Beef

Black Tie Stir Fry

A Guest Post by MiddleSister a What’s On Hand Dinner

Happy 2013!!! Tonight, I decided to clean out the fridge and call it dinner. With the mixture that I had on hand, stir fry was a sure deal, but I had to change it up a little. I didn’t feel like rice, and I had some bowtie pasta on hand. My husband always wants some red meat so veggie and pasta alone would not do. Everything else was thanks to a left over veggie tray, some frozen broccoli begging to leave the freezer and some veggies that were not looking to make it much longer and be as fresh as I would like them to be.

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Southwest Stew with Cornbread Boats

The Terlingua chili Cookoff people say, “You don’t know beans about chili if you put beans in your chili.”   – definitely not turkey.  So, this is called Southwest Stew.  The perfect thing for a rainy day with nothing to do.  I love chiles in all their forms and flavors.  This meal is a reflection of that.  Also, I am forbidden to buy more spices until I use the ones I have.  This will make a good dent in that.  I miss my friends at Savory Spice Shop in the Arboretum.

For the stew:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 pounds of turkey
  • 2 tablespoons of Organic Ground Cumin Seeds from Savory Spice
  • 2 tablespoons of Black Canyon chili powder from Savory Spice
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Sweet and Spicy Hungarian Paprika from Savory Spice
  • 1 tablespoon of Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 10 oz. can of diced tomatoes and jalapenos
  • 2 4 oz. cans of diced Hatch green chiles (I used hot)
  • 2 15 oz. cans of black beans rinsed and strained
  • 64 oz. of low sodium tomato juice

For the cornbread:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

For stew:

Peel the onions and chop into 8 chunks and place in the food processor.  Chop the tops off of two fresh jalapenos.  If you are afraid of heat….you probably shouldn’t make this, but you can remove the seeds and ribs of  the jalapeños.  Cut in half and place in food processor with the onion.  Peel three cloves of garlic and give a light mince.  Add to food processor.   Pulse until finely chopped.

In a Dutch oven set over medium heat sautee onion, garlic and jalapeños in olive oil until softened.  Add turkey and crumble.  As the turkey browns add the spices one at a time and mix.  Cook and stir until turkey is cooked through and spices are spread evenly.  Add diced tomatoes and green chiles.   Stir to combine.  Add tomato juice and black beans.  Reduce heat to low and get your tasting bowl ready.

Cook over low heat stirring frequently for at least 6 hours if not more.  You could transfer to a crockpot at this point.  After the first hour, taste for seasoning.  If it is too hot add a little sugar or apple cider vinegar one teaspoon at a time up to four or add a square of bakers chocolate.  Continue to taste as flavors will evolve during the cooking time.

For cornbread:

Preheat oven to 450° .

In a large bowl, stir the cornmeal, salt and baking soda together. Stir in the egg, melted butter and buttermilk.

Bake in a mini-loaf or muffin pan for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the top of cornbread is brown and it feels firm to the touch.  Immediately turn out to keep from over-drying.

To serve:

Cut out a large wedge or circle from individual muffins.  Fill with stew and set in bowl with a thin layer of stew.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Add a small dollop of sour cream and top with cut out wedge.

Sharing this week with:
Down Home Blog HopMake-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Jam Hands

 

 

 

Foodie Friends Friday

Beef Pinwheels and Gravy

Beef Pinwheels

Sometimes you just need a steak!  I was feeling like that this Sunday.  It was raining outside and I was feeling creative.  This is what we ended up with.

Beef Pinwheels with Gravy

  • 2lb. steak  1 ½ inches-2 inches thic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • String for tieing

On a counter or cutting board cut steak in half lengthwise and cover with plastic wrap.   Pound to ¾ of an inch think equal in all areas.  Use a rolling pin to ensure equal coverage.  Place three or four strands of kitchen string underneath pounded steak.  Season steak with salt and pepper.  Spread spinach and mushroom mixture equally over steak.  Top with cheese.  Press into steak.  Roll steak tightly into pinwheels and tie string to secure.

