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Author: Mike

Corn Pudding

2 eggs
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 can Corn Nibblets, drained
1 can creamed corn
1 stick butter
8 oz sour cream

Slightly beat the eggs, stir in the cornbread mix. Then add all the remaining ingredients. Add mixture to a buttered dish (8-inch square, 1.5 qt oval) and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Done when the edges slightly brown and separate, the top will not brown. Do not overcook.

Slow Cooker Garlic Thyme Chicken

1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
3 lbs bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed and cut in half (or 2 lbs of boneless breast halves)
1 tbsp olive oil
20 garlic cloves, light smashed and peeled (about 2 large heads of garlic)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh-ground black pepper

Lightly oil the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Evenly place the sliced onion along the bottom.

Place the chicken into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the peeled & smashed garlic cloves and toss to combine. Sprinkle the seasonings across the top of the chicken-garlic mixture and toss until chicken is well coated with seasonings.

Transfer the chicken-garlic mixture to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours.

Spicy Asian Chicken and Noodle Soup

4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast (about 1.5 lbs)
1 cup grated carrot (about 2 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 (4-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground Chinese Five Spice
6 cups water
3 ounces uncooked wide rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Bring first 11 ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan; keep warm.

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add rice noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain. Place about 1/4 cup rice noodles in each of bowl for serving.

Discard ginger. Add juice to broth mixture; stir. Ladle 1 1/3 cups broth mixture over each serving; top with 1 tablespoon each mint, cilantro, and green onions.

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken

1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked garbanzo beans
1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked black beans
1 (16-oz.) can or 1 1/2 cups soaked & cooked red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 cup tomato salsa
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper to taste (about a half teaspoon each)
2 bay leaves
1 lb. chicken, large pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Place all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Turn on low, cook for 4-6 hours. Serve over a bed of rice, or with a side of cornbread or warm tortillas.

Note: For dried beans, place 1/2 cup of each bean type in slow cooker with enough water (about 8 cups) and desired spices, like bay, cumin, paprika, garlic, and granulated onion (NO SALT WHILE COOKING!). Start the beans on Low about 4 hours before the salsa chicken start time (8-10 hours ahead, total). After 4 hours, reserve 1 cup of liquid and drain. Add the beans and reserve liquid to the recipe like canned beans.

Slow Cooker Cassoulet

** 1/2 pound dried cannelini/northern beans
2 bacon slices
1.5 pounds lean boneless pork chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound reduced-fat or turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
—– 1c carrot (optional)
—– 1c celery (optional)
—– 1c red bell pepper (optional)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup dry white wine
** 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained $
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
8 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

** If using canned, instead of dry beans, use 2 15-ounce cans of beans (drained and rinsed) and omit chicken broth.

Soak beans overnight.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add onion, (optional carrot), (optional celery), thyme, rosemary, and garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add wine, let simmer 1 minute. Stir in crumbled bacon, salt, pepper, (optional red bell pepper), and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Combine beans, pork, and sausage; stir well. Place half of bean mixture in a 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker; top with half of tomato mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Goulash

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pounds top loin, chuck roast, or boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, cut into 1 to 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground caraway
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 teaspoon oregano
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
Sour cream, parsley, and buttered noodles, for serving

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Thoroughly dry beef with paper towels then season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown half of the beef in the skillet over moderately high heat, about 12 minutes. Transfer them to a slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is barely softened, about 5 minutes. Optionally, you can do a quick deglaze here with 1/4 of dry vermouth or other dry white wine. Sprinkle in the flour; stirring until oil is absorbed and flour begins to cook (3-5 minutes). Stir in the tomato paste. Add the paprika, caraway and coriander and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with about half of the chicken stock, being sure to scrape up the browned bits. Transfer the mixture into the slow cooker.

Add the remaining stock, oregano, thyme and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil on high. Cook for 4 hours on high, until the meat is very tender. Discard the bay leaves and thyme and spoon off as much fat from the sauce as possible. Serve the goulash in deep bowls with a dollop of sour cream and buttered noodles, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Mike’s Chili, version 2

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 15-oz can peeled diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar, optional
1 dried ancho chile, ground
1 dried guadijillo chile, ground
1 dried chipotle chile, ground
4 Tbsp chili powder (2+2)
4 Tbsp cumin (2+2)
4 garlic cloves minced + 1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
2 tsp oregano (1+1)
3 tsp paprika (2+1)
1 16-oz can kidney beans, drained

*Note: Ingredients listed with (x+y) indicate to add “x” amount initially, and the remaining “y” amount at the end.

Brown ground beef in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Remove beef from pot and drain fat.

Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic to the pot; saute for about five minutes.

Return the beef to the pot and add remaining ingredients (reserving indicated portion of spices for final spice dump). Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add remaining reserved spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano). in the last 5 minutes. Serve with shredded cheddar and green onion garnish.

Sauteed Cabbage

1 head cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons UNSALTED butter (reduce kosher salt if using regular butter)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cabbage in half and, with the cut-side down, slice it as thinly as possible around the core, as though you were making coleslaw. Discard the core.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Season, to taste, and serve warm

Mojo de Ajo

4 large heads garlic
    or 10 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) peeled garlic cloves
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Break the heads of garlic apart, then mash each clove (a fist against the side of a knife is what I do) to release the clove from its papery skin; if using already-peeled garlic, scoop the cloves into a heavy plastic bag and use a rolling pin to mash them slightly.

Stir together the garlic, oil and salt in an 8×8-inch baking pan (make sure all the garlic is submerged), slide it into the oven and bake until the garlic is soft and lightly brown, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Add the lime juice and return to the oven for 20 minutes for the garlic to absorb the lime and turn golden brown.

Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the garlic into a coarse puree.  Pour the mixture into a wide-mouth storage container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy some deliciousness. The mojo will last for up to three months as long as the garlic stays submerged under the oil.

Black Bean Salsa

2 (16 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed & drained (Goya Premium brand is best)
2 cups frozen yellow corn
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped, including the green tops
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded & minced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (may substitute 1 tablespoon of dried)
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large lime, juiced
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

In a non-reactive bowl, place black beans, corn, red and green bell peppers, green onions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and tomatoes. Pour juice of lime over ingredients and mix gently.

In a small glass bowl, add red wine vinegar, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, salt & black pepper. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify dressing. Pour dressing over black bean and corn mixture and mix gently until dressing is well distributed. Cover and chill at least one hour.
Serve with corn chips or Tostitos.

Note: add tomatoes right before serving if the salad is marinated more than a couple of hours.