Deviled ham salad

-1/2 pound ham, diced then re-diced until it’s nearly shredded.

-2 scallions, sliced thin

-1 heaping teaspoon prepared Grey Poupon dijon mustard. No other brand is acceptable

-two tablespoons mayonnaise. Only two brands are acceptable: Hellmann’s or Duke’s

-1 teaspoon Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce.

-1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/8 teaspoon cayenne

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-Several big fuckin’ grinds of black pepper

Whisk liquid ingredients together into a dressing. Add diced ham, scallions and mix well to coat. Taste and adjust spiciness.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or better yet, overnight.

Tuna-Noodle Casserole

This is trashy American comfort food and it is very fine. You can vary how rich it is by the kind of milk you use (whole, low fat, skim) and how much mayonnaise you add. Yes, mayonnaise. Do not even.

Ingredients

-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
-1.5 cups milk
-1/4 – 1/2 cup mayonnaise
-1 pound egg noodles, cooked until still firm, set aside
-1.5 cups frozen or fresh peas
-miscellaneous leftover veggies if you have on hand; chopped carrots are good
-parmesan
-Salad Supreme seasoning (McCormick’s brand in the US; otherwise celery seed, salt, pinch cayenne, orange peel, black pepper, salt, sesame seeds. Or whatever.)
2 cans albacore tuna (10-12 ounces)

Technique

The theory here is the same as for creamy macaroni and cheese—-never bake the entire casserole with noodles in it. Prepare it on the stove top then briefly broil to get a nice crumb crust on top.

Put soup in saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in milk and several dashes Salad Supreme. Heat until it can be whisked smooth, then add peas. Return to simmer and stir, adding other veggies if you have them. Cook until peas are tender, then add tuna and mix. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, put cooked egg noodles in very large bowl or pan. After the sauce has cooled slightly, whisk in mayonnaise. Add sauce to cooked noodles and stir, thinning with milk if necessary. Adjust seasoning.

Put on oven broiler. Pour noodles into lightly greased casserole dish. Top with parmesan, Salad Supreme or paprika. Place under broiler just long enough to give a golden crust, no longer than 4 minutes.

Meat Stuffed Plantain

Sweet and spicy are combined in one dish for an excellent meal.

Ingredients

*2 yellow plantains, ripe

*1 lb Meat (beef or turkey or diced chicken)

*1/2 cut diced onion

*1/2 jalapeno pepper

*1/2 Long Hot pepper

*1 Sweet pepper

*2 table spoon butter

*Cinnamon

*Brown Sugar

*Chili Powder

*Garlic powder (or fresh crushed Garlic), about 2 teaspoons

*4 table spoons of diced tomato and juice

Peel the plantains by slicing off the tips of each end and then removing the skin. Be careful not to break the fruit apart. Make a small incision along the plantains and gently start to open it, be sure not to completely separate them so make the cut shallow.

Prepare a grilling surface and heat to medium. Put plantains on grill with the open side facing up. Add the butter in thin slices onto the plantains and sprinkle on cinnamon. Cook until the butter melts completely into the plantains. Turn over and cook for about an equivalent amount of time (took about 8 minutes for me but it will vary based on your grill/stove). On the other side sprinkle on brown sugar and make sure it caramelizes into the plantain. Flip over again and cook until the plantain crisps up. Do the same for the other side

In a frying pan or wok, coat in oil and heat to medium. Add in sliced onions and drizzle brown sugar over them. Cook until the onions are transparent and caramelized

Chop the peppers as fine as you can (again be careful using hot peppers, they can actually hurt if they get in your eyes). Add them, garlic and the ground meat of your choice into the pan. Stir and mix well.

Brown the meat while peroidically stiring it and mixing it with the onions and peppers. Add in the diced tomatoe. Season as you go with chili powder. Cook until brown.

Using a spoon dish the meat into the slit of the plantains. Serve over rice.

DIY bread crumbs

Blotzphoto left a great tip in a comment:

“Just save the heels of your sandwich bread in the freezer until you have a critical mass of them. Fill your food processor and give them a buzz. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and toast them in a 200 (F) degree oven until they are all dried out. Transfer to a container of choice and store in the freezer. Don’t have a food processor? Toast your heels in the oven first until dried and toasty, then grabbing as many as is comfortable run them over the fine holes on a box grater,

Spiced Noodles

A great noodle dish that can be used as the base for other more complex recipes or as a great side or main course.

