Tag Archives: jalapeno

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

7 May
Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

We have a nice stash of jumbo (16-20 count) shrimp in the freezer, and this tasty/tangy shrimp dish caught my eye in my blog readerboard a couple of weeks ago. It is right up my alley using Mexican-inspired ingredients, and is served over something other than a tortilla, ha!

I adapted this from Josette’s Shrimp in Green Mole over at thebrookcook, and the vibrant green sauce did not disappoint. I halved the shrimp amount since there were only two of us eating it, but kept the sauce amount the same since she said she would have enjoyed more sauce. I substituted pepitas, which are pre-roasted baby pumpkin seeds and ground cumin for seeds, so that eliminated a couple of steps. I’m all about easy. I also omitted the romaine lettuce in the sauce, which admittedly was a mistake but the sauce came out delish all the same! Here’s how I did it:

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Shrimp in Green Mole at thebrookcook

1/2 cup hulled pepitas
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 serrano or jalapeño, stemmed
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup tightly pack chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound jumbo tail-on shrimp, shelled and deveined
Pepitas and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Place the pepitas, tomatillos, chile pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down sides as necessary.

Heat the oil in a skillet (cast-iron if available) over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture, which will spatter so be prepared with a screen or lid! Cook, stirring often, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low, simmering softly and stirring often until sauce is thick and creamy, about another 10 minutes. Season to taste, with salt if necessary.

Season shrimp with kosher salt and pepper, then add to the simmering sauce. Cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Serve over rice garnished with pepitas and cilantro.

 

 

 

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Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage Soup

14 Feb
Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

Mexican-Style Beef and Cabbage Soup

I have this awesome foodie friend named Adam. Adam J. Holland is his name and he cooks some crazy good food and shares it with the world on his website The Unorthodox Epicure. Not only is he talented food-wise, he is also a talented and witty writer. Do pop over to his blog at some point and check him out.

Now, on to this fabulous soup that I “stole” from Adam. His version of this recipe is not a soup, but since I am a soup fanatic I just had to transform it into one. I added a few other tweaks, but the base recipe is fabulous on its own. My family LOVED this soup, and the hubs declared it a soup that I MUST make again! How’s that for a complement? He tends to be wary whenever I spring something “different” on him. I am very happy to have a new soup to add into the rotation! After I took my photos my husband decided to crush up some tortilla chips and add it to the soup. It was a GREAT idea! It complemented the soup very nicely.

OH! And to those of you who celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day filled with Love and Food! ❤

Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage Soup
Adapted from Mexican-Style Beef with Cabbage at The Unorthodox Epicure

2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 jalapeño, chopped (I used my dehydrated jalapeños)
1/2 cup tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon chile powder (I used Ancho)
Lots of ground black pepper and a wee bit of salt, to taste
3 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
2 cups shredded cabbage or chopped (I used my Ninja processor)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
Tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

Making the Soup Base

Making the Soup Base

Add the garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, tomato paste, chile powder, and ground black pepper and salt. Stir and cook for about 7 more minutes.

Browning the Ground Beef

Browning the Ground Beef

Add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it up with your spatula. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

Beef and Cabbage Soup Ready for Stirring and Simmering

Beef and Cabbage Soup Ready for Stirring and Simmering

Add the beef stock, cabbage, cilantro, and lime juice. Bring up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more.  Serve in bowls and garnish with tortilla chips (optional).

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

3 Oct
Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Fall is in the air, at least where I live. And that means SOUP season! This is another recipe I made several months ago during a cool spell. The hardest thing about writing a recipe months after the fact is interpreting the scribbles hastily written down while cooking and photographing. I’m sure at the time I thought I would remember what it all means. So if I’ve missed a step or ingredient, please forgive me! But what I do remember is how much I enjoyed this soup.

Don’t let all those bottled sauces intimidate you, as very little of each is used and they keep for a long time in the refrigerator.  And it’s always nice to have just the sauce you need when you’re in the mood for an Asian dish. I think I’ll make this again very soon, as the cool, fall air is making me hanker for some warm, soothing soup!

