Tag Archives: potatoes

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

4 Mar
Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

I’d be lying if I didn’t say the past two weeks have been a bit of a challenge. It all started out with me taking a spill while ice skating with my daughter. I truly thought I just jammed my shoulder, but an x-ray two days later confirmed a break. Broke the neck of the humerus clean through, I did. The next day, my husband went in for hernia surgery (a double!) then a week after that Mohs surgery to remove cancer from his nose. Thank God for generous friends to donate their time (and cooking!) while we got back on our feet, so to speak.

I’m just in a sling (no surgery required) but I’m basically one-armed (again). Once I felt stable enough to heft out the crock pot with one hand, I was able to throw this meal together. Many thanks to my friend Mollie at The Frugal Hausfrau for the inspiration! Since I have no ability to chop anything fresh, much of this came from cans or frozen bags, but feel free to substitute with fresh. The Trader Joe’s potatoes were seasoned with oregano and thyme, so if you add fresh potatoes, add in about a 1/2 teaspoon of each of those with them.

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

1 pound boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes with liquid
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 cup frozen lima beans
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen roasted potatoes with bell pepper and onion (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 or 4 shakes Tobasco sauce
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons spicy barbecue sauce (I used Stubb’s Spicy)

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 to 6, depending on your cooker. When done, shred chicken with a fork in the pot, then serve.

p.s. This is my third fracture of the body in as many years. My friends are recommending a body bubble wrap. 😉

p.s.s. We are headed to Austin and thereabouts for a 10-day vacation for a visit with family and friends, and heading smack dab into South by Southwest (SXSW), the county’s largest film and music festival. What better way to spend time while recuperating?

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes (and a New Cookbook!)

12 Nov
Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

I got my pin and traction device off this week, woohoo! Below is me showing my hand in all it’s glory right after the procedure. This physical therapy thing is sure taking up most of each day, though. Every hour I get the reminder alarm to do my therapy exercises, and depending on what round I’m doing, I look up and I only have a half hour before the next round. (I’m on short-term leave from work for a few weeks.) That sure doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking and picture taking. But I managed to squeeze this dinner in between the “torture” last night.

Traction and Pin Off

Traction and Pin Off

I saw this recipe on the Food52 website and figured it was quick and easy enough to pull off. Both me and my husband fell in love with the sauce! It’s the perfect combination of spicy/tangy/slightly sweet which we both figured would be PERFECT on grilled salmon too!

After eating what we could of it, I thought the leftovers would make a really good Asian Noodle Soup, which I plan on doing sometime this weekend (sans the potatoes). It’s funny, after eating I was perusing the chicken-scratch changes I had made to the original printed recipe, I noticed I missed an ingredient in the sauce! I’m glad I did, as I think it would have been a completely different profile as toasted sesame oil has a very strong taste.

Oh! And I also received a new cookbook in the mail, along with a packet of homemade spice! My dear friend and fellow blogger Krystina at Kouzanas kitchen published a cookbook, filled with amazing recipes inspired by her grandparents’ village in Mani, Greece. I can’t wait to use the spice in a dish (Organic Santorini Sunset Seasoning) and cook some great Greek food from the book. You can find her blog, Facebook page, and Etsy shop in the links below.

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Kouzunas Kitchen blog

Kouzunas Kitchen FaceBook

Kouzunas Kitchen Etsy Shop

Now on to the recipe!

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, for greasing
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
Red baby potatoes, halved
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 head small cabbage

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rub a teaspoon of grapeseed (or other neutral) oil to coat a rimmed sheet pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sriracha. Place the chicken and potatoes in a gallon zip-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over the chicken and shake bag around to coat. Let marinate while the oven preheats.

Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Repeat this process until you are left with wedges 1-inch wide. Place the wedges in a large bowl, season salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining sauce. Pour the bag of chicken and potatoes, including juices, on to the sheet pan and spread out in one layer. Roast for 10 minutes.

