed

Green Cabbage is the traditional one to use for this dish and is usually boiled in the same water as the corned beef is cooked in. The cabbage in this recipe is sauteed with bacon with a bit of the corned beef broth. It is simply yummy and easy to do.

Pick a head of cabbage that is medium to large. Cut into small to bite size pieces. In a medium pot or skillet large enough to accommodate the cabbage, add the slices of bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove the bacon and leave the drippings. On medium heat add cut up cabbage, stir and coat with the bacon drippings. Add pepper and corned beef or vegetable broth. Cover and let cook 15-20 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally. When cooked, cut up the cooked bacon, add to cabbage and serve.  (There is salt in the bacon and broth, so save adding  salt to last and add if needed). Serves 6

Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream

3 Lbs Yukon Gold or Boiling Potatoes
1 Stick of Butter
1-1/2 Cups Sour Cream
2 TBS Mayonnaise
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste

These mashed potatoes are so light and fluffy! Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Place in cooking pot and add enough water to cover. Sprinkle in a tsp of salt and add bay leaf. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes. Start checking after 10 minutes for fork tender.

Once potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander, remove the bay leaf and return to cooking pot. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with chunks of butter until the butter has melted into the potatoes.  Add sour cream, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and whip up with an electric hand mixer or whisk. Why add mayonnaise you ask? It brings out the taste of the potato and makes them have a creamier consistency. I never make mashed potato’s without it, and if you have noticed, there is no milk in this recipe. Serves 6

Honey Roasted Carrots

2 Lbs Carrots
3 TBS Honey
2TBS Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

If you are looking for the sweet and salty taste, these carrots are it. Peel carrots and cut  into 2″ pieces. Place carrots in a bowl and coat with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cook 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Pull pan from oven (careful its hot!) and coat carrots with honey. Put back into oven for additional 10 minutes. Check with fork for tenderness, if you prefer them to be softer, then cook another 10 minutes. Remove immediately from pan so they will not stick.
Serves 6

Happy St. Patrick’s Day :}