Preheat oven to 375. Slice the lemon and onion, then layer half on the bottom of your dish.
Add the tilapia, then cover with the remaining lemon and onion. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Add crushed garlic clove and butter to the pan, then bake at 375 for 20 – 30 minutes, until done.
I like to cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first 15 – 20 minutes, then remove it for the final baking time. The fish should flake easily and be opaque when it’s done cooking. Periodically spoon the butter and juices back over the fish during bake time.
Two bundles greens (I used one turnip greens and one collard greens)
One and a half yellow onions, diced
Four or five garlic cloves, smashed
Few dashes of hot sauce of your choice
One cup chicken broth, bouillon, or bouillon paste
A few pieces of ham, salt pork, or bacon
Two or three tablespoons butter
Rinse the greens very, very well. This is really important as if there’s any dirt or sand left on the greens it can cause an unpleasant texture. Rip each leaf into several pieces, removing the tough center stem.
Add all ingredients, plus a cup of water, to a large pot and set on high.
Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium to continue simmering. Simmer for at least twenty minutes, or as long as you want.
You can eat them as soon as the greens wilt and become tender, but they’re better the longer they cook. Salt and pepper before serving, and strain before dipping onto a plate or bowl.
Two cans black eye peas, or a bag of frozen or dried beans
Two or three cloves of garlic, smashed
A few pieces ham, salt pork, or bacon
One or two tablespoons butter
Add everything to a saucepan and simmer for at least fifteen minutes, or as long as you want. You can eat it as soon as the beans are warmed through and tender, but they’re better the longer they cook.
Turn the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, put the Crisco in your cast iron skillet and place in the oven.
Mix the other ingredients in your mixing bowl, saving half the milk to the side for now. When the oven has preheated, or after five to ten minutes if your oven, like mine, doesn’t have a preheat notification, mix the rest of the milk into the batter. It should be the consistency of cake batter, and when it rested it will have absorbed some of the milk, which will make the end result more soft and tender.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, the oil should be very hot. Add the batter to the pan, carefully as the oil should bubble and fry the outside of the cornbread. Return to oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to rest for a few minutes, then run a butter knife around the edge and flip onto a plate. Be careful as the pan will still be hot.
Sear the pork chops in a hot skillet and vegetable oil. You want the pan to be on pretty high heat so the pork chops will sear well but quickly, as you want them to be raw when they go into the oven. Work in batches if needed, as they will sear best if they are not touching when in the pan.
Place on a rack on a baking sheet, brush with mustard sauce, then place in the oven. Bake for twenty to thirty minutes, brushing on more mustard sauce every eight to ten minutes.
They are done when a thermometer, inserted into the thickest area, reads at least 165 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan, then saute the onions and bell pepper until the onions start to go translucent around the edges.
Add the garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and has just a little bit of golden brown color.
Add the cans of tomato, bring to a boil, then turn onto low and simmer for as long as you can. Be careful, as tomato sauce pops and splatters a lot if it boils too rapidly, so only let it come to a gentle boil, then cover with a lid as it simmers. The longer you are able to let it simmer, the more flavorful it will be.
3 lbs boneless chicken (both dark and white meat work in this recipe, so use your personal preference or budget to decide. Generally, dark meat retains more moisture and white meat can be drier)
Two cups mexican shredded cheese blend
16-18 small tortillas (flour and corn both work, but corn can cause a bit more work as they are more difficult to work with but have a better flavor)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Cook the chicken your preferred method. I like to place it in a pressure cooker with about ½ a cup of water, season with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and cook for about 15 minutes. When it’s done I simply drain the water and use the bowl of the pressure cooker for the next step.
Shred the chicken and combine with the can of green chile enchilada sauce.
Set up an assembly line with the tortillas on one end, then the chicken mix, then a 9×13 pan. Have your red enchilada sauce neary, first pouring a small amount in the bottom of the pan to help keep the enchiladas from sticking.
Place a small spoonful of the chicken mix into a tortilla, roll, and place in the pan. It can take a little experience to know how much chicken to put into each enchilada, so err on the side of not enough. I find that it normally takes less than I first think.
Once all of the chicken is rolled into tortillas and placed in the pan, cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce, then cover with cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes. It’s done when the cheese is well melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Let cool and enjoy!
