Monday, July 24, 2017

One of America's Favorites - Natchitoches Meat Pie

The Natchitoches meat pie is a regional dish from northern Louisiana, United States. It is one of the official state foods of Louisiana.

Ingredients include ground beef, ground pork, onions, peppers, garlic, oil, and a pie shell. Natchitoches meat pies are often fried in peanut oil because of that oil's high smoking temperature. A number of restaurants in the historic district in Natchitoches serve meat pies, and frozen pies are available from grocers in northern Louisiana.

It has a savory meat filling in a crescent-shaped, flaky wheat pastry turnover. It is similar to a Spanish picadillo beef empanada. Varieties are found throughout the colonies of the Spanish Empire. The Natchitoches meat pie is nearly identical to the traditional ground beef empanada of Argentina, Empanada de Carne.

The meat pie is found all throughout Louisiana, including southern Louisiana which tends to have a
Natchitoches meat pie with New Orleans beans and rice
spicier version compared to its northern counterpart, but its origins are found to be from Northern Louisiana. Although found in Greater New Orleans today, The Picayune's Creole Cook Book published in 1901 by The Times Picayune of New Orleans does not contain a recipe for a Natchitoches style meat pie in its list of over a thousand recipes. Natchitoches meat pies are found in other parts of Southern Louisiana as well as sold at food booths at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and seems to have spread south from Northern Louisiana.

The use of wheat flour as an ingredient is significant. Corn is grown locally. It is a staple of both Spanish and Native American food. Wheat is difficult to grow in this wet, warm climate. Mexican wheat flour could have been imported initially by annual supply convoy over El Camino Real de los Tejas (a portion later became The Old San Antonio Road) or sourced from Europe via the French port on the Red River at Natchitoches.

In the modern recipe, ground pork or pork sausage is blended into the ground beef for additional flavor. Onions, bell pepper and when used garlic and parsley provide aromatics. Ground black pepper and cayenne pepper are added to get attention without being uncomfortable. Flour is added to the browned meat and vegetable mixture to dry, thicken and loosely bind the filling. The meat filling can be used in other foods (e.g., tacos, tamales, enchiladas, stuffed bell pepper et al) but the wheat turnover crust is a defining element. The traditional size is approximately 4 ounces (by weight) on a 5"-6" diameter pastry dough. The filling should be made the day before to allow the flavors of the ingredients to meld. Filling, dough and tools should be chilled before assembly. Warm filling will cause the dough to disintegrate.

In the first part of the 20th century, meat pies were sold from home kitchens or from carts by street vendors. By 1967, Natchitoches meat pies were produced in commercial kitchens.  Now, they may be ordered online.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting aired a program January 20, 2007, describing how to make Natchitoches meat pies. It is available on DVD entitled "A Taste of Louisiana with Chef John Folse & Company: Our Food Heritage - The Spanish Shows". An annual Meat Pie Festival, held in September, celebrates the Natchitoches meat pie. It includes pie making demonstrations, a meat pie cook-off, live music and more.


Natchitoches meat pie with New Orleans beans and rice

"Meatless Monday" Recipe of the Week - Veggie Taco Salad

This week's "Meatless Monday" Recipe of the Week is a Veggie Taco Salad. Soy Crumbles replaces the meat in the Taco Salad. Other ingredients are; Salsa, Shredded Lettuce, Corn Kernels, Black Beans, along with the toppings. The recipe is from the Diabetic Gourmet Magazine website. At the Diabetic Gourmet site you'll find a huge selection of Diabetic Friendly recipes. So Enjoy and Eat Healthy!  http://diabeticgourmet.com/


Veggie Taco Salad
Veggie Taco Salad

Ingredients

2 cups soy crumbles (you can find these in your grocer's freezer section or refrigerated meat section)
3/4 cup salsa
5 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup black beans
Topping Options

1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
Directions

1 - In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook crumbles and salsa over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently.
2 - In large bowl toss together lettuce, corn and black beans. Arrange on 4 serving plates. Top with crumbles mixture. Sprinkle with toppings.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories: 180
Protein: 14g
Sodium: 600 mg
Fat: 4g
Carbohydrates: 26g
http://diabeticgourmet.com/recipes/html/1056.shtml

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Making your own Biscuits.....


Make sure all of the ingredients, including the flour and baking powder, are cold. Also don't overwork the dough: Mix just until the liquid is incorporated, and knead just until the dough comes together. And don't forget the gravy!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

5 oz. Petite Buffalo Top Sirloin Steak w/ Baked Potato and Cut Italian Green Beans

Dinner Tonight: 5 oz. Petite Buffalo Top Sirloin Steak w/ Baked Potato and Cut Italian Green Beans







For Breakfast this morning I toasted a Healthy Life Whole Grain English Muffin (lightly buttered), fried 2 Jennie - O Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties, and the morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. After Lunch I headed up to the hospital to see Dad. He's looking a lot better and feels a whole lot better. They still have him on heavy duty water pills, and they seem to be working as most of the water has now drained. Another hot and humid day out! Back home did a load of laundry and some house cleaning. For Dinner tonight I prepared a 5 oz. Petite Buffalo Top Sirloin Steak w/ Baked Potato and Cut Italian Green Beans.


