Entrees

Pork Chile Verde

Oh my goodness – a huge thank you to Branden for finding AND making this recipe this week as it was FABULOUS!  The favors and textures were just incredible!  The meat was tender and the broth was thick – I mean like thick enough that you could probably repurpose the leftovers into enchiladas.  I kid you not, this is probably one of the better soup recipes we have tried this winter!

Branden poured his soup over white rice.  We also tried eating it with tortillas and that was just plain messy!  Personally, I liked it Plain Jane – nothing else needed!

Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 1/2 to 4 lbs. pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 TBS of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.

Roast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.

Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.

Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan. Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat). Add a pinch of ground cloves. Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.)

Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

– Courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com

 

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Categories: Entrees, Latin, Mexican, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry

 

I just realized that my queue of posts ran out on Friday and I missed my Monday post.  Whoops.  I promise I have a full queue of yummy things from Pork Butt Chile Verde to Lightened Up Spinach and Artichoke dip (and the best blueberry pancakes ever and homemade marshmallows and an interesting pizza and…more!).  Until then, enjoy this super short but delicious post!

This is a super easy, fast weeknight meal that packed TONS of flavor and hit the nail of my Chinese craving right on the head.

Enjoy!

  • 2 (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag long-grain white rice
  • 2 TBS dry sherry, divided
  • 2 TBS lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices
  • 1/2 c. lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 TBS canola oil, divided
  • 1 TBS bottled ground fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 c. broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. sliced green onions

Cook rice according to directions.

While rice cooks, combine 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sugar, and beef. Stir together 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisin, and Sriracha.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water; cook 1 minute. Add onions; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture and beef mixture; cook 2 minutes or until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick. Serve beef mixture over rice.

Cooking Light

Categories: Asian, Chinese, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Goat Cheese Tomato Soup. Oh yea.

I LOVE this girl’s blog!  Not only is she really witty (her posts make me laugh out loud), but her food is incredible.  Hello Goat Cheese Tomato Soup!  Seriously, what part of this doesn’t sound amazing?  Let me tell you.  None.

We were not at all disappointed with this soup.  It was thick.  It was rich.  And best part of all it had flavor.  Oh did it have flavor!  I know goat cheese in your soup sounds a little funny, but trust me, it works!  It adds just that right amount of zing to the soup.  Delicious.  Oh and can I give you one more tip?  Use the tomatoes she suggests – its worth it.  I was skeptical (how much better can these tomatoes really be?).  Seriously, I was blown away at even just the ruby red color when we opened the can.  And that was just the beginning.  So do yourself a favor and track these down! (For those of you in my neck of the woods – you know who you are – I found them HERE).

And last but not least, what’s tomato soup without grilled cheese?  Sad.  So I got some fresh sour dough from the bakery down the street.  I sliced that baby up, spread on some basil pesto, generously layered on some fresh mozzarella, and threw it on the panini press.  And there you have it – the perfect marriage.

Enjoy!

A Cozy Kitchen’s Goat Cheese Tomato Soup.

Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Winter finally came to Ohio.  I guess we were past due?  I really just wish we’d skip it all together with and go straight to summer…I want flip flops and dinner outside and late night walks and sundresses and swimming and…I really could go on.  I yearn for that first day that I walk outside and the sun is actually warm on my skin.  Oh my gosh I can’t wait!  But until then, I shall remain bundled up on the couch in my 63° house and eat soup.

Mmmm, noodle soup (No Joey, there’s no noodles here!  I’m a not-so-closet Friends addict – if you’ve seen this episode with the soup commercial audition, then I hope you chuckled, if not then just ignore me)!  This is a pretty hearty one that filled even Branden up and packs lots of Tex-Mex flavors.  The original recipe came from Adrianna over at A Cozy Kitchen, but I amended it to make it a little more filling for the hubby.

Enjoy!

  • 1 large fresh poblano pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (in juice)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 corn tortillas, sliced into strips and halved
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Quickly toast the pepper by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fill the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.)

Break the pepper into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice.

Heat the oil in a medium (3- to 4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

Raise the heat under the pan to medium-high. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with about a teaspoon of salt (amount depends on the saltiness of the broth).

While soup is simmering, pour three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. When oil is hot, add tortilla strips and fry until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and set aside.