Nestled Cabbage

Nestled Cabbage

Remove pan from oven, and nestle cabbage wedges all around the pieces, tucking it under in some places. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Return cabbage and potatoes to the oven to roast for 5 to 10 more minutes until potatoes are done.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes2

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

4 Jun
Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

When I read a fellow foodie blogger had made a Bloody Mary Pot Roast, I thought to myself “I SO have to make this!” But being lazy like I am, I instead used some pre-cut beef stew meat we had in the freezer, along with a pre-made Bloody Mary mix. You see, I drink like maybe one or two Bloody Marys a year. (Specifically one on New Year’s Day, and sometimes another one on Mother’s Day.) But what to do with all that leftover Bloody Mary mix? So I end up freezing it. This recipe idea gave me the perfect excuse to defrost it and make this wonderfully flavorful and spicy beef stew!

Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy's Bloody Mary Mix

Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy’s Bloody Mary Mix ~ Da’ Good Stuff!

The original recipe is by my friend Mollie, aka the Frugal Hausfrau and she concocts her own homemade Bloody Mary sauce to pour over a full chuck roast. You can read that version here. By adding some additional beef broth and various chopped veggies, you end up with a one-pot full-meal deal! What is not to like about that? I recommend serving with a nice crusty piece of French bread. So tasty! Hubby agreed.

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

1 1/4 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons flour
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup Bloody Mary mix (I used Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy’s)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
1 cup baby carrots
3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 cups homemade or good-quality beef broth
1 shot glass of Vodka
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup peas, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep the veggies. Unwrap the beef stew meat and leave it on the plastic wrap on the butcher paper. Season with ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste. Sprinkle the flour over the meat, mixing it around until all pieces are coated.

Seasoned and Dusted Beef Stew Meat

Seasoned and Dusted Beef Stew Meat

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef stew meat and cook (in batches) until browned on all sides. You don’t want to cram all the meat into the pot at once or it will steam instead of crisp up.

Browning the Stew Meat

Browning the Stew Meat

Remove meat and set aside on the butcher paper after removing the plastic wrap from it.  (See how I did that? No dirty plate!)

Add the chopped onions to the pot and cook until starting to soften. Add in the minced garlic for a minute or so. Deglaze the pot with the beef broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients except the peas and bring stew up to a simmer. Season with more ground black pepper, if you wish.

Beef Stew Ready to Go Into Oven

Beef Stew Ready to Go Into Oven

Cover, turn off heat, and carefully place into preheated oven. Cook covered for 2 hours. Remove from oven and stir in the thawed peas. Serve in bowls with crusty French bread and butter.

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

Bloody Mary Beef Stew

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Coq Au Vin ~ Rare Recipe Challenge

24 Jan
Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

I recently joined in with a group of fun foodie blogger to participate in a recipe challenge. Lina over at Lin’s Recipes “challenged” us to choose from a list of exotic recipes from around the world we had never made before so that we could all expand our food horizon’s beyond our own country. I read through the list then sheepishly asked if I could use a post from a couple of years ago, because hey, at that time it WAS new to me! She graciously agreed. Thank you Lina!
Rare Recipe Challenge

Head on over to the Rare Recipe Challenge to see what others have made!  The cooks have a week to add their entry, so check back often to see new recipes added throughout the week.

Thank you Lina for creating this fun challenge for the month of January (new year, new recipes!), and a great big thanks to Jhuls for judging the entries. She can be found over at thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com .

So without further adieu, I bring to you my story of cooking the French dish Coq au Vin!

__________________________________________________

After feeding our foreign exchange student a healthy (or unhealthy you might say) dose of American food, I decided to surprise her one night with a traditional French dish. She walked into the kitchen and I motioned her over to the crock pot. I lifted the lid and said, “Tah Da! I made you Coq au Vin!” She had a very puzzled look on her face. I said it again nice and slow, like this: “COKE UHH VEEEEEN.” Blank look. “You know, chicken in wine!”

“Ohhhh, yes, yes. It’s Coh ah Vah,” she replied. There is barely a hint of the k and n sound, but I could not seem to quite get that part right and we had a few giggles at my poor attempts. So after I thoroughly corrupted the French pronunciation, I was hoping I didn’t do the same to the meal. For one, I couldn’t find a true Burgundy wine at the store, so settled on a Pinot Noir. I also knew my daughter wouldn’t eat the mushrooms in it, so added some baby carrots. I did, however, ask Caroline what the French typically served the dish over — potatoes or noodles? She said potatoes, so then I asked her if they were boiled or mashed? Another puzzled look from her then had me pantomiming round circles for boiled and banging my fist on the table to simulate mashing. Ahh, the second one, mashed potatoes!

