Christmas 2013!!

Christmas to me is a time to just relax, unwind and get reconnected with family and friends. It’s a perfect time to reminisce about the years gone by and make plans for the New Year around the corner. The last thing I want to do is spend 12 hrs in the kitchen and cook and lose any precious time. Even “I”, take a break on Christmas. Here are some easy recipes that can be prepared before hand and all you need to do is pop them in the oven or the slow cooker and you are all set.

Please take this time to relax and enjoy each other. Life’s too short J

Brunch: Holiday “crunch” baked eggs;

12-18 eggs whisked (depending on how many you want to feed; think 1.5 eggs per person as this is a big and filling dish)
½ cup whole milk (optional but adds extra creaminess to the dish)
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
1 small onion chopped
2 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 Jalapeno’ chopped
½ cup of multi color bell peppers chopped
½ cup of mushrooms cleaned with a wet towel and sliced thin
¼ cup scallions chopped fine
2-3 Tbsp of fresh cilantro chopped
2 Cloves of garlic minced fine
1/2 cup of grated Colby jack cheese
1 cup of crushed corn tortilla chips
1 cup cooked chorizo or breakfast sausage/ham (optional)
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

½ cup of grated Colby jack cheese (divided into ½ cup each)
1 cups of crushed corn tortilla chips for crunch
Prep a buttered baking dish. Layer the filling in the dish. Slowly add the eggs and milk mixture. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Add the topping (cheese and the corn chips) and bake for another 12-15 minutes till eggs are set and the cheese is bubbly on top. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Can be prepared up to 2 days before.

I call this a “Paella” pulao as it has the ingredients of traditional paella and the texture is that of a pulao (Indian Pilaf)
Slow cooker “Paella” pulao
1½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Cup of chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups of broth (I prefer vegetable or chicken)
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of Andouille sausage, cut into pieces
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
About 5-6 deveined shelled cooked medium shrimp, tail shells removed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 Lemon cut into wedges
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Spanish paprika
1 tsp saffron (and/or 1 tsp turmeric)
Brown sausage and onion in skillet over medium heat. In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, mix rice and oil. Stir in tomatoes, broth, sausage, water, salt, saffron and garlic. Arrange chicken thighs in single layer over rice mixture. Sprinkle paprika over top. Cover; cook on Low setting 5 to 6 hours. About 35 minutes before serving, sprinkle thawed peas over chicken mixture. Arrange shrimp over top.Increase heat setting to High; cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes longer or until shrimp are thoroughly heated. Add the parsley and lemon and serve warm.

Pics soon!! 

Stay safe this Christmas and

 Always remember. Food is a great leveler; Respect It, Cherish it, Share it

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