Archive for the ‘One Pot Meals’ Category

Runner’s World Chickpea Salad

May 3, 2018

I’m a runner.  Not a fast runner.  Not a good runner.  But a runner.  So, of course I have the Runner’s World Cookbook.  I haven’t made much from it, but this seemed like a good option for a long week that’s turned hot!  And for those of you who, like me, are always on the lookout for something new to take to cookouts and potlucks, this is a fantastic choice.  No mayonnaise so it can sit out.  Vegetarian and gluten-free, so workable for almost everyone.  And for the runners out there, it’s listed as “recovery” food.  It also takes about 15 minutes and one bowl to make so hard to beat all around.

If I had to describe this dish in one word it would be, “Zing!”  There are a lot of sharp flavors in here:  red onion, raw garlic, raw ginger, and jalapeno.  Those will wake you right up!  Fortunately there’s a lot of sweet to balance them out:  dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, and parsley.  And then the salt:  feta, smoked almonds, and salt.  In the background, really as the delivery vehicle, are the chickpeas.  Creamy and neutral.  This is good stuff.

And it’s beyond easy.  Drain, grate, dice, chop, dump.  Then for the dressing, measure and shake.  That’s it.

Image result for tip  Do read the directions carefully.  And this applies to every recipe.  There’s a difference between “1C chopped parsley” and “1C parsely, chopped.”  In the first one the measuring happens after the chopping (which means you need more than a cup to start with).  In the second one, you measure first and then chop what you have.

Here’s what you need:

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  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 C smoked almonds, chopped
  • 2/3 C chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 jalapeno, veins and seeds removed, chopped fine
  • 1 C chopped parsley
  • 4 oz feta crumbles
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper

Here’s what you do:

  • Dump everything chickpeas through feta crumbles in a large bowl and mix together gently
  • In a small jar, add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Put the lid on the jar and shake until well combined.
  • Pour over salad and mix gently.

Here’s how it turned out:

This is a wonderfully balanced salad.  And good for you!  Eat it as a main dish or as a side.  It would pair very nicely with steak or with grilled shrimp.  I bet it will be even better the second day!

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Umamen! Ramen Take 2

April 29, 2018

I spent my morning standing out in the cold and wind waiting to start an 8K.  Just one part of a very busy weekend.  Comfort food needed.  If possible, comfort food not full of fat.  I know, you’re thinking, um, ramen?  Ramen noodles have plenty of fat.  Thus, the Umamen.  These are udon noodles!  And rich miso and mushroom broth.  And lots of vegetables.  Comfort food.

This is kind of a combination of two recipes, with my own twists thrown in.  Check out the originals here and here.  The first is a vegetarian ramen recipe from umamigirl.com and the second is a buckwheat bowl from Cooking Light.  My version is partly “what I had left in the vegetable drawer” and partly “what looked good at the grocery store.”  I wanted to use bok choy, but it looked awful.  This may be the first ramen with swiss chard in it.  No idea why I picked up the leeks, but here they are.  I had a box of shiitake mushrooms and some carrots left from last week.  I had some udon noodles left from God knows when.  Throw in some green onions and soft boiled eggs and there you have it.  Vegetarian comfort food.  (A little Hardywood Gingerbread Stout added some comfort too).

Honestly, this isn’t easy.  It has a lot of parts and needs a fair amount of tending.  There’s a lot of “bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.”  The eggs are a little fragile so peeling them takes some care.  You have to pay pretty careful attention to the order in which you add things or you’ll have mushy things or under-cooked things.  Not something to make while you’re doing laundry or packing lunches or talking on the phone.  So, pour yourself a beverage and settle in when you start this.  Of course you can do your chopping ahead of time.

Here’s what you need for the broth: 

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  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 C diced onion
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 T red miso paste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 C vegetable stock (stock, not broth – if you use broth use 8 C broth and no water)
  • 4 C water
  • 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 2-4 eggs

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat the sesame oil in a soup pot
  • Saute the onions, ginger and miso until the onions are soft
  • Add the ginger.  Saute 1-2 minutes,
  • Add stock, water dried mushrooms and soy sauce to taste
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add eggs in shell
  • Reduce broth to a simmer.  Cook 7 minutes.

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  • Remove eggs to an ice water bath.
  • Peel eggs and set aside.

Here’s what you need for the umamen: (use whatever you have or like)

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TIP:  Add vegetables in decreasing order of cooking time.  Hardest vegetables first and soft ones at the end.

  • 1 C sliced carrots
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  • 8 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 C sliced green onions
  • 2 bundles udon noodles

Here’s what you do next:

  • Bring the broth to a boil.  Add leeks and carrots.

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  • Reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer 10-12 minutes.
  • Bring the broth to a boil.  Add chard, mushroom and noodles.

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  • Reduce heat slightly.  Cook until the noodles are done.
  • Serve with a soft boiled egg and top with green onions.  Add more soy sauce to taste.

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Here’s how it turned out:

Rich and comforting.  I honestly wouldn’t have said that a vegetable stock could be this rich and creamy, but it absolutely is. The starch from the udon noodles thickens the broth just enough that this dish feels hearty and a little light all at the same time.  The miso and mushroom broth has lots of depth and complexity.  You could use a variety of vegetables here.  Bok choy or napa cabbage instead of chard.  Red bell pepper instead of, or in addition to, carrots.  Maybe a drizzle of sesame oil on the top.  Definitely more ginger.  Maybe some rice wine vinegar.

Take out the egg to make it vegan.  Add some beef or tofu or edamame to bring up the protein.  The options are endless. Umamen!

Meatless Monday – Coconut Curried Vegetables

April 9, 2018

So, it’s April.  And it’s snowy, rainy, and cold.  Boo!  This Meatless Monday called for something warm and comfort-y.  Curry in just about any variety fits the comfort food bill quite nicely for me these days.  I found this recipe several years ago and have modified it many times. It started as a Crock-Pot recipe from Stephanie O’Dea that includes chicken.  Tonight, it’s a stove top recipe with many roasted vegetables.  It’s good any way you make it.

Credit to Stephanie O’Dea for suggesting a vegetarian that includes chickpeas instead of chicken.  I haven’t been able to find this recipe online so you’ll have to check out the original in her book, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers.  What you see below is tonight’s variation.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 T red curry paste
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 C diced roasted sweet potato
  • 2 C roasted cauliflower
  • 1 C roasted sliced carrots
  • 2 C raw spinach, stemmed

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Here’s what you do:

  • Roast all of your vegetables first until just short of done (You can do this a day or two before)
  • In a large pot combine coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, peppers, and garbanzo beans

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  •  Simmer 10 minutes
  • Stir in sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots
  • Cover, simmer 10 minutes
  • Stir in spinach until just wilted
  • Salt to taste

Here’s how it turned out:

What I love about this recipe, other than that it’s yummy and super easy, is its versatility.  Use whatever vegetables you want.  This is a great way to use vegetables that are a little past their prime.  Try adding mushrooms, sugar snaps, green beans, winter squash, sauteed onions.  All good options.  Try topping it with chopped peanuts or stir in a little peanut butter. Ooh, might try that next time.  Serve it over rice if you want to bulk it up a little.  Add some hot peppers to clear those Spring sinuses.  Have fun!

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Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry

March 19, 2018

It’s Meatless Monday!  I had a fridge fully of vegetables that needed to become something so I started roasting them.  You can use roasted vegetables in place of raw vegetables in most things and you get the extra flavor.  It also shortens the cooking time of the dish you use them in.  So today I have roasted broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic.  I did a search on epicurious.com for roasted cauliflower to give me some inspiration.

I found this recipe for chickpea curry with cauliflower, tomatoes, and spinach.  Perfect. All things I have.  One of my favorite chickpea curries is a Thai curry with cauliflower and coconut milk that I make in the Crock-Pot.  Having another chickpea curry in my repertoire seemed like a really good idea.

This is super good and super healthy.  I ate it like stew so no rice or bread.  I only wish I’d had a little plain yogurt to dollop on top!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  •  1 T ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1-1/2 C water
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut and roasted
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 C fresh spinach, stemmed
  • chopped cilantro, optional

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Here’s what you do:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot until it begins to smoke
  • Add the onions.  Cook until golden brown.