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

After her bowl was filled twice and mopped dry with thick slices of French bread, I can say that the meal was a success! This dish is typically made with skin-on chicken thighs and legs, but all I had were large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts. So I lopped them in half, and hoped they wouldn’t come out too dry. I think using a slow cooker helped retain some of the juiciness but I think next time I would cook them only about 3 hours on high instead of 4 hours. But I was very satisfied with the results, and now I know how to properly pronounce this lovely meal even if I can’t actually say it right.

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken, skin on or skinless
1/4 cup flour, divided
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
8 ounces frozen pearl onions, thawed
8 ounces small button mushrooms
2 cups whole baby carrots
1 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley, chopped
Mashed potatoes and French bread, for serving

Vegetable Medley

Vegetable Medley

Cook the bacon in a large skillet, remove from heat, and drain bacon on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the skillet, or if you used lean bacon then add some vegetable oil to make up for it. Season the chicken with pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Dust the chicken pieces with 1/8 cup flour, reserving the rest, and add the chicken to the skillet over medium high heat. Brown the chicken for several minutes on each side. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Chicken Vegetables and Bacon

Chicken, Vegetables, and Bacon

Add the tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium heat, stir in the rest of the flour, then add in the pearl onions and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the baby carrots, then return skillet to heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken broth, scraping up all the yummy brown bits.

Wine Mixture

Wine Mixture

Whisk in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes and turn off heat. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the crock pot, add the bacon on top, then pour the wine mixture over all. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours.

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Coq au Vin Ready to Cook

Make your mashed potatoes in the last half hour or so of cooking and keep over low heat until ready to serve. Spoon mashed potatoes into bowls, top with the chicken and vegetables plus juices, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. Have lots of thick-sliced French bread for sopping up all the savory juices. Enjoy!

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

23 Jan
One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort

This is a recipe I have made since college repeatedly. Surprisingly, I have never posted it as it is just “one of those meals” in my rotation. When both hubs and I stare at each other after a long day at work with those glazed eyes and say “what’s for dinner,” this recipe is usually one that comes up in the replies.

Back in the college days (and even early married days) I used to make this with that canned “cream of” soup. Any flavor I pretty much had on hand. After the hubby got diagnosed with high blood pressure, that was the first thing out the door. So I learned how to make my own “cream of” soups, and it is surprisingly simple! (And certainly healthier too but it does have butter and flour.) But never mind that. It just TASTES better too! It’s a plate full of comfort, I tell you! We typically serve with a small salad or steamed green veggie on the side.

This can make enough for anywhere from 2 to 6 people, if you have a large enough skillet. I had some huge pork chops, so depending on your family’s eating habits you’ll have leftovers, or not. Don’t worry about the amount of “soup” you end up with, there’s always enough creamy sauce for the amount of meat, potatoes and onions, even if it looks sketchy at best at first. No lie!

p.s. I originally called this simple and easy, but after looking at all the steps after writing it up, I realized I only “think” of it that way, as I swear I could make this blindfolded! If you make this enough times (as I hope you will) then I think you’ll feel the same!

So here is what we have going on:

One Pot Skillet Pork and Potato Comfort Food

3 to 6 small potatoes, depending on the mouths you feed, washed and scrubbed
1/2 to 1 large yellow onion, peeled
3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of pork chops, either bone-in or not
Ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable or grapeseed oil
Several splashes of wine, stock, or water, for deglazing
1 recipe of “cream of” soup (ingredients and recipe to follow)
Pinches of dried or fresh herbs that you like, to taste (I prefer thyme and spicy oregano for this)

Cream of “Anything” Soup Recipe

3 to 4 tablespoons real butter
1/4 cup of finely diced “of” ingredient (mushrooms, cooked chicken, celery… you get the idea)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup homemade or low sodium stock (any kind)
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
Ground pepper and salt, or Mrs. Dash , to taste

Sliced Patooties

Sliced Patooties

First thing to do is get out the mandoline and slice up all those potatooties and onions thinly. If you don’t have a fancy (like 9.99 Walmart or Amazon) device, then slice thin with your sharpest knife. It’s OK if you don’t have a mandoline. I’m a newcomer to that game and scoffed until I bought one. I totally get it. Cut the onion rings in half with a knife (optional).

