Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chuy's Salsa Fresca

I'm making Tex-Mex for Father's Day lunch for my son and his family.  King Ranch Casserole, Guacamole, Rice and Beans.  A local Tex-Mex chain, Chuy's makes great salsa.  I've also made their Jalapeno Ranch Sauce too before.  I think the red sauce will go well with today's meal.


10-12 Roma tomatoes
1 to 1-1/2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed, deveined, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2-3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
Juice of 1 lime

In a food processor, blend onion, cilantro, and jalapeno.  Cut ends off tomatoes and rough chop.  Add to food processor.  Blend well.  Add lime juice, garlic powder, and salt.  Chill.  Serve with chips.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding With Vanilla Sauce

I made bread pudding for a potluck dinner last weekend.  I had not made this in a long time.  Hoping to live up to expectations of a moist bread pudding, I think this was received with lots of compliments.


1 pound bread, torn into pieces (I used Oro-Wheat Italian Bread)
4 cups half and half
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs

1/2 stick melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped pecans


1 cup half and half or milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter.  In a mixing bowl mix the eggs and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes at medium speed.  Add half and half, vanilla and melted butter and mix well.  Tear bread into 1 inch pieces and place in prepared pan.  Sprinkle raisins and pecans over bread. Pour wet ingredients over and let sit for 30 minutes until bread has soaked up the milk mixture.  Bake in oven for 45 minutes until middle is set, using a toothpick to test.

To make sauce, combine milk, butter, sugar and flour and cook to boiling until thick.  Add vanilla.  You can add rum or whiskey or even some maple syrup to this sauce if you like.  You can either pour the sauce over, or have it on the side.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches is a town in northern Louisiana that is most famous for being the site for filming Steel Magnolias.  My cousin and I visited there last December for the Christmas Festival and had one of the best meat pies.  Since then we said we were going to try our hand at them and this past weekend we did just that for a potluck dinner.  They are usually deep fried, but we baked these.  They were really delicious and not too hard to make.   I've also included a few photos below from our trip.  It is a sweet little town and it was a fun trip. 



1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 green onions including tops, chopped fine
1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped fine
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

In a large skillet, cook the beef and pork until browned.  Add the onion, green onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, pepper flakes and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and stock.  Cook until thickened.  Cool.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

In a mixer, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Cut in the shortening.  Combine the milk and egg together and add to flour.  Stir until dough comes together. 

We made small empanada size pies.  Cut the dough in desired size circle and put filling inside just in the middle to allow for crimping the sides.  Mix one egg with 2 tablespoons water or milk.  Brush the crimped crusts with egg wash.  Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 23 minutes until lightly browned.  These can also be deep fried in a deep fryer at 375.