Category Archives: Cooking At Home

A Copycat Zippy’s Restaurant Meal In The Middle Of The Desert

If you’re a regular here at My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, you already know that I am a simple local gal from Kaneohe Oahu Hawaii; one of my past times in ten years or so since leaving my birthplace, is to try to re-create dishes of my youth.

You may also know that I have conquered my quest to copycat Zippy’s Macaroni Salad, a local staple.

ON THE MONEY!

So…

In my last post, I was telling you about Zippy’s Fried Chicken.  We had what we thought was the best supper yet, but wait!

I had some chicken leftover, imagine that … so I expanded on that … I made some Mac Salad, a fresh pot of Rice, some warmed-up-from-frozen-Zippy’s Chili that I brought back from Hawaii this past May, and the rest as they say is legend!

 

ALOHA!

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Sunday Brunch Bumped WAY UP!

I’m pretty sure I’ve shared with everyone that my husband and I love our Sunday Brunch.  99.9% of the time it’s at home with me cooking.  One of the food forums that I participate in has a challenge each month with a different theme; this month it’s Brunch, HA!  😀   I racked my brain for something to enter when this Sunday I found myself making this:

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce stuffed Pancakes, topped with Caramel Sauce, chopped Pecans and whipped cream

Scratch made Buttermilk Pancakes stuffed with homemade Chunky Apple Sauce, topped with Caramel Sauce, chopped Pecans and a dollop of whipped Cream.

Piggys in a blanket topped with homemade Blackberry Jam

Turkey Piggys in a Blanket, with a drizzle of warmed homemade Blackberry Jam.

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce and Blackberry Jam

I make Chunky Apple Sauce all the time for my Mom … and the jam, well, the last time we went to see my  Mother, we brought back a MESS of fresh Blackberries … Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! In my world), they’re both so good!

What an amazing Sunday Brunch.  Did I mention that we shared these two plates …

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

I wanted to share what I made for our new neighborhood’s block party, Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole, really good!

This recipe is a riff off of a pal of mine (Mahalo Kathy) from one of the Food Forums that I follow.

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

1 ½ 27oz. cans (or 40.5 oz.) Hatch Whole Green Chiles
4-6 C. shredded Colby Jack Cheese (more or less to your liking 😉 )
1 C. Whole Milk
¼ C. Flour
¼ tsp. Baking powder
5 Large Eggs
8 oz. Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
½ tsp. Cumin powder
½ tsp. Oregano, crush with fingers

Preheat the oven to 350⁰.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for the top.

Layer the pan, alternately with Chiles and Cheese, creating three layers, ending with Chiles.

028

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder; then whisk in the milk and eggs until smooth. Pour this mixture gently into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

029

Remove from the oven, and pour Green Enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the cumin and oregano on top of the sauce, and cover with reserved cheeses.

Return to oven, and bake an additional 20 min, until the cheese on top just bubbles.

Allow the casserole to rest of 15 minutes before serving.

035

 

I ran this recipe through my account on MyFitnessPal, and this is what came out:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 284
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 10 g 51 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 159 mg 53 %
Sodium 917 mg 38 %
Potassium 78 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 14 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 17 g 34 %
Vitamin A 14 %
Vitamin C 38 %
Calcium 40 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
WOW!

That’s not bad for a meatless dish.  I figured 9 servings can be had from a 9 X 13 inch pan, and I think that’s a generous serving.

This dish was gone in a hurry!  I didn’t know that there were so many folks here in the middle of the desert that didn’t eat meat, and did you see how low the carbs are?

Of course, you can change out the Hatch chiles for any sort you prefer, also the cheese.  I think that a Pepper Jack Cheese would be wonderful or even sharp Cheddar, MMM!

As always, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

(**Note:this is a reblog from March 2016)

Enjoy!

How Many Small Kitchen Appliances Do You Own?

This was a question that I posed on one of the Food Forums that I belong to.  Interesting.

For those of us who cook and do so often, we have a lot of “toys” that we play with.  Some more often than others, but we love them all equally.

I couldn’t resist; I just had to break out all of mine.  😀

We have two Keurig Coffee Makers.  The behemoth black model stays at home, while that Chili Red little cutie comes with us on our car trips.  We’ve gotten hooked on a certain brand of K-Pod coffee (thanks Mary Elizabeth 🙂 ).  We get a consistent cup of Joe every single time, DE~LI~CIOUS!!

In this group photo, two of my toys are used regularly, can you guess which ones? DING DING DING!!! My Rice Cooker is used probably every-other night and then the scale comes out multiple times in a day.

Now these guys are not utilized nearly as much as they should be, but such is life.

My husband saw the Espresso Machine and exclaimed, “HEH!  Where’s that been?  Can we have a cup?”

Sure!

Boy, it took me a minute to remember how to work this small kitchen appliance, it’s been so long.  o_O

Now, mind you, these kitchen toys did not just appear in my cupboards last night.  I accumulated these workhorses over many years time.  Some as gifts (Thanks Mom), and some I purchased over time.  A friend of mine suggested that I start looking in the thrift stores for some new acquisitions.  HMMM …

 

How many small kitchen appliances do you own

AND

How often do you use each of them?