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Sliced Onions and Potatoes

Next season up those chops nice and good, however you want. Nobody is judging you on your spice preference.

Seasoned Pork Chops

Seasoned Pork Chops

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large hot skillet (that has a cover to fit) and sear the pork on each side, until nice and browned. I forget how long that takes as I just eyeball it. A few minutes each side, at least. Once browned, remove the chops to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside.

Browned Pork Chops

Browned Pork Chops

Add more oil to the skillet and toss in the sliced potatoes and onions and lower heat to medium. Season, to taste. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or so, stirring here and again.

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Cooking the Onions and Potatoes

Meanwhile, make your “cream” of soup. The pans will be side by side, you can do it!

I had ‘shrooms on hand that day, so cream of mushroom soup it was! I also used some turkey stock from my Thanksgiving batch of carcass stock.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add your “of” ingredient (in my case the mushrooms) and cook until soft and the butter is foaming. Pre-cooked chicken is not such a big deal to worry about softening.

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Simmering Mushrooms and Butter

Add the flour then whisk until it’s all incorporated and turns into a weird paste. That’s OK too, it’s supposed to do that.

Making Paste

Making Paste

Add the stock all at once, then whisk like a whirling dervish until it’s all incorporated and smooth and creamy. Strange how it suddenly happens, huh? You’ll know after you try it. Then add the milk and whisk some more until it’s all combined and creamy again. Once again, season to taste and stir in. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Now. Now is the time to put it all together. Deglaze the skillet of veggies with wine or more stock or water to loosen up the yummy crispy bits.

Place the browned pork on top of the potatoes and onions.Pour the cream “of” soup over the pork and spread around. Sprinkle your preferred herbs over top. Please, do not freak out at this point that you don’t have enough soup or gravy or whatever. Trust me. See my photo?

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Skillet Chops and Gravy Ready to Simmer

Bring the skillet up to a slow simmer, then cover, and turn down to medium low. Then walk away. WALK AWAY! Leave it alone for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, uncover and smoosh everything down into the gravy because OMG where did all that gravy come from??? Ha, told you so. This photo is only after 20 minutes.

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Creamy Pork Chops and Potatoes

Cover the skillet again, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pork is at least 145 or more degrees, anywhere from 10 to 20 more minutes depending on the thickness of the chops and potatoes.

Once potatoes are softened and pork is safe to eat, turn off skillet, cut pork into serving sizes and scoop amount of potatoes and onions and gravy on to your plate that you want. Serve with some kind of green veggie or salad or whatnot. Enjoy!

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Smashed Roasted Little Potatoes

27 Dec
Smashed Roasted Little Potatoes

Smashed Roasted Little Potatoes

This is not so much a recipe as a “method” that I picked up off of Pinterest, which has been making the rounds again for these yummy ‘taters. I made these for Christmas dinner, but did the prep the day before so all I had to do was brush with oil and season them before popping into the oven while our prime rib roast “rested.” I also made creamed spinach for dinner (recipe to come later) and that turned out pretty darned yummy too!

The potatoes I used were from The Little Potato Company, and I’ve fallen in love with their small potato varieties! No I am not endorsed by them in any way, it’s just that their potatoes are so delicious! The variety I used this time was called the Terrific Trio. If you are a follower of my blog you may recall the Baby Boomer variety I used in my Roasted Pattypan Squash and Potatoes recipe.

Uncooked Little Potatoes

Uncooked Little Potatoes ~ Just look at these beauties!

Now I made 1.5 pounds of these little suckers for the three of us, and there was a meager half-serving left! I’m thinking that attests to how good my family enjoyed these potatoes, and I hope you do too!

Smashed Roasted Little Potatoes

1.5 pounds of little potatoes, any variety
Infused olive oil, for brushing (I used Mediterranean Garlic)
Seasonings and black pepper, to taste (I used a wee bit of salt and Mrs. Dash with the pepper)

Boil the potatoes covered with one inch of water until just tender (don’t overcook). This took about 15 minutes after the water came to a boil. Drain.

Lay a clean kitchen towel down and one at a time remove a potato to the towel with tongs. Using a folded up washcloth, smash the potato down gently with the palm of your hand. Some will fall apart a bit but don’t worry about that.

