My friend Heather tried a different way of eating tacos last week – she made the shells out of cheese:
She made cheese crisps not too long ago, so I think she wanted to expand her creativity. Plus, she loves Mexican food, as I do. Here are the super easy directions:
1/2 cup cheddar cheese in circles on parchment paper. Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes. Let cool slightly, then hang them over a spatula or utensil handle to form as shells.
Her filling was super easy as well – cooked chicken in the crockpot with Rotel tomatoes & green chiles, and threw in some taco seasoning. Shredded and offered lettuce, avocado, salsa and more cheese. She also made a lime sour cream (YUM) which was just sour cream, fresh lime juice, lime zest, salt and garlic powder.
Heather has two daughters who keep her super busy on competitive sports teams, so an easy crockpot meal is just the ticket. Thanks for sharing my good friend, and thank you to all of my followers for stopping by!
As I watch it raining ice/snowing outside, it makes me sad to think of all the children who anticipated hunting for Easter eggs today, and all the people who devote so much time and effort to organize those events.
We are trying something on the smoker today — smoking a chuck roast that will turn into burnt ends. I found on the WWW that it has several names, one being Poor Mans Burnt Ends. However, there is nothing cheap about buying beef chuck roast. Anyway, we’ll see how this turns out, and will let you know (and share the recipe, if it works out). However, in the meantime, I wanted to try something that I thought my roommate would like for lunch. Here in the midwest, we love everything with gravy, and one delish meat item that goes with gravy is chicken fried steak. I made steak strips or fingers using beef cube steak, and whipped up some quick homemade gravy to dunk them in. Well, it was a hit, and I’ll be doing this again.
Note that the flour is really seasoned which is key, and I actually cut the steak into strips before it was completely thawed which made it a little easier.
Hope you have a wonderful Easter, and thanks for spending some of your Sunday with me!
Chicken Fried Steak Fingers
Ingredients for for steak fingers:
- 1 1/4 lb. cube steak
- 1 c. flour
- 1 tsp. each garlic and onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt (make sure you get enough)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 c. milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Ingredients for gravy:
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1 1/4 c. milk
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Slice steak into thin long strips about 1/3 – 1/2” thick.
- Set up a dredging station: In a bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Season steak strips with salt and pepper. Dredge the steak strips in the flour mixture then add them to the egg mixture and turn the pieces to coat. Return steak to the flour and dredge once more.
- In a deep skillet or dutch oven, add about 1” of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering and about 350°, place the steak strips, one by one, into the oil . (Do in batches) Cook until golden all over, about 2 minutes per side. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess grease.
- Make gravy: In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When the butter is foamy, whisk in flour and cook mixture until the flour is golden, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to gently simmer the gravy until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We used to be big fans of a show called Down Home with the Neeleys. They did some unique tricks, all good, and all with a BBQ flair. I’ve made several things that they aired on TV, and one yummy one that I’ve never shared is a Memphis Monte Cristo. You can view it on their site, but I’m sharing it below for your convenience. It’s your typical Monte Cristo, but BBQ’d up a little. And, not only is it GOOD, it’s very economical, and it’s quick!
The final product, ready to be attacked!
Basically you assemble, dunk in the egg/cream mixture (and oh yeah, a little cayenne), brown in skillet, then place on rack, like this, so the gouda can get deliciously melty:
Five minutes, and ring that dinner bell! Hope you enjoy as my family has, and thank you Lord for the rain!!!
Memphis Monte Cristo
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
dash of salt (who measures salt??)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to your liking
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
8 slices white sandwich bread (not thin bread)
8 thin slices deli smoked Gouda cheese
8 thin slices deli smoked ham
8 thin slices deli smoked turkey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet or griddle pan with vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, sugar, salt and cayenne until blended.
Spread some BBQ sauce on each slice of bread. On 4 slices of bread, add 1 slice each of the cheese and meats, then repeat layers. Top with the other piece of bread and press the sandwiches together with your hands. Dip into wet batter and turn to coat.
Add the battered sandwiches to the hot griddle and cook until golden brown on each side (doesn’t take long.) Place on rack-lined sheet tray (see above). Place in oven and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Remove to cutting board and slice. (you could cut in triangles and this would be a good appetizer)
I love quiche and gruyere is one my favorite cheeses, although pretty darn pricey, but I thought I’d take a shot at this recipe, adapted from Food Network Magazine. I took it to work and it was a hit, so thought I might share here. Super easy, and you don’t have to sell the farm to buy the gruyere…I just bought a small container of it shredded which wasn’t too bad.
I used a frozen pie crust, although I like the ones you unroll from a box better. Notice the container of apple smoked gruyere is empty – I’m a cheese freak so I took care of the extra. Whipped it up and in 30 minutes, ready to roll. Finished product:
Ham and Gruyere Quiche
1 cup diced smoked ham
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
1 9 inch pie crust, thawed if frozen, or ready-made out of box
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half
Minced onion to taste (optional)
Handful of fresh or dried chives
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack. Scatter the ham and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, and onion if you are including it. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, chives and season well with salt and a few grinds of pepper; pour into the crust. Transfer to hot baking sheet and bake until the eggs are set and the top is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Place on rack to cool a little; can be served immediately or refrigerated.
