Tamales

Yep, tamales.

Simple tamales. I finally figured out how to make them.

I used to absolutely hate them. When I was young, I just saw them as these slippery mushy looking things that slid out of a can. They just seemed like pure nastiness.

Once I started really embracing the whole culinary world, I opened myself up to all kinds of things that I had misconceptions about. It’s funny how things change when you take things into your own hands.
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Now that I’ve made them myself, I actually really like them. Trust me, I have a feeling that my friends and family probably don’t enjoy dining out with me anymore. I didn’t mean to become a restaurant asshole, but apparently it happened somewhere along the way.

These are actually fun to make, and you don’t even need a tamale steamer. I used a wire rack on top of a baking pan halfway filled with water and steamed them on the stovetop covered with foil. It’s so easy.
Tamales One of the things I love about these is the versatility – they’re kind of like tacos or burritos; fill them with whatever the hell you want.
Tamales I made both chicken and beef filled, some with salsa verde and some with hot sauce, and both were awesome. You could even go meatless if you wanted to and fill them with beans, corn, etc.

I found rolling them with the corn husks to be difficult until I watched this YouTube video – it’s SO easy. Don’t let it intimidate you. It may take a couple of practice runs, but I promise it’s not difficult.
Tamales Another key to making these is getting the consistency with the masa flour. You can’t use just regular cornmeal; that doesn’t work. Masa is pre-treated with lye – that’s the difference. It’s perfect for making corn tortillas and tamales, etc. Isn’t that frustrating? You would think cornmeal would be cornmeal, but oh well, now you know.

Now that I have my method down, I’ll be experimenting with more fillings. I want to make crazy tamales – like buffalo chicken, jalapeno popper, cheeseburger and chili filled. I just have so many ideas.

Those bastards keep me up at night.
Tamales | Dixie Chik Cooks Here’s your printable!

Tamales

Tamales

Ingredients

    Tamales
  • 2 cups Masa flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water (more if consistency is too thick)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb. ground round, browned
  • 1/2 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Taco seasoning
  • Salsa verde
  • Sriracha
  • Corn husks (found at Mexican grocery stores and at some large chain grocery stores in the produce section)
  • To Serve With
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Diced jalapenos
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa Verde

Instructions

  • Emerge corn husks in a large bowl filled with cold water for at least 2 hours, up to one day.
  • Combine masa, water and salt in a stand mixer, adding water if needed, until consistency is like cookie dough.
  • Drain husks and pat dry.
  • Sprinkle both ground round and chicken with taco seasoning while still hot and toss to coat.
  • Spread masa on large end of corn husk, only one one side and not spreading all the way to small end of husk.
  • Put about a tablespoon of chicken or beef filling in the center of the masa.
  • Fold by rolling from filling side, stopping midway and folding small end up to meet the middle and continue rolling to the end. Secure with strands of corn husks (I just tore them) or twine.
  • Bring water to a boil in a baking pan and layer tamales on a wire rack set on top of the pan; cover with foil.
  • Reduce heat to low and steam for 30-45 minutes, until corn husks remove easily from tamales.
  • Serve with sour cream, cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes, hot sauce and salsa verde, if desired.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/tamales/
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Copycat Krystal Burgers

Does the name “Krystal” ring a bell?
Krystal Copycat Burger If you grew up in the South, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t you sooo missed out.

These little things served up in small cardboard boxes were a very welcome sight for you about 1 am after way too many Miller Genuine Drafts.
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Or it could have been some sort of booze concoction in a fish bowl made by your teenage friends.
Krystal Copycat Burger At which point you proceeded to throw up, and you subsequently showed up at Krystal’s looking like a damn train wreck. Wanting tiny burgers. I mean, I’m not judging or anything.

These little bastards were definitely a staple, and as nasty as anybody wants to say they are – they’re absolutely delicious.

And you know it.
Krystal Copycat Burger Greasy little tiny ass onions and all.

