Tag Archive for Oregano

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! 

White Bean Chicken Chili

Happy New Year!!! It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already upon us. We know that we were a bit off the grid in 2015, but one of our resolutions is to get back in the kitchen and bring you more fantastic recipes and cooking tips. It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, we have just too busy to blog about it!! Anyway, here is the first recipe of the New Year: White Bean Chicken Chili! I had a few people over on New Year’s Day and made three different types of chili…a) Traditional Chili b) White Bean Chicken Chili 3) Vegetarian Chili. They were all great, but the overall consensus was that this was the favorite because it was so different and not too spicy.  Don’t worry, the others will be posted in the days ahead!!! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 3-4 hours

Ingredients:

6 lbs. chicken, poached and shredded

4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

2 onions, finely chopped

2-4 oz. cans green chiles

6-15 oz. cans small white beans, rinsed, drained, & divided

12 cups chicken broth, divided

4 T. olive oil

1 T. dried oregano

1 T. cumin

Garnishes, if desired:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cilantro

Sour Cream

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large pot

Crock pot

Immersion Blender

Preparing White Bean Chicken Chili:

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté jalapeños and onions in oil for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Add shredded chicken, oregano, cumin and chiles. Mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add three cans of beans and 4 cups of broth. Using an immersion blender, mix well.  Add to chicken mixture and stir. Transfer to crock pot. Add remaining beans and broth. Put on low for 3-4 hours. Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro, if desired. 

White Bean Chicken Chili

Important Tips:

You can easily make the entire dish the day before and then just pour it into a crock pot  about 4 hours before you want to serve it. If you do this, put the crock pot on high instead of low since you are starting out with the ingredients being cold instead of at room temperature or warm.  

Meal Ideas:

I had made a bunch of traditional cornbread to serve with all of the chili. I had so much that I decided to turn some of it into jalapeño cheddar cornbread to go with the white bean chicken chili. It was a pretty great pairing if I do say so myself. 

Got Leftovers?:

Any leftovers can easily be frozen into individual sized portions with resealable freezer safe bags. 

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad is another recipe from Olives, Lemon and Za’atar. This is definitely a dish that is right up my alley! It’s a great compliment to any piece of chicken or lamb. Lay off the onions if you don’t like them…it won’t mess too much with the overall flavor of the dish. 

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

Ingredients:

1 pound of feta cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes (please splurge on GOOD feta for this)

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 c. fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons or to taste

Sea salt to taste

1 smal red onion, sliced into thin rings, optional

Preparing Feta Cheese Salad:

In a medium serving bowl, combine the feta and tomatoes with oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in oil, lemon juice and salt. Gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, oil and salt to taste. 

Feta Cheese Salad

Important Tips:

If you are buying crumbled feta in a plastic container, make another dish. In order for this to be as good as it is supposed to be, you really need some GOOD QUALITY feta! It’s worth it. I promise. 

Meal Ideas:

The options for feta cheese salad are endless. A few of my favorite ideas are 1) as a side dish to chicken kabobs 2) in a piece of warm pita bread 3) over lettuce to make a more “traditional” salad and topped with chicken kabobs…this is actually the best way, in my opinion!

 

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. 

Throwback Thursday – Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad

Today we are bringing back one of our more popular chicken recipes!

We love this Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad because it is light and fresh…perfect for this time of year! Whether you have your own herb garden (like Melissa) or buy them from your local grocery store (as Denise does), this is a delicious dish to make and enjoy on the deck with a nice glass of white wine!!

Lemon Thyme Chicken with Feta Herb Salad

By the way…Kim Crawford Sauvignon is now $9.99 at some local Costco stores :)!!!!  

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate it and didn’t do a bad job at it if I do say so myself! It’s very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):

Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Parsley, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained
Pepperoncini

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparing Middle Eastern Salad:

For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Middle Eastern Salad

Important Tips:

Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.

Variations:

You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!

Middle Eastern Salad