Thursday, October 31, 2013

Simple Tried and True Texas Chili


My daughter has a tradition of Halloween at her house with Frito pie and all the trimmings.  I volunteered to make the chili today and this is the recipe that I adapted to my taste.Simple Tried and True Texas Chili  I added tomatoes and beef stock  instead of water. I can't imagine chili without tomatoes.  I'm just saying. So the recipe that follows is with my variations.

Printable Version
3-4 pounds of beef, chuck or round
1/2 pound of bacon
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
4 cloves garlic (optional) I love garlic so I added it
2 cans tomatoes (any kind--whole, (broken-up) diced, stewed
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
1. Dice the bacon and cook in a large pot until crispy, but not overdone. Scoop it out and set aside.
2. Cook the ground meat in the bacon fat until cooked through. Scoop out the meat and add to the bacon.
3. Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon fat. You may take some of the fat out, but as the author says, "it won't be true Texan at that point.
4. When onions are soft add the cumin, chile powder, and paprika and cook briefly.
5. Return the meat, cover with tomatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.
6. Let simmer for several hours. At this point, I place it all in my crock.  I will let it simmer all day and take it to my daughter's for tonight's Halloween festivities. - S-c-a-r-r-y good!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I have a friend who is gluten intolerant. It was my assignment to make a dessert for a weekend retreat where she would be present. This is what I decided to make and it turned out really well.
One of the ladies commented that we might as well spread this on our hips because that is where this would end up.  She is probably right.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (I used crème fraiche
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting the cake

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and dust with cocoa powder
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the bittersweet chocolate and stir until melted and smooth; remove from the heat.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder; whisk in the chocolate mixture.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until puffed and set, 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for one hour. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before unmolding.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the crème fraiche and confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Dust the cake with confectioners' sugar and serve with the whipped cream.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Heroin Chicken

This is a recipe that I found on Pinterest. We both enjoyed it very much.  I only cooked it 25 minutes and it was perfect, but I think my oven cooks hotter than is normal.

4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons dried parsley (I only had fresh and it worked fine)
2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves
3 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup melted butter
It didn't call for it, but I think it needed about 1 teaspoon salt

1. First preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
2. Combine the grated cheese and the seasonings. Line a shallow baking pan with foil (Do not omit this step, or you'll still be scrubbing the pan for days)
3. Melt the butter in a shallow bowl or pan
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the butter, and then into the seasoned cheese, coating well.
5. Arrange the chicken in the foiled lined pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes. (Mine was done in 25 minutes.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Grilled Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

This recipe comes from by Jennifer Segal.She adapted it from Curtis Stone's What's for Dinner?

We had enough left-over to have again later in the week.  Really liked the dipping sauce.  There might be some other dishes that I could serve this with sometime soon.

Printable Version
Ingredients for the Meatballs:
1 large egg
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Ingredients for Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
1 cup plain low-fat or whole milk Greek yogurt (do not use non-fat)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from one lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions for the Meatballs:
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 500 degrees).
2. Mix together the egg, garlic, cumin,l allspice, cilantro, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the ground beef and panko and mix with your hands until well combined
3. Using a 1/3 cup measure, for 8 disc-shaped meatballs, (They will dome slightly on the grill, forming nicely rounded meatballs.)
4. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over the grates several times until glossy and coated. Grill the meatballs, covered, for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned on the exterior and no longer pink in the center. Transfer the meatballs to a serving plate and let rest for 3 minutes. Serve with the yogurt sauce.
Instructions for Yogurt Sauce:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Buttermilk Spoonbread

This is a very light souffle'-like cornbread. I liked it much better than cornbread because of its lightness. This will become my go-to cornbread. This recipe is from Nancy Vienneau -- a food writer in Nashville, Tenn.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow or white cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 4 cup souffle' or casserole dish
2. Warm buttermilk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cornmeal. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter and salt. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Whisk egg yolks into cornmeal mixture. Add green onions and Cheddar cheese. Stir well.
4. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add to cornmeal mixture, a little at a time, folding gently to avoid deflating.
5. Scrap mixture into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until puffed, golden brown and set. Serve immediately.