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated carrot
1­ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 to 5 cups homemade or low­sodium chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, sliced crosswise
2 green onions, green part only, chopped
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients ~ I started to crop this photo but couldn’t after I spotted our darling Hannah Banana in the background!

Add the oils to a wok or Dutch oven heated over medium high. Add the shredded carrot and sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant.

Pour in the chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, oyster, soy and fish sauces to the broth. Raise the heat and cook until starting to boil, then add the chicken tenders and sliced chile pepper.

Simmering the Chicken

Simmering the Chicken

Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove the chicken from broth and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Meanwhile, add the bok choy and green onion to the broth. Optionally, add the Sambal Oelek if you like a little spicy. Simmer until greens are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Shred the chicken tenders with forks, then add back to the pot until warmed through.

Shredded Chicken Added

Shredded Chicken Added

Serve in bowls with a lime wedge for squeezing into the soup, to taste.

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

7 Sep
Southwest Taco Salad with Guacamole Dressing

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Ahhh, where oh where did the summer go? School starts this week in my neck of the woods and temperatures have gone from sizzling hot to almost frosty. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying this zesty and crunchy salad filled with summer bounty topped with a smooth avocado dressing.

We’ve just returned this weekend from nine glorious days camping and fishing at the beautiful Oregon coast. What a wonderful way to end the summer!

Southwest Taco Salad with Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Adapted from Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing at Carlsbad Cravings

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

1 small avocado, peeled and roughly diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 salsa, homemade or store-bought (I used my Hatch chile salsa)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Southwest Taco Salad

Grilled chicken breast, sliced (or deli rotisserie)
Corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet white corn
Chopped/shredded lettuce of choice
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup roasted pepitas
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
Creamy Guacamole Dressing
Tortilla chips, for serving

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Creamy Guacamole Dressing

Add all of the Creamy Guacamole Dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You will have to scrape down the sides a few times. Add additional milk, if needed, to thin to desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Next, grill the chicken breast, if it isn’t already cooked.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken

Remove the kernels from the ear of corn, using a Bundt-pan to catch the kernels, if you have one. (That’s a pretty cool tip I picked up from Pinterest.)

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Cutting the Corn off the Cob

Add all the salad ingredients except dressing and chips to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Southwest Taco Salad Ingredients

Add tossed salad to individual bowls, then top with guacamole dressing and serve with tortilla chips.

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Download and Print this  Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Hatch Chile Fire-Roasted Salsa

26 Aug
Hatch Chile Fire-Roasted Salsa

Hatch Chile Fire-Roasted Salsa

We FINALLY got Hatch chiles in my dinky town in Oregon! What took them so long? (Although I hear Whole Foods has brought them here every year for a while but I don’t live on that side of town. It was my LOCAL grocery store that just switched from Alberton’s to Haggen. (Although they are way overpriced IMHO. I’ve started shopping out of my beaten path for budget reasons.)

Anyhoot, I bought several of these to roast and make a Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa. After I did that, I went back for more and roasted a few more pounds for the freezer, because, why not? I can add them to soups and stews all fall/winter long. Yay!

Veggies Ready to Roast

Veggies Ready to Roast

This wonderful batch of Hatch salsa was served with some of my bestest friends for a BBQ of grilled Texas Slow-Cooked Brisket and Pork Babyback Ribs. My tomato plants didn’t have enough ripe ones for this, but I had an abundance of ripe and almost ripe Serrano peppers in the garden. Sometimes life is so good to you! (Please, adjust amount of Serrano peppers according to taste. Just the Hatch chile’s heat might be enough for you, but I like SPICY!)

