• Quick Reuben Sandwiches


    Here’s another really tasty recipe for quick Reuben sandwiches.  To me what makes this sandwich is the homemade thousand islandish dressing.  It’s easy, so don’t skip that step.

    Thousand Island Dressing Ingredients:

    • 1 c. mayo
    • 1 c. ketchup
    • 1/2 c. sweet pickle relish (I only had hot dog relish which is a mix of mustard and relish)
    • 1 TBSP sugar


    • Rye bread
    • Butter
    • Leftover corned beef, sliced and heated
    • sour kraut
    • Swiss cheese
    • Thousand island dressing


    1. Thousand Island Dressing: mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
    2. Sandwiches: take a slice of rye bread, add corned beef, sour kraut, swiss cheese, and some dressing.  Top with rye bread.  Butter the top of the bread and put the sandwich butter side down in a hot skillet.  Cook until bread is browned.  Add some butter to the now top of the sandwich and flip it over and cook until browned.

    Quick Reuben Sandwiches:


  • Quick Corned Beef Hash


    The country club in the town where I grew up served an awesome brunch.  Every time I went there I would get corned beef hash.  The corned beef hash was not that minced mush looking stuff you get at some restaurants or out of a can.  They used big roasted potatoes, fresh corned beef, and eggs over easy.  The first time I had it I was hooked!

    A few nights ago we made a corned beef (you know, the kind that comes in the meat case with the seasoning packet).  Surprisingly both kiddos loved it!  We will certainly be making that again. When I was thinking about how to use the leftovers, corned beef hash came to mind, so we had brunch for dinner.

    One word: delicious!


    • Tator tots, cooked according to package
    • Leftover corned beef, reheated
    • eggs, over easy


    1. Cook tator tots, reheat corned beef, cook eggs over easy.
    2. On a plate put tator tots, top with corned beef, top with eggs over easy.

    Quick Corned Beef Hash:


  • Chili Gravy


    This chili gravy is delicious and works well as a sauce for tamales or enchiladas.  The secret to this gravy is making your own chili powder.
    The recipe comes for Rob Walsh’s Tex-Mex Cookbook.

    Homemade Chili Powder

    • 5 whole ancho chile pods, stemmed and seeded
    • 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin


    1. Spread the chile pods out flat.  Toast the chiles in a skillet over medium high heat until they become aromatic, then remove and cool.
    2. Cut the chiles into small strips with scissors.  In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the strips in several batches until powdered.  Combine the powdered chile, oregano, garlic powder, and cumin in a bowl.  Grind the coarse powder in batches for an additional 2 minutes or until finely ground.
    3. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

    Chili Gravy

    • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
    • 2 TBSP chili powder
    • 2 c. chicken broth or water


    1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until it makes a light brown roux.  Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending the ingredients.  Add the chicken broth, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens.
    2. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness.

    Chili Gravy:


  • Tamales


    We love tamales, and this recipe is by far my most favorite.  I love them more than any tamales I’ve had at any restaurant (except for maybe Berry Hill Bar and Grill).

    This recipe is adapted from the Helena Tamales recipe in the April 2005 issue of Southern Living.


    • 1 package of dried corn husks
    • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
    • jar of your favorite salsa
    • 2/3 c.  vegetable shortening
    • 1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
    • 1  c. warm chicken broth
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. paprika


    1. Soak corn husks in hot water to cover 1 hour or until softened. Drain husks, and pat dry.
    2. Chicken Filling: Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add shredded chicken and enough of your favorite salsa to coat the chicken.  Mixture should not be too wet.
    3. Cornmeal Dough: Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Stir together cornmeal and warm chicken broth in a medium bowl until well blended. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to shortening, beating at medium speed just until blended after each addition. Add salt and paprika, beating just until blended. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to use.
    4. Assembling Tamales: Spread 2 TBSP Cornmeal Dough into a 3- x 5-inch rectangle on one side of 1 husk, leaving a 2-inch border at bottom narrow edge and a 1/2-inch border at one long side.  Spoon 2 heaping TBSP Chicken Filling down center of cornmeal dough rectangle, creating a 1-inch-wide strip. Roll husk up, starting at the long side with 1/2-inch border, enclosing meat filling with the first turn. Fold bottom end with 2-inch border over. Repeat procedure using remaining Cornmeal Dough and Chicken Filling.
    5. Line the bottom of your steamer with corn husks.  Add tamales to steamer.  We stack the tamales up to 4 high.  Steam over high heat for 1 hours.
    6. Top with your favorite salsa or with Chili Gravy or Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa.


  • Garlic Curry Aioli


    I found a bag of frozen sweet potato fries at the grocery store.  They looked interesting, so I thought I’d give them a try, and see if they’d pass the test.

    I gave -s the job of finding a dip or something for the fries, because ketchup seemed well, wrong.

    He found this dip at Kirsten’s Home Cooking: Garlic Curry Aioli.  It is to die for!!!  If you love the curry dip at Melting Pot as I do, you will LOVE this dip!!!


    • 1/4 cup light mayo
    • 2 small (or 1 large) garlic clove, mashed to a paste with salt
    • Juice from 1/2 lemon
    • Dash of black pepper
    • 1 tsp. curry power, or more to taste
    • 1 dash cayenne pepper
    • Salt to taste


    1. Mash garlic into a fine paste with the side of a knife on a cutting board, using salt as an abrasive.
    2. Mix all ingredients together, serve with fries.

    Garlic Curry Aioli: