Category Archives: Dinner

Mexican Chilli

Make this chilli convenient by using whatever meat, stock, and beans you have on hand.

Mami’s Mexican Chilli

1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. chili ancho powder (add more if you like spicy!)
20 oz. fire-roasted tomatoes tomatoes with juice, pureed if you don’t like chunky-style
3 c. un-rinsed homemade beans*

optional:  cheddar cheese and chives or green onions for garnish

salt and pepper to taste

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Choose between:

2 c. chicken broth //2 c. beef broth
2 cups shredded or chopped chicken or turkey//1 to 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

Heat rimmed skillet to med-high and melt butter.  Add onion and sautee on medium until translucent.  Add ground beef, if using.  Add ancho powder, tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, beans, stock, and chicken or turkey.  Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until flavors combine and chilli thickens.  Add salt to taste.  Serve with grated cheddar cheese on top and some chives for garnish.

Cook’s Notes:

*If using canned beans, be sure to rinse first.

Credit – recipe adapted from Hartman family blog.

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Michelle’s Rice and Beans

1/2 c. homemade black beans

1/2 c. cooked brown rice

1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 tsp. chopped chives

Combine ingredients while hot in a bowl.  Serve with glass of milk.

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Roast Mexican Turkey

I was able to get a half turkey from Edelen Farms, my local source for meats last week and was SO excited.  It’s so nice to change it up from the regular pork, chicken and steak routine.  I decided to gamble my cooking skills with the 14-lb. beauty.  There is no other recipe like this on the internet…believe me I looked!  This is good stuff…

Roast Turkey, Mexican-Style

(1) 13-14 lb. turkey or half turkey, rinsed and insides removed.

In a small blender, food processor or molcajete, add:

1/2 large head of garlic, peeled and crushed

1/4 c. c. chile ancho powder

6 mint leaves

4 tablespoons fresh thyme, stems removed

4 bay leaves

1/4 c. water

Juice and zest of 1 lime

3 tbsp. salt

Save for later:

1 liter or 1 mason jar full of chicken stock

1/2 stick of butter

more salt and pepper to taste.

Once rub mix is pureed, cut slits in the fat of the turkey and tuck half the mixture into those pockets.  Then, rub the rest on the outside skin of the bird.  Salt and pepper the turkey completely, then place small pats of butter all over bird.  Cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven.  Every 30 minutes, open up the oven and pour 1 c. chicken stock over bird.  When it runs out, use baster to pick up juices from bottom.  At the 2 1/2 hour mark, remove foil and let brown.  At the 3 hour mark, check the internal temperature inside the thigh.  Make sure it’s not touching the bone.  Let cook until thigh reaches 165 degrees.  If it browns too much, tent with foil again.  Remove from oven and let sit 20-30 minutes before carving.  Serve with tortillas or rolls and a green salad.

*To make gravy, take bird out of pan and reserve on platter tented with foil.  Add 2 tbsp. of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to 1/4 c. of water.  Whisk together.  Pour out 1/2 of drippings into a jar.  Heat 2 burners to med-high and place roasting pan with other half of drippings over stove.  Heat to a boil, then add in water/cornstarch mixture.  Whisk until combined, then boil until thickened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Mexican Pot Roast – Crock Pot

2 lbs. lean grass-fed steak (economy cut) brought to room temperature

2 bakers potatoes, peeled and cut in large pieces

6-8 carrots, thick chop

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp. chilli ancho powder (this barely spicy, don’t worry)

(1) 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes and juice, pureed

1 tbsp. salt

4 c. homemade beef broth (or combination broth and water)

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 white onion, chopped in slices

4 cloves of garlic, diced

4 tbsp. butter

1.  Salt and pepper both sides of steak.  Preheat skillet to high and melt butter.

2.  Place steak in hot skillet and turn heat to medium.  Sear until brown, about 4 minutes, flip and repeat.  Leave skillet on medium heat.  Place steak at bottom of crock pot.

3.  Sautee onion to a golden brown, about 8 minutes.  At 8 minutes, add garlic.  Cook 2-3 minutes, add to pot.

4.  Add to crock pot potatoes, carrots, thyme, tomatoes, ancho powder, salt and pepper.  Last add the broth and/or water.  Add only enough to reach the level of the veggies.  If you add more, it will yield more soupy results than stew.

5.  Cover and cook on high 1 hour, then cook 4-6 on low.  Really you can leave it up to 8 hours on low.  That’s the beauty of the crock pot!

Enjoy with fresh bread or rolls, or serve with tortillas and roasted salsa.

