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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Its chili out there...(giggle)

I really don't like cold weather. Especially if it's cold AND rainy. Ugh.

All I want to do is bake and cook. Not a bad thing, but my butt might disagree.

I need some chili in my life. Mostly so I can have chili and eggs in the morning. Yissssssss.

Texas Chili (Eff beans)

1lb. ground beef or brisket
1 can of diced tomatoes, or a cup of diced fresh
1/2 of a sweet onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. smoked paprika, sweet or hot
1 tbs. cumin 
2 tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/2-1 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1 can of beer, your choice
1 beef bouillon cube
Salt and pepper

Chopped onion and garlic, if using fresh tomatoes, chop those too. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add a very small amount of oil and sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add ground beef and cook until brown. 

Throw in bouillon cube and let melt into meat and onions. Add tomatoes and then the can of beer. Add all of your spices along with the salt and pepper to taste. The chili has to cook for a few before it doesn't taste like nothing but beer. 

Let the chili simmer on a medium low heat for at least hour. Adjust seasoning to taste. That's it. Freaking chili. Done.

Put it on some tortilla chips and top with a fried egg. Drool.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How To Lure A Lillian.

Food is always a good motivator. 

Especially good ol' comfort food on a rainy day.

Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken Stock

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of chopped leeks
Center of celery bunch with the leaves, chopped
1 tbs. peppercorns
1 bay leaf 
1 tbs. kosher salt
Sprig each of thyme, rosemary and oregano
6 cups of water

Cream of Celery

3 stalks celery, minced
4 tbs. butter
3 tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper


2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
A few ladles of chicken stock

First, chop up one leek and place in a large bowl and fill with water. Swish the leeks around a little to get some of the dirt off of them. Let them soak for a few and then drain them for a while. 

For the stock: In a large stock pot, place chicken, carrot, leeks, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, salt, pepper, sprigs, and water. Turn heat to medium and let simmer for a few hours. Once all those flavors have come together and the chicken is cooked through, strain the liquid from the solids into a large bowl and place back into the pot. 

For the cream of celery: In a skillet, add a little butter and the minced celery. Sauté for 10 minutes over a low/medium heat until the celery loses most of its crunch. Take off heat and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add cook celery and then add the flour. Whisk around to let the flour cook. Slowly start adding the milk to saucepan while whisking. If too thick, add a little water to thin out. Stir in salt, pepper and onion powder.

For the dumplings: In a large bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper together. Add a ladle of stock at a time, until the batter starts to resemble a thick pancake batter.

Shred the chicken breasts and put in stock. Add cream of celery to pot, and bring to a simmer. Take spoonfuls of the dumpling batter and drop them into the hot stock. The dumplings will create a layer of batter on top of the soup, don't worry, once they cook through they will become dumplings. After about 20 minutes, take a spoon and break up the dumplings to the size toy want. Taste and adjust to your liking. 

Bring a new meaning to FaceTime.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Potato Curry

Mom is trying to go back to eating vegetarian again. So, I tried to put something together tonight for her that she would really love. Hearty, vegetarian, and maybe a little spicy.

Naturally, I prevailed.........LIKE A BOSS.

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 can coconut milk
Salt & pepper
2 tsp. allspice, divided
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tbs. curry powder
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato, cauliflower, and jalapeño together in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat all the pieces. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and half the allspice. Pour out onto a cookie sheet and shake a little to make sure that there is an even layer of veggies. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. 

Remove from oven and let cool a little. Take half of the sweet potato (don't worry if you get a few cauliflower or jalapeño pieces in there) and put them in a blender or food processor. Add can of coconut milk, pinch of salt, the rest of the allspice, and the curry powder. Blend until smooth. 

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium with a tablespoon of butter. Add the cooled veggies and heat through. Pour in coconut and sweet potato purée. Stir to combine, turn heat down to low and let simmer together for 30 minutes. Serve over hot steamed rice and chopped cilantro. 

Don't be asking me how much olive oil, or how much salt and pepper. I never measure. You're lucky you got spice measurements. They are estimates. (Bugaboos)

*Warning* You might have some feels for this dish. Prepare with caution.

Oh, and if your feeling adventurous, add a little lime juice. Yiiiiissssssssss.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

¡Mama Mia! (Too much?)

I watched a show once, that said that tomato purée is "Sunday gravy" to Italians. 

It's Sunday :)

Do you know what happiness smells like? Or, at least to me, anyway? Beef. Beef with garlic, prosciutto, and herbs. Allllllllllll rolled up, and simmered in tomato purée.

Are you ready for this?

