Category Archives: Leftovers

Meatless Quesadilla For Lunch

I was hunting around the kitchen for a different sort of dish for lunch for myself. I found about a half a cup of canned Black Beans that I had stashed in the deep freeze, along with some Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn, Hatch Green Chiles and some Flour Tortillas from my local Carniceria.

A Meatless Quesadilla!


I’m thinkin’ y’all don’t need a recipe per se for this dish, but for those of use who do …

Auntie Doni’s Meatless Quesadilla

2 large Flour Tortillas (our’s are about 9inches or so)
1/2 C. canned Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
1/2 C. frozen Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn, thawed & drained (or any one you have on hand)
1/4 C. Green Chiles, chopped and drained well
1/2 – 3/4 C. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (you choose what you like)

In a dry 10 inch skillet, heat over medium-high until it’s good and hot.
Place one of the Tortillas in the pan, cover with the rest of the ingredients, starting and ending with the Cheese.
Place the second Tortillas over it all, pressing it down gently with a spatula.
Once the Cheese starts to melt on the bottom, carefully flip and toast the other side.
Remove to a cutting board and slice into either 6 or 8 pieces.
Plate and serve with your choice of toppings, or not. I just used more Cheese, `cuz there’s never too much Cheese for me! I would have loved some sliced Avocado, Sour Cream and Salsa 

I think next time I make myself a Quesadilla, I’m going to use this:


along with some shredded Chicken 

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

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

My Paternal-Grandmother wasn’t too much in to cooking, but man, she made a kick-butt Stuffing Casserole. She ordered her Turkey for the Holidays from a local restaurant, already roasted, so she would make her own Stuffing in a very large Casserole dish, that she baked-off in the oven.

It was unique in that she used Portuguese Sausage or Linguica in it. 
Gram never wrote that recipe down, because she just eyeballed it, so I had to figure this one out on my own.

Usually, I bring my stash of Portuguese Sausage back from Hawaii in my suitcase, but since we could not get there this year, I had to hustle.

I was poking around this past Summer in the supermarket and found this!! Can I tell you guys that I was doing a dance in the aisle … could this be like the ‘real’ stuff?   Let’s try it first.

YUP! That’ll work 

Auntie Doni’s Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

serves 8

6 + Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. Onions, chopped
1/2 C. Celery, chopped
2 pkgs. Garlic & Herb Croutons, crumbled to Pea-size
1 C. Dried Cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. Sage (fresh or freeze-dried is fine), minced
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 C. Turkey Stock (I use Trader Joe’s-it’s seasonal, so stock up)
1 Portuguese Sausage (or Linguica), chopped, sautéed and drained well

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter; sauté the Onions and Celery just until tender.
In a large bowl, combine everything but the Stock.
Slowly add in not quite a cup of the Stock, fold gently. At this point is that wet enough for you? If not keep adding more Stock to your liking (we don’t like it too mushy, so I might pour in about a cup).

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish; add the Stuffing mixture and cover.
Bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Now, what to do with all of this leftover Stuffing?

Make Stuffin’ Muffin’s:
Spray a Muffin tin and pack in that leftover goodness. Stash the entire tin in the freezer until firm. Pop out each Muffin’ and place into a zip-top freezer bag. Mark the date and content and back into the deep freeze it goes for later…

This makes my favorite breakfast. Defrost a Muffin’, heat it up in the micro and top one with a fried Egg

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Save Those Bones!

Talking about Soup … In my last post, I talked about making your own Stock.  This makes a wonderful base for many dishes, not just Soup.

 

 

Ever since the World fell off it’s axis and went bonkers, I have had a hard time finding Boneless-Skinless Chicken that I keep in my Deep Freeze.  No problem!  I found a 12 pound package of Bone-In/Skin-On fresh Chicken at Costco.  It’s honestly not that difficult to de-bone that bag of Yardbird, but please, please, PLEASE save those bones, oh and the skin too 😉

Get yourself a half sheet rimmed baking sheet, filled with those salvaged bones along with whatever Veggies you have that aren’t quite pretty enough for a meal.  I used limp Carrots, Celery and Onions from the Veg Bin. Toss the lot with some Olive Oil and S&P.  Pop that all into a hot oven, 450°, for about 30-40 minutes or until everything turns a lovely golden brown.

