Beef · CrockPot · Recipes

Spring Fling: Short Rib Chili

Spring is here, spring is here! Well… sort of. In between glorious bits of sunshine, it’s still a little chilly which makes chili the perfect choice for dinner!

We picked up some beautiful boneless short ribs the other day, but I’m mixing it 50/50 with beef stew meat for a slightly more budget-friendly meal. This spicy hearty chili is a great option for weekend camping trips too (we usually make chili ahead of time and then reheat it in cast iron). And let me just say, these pictures may not be great, but the chili was amazing (seal of approval from The Boyfriend too).

For this recipe, you will need:
crockpot/slow cooker
non-stick pan
blender

Ingredients: 
~ 1.25 lb boneless beef short ribs
1 lb beef stew meat
2 cans (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (16oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (7oz) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1.5 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove elephant garlic (or 3-5 cloves garlic)
3 dried chili peppers
2 tsp extra dark cocoa powder
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp avocado oil (olive or coconut is fine)

Seasoning: 
4 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt / to taste

Add one can of diced tomatoes and liquid to the crockpot. With the other can of diced tomatoes, drain the liquid first (do not rinse) and add to the pot. Drain and rinse beans until water runs clear, add beans to the crockpot. Remove stems and seeds from dried chili peppers and combine in blender cup with one full can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend pepper mixture for about one minute or until it resembles a uniform paste and add to the crockpot. Add 2 tsp extra dark cocoa powder, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp ancho chili powder to the crockpot mix.

Using a sharp knife, finely chop elephant garlic clove (also called elephant toes) or 3-5 cloves normal-sized garlic. Set aside in a bowl with the chopped onion. Add 2 tsp each of oregano, cumin, and ancho chili powder to the onions and garlic.

One clove of elephant garlic vs a whole head of "regular" garlic
One clove of elephant garlic vs. a whole head of “regular” garlic

Pre-heat oil in a non-stick pan on high-heat. While the pan is heating up, dice the ribs and stew meat into ~1/2 cubes – they do not at all have to be uniform in shape, just similar in size. You want the pieces to be small enough that they are “bite size” but big enough that they can still be shredded later on. Add meat to the pan, in batches if necessary, and cook for 3-5 minutes on one side only to sear the meat and lock in some flavor. Add all of the meat to the crockpot.

In the same pan, add the onion-garlic-spice mixture and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant and the onions have softened slightly. Add this to the crockpot.

Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, stir to mix everything together, and set crockpot on low for 7-9 hours. If you don’t want to wait that long, try cooking on high for 3-5 hours checking periodically to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you find that the chili has let off a lot of liquid, you can crack the lid a little bit to let some of the liquid evaporate. I personally prefer a thicker chili (as opposed to more liquid) so we usually crack the lid for half the cooking time.

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Serve immediately – as is, with chopped raw onion on top, with guacamole, or with grilled veggies.

Store in the fridge up to three days.

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Kid-Friendly · Skills/Techniques · Soup · Veggies + Side Dishes

Werewolf Soup

A big bowl of this warm and creamy soup brings a little bit of heat and looks just like a full moon, perfect for a chilly night and all those “hangry” (angry-when-hungry) eaters in your house. While it takes a bit of time for the veggies to soften up, all you really need for this recipe is a big pot and an immersion blender, food processor, or blender

Ingredients: 
1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped (greens removed)
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 leek bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
~ 6 cups chicken stock (Rachael Ray’s is my absolute favorite*)
3 tbsp clarified butter

Seasoning: 
~ 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt (or to taste)
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
fresh sage, for garnish (optional)

In a large stock pot, melt the clarified butter on medium heat. Add cauliflower, parsnip, leek, onion, shallot, and garlic and sauté until veggies begin to soften and caramelize (about 10 minutes). Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and simmer about 35 minutes or until vegetables are completely soft. Add red pepper flakes, adjust seasoning to taste, and remove soup from heat.

Using your blending tool of choice, purée the soup until uniform and smooth. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with a sage leaf.

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* Rachael Ray’s stocks are by far the best I’ve found. Real ingredients, no added sugar, and you can find it in almost any supermarket. I’ve linked to the chicken stock on Amazon, but I know you can get it for less at Pathmark or Walmart. (No I don’t make any money for telling you that.)

Date Night · Fish · Party Food · Recipes · Veggies + Side Dishes

Top Secret Deviled Eggs

These are my TOP SECRET CONFIDENTIAL deviled eggs. The “surprise” ingredient adds something unexplainable and wonderfully salty, so treat this as your own “top secret” recipe and don’t tell your friends the special ingredient: anchovies!
I am making these eggs for The Boyfriend’s going away party (he’s moving to Oregon this week) so I will be using two dozen eggs, but adjust proportions accordingly for your needs.
*Theoretically kosher for Passover.*

Ingredients: for 48 deviled eggs
2 dozen jumbo eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1.5 cup mayonnaise (NOT miracle whip!)
5-7 anchovy fillets (canned in oil)
1 tsp oil from canned anchovies

Seasoning:
Black Pepper, to taste
White Pepper, to taste
Hot Paprika, to taste

Appliances/Special Equipment:
Food Processor

Step One: Boiling the eggs! Place the eggs in a large pot and add 1/2 tsp. of baking soda (this makes them SO much easier to peel). Cover the eggs completely with water and heat on high until water starts boiling. When the water boils, lower to medium-high (7-8 on a 10-setting stove) and allow eggs to continue cooking (uncovered) for about 10 minutes. Place the pot in the sink and run cold water over the eggs for at least two minutes, don’t hesitate to throw a few ice cubes in there as well. Peel the eggs IMMEDIATELY. I usually cover a tray with a paper towel to put the eggs on after I peel them, it helps dry them off and ultimately makes cutting them a bit easier/cleaner. (For more information, check out The Perfect Boiled Egg).

Anchovies!
Anchovies!

Cut each egg in half length-wise and remove the yolk, placing it in a separate bowl. Leave the whites on the tray and combine the yolks, mayonnaise, anchovy fillets, and desired amount of seasoning(s) in the food processor and blend until smooth. If your mixture seems too thick, add mayonnaise 1 tbsp. at a time until mixture is well blended but can still hold its form. Remember that, because of the anchovies, you will need very little salt. Taste it first!

Using a large spoon, scoop the yolk mixture into a large FLAT BOTTOM ziploc bag (Ziploc brand freezer bags are my favorite for stuff like this). Snip off a tiny bit of one corner of the bag and pipe into the egg white halves. Remember to start with a small cut on the bag, you can always make it bigger but you can’t make it smaller again.

Garnish with a little sprinkle of paprika and refrigerate until ready to serve/eat.

Enjoy!

top secret deviled eggs