ZESTY LIME GUACAMOLE
3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice in a large bowl, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Next, add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash using a potato masher. Then fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve with your favorite nacho flavored chips, crackers or veggies. Yield: about 3-1/2 cups.
TENDER CHICKEN BITES
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 dried red chilies
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine all marinade ingredients; blend well and set aside. Cut chicken breasts into 2-inch cubes and set in marinade mixture for 2 hours. Remove chicken cubes from marinade; place on broiler rack. Broil 3 to 4 minutes per side until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve chicken with toothpicks on platter decoratively lined with lettuce. Yield: 6 servings.
SKILLET TACO CASSEROLE
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/3 cup water
1 (1-1/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
1 cup milk
1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
10 taco shells, coarsely crushed (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup pitted ripe black olives, sliced
In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until browned; drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce, water and taco seasoning mix into meat mixture; heat through. Remove from heat. Beat eggs; stir in milk. Add a small amount of the tomato sauce mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Return all to skillet. Stir in kidney beans, the 1-1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, and the crushed taco shells. Turn into a 12-inch-by-7-1/2-inch-by-2-inch baking dish.
Bake in 350º oven for about 30 minutes. Top with lettuce, the 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, and black olives. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Yield: 6 servings.
CAJUN-SEASONED CHICKEN BURGERS
1/4 cup garbanzo beans, drained and mashed
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground raw chicken
4 hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, split
Chili sauce, taco sauce or ketchup
Cajun Seasoning (recipe follows)
Combine mashed garbanzo beans, beaten egg, bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add ground chicken; mix well. Shape mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Preheat oven broiler and place patties on ungreased, unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from heat for about 6 minutes. Turn patties over; broil 7 to 8 minutes more until no longer pink in center. Toast buns, if desired. Serve patties in buns with lettuce leaves, slices of tomato, chili or taco sauce. Yield: 4 servings.
To make Cajun seasoning: Combine 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon ground red pepper, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store, covered, at room temperature. Yield: 1/4 cup seasoning.
MEATBALL AND MOZZARELLA HOAGIES
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork sausage
1 (14-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
6 Italian rolls, split
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
Mix ground beef and pork sausage; shape into 1-inch balls. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until browned. Drain meatballs, discarding the drippings. Combine spaghetti sauce and garlic in skillet; add meatballs. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 12 to 14 minutes, or until done. Place roll halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet; broil 5 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially opened) 2 minutes or until rolls are slightly toasted. Spoon meatball mixture onto bottom halves of bread; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese and top with remaining bread. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
SKILLET POTATO SALAD
8 thin slices bacon
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vinegar
4 to 5 cups potatoes, cooked and cubed
Cook bacon until crisp; drain well on paper towel and crumble. Save 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Add celery to reserved drippings in skillet; cook until almost tender. Add onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. Mix together sugar, flour, salt, celery seed and pepper; stir into celery-onion mixture. Add water and vinegar, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and bacon. Mix gently, but thoroughly, over heat. Serve hot. Yield: 6 servings.
7 cups (1-1/4-pounds) cabbage, coarsely shredded
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup sliced green onions
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Serve chilled with slotted spoon. Yield: 8 servings.
ITALIAN CHOCOLATE GLAZED BALLS
1 cup Crisco
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, slightly beaten
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 (12-ounce) package miniature chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk
In an electric mixer, combine the first 4 ingredients; blend well. Gradually add flour and the next 6 ingredients. Mix, then stir in chopped walnuts and mini chips. Add a little more flour, if needed. Roll into balls using flour. Place balls on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 º for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool slightly and dip in glaze.
To make glaze: Cream together butter and milk. Add enough powdered sugar until the glaze is consistent to your satisfaction.
PUFFED RICE BALLS
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups puffed rice
Cook molasses, sugar, water and salt until a hard ball forms when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in butter and puffed rice. Shape into balls. Yield: approximately 2-1/2 dozen balls.
• Clean Your Cutting Boards. Wash chopping boards and blocks with hot water and soap and let them air dry. If you are extra concerned about bacteria, forget plastic and use wooden boards instead; food-borne bacteria have a harder time surviving on wood.
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