Tag Archives: sour cream

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

24 Mar
Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

You’d think being unemployed would have all kinds of perks, like lots of free time for cooking and blogging, right? Long story short, that is not the case, so my quest for easy and delicious dinners remains the same.

Here’s one I made a few weeks ago I had waiting in the wings (thank goodness because my spare time has been minimal) that is chock full of flavor and spice! This hearty soup was one of those welcome, warming dinners on a cold and dreary evening. I hope you think so too.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

8 ounces dried black beans, soaked overnight (or sub two cans)
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, tips removed
Olive oil for garlic
1 tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
4 ounces ground spicy Italian sausage
1 chipotle in Adobo sauce, minced plus one tablespoon of the sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups ham or chicken stock
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with liquid (I used my homemade canned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste
Lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, for garnish

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Garlic Ready for Roasting

Drain and rinse beans (dried or canned) and set aside. Nestle cloves of garlic cut tips up in aluminum foil and drizzle olive oil over top. Wrap tightly and place in 350-degree toaster oven (or oven) for 25 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon bacon grease or olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and ground sausage, stirring until sausage is cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Stir in the chipotle and sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper until combined and fragrant.

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Sausage and Veggie Mixture

Pour in the stock, then squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic out of their skins into the soup. Now add the beans. Bring up to a boil, then turn down andĀ simmer until the beans are cooked through. For dried beans, this could take an hour or more depending on how old the beans are. Canned beans are ready when heated through.

Pureed Tomatoes

Pureed Tomatoes

Puree the tomatoes with liquid in a container using an immersion blender stick, or a blender or food processor. (I used my new Cuisinart stick!) Once the beans are tender, pour in the tomatoes and sherry or vinegar. Taste for salt, and add if necessary.

Puree about half the soup using an immersion stick, or add to blender or food processor in batches. I like mine a bit chunky. Once soup has warmed through again, serve immediately and pass with lime wedges, cilantro, and sour cream.

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

Spicy Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Roasted Garlic

 

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Marcos Pollo Tacos

3 Apr
Marcos Pollo Tacos

Marcos Pollo Tacos

We have a local restaurant that serves an amazing Mexican chicken dish called Marcos Pollo. It’s a creamy/spicy dish filled with chicken and mushrooms and served with rice and beans and tortillas. I decided to recreate this as best I could, and my husband thought it was spot on! Aside from telling me it was delicious, he wants me to add more mushrooms, increase the sauce, and make the chicken cubes smaller next time. Ever the critic, isn’t he? šŸ˜€ But I did agree with him except the chicken chunk size. I like a nice mouthful of chicken with each bite!

Marcos Pollo Tacos

3/4 to 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock, reduced to 1/4 cup
1/2 sweet onion, cut and sliced in quarters
4 to 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thick
1/2 cup heavy cream, Mexican crema, or Half and Half
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water
Cilantro, for garnish

Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes, then mix with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the paprikas and minced chipotle in adobo in a non-reactive bowl or zip-top baggie. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan, then lightly boil until the stock has been reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and set aside. This took about 20 minutes.

Chicken and Onions Browning

Chicken and Onions Browning

Meanwhile, slice the onions and mushrooms. After chicken stock has reduced, add the chicken and onions to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a clean bowl and set aside.

Deglazing Mushrooms

Deglazing Mushrooms ~ I haven’t quite mastered an in-focus pouring shot…

Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet then cook the mushrooms until golden brown, about another 5 to 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the reduced stock.

Add the chicken and onions back to the skillet, then stir in the cream and sour cream until combined. Next add the corn starch/water slurry, then simmer and stir until the sauce has thickened.

Creamy Spicy Chicken and Mushrooms

Creamy Spicy Chicken and Mushrooms

Remove from heat and serve over cooked rice, black beans in warmed corn tortillas. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Marco Pollo Tacos

Marcos Pollo Tacos

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Grilled Nachos with Chicken and Chunky Guacamole plus Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

15 Jul
Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

It’s about time I had a new recipe, yes? Since I’m off camping (once again) this weekend, I’m posting mid-week so as not to leave you empty-handed. This time we are going to Clear Lake for an annual reunion to celebrate my uncle’s (dad’s side) birthday. This will be his 88th! Happy Birthday Uncle Joe!