Next, break out a large Stock Pot, fill it with 8-12 cups of cool water.  Chuck in the contents of that sheet pan, along with about 2-3 Garlic Cloves-smashed (you don’t need to bother peeling them either), 2-3 tablespoons of whole Black Pepper Corns, 2-3 Bay Leaves and some leftover Parsley Stems, yes stems, they give the Stock and better taste than using the Leaves.

Bring this all to a gentle boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off that “foam” that collects on the surface.  I like to cook this for about 4 hours or until any of that meat from the Bones falls off and the Veg Matter is quite soft.

 

 

Strain off the solids and reserve as much of the beautiful Stock as you can possibly squeeze out through a mesh strainer.  Now you can discard those Bones, they’ve given up all they can.

 

Save your cooled Homemade Stock however you like.  I’ll freeze some of it in an Ice Cube tray for recipes that call for a coupla tablespoons of Stock or Broth.

You just made about 2-3 quarts of lovely goodness that is low in sodium, fat and cost you NOTHING! 

Menus For The Quarantined Life ~ Part 9

Smile Day Eight

FINALLY!!  We have Blue Skies, albeit still cold outside;
it’s pretty looking out the back as we sit in our warm and comfy living room 
We got just about an inch of snow last evening,
but it’s mostly gone this morning.

So let’s start the day out right, with …

 

 

Breakfast

DH requested Cold Leftover Pizza from last night’s supper
and
I found my last Stuffin’ Muffin in the freezer, so I
basted one of my precious 22 Eggs I have left,
placed it gingerly atop a warmed mound of
Portuguese Sausage (Linguisa) & Herb Stuffing
and indulged!
We were both very happy.

 

Lunch

Well, there was no lunch today, oddly enough, neither of us were very hungry. 

 

 

Dinner

We concluded that we’d have an early Dinner and watch a movie later.
So I found some Homemade Lentil & Veg Soup in the Deep Freeze and made us each a Sandwich to go along side.

Eat What You Have!

 

 

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

I haven’t made Guava Chicken in for-ever !!

Mostly because, I couldn’t get the frozen Guava Juice Concentrate any longer.

WELL!

On our last trip through Las Vegas I found the International Market, YAY!!

So let’s go!

 

Wow, I had to think about this one.  I did not know that there was such a thing as Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice and  I have yet to find Guava Chicken anywhere but Hawaii.

I don’t have a recipe, really, I just MAKE IT.

Guava Chicken is something I learned from my SIL (DH’s sister). Every time that we all went to the beach for the day, she would bring Guava Chicken and Fried Rice. My BIL would grill the meat on his little hibachi and there’d be other goodies to nibble on after Body Surfing for the afternoon (I shouldn’t go there, it makes me homesick). To me, that’s Beach Food.

So years later, here we are In The Middle Of The Desert and I NEED  to have little pieces of home every so often.

Guava Chicken

Hawaiian-Style Guava Chicken

1 12oz. can Guava Nectar Concentrate

(if you can find the brands from Hawaii, that’s best, but Goya will do)

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1/2 C. Oyster Sauce

1/2 C. lightly packed Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Soy Sauce (I prefer low sodium Aloha Brand)

1/2 C. Ketchup

1/4 tsp. Chinese Five Spice

5 lbs. Chicken thighs (we buy boneless-skinless)

Combine all ingredients and allow to marinade for at least 24 hours, the longer the better. Grill (or bake or broil, I like the charred bits, it’s more like going to the beach) until the meat is completely done, an internal temperature of 165º on an insta-read thermometer

