Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

This is a great  cauliflower salad for family gatherings or just for everyday meals. It tastes best the day after it is made. It makes a really lunch with the leftovers as well. There are several versions found on the internet some with cheddar cheese, some with out parmesan and no onions. In my opinion this is the best broccoli and cauliflower salad, the mozzarella cheese does not overpower the broccoli. Some versions have sunflowers, nuts or craisins. Whatever family rendition you may have, the classic is always the best.

1 head broccoli, 1 head cauliflower, 1 cup regular mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 pound bacon cooked crumbled, 1 bunch green onions, 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Traditional vinegar is too overpowering for this salad.

Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and parmesan, let marinate in fridge while you prepare broccoli and cauliflower.

Cut up broccoli and cauliflower into bite size flowerettes, cut up onions and fry bacon.

If you slice the bacon before cooking, it is super easy to fry up, slice onions including tops. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon, and 2 tablespoons onions, add the rest of onions and bacon to broccoli/cauliflower.

Mix with broccoli, cauliflower, onions and bacon with mayonnaise mixture, spread in a 9 x 13 cake pan. Sprinkle top with mozzarella, reserved bacon and green onions. I like to put onions on top so people will know that there are onions in this salad (for those odd people who do not like onions).

Cool in fridge for at least one hour, served best cold.

Full fat mayonnaise works best, but lowfat can be used if desires.

The dressing will thin a bit ass it sits in the fridge this is normal.

Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup regular mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ pound bacon cooked crumbled
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and parmesan
  2. Let rest while you prepare vegetables
  3. Cut broccoli and cauliflower in bite size floweretes
  4. Slice bacon thinly and fry until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons
  5. Slice green onions, reserve 2 tablespoons
  6. Combine dressing with broccoli/cauliflower, bacon and onions, toss to combine
  7. Spread in 9×13 glass pan or similar
  8. Sprinkle with mozzarella, reserved bacon and green onions
  9. Chill 2 hours before servin
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Egg Rolls

This dish with Fried Rice is all of my kids favorite dish. I had my daughter and her friend help me make these. I had them chop and slice and julienne. Then I put in the food processor to make it more uniform in size. The friend after chopping and slicing said “why did you make me slice all this stuff if you were just going to put it in there”? It really works best if you do slice everything by hand to get small julienne.

*For best results cook each ingredient separately, saute and set in one large bowl starting with meat, it is best to cook the shrimp separately since it cooks quickly. Do not brown meats, cook until not raw. Onions, chestnuts, bamboo shoots and fungus can be cooked together. All vegetables should be crisp do not overcook. Toss all these ingredients in large bowl. These can be prepared the day ahead.

Have a small cup of water available for sealing edges. Refer to above diagram.
Lay in front of you with one point toward you like a diamond. Put 1/4 cup of mix in center. Pull closest corner over filling, tuck and roll once. Fold side corner over center, tuck in loose edges, seal edges. Wet last corner with water tucking and rolling all loose edges in sealing with water. Be careful to not use too much tension or the wrapper will tear. There is a fine balance between tightly rolled and too tightly rolled it just takes practice. Some tears can be patched with some water and pinching. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are gone. Can be refrigerated and set aside until just before served. (adjust your filling amount to what works best to fill the roll without tearing it)

Cooking

Heat oil in deep fry pan 2-3 inches of oil is best. With oil med high. Test for temperature by placing a small piece of wrapper in oil it should rise to the surface within 2 seconds. If faster it is too hot, if slower it is not hot enough. Oil will cool as you add egg rolls so it is OK if it is a bit too hot to begin with. Place rolls in oil gently, one at a time. As each becomes golden brown turn. Place on paper towel to drain oil, move to baking dish and keep warm in 170 degree oven until ready to serve, if you can wait that long.

Caution filling will be hot. Be cautious of splattering oil while cooking.

These will not be as tightly rolled as the ones you buy but they are much better.

Serve with hot mustard, sweet and sour sauce, wonton dipping sauce. All can be bought pre-made at most grocery store.

