Tag Archive for Garlic

Traditional Chili

I have been making this variation one of my aunt’s traditional chili recipes for years. It is always a big hit for family and friends and very easy to make. I have never made it with 9 lbs. of beef before, but I have also never made chili for a huge crowd before. I would make it again using this much meat even if I had less people because I could easily freeze half of it to get us through the winter! It’s an easy recipe to cut in half if you want to. You can also change up the amounts of your spices, add more beans, less onion….the opportunities are endless! If it wasn’t gone so quickly, I would have taken a better picture of it in a bowl all dressed up with cheese and sour cream! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 2 1/2 -3 hours

Ingredients:

9 lbs. ground beef

3 onions, diced

6 T. olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 cans green chiles

3 10 oz. cans beef consommé

4 cans Rotel Chili Fixin’s

4 4oz. cans tomato paste

1 T. oregano

2 T. cumin

6 T. chili powder

3 cans kidney beans (1 drained, 2 undrained)

Garnishes (optional):

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Fritos (although the kids will say this is not an optional ingredient)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large Pot

Preparing Traditional Chili:

In a large pot, saute onion and garlic until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add meat and cook until done. Drain.  Return mixture to pot. Add chiles, consommé, Rotel Chili Fixin’s, tomato paste, oregano, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add beans. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Serve hot. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos, if desired. 

Chili

Important Tips:

The key to a good chili is to never rush it. The longer the flavors have to blend together, the better it will be! 

Variations:

You can easily substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef in this recipe. You just might need to add a little spice! 

Got Leftovers?:

As with all chili, this will keep for months in the freezer as long as you double bag it! 

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

When I was trying to figure out what type of vegetarian chili to make for New Year’s Day, none of the recipes I saw completely appealed to me. So what did I do? I combined several recipes and threw in a few extra ingredients for fun! The result was delicious…and spicy!! Consider yourself warned! What I love about this dish is that you can very easily make it your own depending on your specific tastes. Since it was New Year’s Day, I threw in some black-eyed peas and greens. When I make it again throughout the year, I likely won’t use the black-eyed peas and will add more of another type of bean. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30 min; Cook Time – 3 hours

Ingredients:

6 T. olive oil (better yet, garlic infused oil if you have it)

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

2 green peppers, seeded and chopped

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

4 zucchini, cut into cubes

1 can chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped

2 T. chili powder

2 T. dried oregano 

4-28 oz. cans diced tomatoes with liquid

1 can black beans, drained

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 can chiles

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 can black-eyed peas, drained

2 bags baby kale

Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large Pot

Preparing Vegetarian Chili:

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and next 5 ingredients. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chipotles AND the adobo sauce, oregano, and chili powder. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered for 60 minutes. Add all of the beans, corn, chiles and kale. 

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. 

Vegetarian Chili

Variations:

You can use whatever beans and greens you like. I used the black-eyed peas since it was New Year’s Day and every good Southern knows you need black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day for good luck! 

Got Leftovers?:

Double bag the leftovers in freezer safe resealable bags and it will last through the winter! 

Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Kabobs

I made these chicken kabobs for the first time a few weeks ago for a group of friends. Let me just tell you that there was not one piece left AND the first thing my son said the next morning was, “Is there anymore of that awesome chicken?” The recipe comes from a Middle Eastern Cook Book called Olives, Lemons, & Za’atar so there are some flavors and ingredients that you might not be used to. Don’t let that scare you away….give it a try!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10min; Marinate Time 3-8 hours; Cook Time – 15 min. 

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh lemon juice (about 8 lemons if they are juicy)

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

10 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. allspice

1 T. sea salt

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. paprika

4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 in. chunks

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Grill

Preparing Chicken Kabobs:

Whisk all ingredients together in bowl, except the chicken. Place chicken cubes in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and place in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours. 

Preheat grill over medium heat. Thread the chicken cubes onto skewers. Grill the chicken for 10-15 minutes, or until done, turning often. 

Chicken Kabobs

Meal Ideas:

There are a few things you can do with chicken kabobs. It’s easy to serve them with Syrian Rice and a green vegetable for a complete meal. The kabobs are also delicious when you put them in a piece of pita bread and top with some tatziki sauce!

Got Leftovers?:

This chicken is fantastic on a salad!

Vodka Pasta with Shrimp

Shrimp Vodka Pasta

Believe it or not, I made vodka pasta with shrimp for my family a few weeks ago. Melissa made me touch fresh shrimp recently and literally pull off its legs with my fingers so when I was buying shrimp for this recipe, clearly I was going the “already prepared frozen” route. The uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp looked too small. I wanted larger shrimp and the only option was cooked, peeled, tail on. Yeah me…I didn’t have to do ANYTHING except defrost it! Yes…one member of the family was irritated that she had to deal with tails herself, but when I told her she was lucky I don’t ever make her clean a whole chicken, she was good. My point in saying this is that you can easily use raw or frozen shrimp, precooked or uncooked for this particular recipe as it was delicious…or so I was told!! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 20 min. 

