Tag Archive for Onion

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! 

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

I was look through an old Food and Wine magazine recently and found this Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce recipe. It was a great way to jazz up a traditional piece of grilled chicken without a lot of work!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 25 min.

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 pounds)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
3 medium tomatoes—halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Salt

Preparing Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce:

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a medium baking dish, brush the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of the oil and rub with the rosemary. Season with pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Mushroom Sauce

Cover partially and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes.
Season the chicken with salt and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
Season the mushroom sauce with salt and pepper and spoon onto plates. Slice the grilled chicken breasts on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the chicken over the mushroom sauce and serve.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

 

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili

The soup I originally planned to make last week was black bean soup. However, once my taste tester tried it, she said I needed to call it black bean bean chili instead because it had the consistency of chili, not soup. If you want it more soupy, just don’t use the emersion blender. 

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

Ingredients:

1 package of sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)

1 c. boiling water

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 ancho chiles in adobe sauce, diced

2 T. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 c. water

1 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (undrained)

3 15 oz. cans black beans (2 undrained, 1 drained)

Sour cream (for garnish, if desired)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Emersion Blender

Preparing Black Bean Chili:

Place sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Add boiling water and cover. Set aside. 

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add ancho chiles and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cumin, water and crushed tomatoes with the juice. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add black beans and continue simmering for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Black Bean Chili

Drain and chop the sun dried tomatoes. Add to the soup and cook for 10 more minutes. Using your emersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. 

Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. 

Black Bean Chili

 

 

Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Lentil soup with fresh herbs is the kind of thing that you eat and you think to yourself “I am eating a bowl full of health.” There is no guilt in this soup whatsoever and it is absolutely amazing. Of course, you do need to like lentils otherwise this soup isn’t for you! If you’re not into kale or leafy greens, just don’t add that ingredient…the soup will still be delicious without it! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. fresh tarragon, chopped

1 T. fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp. sweet paprika

5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

7 c. vegetable broth

2 c. lentils

2 bay leaves

2 c. kale, torn into bite sized pieces (or other leafy green of your choice)

 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Fresh ground pepper

Preparing Lentil Soup with Fresh Herbs:

Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil.

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Sauté the onion and carrots for about 8-10 minutes or until onions have browned. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, oregano and paprika.  Sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in kale until it wilts. 

Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

Important Tips:

Fresh herbs really are the key to this soup. It will be good, but not amazing with dried ones. 

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

I think I have already established the fact that when it’s cold, I make soup! Now that my family eats homemade chicken noodle soup, I thought I’d go out on a limb and make this Southern Italian Chicken Soup that I found in Southern Living. I loved everything about this soup and it was my lunch for days. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 50 minutes of hands on time

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced 
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped 
1 garlic clove, minced 
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
6 cups chicken broth 
1 (15.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 (6- to 8-oz.) skinned and boned chicken breasts 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
2 cups sliced fresh okra
1 (15.5-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini 
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Dutch Oven

Preparing Southern Italian Chicken Soup:

1. Sauté first 4 ingredients in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Cook in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Cool slightly (about 5 minutes); cut into 1-inch pieces. (NOTE: When I made the soup, I actually used poached and shredded chicken since I already had some on hand). 

3. Add okra, black-eyed peas, and chicken to Dutch oven.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until okra is tender.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Add tortellini, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until tortellini is done. Serve with Parmesan.

Southern Italian Chicken Soup

Variations:

I might throw in some fresh spinach or kale next time just for fun. 

Meal Ideas:

As with any chicken soup, it goes nicely with a hot grilled cheese sandwich!

 

Mexican Spinach Dip

My sister and I are always looking for new appetizers to make. She turned me on to a very similar version of this Mexican Spinach Dip a few months ago. I’ve made it a couple of times and it is always a huge hit! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30 min.

Ingredients:

1 10 oz package of chopped spinach, thawed & drained

1 8 oz. package of light cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 c. chopped white or sweet onion

1/4 c. seeded, chopped jalapeño

2 cans Original Rotel, 1 drained, 1 undrained

14 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend

1/3 c. sour cream

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 package of tortilla ships

Preparing Mexican Spinach Dip:

Preheat 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Turn into a baking or casserole dish. Bake 30 min. or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortillas chips. 

Mexican Spinach Dip

Variations:

If you want to add some extra heat, use more jalapeños or a spicier pepper. You can also use “hot” Rotel!

Got Leftovers?:

This dip actually heats up very well.