Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stuffed Tomatoes

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
    The end of summer often brings what we in the Midwest have been waiting on all year long - fresh tomatoes. This means real BLTs, homemade pasta sauce, salsa and plenty of tomatoes for canning to use in soups and stews throughout the winter. Many of us like them on the side with just a little salt and pepper.
    If the tomato plants are really happy, once they start popping, you can have more tomatoes than you can keep up with. It's what I call Pandora's tomato box. You wanted those fresh garden tomatoes for months, now you have so many you don't know what to do with them all.
    This simple recipe is an easy way to use some of those tomatoes as a side dish with a few kitchen staples and a little leftover meat.

Stuffed Tomatoes
4 medium tomatoes

2 slices of bread
1/8 cup onion, diced fine
1/8 cup green bell pepper, diced fine
1/2 cup ground meat (beef or sausage) cooked
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Wash tomatoes and core. Place in a small sprayed baking dish.

In small bowl, tear up bread in bits. Add onion, bell pepper, spices and cooked meat.
Mix well and spoon mixture into center of tomatoes. 

Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

Photos courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
    Stuffed peppers are a summertime favorite of mine. Usually I opt for Spanish rice to fill them with and plop them in the slow cooker. Recently, I found a recipe that used ground meat, beans, corn and tomatoes to make a filling. It's full of protein and probably very healthy. I however, substituted good old hot sausage for the turkey and used some Rotel tomatoes to zip up the flavor.
    This was easy, full of flavor and a new twist on an old classic. It's perfect for when the peppers are popping in the garden.

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers
1 lb. hot sausage
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 can Rotel with green chilies
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (red or black)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bell peppers, halved and cleaned

1 cup corn (2 small ears with kernels sliced off)
4 bell peppers (any color) halved
1/2 cup taco or Mexican flavored shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin

Brown sausage over medium heat in medium large skillet. Drain excess grease.

Add onion, beans, garlic, spices and Rotel tomatoes to the skillet. Simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add corn last and simmer 5 minutes more.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray coat a 13x9x2 baking dish.

Lay halved peppers in casserole and fill with meat mixture to the top edge. Add chicken stock to bottom of baking dish, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Return to oven, uncovered for 10-15 minutes to melt cheese.
Peppers ready for oven.
Makes 2 peppers as an entree or 1 as a side dish for 4-8 people. Recipe easily cut in half and leftover reheat .

*Note - remaining filling can be spooned into a soft shell taco or used as a side dish.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bacon and Cheese Turnip Casserole

Photos courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
   What do you do with turnips? That was a question I had recently. After a bit of internet searching it appears that turnips are very much like potatoes and can be used in the same fashion. They can be peeled, boiled and mashed just like potatoes or they can go in the slow cooker with a roast just as easily. They are a bit denser that spuds, but also absorb whatever flavor you put them with (like garlic).
    After delaying dinner with my searching, and a small catastrophe pealing these little root vegetables, I found this idea in a southern cookbook. I cut the recipe in half and added a few other ingredients (like bacon and Panko). However this turned out to be an easy way to use this uncommon veggie.

Bacon and Cheese Turnip Casserole
1 lb. turnips, peeled and chopped
1/8 cup butter
1/2 tsp. minced onion

1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/8 cup bacon real bits

Place turnips in large pot or saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil over medium high heat for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray coat 8x8 square baking dish.

In small saucepan or skillet, melt 1 T. butter and saute' onions until tender, about 3 minutes. Add to turnips.

Mix turnips just like mashed potatoes - adding milk, salt, pepper, onion and butter. Stir in
1/2 cup cheese and combine well.

Pour into sprayed baking dish and sprinkle top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese.

Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Serves 2-3.

Taste Of Home Recipe of the Day