Tag Archives: tomatoes

Greek-Marinated Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

9 Jul

Howdy Y’all! I’ve been quite busy with my food cart these past couple of weeks, and have enjoyed some great successes, including catering a wedding party, and a back-to-back First Friday Art Walk and Saturday morning Farmer’s Market. I have had so much fun meeting all the people who visit me and order my tacos, but it certainly doesn’t leave me a lot of time for blogging and cooking for my own family.

Here is a photo my husband took during First Friday of me slinging tacos to the hungry folks. There were hundreds of people gathered in the courtyard who enjoyed square-dancing to music by a great folk band. The kiddos were having a blast!

First Friday Art Walk

First Friday Art Walk

Since we are in the throes of summer-time heat, I thought I’d reblog a recipe of mine from a couple of years ago. It sure sounds perfect for tonight’s meal! Enjoy!

Greek-Marinated Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Greek-Marinated Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

Grilling season is my favorite time of the year! OK, maybe tied with soup season. But when it’s hot out, I love grilling every night. The kitchen doesn’t get hot, and it’s always easy clean up!

I marinated some chicken today in Greek seasonings, sliced up some veggies, skewered the heck out of them, then slapped them on the grill. A couple of turns later, well, it’s dinner time on the deck!

I wanted to serve this with rice, but hubby said he wanted potatoes. So I compromised and cooked pasta with herbs instead, HA! I hope you enjoy this simple summer dinner.

Greek-Marinated Chicken and Veggie Kabobs

3/4 pound boneless chicken (breasts or thighs)
Sliced or whole veggies of choice, in uniform size
1/2 large lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon fresh minced oregano
Ground black pepper, to taste

Prepping the Marinade and Chicken

Prepping the Marinade and Chicken

Cut the chicken into uniform chunks, about a half-inch in width/height. Prep all your veggies and keep cool, if needed. In a small glass bowl, add the lemon juice, garlic, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, minced oregano, and ground black pepper. Whisk until smooth and completely blended. Pour 3/4 of the marinade over the chicken in a quart zip-top/lock baggie and add the chicken and squish around until covered. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to three.

Chicken and Veggies Ready to Grill

Chicken and Veggies Ready to Grill

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the remaining marinade and whisk until smooth again and refrigerate. This will be used for your veggies. After the chicken is done marinating (about 45 minutes before you want to eat), skewer the chicken and veggies, in any combination you want and place on a large baking tray. I used sliced squash, zucchini, red onion, and cherry and grape tomatoes, but really you can use any vegetables that you want. Brush the remaining marinade over the veggies on all sides.

Grilling the Kabobs

Grilling the Kabobs

Place skewers on the grill, and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, flipping once halfway through the cooking time. Depending on the shape of your chicken, you might have to do quarter-turn flips. Remove from grill and place on tray and cover with foil for a few minutes. We served this with pasta, but you could also do rice or potatoes. Just time your cooking of that side accordingly with this, OR just eat lots of chicken and veggies! Enjoy!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Pacific Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes

11 Jun
Pacific Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes

Pacific Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes

With my parents visiting from Texas to celebrate various milestones in my family (including an 18th birthday and high school graduation), we’d been eating out a lot or ordering some pretty heavy take-out food. I decided it was time to cook a bit lighter fare last night before we send them back to the Lone Star State tomorrow (but not after a big feast of Texas Brisket tonight!).

Here are my parents enjoying their meal

This is an elegant and definitely guest-worthy meal that comes together quickly. The small amount of spicy chorizo and the bright taste of lemon thyme pairs perfectly with the sweet red peppers and fresh tomatoes. Do serve this with copious amounts of crusty bread for sopping up the tasty sauce. I chose to serve the fish and tomato sauce over pan-seared polenta slices with a side of steamed asparagus.