Preheat oven to 400.

Preheat an oven safe pan over medium heat with olive oil.  Sear steak on all sides (about 2 minutes a side).  Place pan into oven until meat registers 150-155 on a meat thermometer.  About 30 minutes.  Remove steak to cookie sheet and cover with foil.  Don’t put that pan in the sink!  Add the gravy mix started earlier to use all those pan drippings for sauce.  Slice roll into 1 inch pieces.  Serve with gravy over potatoes or rice.

For Stuffing

  • .5 oz fresh greens (spinach and kale)
  • 8 oz portabello mushrooms finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 clove shallots
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella

Sautee shallots and garlic in oil until tender over medium heat.  Add crushed red pepper.  Add mushrooms then greens.  DO NOT STIR.  Allow the greens to steam in the flavor of garlic and shallots while they reduce.  Reduce until greens look dehydrated over mushrooms.  Then stir and continue to cook until all water is cooked out.

 

For Gravy

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour to pan and stir to incorporate.  Continue stirring until roux becomes dark brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add shallots, garlic and thyme and soften for about a minute.  Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until evaporated. About a minute.  Add beef broth and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer until sauce has reduced.  About 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Add mixture to pan that steak was cooked in with drippings.  Heat over medium high and stir scraping bottom ofpan.  Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes until thickened and very dark.

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A Marvelous Mess

Mexican Hamburgers

I grew up in West Texas during the oil boom of the 50’s and 60’s.   The oil flowed like water and everybody who wanted a job had one.  In those days oil field workers worked 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year.  Holidays were hard to squeeze in with family.  We sometimes had Christmas on an alternate day if Daddy was not going to be home.   Wink is 7 miles from Kermit (nothing to do with the frog).  Wink is famous for the “Wink sink hole” and Roy Orbison (He sang Pretty Woman).   We are talking big west Texas oil towns here.  Some of the best tastin’ food I have ever eaten was right there.  Hamburgers as big as a dinner plate at the diner after  football games, Frito pies at the DQ at lunch,  hot dogs and hamburgers at Cook’s store across the street from the elementary school,  soup and a sandwich at the drug store counter at lunch in Jr. High.  Good memories.  I was sick and missed a class reunion.  I guess that’s what got all this started.

Do you know what a Mexican hamburger is?  I (living in El Paso) had never heard of that, but my mother introduced it to us and even took my family to Wink to eat one.  You would have thought they had invented sliced bread.  Those were the talk of the town at afternoon coffee.  I made these more often than grilled burgers for a while.   The little diner where we went to eat these was deserted.  I wasn’t too sure about this, except my mom was a very picky eater and loved good Mexican food.   The plates of food they produced were huge.  Platter size white flour tortillas were spread with refried beans (pinto not black beans) and filled with fajita flavored burgers fried on the flattop griddle, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions and green chilies or jalapeños, and cheese.  These were served with sides of guacamole, cream cheese, and salsa.  These are more or less a folded burrito.   But “drippin’ down your elbows” good food!

I sort of “healthified” these, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.  If my son had been home they wouldn’t have been so healthy.  I made my own refried beans from leftover beans I had cooked by reducing the liquid and mashing them.  I used whole wheat tortillas.  They actually tasted good toasted on the griddle.

Mexican Hamburgers

  • 1 pound ground meat
  • Fajita seasoning blend
  • 1 can refried beans (I made my own from pinto beans I cooked with not so much salt and no lard)
  • grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
  • lettuce shredded (like for tacos)
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped Hatch green chiles (roasted, peeled and diced)
  • grilled onions
  • salsa (hot or not to your taste) (I used my home canned salsa)
  • sour cream
  • avocados sliced or guacamole
  • sliced pickled jalapenos
  • large flour tortillas (I had whole wheat)

Form the ground meat into patties about 5” long by 3” wide.  Sprinkle with the dry fajita seasoning blend or seasoning of your choice.  Set aside.

Grate the cheese, dice the tomatoes, prepare the avocados.  Set up a serving station with all the burger toppings and sides in small dishes so everyone can make theirs according to their taste.