Fried Rice

Hawaiian-Style Fried Rice

this ain’t rocket science! it’s all just leftovers…

start off with steamed White Rice that’s leftover for maybe 2-3 days in the `fridge to dry out

add whatever ‘Goodies’  you like:

scrambled Eggs or that Omelet you didn’t finish

Breakfast Meat (we use Linguica or Portuguese sausage), chopped**

Spam, yup, that’s right Hawaii’s favorite meat!**

Green onions

White onions

IF you must, frozen Peas and Carrots

Soy Sauce (we prefer Aloha Brand)

Sesame Oil

Toasted Sesame Seeds to make it all pretty at the end

 

Preheat a large fry pan, or Wok if you have it, with some neutral oil like canola.

Once you see wisps of smoke coming off the pan, you gotta move fast

Throw in the rice, stir it around until it’s hot

Add in your Goodies, stir again

Pour in enough Soy Sauce to just color the rice, barely

Stir; cover and cook for a few minutes

Dish it up with a drizzle of Sesame Oil and some Sesame Seeds, maybe some more

chopped Green Onions too

Hawaiian Guava Chicken and Fried Rice

**Tip – the Spam and the Linguica really make it, or some Teriyaki Chicken, SIL uses Turkey Hotdogs and Bacon**

ALOHA

 

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!

Miners Mix Wholly Chipotle Seasoning & Rub

I was introduced to Miners Mix brand a coupla years back by some fellow bloggers, Patrons of the Pit.  They have been utilizing several of the Miners Mix seasonings and rubs.

I had found the Original XXX-Garlic Seasoning & Rub back when I was visiting my Mother in California.

This stuff is good on/in anything that you would use granulated or powdered Garlic, and I use a lot of Garlic!

Recently, The Ole’ Miner himself contacted me and asked if they could send me a box, SURE!

One of the bottles in my box was Wholly Chipotle Seasoning & Rub.  I took a small taste of it on my finger, boy howdy, that’s got some heat to it, but in a nice way.  So, what to do, how shall we apply this?  Let’s grill up some boneless-skinless Chicken Thighs for Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

I minced up the grilled yardbird, along with some Hatch Green Chiles; heated that up in a pot with some Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce for the filling.

Next, I heated some flour tortillas, filled and then topped them with more chiles, sauce and shredded cheese, popped the whole plate under the broiler to a melty GBD and it’s time for dinner.

Chipotle & Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.

I made just a bit too much chicken, so do you do with that?

Chipotle Chicken Salad for lunch tomorrow, that’s what!

I had to taste it to make sure it was ok, dontcha know.  I added a small pinch more of the Wholly Chipotle to the mayo for more of a kick, MMM!

Mahalo Ole’ Miner

Ground Beef Stroganoff

I haven’t had Stroganoff in forever!  Mainly because my husband does not like Sour Cream, “It’s too creamy, EWWW!”  Me, I love sour cream or anything creamy for that matter.  Most times, I refrain from buying it because they don’t make a small enough container for me to be able to use up before it goes bad.  But for some reason, I can’t remember why at this moment, I got some sour cream and had a coupla tablespoons leftover.  What to do, what to do, HMMM.  Heh!  I also had a bit of browned Ground Beef and a handful of Mushrooms too.

ground-beef-stroganoff-over-rice

MMM!

I kinda, sorta followed the recipe from Betty Crocker, served it over some steamed White Rice that was also leftover and I was in heaven!  I found a plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs in the `fridge as well for DH and he was happy too.

ENJOY!

Taco Tuesday, At Home

I think that I’ve talked about Taco Tuesday out and about with friends a coupla times now, but we like Tacos for dinner at home too.

Tacos can be made with just about anything, shredded Beef, Chicken prepared how you like, Seafood of any manner or even Vegetarian.  The one common denominator to all of these different Tacos is the seasoning.

But wait, did I hear you say that you still purchase those seasoning packets, why? Making your own seasoning blends are simple; you’ve probably got the ingredients in your cupboard, AND  you’ll know what’s in it, no preservatives, no artificial this or that.

