Tag Archives: bell pepper

Incredible Carne Guisada!

28 Dec

This is a reblog from a couple of years ago, but it is definitely one worth sharing again. (Plus it gave me a chance to add the handy-dandy printable PDF of the recipe at the bottom.) I assembled the ingredients early this morning before heading out to watch Sunday morning football and have some grub at a local sports bar. The house is smelling wonderful and I can’t wait to dig into it later this evening. I hope all my readers had a wonderful Christmas and will have a safe and enjoyable New Year!

Incredible Carne Guisada

Incredible Carne Guisada

This dish is SERIOUSLY amazing!!! Using a subjective adjective in my blog title along with an exclamation point already breaks a couple of my self-imposed posting rules. And there I just broke two more with capital letters and a triple exclamation point in the first sentence. But I can’t help it. This Carne Guisada is Just. That. Good. We are talking lick your bowl good. We are talking Get Outta Here that good. I cannot stress enough how much I loved this!

So now that I got all that off my chest, it’s time to start talking about the dish itself. I wanted Mexican food the other day, but wanted something different — something I’d never made before. So I went to my near and dear cookbook The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain, who always draws me into her recipes with her stories and photos that make everything in there look so gosh-darned good. This particular recipe caught my eye, and is the basis for what I ended up with. It’s a stew-like dish, served with soft tortillas, or you can dip into it with tortilla chips like an appetizer. I mixed it up quite a bit from hers but she provided me the foundation from which to build on. That sounded very scholarly. The recipe and food is not, I guarantee! I really wish I had doubled this batch, because there was not near enough leftover for my liking. I wanted more, more, more the next day for my lunch.

Carne Guisada
Adapted from Lisa Fain The Homesick Texan

1 1/2 pounds cut of beef roast or steak, any kind, cut into 1-inch cubes
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
Flour to dust over beef, about a tablespoon or so
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half a yellow and half a red)
1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and diced small
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 small potatoes, any kind, chopped
1 bay leaf
Handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dark beer, or sub with more chicken broth
Flour tortillas, warmed before serving
More cilantro, for serving

Hot and Mild Peppers and Onions

Hot and Mild Peppers and Onions

I had a rather large, lonely New York Sirloin steak in the freezer, which I deboned to get a pound of meat, and a meager 1/2 pound of boneless beef ribs in the freezer, so used those too. The recipe called for beef chuck or bottom round, but it’s all beef and you cook the heck out of it so the cut is unimportant. Season the beef cubes with Mrs. Dash (or salt) and pepper, then lightly dust all around with flour. Heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet to medium-high heat, then add the beef, in batches. You don’t want to crowd it or it won’t brown properly. Cook until it’s browned on all sides. Transfer each batch to a crock pot and set on high heat. Reduce the skillet heat to medium and add the chopped onions, peppers, garlic and spices. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, just a few minutes or so, as you don’t want to burn it. Add a skosh more oil, if needed.

Carne Guisada Ready for Liquids

Carne Guisada Ready for Liquids

Now add the mixture to the beef in the crock pot, then the tomatoes, potatoes (adding some potato was pretty outlandish, but hey, it worked!), bay leaf, and chopped cilantro. Pour in the chicken broth and beer, if using. The darkest beer I had in the house at the time was an amber ale, but you can sub with chicken broth if you don’t have any. (Yes, I did drink the rest of the beer bottle. Waste not, want not!) Cover and cook on high for three or four hours, then reduce to low for a couple of more hours, or until ready to eat. If you started this prep earlier in the day, then you can cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The longer the better. When it’s time to eat, warm up those tortillas in a hot skillet, add a mess of the Carne Guisada to a bowl, then start digging in, slathering and slopping up all the yummy juices with the tortillas. You won’t be disappointed. And of course go back for seconds and thirds. I did.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Pasta with Vegetables

25 Oct
One Pot Creamy Sausage and Pasta with Vegetables

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Pasta with Vegetables

I’ve been eyeing a bunch of “one pot” meals lately, which are very much needed in this small temporary kitchen. And what is also great about them is that they are very versatile! You can use pretty much any vegetables you have in your fridge (such as the yellow pepper that needed to be used STAT) and any kind of pasta sitting in your pantry.

And fortunately for me this time, I didn’t have to make a run to our freezer that is stored and plugged in at the garage of our new house, as on my last “house run” I grabbed two bags of frozen chicken broth instead of just one! Even if you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you could always just use water instead.