Fry the patties and allow to form a good caramelized crust on both sides.  Meanwhile toast the tortillas in a non-stick skillet or on a round griddle.  Toast just until slightly crisp and warmed.

Assembly:

  • A layer of beans spread on the entire surface of the tortilla
  • Meat
  • Grilled onions
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Green chiles
  • Avocado/guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Fold over to make a very large taco
  • Several napkins

This will make 4 very large Mexican hamburgers.

 

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Thursday Favorite Things Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Sunday Night Garden Supper

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Sunday Night Garden Supper

This blogging has really stirred up memories of the good food my momma used to make.  That and the bumper crop of tomatoes, squash and peppers I have this year.  Meals and Memories is what it’s all about with me some days.  Nothing is more pleasurable than picking squash, green peppers and tomatoes and then deciding what to do with them all.  Tonight it caused a walk down memory lane with my momma’s black cast iron skillet, yellow squash, corn meal, a bell pepper and onion.  Next was some pepper steak with some browned round steak, bell peppers, onions and the rest of the tomatoes I have picked this week.  My momma always had tomatoes on the window sill above her kitchen sink in various stages of ripeness.  I have a corner of my kitchen counter in the same shape.  With the heat they were all about to be too ripe.  So I diced them up and made a rich pepper steak with them.  Now if I could just get my hands on a Pecos cantaloupe I’d be perfectly fine.

It has been so hot I don’t think I’ll have too many more tomatoes for a while.  The weather man is forecasting rain, but I won’t quit watering until I see it for myself.  Probably on the 4th of July parade we will have a shower or two.

Pepper Steak

  • 1 small round steak tenderized
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups water or beef broth

Cut the meat in 1” pieces (I have mine tenderized at the butcher).  Lightly toss in flour to coat and brown in the olive oil.  I used about 2 tablespoons.  It depends on how much meat and flour you use.  Once browned on both sides remove and add the onion, bell pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan.  When they have started to soften add the tomatoes, water or broth, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

Simmer this on medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly from the flour.  You may want to thicken it a bit more with some corn starch and water.  Serve over rice.

Skillet Squash with a Corn Meal Crust

  • 3-4 medium yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • Corn meal
  • Vegetable oil

Slice the squash into bite-size slices.  Dice the bell pepper and onion into about the same size pieces.

Heat the oil in the cast iron skillet and just before adding the squash toss them in a little yellow corn meal.  This won’t form mush of a breading on the squash, but it does form a crust that browns in the skillet.  Don’t turn it until it begins to brown.

Drain on paper towel and serve on a warm plate.

Happy old fashioned eating from my memories to your table.

Dusting this one off for:

 

MiddleSister Diets

MiddleSister shares some of her favorite diet friendly meals with us.  I can’t believe my child doesn’t like tomatoes.

I have found myself saying lately things like, “everyday can’t be a food party” and “sometimes it just has to be plain and simple.”  Clearly, I am dieting.  I have been following various recipes in low calorie and low fat cookbooks.  Unfortunately, I do not like fruit, especially tomatoes.  Almost every recipe has fruit and/or tomatoes.  So, I have taken their recipes as inspirations to make my own.  A few of these follow and you can expect more the longer I am dieting.

Turkey Cordon Bleu (serves 4)

I love Chicken Cordon Bleu, but it’s pretty scary in calories and fat.  This recipe is just as tasty and served with your favorite Cordon Bleu sides, just as scrumptious.  I cooked it all up and ate for four meals.  No one else in my house eats what I do.  Be careful not to overcook as it becomes too tough and rubbery.  I overcook meat all the time because I like it all well done.