Although we’ve cooled down the past few days, last week it was sweltering hot after we got back from our river camping trip. And when it’s that hot, I always fire up the grill for dinner. I thought some loaded chicken nachos sounded pretty darn good. I was going to grill the chicken, but decided instead to throw it in the crockpot with the seasonings then plug in the appliance outdoors on the deck. And then I shredded the chicken when it was done, mixed up some chunky guacamole made with a serrano pepper from my garden, assembled the nachos then slapped them on the grill! (OK I slid them, not slapped.) šŸ˜€

Serrano Pepper Plant

My Serrano Pepper Plant is Producing Awesomely!

This was a plenty filling dinner out on our deck on the patio table. I had leftover shredded chicken, black beans, and sliced olives so decided to make a Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza the next night. Hey you get several recipes this time! OlƩ!

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Crockpot Taco Chicken

Chunky Guacamole Grilled Nachos with Chicken

For the chicken:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (recipe here, or store-bought)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lime, squeezed

Guacamole Ingredients

Guacamole Ingredients

For the chunky guacamole:

2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 serrano pepper, stem cut and deseeded and finely minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon cilantro
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the nachos:

Tortilla chips
Grated block cheddar cheese (it melts better than pre-shredded)
Shredded chicken
More grated cheese
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
Sliced black olives, drained
Chunky guacamole (recipe below)
Sour cream
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Chopped green onion

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Add the chicken ingredients to a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then set aside.

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Guacamole Ready to Smash

Meanwhile, prepare the chunky guacamole. Add all the prepped ingredients to a bowl, then smash up and mix with a fork until desired consistency. Cover with plastic wrap then refrigerate.

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

Preheat the grill to high heat on one side. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then layer tortilla chips in one layer on the foil. Spread with grated cheese, then chicken, then more cheese, black beans, and black olives.

Preparing the Nachos

Preparing the Nachos

Slide the foil sheet onto the heated side of the grill then cover, grilling for about 10 minutes until the bottoms of the chips are crispy. Move the nachos to the unheated side of the grill then cover again, grilling until the cheese has melted.

Grilling the Nachos

Grilling the Nachos

Slide nachos back onto the baking sheet, top with chunky guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and chopped green onion to taste. Enjoy!

Now here is a recipe for what to make with any leftover ingredients you have from the nachos, depending on the size of your family or if your teenage daughter decides she’s going to a friend’s house for dinner instead of eating your excellent nachos. Just a couple of photos with this one and paper plates, it was that kind of night!

Grilled Mexican Tortilla Pizza

10-inch flour tortillas
Oil spray
Canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fire-roasted salsa (recipe here, or store-bought)
Cooked shredded chicken (use deli rotisserie chicken or leftovers)
Sliced black olives, drained
Thinly sliced onion
Jarred sliced jalapeƱos
Grated Colby Jack cheese

First add the black beans to a blender or food processor, then drizzle in olive oil and process until creamy, scraping down the sides and adding oil as needed. Set aside.

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Prepping the Mexican Pizza

Preheat the grill to medium to medium-low, and spray the tortilla(s) on one side and grill for about 3 minutes, until crisp and starting to puff up on the top side. Remove to plate, then spray the non-grilled side with oil. Flip over, then spread the creamy beans evenly over the tortilla. Top evenly with salsa, shredded chicken, black olives, onion, jalapeƱos and cheese.

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Grilling the Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Place back on grill, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. You might need to move it to the unheated side if it’s getting too crispy on the bottom and the cheese isn’t melted yet. Add a green salad on the side, and dinner is served!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups

31 May
Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups

Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups

My husband said I actually made a “blog-worthy” meal last night while eating this! That’s a bit of a relief since I haven’t posted a new recipe in a while due to vacation and other business in our lives. When I first spied this recipe a few days ago, though, I immediately knew I wanted to make it as as soon as possible. Hubby said he’s always wary when I make something completely new (not without reason) but he gave this two thumbs up! (My daughter missed out on this meal since she was at a sleepover. Her loss!)

Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups
Adapted from Chicken Chili Relleno from Lady Behind the Curtain

2 large poblano peppers
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix (or store-bought)
1 egg
1 to 2 ounces NeufchĆ¢tel cream cheese
2 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Red enchilada sauce, for serving (homemade or store-bought)
Sour cream, for serving

Charred Poblano Peppers

Charred Poblano Peppers

Char the peppers on a grill over high heat, turning frequently, until blistered all over. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Place peppers in a paper bag and close, then let rest for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from bag, cut the stem off, then peel the blistered skin. Cut the peppers in half length-wise, then deseed. Set aside.