I’ve found the secret – it’s NO seasoning. Like, seriously, nothing except salt and pepper. I tried splashing some worcestershire on a batch of them and it ruined the entire Krystal taste. I’m not even exaggerating.

You start by spreading ground beef out very thin using a rolling pin in between wax paper. Salt and pepper it, slice it into squares and throw it in the freezer. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be.

I used my counter top grill, and it worked perfectly. Another quirky little thing about this is adding the diced onions on the raw side of the burger and then flipping it over and adding the bun on top for a minute.

It works. Don’t forget the pickle.

Here’s your printable –

Copycat Krystal Burgers

Copycat Krystal Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chuck or round
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2 white onions, finely diced
  • American cheese slices
  • 1 package square slider buns

Instructions

  • Roll ground beef out flat on wax or parchment paper, almost paper thin and transfer to baking sheet on wax paper; cut into 2"x2" squares.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes, but no more than overnight.
  • Melt butter on a flattop griddle or large frying pan over medium high heat and add onions, saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes; remove from heat.
  • Add burgers straight from the freezer, a few at a time, to griddle.
  • Sear each for 1-2 minutes, then flip, add a spoonful of onions on top, top with bottom part of bun, then top that with top part of bun. Let them grill for about 1 minute.
  • Remove from pan; remove top part of bun, flip over and add slice of cheese, a squeeze of mustard and pickle slice.
  • Top with top part of bun.
  • Serve.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/copycat-krystal-burgers/

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Meatball Stuffed Pretzels

Or should they be called Pretzel Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Meatballs?

Or Cheese Stuffed Meatballs Wrapped in Pretzel Dough?

Or maybe Meatballs Encased by Pretzel Dough Carrying a Cheese Baby?

Pregnant Pretzel Balls??
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels Whatever…that’s a little exhausting.

There’s nothing better than making a batch of dough – whether it be for bread, pizza or pretzels – and having a full on creative moment.
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Dough, in and of itself, is a blank canvas. What I’ve found, though, is that if you try to push creativity that just isn’t there in that moment – it just really isn’t there. It’s one of those things that has to come to you when you least expect it. Usually, when it’s damn inconvenient and you have no way to write anything down. If you have this problem from time to time, don’t worry about it. Put it down and come back to it later.

It will come to you – I promise.

It didn’t go down that way this time; I happened to be in my kitchen staring into the refrigerator and it hit me while staring at a bowl full of ground pork and beef.

Stuff it.

Wrap it.

I obeyed my inner food voice and it paid off. I’ve definitely learned to listen to that nagging ass voice.
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels Paired with a simple marinara, it makes such an amazing little bite.
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels The pretzel dough is easy, peasy. You can also play around with your dipping sauce – maybe trying a horseradish sauce or mustard?
Meatball Stuffed Pretzels Have fun.

Eat.

Here’s your printable-

Meatball Stuffed Pretzels

Meatball Stuffed Pretzels

Ingredients

  • This pretzel dough recipe (stop following directions after the dough rises)
  • 1 lb. ground round
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp Moore's Original Seasoning
  • 2 eggs, whisked, separated
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 8 oz Cabot Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Italian seasoning

Instructions

  • Make the pretzel dough; cover and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Combine ground round through bread crumbs and form into 1 - 1/2" discs.
  • Place a piece of cheese in the center of each disc and carefully fold the meat around it.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat and brown meatballs on all sides, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Form the pretzel dough into discs a little larger than the meatballs and carefully enclose the meatballs with the dough, placing on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Brush each pretzel ball with whisked egg, and sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/meatball-stuffed-pretzels/

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Lamb and Sirloin Burger with Jalapenos, Red Wine Mushrooms and Mozzarella

Oh.

My.

Lord.

Yep, another burger. But don’t you love that about me???

I can’t help myself; I can never get them out of my head. They stalk me. I can’t, however, take full credit for this one. My brother had this idea, I really only added the mushrooms and onions.
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We ground the lamb and sirloin in my meat grinder together with two peppers – diced red jalapenos and regular jalapenos, with a little seasoning. The lamb is the star of the meat show here, not much else was needed.