  •  4 turkey breast cutlets
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices deli ham (I prefer honey baked)
  • bread crumbs to coat (I used panko)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • non-fat cooking spray/olive oil to make the breadcrumbs stick
  • ¼ cup white wine (whatever you have laying around)
  • ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth

Flatten out the cutlets and then layer them with the cheese and ham (1 each).  Mix together bread crumbs and thyme.  Roll it all up and hold it together with a toothpick.  Spray the outside of the turkey with enough spray to hold on the bread crumbs.  Coat with a light layer of the bread crumbs and place in a sauté pan and cook until browned (about 8 minutes).  Add the wine and broth and bring to boil and the sauce thickens a little.  I guess about 5 more minutes.  I served this over some spinach and leftovers over with green salad.  For a heartier meal, you could serve with potatoes or double up on the portion size.

 

Sausage and Peppers (serves 4)

I was cooking for the family, Tumbleweed Contessa included, but I needed to stay within my low calorie guidelines.  This recipe was really tasty and I think you could pair it with various different sides.  I paired it with polenta cakes grilled indoors for coloring and warming, but mashed potatoes or rice would go well, too.  Or, you could just serve it with a crusty French or Italian bread and butter.

  • 4-6 Seasoned Sausages (chicken or turkey are lower calorie) I like the Italian ones.  Emeril Lagasse has some great flavors.
  • 2 bell peppers (the more color the better the flavor) cut in thin strips
  • 1 large jalapeno, diced
  • 1 onion (white, but red could be good too), slivered
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 jar of marinara sauce (I never knew there were so many flavors)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced

Slice up the peppers and onions into thin strips.  Cut the sausage into 1 inch slices.  Spray a sauté pan with the non-fat spray and add the onion and peppers until they are slightly softened.  Add the sausages and Italian seasoning and simmer until the sausages are browned.  Add the marinara sauce, water and parsley until it’s all heated through.  To serve I bought a tube of polenta.  Sliced 1/4 inch and grilled on the grill pan.  I think you could add more or less sauce depending on how the side will soak it up.

For dessert, I made sugar free chocolate mousse and put them into chocolate shells.  It was just enough chocolate.

Jamaican Hamburger Salad (serves 6)

What did she say?  I was bored and really wanted a cheeseburger.  There are not enough calories in a day for a really good cheeseburger, so, I got creative.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Lodo Red Adobo (Savory Spice Shop)
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Allspice (Savory Spice Shop)
  • 2 tablespoons combined minced ginger and garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped white onion
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Bag of Salad (divided into 6)
  • ½ bunch of cilantro (divided into 6)
  • 6 Kalamata Olives (each plate)

Mix up the beef, cumin, coriander, adobo, allspice, ginger and garlic, and onion.  Shape into 4-6 patties.  Grill to your preferred doneness.  Meanwhile, plate the lettuce and top with cilantro and arrange the olives around the side.  Top with your burger and there you have it.  Of course, my husband ate his on a bun and ate some French fries.

So, everyday does not need to be a food party, but it does not have to be plain and simple either.  With a little creativity, you can make the simple slightly extraordinary. 

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four

One potato, two potato, three potato,

four.  Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more!

Do you remember this song from when, as children, we sang it to make a choice about what we wanted to choose or who we wanted to pick for our team?  I don’t know what made me think of that when I decided to have a stuffed baked potato for dinner.  But it just popped into my mind.  Whoa!  Whatever!  I decided to see how many different stuffed baked potatoes I could come up with.  These are some of my favorites.

Of course, they are basically the same.  You start with a baked potato Idaho or sweet potato are my choices.  Do you bake yours in the oven or the microwave?  My mother always baked hers in the oven smeared with a little Crisco to make the skins crispy.  A baked potato and meatloaf was my favorite birthday meal.  With 4 children in the family you didn’t get your very own of anything very often, but you got your own baked potato.  I usually cook mine in the microwave.  My husband said he thought the microwave was the most expensive potato baker he’d ever bought.

I just found this on a blog.  I had never thought about a slow cooker for baking potatoes. Why not?

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
technique adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

Wash, scrub, and dry any number of potatoes that you need (or as many that will fit in your slow cooker). Prick each potato with a fork a few times. Place into slow cooker and cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 6 hours or until desired tenderness.

Then you cut it open and fluff the potato and little before you stuff it with all sorts of things.  Cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon are the typical stuffing ingredients.  But why not mix it up and make the baked potato the entire meal?  Works for me.

