Texas Chili Stuffed Shells

Texas Chili Stuffred Shells

Texas Chili Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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As some of you may or may not know I am an Eclectic cook because I just love different  types of cuisines and the flavours they bring to the table so the whole idea of Fusion cooking is very intriguing because you can blend your favourite recipes, ingredients, countries into one cohesive dish and blow the minds of your dinner guests….. all without breaking a sweat.

This is my version of Fusion because I have combined a very classic Texas dish, Chili, with an even more classic Italian dish, Jumbo Pasta Shells.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package Jumbo Shells
  • 2 pounds ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped Green Onions
  • 1 large Sweet Onion – rough chopped
  • 2 Cubanelle peppers – diced
  • 2 Poblano peppers – diced
  • Garlic cloves – fine chop
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken stock
  • 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 
  • Garnish with Sour Cream.

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot heat the oil and brown the ground beef. Drain off the grease.
  2. Add the  beef back to the pot, add the remaining ingredients, except the shells, stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 mins to 1 hour.
  3. Cook the shells as per the box instructions.
  4. Drain the shells and let cool so they are easier to handle.
  5. While the shells are cooling heat the oven to 375°.
  6. Ladle a thin layer of chili on the bottom of an 11 x 15 casserole dish. Stuff the shells with a small amount of chili and fill the casserole dish with the stuffed shells. Top with shredded cheese and green onions and place in the oven until the cheese has melted. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
  7. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

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Chili Cheese Fries

Chili cheese fries

Chili Cheese Fries

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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There are foods that North Americans eat that Europeans find really strange….. okay even some North Americans find strange. Things like Poutine, Ketchup Potato Chips, Root Beer and yes…. Chili Cheese Fries.

Now there was a time when Chili Cheese Fries were reserved for county fairs or cheap diners but they have seen a resurgence in popularity recently mainly due to celebrity chefs bringing this dish back into the spotlight because, as with everything else, “what was old is new again.” The other awesome thing with this recipe is that the chili part of this can be made a few days ahead of time and then frozen for when you need it.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 3 cups Chili – See Texas Style Chili for the recipe.
  • 1/2 block Old Cheddar – shredded.
  • 1 bag frozen French Fries or 4 – 6 fresh cut Yukon Gold Potatoes.
  • 3 Scallions – rough cut for garnish.
  • Sour Cream for garnish – optional.

Putting it all together:

  1. If using frozen fries cook them per the bag instructions. If using fresh toss the fries with Canola Oil, salt and pepper and place on a sheet tray in a 425° oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  2. While the fries are cooking heat the chili in a medium pot.
  3. To serve place the fries on a plate, top with the chili and cheese and garnish with the green onion and sour cream.
  4. Enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

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Stuffed Poblanos

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Stuffed Poblanos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
Orson Welles

 

I’m not a fan of traditional Stuffed Peppers mainly because the ones I’ve had usually contain too much tomato sauce and therefore I wind up with major indigestion due to the acid content in the dish. That being said I have to admit that I have always wanted to try my hand at making them just to see what the end result would be however, being who I am I of course have to add a little spin to the dish. I will also point out that this is not an original dish but I have added enough changes to make it my own.

Cooks note: I used Poblanos because they have a medium heat level without being to heavy handed but feel free to substitute whatever kind of pepper you wish keeping in mind that whatever pepper you use it should be as round as possible for ease of stuffing.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 large Poblano peppers – halved (cut north to south) and seeded
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground Pork
  • 1 10 ounce can of Black Beans
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 8 ounce can Niblets corn
  • 3/4 cup Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 2  tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of Granulated Onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle Powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried Parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground Black Pepper
  • pinch of Salt
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish (cilantro can be a substitute)
  • Sour cream for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl combine the pork, dry spices, black beans and corn. Cover and set aside for an hour to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan, add the pork mixture and cook until the pork is just done . Add the cream cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is nice and smooth. Pull from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Evenly fill the poblano halves with the pork mixture . Put in the oven until the poblanos have softened, about 30 minutes. Top with the shredded cheese and put back in the oven until melted and bubbling.
  5. Plate and garnish with the parsley and sour cream.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……….

                          Bon Appetit

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Grilled corn on the cob

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One of my all-time favorite sides during the BBQ season is corn on the cob.

There is something about that sweet earthy flavor that just brings out the best in any dish you might be making and besides it is also one of the least expensive items you can add to a BBQ menu. I purchased a half dozen large ears the other day for $1.99 and they were great.

Now for many years I have done my corn on the cob in the same way. Shuck the ear put it in boiling water and wait 10 to 15 minutes then slather it in butter, salt and pepper and go through a whole pile of napkins but in recent years that has changed as I am trying, note the word trying, to eat a little bit healthier.

My method for corn on the cob now is to grill it. You still get that great corn on the cob taste but with the added grill flavor and if, like me, you are trying to cut back on the butter and salt then do what I do and make it like Mexican street food and sprinkle Chili powder on it.

Ingredients

–         Half a dozen unshucked  ears of corn

–         Chili powder or butter, salt and pepper (or any seasoning you like)

Method

–         Without uncovering the corn remove the any visible silk

–         Soak the corn in a sink of cold water for approximately 1 hour

–         Heat your BBQ to 350 degrees

–         Place the corn on the BBQ and close the lid

–         Check the corn after approximately 7 minutes and rotate on the grill so it won’t burn to badly

–         Continue to monitor and rotate the corn for approx. 20 minutes.

Less time on the grill will give you a more crunchy cob so grill to your liking oh and— any leftover corn helps to make a killer Roasted Corn Salsa.

Bon Appetit

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