Pacific Cod with Chorizo and Tomatoes
Adapted from Roasted Cod with Linguica,
by Steven Lee Meyers on Food52

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ounces Mexican chorizo
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded and blended with 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
Leaves from 3 sprigs lemon thyme, plus more for garnish
1.5 to 2 pounds Pacific cod, or other firm white fish
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium and brown the chorizo, about 10 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and saute until fragrant. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, then deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Add the pureed red pepper, chopped tomatoes, and lemon thyme. (If you don’t have lemon thyme, you can use regular thyme and squeeze in a small amount of fresh lemon juice.) Simmer the sauce until the tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. You want it a bit soupy to hold the fish.

While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly sprinkle the cod with salt, then nestle the pieces into the tomato sauce. Carefully place the hot skillet into the oven and roast until fish is done, about 7 to 10 minutes. The fish should flake easily with a fork.

Remove from oven and serve fish over polenta cakes, spooning the sauce over and around it.  Garnish with lemon thyme sprigs.

 

p.s. I’m starting to get the hang of running my food cart and the day-to-day tasks needed. We won’t talk about the day I forgot to bring the cheese or the other day I forgot the salsas, OK? But really, I’m having a blast with it and have also been contacted to be a vendor at a dog rescue fundraising event in August. I’ve also started applying to have the cart at various summer festivals and other events. Some are already booked for this year, but I’m getting a good list for next year in the process!

 

 

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

1 Apr
Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes

I know this beef man from Ireland, and Conor Bofin is his name. He’s the closest I know to a connoisseur of any part of the damned cow that I know, even the unusual and sketchy bits. But he can cook the most amazing meals with that lowly bovine, so I jumped on the chance to sort-of copy-cat this wonderful braise of beef shanks with some nice meaty ones from our quarter cow.

While my photos won’t do it justice — and I wasn’t about to try and plate it for a shot — I think anyone who makes this will be satisfied with the most delicious gravy and tender beef. I served mine with some Parmesan risotto, but pasta or potatoes would work fantastic too. One of my deviations from the original recipe was to reduce the mushrooms (not enough on hand) and add a couple of almost-overripe tomatoes to the braise, which added a wonderful color and flavor to the gravy. (The long braise makes your house smell dreamy, too!)

Braised Beef Shanks with Tomatoes
Adapted from Daub of Beef from One Man’s Meat

2 meaty beef shanks, seasoned with pepper and salt
1 tablespoon high-heat oil (I used grapeseed)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Half of a very large onion, chunked up
4 ounces whole white mushrooms, quartered
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
Half head of garlic, peeled and sliced thick
2 1/2 cups homemade or high-quality beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup good red wine (I used an Oregon Pinot Noir)
2 bay leaves
Handful of thyme sprigs
Black pepper and salt, to taste

Beef Shank Ingredients

Beef Shank Ingredients (Mostly)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season the beef shanks with pepper and salt, then score the membrane in several places on the sides. Heat a Dutch oven to medium high heat and add the oil, then sear the beef until very browned on all sides. Remove and set aside to a plate.

Browned Beef Shanks

Browned Beef Shanks

Add the butter, then toss in the onions and mushrooms. Reduce heat a bit. Cook and stir until the mushrooms have browned and onions are softened.

Veggie Madness

Veggie Madness (I like to dose my dishes with pepper at random moments)

Top with the tomatoes and garlic, then pour in the beef stock. Grind more pepper over if your feeling it. Stir in the tomato paste until combined. Now pour in the red wine and bring up a a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Nestle the beef shanks into the liquid, then add in the bay leaves and thyme.

Braise Ready for Oven

Braise Ready for Oven ~ Time to read a book now. I did. Really.

Cover and cook in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is fall-apart tender. Remove the beef to a plate, then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and gently stir gravy to combine. Taste for additional seasonings and add, if needed. Serve each shank with risotto, pasta, or potatoes, topping the shanks with a generous amount of gravy and veggies.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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 and 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

 

Spicy Chicken Florentine

21 Jan
Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

We survived the Snowmaggedon/Snowcapolypse where I live, where over 60 inches of snow has dumped on us in the past month and a half, an event that hasn’t happened here since 1901 according to records.

Snowmaggedon

Snowmaggedon ~ A friend joked this looked like a bunch of pregnant woman got snowed on while sitting around our firepit. Those were empty chairs before the snow.