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  • Add the ginger, garlic, and curry powder.  Stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the chickpeas and water.  Salt the water (1-2 t).  Bring to a boil.  Cover.  Cook 7-10 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender.

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  • Add the cauliflower and tomatoes.  Simmer uncovered another 7-10 minutes, until the cauliflower and tomatoes are heated through.
  • Stir in the spinach, in batches if needed to make it fit.  When the spinach is wilted, salt to taste.

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Here’s how it turned out:

Yum!  I like that this is definitely curry, but not overly spicy.  I love a curry that makes your nose run, but not all the time.  With the spinach and fresh tomatoes, this has just the right early Spring feel about it.

I feel like it’s pretty versatile.  You could definitely serve it over rice to bulk it up.  You could dish it up with a slotted spoon to drain the liquid and serve it as a side dish.  You could add some chicken or shrimp.  Have fun with it!

Here’s the inspiration recipe for you to check out!

Tip Be careful biting into these tomatoes.  They are flaming hot on the inside.  If you bite into one it’s going to squirt lava hot tomato all over the inside of your mouth.  Maybe cut them first.

Thai Chicken Soup

March 12, 2018

We had a snowy afternoon here in Central Virginia.  The sky was dark gray all day and the snow is heavy and wet.  It’s a soup night!  Fortunately, that was already in the meal plan for the week.  This is a modified Cooking Light recipe so it’s good for you too!

This didn’t go exactly as planned.  I followed the recipe for the broth pretty closely and I never tasted it.  Rookie mistake!  I added the chicken, udon noodles,  shiitake mushrooms, green onions and cilantro.  So I was all in except for the sugar snap peas.  And then I tasted it.

FireDang y’all!  I thought my head was going to blow off!

So, that was a little depressing.  So now, instead of enjoying my soup I’m on a rescue mission.  There’s a lot of stuff in here.  And I think if I could taste the flavors behind the heat they might be really good.  I have 2 options that I can think of:  turn the soup into a noodle dish by draining off the flaming broth; or make a lot more broth to dilute what I have.  I was determined to have soup.  More broth it is.

Easy broth.  So, I drained the soup into a large bowl through a colander.  So all the noodles and vegetables are in the colander and the broth of fire is in the bowl.  In the soup pot I combine all the broth left in the carton and another can of lite coconut milk and heat it.  I pour all of the original broth in with this mild version.  Ah, much better.  But now I have twice as much broth as I need.  I knew that was coming which is why I drained it through the colander.  I poured half of the diluted broth into a small pot.  And guess what?  Now I’ve got broth for the next time I make a similar soup!  (Here’s hoping that soup broth with coconut milk in it freezes ok).

Whew.  Dinner saved. Poured the noodles and vegetables back in the broth and I’m good to go.  It’s still hot, but now it’s clear your sinuses hot, not set your hair on fire hot.  I can actually taste the flavors now and they’re darn good!  I had 2 bowls!  Now my nose is runny.

So, I’m going to adjust the recipe below so that you don’t end up with gallons of extra broth and you get the flavor right the first time.

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 T plain oil (canola, safflower, etc)
  • 2 1 inch pieces of ginger, one minced, one whole peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 T green curry paste
  • 3/4-1 lb of chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 C water
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 package of shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package of snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • udon noodles, cooked to al dente
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt

Tip  It would be easy to make this a vegetarian soup.  Just leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth.  You might also want to add some more vegetables. Try carrot slices and roasted broccoli.

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat the oil in a large pot
  • Add the minced ginger, garlic and jalapeno.  Cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in the curry paste

Tip Watch the splatter!  When the curry paste hits the oil it pops like popcorn!

  • Stir in the chicken. Sear on all sides.  Be careful not to cook it too long.  It will finish cooking in the broth.
  • Add the broth, coconut milk, water, lime juice, whole ginger, and some salt.  Bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5-7 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms, sugar snaps, green onions and some cilantro
  • Simmer another 5 minutes.
  • Salt to taste
  • Serve with lime wedges

Tip  If you’re using frozen sugar snaps or snow peas (which is what I did) cook them to crisp tender and add them at the end.

