Reign On American Chop Suey  – Week 15

Reign On American Chop Suey – Week 15

Everyone has their own comfort foods, I have many but one of my favorites is American Chop Suey. This recipe is what I have come up with that is closest to what my mind remembers as my mother’s plus the red hot pepper flakes. The Pat’s are getting ready to grab the division and top place but they are playing in the nice warm weather, so as we  prepare for 8-12 inches of snow depending where you why not try this nice warm me up game time treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean Ground beef I MADE FOOD PROCESSOR GROUND BEEF
  • 1 onion chopped roughly
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper cored, seeded and chopped
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. box Elbow macaroni
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, red-hot pepper flakes to taste about 1 tablespoon each
  • Ketchup (optional, not for me)

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How:

In a fry pan cook hamburger, onion, and celery until meat is browned and the veggies are limp but still have some crunch left. While browning chop up the beef into small chunks. Drain off the grease.

Step 1

Crush tomatoes by hand over the pan, pour in the juice from the can and the tomato sauce.

Add whatever spices you are comfortable with. I use salt, pepper, oregano, basil, (I suppose a short cut could be Italian seasoning mix) a good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes depends on your hotness taste. Add the chopped green pepper at this point I feel it kept them a little crunchier but I suppose you could add in the first step.

Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.

step 2

Meanwhile, bring five quarts of water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook for about five minutes. The pasta should be aldente, not thoroughly cooked. Drain, return to pot and add the contents of the other pan. Gently simmer for five minutes to finish cooking the macaroni and to let it absorb the liquid.

Remove from heat, and put it to the side. I find that letting it sit for at least a half hour lets the flavors really come together I also stir occasionally to help cool and not over cook the pasta.

step 3

Ok now I was raised to top with ketchup when served but this is strictly optional, it just does not taste right to me without, what can I say?

step 4

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Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

I picked the first of what I hope of dozens of cherry tomatoes yesterday. I have one plant in a container on the deck and two other grape varieties in the bed. I am hoping there is not a repeat of the chipmunk and ground-hog war that we suffered last year there don’t seem to be as many this year. Famous last words. Anyway I love this fruit and when they first start to ripen they very seldom make it into the house Pop Pop oh what a treat they are.

Here it is, isn’t she a beauty? This one made it in to the house but did not last long, I blinded it with the camera flash grabbed it and popped. Oh that what Lyn I blinded not the tomato.

Growing Trouble-Free Cherry Tomatoes

KitchenGardener Magazine, archive

Cherry tomatoes are easy-going fruits, which, if grown right, will yield basket after basket of flavorful harvests. They are less prone to many of the problems that plague larger-fruited varieties and they often produce fruit early.

My 96-year-old grandmother, Jinx, when asked the secret to her longevity, advises: “Never say can’t, try everything once, and make one new friend each year.” She should add growing cherry tomatoes to her litany. Other than walking the dog or taking a language class, I’ve found that the best way to increase my circle of friends is to grow cherry tomatoes. When they start ripening in late July, I place small baskets of these multicolored sweets around the office. Without fail, people I’ve never met before approach me to say how much they enjoyed a particular variety, and I invite them to visit my garden for more.

Wild cherry tomatoes are the grandmothers of most tomato varieties we enjoy today. Native to the South American Andes, they traveled north through Central America to Mexico, where they were domesticated and cultivated before the arrival of Columbus. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors returned from Mexico with the seeds of small-fruited tomatoes, as well as those of larger, irregularly lobed cultivars.

According to Andrew F. Smith, author of The Tomato in America, many European varieties were derived from crosses between these different forms. A related species, the tiny-fruited currant tomato (Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium) is native to the western coastal areas of Peru and Ecuador, where it grows as a sprawling weed.

Because of its resistance to diseases like fusarium and bacterial wilt, as well as its habit of producing fruit in long trusses, the currant tomato has been cross­bred with other tomatoes, producing many modern cherry tomato varieties.

Chose varieties for your region
At a market garden I worked for in Germany, we would sprinkle a few gold tomatoes in each box of Sweet 100s, just to highlight their glowing red color. Imagine what you could do with today’s  array of cherry tomato colors and shapes…. Read more

Continuing with my avocado celebration how about a turkey rollup

Sorry this post was supposed to go up Monday but with the excitement  of the new season you know….

