Friday, September 2, 2016

roasted red pepper and tomato soup with apple-bacon grilled cheese... 1 hour

the goods:

2 red bell peppers
3 heaping tablespoons frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion
3 cups chicken broth
2 roasted green peppers, jarred
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
sour cream, and minced chives, for serving

sliced sourdough bread
thinly sliced apple
cooked bacon
sliced sharp cheddar cheese

Roast bell peppers on a grill or over a gas cooktop until blistered and blackened in spots. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Peel peppers, remove stems and seeds and give them a rough chop. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring. Add tomatoes, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Cover, and boil over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Using an immersion blender, or doing it in small batches in your blender, puree soup just slightly (you still want it to have some texture). (If you are using your blender, puree only about half the soup.) Add corn and turn heat up to high for a couple minutes to heat through. Serve with sour cream and chives.

Make sandwiches: (I prepped all the sandwiches while the soup was bubbling, then grilled them up at the end while the soup cooled.) Butter the outside of 2 slices sourdough, On the unbuttered side, layer cheese, bacon, apple, and cheese. Top with other slice of bread, butter-side-up. Make as many as needed. Heat a skillet to medium. Cook sandwiches until cheese is melted and bread is golden and toasted. Serve with soup.

Monday, August 29, 2016

chicken enchiladas... 5 hours

the goods:

1/2 cup salsa
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 flour tortillas
2 cups enchilada sauce, divided
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream, diced tomato, diced, avocado, and fresh cilantro, for serving

Stir together the salsa, taco seasoning, garlic powder, and onion in a low cooker. Add chicken. Cover and cook until chicken shreds easily with a fork, 2 and 1/2 hours on high of 4 and 1/2 hours on low/ Shred chicken and stir to incorporate cooking liquid. Wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels, and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking pan. Place 1 heaping tablespoon sauce down center of tortilla. Then spoon about 1/4 cup shredded chicken down center, topped with a sprinkling of cheese. Roll tortilla up and place seam-side-down in pan. Repeat with remaining enchiladas. Spread remaining enchilada sauce on top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in the oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

turkey enchilada nachos... 25 minutes

the goods:

multigrain, scoop tortilla chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (10 ounce) enchilada sauce
a few dashes of hot sauce
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 can (7 ounces) refried beans
1/2 can (7 ounces) corn, drained
1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
1 tomato, chopped
sliced pickled jalapenos
chopped cilantro
Heat olive oil in a skillet, add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Stir in enchilada sauce and oregano. Cook, covered, until sauce is reduced by third. Season with hot sauce. Remove from heat.
Pour refried beans into a small saucepan, and warm.
Turn the oven on broil. AT the bottom of a cast-iron skillet arrange a layer of tortilla chips. Top with half the turkey mixture, half the refried beans, and half the cheese. Arrange another layer of chips and top with remaining turkey, refried beans, and cheese.
Broil until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes (keep and eye on it).
Remove from oven and top with tomato, avocado, jalapeno, and cilantro. Throw some more hot sauce on as needed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

honey-roasted chicken... 2 hours and 40 minutes

the goods:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Stir together salt, sugar, and 1 gallon of water in a large container. Submerge the chicken in the liquid, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together honey, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, and red pepper in a small bowl. Place a piece of aluminum foil (large enough to completely enclose the chicken) on a work surface; top with a large piece of parchment paper. Remove the chicken from the liquid, pat dry with a paper towel, and place in the center of the parchment paper. Gather the sides of the parchment and foil around the chicken, leaving the top of the bird exposed. Place the partially wrapped chicken in a roasting pan, and pour honey mixture over top. Wrap chicken tightly with the parchment and enclose with the foil. Roast in the oven for 2 hours.
Remove from oven and fold back foil and parchment. Pour pan drippings into a saucepan. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into pan drippings, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil until sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Baste chicken with sauce. Return chicken to oven, and bake, uncovered, basting from time to time, until the skin is deeply golden brown, about 30 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with remaining pan sauce.

Friday, August 19, 2016

grilled tenderloin and eggplant open-faced caprese sandwiches... 40 minutes

the goods:
1 pound beef tenderloin steaks, about 1-inch thick (or other similar steak)
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon steak rub (I used stagner)
1 medium-large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 slices sourdough bread
2 large tomatoes, sliced
8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves
balsamic vinegar

Bring steaks to room temperature, about 15 minutes while you preheat the grill to medium and slice all your veggies. Rub steaks with olive oil, then with steak rub on both sides. Clean and lightly oil hot grates. Grill steaks 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through until medium. Remove steaks from grill and allow to rest. Brush eggplant slices and bread slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through until tender. Toast bread until slightly crisp, 1-2 minutes. Thinly slice steaks against the grain. Layer the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, steak, and eggplant onto bread slices. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

kale salad with apples and creamy maple dressing... 25 minutes

the goods:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
8 ounces baby kale
1 granny smith apple, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Grill or saute chicken breast until cooked through and allow to rest while you prepare salad.
Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Place kale, apples,and carrot in a large bowl, toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to salad. Toss one more time and serve with cranberries.

Monday, August 8, 2016

bacon fried cheeseburgers with spicy aioli... 30 minutes

the goods:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dill relish
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce

1 pound ground chuck
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
sliced dill pickles
6 slices bacon, cut in half
4 brioche buns

Make the aioli by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. refrigerate until ready to use.
In a cast iron skillet, fry the bacon. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Divide chuck into 4 equal portions. Shape into burger patties and make a thumb-indention in the center of each patty. Season both sides of patties with salt and pepper. Fry the patties in the cast iron skillet that you cooked the bacon in, about 5 minutes on each side. Top with cheddar cheese, cover, and cook for 2 more minutes to melt cheese. Toast the brioche buns, then top with aioli, burger, bacon, pickles, and lettuce.