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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

Looking for a fresh, new twist for your Taco Tuesdays? You will adore this flavorful Mexican Coleslaw. There won’t be a shred of evidence you even made it by the time dinner is done. I may or may not have intended that dicey pun. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

Slaw Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Dress slaw at last minute so it doesn’t wilt.

Serve with Thursday Tamales. Or, you know, Bednesday Burritos. Um, er, Caturday chimichangas.

 

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Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish tacos are very fresh & sassy to share with guests but are super easy to make. I do believe it is time for another game night with friends.

Fried Fish Ingredients

  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 12 ounces of buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • About 2 pounds fresh halibut or cod, cut into about 4 inch pieces and 3/4 inch wide

Preheat  oil in a heavy-duty deep pan or in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two or three layers of paper towels.

Make sure the oil maintains this same temperature throughout the cooking process.

Whisk together just until combined:  egg yolks, beer, flour, baking powder, sea salt, onion powder, and paprika in a medium-large bowl.

Rinse the fish with cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel. Coat one piece at a time and carefully drop in the preheated oil. Cook about four at a time for a few minutes on each side.

When done cooking, place fish on lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt right away. Repeat the process until all fish strips are fried.

If you need to keep fish warm while preparing rest of dinner, place on unlined baking sheet in oven at 200°F and cover with a sheet of foil. Watch carefully, though, so they don’t become tough and dry.

Healthier Option: If you prefer, you can just coat a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil, place fish pieces on tray, sprinkle with sea salt & pepper, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes rather than breading and frying.

Assembling Your Tacos

  • Fried fish
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • Corn or flour tortillas, your size of choice
  • One recipe of Roasted Salsa
  • Cotija or grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime juice

Prepare fish as listed above. Place cabbages, onion, carrot, cilantro, and jalepeno in a large bowl and combine.

Place fish sticks on tortilla and use desired toppings.

Please pass the dice.

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Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos Recipe

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Our pre fourth of July weather has settled in this week. Sunshine doesn’t normally commit in Seattle until July 5th. After that, summer is perfect. But, for now, it is burrito weather. And that ain’t half bad. Things are looking brighter this week, though. I’m convinced it’s because I made a simmer-all-day kind of meal. You know, kinda like washing your car only to have it rain the next day. I made a burrito and the whole weather report flipped.

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This filling takes about 4 hours to simmer so it can be made in advance so it is ready on burrito night.

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots,finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 fresh jalepeno pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 8 ounces country style ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water (1 cup may be replaced with a dry white or red wine if you’re feeling especially fancy pants)
  • 3 tablespoons beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon epazote
  • 1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 grande flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese

Most meats come in about one pound packages. If making one recipe, you can freeze the other halves. You’ll be making this again soon. I promise.
Preheat oven to 350F. It is a good idea to dice veggies in advance. This is a long simmering dish; but, it is also pretty busy in the beginning. Set veggies aside.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and jalepeno in half then place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add garlic cloves (still wrapped in peels) to pan as well. Bake for 20 minutes. This is the only step that requires the oven so you can turn it off.
In a large pot, pour olive oil and add butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add diced veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.
While veggies cook, place milk, water, Better Than Bouillon, and tomato paste into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Remove tomatoes, jalepeno, and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes & jalepeno into food processor. Remove peels from garlic (they should practically slide off) and add. Process until still a little chunky, but soup-like.
Add ground meats to veggies in pot. Using utensil, chop meat up well while cooking. Pieces should be very fine. Allow to cook until juices evaporate and meat is beautifully browned and somewhat sticking to bottom of pan.
Add bouillon mixture to pot. Stir in. Add processed tomatoes, jalepeno, and garlic to pot as well. Add chili powder, paprika, epazote, Mexican oregano, cumin. Add beans. Stir all together.

Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. Filling can also be transferred to a slow cooker at this point. You’ll just want to place lid tilted and be sure to stir about every 20 minutes as normal. Make sure to check and stir once and awhile. Sauce will become more red and be kind of oily in texture as it cooks. Near the end is a good time for additional salt since it may reduce down and become too salty if you add a lot in the beginning. After filling is ready, stir in chopped cilantro at the last minute.

Place tortillas out to fill. Place freshly shredded cheese (waaaaay better than pre-grated) on each one then add a couple scoops of filling to each one. Fold sides inward, then roll away from yourself. Place closure side down onto baking sheet. Continue process until all or ready for baking. If eight is too many, you can save the filling in the freezer for another time.