We had a near tragedy, where a school’s gym roof collapsed entirely, but overnight when thank goodness nobody occupied it. In the morning it is usually teeming with kids waiting for the school bell to ring. It wasn’t discovered until all the kids had boarded buses for school, so all parents were notified to pick up their children immediately at all schools in town. Schools were closed for 8 days after that until all snow was removed from 38 school roofs (9 million square feet) and structures inspected and deemed safe. Whew! Dodged the bullet on that one!

Snow or no snow, we certainly had to eat during this event, and here is one of the recipes I came up with during our snowbound days with what I had on hand. This is a thumbs-up recipe from the hubby, yay! My only regret is not making more sauce, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below for that. I served this over cooked rice. Nummy and warming!

Spicy Chicken Florentine

For the casserole:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
16-ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 cup dry good-quality sherry (or chicken broth)
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup grated block cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated block Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the chicken breast thin, and season with the pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash.

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

Fileted and Seasoned Chicken

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and half the garlic and sear the chicken filets on each side until browned. Remove and set aside.

Browned Chicken

Browned Chicken

Add the drained tomatoes to the skillet along with rest of the garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Pour the tomatoes and garlic in the bottom of an oil-sprayed two-quart casserole.

Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

To the skillet, add the spinach and the rest of the butter plus a large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir until butter is melted and spinach is heated through and incorporated. Layer on top of the tomatoes.

Spinach and Tomatoes

Spinach and Tomatoes

Next layer the chicken on top of the spinach.

Chicken Layer

Chicken Layer

For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, mustard powder, and white pepper, whisking until a paste forms. Pour in the milk and sherry or chicken broth, whisking constantly. Simmer over gentle heat while stirring until the sauce is to desired consistency. Pour the sauce evenly over the casserole.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Sprinkle the grated cheeses over the dish, then top with the Panko breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes, until casserole is heated through and top is browned and crispy. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Spicy Chicken Florentine

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Guest Post: Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes

10 Jun
Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes

Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes

I am so very delighted to share a guest post with you for Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser while she’s on a much-needed vacation with her family overseas. I affectionately call her “CCC” for short so she in turn calls me KR. She is an amazing cook and “whips up” some outstanding healthy dinners to feed her five children and husband, all the while managing nine (yes, you read that right) blogs! Her recipes focus on healthy non-fried foods with lots of fresh seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruit. She has a lemon and lime orchard on her property, so one of her blogs focuses on all thing citrusy. I’ve only been a follower of her blog(s) for a few months, but we became fast interwebz friends so I am honored to guest post for her.

I wanted to share something that she would enjoy cooking for her family, which meant it had to be fresh, quick, and easy (and also include citrus!). So I chose my Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes, which I found in my archives when I was looking for a side dish to serve with some Cilantro Lime grilled chicken. The original recipe is from almost three years ago, so I’ve updated it to include a handy-dandy printable PDF! Note that this is not really that spicy, as the spice is very tempered by the lime juice.

So without further adieu:

Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes
Adapted from Southwest Corn Skillet with Chili and Lime from Barefeet in the Kitchen

1 tablespoon butter
4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
Lots of ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika (or regular paprika)
1/4 teaspoon New Mexico red chile powder (or regular chili powder)
3 strips of bacon, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
Juice of 1/2 lime

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes and lime juice and stir to heat through, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and lime juice and toss to combine. Remove from skillet and serve immediately with your meal. Easy and delicious!

Note: You can omit the bacon if you want.

P.S. I hope you are having a FANTASTIC vacation CCC! xoxo

P.S.S. She has almost 1500 recipes posted on Tasty Kitchen! I haven’t quite mastered the search method over there to get you to all of hers, but you can find many of them with this link —> here.

Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes

Spicy Skillet Corn with Tomatoes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu Pappardelle

20 Feb
Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

We cleaned out our indoor freezer last weekend, and lo and behold we found a package of meaty soup bones from our 2014 cow. Not to be wasteful, I knew I had to cook those babies low and slow, to extract all the flavor from the bones and preserve any shred of tasty beef hiding amongst the gristle and bone. Yep, I can do this!

