Thursday, December 11, 2008

Party Appetizer or Yummy Brunch: Sausage Balls

Mix together: 1 pound bulk HOT sausage:

2 cups Bisquick:

12 oz shredded cheddar cheese:

Mix together well. You probably have to use your hands. Even my stand mixer won't do this job.

Roll into 1" balls. You can now store these in the fridge for later baking if you like. (you can also freeze for a few weeks - just thaw before baking)

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until browned and cooked through.

A perfect appetizer or brunch entree. A Christmas morning tradition for us.

ratio: 1 pound bulk hot sausage to 12 oz shredded extra sharp cheddar to 2 cups Bisquick.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

101: Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

If you happen to have some leftover tortillas in your fridge, this is a great way to use them up. Also a great lower fat way to propel high fat dip into your mouth!

Preheat oven to 450.

Slice the tortillas into wedges. The pizza wheel is an excellent tool for this job.

Toss the tortillas in a big bowl with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. (Start with LESS then you think you need. It will normally be enough). I like to sprinkle on salt, paprika, garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper - but feel free to experiment.

Spread the tortillas on a baking tray, but only one chip deep. For this batch I had to do three trays. Bake for about ten minutes, but shake and turn them AT LEAST once during the ten minutes, and keep a very close eye on them in the last three minutes. Crispy and lightly browned is the goal, but there seems to be but 45 seconds between perfect and overdone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Leftover Steak Fajitas

Wait! You say ... someone who frequently talks about frugality has leftover steak? Well this steak was purchased in 2+ pound packages at under $2 pound, so YES - leftover cooked steak.

Slice the leftover cold steak into slices. Marinate in lime juice, cayenne or chili powder and garlic (fresh or powdered). Allow to marinate for at least a few hours.

Slice onions into thin slices, and cook at a high temperature until lightly browned. Add a bit of garlic (I just love those garlic ice cubes from Trader Joes!), and cook a minute or two longer. Remove from the pan.

Add the peppers (this half a pound of frozen bell pepper slices, thawed and drained), and cook until a bit of color is singed onto the edges. Remove them from the pan as well.

Bring the pan back to very hot, then sear the steak slices JUST BRIEFLY to warm and color.

Serve with refried beans or black beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole ... whatever you have on hand in your fridge and pantry. Serve with tortillas (if you like, warm them on your oven stone for a minute).

A very quick dinner from leftovers!