Ingredients
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoon premium soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-5 drops sesame oil
  • 1 ½ cup raw chicken chopped fine not ground
  • 1 cup raw pork chopped fine not ground
  • 1 cup raw shrimp chopped fine (this will look grey when you buy it, you will need to shell and devien them)
  • ½ head cabbage very finely sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions sliced
  • 1 can water chestnuts julienne
  • 1 large carrot julienne
  • 1 can bamboo shoots julienne
  • 1-2 tablespoon black fungus softened in water and thinly sliced or chopped (Bought dry at Asian store)
  • ½ pound fresh bean sprouts cut in half
  • 2 eggs beaten cooked in thin pancake, do not brown, once cooked roll and make thin slices and chop about 1 inch strips
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Cook each ingredient separately, saute and set in one large bowl
  2. Start with meat, it is best to cook the shrimp separately since it cooks quickly. Do not brown meats, cook until not raw.
  3. All vegetables should be crisp do not overcook.
  4. Onions, chestnuts, bamboo shoots and fungus can be cooked together.
  5. Toss all these ingredients in large bowl. These can be prepared the day ahead.
  6. Rolling
  7. Have a small cup of water available for sealing edges.
  8. Lay egg roll wrap in front of you with one point toward you like a diamond.
  9. Put ¼ cup of mix near center spread out slightly in a line.
  10. Pull closest corner over filling, tuck and roll once.
  11. Fold side corner over center, tuck in loose edges, seal edges with water.
  12. Wet last corner with water tucking and rolling all loose edges sealing with water.
  13. Be careful to not use too much tension or the wrapper will tear.
  14. There is a fine balance between tightly rolled and too tightly rolled it just takes practice.
  15. Some tears can be patched with some water and pinching.
  16. Repeat until all filling and wrappers are used.
  17. Can be refrigerated and set aside until just before served.
  18. Cooking
  19. Heat oil in deep fry pan on medium high heat. 2-3 inches of oil is best..Oil will cool as you add egg rolls so it is OK if it is a bit too hot to begin with.
  20. Test for temperature by placing a small piece of wrapper in oil it should rise to the surface within 2 seconds. If faster it is too hot, if slower it is not hot enough.
  21. Place rolls in oil gently, one at a time. As each becomes golden brown turn over.
  22. Place on paper towel to drain oil, move to baking dish and keep warm in 170 degree oven until ready to serve, if you can wait that long.
Notes
*These can be prepared the day ahead.

*Be cautious of splattering oil while cooking.

*These will not be as tightly rolled as the ones you buy but they are much better.

Serve with hot mustard, sweet and sour sauce, wonton dipping sauce. All can be bought pre-made at most grocery store.

Bacon Chesnut Appetizer

This is a crowd pleaser every time I serve it. It is easy to assemble and cook. The toothpicks are already inserted for your guests to enjoy. It was in the church cookbook my mom has from the 80’s. The recipe has been used in our family ever since, the combination of chestnuts and bacon sounds strange but the crispiness of the chestnuts and the chewy bacon with the tangy sauce really make this a hit. Other recipes I have found online either don’t have a sauce or they cook the bacon in the sauce. I find this makes a greasy sauce and soggy bacon. Precooking the bacon wrapped chestnuts works best to obtain the desired crispy and chewy combination that makes this great.

Cut fresh bacon strips in half, also cut the chestnuts in half.  Wrap each chestnut with a strip of bacon, secure with toothpick. Place on baking tray

Cook under broiler until crisp, don’t forget about it or you will have burnt bacon. I say this because I am notorious at burning things under the broiler.

Placed in slow cooker, cover with sauce, no need to stir. Cook for several hours before serving. If you have a decorative slow cooker you can serve it right in the pot to keep warm for guests.

Ingredients
  • 2 (8 oz) can whole chestnuts
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Drain chestnuts
  2. Cut chestnuts in half
  3. Cut bacon strips in half
  4. Wrap 1 strip of bacon around each chestnut
  5. Secure with toothpick
  6. Place on cookie sheet
  7. Cook under broiler until crispy
  8. Drain, and place bacon/chestnut in slow cooker
  9. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce
  10. Pour sauce over bacon and water chestnuts, no need to stir
  11. Cook several hours until ready to serve.
  12. Best if served warm

Chili Verde

Chile Verde is a classic Mexican staple. Most Americans only know it as smothered on burritos or some other Mexican dish. Every time I make it my dad says the same thing. What is this soup, how do I eat it, what do I do with it. We serve it in a small bowl with flour tortillas. No other condiments or side dishes needed.

I always make this after I have made a pork roast. I use the leftover roast and simmer it all day with the other ingredients. Too often Chile Verde is served as a runny green liquid and firm chunks of pork often chewy. Really not at all appetizing.