It’s is so easy to make, here’s all you need:

 Auntie Doni’s Taco Seansoning Mix

1 Tbsp. Chili Powder (any style and degree of heat that your family likes)

¼ Tsp. each, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Dried Oregano

½ tsp. each Smoked Paprika, Dried Cilantro and Ground Cumin

1 tsp. each Salt and Black Pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and store in a Spice Jar or any air tight container.

Why buy it when you can make it!

Why buy it when you can make it!

Tacos are a personal type of dish.  When I was growing up, my Dad was the Taco maker and he made “hard shell” tacos with corn tortillas.  They were topped with spiced Ground Beef (because back then it was less than a dollar per pound), grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese, diced Tomatoes, Onions, sliced Black Olives, Sour Cream and Salsa… What we all referred to as elbow drippers.

For my non-mexican-food-loving Husband, I stick to pretty simple tacos.

Let’s assemble:

Brown your choice of meat on medium heat; drain off any excess grease.

Lower the flame.

Sprinkle 1-3 Tablespoons of Auntie’s Taco Seasoning Mix (depending upon how hot you like your Tacos) and combine well.

Dust your meat mixture with ½ tablespoon of flour; stir well and cook for about 1 minute to get that raw flour taste off.

Add 2/3 – 3/4 cup water, broth, stock, beer, whatever liquid you like and allow to perk away until it’s thick (make your Taco filling as soupy or as dry as you want).

Serve your now beautiful Taco filling in the vessel of your choice, lettuce cup, hard corn taco shell, warmed flour or corn tortilla, or what about a Taco Salad, MMM!

Lean Ground Turkey Tacos on warmed Flour Tortillas

Tonight’s Tacos are on warmed Flour Tortillas with seasoned Ground Lean Turkey (ssshhh, don’t tell DH that this was kinda sorta healthy, he thought he had Beef), leftover Green Salad (you know the kind that comes in a bag) from lunch out, sliced Radishes (hard to see, but they’re there alright, gives a nice crunch), and some Salsa.

Mighty tasty grub, AND  my husband asked for MORE!

Remember, recipes are just someone else’s ideas, run with them and as always …

ENJOY!

Choi’s Family Restaurant In Honolulu Hawaii

My husband would eat at Choi’s a lot when he was still working, due to a multitude of reasons, but the main was the proximity to his old office location.  He would take me there on our days off together, which weren’t often, but we never had a meal we didn’t like, nor could finish.  We love Korean food!

On each of our visits back home, we make a point of stopping in for a bite and a chance to say hello to Momma Choi, the owner-chef, she always remembers us.  “Eh, where you been?”  And the feast begins.  Momma brings out the typical Korean accompaniments: a tofu and seaweed soup, kim chee, a bowl of steamed rice, daikon, my husband’s favorite, and Spinach Tofu Salad with this wonderful sweet-spicy Korean pepper dressing, WOW!  I eat the tofu and DH eats the spinach (sorry I didn’t get a photo of it, but you get the idea).

We ordered a #4 (Kalbi, Meat Jun, Fried Man Doo) and #5 (Kalbi, Chicken Katsu, and Fried Man Doo) plates that we shared.

Okay, so, now you’re asking yourself, what is all of that?

Kalbi is Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib, with the ribs cut flanken rather than English style.  Meat Jun is super thin beef dipped in an egg mixture and then pan fried, oh and a lovely dipping sauce too.  Chicken Katsu, we’ve talk about here in the past, it’s chicken cutlets breaded in Panko Crumbs and shallow fried.  The Fried Man Doo is simply a pork dumpling that’s fried, but Momma makes her own wrappers nice and thick, they have a great bite to them, also dipped in its own sauce, MMM.  Each plate is served up with Bean Sprouts and Cabbage, both are blanched and seasoned, think of them as your salad.

This visit to Choi’s was no different than any of our others, we had almost enough food left from our two plates to make another meal for both of us, OH WAIT, we did!  I just made a fresh pot of rice and that’s dinner.