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.

IMG_20150322_034956

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

Store in the fridge up to three days.

Advertisements
Date Night · Fish · Party Food · Recipes · Seafood

Veni-Vidi-Ceviche

I came, I saw, I… ate some fish? Sounds great to me! No matter what language you say it in, this super fresh South American dish is undeniably delicious; packed with onions, peppers, and raw seafood marinated in citrus juices, ceviche is one of my all-time favorites.

There are many intricate, phenomenal recipes out there, but this is one of those dishes where I really like to let the ingredients to speak for themselves so I prefer to take the simpler route. Ceviche is really easy to make and very sexy to share, so it’s a great dish for date night or parties. If you don’t have a juicer, I would highly recommend investing in a lemon squeezer – they’re only about $5 and I can’t tell you how often I use it.

Please read the notes below prior to preparation. I have never gotten sick from ceviche, prepared at home or otherwise, but the risk of food poisoning does exist and it is the last thing I would wish on any of you!

Ingredients: 
1 lb tilapia fillets, chopped into 1″ cubes
1 lb cod fillets, chopped into 1″ cubes
1/2 large red onion, finely diced
2 medium hot peppers, finely chopped (I used jalapeño and red chili)
1 cup all-natural grapefruit juice
2 large lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
white pepper, to taste

Combine all “dry” ingredients in a large glass bowl. Cover with juices and toss well. If there is not enough liquid to cover all ingredients, add about 1/2 cup cold water to dilute. Mix gently, making sure fish pieces have been coated with juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (up to 24 hours).

When ready to serve, pour into individual bowls/plates with a slotted spoon. Consume within 48 hours of preparation.

20140203_1303000

Note: It is important for the fish to be submerged in the liquid as much as possible, as this marinating process is essentially “cooking” the fish – curing it in the citric acids from fruit juices. It is also important to use very fresh or frozen fish to prevent food poisoning. If frozen, thaw about halfway and allow the to finish thawing while it marinates.
From Wikipedia: “Ceviche is marinated in a citrus-based mixture, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured, appearing to be cooked. (However, acid marinades will not kill bacteria or parasitic worms, unlike the heat of cooking.)” … “As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to minimize the risk of food poisoning. It may be safer to prepare it with frozen or blast-frozen fish due to Anisakis parasites.”

Beef · CrockPot · Lamb · Recipes

Lamburger Chipotle Chili

So many peppers!
So many peppers!

*Moving to Oregon: 17 days*

It is absolutely freezing today, so it’s safe to assume that I’m craving chili. Since we’re in the throes of vide le congélateur (empty the freezer), I decided to whip up something new instead of grocery shopping for North Philly Chili that I made a few weeks ago. While this recipe has a few more “specialty” ingredients, this batch is a bit thicker and richer, just what I wanted today! I really do love my crock pot.

Don’t tell The Boyfriend, but I actually used a pre-mixed pouch of herbs and seasoning today. With all-natural Lysander’s Original Chili Seasoning and Rick Bayless’ Chipotle Garlic Skillet Sauce, this chili packs a ton of flavor and a nice little kick of lingering heat. I purchased both products at local stores like Di Bruno’s and even found the skillet sauce at Wal-Mart, but you can find them online too.

Ingredients: 
1 lb ground lamb
2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
7 oz tomato paste
1 packet Chipotle Garlic Skillet Sauce
1 15-oz can black beans
4 hot peppers (I used 2 Serrano, 1 jalapeño, and 1 cayenne)
1.5 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 large clove elephant garlic (or 3-4 cloves regular garlic), finely chopped
2 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter e.g. Kerrygold (olive oil is okay too)

Seasoning:
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp Lysander’s Original Chili Seasoning
1 tbsp Cocky Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp Chipotle Powder

In a large stock pot, melt the butter on medium-high heat and add all three pounds ground meat. Stir occasionally until most of the meat is cooked through and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, chipotle garlic sauce, and 2 tsp salt to the pot and stir well. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 more minutes. Dump all contents of the pot into your slow cooker.

Finely chop the garlic and onion, half and thinly slice the peppers, and add to the crock pot. Using a colander, rinse beans under cold water until water runs clear. Drain beans and add to crock pot. Add Lysander’s chili seasoning, Cajun seasoning, and chipotle powder to the slow cooker and stir well.