Cook’s Notes:

Grass-fed beef, all though superior in taste, is a bit tougher than factory meat.  For this reason it is important to cook it only when it’s come to room temperature, as not to shock it in a hot pan and make it tougher.  Also low and slow is perfect for grass-fed.  The stronger flavors (tomato, onion, chile) are a great combo for first-time grass-fed eaters.

Fire-roasted tomatoes add a wonderful flavor to any dish and are very affordable on amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save.

Store leftovers in fridge or freeze 1 c. portions for quick lunches.

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Italian Pot Pies

I love this recipe because it is very economical, freezes well, and you have tasty biscuits left over for breakfast sandwiches.  I adapted the recipe from Everyday Food Magazine to be a traditional meal.

Savory Biscuits

3-1/2 c. total of flour – I used 1 c. white and 2-1/2 c. spelt (whole wheat works just as good)

1-1/2 c. whole milk or buttermilk

4 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. grated real parmesan cheese

1 tsp. diced fresh rosemary (use Italian seasoning if you don’t have)

(adapted for Italian foodies from Nourishing Traditions, p. 454)

The night before serving this dinner add 1 1/2 c. of whole milk or buttermilk to 2-1/2 c. of whole wheat or spelt flour and 1 c. of white flour.  Leave in a warm place (in oven with pilot light on) for 24 hours.   If you are too lazy for this step (which is pretty easy and really good for you) then you might as well use the link above for the original recipe.

Now that the dough is soaked for maximum digestion, add in the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon.  Turn out on clean work surface and knead to combine.  Coat rolling pin with unbleached white flour and roll to 3/4 in. thickness.  Cut with glass or cutter into rounds until dough is gone.  (I cut with the ramekins so they were exactly the same size and it worked perfect.)  Now make filling.

Filling

1 tbsp. olive oil or butter

1 med. onion, chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 c. other greens like spinach or chard, optional

1 lb. ground beef

2 c. tomato sauce (if you’re buying one, try Rao’s – yum!)

*special equipment – this dish looks really pretty in ramekins, but if you don’t have any and don’t want to buy some, use a square Pyrex.

Heat oil in pan over medium.  Add onion and carrot and optional greens, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until softened.  Add meat and cook until no longer pink.  Heat oven to 450.  Add tomato sauce, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Divide filling among 4 ramekins, top with cut biscuit.  Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until biscuit is lightly browned.

Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Fettucine Alfredo

The key to this dish is the sauce, of course, and it’s so tasty and simple to make you will be scratching your head wondering why you used to buy the chalky jarred junk.  You can add whatever veggies and protein your family likes to this dish.  We used broccoli and leftover grilled chicken.  I also like to make this when I need to use up my milk.

Alfredo Scoop

Fettucine Alfredo for Four

1 lb. whole wheat fettucine (Barilla if you can find it)

1 stick butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. flour

2 chicken breasts, 1 lb. shrimp or sausage, chopped

About 1 cup of lightly steamed veggies, like broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, asparagus, etc.

8-10 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled

1 tsp. italian seasoning (optional)

2-4 tbsp. finely chopped parsley (optional)

3/4 c. freshly grated parmeggano reggiano

1/2 c. mozarella or provolone, grated (optional, but goood)

4c. milk or 3 c. milk 1 c. chicken stock

salt to taste

1 tbsp. freshly ground pepper or more

Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil.  If you’re not using leftovers, cook you chicken and lightly steam or sautee your veggies.  Salt your pasta water after it’s come to a boil, drop in pasta and cook according to package directions.

Melt the stick of butter in a large saucepan (4 qt.).  When melted, whisk in 1/2 c. flour, little by little until you have a pasty, but not dry, mixture.  Add liquids (milk/stock) and bring to a boil, whisking a lot at the beginning.  Watch this carefully, because milk kind of foams and rises rather than bubble and boil like water does.  By this time your milk mixture should be very nicely thickened, but still a little thin for topping noodles with.  The cheese will do the rest of the thickening.  After the milk has boiled a minute, remove from heat and add most of your cheeses (you can save a little to top your dish if you like).  At this point add salt, pepper and italian seasoning.

When pasta is done, drain (save a cup of water if you remember) return to pan, and mix with olive oil to prevent sticking.  Add cheese mixture, veggies, chicken.  If it’s too thick, add some of that reserved pasta water (chicken stock would also be fine if you forgot).  Toss with tongs.  Top with cheese and parsley to garnish.

Serve with your family’s favorite salad so you don’t eat so much and have leftovers!

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