Last, my FAVORITE thing about this meal, is that you can get it prepped and on the table in about a half hour! Which was also a lifesaver this weekend with a busy schedule running my daughter all over town and helping to decorate for her dance team’s annual Spook House.

And the flavor? DEE-LICOUS! Don’t skimp on the spicy seasoning, it is not that spicy at all but adds just enough heat to round out the creamy, cheesy flavors. I can see this one in my rotation for sure, and I hope you will too!

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Pasta with Vegetables

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound smoked turkey sausage (1/2 horseshoe link), sliced
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, homemade if you have some!
1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half or milk will work too)
8 ounces dry pasta (any pasta will work, I used Penne)
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning (or sub with 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish

Browning the Meat and Veggies

Browning the Sausage and Veggies

Add olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven pan over medium heat. Add the onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and sausage. Cook until lightly browned and mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and seasonings and cook until fragrant, about a minute more.

Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes with liquid, cream and pasta. Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

Pasta Ready to Simmer in the Creamy Sauce

Pasta Ready to Simmer in the Creamy Sauce

Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with chopped green onions and serve.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

18 Sep
Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

Hey, I finally caught a salmon on my line! (And… he got away, boo hiss.) But it was fun and exciting, nonetheless. So you may have noticed I didn’t do a weekend post, because, well, I was gone fishin’! But the night before we left I made these crazy-good stuffed bell peppers, and I think we’ve found our new-favorite vegetable stuffing. I was perusing through Trader Joe’s last week and noticed this package of Harvest Grains. It sounded so delicious, with couscous, quinoa, orzo pasta, and teeny garbanzo beans. Wow! What a bunch of cool grains and stuff all in one package! And the flavors were just wonderful. So much better than plain old white rice.

Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Red Bell Peppers and Tomatoes

Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, Red Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

I decided I would make my roasted bell pepper recipe using this instead of rice, and yowza, what a hit with the family! Seconds for everyone. I thought I had some ground turkey in the freezer, and I was going to be really healthy using that instead of ground beef, but alas, it turned out to be a package of ground pork (plain, not breakfast-type.) Well, what the heck, I used that instead. I also used some of my tomatoes from our hanging tomato plant experiment, which are coming in fast and strong. Now if I can only ward off the frost until I get most of them harvested, as it’s cooling down quick in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this, and if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can substitute rice, but I would simmer it longer and use more liquid.

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Simmering Bell Pepper Stuffing

Harvest Grains and Pork Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

2 large red bell peppers (or 3 or 4 if you want all the stuffing inside)
1 pound ground  fresh pork (or turkey or beef)
1/2 cup onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains (or rice)
3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes and liquid, or 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cut 1/2 inch tops off of the bell peppers, and dice the tops up except for the stems. Clean and rinse the inside of the peppers and place with small amount of water in covered microwavable dish. Microwave for five minutes and let rest until ready to stuff.

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

Stuffed Bell Pepper Ready for Oven

In a very large frying pan, sauté the ground pork (or turkey or beef) along with chopped pepper tops, onion and garlic until your meat is browned. Drain. Add the rest of ingredients except cheese and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the Harvest Grains are done, about 15 minutes. (Longer if using rice.) Stir in half the cheese.

Stuff the peppers with mixture and place in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, and spoon the extra stuffing around the peppers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over top and bake 5 minutes longer. Dinner is served!

Incredible Carne Guisada!

19 Apr
Incredible Carne Guisada

Incredible Carne Guisada

This dish is SERIOUSLY amazing!!! Using a subjective adjective in my blog title along with an exclamation point already breaks a couple of my self-imposed posting rules. And there I just broke two more with capital letters and a triple exclamation point in the first sentence. But I can’t help it. This Carne Guisada is Just. That. Good. We are talking lick your bowl good. We are talking Get Outta Here that good. I cannot stress enough how much I loved this!

So now that I got all that off my chest, it’s time to start talking about the dish itself. I wanted Mexican food the other day, but wanted something different — something I’d never made before. So I went to my near and dear cookbook The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain, who always draws me into her recipes with her stories and photos that make everything in there look so gosh-darned good. This particular recipe caught my eye, and is the basis for what I ended up with. It’s a stew-like dish, served with soft tortillas, or you can dip into it with tortilla chips like an appetizer. I mixed it up quite a bit from hers but she provided me the foundation from which to build on. That sounded very scholarly. The recipe and food is not, I guarantee! I really wish I had doubled this batch, because there was not near enough leftover for my liking. I wanted more, more, more the next day for my lunch.