I’ll be using Wild Idea Buffalo Petite Top Sirloin Steak (5 oz.). To prepare the Steak; I rubbed the Steak with a 1/2 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then seasoned it with Dried Rosemary, McCormick’s Grinder Sea Salt and Peppercorn Medley. As the Steak rested I preheated a Cast Iron Skillet on medium heat. When the skillet was heated I added my Buffalo Sirloin, cooked it 4 1/2 minutes per side to a beautiful Medium Rare! The Wild Idea Buffalo Steaks are just incredible. So juicy and the best flavor of any Steak, Beef or Buffalo I’ve ever had. As always when cooking Buffalo, keep an eye on it will get done quickly. They cook faster than marbled meat and when overcooked will be tough and dry. Buffalo is best cooked medium-rare or rare. I topped it with some Sauteed Mushrooms.




For one side I prepared a Baked Potato. Seasoned that with the McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Peppercorn Medley, and topped with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.












For another side dish I heated a can of Allens Cut Italian Green Beans. To prepare them just empty the can into a small sauce pan and simmer until heated. I love the taste of these, just season with a bit of Sea Salt and it’s ready! I also baked a slice of the New York Bakery Light Texas Toast Bread, love this Bread!. For Dessert later a Weight Watcher’s Divine Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Bar.













Wild Idea Buffalo – 5 oz. Petite Top Sirloin Steak
Famous for their flavor, these juicy steaks are perfect for the grill. The small size makes for a great meal for one. 5 oz.
http://wildideabuffalo.com/products/petite-top-sirloin-steaks

Soup Special of the Day.......Turkey Ham and Corn Chowder

This week's Soup Special of the Day is Turkey Ham and Corn Chowder. Made with JENNIE-O® Turkey Ham along with Onions, Hash Browns, Corn, and more! You can find this week's recipe at the Jennie - O web site along with all their other delicious and healthy recipes. Enjoy and Make the Switch!  https://www.jennieo.com/


Turkey Ham and Corn Chowder

A rich, creamy homemade broth combined with corn and turkey ham makes the perfect weeknight dinner. And at less than 300 calories per serving, comfort food just got even more comforting.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
4 cups milk
2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
2 (11-ounce) cans corn with red and green peppers
¾ pound JENNIE-O® Turkey Ham, cut into ½-inch cubes

DIRECTIONS

1) In 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, saute onion in vegetable oil 3 minutes or until tender. Blend in flour and black pepper. Remove pan from heat; slowly add milk; stirring constantly. Return pan to heat.
2) Add hash brown potatoes; bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly. Add corn and ham; return mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and mixture has thickened.

RECIPE NUTRITION INFORMATION
PER SERVING
Calories250
Protein17g
Carbohydrates35g
Fiber2g
Sugars11g
Fat7g
Cholesterol35mg
Sodium740mg
Saturated Fat2g

https://www.jennieo.com/recipes/42-turkey-ham-and-corn-chowder

Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

From the EatingWell website and Magazine its - Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes. Delicious and healthy recipes like Buffalo Chicken Casserole, Slow-Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew, and Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake. Find these and more all at the EatingWell website and don't forget about the EatingWell Magazine. Enjoy and Eat Healthy!  http://www.eatingwell.com/



Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes
Find healthy, delicious make ahead dinner recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.



Buffalo Chicken Casserole
We took the classic flavors of Buffalo wings—hot sauce, blue cheese, carrots and celery—and created a finger-licking-good casserole. Serve this dish during football season to a hungry crowd and it's sure to be a hit. We don't typically recommend ingredients by brand name, but in this case we make an exception for Frank's RedHot Sauce. It has the perfect balance of spice and tang for this casserole. Texas Pete and Crystal hot sauces are suitable alternatives if you can't find Frank's........


Slow-Cooker Stout and Chicken Stew
Chicken thighs can take plenty of cooking without getting tough or drying out, which makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Here we braise them in Guinness stout along with hearty vegetables, with just the right amount of bacon for added savoriness......


Quick Shrimp Enchilada Bake
Shrimp enchiladas offer a taste of coastal Mexican cuisine but some versions contain so much cheese, butter and sour cream that they can pack a whopping 50 grams of fat per serving. Our version has vibrant flavor and only half the calories and 6 grams of fat per serving, plus we use precooked peeled shrimp so you can get the dish on your table fast enough for a weeknight supper. The addition of refried beans helps makes these enchiladas an excellent source of fiber as well.......




* Click the link below to get all the Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18701/mealtimes/dinner/make-ahead/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

Save some money, fill that freezer.......


A full freezer is more economical to run as the cold air doesn't need to circulate so much, so less power is needed. If you have lots of space free, fill plastic bottles half full with water and use them to fill gaps. Alternatively, fill the freezer with everyday items you're bound to use.