Chili – Simple and Delicious

Everyone loves Chili.  I make it quite a lot this time of year.  One thing I have been doing lately is grinding the meat.  I buy a 3# chuck roast.  I then have Kent grind it with the accessory for my stand up mixer.  We take 1/2 of the ground meat for hamburgers and other 1/2 for chili.  He likes to use the coarse grind.  Here is a very Simple and Delicious Chili that I make for a quick family meal.

Chili

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Ingredients

2# coarsely ground beef (you don’t have to do it yourself, you can buy coarse or regular ground beef. Also, I sometimes cut the chuck roast into bite size pieces instead of using ground meat.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large red or green  pepper, chopped
(One of each or you could throw in a jalapeno, poblano or whatever kind of peppers you want.  Depends on what I have on hand.)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 26 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans, drained (or any combo of beans)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1.  Using a Dutch oven (or a large pot) add 2 Tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat. When oil glistens add ground or bite sized pieces of meat in 2-3 batches. Brown meat, take out and set aside.
2.  Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil.  Add onions and peppers.  Add garlic and stir into mixture.
2.  Add cumin and chili powder along with the meat.  Mix well.
3. Add tomatoes, beans (I use different beans each time I make it.  2 cans is enough.) Add salt and pepper.
4.  Heat to boiling, turn down to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  (If the chili is not “saucy” enough for you add a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes.  You could also not drain one of those cans of beans, or  just add a little water or broth to thin to your liking.  We like our chili chunky.)

That is it.  Simple and Delicious!

Corn Chowder

Get some corn on the cob this weekend and make this Simple and Delicious chowder!  I bought way too many ears last week.  Decided to use them up with this recipe I found on Chowhound!

Corn Chowder

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Ingredients

2 ounces bacon, diced small (I used 3 ounces)
1 medium onion, diced small
3 cups fresh corn or frozen corn (I used fresh.  It was about 8 ears. It was about 4 cups of corn. Sliced kernels off cob.)
3 cups whole milk
1 pound russet potatoes, diced medium (bite size pieces.  I had small salad potatoes and those worked fine.)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, more as needed
1/2 cup heavy cream
Finely chopped chives, for serving (I did not have any chives.  Still DELISH!)

Directions

  1.  Place the bacon in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7-10minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a small paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion too the bacon fat left in  the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, place 1 cup of the corn and 1 cup of the milk in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, set aside.
  3. Increase the heat to medium high, add the corn milk puree, remaining corn and 2 cups of the milk, potatoes and measured salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through and the soup has thickend slightly, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cream and stir to combine.  Return to a simmer.  Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.  I added the bacon into the chowder.  You could just top with bacon bits in your bowl or not use at all.  Garnish with chives (if you have them!).

That’s it.  If you don’t want to make this weekend.  Slice the corn off the cob, place in freezer bags, place in freezer and use when the mood hits you on a nice fall or winter day.  Bring a little late summer into your October or January day!!

French Onion Soup

I have been making this recipe for years.  Not sure where I got the recipe. All I know is your house will smell fabulous while those onions are caramelizing.  Way better than any restaurant.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced (I like sweet onions like Vidalia.  I usually use 4-5 onions.)March 025
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon flour
1 – 32 ounce box/can beef broth
6 slices French bread
2-3 cloves garlic, split
2 -3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (you can use mozzarella too.  Any cheese that melts.  Gruyere is delicious though.)

Directions

  1.  Melt butter in large sauce pot over medium heat.
  2. Add next four ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 30-45 minutes or until onion is browned.
  3. Stir in flour and 2 Tablespoons broth.  Cook 1 minute.  Stir in remaining broth. March 029
  4. Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  5. About 15 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place break on baking sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  Rub each side of toasted bread with garlic.
  7. Ladle soup into six oven proof bowls or crocks. Place 1 slice of bread in each, sprinkle with cheese to cover.March 026  Bake 15 minutes or until cheese meltsMarch 027

That’s it.  Simple and very delicious!  Enjoy!!

Green Chili -Denver Local Fav

Super Bowl Sunday.  We put together a menu that offered delights from Denver and a little bit of the south (not sure Panther country) along with some Southwest/Midwestern flair. Scott and Kathleen live in Denver so I had a lot of help with that part of my menu.  Kathleen shared a Green Chili recipe she had from a Chili Cook Off she attended.  We all enjoyed this spicy dish and look forward to making it again!