My favorite is steamed broccoli, cheese and a little butter.  I stuff this in a good old Idaho baker. (4-6 ounces)

Next, would be a sweet potato.  I like the broccoli in this one too, but no cheese please.  My favorite stuffing in a sweet potato is one slice of the pre-cooked bacon made extra crispy in the microwave for 1 minute with 1 teaspoon of Splenda Brown Sugar and a little cinnamon.  This reminds me of the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole a little.

A baked potato with sliced chicken (rotisserie from the deli) stuffed in it with a dollop of sour cream is good.

 

Chili con carne (your style) ladled into the baked potato and topped with your favorite chile toppings is a warm and very hearty meal. I like green onions and cheddar cheese. I get a cup of chili from the deli and use this for my potato.  A little sour cream would be good if you like it.

 

And last, a taco stuffed baked potato.  I add sliced chicken breast meat for a chicken taco touch, fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and a little lime juice, grated jack cheese, cilantro and a wedge of avocado and tomato on the side with a few tostado chips. It makes it taste like a (chicken) taco.

Wait….one more idea.  St. Patricks Day is coming.  How better to honor the Irish than with the potato.

Twice Baked Potatoes – Lightened up

  • 4 medium russet potatoes ( 2 1/4″ – 3 1/4″ diameter ) , scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 wedges of Light Creamy Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Bits
  • 2 green onions (whites and greens), chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fat free half and half, if needed to thin out potato mixture (optional)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheese (Swiss, cheddar, colby…your choice),
  •  and a sprinkle of Hungarian Sweet Paprika from the Savory Spice Shop is good.

Allow potatoes too cool enough to handle. Unwrap a potato and slice down middle long ways. With spoon, scoop out insides leaving about a 1/8″ potato in skin all around.

Place scooped out potato in large bowl. Set “potato shell” on baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with all potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside.

To the scooped out potato in the bowl, add the Greek yogurt and Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges. With electric mixer, whip until fluffy. You might need to add a bit of fat free half and half or skim milk at this point to thin them out enough to fluff…maybe not. Depends on the potato. Stir in the turkey bacon bits, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture evenly into the 8 potato shell halves. Top with remaining shredded cheese and sprinkle with paprika.

At this point you can cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them or you can bake them right away. Set oven at 350°. Place potatoes uncovered in oven and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 min for refrigerated potatoes and about 15 minutes for unrefrigerated ones.

Chili Playoff

I love chili.  I like it in a lot of forms.  I just can’t decide which to make for the weekend. In the spirit of the Super Bowl maybe I can have a play off.  Take a read below and then vote here for the winner.  If none of these does it for you, send your chili recipe to me:  thecontessa@tumbleweedcontessa.com I’ll publish it and include it in the playoff.  Also, vote on your key chili ingredient.  Might be interesting to see what folks think.

Click the pic to vote for your favorite.

The results so far.  The mushroom chili is doing better than I thought it would.  I am honing in on my decision.  Keep those votes coming!

My friend, Georganne, who has participated in the Terlingua Chili Cookoff many times says, “If you add beans to chili, you don’t know beans about chili.”  So, no beans in my chili.  But she won’t give me her recipe for her prize winning chili, yet.  I’m still working on it.  This one is simple and you should have most of the ingredients to make this one.

Super Bowl Chili 

  • 2 pounds coarse ground chuck
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 8 tablespoons Gebhardt’s chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 jalapeño pepper whole (pierce about 5 times with a sharp knife

    Super Bowl Chili

  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced or 4 teaspoons powdered garlic granules
  • 1 28 ounce crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 tomato cans water (I like my chile a little soupier)
  • 1 box lower sodium beef broth

Brown the meat and onion in a deep Dutch over.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least an hour.  Remove the jalapeño pepper.  Cool and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Put it in a crock pot and keep it warm to serve with grated cheese, sour cream and diced onion.  Some corn bread or tortilla chips are good with this too. Click Here for the Recipe Card

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My mother was a great cook.  She made real food for real people and it was good.  She was also ahead of most trends.  She was a foodie before it was cool.  As soon as she “discovered” email we started getting recipes.  I am glad to say that I got my love of the kitchen from her.    My mother also loved football and planned meals so that they never interrupted the game.  It is fitting that she be a part of the Chili Play Offs.  My oldest daughter learned a lot from her in the kitchen too. So, here is one of her memories.