Here is what I did:

Hatch Chile Fire-Roasted Salsa

4 Hatch chiles
4 Roma tomatoes
Half a large sweet or white onion
3 to 6 Serrano chile peppers (I ended up using only 3)
3 cloves garlic
1 or 2 squeezed limes (to taste)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Heat your grill to high (rub it with olive oil first), or set your broiler on high. Add the Hatch chiles, tomatoes, onion, Serranos, and garlic to the grill or a baking sheet. Place on grill or in oven on top rack. Cook and turn over several times until blistered all over (about 20 minutes or so).

Roasting the Vegetables

Roasting the Vegetables ~ My onion and garlic blew out the white settings, couldn’t get it to adjust, darn it!

Remove everything off the heat, then place the peppers in a paper bag for about 10 minutes. Let the tomatoes and garlic sit until cool enough to handle, then peel the skins off all of them and add to a blender. Also add the grilled/broiled onion, lime juice, vinegar, and salt and ground black pepper to the blender.

Salsa Ready to Blend

Salsa Ready to Blend

Blend that deliciousness right up! Taste and season with more lime and salt accordingly. Chill until ready to serve with tortilla chips. Leftovers can be used with eggs, on a salad, or whatever!

Here’s a photo of my friends and family enjoying the salsa and chips (and beer) before the food feast. Of course, I am never in these as the photographer, lol!

p.s I am away for over a week camping, fishing, and crabbing. I hope you hang with me until then!

BBQ Feast

Pre-BBQ Feast

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Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

7 Jun
Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

I planned on making this for my Saturday lunch, but all sorts of errands got in the way. After a two and a half hour shopping binge trip at three stores, it was time to pick up my 16-year-old daughter from her 4-hour SkidCar course at noon (which I begrudgingly got up at 7:30 am on a weekend to take her to it). I had bought all the ingredients for this recipe, in addition to restocking our refrigerator with staples. Our freezer in the fridge went KAPUT a couple of weeks ago, and then the refrigerator side slowly went downhill until it barely kept milk cold enough to drink. We’d been “cooler camping” at our house for the last few days until our new fridge arrived and had to toss out a bunch of stuff. Thank goodness we have a chest freezer in the garage, as I would have been heartbroken to lose the rest of our quarter cow we bought last fall. Nonetheless, after all that shopping I didn’t have time to make this, let alone get the groceries out of the car before I had to pick her up! So we stopped at a local fresh Mexican food joint on the way home and I had a taco and she had a burrito.

For dinner last night, I made my staple summer-time grilled tortilla pizza! I marinated then grilled the chicken, tossed the tortilla on the grill, added pesto, artichoke hearts, the chicken, mozzarella and fresh basil from my herb garden.

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

I made this and other tortillas pizzas all last summer. If you want the recipes, click here —> Grilled Tortilla Pizzas.

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto, Tortilla Pizza

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto Tortilla Pizza

p.s. You are asking yourself, what is a SkidCar course? It’s an amazing driving course using a special car and hydraulics to teach someone how to drive on ice and snow (or how to get out of a skid on any surface), even if there is no snow on the ground! My daughter will get a 30% discount on insurance now, we checked with our company. Win-win, and I’ll feel more secure now when the snow flies again in the winter with her driving skills. I arrived about 5 minutes early and got to see my daughter go into several “skids” and safely recover from them! For information on that course (not available in all areas) click here —> SkidCar course).

And yes, I made this great lunch today, finally. It was every bit as delicious as I expected it to be, and my husband said he really like it a lot! Now on to the recipe!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche
Credit for this goes to Gina for Canned Tuna Ceviche at Skinnytaste.com

2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 to 1 1/2 limes, juiced (about 1/8 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can chunk white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 to 1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
1 medium seeded plum tomato, finely diced
Dash of Sriracha sauce (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
Sliced avocado, for garnish
Tortilla chips, for garnish

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, lime juice, and olive oil. To that, add the tuna, cilantro, jalapeño, tomato, and Sriracha, if using. Taste and add salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if needed.