Meaty Soup Bones

Nice Meaty Soup Bones

I had President’s Day off work, and knew I’d be a happy camper just spending the day putzing around the kitchen and cooking, all thoughts of laundry and house chores away from my mind — already completed over the weekend.

This was also a good chance to use up some dried Porcini mushrooms that had been languishing in my bin of assorted bulk spices and what-nots. I looked at the package, fearing they were long expired. Apparently dried mushrooms last a LONG time, as the expiration date was more than a year in the future! Combined with some also-languishing Cremini mushrooms in the fridge, I knew I had the base for a slow-cooked braised ragu. Combine that with some good-quality tomatoes and hearty Pappardelle pasta, and voila! Ragu is served. With lots of fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, of course.

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu Pappardelle

.25 ounces dried Porcini mushrooms
2 to 3 ounces Cremini mushrooms
2 meaty beef soup bones
Ground pepper and salt, to taste, for seasoning beef
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion
8 to 10 baby carrots
1 rib celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 strips of cooked bacon (can also be uncooked)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Up to 1 cup good-quality red wine, divided
Mushroom stock (from soaking the Porcini)
Up to 2 cups beef stock, divided
28-ounce can San Marzano peeled tomatoes
3 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces Pappardelle pasta
Good quality Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Additional chopped parsley, for garnish

Soaking the Porcini

Soaking the Porcini

Place dried Porcini mushrooms in a glass bowl (I used a Pyrex measuring cup) and pour about a cup of boiling water over them. Top with a folded paper towel to keep mushrooms submerged. (I learned that cool tip from the package of mushrooms!) Allow them to rehydrate for about 20 minutes. Discard paper towel and remove mushrooms, squeezing out the liquid from them. Strain the mushroom stock through a coffee filter into another cup. Set mushrooms and liquid aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place a Dutch oven or other pot with an oven-proof lid on stove over medium high heat. Season the soup bones liberally with ground pepper and some salt, to taste. Dredge soup bones through the flour, patting flour in to coat.

Browning the Soup Bones

Browning the Soup Bones

Add oil and the bones to the pot, browning on each side for about 4 minutes. Don’t forget the sides! Turn off heat, remove bones and set aside.

Chopped Veggies and Bacon

Chopped Veggies and Bacon

Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bacon to a food processor (you can also mince these by hand). Pulse until finely chopped.

Next, finely chop the Porcini and Cremini mushrooms.

Porcini and Cremini Mushrooms

Porcini and Cremini Mushrooms

Turn heat back on under the pot, and check for amount of oil. Add additional if needed, you’ll want about a tablespoon. Add the vegetable mixture, mushrooms, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Cooking the Veggies and Bacon

Cooking the Veggies and Bacon

Next, stir in the tomato paste and 1/2 cup wine, mixing until completely combined. Stir and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Reducing the Wine

Reducing the Wine

Pour in the reserved mushroom stock and about a half cup of the beef stock. Add the can of peeled tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Also pour in the liquid from the can. Stir until combined, then submerge the soup bones into the sauce. Bring up to a simmer, toss in the three sprigs of thyme and cover tightly. Place in preheated oven.

Tomato Sauce and Soup Bones Ready to Braise

Tomato Sauce and Soup Bones Ready to Braise

Cook for three hours, or until meat is tender and falling off the bones. Once tender, remove pot from oven. Remove soup bones to a plate and let cool for about 10 minutes or safe enough to handle.

Shredded Braised Beef

Shredded Braised Beef

The sauce will have thickened by this time. Stir in up to another cup of beef broth and red wine and bring up to a slow simmer on the stove.

Meanwhile, cook the Pappardelle pasta according to package directions. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.

Once the beef is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers, discarding any gristle/cartilage.

Beef and Mushroom Ragu

Beef and Mushroom Ragu

Return the shredded beef to the sauce and stir in the chopped parsley. Pour in a small amount of pasta water to further loosen up the sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings, if needed.

Plate the cooked and drained pasta on a platter, then pour the ragu sauce over top. Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with additional chopped parsley. Serve on plates or in bowls.