Peeled and Deseeded Poblano Peppers

Peeled and Deseeded Poblano Peppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees now. If chicken breast(s) are large, butterfly in half. Pound the chicken to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness and set aside

Cornmeal and Taco Mix

Cornmeal and Taco Mix

On a plate, combine cornmeal and taco seasoning mix. Next crack the egg into a a bowl and beat.

Assembly time! On each piece of chicken, arrange the roasted peppers.

Assembling the Rollups

Assembling the Rollups

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over the peppers, then top with grated Monterey Jack cheese.Ā  Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the cheese.

Chicken Rellenos Ready to Roll Up

Chicken Rellenos Ready to Roll Up

Starting with the narrowest end of chicken, roll up and then secure with toothpicks. The larger chicken breast was a little more difficult to handle, but I finally wrangled all the filling into it!

Carefully dip the rollups into the beaten egg, then press into the cornmeal mix on all sides. Place the assembled chicken seam-side down into a casserole dish sprayed with oil. Spray the tops and the sides of the chicken with additional oil.

Chicken Chile Relleno Rollups Ready to Bake

Chicken Chile Relleno Rollups Ready to Bake

Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes. Garnish with enchilada sauce and sour cream, and serve with pinto beans and rice.

Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups

Chile Relleno Chicken Rollups

Download and Print this Recipe

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 jalapeƱo) 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!

 

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

7 Mar
Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I’ve been keen on making one-pot meals these days. I had a hankering for enchiladas, but I sure mess up a lot of dishes in that process. I’ve done the enchilada casserole before, which does use a few less dishes, but that is still too many when you just want to throw everything into ONE dish and cook it. Yes, a slow cooker works like that, but it was 6 pm and no time for that. A few interwebz searches yielded the brainchild for the following recipe. I’ve decided to call it Chicken Enchilada Skillet, because that is exactly what it is. And you could make it with ground burger, steak, or pork too! A cheesy, filling dish that tastes like enchiladas, but made in only a skillet! Win-win.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (white or dark)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (off-brands are now available)
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (freeze the rest if larger)
1 cup frozen corn
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2.25 ounce can sliced black olives
Cilantro, diced green onions, for garnish
Sour cream and warmed tortillas, for serving

Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, then season with the pepper, cumin, and chile powder.

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Add the oil to a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken and onion until browned, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Add the rice to the skillet and cook about 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauteeing the Rice with Chicken

Sauteing the Rice with Chicken

Next add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes with green chiles, enchilada sauce, and corn. Heat up to a low boil, then turn down to a simmer.

Simmering the Enchilada Misture

Simmering the Enchilada Mixture

Cover the skillet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and absorbed most of the liquid.

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Remove from the heat, then add the black beans. Top with the grated cheese and black olives. Put under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the green onions and cilantro, and serve with sour cream and tortillas.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

You can add the mixture to a tortilla and roll into a burrito, or just use it to dip into the enchilada skillet surprise!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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.Ā  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!

 

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and JalapeƱo

3 Jan
Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and JalapeƱo

Potato and Spinach Soup with Bacon and JalapeƱo

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 jalepeƱo 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 jalapeƱo, with no spiciness at all that I could tell. The jalapeƱo 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 JalapeƱo
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 jalapeƱo, 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 jalapeƱo 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. šŸ˜€

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

Sour Cream Garnish FAIL

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

16 Nov
Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

Well, I am back from my (mis)-adventures of a week in Scottsbluff, Nebraska! I survived temps way below zero, lack of mini-fridge for a few days, one night of the smoke alarm beeping incessantly every five seconds, key card not working to get into my room, wake-up calls not received, the TV stations not working due to a “digital upgrade” and somehow miraculously made not only the puddle-jumper flight to Denver, I even made it into the Redmond, Oregon airport that had been closed for a day due to an ice storm and a foot of snow. It reopened a few hours earlier and they even let us land after another plane got stuck on the taxiway. WHEW!