Carne Guisada
Adapted from Lisa Fain The Homesick Texan

1 1/2 pounds cut of beef roast or steak, any kind, cut into 1-inch cubes
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
Flour to dust over beef, about a tablespoon or so
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half a yellow and half a red)
1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and diced small
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 small potatoes, any kind, chopped
1 bay leaf
Handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dark beer, or sub with more chicken broth
Flour tortillas, warmed before serving
More cilantro, for serving

Hot and Mild Peppers and Onions

Hot and Mild Peppers and Onions

I had a rather large, lonely New York Sirloin steak in the freezer, which I deboned to get a pound of meat, and a meager 1/2 pound of boneless beef ribs in the freezer, so used those too. The recipe called for beef chuck or bottom round, but it’s all beef and you cook the heck out of it so the cut is unimportant. Season the beef cubes with Mrs. Dash (or salt) and pepper, then lightly dust all around with flour. Heat the oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet to medium-high heat, then add the beef, in batches. You don’t want to crowd it or it won’t brown properly. Cook until it’s browned on all sides. Transfer each batch to a crock pot and set on high heat. Reduce the skillet heat to medium and add the chopped onions, peppers, garlic and spices. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, just a few minutes or so, as you don’t want to burn it. Add a skosh more oil, if needed.

Carne Guisada Ready for Liquids

Carne Guisada Ready for Liquids

Now add the mixture to the beef in the crock pot, then the tomatoes, potatoes (adding some potato was pretty outlandish, but hey, it worked!), bay leaf, and chopped cilantro. Pour in the chicken broth and beer, if using. The darkest beer I had in the house at the time was an amber ale, but you can sub with chicken broth if you don’t have any. (Yes, I did drink the rest of the beer bottle. Waste not, want not!) Cover and cook on high for three or four hours, then reduce to low for a couple of more hours, or until ready to eat. If you started this prep earlier in the day, then you can cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The longer the better. When it’s time to eat, warm up those tortillas in a hot skillet, add a mess of the Carne Guisada to a bowl, then start digging in, slathering and slopping up all the yummy juices with the tortillas. You won’t be disappointed. And of course go back for seconds and thirds. I did.

Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada

Not Your Ordinary Chicken Tortilla Soup

14 Mar
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is not your ordinary tomato-based tortilla soup found at most Tex-Mex restaurants. Instead, it has a clear chicken broth base, an array of fresh vegetables, with a phenomenal onion-sage relish used for garnish. This recipe comes from my sister, and we had a wonderful time crafting this together yesterday. I parboiled the chicken for the meat and broth earlier in the day, so that when we were ready to cook this the time for the entire process was much shorter. It’s a delight that my sister enjoys cooking as much as I do, and we make a pretty darned good team in the kitchen. While we used squash and zucchini as the main vegetables, any fresh vegetable will work in this soup. Feel free to experiment!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Frying the Tortilla Strips

Frying the Tortilla Strips

4-6 cups chicken broth, preferable homemade
3 small zucchinis
2 small yellow squash
3 carrots
1 large yellow onion
1/2 bell pepper
1/4 cabbage head
1-2 jalapeño peppers
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can hominy
6 fresh sage leaves
Olive oil
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt
Black pepper
1 or 2 limes
10 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 avocado

Heat the chicken broth in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Slice the zucchini, squash and carrots and add to the broth. Slit the jalapeño down one side and add it whole to the pot. Take half the large onion and bell pepper, coarsely chop and add them too. Thinly slice the cabbage and toss that in too. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, finely dice the other half of the onion and put in a small bowl. Finely chop the sage leaves and mix it with the onion. Fresh sage is a must for this! Pour enough olive oil over the mixture to fully saturate it. Add the vinegar and squeeze a quarter of the lime into the relish, stir in a bunch of black pepper, a tad of salt, then cover and set aside.

Tortilla Soup and Condiments

Ready to Serve!

While the soup is simmering, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large skillet and preheat until oil is hot. Slice the tortillas into strips and carefully place one layer of them into the skillet and fry them both sides until crisp. Drain them on paper towels, and optionally shake some salt over them. Repeat until all the strips are fried.

About 5-10 minutes before ready to serve, add the cooked chicken and hominy to the soup pot. Peel and dice the avocado and place in a bowl. When the soup is done, set out the relish, tortilla strips, avocado, and lime wedges for garnish. Be sure to add generous amounts of the relish and tortilla strips, as these really finish out this wonderful and satisfying soup. Olé!

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