Just before serving, add the shredded chicken and corn to the simmering broth. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with cubed avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla strips.

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Barbacoa Pork

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Seriously, I am in love with my slow cooker.  I’m finally learning why people have been obsessed with them for generations.  Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoy cooking dinner, but its sometimes nice to know that when I get home from a long day at work, dinner is waiting for me.  How awesome is that?

This particular recipe actually woke Branden up after I had gone to work because it was making the house smell so incredible.  And I’m happy to tell you, the flavor 100% stood up to the smell.  Barbacoa pork.  Yup, you can have Chipotle at home, folks (and for a LOT less calories).

The first night we ate this, we turned it into burrito bowls (in the picture above).  The next day, we turned it into Nachos (see below).  The possibilities are endless.  This really was fabulous though and super easy.

Enjoy!

For the Marinade:

  • 2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6 oz Coke zero
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar (unpacked)
  • 1/4 c. water

For the pork:

  • 8 oz Coke zero
  • 6 oz can sliced green chilies
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder (to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar (unpacked)

Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the crock pot. Add 6 oz of coke and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily).  You can also cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

In the crock pot, combine 8 oz coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and remaining brown sugar.

Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.

Like the idea of the burrito bowl?  How about some Cilantro-Lime Rice to make it a little happier?

  • 1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
  • 1/2 lime, juice of
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro
  • 3 tsp. vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Both Recipes Courtesy of Gina at SkinnyTaste

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Risotto

Oh hey, guess what? I found another yummy risotto recipe.  Surprised?  You really shouldn’t be.

This one is a bit different – its got this awesome combination of pumpkin and goat cheese (I really, really love goat cheese) all topped with applewood smoked bacon.  Oh gosh, I’m salivating!

Enjoy!

  • 4 c. low-sodium organic chicken broth, plus extra for moistening, as needed
  • 1 c. canned pure pumpkin
  • 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 leek (white and pale green part), thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ c. Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
  • 2/3 c. dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • ⅓ c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. (generous) freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 ½ c. coarsely crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 6 ounces)

Whisk together the broth and the pumpkin in a heavy medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low to keep the pumpkin broth warm.

Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until almost tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the thyme. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, and the mixture is creamy, 20 to 25 minutes, adding additional warm broth by 1/4 cupfuls if risotto is dry. Mix in the Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat. Add more salt to taste.

Divide the risotto among 6 shallow bowls. Sprinkle each with the bacon, goat cheese and remaining parsley and serve

Giada DeLaurentis

Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

Italian Food.  All those carbs…so yummy on the tongue but usually not so great for the waistline.  Enter: Lightened Chicken Parm.  I love chicken parm (and eggplant parm for that matter.  Okay, so anything that includes the word Parmesan).  Several years ago, my momma found a recipe I think from Giada DeLaurentis for a chicken parm that wasn’t breaded.  I’ve since lost track of the original recipe but stick to the basics with this recipe that I put together on the fly (and most likely do it differently every time seeing its just one of those things in my head).

Serve this with your favorite pasta sauce and pasta.

Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. chicken breast cutlets (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts butterflied and pounded thin)
  • Italian Seasonings
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 c. marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBS butter

Preheat the broiler.

On a sheet pan, spread marinara sauce making sure to cover the entire pan (add a bit more if needed).  Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, sear each chicken cutlet for about 1 minute per side (make sure not to crowd the chicken – work in batches to ensure that the chicken gets a nice golden color on each side and doesn’t come out looking pale and lifeless).  Place on sheet pan once seared.

Top each chicken cutlet with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Place 1/4 TBS of butter on top of the pile of cheese on each chicken cutlet (I said this was LIGHTER, not fat free!).

Broil on top rack until chicken is cooked through and cheeses are melted.  Serve with spaghetti and additional sauce.

Categories: Entrees, Italian, Pasta, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Hot Tamales!

The “main dish” at our little Mexican-themed New Year’s party were beef tamales.  I’ve never made them before but have always wanted to try…and I have to say, they turned out pretty darn good.  My only change would be next time I will make the masa just a little bit thinner…or just fill with a bit more meat.