Not one.damn.thing.
The mushrooms and onions were better than I even expected they would be on this. It was the red wine vinegar, I’m convinced. I had a hard time keeping my hands out of that pan after I made them.

It just kept calling my damn name.

Making your mushrooms and onions, burgers and then browning the buns in the same pan (consecutively) just adds to the taste of each element. Trust me, this is an important step. The Kaiser bun was perfect for this – nice and sturdy and permeable enough to soak the juices in to round out the burger taste as a whole.
Lamb and Sirloin Burgers Seriously, I’ve made a lot of burgers, but this one is way up there as far as one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
Lamb and Sirloin Burger

Here’s your printable –

Lamb and Sirloin Burger with Jalapenos, Red Wine Mushrooms and Mozzarella

Lamb and Sirloin Burger with Jalapenos, Red Wine Mushrooms and Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. lamb, ground
  • 1/2 lb. top sirloin, ground
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 2 red jalapenos, deseeded and deribbed (is that a word??)
  • 1 green jalapeno, deseeded and deribbed
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • Thinly sliced salami
  • 8 oz Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Kaiser rolls

Instructions

  • Combine the lamb through jalapenos in a mixing bowl; form into 4 burger patties and set aside.
  • Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat and add mushrooms and onions, sprinkle with salt and saute for 2 minutes, stirring.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add red wine vinegar, stirring until the vinegar has reduced. Remove from pan and return pan to the stove.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add burgers, searing about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Add a tbsp of water, reduce heat to medium and cover. Let burgers steam for about 5 minutes; flipping once.
  • Add salami and cheese to burgers and recover. Remove from pan when cheese has melted.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add remaining butter and place rolls, bottom side down, until golden brown, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Assemble burgers by adding burger to bottom bun, top with mushrooms and onions and top bun.
  • Serve.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/lamb-and-sirloin-burger-with-jalapenos-red-wine-mushrooms-and-mozzarella/

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Three Olive Puttanesca Pasta with Meatballs

Well, if you didn’t know that I have a severe affinity for olives…

You do now.
Three Olive Puttanesca Pasta with Meatballs I’ve always loved green olives; especially paired with really sharp cheese. If you don’t understand, then I get it, but I grew up on these things and they’re staples in my kitchen.
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I have a different love for black olives, Kalamata, and now I am deeply in love with Castaveltrano olives.

Deep, deep in love. I mean, seriously, I think I might be their bitch.

Look, I love flavor. Especially flavors that stand out.  Flavors that scream, yell and jump up and down in your mouth.
Three Olive Puttanesca Pasta with Meatballs These pretty little things do that. I made meatballs for this, and it didn’t even need it. Now, here’s where I test your olive knowledge.

Ever had a Castelvatrano???

Didn’t think so. I hadn’t either until a week ago. They’re Italian olives, and they’re amazing.

And, no, this isn’t a sponsored post. I simply fell in love with them at first bite. Castelvatrano olives are kinda, sorta like green olives but with a little more bite, a little more “snap”, if you will.

Taste wise, they’re definitely more along the lines of green olives as far as taste as opposed to black olives, but they stand on their own. They’re just different. Along with them, I included black olives and green Spanish olives for max olive taste.

Get the printable-

Three Olive Puttanesca Pasta with Meatballs

Three Olive Puttanesca Pasta with Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp refrigerated minced garlic
  • (2) 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup red wine (like Shiraz)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. vermicelli pasta, cooked and drained
  • Meatballs (frozen or make your own)
  • More olives for serving
  • More Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, sauteeing just until fragrant.
  • Add crushed tomatoes through olives, stir and adjust to taste.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Toss sauce with vermicelli and meatballs.
  • Top with more olives and cheese.
  • Serve.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/three-olive-puttanesca-pasta-with-meatballs/

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