Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Chicken Chili


White Chicken Chili
(8 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2 tbsp. Canola Oil
½ medium Yellow Onion, chopped
3 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
2 medium Poblano Peppers, seeded & chopped
1½ cups Russet Potato, diced
2 tsp. Ground Cumin
2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
1½ cups Zucchini, diced
1 cup Dry White Wine
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Rotisserie Chicken, diced
1 cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (store bought)
½ cup Cashew Butter
1 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice

Directions:

In a large stock pot (Dutch oven), over medium-high heat, bring oil to temperature and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue until fragrant.  Now add the peppers, potatoes, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.  Sauté this mixture until vegetables soften (about 5 minutes) stirring occasionally.  Next add the zucchini and wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and continue for about 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until everything is heated through and vegetables are tender.  Serve when ready.

Note:               You could use leftover pork from a meal instead of chicken if you wish.  I’d use bacon fat (if available) when using pork in this recipe.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Two-Tomato Chili


Two-Tomato Chili
(8 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2 lb. Beef Chuck, cubed (1/2-1 inch pieces)
8 oz. Sun-Dried Tomatoes in oil
3 cups Yellow Onions, chopped
1½ cups Red Peppers, chopped
1½ cups Green Peppers, chopped
1 cup Carrots, chopped
6 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
4 tsp. Ground Cumin
1tsp. Crushed Red Pepper (adjust to taste)
¼ tsp Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1 (4 oz.) can Diced Green Chile Peppers
1 (28 oz.) can Crushed Tomatoes
2 cups Water
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, garnish
2 medium Green Onions, garnish

Directions:

Drain dried tomatoes and save 2 tbsp. of oil.  Chop the tomatoes and set aside.  In a large Dutch oven, heat oil from tomatoes over medium-heat.  In batches, brown the meat in the oil.  When done, return all the meat to the pot.  Now add the onions, red and green peppers, carrots and garlic.  Lower heat to medium and cook for about 2 minutes stirring occasionally.  Stir in the dried tomatoes, cumin, red pepper, salt and black pepper.  Continue cooking and stirring for another 2 minutes.  Add the diced green chiles and continue another minute.  Now add the crushed tomatoes and water.  Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer covered for 1¼ hours or until meat is tender.  Remember to stir occasionally.  Serve chili with cheese and green onion garnishes.

Note:               Some people like to serve sour cream with their chili too.  This helps cut the spicy heat if needed as well as add an additional flavor.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Good Time for Chili

Winter has been winter here (Minnesota)but not near as bad as last year.  We're thankful for that.  But cold weather gives you the desire for hearty warm food and nothing beats that like "Chili."  It seems to warm your inside like nothing else.

Now some will say that chili is too spicy for them.  But that doesn't need to be the case.  As with any dish you make, you can control the "Heat" level to meet your personal tastes.  I have 2 chili recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Your First Cookbook" and several others under the "Soup" tab on this blog.  All of them plus the 2 new ones offered this week are easily adjusted to make them mild to hotter than the devil.  So don't be intimidated by making chili.

When one hears the word "Chili" they usually think of ground beef, tomatoes and beans in a pot.  That is probably the number one type of chili served in the USA.  But it is far from the only kind of chili out there to make.  There has been a food revolution in the last 20 to 30 years and variety is one of the biggest winners.

This week I'm offering you 2 of those different types or styles of chili.  Tomorrow's recipe for "Two-Tomato Chili" uses cubes of beef and 2 different types of tomato but no beans.  The heat comes from crushed red pepper and you can control the amount or even not use any.

Thursday's recipe of "White Chicken Chili" again uses no beans.  It doesn't use beef or tomatoes either.  It's a easy and quick recipe to put together using rotisserie chicken and tomatillo salsa.  Any heat it has comes from that salsa and Poblano peppers (which are very mild) so you may want to add something if you like it hotter.

Both of these recipes are done on the stove-top but could be done in a slow-cooker too.  You would want to brown the beef chunks in the first one before putting ingredients in the slow-cooker.  Remember the last 2 ingredients are for garnishing when you serve the chili.  For the second recipe just put everything in the slow-cooker and turn it on.

For both of these recipes in a slow-cooker, I would go for about 8 hours on low and 4 hours on high.

I hope you enjoy these change of pace chilies and "Happy Cooking " until next week.  Please be sure to share my blog with family and friends too.  Thanks in advance.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chorizo-Filled Dates in Bacon


Chorizo-Filled Dates in Bacon
(24 servings)

 
Ingredients:

2-3 oz. Spanish Chorizo Sausage, casing removed
24 Medjool Dates, pitted
12 slices Thin Smoked Bacon, halved crosswise

Directions:

Slice sausage in thirds crosswise (about length of date).  Halve each piece lengthwise and then cut each half into 4 pieces lengthwise to make 24 pieces of sausage.  Tuck a piece into each date and pinch closed.  Wrap a strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.  Using a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the wrapped dates seam side down.  Turn them as needed until bacon is browned on all sides (about 10 minutes).  Remove to a paper towel lined dish to drain.  Do in batches if needed.  Place on a serving dish and serve hot.

