Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tavern Chili

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Who doesn't like chili?  In addition to a bowl of chili for lunch, or supper with a salad and corn bread, it can be used for making chili dogs, and tacos.

My mom used to make chili-mac, adding macaroni to stretch it even further on a tight budget. I did, too, when raising kids, but not anymore.

I keep a variety of dried beans on hand, including red kidney beans, using a pressure cooker to make them (takes 12 minutes). I also use them for bean salads. 

Making a large batch once a month or so then freezing leftovers, helps on nights when there's no time to cook; just defrost and reheat.  We eat it two days in a row, then freeze the rest.  Chili ALWAYS tastes better the second day!

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppTavern Chili
2 pounds ground beef
2 medium chopped onions
2 or 3 cloves minced garlic
1 large can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 can of  beer
4 cups kidney beans, (2 cans drained)
3 Tabs. chili powder
2 -3 tsps. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 - 3 Tabs. instant Masa corn flour to thicken at end of cooking
Cheddar cheese for topping.

In a large pot brown beef and drain fat.  Add and mix in remaining ingredients except Masa.  Simmer for 2 hours, occasionally stirring and tasting. Stir in Masa to thicken up.  Serve topped with cheese.  Serves 8-10

Note: I sometimes add chopped green peppers and/or celery.

Estimated cost: $1.50 per serving or less





Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt

 photo 1EB1047E-49F7-4D4A-9AD9-938292D0FD32_zps0lvrrnpv.jpg
Here's a decadent tasting dessert!  Peanut butter and chocolate of course go together, but as a frozen treat, it's even better. I have an ice cream maker, but it's not needed for this recipe.

It's practically just: dump ingredients into a bowl, beat together and freeze. Before freezing it has a thick pudding-like texture, but when frozen, offers a rich, creamy ice cream-like treat.

When wanting to make a smaller batch of ice cream, instead of a half gallon, this is my go to recipe.  Kids and grand kids will like it, especially if making popsicles or fudgesicle shaped.

Chocolate-PeanutButter Frozen Yogurt photo F720E970-8E72-494C-A0D1-29B0139DC895_zpsvbwupuy8.jpg

 photo 1EEB038C-84A8-4447-9604-ECF373314146_zpsj85e2pxk.jpgChocolate-Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt
1 14 oz. can of condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tab. vanilla extract
 photo 375AD3A3-333B-4E40-A5DE-3FF3050083FA_zpsyu9idvu8.jpg1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups yogurt
1 cup cream preferred, but milk or half and half will work too
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, first beat until smooth: condensed milk, peanut butter, vanilla and salt.

Add yogurt, cream, and cocoa. Beat on low until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Freeze in a 5-6 cup container or individual popsicle or fudgesicle-size servings until firm, about 4 hours. Makes about 5 cups -10, 1/2-cup servings.

Estimated cost $.4.00 or less; .40 cents a serving or less.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Beer Battered Fish Fry

 photo 4A503639-D9EA-4CC0-8318-FC35C5902241_zpse9xtfqxi.jpgFish was often served Friday nights during my childhood. And when visiting grandparents at their summer lake house in Illinois, we'd catch our own fish or went to a nearby pub for their Friday night "fish fry." 

We enjoyed perch, blue gills, crappie, and catfish in those days.  Ice and smelt fishing were even more exciting. Family vacations also involved a fishing trip somewhere in several Midwestern states.

Since moving to Oregon in the '60s, trout, salmon, tilapia, red snapper, cod or haddock seem to be the most popular on menus or available in supermarkets. Most fish is less expensive than beef, so we eat it two or three times a week.

Battered fish, served with fries and coleslaw reminds me of those childhood Fish Fry days. My Mom used a beer batter or sometimes a club soda batter for her fish fry, while my gram used a flour and corn meal coating for hers.

I inherited both of their recipe boxes, so am seldom at a loss on how to prepare fish.
 photo 477A619D-0A46-40E9-92CE-B86AE5B2105F_zps4r55hggm.jpg
Beer Battered Fish Fry
1 cup flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp.salt
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
6 oz. of cold beer
2 Tabs. lemon juice
1 pound firm whitefish (tilapia, cod etc.), cut into 1-ounce strips or chunks
Cornstarch, for dredging
Oil for frying
lemon wedges
Beer Battered Fish Fry photo 77536367-A93C-4820-ABD6-11018A836E13_zps9zdpam6p.jpg
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in beer and lemon juice until batter is free of lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.The batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time.  If it seems too thick add a few more ounces of beer and blend into batter.

Beer Battered Fish Fry photo C8CC923E-9604-46D3-87B9-2616C8950D1E_zpscgdspy1y.jpg Heat oil to 375 degrees. Lightly dredge fish pieces in cornstarch. In small batches, dip fish into batter to coat, letting batter drip off for an even coating, then place into hot oil. When batter sets, turn pieces over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a rack in a warm oven. 

Serve with malt vinegar, tarter sauce lemon wedges, french fries a salad or coleslaw. Serves 4-5.

Estimated cost: $6.00 or less; $1.50 or less per serving.