Monday, October 16, 2017


1 pound black beans
8 cups water
4 Tablespoons oil

Rinse beans and place in pressure cooker with water and oil. Cook the beans on High Pressure for 32 minutes with a natural pressure release.

2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
beans and black water
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
24 turns of the pepper mill
2 bay leaves

In a large sauce pan heat oil on low. Saute onions until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and cook for one minute.   Add the beans and black water (the water the beans were cooked in), oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir well.  Add bay leaves.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaves.  Serve hot.

Congri makes a great filling for burritos too.

Inspired by The Hungry Cuban.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

College Congri

1 can black beans, drained (reserve liquid)
1 cup white long grain rice
1 Tablespoon oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Drain black beans into measuring cup to reserve liquid.  In a medium sized pot with a lid that will seal well*, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute garlic 30 seconds.  Stir in cumin and oregano.  Stir in rice.  Add beans.  Add water to reserved bean liquid to make 2 cups, add to pot, stir.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Give the mixture a stir, cover, and turn down heat to low.  Cook 20 minutes.  Fluff before serving. 

For additional flavor you can add 1/4 cup chopped onion - saute until translucent, then add the garlic and follow the recipe.  You can also add 1 bay leaf before covering. 

*If the lid of your pot does not seal well, cover the pot with tin foil and then put on the lid.  That usually creates a nice seal.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Chicken Zucchini Tomato Bake

1 large egg
1 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup bread crumbs (2 Tablespoons reserved)
3 large boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick, cut in 2-3 serving size pieces
4 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
5 cups zucchini, cut into thick (large) bite size chunks
1 clove minced garlic
juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 tomatoes, thick sliced (enough to cover the casserole)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese  (divided and more if you'd like)
1 teaspoon dried basil (divided)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl, beat egg, water, salt, and pepper.  In a separate bowl, pour bread crumbs (remember to reserve 2 Tablespoons).  Dip chicken in egg mixture, then bread crumbs, put on plate.

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken in skillet until browned, 2 minutes per side (I usually fit 3 pieces of chicken at a time. Add more oil if needed.) Remove to a plate or dish until assembling the casserole.  Add another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to skillet.  Add zucchini and garlic stirring to coat with oil.  Season with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon basil. Stir, then cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs over zucchini.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella.  Top with tomato slices.  Season tomatoes with salt and remaining basil.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Arrange chicken on top.  Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes.  Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Cream Pie

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

 Combine the butter and crumbs well. Press firmly into pie pan. Refrigerate while making the filling. 

In a KitchenAid mixer, using the paddle attachment and beating on low-medium speed, beat the mascarpone for 1 minute. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk until smooth and completely incorporated, then the cream until fully incorporated, then, slowly, the lemon juice until the mixture starts to thicken and get creamy.  Pour into prepared pie pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight (preferred).

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tamra's Creamy Chocolate Poke Cake

Bake a devil foods box cake as per directions.

 While warm out of the oven, poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon about every 2". You want those holes big, not a skewer.

 Microwave a can of sweetened condensed milk and a can of dulce de leche in a bowl for 30 seconds and stir. Pour slowly over hot cake. Spoon around to hit the holes which will suck it up fast. Let cool. 

Frost with a tub of cool whip (or homemade sweetened whipped cream - 1 cup cream, 2-3 T sugar) and smash 2-3 Heath or Skor candy bars and sprinkle on top.

Potato Salad

3.5 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, boiled in salted water about 10 minutes or until tender
4 hard boiled eggs

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon thyme
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 Tablespoons roasted red pepper

 Optional garnish:
hard boiled egg

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Gnocchi with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Spinach in a White Sauce

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken bone broth
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
1 (17.5 oz) package gnocchi
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425.  In an oven-proof deep skillet or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Whisk in flour until smooth and slightly browned (about 3 minutes).  Whisk in milk and bone broth.  Whisk and simmer 5 minutes until slightly thickened.  Whisk in nutmeg, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Stir in mushrooms, chicken, gnocchi, and spinach.  Sprinkle with parmesan and bake about 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly and the gnocchi is tender.