Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hot Chili

I'm just making things up today. We wanted some chili but didn't have a pork shoulder for Ranch Chili. I had out a pound of ground beef, so I started adding things I had on hand that sounded good for chili. I had a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes. I think next time I'd prefer to have two big cans of crushed tomatoes. There were also cut veggies in my fridge and great northern beans in the pantry. Two dried jalapenos, canned diced green chilies, and half a can of chipoltes in adobo brought on a nice heat. The heat came after the initial bite, but didn't linger. This was a thick chili. Looked very meaty, but was mostly veggies. It was hearty and left us satisfied (especially with the cornmeal biscuits I baked to go with it).

Hot Chili

1 lb. ground beef
2 onions, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chili powder
1-2 tsp. chipolte powder (substitute cayenne, if preferred)
2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
2 - 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 - 7 oz. can diced green chilies
3 chipoltes in adobo sauce, minced + 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce
2 - 15 oz. cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained (use whatever bean you like, I think red kidney beans may have been better)

Brown ground beef, add diced veggies and cook until softened. Add garlic, and saute until fragrant. Add seasonings and let cook a couple minutes. Add tomatoes and chilies. Add beans and simmer until ready to serve (at least 15 minutes - I think I went half an hour).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Roast with Red Gravy

So I was trying to make something along the lines of barbecued beef. I had a rump roast so it didn't shred like I would have liked, but that's okay because the sauce wasn't quite up to barbecue standards although it was quite good. I ended up with far more sauce than we will use for the roast, but I'm thinking the remainder will be good on pasta if I throw in some Italian sausage and some basil and oregano. Some also liked the extra sauce over mashed potatoes although it was a bit weird for me.

Roast with Red Gravy

rump roast (or whatever cut you have)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2-3 carrots, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (or one dried jalapeno, crushed-if you're lucky enough to have one)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. chipolte powder, optional
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything but roast together in the crock pot. Add roast and cook on low for 8 hrs or so. When in roast is done,remove the bay leaf and puree the vegetables in the blender (probably best to do in two batches-careful, it's hot). Slice the roast and serve with sauce.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Black Bean & Chicken Soft Tacos

We've used this recipe for years. It came from one of the early issues of Quick Cooking. Using leftover cooked chicken makes it really quick, but doesn't take much more time if you cook the chicken fresh, just dice before cooking.

Soft Chicken Tacos

"I came up with this healthy chicken and bean filling for tacos since my husband needs to watch his cholesterol level," relates Ruth Peterson of Jenison, Michigan. "Sliced radishes make a unique crunchy topping."
6 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 20 min.


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 6 fat-free flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • Shredded lettuce, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions and fat-free sour cream, optional


  • In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken over medium heat until no longer pink. Stir in the beans, salsa and taco seasoning; heat through.
  • Spoon the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up.
  • Serve with the toppings of your choice if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1 taco (calculated without toppings) equals 271 calories, 2 g fat (0 saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 1,077 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 very lean meat.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Meatballs

Tonight I made Barbecue Chicken Meatballs kind of like the recipe suggested on Epicurious. It used grated onion, but I just don't like grating onions, so I finely minced them and the cooked them in a skillet just until softened. There were a bit difficult to work with. They didn't hold together all that well, but it may have just been the ground chicken. That is just not something I have worked with often. They were really good though, so we'll probably have them again.

Barbecue Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2/3 cup corn-bread crumbs or bread crumbs (I used 3 saved bread heels)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 small onion, grated and drained (I minced and sauteed until softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1/2 cup water

1. Combine the first 7 ingredients. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.

2. Place the oil in a wide frying pan. Add the meatballs and brown them on all sides until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the barbecue sauce and water. Cook until it reduces and sticks to the meatballs, about 1 minute. Serve.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chocolate Chip Stuffed French Toast

This weekend we tried a different variation on stuffed french toast. I modified another Cooks Country recipe. I used miniature chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips as the recipe called for and I use an extra egg in the batter so I could make 6 instead of the original 4 in the recipe.

Chocolate Chip French Toast

Serves 6

4 ounces cream cheese , softened

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

12 slices sandwich bread
2 large egg
1 cup cold water

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup for serving

1. Combine cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate chips in medium bowl. Spread on 6 bread slices. Top with remaining bread slices, pressing down gently, forming 6 sandwiches.

2. Combine eggs, water, flour, and vanilla in shallow pie plate. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Dip both sides of 2 sandwiches in batter and place in skillet. Cook until deep golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining butter and bread. (I used an electric griddle and cooked all 6 at once but it did take more than 3 minutes per side.)