The favorite thing that Grandma made for me was apple pie.  I asked her a hundred times for the recipe.  She would shrug her shoulders and say, “I don’t have one.”  Then she would make the most delicious apple pie ever, crust and everything!   So, the favorite recipe I have of hers is for Chili Mess.  That isn’t what it is called.  She just called it chili.  It’s more than that though.  The way she served it was as a layered cheesy treat.  I loved it.  Still do.  I am sure there is a tex mex or proper Mexican food name for it.  I call it chili mess.  It is the one thing of hers I cook best.  I have made it a little spicier but the basics are still the same.  I like recipes like that.  I also have found stronger flavoring if you add dry spices before adding broth or juice to soups and chilis.  This is probably all wrong, but it is how I like it.

Chili Mess

  • 1.5 pounds ground beef or turkey (lean or fat to your taste)
  • 1 whole onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno diced (seeds or not to your heat tolerance)
  • 2 cans chili beans
  • 64 oz. can tomato juice
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (the plain store kind or a favorite spice store concoction)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Chili Powder (add another Tablespoon of regular chili powder and leave this out if you can’t take the heat)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil- 4 if you are making with turkey
  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Tortilla Chips

In a heavy bottom 6 qt. pot or dutch oven heat  1or 2 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  Sautee onions, garlic and jalapeno until soft.  Crumble ground beef or turkey and cook until browned.  Add the dry spices right as the beef is finishing browning, one at a time, stirring into the beef.  Then add the chili beans (undrained).  Finally, add the tomato juice and green chiles.  The longer it sets the better it gets.  So, put it in the crock pot or set the stove to low and let it simmer for at least four hours if not eight.  Taste as you go to see if it needs more or less of anything.

When the chili has come to taste and thickened it is time to make a mess.  In a skillet heat the 2 Tablespoons of oil on the stove.  Add corn tortillas and cook until softened one at a time.  Remove the first  tortilla to a deep serving plate or bowl.  Add a ladle of chili and a sprinkle of cheese.  Then put another tortilla from the skillet on top of that.  Add another ladle full of chili, another sprinkling of cheese and a handful of chopped lettuce.  Get a knife and fork and eat the middle.  Then get some tortilla chips to clean up the MESS!  Click Here for the Recipe Card

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Now, this is a strange one.  Albeit good.  For those of you looking to take Chili to the next level.

Mushroom Chili

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1.5 Pounds Ground Sirloin
  • 24 ounces mixed mushrooms (cremini, shitake, oyster, white)
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper diced
  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced or 4 teaspoons powdered garlic granules
  • 2 Tablespoons Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 box lower sodium beef broth

Brown the meat, mushrooms, jalapeno and onion in a deep Dutch oven with olive oil until meat is browned and mushrooms are cooked.  Add the bottle of beer and cook until reduced by ½.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least three hours.  Cool and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  Put it in a crock pot and keep it warm to serve with grated cheese, sour cream and diced onion.  Serve with flour tortillas or tortilla chips.  Click Here for the Recipe Card

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE SUPER CHILI CHAMPION

Super Bowl Means Super Food

So, it is time to get ready for a Super Food Spread on the 50 yard line for the SUPER BOWL.  That is the best part for me.  I have to keep up with scores for a “little project” I have at work, so I do watch the game. It is important to me to have everything ready and easy to serve before guests arrive.  Right now my choices are wide open as to what I will serve to make my buffet the “winning score” for the game crowd.  My youngest daughter says she is “side-lined” and isn’t watching the game because she’s on a diet and all that food is too fatty.  Remember a party is a people event with food present, not a food event with people present.  Right!  Like I’m in step with that!