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Gosh I’m a messy cook! Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves garnished with slices of avocado and tortilla chips. A wonderful light summer lunch salad!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

14 Mar
Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

I’ve been eying similar tomato sauce and egg dishes lately from the Middle East region, but “Shakshuka” uses quite a few spices that I simply don’t have. (And I have a LOT of spices!) But the ingredients and spices I almost always have on hand are Mexican in origin. Hence, I bring to you a riff on Shakshuka, Tex-Mex style!

My husband and I were disappointed I only cooked four of the six eggs. We both had large lunches, and decided one egg each would suffice. Oh boy, were we wrong! While are daughter munched happily on her second egg, we longed in silence. However, there was plenty of sauce leftover to make a repeat for lunch the next day!

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

For the Ranchero Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Serrano (or jalapeño) pepper, diced small
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon New Mexico ground chile (or chili powder)
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the Rest of It:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-inch corn tortillas
Sea salt, to taste
4 to 6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh-grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup fresh-grated cheddar cheese
Handful fresh cilantro, (chopped) for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To make the sauce, add a tablespoon of oil to a cast iron or oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the spicy pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 7 minutes until onions are softened. Pour in the can of tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the black beans, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

While the sauce is simmering, brush both sides of the corn tortillas with oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Cut into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. (I tried making the strips before the sauce, and got so busy that I burnt my first batch. Lucky for me I always have a large bag of corn tortillas in the pantry!)

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce (LOOK! There is plenty of room for two more eggs, silly!)

When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Make indentations in the sauce with the back of a large spoon, and crack each egg into the wells. Return the pan to the heat and cover. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the whites are partially set.

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the dish, then place the skillet under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the eggs are cooked to your liking. This shouldn’t be more than a few minutes, unless you like hard-cooked eggs. Remove the skillet (carefully!) from the oven. Garnish with the tortilla strips and cilantro, scoop out your eggs and sauce, and serve with sour cream if you want.

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Black-Eyed Pea Risotto

7 Jan
Black-Eyed Pea Risotto

Black-Eyed Pea Risotto

I usually make a big ol’ batch of black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day, but since I’m the only one who likes to eat them, I decided to mix it up and make this Black-Eyed Pea Risotto for lunch instead with a smaller batch of peas to see if I could at least get my husband to try them that way. No go. He had soup and grilled cheese instead.

I want to give my foodie friend Karen over at Back Road Journal a shout out for the inspiration to make this. She says it’s the only way she can get her husband to eat black-eyed peas, and was hoping it would be the same case for mine. He wouldn’t even taste them!

I used my homemade ham stock from the freezer to cook both the black-eyed peas and risotto. If you don’t have any ham stock, then you can substitute chicken broth instead. I also typically make my black-eyed peas from dried peas soaked overnight, but I used a half-bag of frozen instead. You could also substitute frozen with canned and not have to cook them as long. Last, I made my “Texas” version of the peas, spicing it up with bacon and jalapeño.

And I have a confession to make: This is the first time I’ve ever made risotto. It’s true, I swear! I’ve been wanting to try making it for many years, but always balked at the time it took standing and stirring at the stove. It really wasn’t that tedious of a process, plus it was interesting to watch the rice transform in texture over time. Now that I’ve leapt that hurdle, I’m hoping to try out some different risotto recipes I’ve bookmarked.

Black-Eyed Pea Risotto
Inspired by Black-Eyed Pea Risotto from Back Road Journal

1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons real bacon bits
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces frozen black-eyed peas, or sub with one drained and rinsed can
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups homemade ham or chicken broth, divided
3 slices of jarred jalapeños, minced, plus a teaspoon of juice from jar
1/2 cup Arborio or short-grained uncooked rice

Cooking the Black-Eyed Peas

Cooking the Black-Eyed Peas

In a saucepan, saute the onion and bacon bits in one tablespoon of the olive oil for about 5 minutes, then stir in the jalapeño and juice. Add the black-eyed peas, then cover with 2 cups ham broth. Season with ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about a half hour or longer, until the peas are tender. (If using canned, you only need to simmer for a few minutes and should probably cut down the broth by a lot.)

