Texas sweet onion casserole

It does not look pretty, but it tastes amazing!
It does not look pretty, but it tastes amazing!

Homesick Texan doesn’t disappoint. This recipe makes both J and I miss Texas sweet 1015 onions terribly. Vidalia onions are good substitutes, but don’t quite have the flavor. Since we can’t find the onions in Mid-Missouri, we had to make a few changes to the recipe, but it still turned out quite well.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2  pounds of your favorite sweet yellow onions if you can’t find Texas sweet 1015 onions. Vidalia onions are a pretty good substitute.
3 cups cooked rice (we used long grain white)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne (just about 1/4 teaspoon. The heat int he dish comes from the chipotles in adobo)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or a bit more, we often err on the side of more garlic)
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, diced (the original recipe calls for one or two. One just doesn’t seem to get properly dispersed through the dish. We like every bite to have some chipotle chile flavor)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded Gruyere (8 ounces), divided
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional, but so worth it if you have it)

Directions:
In a large skillet (the original recipe called for cast iron, sadly, ours is a bit too small, so we use the largest skillet we have and then a casserole pan) on low heat melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and while occasionally stirring cook for 10 minutes until soft. Don’t try to caramelize. Stir together the cooked rice, cumin, allspice, cayenne, garlic, chipotle chile, sour cream and 1/2 cup of the Gruyere cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings (we usually add more), then add salt to taste. Original recipe says to add the rice mixture to the skillet and stir until onions are mixed well with the rice, but since our skillet isn’t big enough we combine everything in the casserole dish. Top with the rest of the Gruyere cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until brown and bubbling. Serve topped with cilantro, it’s worth it.

My opinion:
It’s no secret I don’t love sour cream. It’s a mouth feel thing. But in this dish, it combines wonderfully with the chipotle chiles and cheese. Plus, this dish freezes well and is perfect for a night when neither J or I want to cook.

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Cheesy “Pantelones”

Cheesy Papillons
Cheesy Papillons

These aren’t actually cheesy pants (obviously). When J and I were putting together our Thanksgiving menu, I misread the Cheesy Papillons from this Serious Eats recipe as cheesy pantelones and after laughing until I couldn’t breathe, the name stuck.

Cheesy Papillons are simple, delicious and perfect appetizers. While best right out of the oven, they are just as tasty after they’ve cooled.

Ingredients:
Flour
2 puff pastry sheets (17 ounces total) (We found this hidden in the freezer isle!)
Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon or fleur de sel)
2 cups grated Gruyère (about 6 ounces. My new favorite cheese!)
1/4 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (since we don’t have this glorious spice, we used a substitute of half paprika and half cayenne)

Directions:
Follow the package directions for defrosting the puff pastry. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dust the countertop (or the cutting board) with some flour. Unfold the puff pastry, dock lightly with a fork and season with a generous pinch of sea salt. Scatter 1 cup of cheese evenly over the top and use a rolling pin to gently press it into the pastry (this is important to keep the cheese from falling off as you roll). Top with half of the piment d’Espelette. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry and the remaining ingredients.
Use a ravioli cutter (we just used the pizza cutter) to slice the pastry in strips about 1-inch by 3 inches. Twist each strip in the middle to form a bowtie (a bowtie meant the cheese fell out for us, so we rolled into crescents with the cheese on the inside.).
Place strips, spaced out, on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you may need to do this in two batches). Bake until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

My opinion:
So wonderful. I’m glad we had friends over to help me eat these because I would have eaten the whole batch myself.

Yellow Shrimp Curry


While this originally started out to be Bombay Shrimp, I accidentally purchased the wrong type of tamarind paste so the dish ended up more like a curry. The end result was quite delicious and I was disappointed there wasn’t enough for seconds!

Ingredients:
1 pound raw shrimp, medium (we used 26-31 size)
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon fresh, crushed ginger
4 tablespoons tamarind paste  (we accidentally used tamarind cooking concentrate, which is not paste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon salt  (to taste)
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1/2 cup Coconut milk
2 medium Jalapenos, chopped (ours were disappointingly mild)
1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped

Directions:
Peel the shrimp and place in a large bowl. Add ginger, garlic, and tamarind paste, turmeric powder, chile powder and salt to the shrimp. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add garlic cloves and stir until brown.  Add shrimp and stir for 2 minutes, so that the shrimp begins to brown and curl. Add coconut milk, cilantro and jalapenos.

Turn the heat off when the gravy begins to simmer. Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

My opinion:
As I said before, I wish there were left overs. We will definitely be making this again. With the mild jalapenos, the dish could have used a bit more spice.

Texas Two Step Chili

With the frigid temperatures and nearly two feet of snow, we made a lot of soups this week. One of our favorites and one of the easiest is chili.

At our local Schnucks, they have Cookwell & Company All Natural Texas Two Step Chili Mix. It smells heavenly in the jar. We combine it with a pound of ground beef to make the most amazing chili.

Ingredients:
One jar chili starter
pound ground beef
cayenne to taste (optional)
lime juice (optional)
shredded cheese such as cheddar or Mexican blend (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:
Heat the jar of sauce in a sauce pot over medium heat. Brown the beef. Drain. Add to sauce pot of chili. Cover. Let cook at least an hour. The longer cooking time means the flavors meld more.

My opinion:
J likes to add some cayenne pepper to give it a bit more spice. He also adds some lime juice and shredded cheese, but even without the additions, the chili is delicious. If you wanted to bulk up the vegetables you could add an onion and peppers.