Note:               You could use another type of sausage if
                        your tastes prefer.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Maple Pecans


Maple Pecans
(4 cups)

 
Ingredients:
 
4 cups Whole Pecans
½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
1 large Fresh Egg White, room temperature

Directions:

Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes to toast.  Toast until they are fragrant.  Let cool before continuing.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooled pecans, maple syrup, butter, salt and both peppers until well combined.  In a medium bowl whisk the egg white until frothy.  Add the egg white to the pecan mixture and toss well.  Spread pecan mixture out on the baking sheets in a single layer not touching each other.  Place in a 250 degree pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Immediately loosen pecans from the paper using a spatula and let completely cool before serving.

Note:               This mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for about a week.

Ideas for Future Efforts
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super Bowl Party 2015

Well the teams have been decided and Seattle will play New England in the "Super Bowl" on February 1st.  They're not the teams I was hoping for but it should make for a great game.

I'll be rooting for Seattle as their quarterback played for the university of Wisconsin and my wife is a Wisconsin born girl.  Besides I've "Never" been a New England fan.

But enough about the game.  It's second-hand to the "Super Bowl" partying.  We as fans or just watchers of the game have no control over it's outcome.  The "Party" is a totally different animal.  You do control it's fate and success.

I've written over the years in this food blog on planning and being prepared for all angles of throwing the best "Super Bowl Party" in your circle of family and friends.  Go back and look at them before you put your game plan together.  Pick what works best for your location, useable equipment, theme and taste.  Remember to have a good variety of foods and beverages to meet the needs of all guests.

This week I'm giving you a couple of recipes that probably are not in your current playbook.  Just remember that every game plan needs a trick play or two and these might just work for you.  Tomorrow is an easy finger food to make and eat.  Try the "Maple Pecans" recipe to have something you're able to just set around in gathering areas of the party.

Thursday's recipe is for "Chorizo-Filled Dates in Bacon" and here is a hot finger food for the party.  If you are not into Chorizo sausage, then you might try using hot or sweet Italian or Andouille sausage.

I think you'll be surprised by how many guests like these two dishes.  You've got a little time to try them out before the big game too.  Sometimes you just have to have faith in your game plan and stick with it.  So give these a try and let me know if they weren't a big hit for you.

Remember to as you do your planning.  There are quite a few recipes in the different recipe tabs of tis blog that have been big at past Super Bowl Parties.  "Happy Cooking" until next week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Basic Burrito


Basic Burrito
(6 servings)

 
Ingredients:

1¼ to 1½ lb. Meat, your choice (see note)
1 medium White Onion, diced
3 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
Spices (see note)
¼ cup Tomato Paste
2 cups Stock or Water
6 (10-12 inch) Flour Tortillas
1 (15 oz.) can Black Beans, drained, rinsed and heated in a little liquid (optional)
1 ½ cups Cooked Rice, your choice of type (optional)
3 cups Shredded Cheese, your choice of type
Burrito Gravy (optional)
Condiments of shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole or any others you care to use.

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown off ground beef or cook other meat until done.  Be sure to add onions and garlic during cooking process.  When done, drain any excess grease before adding spices and tomato paste.  Mix well and cook until tomato paste has browned slightly.  Add stock or water and simmer until most of liquid has evaporated but mixture is still moist.  Stir the mixture occasionally as you simmer.

Assembly:

Warm tortillas before starting to assemble the burritos.  Take a tortilla and place about ¾ cup of a combination of the meat, rice, beans and cheese (see note) just off center and spread out in a line to about 2 inches from the edge of tortilla.  Take the side of the tortilla that mixture sits on and fold over mixture.  Next bring in both ends and start to roll tortilla over towards far end to complete the package.  Wrap the finished burrito in foil and place in a pre-heated 200 degree oven on a rimmed baking sheet to keep warm while you make the rest of the burritos.  When done, serve with the condiments of choice and/or burrito gravy.  Enjoy.

Note:               You can use any kind of meat for your burrito.  Ground beef, cubed or sliced beef, chicken or pork are most common.  All meats need to be fully cooked before using as a filling for your burrito.

Note:               For spices you can use taco seasoning packets or make your own.  The “Burrito Gravy” recipe on my blog gives you one to try.  If you use it, try about 3 tbsp. for this recipe above.

Note:               This is a basic recipe for a burrito so use your imagination and make your own signature burrito to serve family and friends.

Note:               If you only use one ingredient to fill burrito, there won’t be enough using this amount to make 6 burritos.  Adjust accordingly if needed.  You could also use vegetables of choice here too
 
Ideas for Future Efforts
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