Meanwhile, microwave 2 cups of ham broth until piping hot. Add the other tablespoon of oil to a large skillet over medium heat and add the uncooked rice. Cook it for a few minutes until it starts to shimmer. Don’t let it brown.

Starting the Risotto

Starting the Risotto ~ As you can see, it is still pretty white and firm

Pour in 1/2 cup of the hot ham broth and stir continuously until the broth is absorbed completely, about 10 minutes. Stir in another 1/2 cup of hot broth (microwave to reheat as needed) and stir until absorbed.

Risotto After Second Half-Cup of Broth

Risotto After Second Half-Cup of Broth~ You can see the rice is plumping up now and getting creamier

Continue this process of adding a half cup of broth and stirring until the two cups are used up. If needed, add more broth or water at the end until desired consistency is reached. (I had to do this due to our high altitude, it was still too al dente after using up the two cups.)

Ham Broth Risotto Almost Finished

Ham Broth Risotto Almost Finished ~ It has developed a lot of color and creaminess now

Last, add the black-eyed pea mixture to the rice, stir until combined, and serve! That’s a whole lot of my own yumminess in a bowl!

Black-Eyed Peas and Risotto Mixed Together

Black-Eyed Peas and Risotto Mixed Together

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

3 Jan
Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño

When I served this soup to my husband for dinner last week, he exclaimed “What is this? You are serving me Klingon Grog!” in some strange accent that certainly wasn’t Klingon. I was pretty sure it was Klingon blood that is green, not their grog, but I just laughed him off and told him to eat his soup. (After further research, it turns out they do have a green grog, but their main drink is blood red. I digress…)

We were in the midst of a pretty crazy snowstorm that dumped almost 8 inches on us (we were supposed to only get one inch, but it just kept coming!) so I had to make do with what we had on hand for dinner. I had some potatoes, a half-pound bag of frozen spinach, and a half of a fresh jalepeño left from making Carne Guisada the day before.

After a little Googling, I found this amazing recipe for soup with those ingredients. It also called for bacon, and much to my surprise I found three frozen uncooked strips in the freezer. Wow, that made my day.

I halved the recipe, since there are only three of us, but this can easily be doubled. Yes, this is a vibrant green soup, but it is delicious, filling, and even guest-worthy. And you only get a very mild taste of jalapeño, with no spiciness at all that I could tell. The jalapeño gave it an added depth of taste. It would also be a great first course when entertaining dinner guests, plus it is very easy to make with few ingredients.

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and Jalapeño
Adapted from The Nourished Kitchen cookbook

3 strips bacon, diced
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon reserved bacon grease
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 to 6 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces fresh or frozen spinach, thawed
Sour cream, for serving

Prepping the Veggies

Prepping the Veggies

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or stockpot until browned and crispy. Remove, drain on paper towels and set aside. Drain all but about one teaspoon of the grease from the pot. Add 1 teaspoon of butter, then stir in the onion and jalapeño and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potato chunks, then give it a good mix.

Veggies Ready for Chicken Broth

Veggies Ready for Chicken Broth

Pour in the chicken broth, cover, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through all the way. Stir in the spinach and bacon (reserving some bacon for garnish), and simmer another 5 minutes. (If using fresh spinach, simmer until it wilts.)

Simmering Soup

Simmering Soup

Puree the soup with an immersion blender (I don’t have one) or in batches in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream and bacon pieces as additional garnish. You may salt to taste at this point, but the bacon and sour cream made it plenty salty for our tastes.

Now I just have to show you lame attempt at making pretty swirlies with the sour cream. Luckily I reserved extra bacon in case this didn’t work out. Obviously it didn’t. It looks like some kind of morph between a snail and a beetle! I’m afraid food styling is not my biggest strength as a food blogger. 😀

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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

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