Green Chili

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Ingredients

3 Tablespoons Oil (I used canola)
2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1/2 cubes
1 medium onion (I used a red onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced (you could use a can of diced if that is all you have.  I used 4 medium tomatoes.  I ended up blanching so I could peel the skin easier.)
**14 ounces roasted peppers OR 2 7 ounce cans of green chilies
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup chicken broth (you could add another cup of broth.  I thought 1 cup was enough.)

Directions

  1.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add pork and saute until browned.  (I had to do in batches.  You want to brown the meat not steam it.  If you overcrowd your pan, the meat steams.)
  3. Stir in onion and garlic.  Add flour and stir until all is blended together.
  4. Add tomatoes, green chilies, jalapeno, salt, pepper and sugar.  Stir until blended.
  5. Add chicken broth.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours or until pork is tender.

**NOTE:  I had 2 Poblano, 2 Anaheim and 2 Jalapeno.  I roasted all the peppers, whole in the oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes.  Took out of oven, placed in paper bag for 5 minutes.  Removed from bag, peeled skin, diced into small pieces.  I had 10 ounces of roasted peppers.  I ended up throwing in a 4 ounce can of green chilies.

This is Simple and Delicious.  ENJOY!

 

 

Tomato Soup – Simple and Delicious

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Splendid Table, this week.  She was interviewing Tom Douglas, a chef from Seattle.  While she was interviewing him he was making one of his favorite recipes; Tomato Soup.  That gave me the idea to make tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner tonight.  I went to my favorite store, Costco, to grab some artisan bread.  I picked up Rosemary Parmesan along with some Provolone cheese.  I had all the ingredients at home for the tomato soup.  This was a truly simple and delicious dinner.  All done under an hour. What an incredibly flavorful tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich!

Tomato Soup

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
5 cups canned whole tomatoes in juice (or 2-28 ounce cans)
1 cup water (I used beef broth)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed (I did 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon celery seed (I did not add this ingredient)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, cream, salt, red pepper flakes, celery seed, oregano, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.october 041

2. After 15 minutes, use your immersion blender to puree the tomatoes in the soup.october 042  Then bring to a simmer for another 5 minutes.  If you don’t have an immersion blender then you need to remove from the heat and puree in batches in the container of a blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat to a simmer, seasoning to taste with more salt and pepper.

3.  Serve the soup with a salad and/or your favorite sandwich.  I chose grilled cheese tonight.

Grilled cheese and tomato soup remind me of some lunches I had when I was little.  Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese with American cheese.  This is a grown up version and just as simple and delicious.  Enjoy!!

Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze

We enjoy a glaze on our ham.  I used this glaze at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We buy a Roundy’s ham from Copp’s, which is a local grocery store.  For many years I would buy the Honey Baked Ham from the Heavenly Ham store.  I bought a ham one day from Copp’s when it was on sale.  Hey, why not!  Well, now that is all we buy. Of course, I could try a Kirkland ham from Costco.  (I am a Costco fan!) 😉 For now, a Roundy’s ham with or without this glaze is Simple and Delicious!!

Ham Glaze

Ingredients

2 cups brown sugar
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
Juice of one lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (you can use yellow too.  I would use 1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons corn starch mixed with 4 Tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon clove (or not)

Directions

1.  Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan.  Mix well, heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.
2.  Pour some glaze over ham, 30 minutes before you will remove from oven.  You can put glaze you did not use in a bowl and serve at dinner.

Enjoy!

Beef Stew

It was midnight. I was checking out Pinterest and saw some slow cooker recipes, which reminded me of beef stew.  I remembered I had a 2 1/2 pound chuck roast in my freezer.  That thought got me thinking about what I could make for dinner the next evening.  I decided to take the chuck roast out of the freezer, get up a little earlier the next morning and make beef stew.  It took me 30 minutes to get this ready this morning.  I either use my crock pot or dutch oven for this recipe.  If you decide to make before going to work the crock pot works.  If you have a couple hours on a Sunday then the dutch oven works.  Either way this beef stew is simple and delicious!!

