Posts Tagged ‘Mexican-American crossover food’


August 3, 2017

I’m not a big one for spicy. I can eat spicy food, but I don’t seek it out. Usually. This week, MJ bought some Colby-Pepper-Jack cheese snacks. Smallish sticks of cheese with chunks of jalapenos embedded in them. Mediocre snacks, because of the too much peppers. That didn’t keep me from eating them. And it didn’t keep me from trying them in oatmeal.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of beef broth, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Grab handful of CPJ sticks, call it a quarter cup. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, and the cheese right before that.

Results: Not quite as mediocre. The cheese melted nicely and the pepper bite got spread out, but the pepper smell/flavor remained.

Rating: ***

Oatmeal Chili — 3

June 22, 2017

Two and a half years ago, I made oatmeal with some ground beef chili that MJ had made. Half a year ago, I made oatmeal with the liquid from a beef strip chili that MJ had made. Half an hour ago, I made oatmeal with a quarter cup of commercial canned chili.

MJ was off doing all the busy things she does, and we were flat out of dinner fixings. I mean fresh, meat-and-veg style fixings. Fortunately, we have a fairly extensive pantry, so when I got hungry I just opened the pantry drawer and had a look around. First thing in front was a can of Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans. I can tell you that it tastes just like … canned chili. Overcooked, with unbalanced seasoning that tastes like it’s based not so much on flavor as it is on what the linear programming algorithm cranks out as the most profitable mixture of spices. However, if you dump it on top of enough lettuce, and then dump enough cheese on top of that, it will keep body and soul together — and as for your taste buds, two out of three isn’t bad. I mean, it’s 98% fat free, and where’s the fun in that? Needless to say there were leftovers, or as I call them, dregs.

Setup: 1/2 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of clove-heavy broth*, quarter cup of HTCB, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end.

Results: Meh. The ground turkey was detectable only in a granular change to the mouthfeel. Every now and then there was a bean. The overwhelming impression was … the seasonings were unbalanced, and not because of the cloves. Cheese helped a lot, but then, it always does.

Rating: **

*Every now and then I think to add cloves to the pressure cooker when making broth. Unfortunately, those times are far enough apart that I forget how much cloves can dominate. By clove-heavy, I mean six cloves in a quart. You don’t have to follow my recipes slavishly. Two cloves will do, and they won’t turn your broth an evil swamp-water black.


May 19, 2016

We were looking for a quick meal the other night and found a package of chicken taco mix in the meat drawer. It’s a pre-packaged package of chunked chicken meat, seasoned with taco seasonings. We didn’t feel like tacos, so MJ made a kindofa chile: can of beans, can of chopped tomatoes, package of chicken taco filling. There was lots, so there was lots of leftovers.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, one cup of broth, two fat dinner teaspoons of chicken taco chile mix, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, salt. Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats. Add the potatoes at the end, plus a grab-handful of shredded cheese.

Results: Pretty good, despite the fact that oatmeal and tomatoes don’t play well together. Not sure why. It’s not just the cooked tomato taste (which I’m not a fan of) because oatmeal and ketchup don’t work either. In any event, the chicken and the spices and the cheese overpowered the tomatoes to make an agreeable meal.

Rating: *****

Tortilla Soup Oatmeal

May 1, 2014

So, Cinco de Mayo is coming up in another not-quite-cinco days, and I thought I’d do some Mexican-themed oatmeal by using tortilla soup as the base. OK, so it’s not really tortilla soup. It’s Swanson’s 100% Natural Mexican Tortilla Flavor Infused Broth, enough modifiers to make sure that broth is the least of your concerns. Contents are broth (looks like chicken, might be 100% natural petrochemicals for all I know), infused with the robust flavors of Monterey Jack (robust?) cheese, lime, cayenne, cumin, corn, jalapeno, and paprika. Plus 1/3 of your daily sodium, all in one convenient one cup serving.

MJ got a couple of boxes it to try it, but I’m thinking it’s one of those things you could easily do on your own. Not in a render down one chicken sort of way (I buy boxed broths so I don’t have to do that), but in a take a box of plain old chicken broth and add stuff approach. I guess the broth cartel is trying to extend the brand or something, but this is the same mindset that gave us Thai Coconut Curry Culinary Broth, which is high on my list of Oatie-No’s. I note that in an effort to differentiate their product Swanson’s have avoided a simple tear-off seal, and instead use some complex plastic pill-cutter device that you apparently shove all the way into the box to break the seal and open a suitably wide spout. That’s a modification that nobody but the marketing department asked for, and is probably the un-greenest thing you could do, short of making it out of chlorofluorocarbons.

I’d rather see a greater availability of turkey broth or seafood broth, or even pork broth, and why does no-one ever make buffalo broth?

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of SNMTFI broth, no salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove..

Results: An acquired taste. A little hot, but not too much, assuming you like spicy breakfasts. One of the flavors is dominant (no, it’s not the Monterey Jack), possibly the cumin. Adding a grab handful of real shredded Monterey Jack helped immensely. Some further experimenting showed that a mix of 23 or 30% SNMTFI broth with either chicken or beef broth (using it as a flavorant rather than as a main taste) worked better and produced a more subtle effect.

Rating: *****