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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Homemade Mag Mud

In honor of tailgate season (and Mizzou’s first SEC game against Georgia!) I wanted to share one of our most favorite tailgate dips, Mag Mud.

In Austin, Texas, is the most amazing restaurant, Magnolia Cafe. My very, very dear friend B insisted (it didn’t take much!) we go there whenever I visited her and it was always packed and always delicious. Regardless of time of day or night, B and I always started with their famed Mag Mud. It’s surprisingly easy and if you make it in a crock pot, last well through a long tailgate.

Ingredients:
1-2 cans black beans, drained (or if you prefer to soak your beans, feel free to do that instead just make sure they’re ready to go)
1 package Velveeta Queso Blanco, cut into squares
1 can Rotel, drained (we used medium, but go with the level of spice you want)
2 avocados, sliced
1 cup pico de gallo (store bought is fine!)

Directions:
Put the black beans in the bottom of the crock put. Turn crock pot to high. Wait about 20 minutes and add the cubed Velveeta. Stir. Let Velveeta melt (about 15 to 20 minutes). Stir. Add the drained Rotel. Stir. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips by topping cheese with avocado slices and pico.
*Note: The time depends on your crock pot. Ours has three levels, keep warm (low), Low (medium) and high. If your dip is a bit too runny (or slides right off the chips!), you can thicken it by adding shredded Mexican Blend cheese. We used about a half cup.

My opinion:
The original Mag Mud is layered, this one isn’t. Other than that, I can’t think of a single thing wrong with it. So good!

Tomatillo Salsa

Every year for Christmas, J and I invite our families to a Christmas Eve Mexican inspired feast. The tradition sprung out of our time in San Antonio where tamales are often given as gifts. Our favorite salsa is the wonderful green Tomatillo Salsa and we finally found a recipe that rivals the homemade ones we had in Texas. Now if only we could master the tamales in time for the holiday…

Ingredients:
2 pound tomatillos husked (most of the ones we found in our local grocer were mostly husked already. Be ware: they are sticky!)
2 white onion, peeled, sliced, quartered
8 Garlic cloves
4  jalapenos
4  teaspoons Ground cumin
2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced

Directions:
On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky. Transfer all but 1 cup of your tomatillo salsa to a serving dish or bowl for later, leaving that last 1 cup in the food processor.

My opinion:
If I’m not careful when we make this, I end up eating half of it with tortilla chips before I can add it to any dish. So good!

Green Chili Stew


One thing I miss about Texas is the abundance of Hatch green chilies at HEB. And the green chili enchiladas at Chuys. We’ve tried a few recipes from scratch to match the sauce and a stew without luck. Until we found Cookwell & Company’s Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix. With a few modifications, it was the closest we’ve had since leaving Texas.

Ingredients:
Two-Step Green Chile Stew Mix
2 chicken breasts (Shredded or diced)
rice or barley (to help thicken the stew)
corn (we omitted this time, but will add in the future)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth (if needed)
Mexican blend shredded cheese

Directions:
Heat stew over medium heat until simmering, turn down to low. Sautee chicken in oil until cooked through. Add to the stew. Add rice or barley. Cook for 10-15 minutes simmering until stew is cooked down, by about a third. Add the corn. If the stew has reduced too much, add the chicken broth. Add the corn and simmer for about 2 minutes or until heated through. If frozen, cook another five minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

My opinion:
Perfect for a late fall evening. Just enough spice and flavor to not need any additions. I cannot wait to try this in the crock pot later this winter!