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Here’s how it turned out:

Once I made the corrections described above, it was good.  There are two key elements here:  the peas and the salt.  The soup desperately needs the sweetness of the peas.  It would suffer greatly without them.  And the salt.  There’s no salt in the original recipe.  That’s a huge omission.  The salt really helps bring out the other flavors.  It helps the lime juice taste like lime and not just acid.  It brings out the earthiness in the mushrooms.  Really.  It makes all the difference.

There’s still a lot of heat in this.  There’s heat from the jalapeno; a bite from the ginger; heat from the curry paste.  All different, but definitely there.  Leave out the jalapeno if you like.

This is a wonderful one pot meal for a snowy night.  Warm and spicy and slurpy.  Enjoy!

Super Bowl Sunday Shrimp: BBQ Shrimp

February 4, 2018

No chips and dip for this girl this Super Bowl Sunday!  Don’t get me wrong, I love chips and dip.  Tonight I decided to up my game.  Shrimp and more shrimp.  Let’s start with BBQ Shrimp.  This really, really couldn’t be easier.  Easy to do for a few or a crowd.  Messy for sure.  And totally worth it!

This is so easy you don’t even have to shell the shrimp!  Most New Orleans recipes use head-on shrimp.  I got my shrimp at the grocery store and they come without the heads.   I’m okay with that.  They also came shell-on, but de-veined.  Perfection!  I only made 1/2 a pound of these because I’ve got etouffee coming later, but I could eat a whole pound of these, or more, without batting an eyelash.

All it takes is Worchestershire, lemon juice, pepper, creole seasoning and butter.  That’s it.  Now, my sauce separated tonight so the butter didn’t integrate into everything else to make a unified sauce.  Know what?  Still good.  Doesn’t look nice.  Tastes great.  And it’s football food so I’m going to go with taste!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb large raw shrimp , unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon, reamed)
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cups (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Crusty bread as accompaniment

Here’s what you do:

In a large skillet combine shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black peppers, Creole seasoning, and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute on each side. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted. Remove skillet from heat. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top. Serve with French bread for dipping.

The constant stirring matters.  It’s what keeps the sauce from breaking.  I was slicing bread and looking for leftover containers, etc while I made these so the stirring didn’t really happen.  Thus the ugly sauce.  Served with local Billy Bread from Lecker Baking.

10 minutes start to finish.  Can’t beat that!  Grab some napkins and gather round!

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Andouille, Mushroom, Tomato Pizza

January 15, 2018

It’s been a day of domesticity here.  I made most of a dress and baked 2 loaves of bread.  Not hard to imagine that I might not have much left when dinner time rolled around.  I could have eaten leftovers.  I had the Greek Butternut Squash Greek Salad for lunch.  And I hate to eat leftovers on my days off when I, theoretically, have time to cook.  I try to keep naan and fresh mozzarella in the house. With those two things you can have pizza anytime!

Pizza is a fantastic way to get rid of odds and ends:  one link of andouille; a few sliced mushrooms; some mascarpone.  Throw in a little pecorino, mozzarella and a naan you’re all set.

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Here’s what you need:

  • A naan
  • Pretty much anything you want to add

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat the oven to 450
    • I have a Pizza button on my convection oven that provides high heat and circulating air.
  • Put your toppings on the naan.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until it’s crisp and bubbly

Here’s what I did tonight:

  • Heated a pizza stone in the oven
  • Spread a thin layer of mascarpone over the naan
  • Slice the andouille and sear on both sides
  • Add andouille, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes to the naan
  • Top with diced fresh mozzarella and grated pecorino
  • Bake 12 minutes

Here’s what I thought:

The mascarpone provides a fantastic creamy balance to the spicy andouille.  Add in the earthiness of the mushrooms; the freshness of the tomatoes; and the saltiness of the pecorino and you have all your bases covered.  Top with cheese, because that makes a great pizza, amazing.  It was awfully hard not to eat the whole thing, and I still might!

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Catfish Curry

January 2, 2018

Yep, catfish curry, Thai style.  It’s really flipping cold in Virginia this week and I wanted something warm.  I also had a drawer full a vegetables that I bought with a plan I have long since forgotten.  And also some catfish that needed a plan ASAP.  Curries are pretty flexible about what you put in them and I adore anything in coconut broth, so here we are.