Smashing the Cooked Potatoes

Smashing the Cooked Potatoes

Once all the ‘taters are smashed, arrange them in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet using a spatula. At this point you can continue with the recipe or cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until ready to cook.

Smashed Potatoes Ready to Cook

Smashed Potatoes Ready to Cook

Once you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush the potatoes on one side with an infused (or plain) good quality olive oil of choice, then sprinkle on the seasonings, to taste. Gently flip them to the other side and brush with more oil and add seasonings. Again, don’t worry if they fall apart a bit. The crispy bits are delightful!

Seasoned and Oiled Smashed Potatoes

Seasoned and Oiled Smashed Potatoes

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes, flipping over gently at the halfway mark. Serve immediately. Where are the leftovers?

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Roasted Pattypan Squash and Baby Boomer Potatoes

24 Oct
Roasted Pattypan Squash and Baby Boomer Potatoes

Roasted Pattypan Squash and Baby Boomer Potatoes

This post is a bit dated since it is now mid-October and most people’s gardens are pretty much spent by now, but I’m only just now getting around to it. But, if you are still lucky enough to have some fresh squash in your area…

Our kind neighbor gave us some home-grown pattypan squash, and the only thing I could think to do with it besides soup was to roast it. I went to the store to buy some fingerling potatoes to go with them, but the bin was flat out. Then I spied this bag of Baby Boomer Potatoes. Not sure what that has to do with my generation (yah, I’m old) but they were the perfect size, and the bag said “great for roasting.” I’m in!

This was a perfectly simple side dish paired with some marinated grilled pork chops. I mixed in some fresh dill, then just roasted the heck out of them until they looked beautifully crisp on the outside (and were wonderfully creamy on the inside.)

Not your everyday side dish, but it’s a great way to use up your or your neighbor’s harvest! I hope you enjoy.

Pattypan Squash from Neighbor

Pattypan Squash from Neighbor

Roasted Pattypan Squash and Baby Boomer Potatoes

1 pound pattypan (or other) squash
1 pound small potatoes (Baby Boomers or otherwise)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat
Fresh chopped dill
Salt, pepper, and any other seasonings, to taste

Dill-Seasoned Vegetables

Dill-Seasoned Vegetables

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pattypan squash into chunks to match your potato size, to ensure even roasting. Place the squash and potatoes into a bowl, and pour over some olive oil and mix around to distribute evenly. Add the chopped fresh dill, then season with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings, to taste.

Pour bowl of veggies onto a lightly oil-sprayed baking sheet, then evenly distribute them in one layer.

Vegetables in Oven for Roasting

Vegetables in Oven for Roasting

Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, turning over halfway through. Just keep an eye on them in the last half hour and remove if getting too dark.

We served this with grilled marinated pork, but it would go pretty much with any protein of choice.

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Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

21 Feb
Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada1

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

I don’t have any prep photos of this recipe, because I was almost certain we would be ordering pizza after we tasted this. I couldn’t be MORE WRONG! It was simply amazing!! I was so astounded that I did snap a shot of my bowl of it (sans the flour tortilla for dipping, because I was still so non-plussed how great this tasted.) Then for grins I took a shot of my hubby’s interpretation of how this should be eaten.

I was going through the freezer and found a half a tube of Mexican ground chorizo sausage and decided to do something with it.  I also had two gallon bags of frozen tomatoes from our last harvest and I had to use at least SOME of them soon. I had made brined pork chops the night before, which were a total failure, I tell you. Hardly anyone touched the pork, so you won’t get any info on that except for my brining shot of it, sigh. I will not make THAT recipe again. Kitchn website, you failed me this time…

Brining Pork

Here I am brining pork, all fanchy schmancy. Little did I know….

I threw caution to the wind, and stuck the frozen chorizo, peeled frozen tomatoes, and almost a pound of the failed pork (cut up) into the crock pot, thinking if I just cook the hell out of something it might be decent. In went some chicken broth, potatoes, onions, spices and such. Just whatever sounded good. Then covered it up and cooked it all day long, hoping it wouldn’t be a last-minute pizza night.