Don’t be intimidated by tamales, I was actually shocked at how easy they were to make!  Best part?  Not only were they delicious fresh, but they can be frozen and steamed later.  Hello snacks on demand!

Little tip: traditional tamales are tied with pieces of corn husk.  None of that nonsense – kitchen twine is so much easier (and it won’t leave you frustrated because it won’t tear)!  Also, I don’t own a fancy veggie steamer, so I simply put a colander in my stock pot, making sure that the water in the bottom didn’t make contact with the tamales.  Easy enough.

Enjoy!

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. beef stew meat
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground dried red New Mexico chile
  • 16 large dried cornhusks

Dough:

  • 3 c. masa harina
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBS butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 c. fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 c. water

Additional “Ingredient”:

  • 16 pieces of kitchen twine

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare filling, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Stir in 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring mixture to a boil. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Transfer beef to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour drippings into a glass measure. Add enough water to drippings to equal 1 cup. Wipe pan with paper towels.

Shred beef into bite-sized pieces. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Return beef to pan; sprinkle with flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in ground chile; stir in drippings mixture. Reduce heat, and cook 7 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring often. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.

Place whole cornhusks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.

To prepare dough, combine masa and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add butter and oil; stir well. Add broth and 1 cup water; stir until a soft dough forms.

Working with one husk at a time, place about 1/4 cup masa dough in the center of the husk; press dough into a 4 x 3-inch rectangle. Spoon about 2 tablespoons beef mixture down one side of the dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, roll tamale up, jelly-roll style; fold bottom ends of the husk under. Tie 1 piece of twine around tamale to secure; stand upright in a vegetable steamer. Repeat procedure with the remaining whole corn husks, masa dough, beef mixture, and twine. Steam tamales, covered, 50 minutes, or until the dough is firm. Remove tamales from vegetable steamer; let stand 5 minutes. Serve with Red Chile Sauce, if desired.

 

Categories: Appetizers, Entrees, Mexican, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

“Happy Food” – Carnitas, Cerda Style

“Happy Food” was coined by my Mexican uncle and family as a name for carnitas.  This is comfort food to my family – a more delicious take on a classic taco night.  On this particular evening, we made ours with chicken instead of pork (we tend to mix up the meat depending on what we have on hand.  We’ve used everything from pork tenderloin to flank steak and grilled chicken breast).  Yum.  My mouth is officially watering.

So dig in and build yourself some “happy food”

  • Corn tortillas (warmed on a griddle)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1.5 lbs. meat (grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, beef flank steak, shrimp)  We like to rub ours down with this before grilling.
  • 1 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Haas avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 c. shredded Gouda
  • 1/2 c. red onion, chopped
  • Course sea salt

Grill the meat and slice.  Build carnitas one at a time table side.  Might I suggest building in this order: beans, cheese, meat, avocado (more or less beside the meat), red onion, cilantro, salt, and finish with lime juice.  Perfection!

Got leftovers?  I like these again the next day, but I usually mix it up by throwing everything on a big ‘ole bed of greens and subbing black beans for the refried ones.

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baby, its Cold Outside! Chili with Chipotle & Chocolate

We are on the hunt for an awesome chili recipe – we’re getting closer, but still haven’t found one that’s just right.  I don’t know quite what we’re even looking for at this point, but we will continue trying recipes until we find it (its a tough job, but someone has to do it!).

We’ve made one with steak and chorizo and we also like my mom’s white chicken chili.  This week’s chili has chocolate in it.  Yes, I typed that correctly: chocolate.

While this chili still didn’t have what we were looking for (I really wish I knew what we wanted), it was still delicious and was pretty healthy since it used ground turkey instead of beef – you really can’t tell the difference!  The chocolate lends a really earthy taste to this soup and really feels right at home here.

On a side note, if you’ve got a chili recipe you think we’d enjoy, send it my way!  We love trying new ones!

Enjoy!

  • 2 c. diced onion (about 1 large)
  • 1 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey breast
  • 3 TBS brown sugar
  • 2 TBS ancho chile powder
  • 1 TBS unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and turkey to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until turkey is browned and vegetables are tender. Add sugar and next 9 ingredients (through chipotle) to pan, stirring to blend; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate, stirring to melt.  Top with goat cheese crumbles.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Categories: American, Entrees, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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