Monthly Archives: January 2012

Loco Mexican Confetti Soup

I’m predictable in my predictability. When my dinner plans are unknown or defeated I make soup.

Tonight was suppose to be Green Chili but I failed to check the pantry and a key ingredient was missing; White beans! Determined to have chili or soup of some sort, I got busy. As always, I rely on what’s in my pantry and available in the produce drawer of my fridge. I had part of three different kinds of bell pepper and the last of a celery bunch.

As I put things together I decided it would be soup with Mexican seasoning and flavor and I hit a home run! The Mad Scientist blended and stirred, added bits and pieces, a pinch and a smidgen. As I was sampling throughout the process the flavors reminded me of Mexican Posole and I knew it would have to have be served with limes and fresh cilantro. It’s shocking but ~~>I was right! <~~.

Do as I say, not as I do and gather/shop for your ingredients ahead of time. You are gonna LOOOOVE this!

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Loco Mexican Confetti Soup - Mad Science

Loco Mexican Confetti Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound mild or breakfast sausage
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can Hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 2 – 4 ounce cans diced green chilies
  • 1 – 7 ounce can Herdez Salsa Verde
  • 1/2 Cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 Cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4  cup chopped onion
  • 1 Box Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1T Salt
  • 2 T Cumin
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 T Chicken base
  • 2 T dry Cilantro or 1/4 cup fresh
  • Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, brown loose sausage. Brown = good flavor! The cooking process will soften the meat up. Do not drain! Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow boil then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Even better, throw it all in a crock pot/slow cooker for 3-6 hours and let it get REAL happy! If you use the slow cooker, wait to add the peppers and celery until the last hour of cooking. They will remain bright and vibrant colored so your soup will look beautiful!

Serve with a plate of warm rolled corn tortillas (spray both sides of soft corn tortillas with No-stick spray. I used canola. place in a gallon zip top bag and microwave for 30 seconds or until warm and soft enough to roll the tortillas for serving)

lime wedges

chopped fresh cilantro.

Faux-made Mak and Cheez

Oops! I did it again!

I made With the help of  “Captain my Captain”  we made some off the hook smoked Boston Butt Pork. I added homemade coleslaw and Corn Casserole ala Pudding. Knowing Blossom would not like the coleslaw and proclaimed the Corn Casserole “weird tasting” I decided another side dish was in order. Wandering and wondering in the grocery store I glanced upon a container of “Macaroni and Cheese”. You know the stuff. All made up and you simply nuke it in the microwave or warm it in a saucepan on the stove? I thought OK. We can have one cheater, but THAT IT! So I grabbed a tub of Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese for two.

After consideration and reviewing the actual contents of said tub, I decided to make some alterations. I wanted it to be a little closer to homemade instead of cooked elbow macaroni with watered down cheese whiz poured over the top.

I dumped the contents into a small casserole dish, added a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and a cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. In hindsight, a dash of Colemans Mustard (dry mustard) and another dash of cayenne pepper would have been a nice addition. After stirring this together, I topped with another handful (1/4 cup) of shredded cheddar and baked it in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Wow! What a difference a few ingredients make to the texture and appearance and it was really good! Warrior Girl (Granddaughter #2)  had seconds and Blossom declared it edible as well. (and she says Princess [Granddaughter #1] is a picky eater!)

So, if you want but don’t have time to make homemade Mac & Cheese try “Faux-Made Mak and Cheez”. Heck make it to share at a “bring your own dish affair” , and if you say it fast enough no one will know.

Here it is recipe style:

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Faux-Made Mak and Cheez

Ingredients:

  • 1 package 2 serving Macaroni and Cheese (Bob Evans or Country Crock or whatever)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian Seasoned but think Panko would be the bomb! [I was out]  )
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • dash of dry mustard
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour into a greased 4 cup Casserole and top with 1/4 cup of Cheddar. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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