Sunday Braciole

6 beef cutlets
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. prosciutto, chopped
2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Salt & pepper
1 onion, diced
24 oz. of organic tomato purée
1/2 cup red wine
Olive oil

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add a little olive oil and sauté onions until slightly brown on the edges. A little caramelization makes this sauce sexy. Turn the heat down and pour in the tomato purée and leave to simmer. Meanwhile, on the other side of the kitchen, start pounding out the beef cutlets until very flat and easy to roll. 

*Side note: I had a few Stella's by the point, and meat pounding just made me giggle uncontrollably. I need adult supervision.*

In a small bowl, mix the garlic, prosciutto, basil, and parsley. Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Start stuffing the beef with the prosciutto mixture, tucking in the sides as you start to roll it up. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the cutlets, and set aside. In a skillet, over medium heat, brown the beef rolls on all sides. Add to the tomato sauce and let simmer for an hour and a half. Serve with pasta. Duh...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Titanic & Moroccan Style Chicken Stew

Yeah, I said Titanic. Don't judge me.

I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go.

This whole gluten free thing is so hard for me. I'm trying, but I just want a GOD DAMN SANDWICH. Deep breaths. But, I did find a gluten free pizza crust that I like, so I might just make it after all.

Moroccan Style Chicken and Chickpea Stew

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 an onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 cup diced, fresh tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups veggie/chicken stock
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
olive oil
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Brown chicken, and remove to a plate. Add a little bit more olive oil to the pot and saute onions and garlic until onions are soft. Add the spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger), and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, and cook until they become saucy. Add the chickpeas and the stock, making sure to scrape bits on the bottom of the pot. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. Place chicken breasts back in stew. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Once the liquid has reduced and the chicken is cooked through, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken back to stew, add raisins and pine nuts. Serve over couscous or jasmine rice. Garnish with cilantro.

As I wrote this, I watched Dr. Who, Daleks in Manhattan. Freaking intense.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Gluten Free and Angry

I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea, but I have decided to go gluten free. 

New year, new me? Ugh. No. I like being a fatty. 

But, I will see this through. Whining the whole time.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 purple eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pecan meal
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Pasta sauce, use your favorite
Shredded mozzarella (I used manchego)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Season eggplant rounds, both sides. In a small, shallow bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper. In another small, shallow bowl, mix pecan meal, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper also. At this point, you can add some grated Parmesan, or some of the shredded mozzarella. I didn't, since we are mostly dairy free. 

Dip seasoned eggplant rounds into egg, then into pecan meal mixture, and set on a lined baking sheet. Once all rounds are "breaded", bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven, top rounds with spoonful of pasta sauce and top with shredded cheese. Place back in oven for a few minutes to melt cheese and heat sauce through.

This was experimental. I didn't know how the pecan meal would work, but LAWD HAVE MERCY. It can out so freaking good. So good. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Duck, Duck, Tamales!

For Christmas Eve, I made duck heaven : Quack on a Rack
It was beautiful. Merm was so happy, I swear I saw a tear. It was pretty good if I do say so myself.

Then, of course, Mom asks me what I will make for New Years. "Tamales?", she asks. 

Duck tamales. Duck tamales with roasted grapes. DUCK TAMALES WITH ROASTED GRAPE PUREE.

I have never made tamales before. I live in Texas, I either know someone that will make them for me, or I can buy them in the store. I like a challenge. Let's do this.

Roasted Grape Puree

1 lb. seedless grapes
1 tsp. fresh thyme
Dash of red wine
1 tsp. sugar
Drizzle of olive oil (tablespoon or so)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss grapes with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread grapes onto baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool on pan. Once cool, place in a blender or food processor, and add a dash of red wine and one teaspoon of sugar. Blend until smooth. Pout in jar or container and refrigerate.

For tamales:

Cooked, and shredded duck meat (1/2 lb.)
Premixed masa harina for tamales (seasoned however you want)
Pre-soaked corn husks

In a medium skillet, over medium heat, add duck and 1/2 a cup of the roasted grape puree. Let cook for 5 minutes (or until duck takes on grape color). Lay down first corn husk with pointy end towards you, add a teaspoon masa in the middle, teaspoon of duck mixture on top of that, and then a little bit more masa. First, fold up the pointy end and then start to roll for one side to the other. Lightly squeeze the tamale to create a seal, and pinch the top. Add these to either a steamer, or a colander set on top of a pot of water. Make sure that the tamales are standing up and not over lapping. Steam for 2 hours. 

They came out so perfectly. Topped with a little more grape puree, and they were wonderful. I was so damn proud of myself.