You’ll need a few pantry staples if you want to be able to throw a curry together on the fly.  All of this is readily available in the Asian foods section of a standard grocery store.  Curry paste – red, green, yellow, all of the above.  Coconut milk, the canned kind, not the refrigerator kind.  Lite is fine.  I only use regular coconut milk if a recipe specifically says that Lite won’t work.  Fish sauce.  It’ll be in a bottle, not a jar.  And it’s funky, but adds a lot of depth.

Pretty much every fish curry recipe you’ll find calls for “firm, white fish.”  Something like haddock or cod or sea bass.  If you’re worked with catfish you know there’s nothing firm about it.  It dang near falls apart when you cut it in pieces.  Still, it’s what I had and mild enough that I figured it would work.  I actually started with a Chicken and Vegetable Curry recipe from my Cherry Bombe cookbook.  That’s how flexible Thai curries are.  Fish instead of chicken.  Cauliflower instead of bok choi.  No jalapeno.  Add brown sugar.

You really can kind of wing it as long as you pay attention to your substitutions and their cooking time.  It takes fish much less time to cook than chicken and cauliflower much longer than bok choi so I adjusted accordingly.

What do you need?

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2 T oil (canola, safflower, something plain)

1/2 an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 inch peeled fresh ginger – all chopped fine

2 bell peppers, sliced

2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced or diced

1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut small and pre-roasted

2 T green curry paste

1 can lite coconut milk

1 T fish sauce

2 catfish fillets, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 diced jalapeno (optional, and not included above)

1 pinch brown sugar (optional)

How do you do it?

It looks like kind of a long list of ingredients, but it’s really easy to make.  Do all your chopping ahead of time.  Keep items that go in the pot together, together on the cutting board.  Then you can just scrape them right off the board into the pot.

I recommend dicing your own onion, garlic and ginger.  The flavor is just nicer.  But if you have to choose between ordering a pizza or using frozen diced onions and garlic and ginger from a jar, do what you have to do.  Be aware that there’s water in the pre-chopped things so when they hit that hot oil they splatter!  Be prepared!

Heat the oil in a medium stock pot or large pan.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Saute 3-4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, peppers, and cauliflower.  Saute 5 more minutes.

Stir in the curry paste.  Cook 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and fish sauce.  Bring to a low boil.

Add the catfish.  Make sure it’s covered by the liquid.  Reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the sauce thickens a little.

Stir in a pinch of brown sugar.

Serve as a soup or over rice.

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How did it turn out?

It’s ugly, but it’s good.  Not my favorite curry, but good.  I think it needs another vegetable.  I’ve got some carrots that I can roast tomorrow and add in to the leftovers.  They’ll add some sweetness and some texture.

 

Potato, Poblano and Chorizo Tacos

April 16, 2013

It’s installment two in Taco Week!  We’ll call this taco crack.  Serious awesomeness.  I don’t know any other way to describe it.

I have no idea what qualifies this for inclusion in Cooking Light, but I’m awfully glad it’s there.  It feels pretty sophisticated for tacos.  Roasted poblano peppers, local chorizo, charred tortillas.  Fancy.  But before we get too far above ourselves let me point out that this is hash.  Plain and simple.  Potatoes, vegetables and meat all cooked together.  It’s hash.  And it’s amazing.

Chorizo tacos

Let me start with what I left out or substituted.  I left out the corn.  The sweetness would be a fantastic addition, but I really think you need fresh kernels and it’s nowhere near corn season in Central Virginia right now.  There’s corn in the stores, but I’m holding out for the local stuff.  I left out the lime wedges, which would also have been great, but I was starving by the time I got this made so I just didn’t get around to the lime wedges.  I substituted freshly shaved parmesan for the manchego because that’s what I had.  I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock because I had some in the fridge.  I don’t think the recipe suffered at all.  I’ll finish the ingredients portion with a big kudos to Sausage Craft.  I used their chorizo, removed from the casing.  It’s spicy, but not too hot and has an amazing flavor.  Another winner from Sausage Craft.

To make this a little easier on myself I chopped the onion and roasted the pepper last night.  It saved a little prep time tonight.  Using pre-minced garlic would shave a minute or two off as well.  Other than that this is pretty quick and pretty straightforward.  I used a big cast iron skillet, which I generally recommend.  It heats evenly and holds the heat really well.  I’ve found that the top from my large chef’s pan fits the skillet well, but since you only have to cover this partially you can use a dinner plate or whatever top you can find.  Nothing special about the prep.

