Sunday, January 24, 2016

All In Chili

This chili recipe is a combination of many and has all the ingredients I love and feel should be in a chili. A true chili is robust, rich and deep and a labor of love. To me, there's nothing like listening to some music on a cool morning while laying out all the ingredients to make assembling that much easier. 

If you're able, make this a day ahead. Letting it sit overnight really takes the marriage of flavors to another level. I highly recommend a full bodied cabernet like this Earthquake. My husband says this is the best chili he has ever had and right after we had it for lunch, he was on his way to deliver some to both of our parents who live 25 minutes away. I am not even a chili fan and truly enjoyed it! 

You can use any meats you'd like, I just suggest sticking to 3 lbs as this was perfect. We chose the usual ground beef and since Terry does not like sausage in his chili we compromised with chicken sausage from Publix Greenwise. We love the taste of it and it's healthier. It comes in a package of 5 links so I just took the casing off and crumbled the meat. This chili has a kick but it's not too spicy by any means.  

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb chicken sausage, mild
  • 3 (15oz) cans kidney chili beans in a mild sauce, drained
  • 1 (15oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28oz) cans Rotel, original
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced (I seed only one)
  • 2 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon diluted in 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 Corona Extra (18oz) (drink the rest)

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tblsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tblsp chili powder
  • 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tblsp minced garlic
  • 1 tblsp dried oregano

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Mine is 8.5" high and 10" wide. Crumble the ground chuck & chicken sausage into the hot pan (I used two pans so it would cook evenly, then combined the meats), and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Add in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes & tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green & red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, bacon bits, bouillon & beer. Season with cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic & oregano.  

  2. Stir to blend, then cover & simmer over low heat for at least 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. I simmered mine for 4 hours. Let it cool, then refrigerate. If you're able to make this the day before serving, it's actually better! I served it with shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend, sour cream, scallions & oyster soup crackers. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grilled Asian Glazed Salmon

Fresh salmon with or without skin, 3-4 servings
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
3 tblsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp sesame oil
1 tblsp rice wine vinegar
3 tblsp + 2 tblsp sweet Asian chile sauce, divided
A swirl or two of Sriracha, depending on your heat preference
Garlic powder
Ginger powder

Mix all ingredients together except salmon. Taste it to see if there is anything you like more of. This seemed like a perfect combo for us. It also works if you don’t have Sriracha or the rice wine vinegar. The point is this should be an easy throw together with what you have in the house. Important thing to remember is you want a little zing, a little spice and a little sweetness. As for the garlic and ginger, I just throw everything together then sprinkle a very good amount of both. If I had to guess, it’s about 2 tsp of each.

Pour 3/4 of the marinade over salmon in a Ziploc bag, reserving a small amount to glaze salmon after it’s done. Let it marinate at a minimum of 20 minutes at room temp. Pre-heat grill with a smaller grill rack on it. The rack not only keeps the salmon from falling through the main grill grates but I find it protects the salmon from getting burnt . Add a couple more tablespoons of sweet Asian chile sauce to the reserved marinade.

Spray non stick spray on the grill rack. Place the salmon on the rack and grill for about 4 minutes. Depending on the thickness, it’s about 8 min for an inch thick. Use a large spatula to flip carefully. Grill for 4 more minutes. Brush the reserved glaze over the salmon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 small jalapeno peppers, roasted with stem and seeds removed
2-3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce
8 slices bacon
Blue cheese or ranch for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Pound the chicken very thin. If making appetizers, cut each breast into four pieces. Season with salt & pepper and lay a roasted jalapeno pepper and some cream cheese over the top.

Roll each one into a little bundle and coat in Buffalo wing sauce. You can marinate the bundles in the sauce, but it's not completely necessary. Wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour a little of the wing sauce in the bottom. Place bundles in the dish without crowding. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is starting to get crispy, turning once if necessary.

Serve with blue cheese or ranch.

{Food for Thought}

Next time, I may place the cream cheese in the jalapeno before putting it in the chicken, because I found both the pepper and cream cheese to be very slippery. Also, this could prevent the cream cheese from oozing out of the chicken too much.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nutella Brownies

I am not a big brownie person but was intrigued when I saw these somewhere on the internet. And since my mom and MIL are chocolate lovers, I thought these would be perfect for dessert one Sunday dinner. These are a dense kind of brownie and everyone really loved them. I will definitely be making them again. 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Nutella
2 tbsp brewed espresso
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Nutella and espresso until well combined. Pour butter mixture into a large bowl. Beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until just combined. Spread into prepared pan (batter will be very thick and sticky) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked. 

Cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut until completely cooled.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Potato Halves

What an awesome variation to the baked potato. I absolutely love these! Wish I had better pics but the craving for these suckers took over & I didn't make time for photos with them as the focal point.

{Printable Recipe Here}

6 small potatoes, scrubbed & cut in half
1/4 cup butter
Grated parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Other seasonings (to personal preference)
Sour cream for dipping 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9x13 inch pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Generously sprinkle parmesan cheese and lightly sprinkle other seasonings all over the butter. Place potato halves face down on the butter and seasonings. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for at least a FULL 5 minutes before removing from the pan, otherwise the parmesan crust won't stick to the potato. Serve on a plate with a side of sour cream for dipping. 

Food for Thought

Obviously use less butter if you are using less potatoes and a smaller pan to cook them in. These are simply incredible and nice variation to a baked potato.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

This is all over the internet under the name "Melt In Your Mouth Chicken" and as much as this is a wonderful & quick way to make chicken for the convenient weekday meal, the chicken doesn't really melt in your mouth. Perhaps it does with the original recipe which calls for mayo instead of the yogurt but this is the healthy version that is also popular. Still, the hubs really enjoyed it and I don't want to lose track of it. I also made a variation or two, noted below.

{Printable Recipe Here}

1/2 c parmesan cheese
1 c Greek yogurt -plain
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 chicken breasts

Combine the first  5 ingredients and spread all over chicken breasts. Bake at 375 for about a half hour. Check for doneness. 

Food for Thought

My variation includes not measuring precisely on the garlic powder as I like to be very liberal with it. I also add  some Italian seasonings to each breast & on occasion, breadcrumbs. If using breadcrumbs, I like to throw chicken under the broiler for a couple minutes to brown nicely.

Goes wonderfully with Parmesan Crusted Potatoes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuna Cilantro Dip

What an unexpected wonderful dip. Sister Lau brought this camping one day and we were blown away. There is a nice heat to it from the jalapeño and it is awesome served with any kind of corn/tortilla chips. This would also be great on a sandwich. 

2 (6 oz) cans Albacore tuna in water (drained)
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (finely chopped)

Combine all ingredients, chill for an hour. If you like a little more heat, add another jalapeño or leave in some seeds from the one jalapeño. Garnish with fresh cilantro. We love this served with tortilla chips.