Bake for 20 minutes. Tortilla shells will be lightly browned and cheese will be melted. Toppings like sour cream or guacamole can be added, or you can eat plain.

Welcome back, sunshine. We’re looking at the mid seventies all week, Seattle. You’re welcome. My work here is done… and that’s a wrap.

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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would, cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.

So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.


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Makes two large salads or 4 medium salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
  • 1 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 stalks cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)

Rinse black beans well and place in saucepan in water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Turn on grill (or oven to 350F. Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until middle of thickest part reaches 165F.

It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating. 

Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of cob.

Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.

Drizzle with desired amount of ranch dressing.

Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.

Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.

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Southwest Rub Recipe

One has not lived until one has entered into a simple shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle and asked an old Mexican woman which spices to buy if one were to want to cook authentic Mexican food. How she sold me a basket full of spices without speaking a single word of English I will never know but I’m glad she did.

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Will coat about 4 chicken thighs or 2 butterflied chicken breasts.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika molido (regular paprika is also fine if you don’t have this)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (can be halved if you prefer your seasoning less spicey)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Coat chicken well with rub. Allow to sit for about 20-30 minutes. Brush off excess rub. Grill as usual. For added zing, drizzle fresh lime juice over chicken while it grills.

Make sure with a meat thermometer that the inside temperature at the thickest part of chicken reaches 165F. Less than 165F will make your family sick. Too far over 165F will make chicken dry. For these reasons, it’s good to watch it very closely. If using a different meat than poultry, just look up the safety temperature for that meat. 

This recipe can be baked at 350F in the oven for about 20 minutes as well. Just make sure middle of chicken pieces reach 165F.

Thank you, lovely Mexican lady. Your smile and your wordless sales abilities have changed my world.

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Fresh Roasted (or Grilled) Restaurant Salsa Recipe

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I haven’t met a soul yet who can resist Mexican restaurant salsa and chips. We get full before our meal comes. Amirite?

How spiffy would it be to make your own salsa at home and have the power of making your salsa as mild or spicy as you like? How awesome would it be to have the power to say you’ll skip the 2,794-calorie burrito platter and just get full on the chips & salsa freebies?


Your answer is here. Let’s salsa.

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If oven-roasting, preheat oven to 350F. If grilling, turn grill on medium-high.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium tomatoes, stemmed & cut in quarters (I like vine-ripened but fresh outta the garden are for sure the best)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into quarters 1-3 jalepeno peppers, stemmed & cut into quarters (removing seeds is optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, remove peels after roasting
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional, great addition when using out-of-season tomatoes)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 3 green onions, roots removed then diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over a half sheet pan that has sides. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic cloves on pan. Drizzle with a couple more tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place pan in oven for about 20 minutes or until sizzling. If grilling, place larger items on grill and turn occasionally until charred on outside edges. Place smaller items in a cast iron pan drizzled with olive oil to heat up.

Place all ingredients into a large food processor and pulse until the texture of restaurant salsa as pictured above. Sample with a tortilla chip to be sure the flavoring is right and that there is enough salt to bring out all the gorgeous flavors of your salsa.

Now that you’ve saved 2,794 calories, let’s do margaritas, you zesty little thing.

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Ground Turkey Tamales With Enchilada Sauce Recipe

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Tamale. Tamale. I love ya’ tamale. Only, you know, today is tamale. And tamale is today.  Oh, who am I tryin’ to kid? I love tamales today. And every day. And tomorrow. And you will too… especially making them at home. This is a great recipe to make with friends or family. It is the social Mexican equivalent of snapping beans on the front porch in rocking chairs.

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Prep:

Soak 20 large corn husks in water (there are usually about 40-50 to a bag sold in grocery stores). Place a clean plate or tray upon them to keep them from floating out of the water.

Ground Turkey Tamale Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 ounces ground turkey 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon leaves from 2 sprigs fresh oregano, minced

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add diced onions and fry until translucent then add ground turkey. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, oregano powder, cumin, chipotle powder and plenty of  salt & pepper. Cook until done then set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 – 5 cups chicken stock and/or water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Seas salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk continually while cooking for a couple of minutes. Whisk in chili powder and then pour in 4 cups of chicken stock and/or water. Sauce will thicken as it heats. Evaluate thickness of sauce and add 1 more cup of water or broth if desired. Cook down for a few minutes again and then turn heat to low. Stir in remaining ingredients. If you don’t think sauce is flavorful enough, it probably needs a bit more salt. Add salt just until you experience all the wonderful flavors. Stir 2/3 of the sauce into the ground turkey set remaining sauce aside for serving.