I had this appetizer as my meal a year or so ago at the Saltgrass Steak House while on a work trip in Westminster, Colorado. No words to describe how great it was. Not sure why I got inspired this weekend to try it, but so glad I did. I wanted to post with the holidays approaching, as it’s kind of “fancy” but super easy!!!
It’s this amazing stack of chopped avocado, pico de gallo and crab meat, served with tortilla chips or crackers. I asked the waiter how they got it in this nice cylinder shape, and he said they used a piece of PVC pipe. Not having that today, I improvised, chopping in half a cup that we brought home from the local sports bar. Yep….FANCY —
redneck cup chopped in half sitting on destination fancy white plate
I lightly sprayed the inside of the cup with cooking spray, placed on plate, and then stacked avocado, pico and crab, finishing it with a little chopped parsley. My concern this entire time is that I might overpower the flavors, so that’s why no additional cilantro. You truly could taste all flavors. My wonderful neighbors invited us over for amazing ribs, so this was a great appetizer while the food finished on the smoker, and with a couple of brewskis and football! (KANSAS CITY CHIEFS WIN BABY!!!)
Hopefully you will enjoy as much as we did….it’s super rich, and also, you can use imitation crabmeat. I didn’t but it’s probably just as good (and cheaper)!!!
Crab Avocado Stack
3″ wide cylinder (PVC pipe, plastic cup or other device), as tall as you wish to go with the number of people you are serving
Crabmeat – imitation or real (I throw some crab legs in with seasoning and boil)
Pico de Gallo
Avocados – medium ripe work best so you can actually chop them up
Chop crab and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Chop avocados and season with salt and lemon juice to prevent browning. I do all of it ahead of time and when ready to serve, put together. Spray inside of object that you’re going to use to construct this beast with cooking spray, then place on plate, and layer away. You can do it in any order, but I recommend avocados, pico and finish with crab. Finish with chopped parsley and serve with tortilla chips.
I recently hosted co-workers for a bridal shower lunch for a colleague, and we had a really nice time. Yes, we did have flowers and a tablecloth, but under the tablecloth was our KSU beer pong table. Yep, classy. Hey, it worked GREAT. And let 12 people all sit together and enjoy lunch, and yes, a few raunchy gifts.
Add sauce and cheese, and you’re on the way to yummo!
My menu included Oriental Crunch Salad, Crepes Divan, and Upside Down Apple Pie. There were no leftovers, and I’ve taken my time posting this recipe, mainly because I don’t really have one. So, here ya go. Takes a little time to make but oh so good. And, I have amazing memories of how this recipe came about. There was a restaurant named The Magic Pan on the Plaza in Kansas City, and once my mom and I ate lunch there, we figured out how to replicate the recipe for these delicious crepes. Great memories!
Bisquick baking mix — Use the recipe for pancakes, but add more milk to make thin batter. Utilizing a small, non-stick skillet, spray with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Test with a few beads of water to make sure it sizzles. (You’ll have to practice a couple times to determine the amount of batter for your pan.) Place batter in middle of pan and roll it around to spread very thin. As it starts to create bubbles, run your flexible pancake turner around the edges to loosen, and flip when ready. Stack on wax paper.
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
Curry powder to taste – start with 1/2 tsp and go from there – this is the key flavor!
Chicken – a rotisserie chicken from your local deli is the easiest, but you can also boil and shred chicken breasts
Broccoli – again, you can use frozen, cooked broccoli spears, but the fresh is so much better.
Grab a plate, and place a crepe on it, adding a nice spoonful of sauce down the middle. Add shredded chicken and broccoli. Roll up and place in greased pan. Add a little more sauce down the middle and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Either bake at 350 until bubbly, or you can refrigerate and either microwave or bake when needed.
I mentioned recently that we had a shrimp boil, and from that I had a lot of boiled spiced shrimp leftover. I found a recipe for Shrimp BLT’s, and almost chickened out before I made them. Wasn’t totally sure about the cold shrimp on a piece of toast. The hub and I decided that a little Old Bay on those babies, on the grill (tossed around in a grill pan) might just work. WOW. No other word can describe. I’ve posted the recipe below and added avocado slices as well. My friend Gina asked about adding cilantro to the mix, and I think that would be good as long as you don’t overdo it — maybe add a little to the aioli.
the avocado is in there somewhere!
Beware….napkins are required as it got a little messy, but sooo worth it. Enjoy!
Medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Favorite loaf of bread
If you don’t have leftover shrimp, toss the shrimp with lemon juice and 1 tsp Old Bay. Whisk the sour cream, mayo and remaining 1 tsp Old Bay in small bowl. Set aside.
Cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel lined plate and discard all but 1 tsp bacon drippings in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer along with the liquid. Cook, flipping 1/2 way through, until opaque and cooked, 3-4 minutes. Be careful, they don’t take long and will turn to rubber if overdone.
Toast the bread, and spread with aioli mixture. Layer with lettuce, tomatoes, shrimp, avocado and bacon. Devour!