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

Braised Porcini Mushroom and Beef Ragu

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

 

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!

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

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Creamy Squash, Spinach, and Chicken Polenta Casserole

17 Apr
Creamy Squash Spinach and Chicken Polenta Casserole

Creamy Squash Spinach and Chicken Polenta Casserole

Strange ingredients? Please hear me out. This is NOT weird at all and received multiple thumbs up from the family. Gosh, even the leftovers were awesome. There is something about the down-home creamy corn base from the polenta and slightly sweet taste from the squashes and then the spinach and chicken that just made this an incredibly surprising meal! My eyes gone wide, you know what I mean? WOW! (This actually doesn’t even need the chicken and could be vegetarian, but the meat was already defrosted.)

I had the defrosted chicken breast and a fresh bag of spinach, and set my sights on something new for the combination. I have made my Balsamic Chicken and Spinach more times than I can count the past few years. Somehow I came across some vegetarian polenta and spinach casserole recipes, and tasked myself with coming up with a recipe my family would actually eat.

I found a great recipe with fresh spinach and mushrooms but it used pre-made polenta cakes. Another recipe I found had a creamy homemade polenta base with zucchini, squash and tomatoes. Well, the daughter doesn’t “do” mushrooms, I only had fresh spinach and dried polenta grain on hand, so decided to mix up the two recipes and came up with my own original. You will NOT be disappointed. (Aside note: I was following the vegetarian version recipes and totally spaced on browning the chicken until assembly. Yikes! So please, follow my instructions below instead of doing what I did. Or, omit chicken altogether. It all worked out, we only ate 10 minutes later than the original plan.)

Creamy Squash, Spinach, and Chicken Polenta Casserole

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
Ground black pepper, and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup dried polenta (course cornmeal)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped onion
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
1 small yellow squash, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes with oregano, garlic and basil (if yours are plain diced, add dried or fresh herbs to taste)
1 8 to 10-ounce bag fresh spinach
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded fresh Mozarrella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season to taste with ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash. Heat a skillet with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and brown the chicken about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Set aside.

Cooking the Creamy Polenta

Cooking the Creamy Polenta

Heat 1 1/2 cups of water in a medium sauce pot to boil. Stir together the milk and polenta to make a slurry, then add to the boiling water. Bring up to a simmer then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. (If you want you could brown the chicken now in this step. I just didn’t want you to forget!)

Creamy Polenta Poured into Pan

Creamy Polenta Poured into Pan

When the polenta is done, pour it into an oil-sprayed 13 x 9 or so sized casserole dish and set aside.

Chopped Onion, Zucchini, and Squash

Chopped Onion, Zucchini, and Squash

Meanwhile, add the 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, zucchini, and squash and sauté until the onions are softened.

Vegetable Mixture Simmering

Vegetable Mixture Simmering

Add the tomatoes (and spices if tomatoes aren’t pre-seasoned). Bring up to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the browned chicken and mix to combine. Now, by handfuls, tear up the spinach and add to the mixture and stir in until all is added and wilted.

Spinach Wilting into Vegetables

Spinach Wilting into Vegetables ~ WAIT ~ You don’t see that forgotten chicken in the background you had to cook first, right??

Meanwhile (again), preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After the vegetable mixture is done, spread it evenly on top of the polenta in the casserole dish. Top with a combination of shredded Mozarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Creamy Squash Spinach and Chicken Polenta Casserole Ready to Bake

Creamy Squash, Spinach, and Chicken Polenta Casserole Ready to Bake

Bake for about 25 minutes until it is heated through and bubbly and the cheese has melted. Turn the heat up to broil and broil for 5 minutes. Take out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve on plates or in bowls. Nothing else is needed, as this is an entire meal! If this weren’t so fugly coming out of the casserole dish, I’d call it guest-worthy (taste-wise)!

p.s. (My sister arrived today from Texas for 10 days, so I might not get a post out for awhile. Enjoy browsing my archives if you want if you are a newcomer!)

Casserole Half-Eaten

Casserole Half-Eaten~ YEP! Three of us pretty much wiped out half of a lasagna pan of this in one sitting!

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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