Ingredients

  • Avocado sliced
  • Store roasted turkey sliced thin
  • Romaine lettuce shredded
  • Cranberries
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Whole wheat wrap

 

How

Layer lettuce, cranberries, turkey, tomato and avocado roll tightly

Cut the wrap in half, or don’t bother–it’s ready to eat

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sorry forgot to take picture took this with my camera

How To Roll Up A Wrap

Picture borrowed from Entre Fogones con Mimi!

how-to-roll

 

You can make an open-ended wrap or a closed one.  And everyone seems to have their own best way to wrap a wrap.  This is how I wrap a wrap.

Smear sandwich cranberry within an inch of the perimeter of the tortilla.

Layer makings in a wide swath down the center of the tortilla and to within a couple inches of the left and right edges—kind of a rough rectangle.

 

To make a closed end wrap, fold both the right and the left edges over the goodies and roll from the bottom.  To make an open-ended wrap, fold only one edge.

 

If I make a closed end wrap, we cut the wrap in two at an angle and eat half at a time, or share with my honey.

 

If the tortilla is a little stiff and hard to wrap and keep closed, try microwaving the tortilla under a paper towel for 15 to 20 seconds.  It will be more pliable

Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

 It was a Saturday morning 7:45 AM and I dropped Lyn off for her appointment and drove across the parking lot to Stop and Shop to grab most of what we needed for the week in groceries. The store was empty not being my typical store I was unfamiliar with the layout and so where many of the employees out of three asked none knew where the raisins were. I have taken to a full beard these days and one kid kept pushing me toward the razors.  Anyway I could not find a small box of cherry tomatoes so I grabbed a huge 2 labs box of Baby Roma figuring I would think of something. I did and during halftime yesterday I roasted most thinking I would make a small batch of tomato soup. Lyn made a corn salad it was soooo good but she can’t remember how and I threw a few in my Avocado Tuna Fish Melt and store the rest for a now very small batch of soup.

Baby Roma Tomote 

Ingredients:

  • About 2 pounds of Baby Roma Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Dried Basel a good couple of big pinches
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

 Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

How:

Spread tomatoes on roasting pan or cookie sheet cover with parchment paper.

Drizzle with olive oil

Sprinkle salt and pepper and pepper flakes

Toss to coat

Place in 450 degree oven and roast 30-40 minutes until desired doneness

Two Good Gumbo recipes from our New Orleans Days

Two Good Gumbo recipes from our New Orleans Days

Two Good Gumbo recipes from our New Orleans Days

Seafood and or Chicken

What is New Orleans without a big bowl of Gumbo ?  Here are two recipes one for the seafood lovers and one for those who are not so crazy about seafood. I found these in the Cane River Cuisine cook book which we got when attending a tour of the plantations festival in Natchitoches, LA. TI was published by one of my favorite customers wife group, while I was with 20th Century Fox. We have had many a good meal either taken for directly or tweaked by us.

Natchitoches_Downtown

Mama’s Seafood Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 3 large white onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 package frozen sliced okra
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp. Oil
  • 6 tbsp. Flour
  • 2 pounds cleaned deveined shrimp
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 ½ cups chopped green onion and tops (scullions)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsps. Thyme
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and onion salt to taste
  • 6 dashes of tabasco
  • 1 can lump crabmeat
  • 1 16 ounce jar oysters

 

How:

Sauté white onions and garlic in 3 Tablespoons oil. Add okra and cover until okra becomes tender. Add tomatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes. Make a dark roux using 6 tablespoons flour and 6 tablespoons oil. Add 2 quarts water slowly to roux. Stir constantly. Add okra, onion, garlic and tomato mixture. Add chopped green onions and parsley, bay leafs and thyme. Add black pepper, red pepper flakes, onion, salt and tabasco. Let cook on medium heat for 1 ½ to 2 hours, add crabmeat and oysters, Allow to cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, Serves 8 to 10

Cane River

Chicken and Okra Gumbo

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 pound) Fryer
  • 2 or 3 cups cut okra
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil or bacon drippings
  • Pinch of sweet basil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Green onion tops, chopped fresh parsley or parsley flakes

How:

Cut chicken into pieces and boil in about 1 gallon water. Remove and debone. Cook okra, onions, bell pepper and tomatoes in oil slowly for about 30 minutes or until okra is not slimy. Make a roux with 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons oil. Add roux, vegetables and chicken to hot chicken broth. Add other seasonings and cook slowly for about 2 hours. Before serving add fresh onion tops and parsley chopped fine. Serve over rice. Serves 6.