Beef Stew

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2-3 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions (2 cups), chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces beef broth or stock (If I don’t have beef I use chicken)
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
4 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
4 large carrots, sliced
1 cup frozen peas

Directions
(If slow cooking in dutch oven, preheat your oven to 300 degrees)

1.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in 12 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chuck roast.  Place chuck roast in utensil.  Brown meat, 5 minutes each side.  Take meat out of pan and place on plate.
2.  Add 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet or dutch oven.  Add onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, until opaque.
3.  While onions are cooking, cut the chuck roast into 1 1/2 inch bite size pieces.
4.  Add garlic to onion and saute 30 seconds.  Add 3 Tablespoons flour and mix well together.
5.  Add 32 ounces of broth and thyme. Mix together, add meat.
6.  If using dutch oven, bring to simmer and then put dutch oven with lid on in 300 degree oven for one hour. After one hour add potatoes and carrots, cover and return to oven.  Simmer until meat is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  Remove stew from oven.
7.  If using crock pot you can add the carrots and potatoes and cook on low 8 hours.  Add the peas last 60 minutes of cooking time.  I do not add the carrots and potatoes until 6 hours after cooking on low.  I then add the veggies and turn up to high for 2 hours.  I add the peas the last 30-45 minutes of cooking in the crock pot. (I don’t like my veggies mushy so that is why I do that.)

That is it.  So, you can use your dutch oven (which I do often) or your crock pot.  Serve with a green salad and biscuits!!

Mexican Barley Soup with or without Marinated Steak

I was on Netflix and watched a Rachel Ray show.  There were 5 meals she made with different grains.  Kent and I enjoy barley so I thought I would start with that one.  This soup is spicy and flavorful with or without the marinated steak.  It is also Simple and Delicious!

Mexican Barley Soup

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Ingredients

1 cup pearled barley
Salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
pepper
4 cups beef stock (I used beef broth.  You could use chicken broth/stock)
2- 15 ounce cans stewed tomatoes (you could use diced tomatoes, too)
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley
Lime wedges/Worcestershire sauce/hot sauce

Directions

1.  Bring a large pot of water (I used 5 cups of water)  with 2 teaspoons of salt, to a boil.  When boiling add 1 cup barley.  Cook until barley is tender, 20-30 minutes.  (I tasted it as it was boiling and it took just under 30 minutes for me. )  Drain and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. (Store in refrigerator if you will not be using the soup this day.  Barley can be made ahead and used one day during the week.  Do NOT add the barley to the soup.  It is best if you add the barley to your soup the day you will serve it.)January 035
2.  In a dutch oven or stock pot, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, celery, jalapeno peppers, onion, bell pepper and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until softened, about 7-10 minutes.  Add the broth, tomatoes and cilantro (or parsley – for those who don’t like cilantro.  Sometimes I don’t use either.).  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  (Serve now or store in container and serve later in the week)
3.  Whether you serve now or later in the week add the barley to the soup the day you serve it.  The ratio I used was, 1/2 cup of barley in a bowl and poured 1 cup of soup over it.  That was a perfect bowl of soup.  You can add slices of marinated steak to the soup also. January 004 Some lime, dash of Worcestershire sauce and/or hot sauce and YUM!!

Marinade for Steak

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Ingredient

1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
1/4 Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Olive Oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce (We like some heat.  If you don’t like heat, don’t add the sauce)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1 pound skirt steak (I used NY Strip.  Use whatever steak works for you!)
Kosher salt and pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients and whisk together.  Put salt and pepper both sides of steak.  Put in plastic bag, add marinade, mix together, seal bag and store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.  This is an awesome marinade and you can use it anytime.  Simple and Delicious for the soup too!!

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Something you could make when you got home from work.  Add some rice or noodles with a salad and some rolls.  Fabulous meal.  Kent added some brown rice to his bowl.  I ate as is.  That was good enough for me!

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 #  chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 potato, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
32 ounce chicken broth
Salt and pepper

1.  Saute chicken breast in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Remove and set aside.
2.  Add another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrot. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute until onions are opaque.
3.  Add garlic and let saute for 30-60 seconds
4.  Add back in the chicken with potatoes and chicken broth.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
5.  Add parsley, let simmer 5 more minutes
6.  Serve with salad and rolls.

Simple and Delicious, wouldn’t you agree?

 

 

Simple Marinade

This is one of my favorite marinades.  Simple and Delicious.

Simple Marinade

1/3 cup olive oil (or any oil you care to use)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or any vinegar you want to use)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or lime, orange, pineapple – pick a juice any juice!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combination of herbs (I use fresh basil, rosemary and thyme.  You can use whatever you want; cilantro, parsley, oregano – so many to play with!)

Whisk first 5 ingredients.  Place meat or vegetable in plastic bag or container of your choice.  Add marinade, along with herbs.  I marinade at least 2 hours.  Lots of times I will do in the morning before work and let set all day in the refrigerator.  Very simple and delicious grilled, baked or fried.  Whatever you desire!  Enjoy!!