Set crock pot on low setting and cook for at least 2 hours (up to 4), stirring occasionally. Serve with guacamole, chopped raw onions, or other topping of choice. Enjoy!

IMG_20131112_051951

Beef · CrockPot · Kid-Friendly · Pork · Recipes

North Philly Chili

Now that the fall weather is finally on its way, I can’t resist a spicy little number like my dad’s goulash or slow cooker chili.  I’ve been playing with my chili recipes for quite some time and I am finally ready to share my “red chili” secrets (vs. white, which isn’t too far behind). As usual with the crock pot, prep is quick and cooking takes a while so I’d recommend setting this up the night before or early in the day so it’s ready in time for dinner.
Got kids? Skip the jalapeno and make sloppy joe’s!

Ingredients: 
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 lb 80% lean ground beef
1/2 lb chorizo, removed from casing (~ 2 links)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, halved and thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 scallion bulbs, finely chopped (just the white part)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed until water runs clear
1 28-oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1/2 7oz-can Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
1/3 cup sugar-free beef stock e.g. Rachel Ray
2 tsp oil, for the pan (wok or olive oil are great)

Seasoning: 
2 tsp Cajun seasoning (for the meat)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder

In a food processor, combine the San Marzano tomatoes, 1/2 can of chipotle peppers in adobo, and 1/3 cup of beef stock – pulse for a few seconds at a time to blend, but not liquify (we want it to be a little bit chunky). Add the tomato/pepper mixture to the bowl of the crock pot as well as the chopped onion, shallot, scallion, jalapeno pepper, and beans. Add all seasoning (except for Cajun) and adjust to taste.

Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and coat with oil. Add the chorizo and ground beef in chunks, making sure to break it up as much as possible – we need ground beef here, not patties. Sprinkle 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning over the meat and mix well to blend. Continue cooking on medium-high heat, mixing occasionally to cook evenly and prevent clumps from forming, about 15 minutes or until meat is uniform in color. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from the pan and add to the crock pot mixture. Mix well.

Set the crock pot on low and cook for at least five hours. Serve with a slotted spoon.

chili

Note: This is a pretty large amount of chili so if you are saving any for the next day, I would recommend removing it to another container using a slotted spoon to drain some of the liquid/fat. This will make the reheated dish a bit less messy and tastier (in my opinion).

Baked · Date Night · Party Food · Recipes · Skills/Techniques · Veggies + Side Dishes

OMG Bursl Prots

Woo, this is a crazy spring/summer. Wedding season has officially begun, but I am determined to get in a lot more recipes and soon – I have tons of MEAT in my freezer and it is begging to be eaten. Today however, I’m making some good ol’ green veggies. Major Brussels sprouts craving over here (and something that doesn’t take me two hours to make)!

Ingredients: 
– 1 bunch/bag Brussels sprouts, or however you buy them
– 3-5 small hot peppers like Thai chili or Serrano, finely chopped
– 2-3 tsp. duck fat or clarified butter
– Coarse Kosher or pink salt (to taste)

Pre-heat your oven to about 350*F and wrap a baking sheet in foil so you have virtually no clean-up later (my favorite thing). Remove fat/butter from the freezer or fridge so it has some time to soften. Rinse your Brussels sprouts well and pick off any particularly gross-looking leaves. Cut the brown butt of the sprouts (toss it) and cut the sprouts in half. If any nice-looking leaves fall out, put them in the pan too! The individual leaves will get nice and crispy while they bake and make for good contrast.

Once all your Brussels sprouts have been cut in half and placed in the pan, get started on your peppers. If you are a wuss like me when it comes to Thai chilis, follow my little trick for removing most of the seeds – usually the spiciest part of the pepper: Cut off the tip (where the stem is) and the tiny part of the end when it really begins to taper off. Hold the pepper between your thumb and forefinger and gently twist back and forth as though you are rubbing your fingers together. This should get most of the seeds out, and a few stragglers is just fine.

Add the peppers to the sprouts and sprinkle with salt to taste (I like ’em pretty salty)! Add a few spoons of the fat or clarified butter to your veggies and gently mix, you don’t want to mash the veggies you just want to disperse the fat/butter more evenly.

Place your Brussels sprouts in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until they are soft inside and crunchy outside.

Enjoy!

bursl prots