Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Shrimp Creole (Another Easy Pantry Recipe)

Zatarain's used to make a Creole rice mix, but after McCormick bought them out, I guess they decided that particular product wasn't necessary anymore.  I actually bought a case of it on Amazon when I couldn't find it in the stores.  When that was gone, I played around, trying to figure out a replacement.  Here's what I eventually came up with, and it's not bad at all!

Shrimp Creole from the Pantry

1 T butter
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped celery
1 chopped bell peppers
1 T minced garlic
1 1/2 t creole seasoning
1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes
2 1/2 c water
1 box Zatarain's jambalaya rice mix (not family size)
12-oz package frozen, cooked, shelled, tailless shrimp

In a 4-quart saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter, add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic.  Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the seasoning, tomatoes, water, and jambalaya mix.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Add shrimp, bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Well, It's Definitely SPRING

Here's the flooded driveway.
You can always tell when spring has arrived - the NOAA weather radio gets busy with severe weather warnings.  We had a line of thunderstorms come through Saturday afternoon and was it exciting!

I like my thunderstorms, but this was ridiculous.  We got quarter-sized hail and torrents of rain.  Our front yard flooded.  Lake Williams reappeared.  A river ran across the driveway.  The trees stood on tiny islands.  The gutters overflowed, not able to handle the flood of water coming from the roof.

White bolts of lightning split the sky and the rain came down in sheets. The hail pounded my backyard stick pile and tore it to shreds!  Little stick pieces flew all over the patio.  We lost power for several seconds, so I had to reset some clocks.

Water's flowing into the
crawlspace vents - oh joy.
The water that overflowed from the gutters ended up along the front of the house and found the crawlspace vents, so that's all wet, too. 

As I sit here writing this evening, it's started up yet AGAIN.  The lightning looks like a strobe light on the houses across the street.  The rain is rattling against the siding.  Just now, a big bolt of lightning and a CRACK of thunder, and the lights across the street have gone out.  It sure looks empty over there.  We got a flash of no power, but I'm not resetting anything.  Well, the cable is restarting itself - "Welcome.  Bienvenido.  Bienvenue." 

Good times!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (My Own Made-Up Pantry Recipe)

What with doing home health care and everybody staying home for the Coronavirus emergency, I've been cooking a lot, especially easy everyday recipes, and here's another one! 

This recipe grew out of a recipe for a chicken burrito filling!  It was okay as a burrito filling, but I decided to add some stuff to it and make it into chicken tortilla soup instead.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Stove Top)

For Soup:
1 15-oz can chicken broth
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can whole kernel corn
1 10-oz can Ro-Tel (Hot)
1 15-oz can tomatoes and green chilies
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded (or 2 12-oz cans white meat chicken and eliminate the broth)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 T lime juice
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 t cumin

For Toppings:
Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed (the one at the bottom of the bag work great!)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Green onions, chopped

Dump everything except the tortilla chips in a 3- or 4-quart saucepan or dutch oven, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Serve with your choice of toppings.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Slow Cooker)

Put 1 lb of fresh chicken tenders or breasts (instead of the cooked or canned chicken above) and the rest of soup ingredients above in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.  Remove the chicken and shred using two forks, then return it to the slow cooker, stir, and serve with your choice of toppings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Pork) - A New-to-Me Vintage Recipe

One of my friends posted a recipe on her blog, and it sounded so delicious I just had to try it!  I used a dutch oven, but a wok would be better.  I even have one, but I didn't think about it when I made the recipe.

She says she found this recipe years and years ago on the back of a can of Dole pineapple.  Sometimes recipes on food packages aren't all that good.  Not this one!  YUM!  The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, but so many times I've followed a recipe to the letter and the soy sauce seemed to overpower the dish, so I made the executive decision to halve the amount of soy sauce, which made it just about perfect (to me).

I actually doubled the recipe the first time I made it because I only had a 28-oz can of pineapple!  It worked just fine.

Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Pork) - from a Dole pineapple label

1 lb chicken breasts or pork tenderloin cut into 1" cubes
1 T canola oil
1 medium onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 15-oz can pineapple chunks, undrained
1/4 c vinegar
3 T brown sugar
3 T catsup
1 1/2 T lite soy sauce
1 T cornstarch
1 t ground ginger

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil and brown the chicken.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the carrots and bell pepper and cook until the carrots are tender.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to the cooked chicken and vegetables in the wok and bring to a simmer.  Cook about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and become translucent.

Serve with rice.