That being said, I had to drive a white-knuckle trip back to Redmond to pick up a quarter side of beef (all packaged and neatly labeled) we had ordered from a local rancher who raised grass-fed cows the very next morning. Several cars off the road in the snow banks, slow going. Said beef was driven straight to the chest freezer that is plugged into the garage in our new house we are remodeling.

I brought home a pound of the ground beef (I think we had said to ground the some of chuck steaks for that, not sure?) and decided to jump right in and make by favorite stand-by of homemade ground beef Stroganoff. I also brought home two packages of short ribs, which my hubby is cooking tonight for another meal.

I guess we are set for beef for the winter. I’ve posted this recipe in two different variations before, but this is my tried and true recipe. You cannot go wrong with this one! (Sorry for the lack of photos on this one, I’m still not 100% back into the blog at this point!)

Homemade Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 pound lean ground beef or chuck
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend, (or salt) to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces of pasta (I used Farfalle, also known as Bow-Tie)
Splash of white wine or chicken broth, for deglazing
Homemade cream of mushroom and celery base (recipe below)
4 to 8 ounces sour cream
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Condensed Soup

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup (My new base has celery in it too!)

Homemade Cream of Mushroom and Celery Base

Ā 2 tablespoons real butter
1/8 cup small diced mushrooms
1/8 cup small diced celery
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium or homemade
1/2 cup milk (any kind)

To start, begin browning the ground beef in a large skillet. After a few minutes, stir in the onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic and seasonings to taste. Also put some water in a pot for the pasta on medium high heat to get ready to boil.

Meanwhile, make the cream of mushroom and celery base (recipe above). Add the butter to a small saucepan with the mushrooms and onions over medium heat, and cook until vegetables are softened. Add the flour and mix into the butter to form a paste. Slowly stir in the chicken broth, then whisk until smooth. Then slowly stir in the milk, whisking until smooth again. Turn to the lowest heat possible at this point, or set aside.

At the same time, keep an eye on the ground beef, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released their water and the burger has cooked through. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine or chicken broth.

Once the water in the pasta pot is boiling, add the pasta to the pot and cook according to package directions.

Bow-tie Pasta (Farfalle)

Bow-tie Pasta (Farfalle) (We like to use this since it is sturdier than egg noodles)

Once the ground beef and cream base are done, add the cream base to the burger mixture and bring to a simmer. Stir in sour cream, and simmer until pasta is done. Serve over the hot noodles, with shredded parmesan cheese if you like.

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Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

6 Nov
Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

I slammed this dinner together for the crock pot in less than 15 minutes. It was 1:45 pm, my day to cook, but I had a dentist appointment during my lunch break earlier and didn’t get around to thinking about dinner until after my 1 pm meeting. I knew I wanted something Mexican/spicy-ish. I scoured my recipes and found one where I stated about the chicken breasts, “I put them in frozen.” Bingo.

Amazingly I had every single ingredient on hand. The last time I made it I used white beans and this time I used black beans, which I had wanted to use prior, but didn’t have any back then. I also added more cream cheese to make it creamier, as well as some chicken broth and additional tomatoes because I remembered it was slightly too thick last time. I also mixed up the chile powders as my spice cabinet has increased greatly over the past two years. If you only have regular chili powder, then just use a tablespoon of that instead. (Hint: Chile powder is a pure grind of one chile, chili powder is a mixture of chile powders and other spices.)

Each time I make a recipe again, I strive to improve upon it. (Well, unless it was just perfect to begin withĀ ā€” HA!) We did enjoy this chili more this time around (seconds for the daughter!), dinner was on time, and the husband got to watch his Monday Night Football. Mission Accomplished.

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (can be frozen)
3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes or 14-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1/2 cup additional diced tomatoes if using Ro-Tel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned hominy, rinsed and drained (freeze the rest for future use)
1 teaspoon Ancho (or Pasilla) chile powder
1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
1 teaspoon regular chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing from a bottle
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 brick Neufchatel cheese, or regular cream cheese

Add the chicken and broth to a 3-quart crock pot. Dump in the rest of the ingredients on top except the cream cheese, and mix around until combined, leaving the chicken on the bottom as best you can. Last, add the 1/2 brick of cream cheese to the top. Cover and cook on high about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Remove lid and shred the chicken breast with two forks right in the crock pot, then mix around thoroughly to incorporate the cream cheese. Turn down to low/warm until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, whatever your heart (and tummy) desires!

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