Now, what to serve for the pre-game dish?  I like some munchies like the Noodle Nibbles or Deviled Cashews as a starter.  A veggie and dip tray with a low fat cold dip is a way to “kick off” the party and it can be easily freshened during “time outs.”  I like to add some of the BLT Bites, pickled jalapeño slices and a variety of olives from the deli section at the store to this tray too for a “kick off.”  Then I like a hot dip such as spicy chili con queso with tostada chips (they sort of remind me of a penalty flag).  A dry roasted snack like Tidbits served in the Chex Mix party bowl is a “first down.” You can make your favorite snack mix or buy a bag of ready-made.  They are tasty and so easy but, in a very attractive dish.  

 

A half-time show stopper is pizza (delivered) and small sliders.  You can pre-grill the burgers before the game starts and keep them warm in a very slow oven.  Serve them on small buns with a variety of flavored mayonnaise and mustards.  This usually calms the crowds into a lull while they watch the super half-time show.

 

Then, by the fourth quarter, everyone is ready for something sweet.  Some bite-size sweets to sweeten up the fans of the losing team are a “rule.”    Remember that cookie exchange in December?  It comes in handy here again. The Potato Chip Cookies are a “touch down” for fans of both teams!  And the Brownie Bites are a “field goal” in the last minutes of the 4th quarter to end this party on a sweet note.

Good luck to your favorite team and have a “Super” cooking time….can’t wait for those commercials.  I have a lot more snack, soup and dessert ideas in my recipe box. Take a ramble.

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I’m Addicted

I am addicted to the Food Network and now the Cooking Channel.  Their shows don’t inspire me to make all those recipes, but I have learned wonderful techniques that make preparing a meal quicker and more economical.  Most of all I am inspired to try a lot of food I would never have thought about.   Now that I am in the blogosphere I enjoy reading other cook’s experience and perspective as much as I do those shows.

I watch Paula, Ina and Giada make all those wonderful food items and just get angry that I can’t jump up and make them to eat RIGHT NOW! But I am diabetic and I just can’t let myself do that to myself.  I go out to eat and watch all the delicious foods come out, read the menu and pick a chicken breast. It used to make me depressed until I realized the real winner is me when I don’t give in to my temptations.  I feel satisfied with the meal and with myself for making the right choices for me.

I love to cook and especially bake.  Thank goodness I have several outlets to share my creativity.   The people I work with have been fed well for years.  My Dr.’s office staff have to endure cookies and candy at Christmas.  He knows I don’t eat it – the proof is in the test results.  And, of course, my church.  The first Sunday of each month we take baked goods to a homeless shelter.  This little project gives me the chance to write about food as well and then I don’t need to cook.  And some days I do NEED to cook.  It is a great release and gives me a sense of accomplishment like nothing else.  Well maybe the garden does that too, but right now the garden is dormant.

My friends at work are always dropping by my desk with a recipe to share.  Some are too complicated or not to my taste and I don’t try them.  Regardless, I appreciate hearing about their adventures in the kitchen.  Courtney mentioned one she can make and have on the table in about 45 minutes.  I’m not sure the nutritional value, but it sounds warm, comforting and economical.

2X4 Soup

  • 2 pounds lean ground meat (you could use ground chicken)
  • 2 18.5 ounce cans Progresso Minestrone Soup
  • 2 15 ounce cans Ranch Style Beans (drained)
  • 2 cans Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chiles

 

Brown the meat, add the soup, beans and tomatoes.  Heat and serve.

Now a more low carb meal would be the one Nelda gave me on Friday.

Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad

  • 1 16 ounce package dry broccoli cole slaw
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup canned mandarin orange segments packing in juice (light) drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 12 ounces cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
  • ¾ cup low-fat sesame ginger dressing (recommended Newman’s Own Lighten Up)

Mix all ingredients and toss with the salad dressing to coat.    5 servings with about 195 calories per serving.

Thanks Ladies!  Keep em coming.  I love the inspiration.