I almost feel like I painted a masterpiece with this. Almost. This was INCREDIBLY delicious! My daughter and I couldn’t stop warming up more tortillas to slop up every last morsel of goodness. We also stirred in some cheddar cheese into the bowls, for garnish. My husband, on the other hand, made rolled up cheese quesadillas/burrito type things, stuck some of the mixture inside, and then slathered them over with more stew and mounds of sour cream. Mounds, I tell you. A little odd, but I let him do it. It’s his mouth.

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew

Rolled Quesadillas with Chorizo Stew ~ or something like that. I really don’t know what to call this.

You may adapt however you like, because it’s not like I followed any semblance of a recipe to start with. (p.s. it is the ground chorizo that makes this recipe and sets it apart from my other Carne Guisada recipe, so at least don’t skip that ingredient!)

Hints: Whenever a recipe calls for a small amount of tomato paste or chipotle chiles, I freeze the rest (labeled) for later use. Just nuke for a tad and take what you need and refreeze. Yes, I got mine out of the freezer for this.

Now on to the (sort of) recipe!

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

Chorizo-Based Carne Guisada

1 pound of pork, cooked or uncooked, cut into small pieces
7 ounces ground Mexican pork chorizo, uncooked
2 cups diced tomatoes, frozen, from a can, fresh, whatever
1 medium potato, any kind, unpeeled, washed and diced
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium, or water
1/2 cup chopped onion, any kind (I used red)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of sauce from a can of Adobo Chipotle peppers
Juice from 1/2 small lime (maybe a couple of teaspoons?)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder (or any other kind)
Large pinch of cumin powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if you want)
Warmed flour tortilla, for slopping up
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Mounds of sour cream, for garnish (or not)

Prep your pork and veggies and such, throw them all in a crock pot, give it a good stir to mix, and cook on low about 8 to 10 hours or high on 4 to 6 hours. Give it another good stir at the end. That’s it! Serve with garnishes. Easy, huh?

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)

14 Feb
Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

I think I’ve said the adage “Do as I Say and Not as I Do” many times here. Please listen to this advice. Not once, but TWICE I added the sliced sausage to the mix before blending the soup. I’m a bit daft that way, sometimes. So take my advice, and DO NOT ADD THE SAUSAGE to the soup until after you’ve blended it, OK? Otherwise you have to keep fishing it out of everything and placing it in a bowl. Good, we got that out of the way now.

This creamy soup was absolutely delicious, and nary a potato in sight for it which is the usual method to make it. Instead, cauliflower is first roasted and then blended with the stock to make a rich base for spinach and sausage. The flavors in this are complex and dreamy. I will make this again and not forget my own advice. 😉

p.s. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Caldo Verde (Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower)
Adapted from “Cauldo-Verde” by Bogre on the Food52 website

1 pound of cauliflower florets (from 1 small head)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for roasting the cauliflower)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
7 ounces (1/2 link) of a smoked turkey Kielbasa
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 to 6 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
5 ounce bag baby spinach
Large handful Italian parsley, chopped
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Smoked Paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and some good splashes of olive oil. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and set aside.

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

Browning the Kielbasa and Onions

In a soup pot or Dutch over medium-high heat, saute the onion and Kielbasa in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until onions are tender and sausage is browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for about a minute more. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Now. Do not forget this step.

Add the roasted cauliflower and chicken broth to the pot (not the Kielbasa yet!), bring to a boil, reduce heat then simmer for about a half hour. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender or food processor (or use an immersion blender, which I don’t have.)

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Return the blended soup to the pot over low heat. Add the sausage and onion mixture, the spinach, and the parsley and heat for about another 10 minutes until the spinach is wilted and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with thick slices of crusty, buttered bread. Welcome to my mouth, you complex creamy soup!

Caldo Verde - Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Caldo Verde – Sausage and Spinach Soup with Cauliflower

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup is a Community Pick!

2 Feb
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup

I was so excited when I checked on the status of a recipe I submitted to a contest late last night on the Food52 website, and was pleasantly surprised to see my recipe was selected for the testing phase of “Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0”!

Even though I don’t have a new recipe for you (we had been busy getting ready to host our first Super Bowl party in the new house), you can find a slew of great recipes on that website, including all the great potato recipes that made it through the first round of the contest!

Click here to view the Community Pick page —–> Your Best Recipe with Potatoes 2.0

You can click on the link to the recipe in the list. Enjoy!

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