Masa Dough:

  • 2 cups masa
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • Sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Taste and stir in additional salt of needed.

Assembling the Tamales:

Place about 6 cups of water in steaming pot and turn on high. Bring to a boil & turn heat down to medium to simmer. Don’t let the water get so high that it rises to the steaming rack as to not get the tamales wet.

Lay a softened corn husk out with top facing away from you. Press about 2-3 tablespoons of masa dough on the upper left side. Pressing with fingers, cover about 2/3 across the husk, leaving about 2-3 inches free at the bottom of the husk. It helps to pretend your making it the shape of the blue corner on the American flag.

Place a line of about 2-3 tablespoons of ground turkey filling straight up & down the middle of the masa dough. Turn corn husk so the left masa edge is facing you. Roll tamale away from yourself. Fold the bottom (which has no masa dough on it) up toward the top of the tamale. Repeat and place tamales on a tray.

When all tamales are prepared, place upward in the steaming rack. Simmer for about one hour.

To Serve:

It is most fun to place tamales in or on a pretty dish and serve in husks, allowing each guest to unroll their own. Of course, they will be very hot & steamy, so everyone will need to be careful. Serve with sauce and, if desired, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro and maybe diced tomatoes. The possibilities are limitless.

And to my friend, Roz, who recently sat with me, patiently picking cilantro leaves, let us make tamales next time and pick cilantro on the front porch together in rocking chairs. Today, tamale, or whenever you’d like to pretend we’re in an Anne of Green Gables movie – only, you know, based in Tijuana.

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Fresh and Zesty Guacamole Recipe

If eating a rainbow of colors is a healthy way to fill your plate, then homemade pico de gallo salsa and guacamole are two foods we should eat every day. I could do that. If I must. Let’s make some guacamole that will knock your socks off, flop you on the couch and make you endure an episode of Dancing with the Stars. If you must.

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GUACAMOLE RECIPE:

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 avocados, smashed as much as you like
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, stem & seeds (optional) removed  & finely chopped (wash hands well after chopping)
  • Juice of one small, fresh lime
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Sea salt & pepper

 

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt (more if needed to bring out the other flavors),  cumin and pepper.

Tip: If you want to make this recipe even easier, just make a double batch of pico de gallo and stir half of it into your avocado. Add salt & pepper & stir.

Please pass the chips. And the remote.

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Pico de Gallo Salsa Recipe

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If you love freshly grilled Mexican food, you’ve surely enjoyed pico de gallo on your favorite dish. While many focus on trying to get the grilled chicken or beef recipe down to a science, it is actually the pico de gallo that brings the fresh & sassy flavor to the fiesta. This can be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated so that the flavors have time to fully blend together.

Fresh tomatoes from the garden are the very, very best. There is no comparison.


“Cilantro, my favorite herb of all. I love you.”

English or garden cucumbers… either will work perfectly.

Add a few tears.

Add some garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Soak in the beautiful colors for a moment and then stir.

Pico de gallo

  • 8 Roma tomatoes (other varieties of tomatoes will work just fine)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & pepper
  • Half (or whole) Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed & finely diced (wash hands well after cutting pepper)

Using a sharp knife, dice tomatoes, onion and cucumber into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Remove leaves from cilantro stalks and chop until small and add to bowl. Remove garlic cloves from garlic bulb. Peel and then use grater to grate into bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into bowl. Stir ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Mexican Dip Appetizer

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Making Mexican dip is a must at our house when it comes to having friends over. This time I put it on a round platter for a different look. Super fun.


Mexican dip layers:

  • Beautiful romaine lettuce leaves (optional but pretty if you are making the dip on a platter) Some people chop the lettuce up & place it in as one of the layers but I prefer not to do this since it ruins any leftovers when it wilts. This makes me feel unhappy.
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 pound of ground hamburger or chicken cooked with taco seasoning (break down into very small pieces so it’s easy to scoop up with a chip)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups guacamole (we like the zesty stuff)
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar or pre-packaged grated Mexican taco cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 1 – 2 cups of sliced olives
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  • Shorty baby tomatoes to place around the edge for pretties
  • And, of course, we can’t forget the tortilla chips.

Our family loves this so much that we have even had this as our dinner. This is a popular dish but if you still haven’t tried it, beware for you shall not be able to stop eating it once you get started. Ole’!

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016