Taco Soup

My mother gave me this recipe that a friend of hers had shared. I changed their recipe a little because I think the ranch dressing mix that they added made it too salty. Also, they said to drain all of the canned beans & vegetables, then add water – this seemed ridiculous to me, so I don’t do it.

Servings: 4-6

1 lb ground beef, cooked
15 oz can corn, undrained
2 – 15 oz cans pinto beans, undrained
15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 oz green chiles, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
Cheddar or Jack cheese, grated
sour cream or plain yogurt

  1. Dump all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat until heated through.
  3. Serve topped with grated cheese and sour cream or yogurt.
  • I keep containers of precooked ground beef in my freezer. I use it still frozen – it will be ready by the time everything is heats.  If you don’t have this, you can cook the meat in the saucepan before adding everything else.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.

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Creamy Onion Frankfurters

I found this recipe and Cheesy Herbed Frankfurters in a magazine in the late 1970s, but neither recipe says where I got them.

Servings: 2-3

¼ cup butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
⅛ tsp dried basil
⅛ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp dried rosemary
⅛ tsp dried tarragon
¼ cup sour cream
3 large frankfurters (about 7″ long)
1 baguette, about 21″ long

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over low heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic and herbs. Cover and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are limp and golden, about for minutes.
  4. Blend in sour cream until heated through.
  5. Cook frankfurters as desired (broil, grill, boil).
  6. Cut baguette into 3 pieces.  Cut each piece almost in half lengthwise. Toast lightly.
  7. Place frankfurters in baguettes and top with creamy onion mixture.
  • You can substitute yogurt for the sour cream.

Mary’s G-o-o-o-d Stuff

I got this recipe from a recipe exchange that I belonged to in the late 2000s, but unfortunately I did not make a note of who submitted the recipe. If you know where this recipe came from, please let me know.

Servings: 6

2 Tbsp water
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz green chile, chopped
2 cups water
8 oz uncooked short pasta (shells, rotini, farfalle, penne, etc.)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup sour cream

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp water in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
  2. Add sausage, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove cover and let water evaporate, browning sausage lightly. Drain off fat.
  3. Add onion & garlic and cook 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add tomatoes, chiles and water. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add pasta and spices. Return to a boil, turn heat to low.
  6. Cover and cook until pasta is al dente. Mixture should be loose, but not too soupy.
  7. Turn off heat and stir in sour cream.
  • I use bulk Italian sausage. If you use links you will need to remove the casings.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • You can substitute 2 – 10 oz cans diced tomatoes with chiles (e.g., Ro-Tel) for the canned tomatoes and the chiles.
  • You can substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream.

Southwestern Chicken Salad

The creamy, spicy sauce from Southwestern Chicken Pasta also makes a great salad. Great for hot summer days.

Servings: 4

1 cup salsa
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp chipotle pepper, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb chicken, cooked & cubed
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
salad greens – optional

  1. Combine salsa, sour cream & chipotles.
  2. Combine chicken, tomatoes, onions, cilantro & avocado.
  3. Toss salsa mixture & chicken mixture.
  4. Serve alone or over a bed of greens.
  • I usually use yogurt in place of sour cream.
  • You can reserve some of the salsa mixture to be added separately if this is too hot for some.

Southwestern Chicken Pasta

I wrote this recipe out from a magazine, but unfortunately, I did not make note of the magazine name. I love this creamy, spicy sauce with pasta.

Servings: 4

1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp chipotle pepper, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 lb chicken, cooked & cubed
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1 lb pasta, cooked & drained

  1. Combine salsa, sour cream & chipotles.
  2. Combine chicken, tomatoes, onions, cilantro & avocado.
  3. Toss salsa mixture, chicken mixture & pasta.
  • I usually use yogurt in place of sour cream.
  • I like to use farfalle (bow-tie) pasta for this recipe, but you can use any short pasta.
  • You can reserve some of the salsa mixture to be added separately if this is too hot for some.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Lyn Ortega, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1980)

Lyn was a friend of my mother’s – a fun person and a wonderful cook.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
5 tomatoes, diced
1 med onion, chopped
1# chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 pint sour cream
1/2 lb grated cheddar or cheddar/jack blend
12 corn tortillas or 8 flour tortillas

Directions

  1. Combine garlic, chile, tomatoes & onion in a saucepan. Cook until onions are tender & sauce is thickened.
  2. Combine chicken, cheese & sour cream. Fill tortillas with mixture & roll up. Top with sauce & sprinkle with more cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 until browned & bubbly, about 30 minutes (45 min if refrigerated before cooking).
  4. Serve with sour cream.
  • You can substitute 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained.
  • I use nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt.

Zucchini and Onion Koftas

adapted from Spice Goddess / Bal Arneson

vegetable oil
1 cup chickpea flour
3 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 medium onion, cut in quarters & thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 3 cups)
a pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Combine chickpea flour, yogurt, garam masala, cardamom seeds, onions, zucchini and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Drop appx 2 Tbsp mixture into oil, press slightly to flatten and fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Add more oil to skillet as needed.
  4. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve hot.
  • To avoid using a lot of oil to deep-fry, I made this into “pancakes” rather than fritters.
  • I did not use the green onions or pomegranate seeds listed in the original recipe.
  • I prefer the spice seeds to be crushed to spread the flavor thru the dish a little more. If you prefer, you can leave them whole as Bal Arneson does.
  • The flavor may vary a little depending on the garam masala mix being used.
  • You can substitute all purpose or whole wheat flour for the chickpea flour, but the texture will not be as crunchy.

A Salad to Make You Famous

adapted from The Quarter of Six Cookbook

12 oz can white meat chicken
(or 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped)
broth from canned chicken
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup strawberry halves
1 lg banana, sliced
1 avocado, cubed
¼ cup milk
¾ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp vanilla
generous dash each of nutmeg & cinnamon

Directions

  1. Mix chicken broth (if not using canned, add a little water if necessary to thin the dressing), milk, yogurt, vanilla & spices.
  2. Gently toss fruit & chicken.
  3. Serve with dressing on the side.
  • The original recipe called for buttermilk that I never have on hand, so I replaced it with ½ milk and ½ yogurt – this works in other recipes also.

Spiced Indian Grilled Chicken

adapted from Spice Goddess / Bal Arneson

1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cayenne
Pinch salt
1 cup plain yogurt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions

  1. Combine the garam masala, sugar, garlic, cardamom, cayenne, salt, yogurt, and tomato paste in a large bowl and mix well; set aside about 1/3 of the marinade for a dipping sauce. Add the chicken and coat well. Cover the bowl and let marinate in the fridge for 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place on the hot grill.  Cook until the chicken is done and juices run clear.
  • Garam masala varies quite a bit.  the one I had was rather sweet, and I remember Bal’s mix having a lot of cumin, so I added cumin to the recipe.
  • The recipe was supposed to include 2 Tbsp dried fenugreek leaves and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. I did not use the fenugreek leaves because I did not have them and I forgot to add the tomato paste because I was sleepy when I made it : ]
    I’ll have to try this recipe again with these flavors added.
  • Bal used legs & thighs, but I prefer white meat so I used breasts.

Hamburger Stroganoff

I got this recipe from a magazine in the early 90’s, but I don’t remember which one 🙂

1 lb hamburger
1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
½ cup sherry
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8 oz egg noodles, cooked

Directions

  1. Brown hamburger, drain.
  2. Add soup mix, sherry & soup. Heat until bubbly.
  3. Stir in sour cream and heat through.
  4. Serve over noodles.

(Serves 4)