Making this with left over pork provides the perfect soft pork meat. This is not good if hurried, it is a slow process worth the wait. Heavy on the pork makes this nice and thick for scooping up with tortillas. I add a bottle of salsa, the tomatoes add a perfect tanginess to this adding depth to the tomatillos and chiles.

Pull left over pork into shreds. In crock pot combine 1 bottle chunky salsa according to your desired heat and 1 bottle green chile salsa with tomatillos. Add 1 large onions cubed, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, 2 large cans of chopped green chilies, 2 cups left over pork broth or chicken broth.

Let simmer on low 6-8 hours. Stirring occasionally. 30 minutes before serving evaluate the thickness, if it is too runny add 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1/2 cup water well blended. Stir let simmer  to thicken stir as needed.

Serve with warm flour tortillas, tear off pieces of tortilla and scoop up the chile verde.

Smother your favorite dishes with the leftovers

Note: If you make gravy from your roast dripping add this to your verde.

DO NOT HURRY THIS it needs to marinate and simmer all day to create the best flavor.

Hot peppers can be added to suit your taste. Hot salsa can warm it up as well.

Make smothered burritos with the leftovers.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups leftover pork roast cubed large chunks or shredded
  • 1 bottle Chile Verde salsa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small cans green chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup leftover gravy
  • Hot peppers as desired
  • Serve with flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients in a crock pot.
  2. Simmer 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Before serving check for saltiness and heat factor.
Notes
This can not be hurried. I can not emphasize this enough. DO NOT HURRY THIS. It needs to simmer and marinate all day to bring out the full flavor and to soften the meat.
The wait is worth it when you eat this.

If you don’t have a left over pork roast, you can dice the roast then sear the chunks in a pan, avoid getting a stewed meat. Keep the meat dry.

BLT

A simple bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. What a perfect lunch on any day. Especially in the summer with fresh picked tomatoes from your garden. I don’t like lettuce on my BLT, so I leave it off.

Fry the bacon according to your preferences. I like it done but nor crispy. I prefer to drain off the excess grease as it develops.

 

Cut tomatoes in slices

 

Toast bread, spread with mayonnaise and mustard. Top with bacon, mayonnaise and lettuce.

Ham Fried Rice 2

Everyone loves ham fried rice. This is a Vietnamese version. No corn peas or carrots in this recipe. It is slightly sweet and very satisfying. Unlike any fried rice you have ever had before.

This the all-time favorite of my family. My oldest would ask for eggs with rice. My daughter would call me from school to make this. The middle son would just devour it. I always made triple what we needed because they would eat it for days after. It gets better the next day.

 

Cook rice, bring to boil for 15 minutes. Best method is to have leftover rice from night before.
If cooking it fresh rinse in cold water before frying. Drain thoroughly. Let rice rest while you prepare other ingredients. Over cooked rice will result in sticky final results.

Slice green onions, finely chop garlic and dice ham in small pieces.
Season large fry pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute onions and garlic about 2-3 min empty onto plate. Add some more olive oil, just enough to coat bottom of pan.
Pour in well beaten eggs, swirling eggs a few times, pull away from sides with spatula, stir gently a few times, while still shiny but not liquid remove from heat and let set. Do not overcook. Pour out onto plate with onions.

 

Warm diced ham in the same pan, once warm add to onions and eggs. Pour some olive oil enough to coat pan, heat over med high heat. Test for heat by dropping water in pan if it sizzles it is ready. We want the pan fairly hot but not smoking. Do not allow oil to overheat.Add rice to pan, toss to warm, add onion/garlic, ham and eggs toss to thoroughly combine
Add oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Toss thoroughly, and sugar. Toss often until thoroughly blended. Taste for sugar and soy sauce flavor. Add more if needed.

This is how we usually serve this. With Char Sui an awesome barbecue pork dish. It also goes well with egg rolls

Pork Enchiladas

Pulled Pork Enchiladas
4 pound boneless pork roast or boneless ribs
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 large onion diced
1 cup shredded cheddar
Sour cream for garnish
Put pork in the slow cooker on low for about 7 hours, Add enchilada sauce once it is cooked take the pork out of the slow cooker. Pull pork with two forks. Put the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute to warm up. Fill a tortilla with 2/3 cup meat and roll, place in 9×13 baking dish cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese cheese. Bake in 350 until cheese is melted.
Options add to tortilla, black beans, pinto beans, green chiles, jalapenos, rice, onions