Ingredients

* 1/2 lb Spaghetti

* 2 tablespoon soy sauce

* 2 tea spoon ginger

* 1 teaspoon garlic (ground or minced)

* 1/4 cup diced mushroom

*1 table spoon butter

*2 eggs

* Asian Chili sauce

Prepare the pasta and strain it. Rinse well with cold water and let dry.

In a large high rimed frying pan or a wok lightly oil and preheat to medium. Put noodles in and add the butter atop of them. Stir until the butter melts into the noodles. Add the soy sauce, ginger and garlic while tossing and string the pasta regularly. Cook until the soy sauce is fully boiled away or absorbed into the noodles. Don’t over cook, you don’t want them to be crispy. Sprinkle in some sesame seeds and stir.

At the end put in a spritz of the chili sauce and stir, the sauce is very potent so you only want a little to add some kick. Put into a serving bowel.

Fry the two eggs and serve over the noodles.

*You can optionally change the recipe slightly by adding in diced beef, turkey or chicken as you add the soy sauce. Diced cubes of bean curd is also a great addition.

Boston-Style Baked Beans

Another old family recipe! This is an excellent one to come home to at the end of a long day.

Ingredients

1 pound dry beans: use navy beans or Jacob’s cattle beans for best results.

1 large onion, peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark molasses

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (ALERT: Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies)

1 cup packed brown sugar

Directions

Wash beans, then cover with water and soak overnight.

Drain beans, then re-cover in fresh water. Boil for 10 minutes, until skin breaks when gently blown on.

Combine all other ingredients in crock-pot.

Pour beans and water into pot. Stir to mix all ingredients. Cover.

If using crock-pot, cook 9-11 hours on “low.” Uncover the last hour, if desired, to reduce liquid volume.

 

Goes excellently with sausages and heavy black bread.

Red Meatballs

This recipe is a bit of an oddball. It’s an old family recipe, and can be summarized thusly: Swedish meatballs. In a tomato-based sweet-and-sour sauce. Served over noodles.

Ingredients:

Meatballs

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon minced dried onion

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon parsley

1/2 cup bread crumbs or cornmeal

1 egg

Sauce

8 oz canned tomato sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (ALERT: Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies)

3 whole cloves

1/2 bay leaf

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Noodles

I prefer the use of wide egg noodles, but this is a personal choice. Any wide noodle will do.

Directions:

Meatballs

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix evenly. Shape into 1-inch balls. Brown in olive oil. Make sure they cook entirely through!

Sauce

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add cooked meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat, cover, and let simmer 10  minutes.

Prepare noodles and drain.

For best results, serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of noodles.

Slow roasted pork butt

Blame it on Salma Hayek’s breasts.

I wanted to see them so bad, I rented “Desperado”. The boobs were nice, the movie was better. So when the sequel came out, I had to see it too. On the DVD special features for “Once Upon a Time In Mexico” there’s a recipe for puerco pibil, which is slow-roasted pork marinated in spices, citrus and vinegar for the acid, and a splash of tequila. I’ve modified it a bit: I leave off the tequila, and if you’re using pre-ground spices you need to use about 25% less than the whole bits. The exact amounts of ingredients is pretty forgiving in this recipe, and substitutions are fine. Leave off the habaneros if you’re especially sensitive to spicy foods, but otherwise it doesn’t add excessive heat.

The only thing that it NOT negotiable is the annatto seed, which gives the pork its signature color. (In a pinch, you can add a couple of packets of Goya sazon.)

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pounds pork butt, chopped into 2-3″ cubes
  • 5 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup bitter orange juice (or 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup orange juice)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped (wear gloves!!!)
  • 1 shot of tequila (optional)
  • Banana leaves if you can find them.

Technique:

Grind dry spice ingredients in a coffee grinder until fine. Place all the other ingredients except the pork and banana leaves in a blender, add the dry spice mix to the blender, and blend it on a medium high setting for about two minutes.

Put the pork butt in a large bowl or freezer bag, and pour the blended goodness over the top. Let marinate covered for 4 hours or so, up to overnight.

Line a roasting pan with banana leaves or aluminum foil, add the pork and marinade to the pan and put more banana leaves over the top. Cover tightly with foil, and bake at 325 for 4 hours.

Serve over rice, or in warmed soft tortillas.