Cane River Cuisine

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Jerod Mayo Sandwich

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Jerod Mayo Sandwich

Jerod Mayo was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (10th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft … Signed by the Patriots (7/24/08). This Thursday we play the Jets again we need him to play as he did the first meeting with I believe 11 Tackles – 10 Solo and 1 Assist and caused 1 fumble. He hits often and hard, maybe too hard sometimes. Here is a sandwich that hits you hard in a good way. This came from Scup’s In the Harbor the restaurant my sister and her husband used to own and operate in east boston, now they live on the opposites coast in Washington state but still root for the patriots. We even Skype some of the games for them if not on national TV. They are still keeping some stuff a secret so I had to wing it, gee my own sister go figure. Kind of like your Mom a little of this and handful of that.

 

Oh if you want a Thanksgiving Day recipe try my Buttermilk Marinated Turkey but marinated at least 8 hours or overnight turning once start breast side up.

 

Ok It’s half time let’s eat!

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Jerod Mayo Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of Grilled Italian Bread
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Oven roasted cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half length wise. (Roast at 450 for about 10-15 minutes) – You do not have to roast them if you do not want to or just can’t wait.
  • Crispy Smoked apple wood “thick” bacon
  • Sliced cheddar (optional)

Basil Mayo ( this is my recipe not theirs, secrets you know)

  • Whisk all ingredients together
  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 10 to 15 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Serve:

Make sandwiches cut in half and stake on platter or serve all ingredients on a platter and have a build your own sandwich.

The Ultimate BLT

 

 

Wendy says: I Hope Mr. Mayo enjoys his namesake sandwich.

 

Alternative sauce chili-mayonnaise

 

nepatriotslife life Mayo mentions

Video: Mayo goes down with shoulder injury.

Video: Jerod Mayo hates Tom Curran from CSNNE

Revitalizing The Dynasty Defense

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Boston Magazine 8-2009

Scup's in the Harbor

We admit it’s tough to make a bad BLT (there is bacon in there, after all). But it’s a genuine challenge to ace every element—crisp strips of meat, sweetly ripe tomato, lettuce with just the right crunch—and elevate this humble sandwich to warm-weather classic. Scup’s in the harbor rises to the occasion with cherry wood–smoked bacon and roasted cherry tomatoes nestled on red leaf lettuce. Sliced cheddar and a spot of pesto mayo add zing and texture without overpowering the key players, and sturdy slices of toasted wheat keep hands clean and flavor at the fore. Boston Magazine 8-2009

 

Fire Roasted Smoked tomatoes – Soup, Salsa, Pizza

Fire Roasted Smoked tomatoes – Soup, Salsa, Pizza

I love the smell of smoking chips I swear I would turn on the grill and smoke some chips, sit on the deck and take it in.  When smoking I imagine the neighborhood up wind of me being instantly jealous as they exit their houses taking in the sweat smell of hickory or mesquite chips drifting past their nose. Smoking is a relaxing hobby it means that the mood has shifted to low and slow sit back enjoy a beer and good company, occasionally  getting up to adjust a vent or add more coals and chips. Hours of kicking back and waiting.

The other day we made of first trip the Kelly’s for some native corn and they had Roma tomatoes by the box.  Instantly to the tune of what do you do with a drunken sailor, my mind started singing and thinking. SO an hour later I had my first batch of roasted tomato basil soup on the stove, a batch of cucumber, tomato basil salad in the fridge and some fire roasted smoked tomatoes on the grill, which led to salsa and jar of smoke tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Roma tomatoes slice in half length wise.
  • ¼ Olive Oil
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and basil, salt and pepper
  • Soaked wood chips

How

Place the halved tomatoes in large bowl add the oil and herbs, salt and pepper, mix to coat. Place cut on aluminum foil covered BBQ tray

Place wood chips in smoking tray, supposable aluminum tray, or make tinfoil pouch

Put chips in BBQ and heat to high about 15 minutes the chips should be smoking

Place tray of tomatoes and grill about 35-45 minutes until you think are done.

Salsa

Combine chipped smoked tomato, 1 scullion, some chopped red bell pepper, pinch of hot red pepper flakes and some oil let flavors come together. You can add whatever you want to this basically what’s in the fridge.

Gluten free Smoked tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and goat cheese pizza.

Chop some tomatoes and spread on UDI’s gluten free pizza crust, place broccoli and spinach and top with globs of goat cheese. Heat at 350 for 8-10 minutes.