New Year’s Recipes with Lunchbox Lucy

We made it through Christmas yay! Now we need to plan for New Year’s Eve…what to do..what to do…finger foods, appetizers, or whole dishes?  Look no further because I have a few recipes just for the occasion.

Green Chile Beef Enchiladas

1 large can of cream of mushroom soup
12oz milk
1/2lb ground beef (leaner the better)
8oz cheddar cheese
24 corn tortillas
13oz container of bueno green chile (freezer section Albertsons mild or hot to your taste)
One – 13×9 cake pan
One – 5 quart pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, brown ground beef in the 5 quart pan, lightly season with salt (not too much salt other ingredients will add salt), garlic, and pepper to your taste.  While ground beef browns shred cheddar cheese.  Once ground beef is fully cooked drain any excess grease, and return to 5 quart pan at medium heat, add thawed bueno green chile, can of cream of mushroom soup, and milk and let items come to a low boil stirring often.  Once mixture has heated, and no more soup lumps can be seen you can remove from heat.  In the 13×9 cake pan you will start with the soup/meat mixture by putting a thin layer in the bottom of the pan, you will then cover with corn tortillas (it is okay if they over lap usually takes about 6 tortillas per layer), then you will put another layer of soup/meat mixture and then top with a layer of cheese.  You want to repeat the layers and stop with the cheese topping approximately ¼ of an inch from the top of your cake pan.  Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is melted, take out of the oven and let stand for 10 minutes then serve.

Texas Caviar

1/2 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
8oz bottle zesty Italian dressing
15oz can black beans, drained
15oz can black-eyed peas, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

In a large bowl, mix together onion, green bell pepper, green onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cherry tomatoes, zesty Italian dressing, black beans, black-eyed peas and coriander. Cover and chill in the refrigerator approximately 2 hours. Toss with desired amount of fresh cilantro to serve.

Rack of Lamb with Warm Apple and Lentil Salad

2 tablespoons coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1.5lb rack of lamb, Frenched and trimmed (see Tip)
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 shallots, finely chopped
15oz can lentils, rinsed, or 1/3 cups cooked lentils
1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
2 stalks celery with leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Mix breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb, meat-side down, and sear until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn it over and spread 2 teaspoons mustard over the meat. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mustard. Transfer the lamb to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 140°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Return the pan to medium-high heat (be careful: the handle will still be hot). Add shallots, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until starting to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in lentils, apple, celery, broth (or water), vinegar and the remaining 1 teaspoon mustard; bring to a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly reduced and the celery and apple are starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Cut the lamb into 8 chops and serve over the lentils.

Note: We like Ian’s brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. Or, make your own breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about 1/3 cup. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry and crispy, about 15 minutes.

Tip: To serve 4 people, look for a rack of lamb that has 8 chops. If you can find one that’s been “Frenched” (meat cut away at the tips, exposing the bone) and trimmed, you will only need a 1-pound rack. Otherwise, look for a 1 1/2-pound rack and ask your butcher to prepare it for you.