Monday, January 30, 2012

Salsa Pork

This is a great throw together recipe: minimal ingredients, great flavor, and can be done in a crockpot!
Salsa Pork
Recipe modified from Bishop's Kitchen

2 lbs. boneless pork roast
1 c. salsa
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. dried bell peppers
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Trim pork of fat and place in crock pot.
Combine the salsa, broth, onion, cumin and peppers and pour over pork.
Cook on low until pork is tender, about 4 hours.
Shred pork and return to crock pot for 1 hour (on low).

Just before serving, stir in chopped cilantro.
Serve over rice.
Garnish with sour cream and additional cilantro, if desired.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Summer Corn Chowder with Bacon

This deeeelicious chowder is perfect for those cold winter days (even if it is made with summer veggies).  This comes together quickly and tastes fantastic.

Summer Corn Chowder with Bacon
Recipe from Epicurious

12 slices bacon
12 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 c. chopped fresh fennel bulb (substitute onions and celery if you don't have fennel)
2 c. zucchini or summer squash, 1/2" cubes
2 c. russet potatoes, 1/2" cubes
2 cans chicken broth
1 c. whipping cream OR evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper to taste

Saute bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown.
Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
To drippings, add corn, fennel, zucchini, and potatoes and saute for 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth and simmer uncovered, over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. 

Transfer 6 cups of the soup to a blender, and puree until smooth.
Return puree to soup in pot.
Stir in cream and cayenne.
Bring chowder back to a simmer.
Season to taste with salt and pepper (I had to add about 1 tsp. of kosher salt).

Chop bacon and chives.
Ladle chowder into bowls and sprinkle with bacon and chives.
Serves 8.

If freezing: 
Let soup cool to room temperature.  Pour into freezer bags/containers and freeze for up to 6 months.  Freeze bacon separately to serve on top.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy Vegetable Stir Fry

This comes together quickly and is really easy to prepare.  You can add cooked chicken, beef, pork, etc., but this is very filling as is.
Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
Recipe modified from Our Best Bites

13.25 oz. whole wheat linguine
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chili sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 large bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), thinly sliced
1/2 red or sweet onion, sliced thin
2-3 c. fresh green beans
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 c. baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
salt and pepper to taste
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and jalapeno in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet.
Stir fry onions and carrots until onions are tender.
Add green beans and stir fry a minute longer.
Add zucchini and bell pepper and stir to combine.
Drain noodles and immediately add to pot.
Whisk sauce mixture and pour over noodles.
Stir everything together, adding a little more oil if too sticky.
Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro, if desired.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Caramelized Onions

For all onion lovers like me, this is a must have recipe.
Caramelized Onions
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 large onions (preferably sweet onions)
kosher salt

Melt butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Peel onions and cut in half.
Slice each half into strips.
Separate onions as you spread them into the pan.
Toss to coat all onions with butter/oil mixture.
Turn heat down to medium-low.
Sprinkle with kosher salt, to taste.
Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until onions are soft with an amber color, about 40 minutes.
Additional butter/oil may be added to the pan to keep them from sticking to the bottom.

These are absolutely wonderful on oh so many things.  Like pizza, or burgers, or steak.  And sandwiches, pitas, mixed veggies, roast beef, etc. etc.  Possibilities are pretty much endless here.  And if you are a freak like me, you'll sneak a few just plain.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Roasting your own red bell peppers is completely easy and well worth the added flavor from what you can get in a jar.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers
Rinse bell peppers.
Place under broiler, on grill, or over an open flame until skin begins to blacken and blister.
Turn peppers occasionally to blacken all sides.
Place hot peppers in a glass bowl and cover with seran wrap (you can also put them in a brown paper bag and fold down the opening).
Let sit for 10 minutes.
Remove peppers and cut in half.
Remove seeds, ribs and stem.
Peel off skin (should come away easily).

And that's it!
You should be left with the deliciously flavored flesh (just be sure not to rinse off in water - that will get rid of some of the great smoky flavor.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

A warm chocolate cake topped with gooey hot fudge... all baked into one dish.  This is just as delicious as it sounds, and is extremely easy to make.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Recipe from Hershey's

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
1 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa, divided
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 c. hot tap water

Combine 3/4 c. granulated sugar, four, 1/4 c. cocoa, baking powder and salt.
Stir in milk, butter and vanilla.
Beat until smooth.

Pour batter into an ungreased 8 or 9" baking pan.
Stir together remaining sugar, cocoa and the brown sugar.
Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.

Pour the hot tap water over the sugar/cocoa mixture - DO NOT STIR.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until the center is almost set.
Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Scoop out cake and spoon the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the top.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cowboy Pizza

Pretty classic flavor combinations going on here, but still one of my favorites (although I think I say that about every type of pizza...)
Cowboy Pizza
1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 bell pepper (color of choice)
mushrooms (optional)
pizza sauce
2 c. mozzarella cheese

Saute sausage with onion until meat is cooked through and onions are tender.
Spread sauce over dough and top with 1 1/2 c. cheese.
Layer pepperoni, sausage and onion mixture, bell peppers and mushrooms.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.