Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mexican Themed Dinner

I love Mexican food, well at least some of it anyway. Normally when we do the pulled pork it is followed by our garbage pizza, this time after seeing a recipe for a cilantro sauce, I thought...why not do pork tacos. I gathered a few recipes from for a quick side dish as well as the cilantro sauce and off we go for a nice Mexican themed dinner.

We made our taco's using soft taco shells, dabbing on some our cilantro sauce, layering with our pork, and topping off with some cheese. Between the pork and the cilantro sauce the smell was so good. I am eating another one as I type this, home for lunch. I also made fish taco's using cod. I cut the cod up into small pieces, cooked in about a tbsp. of butter and then I sprinkled on some of the Emeril essence I made last week for the shrimp. Daniel liked the pork tacos better while our buddy Denny liked the fish better.

First up, Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce~

You will need the following ingredients;
1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. sour cream
1-7 0z. tomatillo salsa
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1.) Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.

* I made this sauce using 7 oz. of salsa verde because we were un-able to find any tomatillo salsa. Also I did not use the sour cream in this dish and instead of using fresh lime juice, I used the juice out of the little green bottle.

Second Up, Mexican cornbread salad;
1-16 oz. package of cornbread mix
1-4 oz. can chopped green chile peppers
2-15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained
1-8 oz. bottle ranch dressing
1 green pepper, chopped
2-15.25 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 tomatoes
1-3 oz. can bacon bits
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped

1.) Prepare cornbread mix as directed on the package, adding the can of green chiles. Set aside and allow to cool and then crumble.
2.) Place half of the cornbread in bottom of a large bowl. Evenly layer with 1 can of beans, 1/2 the bottle of dressing, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 1 can of corn, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 jar bacon bits, 1/2 package of cheese, and 1/2 of green onions. Repeat layers in same order using remaining ingredients.
3.) Cover and refrigerate 2 hours and serve chilled.

* Now once again I didn't read the directions before beginning this and I didn't add the green chiles to the cornbread mixture, instead I used half the can and added a layer to the first layer of ingredients. Also, I did not add the bacon bits nor did I add the second can of corn...I thought it would have been too much when compared to the amount of other ingredients.

Sunday Morning Breakfast...

During my last few years of high school my Dad was going through a divorce and instead of getting his own place he moved in with my Grandma. Every weekend he would pick my sister up from her Mom's place and then he would pick me up from mine and together we would head to Grandma's. At the time, while we loved being with Grandma, we weren't thrilled with the situation because Nikki and I were forced to take turns sleeping on the living room couch and floor, not the best of sleeping arrangements. This was especially so each morning when Grandma would rise early and start her day off preparing her glass of orange juice and medicine slamming cabinet doors as she went. It's been almost a year since her death and I feel blessed that we were given the opportunity to spend all of those years at her house on the weekends. It was tough for our Dad who was going through a divorce but I am firm believer that all things happen for a reason. His divorce allowed him to spend a precious few years being with her. I remember we would spend our evenings sitting at her kitchen table playing cards and munching on cheezits and drinking a diet mountain dew. And I also remember waking up on Saturday mornings to breakfast made by Dad, one of which was biscuits and gravy. Even to this day it's a family favorite and today I am sharing it with you.

Biscuits and Gravy, Murphy Style~
8 pack Grands Biscuits (We prefer the flaky butter tastin' kind)
1 lb. Bob Evans Sausage, original flavor
3 tbsp. flour*
3 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

1.)Bake your biscuits as directed by the packaging.
2.) In a pan, begin by browning your sausage and with your spatula or spoon, break into small pieces.
3.) To your browned sausage add your flour and allow it to coat the sausage and cook for about a minute or two.
4.) Add your milk and bring to a boil, stirring continuously to keep from burning on the bottom.
5.) Reduce heat to low once thick.

* Instead of using a measuring spoon to measure a tbsp. of flour, I use the tablespoon from my silverware and add a nice rounded spoonful of the flour.
Hope you enjoy!!