This is a terrific taco filling.  Really terrific.  This has football season taco bar written all over it.  It would also be great for brunch with an over easy egg on top.  Or great lunch food served on lettuce.  Or great hangover food served with a Bloody Mary, Mimosa or beer on the side – I assume.  (My mom reads this).  Truly I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow when it’s time to eat the leftovers!

Good? So far beyond good!
Easy? Yep, it’s hash. Just really good hash.
Good for company? You’ll be the hit of the brunch crowd.
Special shopping? Chorizo might not be available in your regular grocery. Check a farmers’ market (my preference) or a specialty store or a Latino market.

Potato, Poblano and Chorizo Tacos

Ingredients

2 poblano chiles
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups diced white potato
1 cup chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces Mexican raw chorizo, casings removed
3/4 cup unsalted vegetable stock
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 ounce parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Directions

1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Cut poblanos in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place poblano halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil for 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel; coarsely chop.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add potato; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove potato; place in a large bowl. Add onion to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add poblano, red pepper, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to potato. Add chorizo to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Return potato mixture to pan. Stir in stock and salt; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until potato is tender, chorizo is done, and liquid almost evaporates.
4. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a burner for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Arrange about 1/3 cup potato mixture in center of each tortilla; top with 1 1/2 teaspoons onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese.

Cuban Chicken and Hominy Stew

February 5, 2013

Today was not a good day.  On top of some significant challenges at the office, I came home to a house where one dog had a stomach issue and another decided that a boot box was his enemy and needed to be destroyed.  Lots of cleanup to manage.  The last thing I felt like doing was cooking.  Truly.  But I stopped at the store on the way home to pick up a pepper and an onion so I could make this dish so I forged ahead.  Glad I did.  A little comfort food was exactly what I needed.

Cuban Chicken and Hominy Stew

Let me start by saying this was supposed to have plantains instead of hominy.  The store I stopped at for the pepper and onion is a scary store that offered no chance of picking up plantains so I decided the hominy, which I already had at home, was an acceptable substitute.  It’s possible that the plantains would have thickened this into a more stew like consistency, but probably not so much.  I also used a pint of home canned tomatoes instead of fresh.  February is not a time to buy fresh tomatoes in Virginia.  I didn’t have a whole cup of sherry so I used 2/3 sherry and 1/3 marsala.  If I’d had port I would have used that instead.  Nothing else in the way of ingredient subsitutions.  I even measured the spices.

This can reasonably be described as a 30 minute meal.  I roasted and pulled some chicken breast on Sunday so I didn’t have to deal with chopping chicken tonight.  And clearly draining a can of hominy and a jar of tomatoes is less cumbersome than peeling and chopping plantains and tomatoes.  Even having to deal with those things, though, you’d be pretty close to the 30 minute mark.  And it’s all in one pot too so that’s always good.

Speaking of good.  This stuff is good.  It’s soup-like, not stew-like, but the flavors are terrific.  The sherry/marsala adds a wonderful sweetness to balance the salty broth and tomatoes.  The hominy gives it a starchy richness.  I added a squeeze of fresh lime juice to my bowl to add a little bright citrus as well.  Without it, the sweet was almost too much.  Next time I’ll add a little chopped avocado garnish too.  That would put this over the top.

I almost made only a half recipe thinking that I might feel inclined to cook later in the week.  I may, in which case I’ll freeze some of this, but for now I’m really looking forward to the leftovers!

Good? So good.
Easy? Yep.
Good for company? A terrific weeknight dinner with friends.
Special shopping? Nope. Even in Virginia you can get cooking sherry in the grocery store.

Cuban Chicken and Hominy Stew

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 pint chopped, peeled tomatoes
1 cup dry sherry or port
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C chicken broth
2 C roasted, shredded chicken breast
1 can white homniy, drained
Limes, cut into wedges

Directions

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, and bell pepper; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomato and next 9 ingredients (tomato through broth). Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in hominy and chicken; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
Serve with lime wedges.