Welcome to Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. This is a place for me to post recipes of all kinds...along with other miscellaneous fodder from my so-called life here in the south. Who knows what you will find here. Could be anything from my husband...known as IT Guy...to my kids and beautiful grandbabies that are growing up way too fast right before my eyes. But...mostly this will be a place for food. I hope you'll see something you like and if you decide to try something from the list...leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I live in the south but I wasn't born here. I'm a California girl at heart so grits are not normal to me. I do not NOT like them but I have to have them gussied up to enjoy. There's a restaurant here that serves them with shrimp...yummy! But to eat a plain bowl of grits...to me, is like eating paste. So I made this little casserole as a side dish and we enjoyed it. Different versions are all over the place..but this is mine. Easy, fast and tasty! Don't say you hate grits until you've tried them all fancy-dancy!!

Chili Cheese Grits Casserole

2 cups milk
1/2 cup quick grits
1 egg - slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups grated cheese ~ divided use
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, heat milk to boiling. Add grits and butter and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes until grits thicken.

Beat the egg in a small bowl and then add a little of the hot grits to temper the egg. Then add the egg mixture to the grits in the saucepan. Stir until well combined.

Stir in the salt, pepper, 1 cup of grated cheese and green chilies.

Pour into prepared dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 - 5

The line-up.

Boil the milk...then add the grits and butter. 
Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add a beaten egg and stir.

Then add the cheese, salt, pepper and green chilies. 
Stir, then....

...add to a small casserole dish.

Sprinkle with more cheese.

Then bake it up!

A few days ago I posted a recipe for Baja Sandwiches that used Chipotle mayo....and it was great! I had some of the mayo leftover and decided to make some chicken chipotle quesadillas for lunch the other day. I added some whole green chilies for extra, extra zing! If you like to walk on the spicy side of things, then these quesadillas are for you!

Chipotle Quesadillas

Flour tortillas ~ I used the fajita size
Chopped cooked chicken ~ I used a store-bought rotesserie
Whole green chilies ~ I had some fresh that my MIL sent me from AZ, but the canned stuff is fine.
Cheddar cheese
Chipotle mayo ~ recipe follows

On one half of a flour tortilla, layer all ingredients in the amounts your prefer. Fold over.

Grill in a grill pan or use a Foreman Grill like I did or anyway you you prefer.

Serve with salsa and sour cream and guacamole if you have it! Yummers! 

Here's what you need. 
And please don't forget the salt. 
Green chilies need salt!

Layer the ingredients on a flour tortilla. 
I like to begin and end with cheese. 
The cheese kind of acts like a "glue" to hold everything together. Then grill it! I used my Foreman grill but 
however you like to make quessadillas is fine.

Oh yum!! These were fantastic!!

Chipotle Mayo

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons bbq sauce

Whizz everything together in a food processor. Use on Baja sandwiches.

Chipotle mayo!!!

I went to a Quizno's the other day and had a yummy sandwich. Of course I had to try to recreate it here in my kitchen. While not tasting exactly like Quizno's...it WAS good. The men in my family probably would have said so if their mouths hadn't been so full of bites. The nice thing about this is that you can make all the ingredients ahead of time and pull everything out to make one or several. The ingredients I've got listed make 4 sandwiches with some of the mayo leftover for something else...but you can certainly increase them for a crowd. It's spicy, cheesey and wonderful.

Baja Sandwiches

4 sub sandwich buns
12 chicken tenders - seasoned, grilled and sliced (I just used Lawry's Seasoning Salt and grilled them on my Foreman Grill.)
1 small red onion - caramelized
6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
Chipotle mayo - recipe follows

Set oven broiler to "high".

Slice buns in half lengthwise and slather both sides with the chipotle mayo.

Divide the onion into 4 equal parts and lay it on one side of the bun.

Divide the chicken into 4 equal parts and add it on top of the onion.

Cut cheese in half and add three half pieces on top of the chicken.

Broil 3 - 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.

Cut in half and chow down!!

Chipotle Mayo

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons bbq sauce

Whizz everything together in a food processor. Use on Baja sandwiches.

The stuff you need for these yummy sammies.

Start by spreading the chipotle mayo on 
both sides of the sliced bun. Then layer 
the onion, chicken and cheese.

Place them on a cookie sheet and broil 3 - 5 minutes 
until the cheese is nice and bubbly and starting to brown.

Here's what you need for the chipotle mayo. So easy.

Just add everything to your foodprocessor and pulse 
until combined and smooth. Use on your sandwiches.

Ta-da!!!! Spicy, warm and delicious!
This week's casserole introduces bratwurst! Are you a fan? I'm not a huge lover of bratwurst, but I have to say it was pretty good in this cassrole. The potato mixture was warm and creamy then with the added meat, it was very filling. It made quite a bit, too. I split it into two pans..one to send home with my daughter and one for us. But you could divide it between two pans and freeze one to cook later. I think Kielbasa would be great in this, too!

Potato and Brats Casserole

1 30-ounce bag frozen shredded hasbrowns - slightly thawed
6 - 8 bratwurst - coin sliced (1 pound Kielbasa, sliced)
1 small onion - diced
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 cup milk
2 cups sour cream
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray

In a large skillet, saute onion and peppers in a little olive for about 5 minutes. Add sliced bratwurst and cook until meat is cooked though.

In a large bowl, combine hashborwns, cooked veggies and meat, salt and pepper, milk and 2 cups of the cheese. Toss to combine.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10.

Serves 6 - 8

 The ingredients!

Saute the veggies a bit.....

..then throw in the meat and cook until the meat in done.

Toss everything together EXCEPT two cups of cheese.

Pour it into your prepared pan(s).

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake it up!
How fun would these be for Valentine's Day? A friend (Hi Jennifer!!) brought these to the cookie exchange I had last month and they were the bomb! In fact..my son took one bite and told me I needed to get the recipe ASAP. My only problem was that I couldn't find the Hershey Cherry Cordials so I improvised. I made some with some White Chocolate Kisses, some with Dove Chocolate Raspberry Swirls...then I even flattened some out before baking and just sprinkled them with a little sugar to make a cherry sugar cookie. These are a great cookie!! And you can even get creative and use lime jello in place of the cherry and white chocolate kisses in place of the cherry cordials for a yummy citrus cookie!

Cherry Jello Cookies

1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 C flour
3 oz. Cherry Jell-O
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages Cherry Cordial Hersey Kisses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine Crisco and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Add eggs and Jell-o and mix well.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add to Crisco mixture.

Roll into teaspoon sized balls or use a 1/2-inch cookie scoop. Place cookie balls on baking sheet and bake for 7 -8 minutes, just until lighly browned. Do not over bake.

Immediately after cookies are pulled from the oven, place an unwrapped Hershey Cherry Cordial Kiss on top. Press down slightly. Cool on wire racks until candy is set. Do not touch the candies while they are cooling as the chocolate is melt-y and needs to reharden.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Here's the goods for the goodies.

Cream together the Crisco and the sugar.

Add the eggs and the Jell-o and mix well.

Sift or stir together the dry ingredients.

Then slowly add it to the Jell-o mixture.

Roll into 1 inch balls and bake 'em up! 
Immediately after they're done, 
top with an unwrapped Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kiss. 
Allow to cool completely before handling.

Here are a few I made into sugar cookies.