Rice and Beans
In this version of rice and beans, I put a lot of flavor in the beans, but leave the rice more plain. I like the balance as I usually serve the beans on top of the rice, but if you want more flavor in your rice you can add a ½ cup of salsa, diced tomatoes and green chiles, or mexican style spices.
For rice, I follow the formula for my rice cooker and add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon paste.
For the beans I use one can of black beans or pinto beans, half a bell pepper, half an onion, one clove of garlic, and a little oil or butter. I sauté the pepper, onion, and garlic in the oil for a few minutes, just until the onion starts to go a bit translucent, then add the beans and simmer until warm and the rest of the meal is ready. Serve over the rice.
Open the pack of ground beef and transfer to a plate. Throw away the trash and wash your hands. *Note; I always use a cast iron skillet to cook burgers, if you do the same go ahead and set it on a low heat to preheat the pan.*
Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the surface of the meat. Use your hands and mix the ground beef up to distribute the seasonings.
Divide the meat into four equal portions of roughly ½ pound each, I normally do this by eye. Form each into a rough ball, then flatten. You want the patties to be about as thin as you can make them, and you can make the sides smooth or leave them a bit rough based on personal preference. If you are not confident in your ability to divide the pounds evenly, you can use a digital scale to make sure each patty is roughly the same size. Wash your hands again.
Turn your stove on to medium heat, then line a clean plate with paper towels and place to the side. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, and when hot lay the patties on the pan. Do NOT move them immediately after placing in pan. You want a good sear to form when they hit the hot metal, and moving them around will disturb that process.
When the edges start turning brown and they move easily, flip each patty. After a couple of minutes, start checking more regularly on their doneness. This can be checked a couple of ways. My favorite kitchen tool is a digital thermometer, which you can get for about $10 at Walmart. Ground beef should always be cooked well done, which is about 160 degrees fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, there are two other ways to check. One is to gently press on the patty with a spatula and notice what color the juices are that come out. If the juices are pink or red, then it’s not done, but they are done when the juices are clear. The other way is to make a small cut into the center of one of the patties and look at the color of the ground beef. You want it to be one color, no pink.
When they’re done, place them on the paper towel lined plate and top with sliced cheese of your choice. Transfer to a bun after they’ve cooled slightly and drained. One of the easiest ways to elevate a burger is to slightly butter the bun and toast it to your liking.
About one potato per person, depending on potato size
Turn oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Either wash or peel your potatoes, I prefer to leave the peel on my fries.
To slice the fries, first slice a potato in half lengthwise. Then, make a parallel cut to the first to slice each half in half again. Lay each plank on it’s wide flat side, then slice into three or four. You want a general equality in the size of each fry. This will be impossible, since potatoes are not square, but the ideal fry would be a long square stick.
Place the fries on a baking sheet, drizzle with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use either your hands or a pair of tongs to toss the fries and ensure equal coating of oil.
Place in the oven for about fifteen minutes, then remove from the oven. Flip all the fries over, making sure each one is on a new side, then return to the oven for an additional fifteen minutes.
To check if the fries are finished, pierce with a fork. A done fry will be easily pierced, but if there is much resistance, they may need ten or fifteen minutes longer.
I planned for this to last my husband and I for four meals, eight servings total, and it has worked out perfectly. Of course you can adjust to however much you need to make.
I cooked the rice the day before with a spoonful of Sofrito and a little bit of chicken broth base. I keep a jar of broth base in the fridge constantly. It lasts longer than buying broth and can really elevate plain rice.
Slice the sausage into discs or cubes, depending on personal preference. Saute sausage in a little butter in a large skillet.
Dice the bell pepper and onion, how much you use is up to personal preference, but it’s a good way to add some veggies to this meal. Add to the pan with the sausage once the sausage is browned enough for your liking. Saute until the bell pepper and onion are tender. You can add a little water and cover the pan to speed this process up. I also like to add salt and pepper at this point.
Add the rice and beans to the pan and stir to combine everything. I normally add a little bit (maybe ½ – ¾ of a cup) and cover to let everything combine and warm through.
If everyone likes hot sauce, you can add it to the pan. You can also just put a bottle of hot sauce on the table for whoever might want some.