Please let me know in the comment section below

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

For me, a little home sick Island girl, this is comfort food.  It’s a Filipino dish, very popular in Hawaii, and I love it, well I did modify it just a touch.

I had way  too much Pork Loin Chops from Costco, you know, that huge tray of gorgeous Pork.  For the two of us, somehow just straight up the Chops were tasteless, so I thought-heh, why not make this!

 

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

(serves two)

2 Costco Pork Loin Chops, sliced very thinly (it’s easier if partially frozen)

½ C. Sweet Red Bell Pepper, sliced into small chunks

½ C. Sweet White Onion, chopped

1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced

½ C. Tomato Sauce

1 C. Water

½ Tbsp. Soy Sauce

½ Tbsp. Fish Sauce (I left this out, didn’t have any)

1 Bay Leaf

½ C. frozen Sweet Peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Just enough Vegetable to coat the bottom of a large Sauté pan

 

Heat a large pan with the veggie oil over med-high heat.

Sauté the Peppers just until they’re crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes, set aside on a dish.

Add the Onions and Garlic and sweat until they are translucent; add in the Pork and cook `til just browned, don’t overcook it, Pork can get tough.

Pour in the wet stuff: Tomato Sauce, Water, Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce -if using- along with that Bay Leaf, give it all a good stir and bring to a gentle boil; reduce the heat to a simmer–cover and cook for about 20 minutes.  The meat should be fork tender and the sauce reduced.

Add back in the Peppers and now the Peas, cook for 1-2 minutes, until the Peas are heated; season with S&P to taste (*Hint: if using Fish Sauce, watch it with the Salt).

Serve over hot steamed White Rice (or Brown Rice if you wish)

 

Enjoy!

And as always, remember that a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

(I just thought of another version of this dish – Shrimp And Peas 🙂 )

Hamburger Curry Stew, Cheap And Friendly

Most of you know that I am from Hawaii and we MUST  be careful with our pennies, because EVERYTHING is so expensive over there.  Ground Beef is something that is readily available as well as an inexpensive protein.  You can even find this dish on menus in restaurants in Hawaii, that’s how much we like it!

I was challenged the other day by an “online pal” to come up with Budget-Friendly dishes that featured Hamburger, Root Vegetables, Beans, Potatoes, Lentils, Rice, canned Tomatoes and frozen Vegetables.  There are so many ways you could put that list of ingredients together and come up with a super supper!

But my mind kept creeping back to an old favorite from my childhood.  I didn’t really have a recipe per se, I usually cook by feel but wanted to put together a recipe for her that would make sense.  I did a search on the WWW and found a YouTube vid from CookingandCrafting; it hit a note for me and I took it from there (Mahalo Beth).

Auntie Doni’s Hamburger Curry Stew

(4-6 Servings)

 

1 lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey or Chicken)

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

½ -3/4 C. Sweet White Onion, diced

1 Celery Stalk, sliced

2-3 C. Beef Broth

2 C. Potatoes, diced (use whatever kinda of `spud you have)

1-2 Tbsp, Curry Powder (to taste)

S&P to taste (you GOTTA  taste as you go!)

1 ½ C. frozen Mixed Vegetables (or just Peas and Carrots too, any kind is good)

1 Tbsp Flour

In a good sized pan, heat the oil over medium-high; add the Onions and cook until just translucent.  Now toss in the ground Beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, brown well.  Drain off any excuse fat.  At this juncture add the Celery, Broth, Potatoes, Curry Powder and S&P to taste.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a good simmer and cook for about 15 minutes (maybe 20 if you cut the Potato kinda big-ish), or until the Potatoes are tender.  Add the frozen Veg, bring back to a boil and mix the Flour in a cup with some extra Broth; slowly add this to the pot to make some good kine GRAVY!!!

Simmer until thickened and the Veg is heated through but not soggy and falling apart.  Taste it again, howzit, good?  Adjust at this point, more Salt, no?  Pepper?  Curry?  How’z the gravy?  Maybe some more broth?  Me, I couldn’t stop TASTING!

MMM!

Serve over steamed White Rice or as is, any which way, it’s ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian)!

Enjoy!

And as always, remember a recipe is just someone else’s idea, take and make it your own.

Guacamole Made With A Kick And Something Different Too

Are you ready for the big game tomorrow?  The Puppy Bowl XIV that is on Animal Planet.  😀

Our Green Grocer had absolutely gorgeous RIPE  Avocados on sale this past week, so I thought that a nice bowl of Guac would be appropriate for our game day snacking.  I’m sure you have your own recipe all set to go, but let me throw my hat into the arena.  😉

 

Auntie Doni’s Guacamole

2 Avocados, mashed

¼ tsp. Sea Salt

3 tsp. fresh Lime Juice

2 Tbsp. Litehouse® Guacamole Herb & Spice Blend

1/8 tsp. (more or less) Miners Mix Pepperhead’s Hot-Banero Seasoning & Rub

In a medium sized bowl, mash the Avo’s to your liking, I like mine on the chunky side.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Taste for seasoning, does it need more Hot-Banero?  Go for it!

Take a piece of plastic wrap, cover so that the plastic is touching the Guacamole, so as not to brown.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow everything to marry their flavors.

 

  

Can you see all of those Peppers in there and Spices in there?

Use the dipping utensil of your choice and …

ENJOY!