Ingredients:

9 oz. fresh refrigerated fettuccine

1 T. olive oil

12 shrimp (you can buy frozen that is already cooked and defrost it, or buy uncooked, peeled and deveined)

4 cloves of garlic, crushed, divided

1/3 c. vodka

1 1/2 c. mariana sauce

1/2 c. basil, chopped plus more for garnish, if desired

1/4 c. heavy whipping cream

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Preparing Vodka Pasta with Shrimp:

Cook pasta according to directions and drain. Set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and half of the garlic (if it’s already cooked and defrosted, you are just heating it up. If it’s raw, cook until done, about 4-5 minutes). Remove shrimp from pan. Add the rest of the garlic and cook for about one minute. REMOVE PAN FROM STOVE and add the vodka (pouring alcohol into a pan that is a directly over a flame could be a recipe for disaster. I did it once….needed baking soda to put the fire out and ruined the dish). Anyway, cook the vodka for about one minute. Add the marinara, basil, cream, salt and pepper.

Shrimp Vodka Pasta

Bring to a simmer. Return pasta and shrimp to pan and heat all the way the through. Serve hot!

Shrimp Vodka Pasta

Important Tips:

When cooking shrimp, remember that when the shrimp looks like a “C” it’s cooked. If it looks like an “O” it’s overcooked! 

Variations:

If you don’t like seafood, throw in some chicken instead of shrimp!

 

Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

As you can tell from the last couple of weeks, I’m trying to make a new soup at least once a week. It’s cold and soup warms you quickly from inside out. As I was looking at recipes, I found Martha Stewart’s Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup and decided to give it a try. I’ve never been a huge fan of tomato soup because I’ve always thought it was too thin. This was actually the prefect consistency! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 90 min.

Ingredients:

4 pounds plum tomatoes, halved
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more for thinning
2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Emersion Blender

Preparing Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss together tomatoes, onions, garlic and oil; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Bake until tomatoes are deep brown in spots and onions are soft, 45 minutes.
Transfer vegetables and all juices to a large dutch oven or heavy pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a rapid simmer.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Cook until slightly reduced, about 25 minutes.
Using an emersion blender, puree until smooth. (If you don’t have an emersion blender, working in batches, puree in a blender and return to pot).

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper. If necessary thin with additional chicken broth. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Martha Stewart's Roasted Tomato and Tarragon Soup

Meal Ideas:

This soup is delicious on it’s own, but I’m not going to lie…a nice toasty grilled cheese is a great compliment!

 

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto and Rosemary

Roasts and “elegant looking” meals don’t always have to be reserved for the weekends when you have more time to cook. I made this pork tenderloin with prosciutto on a school/work night last week for my family and it was a huge success. I had all of the ingredients on hand, it took virtually no time to prepare, and my family loved it. What more can you ask for? 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 35-40 min

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin

5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed plus 1 head of garlic, separated into individual cloves

1 1/2 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped plus 5 rosemary springs

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 T. Olive Oil, divided

6 slices of prosciutto (with the skin on)

fresh cracked pepper

Preparing Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Mix crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and 1 T. olive oil together in a small bowl.

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto and Rosemary

Rub garlic mixture over tenderloin and season with fresh cracked pepper. Wrap prosciutto strips around the pork, seam side down. Arrange rosemary sprigs on bottom of baking dish.

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto and Rosemary

Place the prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin on top of rosemary sprigs. Arrange garlic cloves around the pork.

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto and Rosemary

Drizzle with remaining 1 T. of oil. Cook for 40-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 Degrees. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto and Bacon

 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup

My friend Kayla is one my guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new recipes. Since we have very similar taste in soup, she usually gets half of what I prepare due to the large quantity that a single soup recipe typically makes.  After last week’s Southern Italian Chicken Soup, we were trying to brainstorm what kind of soup I haven’t tackled yet…and still keep it healthy. We found this White Bean and Tarragon Soup from Serious Eats (February 5, 2009). It doesn’t look like there is much to it, but I will tell it is delicious and filling! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 30 min.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

3 14 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed

3 bay leaves

2 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

5 scallions, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

1/4 fresh tarragon, chopped and divided in half

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Potato Masher

Preparing White Bean and Tarragon Soup:

In a large heavy soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the scallions and stew for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and half the tarragon leaves, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the beans are falling apart. Remove the bay leaves. Blend with potato masher until you have reached your desired consistency. If you like your soup smoother, use an emmersion blender.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the remaining chopped tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh black pepper, if desired. 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup

Variations:

Next time I might throw in some fresh kale or spinach. How can that possibly be bad, unless you don’t like leafy greens??!!!