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

Potsticker Noodle Bowls

Potsticker Noodle Bowl

Potsticker Noodle Bowls

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Potstickers, Pierogies, Gyoza, or simply Dumplings all have one thing in common…… they are pieces of dough stuffed with very tasty fillings and then fried to perfection. Serve them with an awesome dipping sauce and you have a fantastic meal or even a simple appetizer and since my dough making skills are less than stellar I sought out a different way of bringing those awesome flavours together in a dish and so we have Potsticker Noodle Bowls.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 8 ounces Rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground Pork
  • 2 Eggs
  • 14 ounce bag Coleslaw
  • 7 green Onions – rough chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soya sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sambal
  • 2 teaspoons Fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated Ginger
  • White pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions.
  2. In a non reactive bowl mix together the soy sauce, chicken broth, rice vinegar, sambal, fish sauce, and ginger and set aside.
  3. In an other non reactive bowl whisk together the eggs and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet and add the pork and the white pepper and stir fry until cooked through.
  5. Add coleslaw and green onions and continue to cook until the coleslaw starts to wilt. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Make a well in the center of the wok or skillet, add eggs and scramble. Toss with the stir fry to combine.
  7. Drain the noodles and add to the wok stir frying for 1 minute.
  8. Add sauce and continue to stir fry until the noodles are tender.
  9. Plate and enjoy.

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

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

Pork and Pancetta Pasta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily so it’s no wonder there are more ways to prepare it than one can shake a stick at but what I have found over the years is that Italian restaurants really only do a tomato sauce or cream sauce with the pasta dishes they put out all the while ignoring other ways of serving it. So with that in mind I decided to do this pasta dish “naked” ( no not me… the pasta) meaning I didn’t use a sauce and it was a huge hit.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1 large package Compliments™ All Natural Fettucini
  • 2 pounds boneless Pork Loin – cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 12 ounces diced  Pancetta
  • 3 large Shallots – diced
  • 1 large Yellow pepper – diced
  • 1 large Red pepper – diced
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 3 Garlic cloves – fine dice
  • 2 Shallots – diced
  • 2 medium Tomatoes – diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the Pancetta until just brown.
  2. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add the pork to the same pan and brown all over.
  3. Add back the pancetta and remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until the pork is tender.
  4. While the pork is simmering bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, plate and top with the pork and pancetta.

Cooks note: Fresh pasta cooks incredibly fast so keep an eye on it otherwise it will go mushy. 

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

Until next time…….

                            Bon Appetit

Spanish Pork Stew with Potatoes

Spanish Pork Stew With Potatoes

Spanish Pork Stew with Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Sometime ago I bought a half boneless Pork Loin and broke it down for various dinners. One of the things I did was to cube some of it, season it Spanish style and then vacuum seal for later use. Well today became “later use” and this is an awesome one pot dish that is sure to please everyone.

Here is how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 4 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 pounds Pork Loin – cubed.
  • 8 ounces Sweet Chorizo – cubed
  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour
  • 1 medium Red Onion – diced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – rough chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes – drained
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 cup Sliced Pimento
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Granulated Onion
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • chopped Parsley for garnish – optional

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large non reactive bowl place the pork and mix in the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic and onion and mix well. Cover and refrigerate. overnight if possible, 30 mins minimum.
  2. Heat the oven to 350°.
  3. In a large dutch oven heat half the Canola Oil and brown half the pork removing to a separate bowl when done. Repeat with the other half of the pork.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of the chicken stock into the dutch oven and scrape up the brown bits (Sucs). Add the onion and garlic and let cook for about 5 mins. Add the butter and when melted add the flour and mix well.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn off the heat, cover and put in the oven for 90 mins. Remove the Bay leaves.
  7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with Parsley and serve with crusty bread.
  8. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……..

                          Bon Appetit 

 

Five Spice Pork with Pineapple Salsa

Five Spice Pork

Five Spice Pork with Pineapple Salsa

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This particular recipe originally was in Chatelaine magazine but as with most recipes I come across I have made a slight adjustment to it based on the ingredients I had in the house and the varying tastes of those in the family.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 Pork Loin medallions
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Low Sodium Soya Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sambal
  • 1 tsp Five Spice powder
  • 2 cups diced Pineapple
  • 2 medium Tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped Red Onion
  • 1 medium Red Pepper – diced
  • 1 medium Green Pepper – diced
  • 1/4 chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the pork in a large non reactive bowl with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Mix the next five ingredients in a separate container, pour over the pork, mix well, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. For the salsa combine all the remaining ingredients in a non reactive bowl, mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. To cook the pork heat some oil in a large pan and fry for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°.
  5. Serve over rice with the pineapple salsa.
  6. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

Pork and Plums

Pork and Plums

Pork and Plums

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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I stole this particular recipe from Martha Stewart and I’m glad I did because it turned out really really good and the added bonus is that it is a “one pot” meal which of course simplifies cleanup.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 pound Pork Tenderloin – cut thin
  • Plums cut into wedges
  • 1 medium Red onion – sliced
  • 2 Green onions – chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan.
  2. While the oil is heating season the pork with the salt, pepper and garlic.
  3. Fry the pork, in batches, until just tender. About five minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pan saute the onions and plums until just tender about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and continue cooking for about an other 5 minutes.
  5. Add back the pork and toss well, garnish with the parsley and enjoy.

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

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit

Brunswick Stew

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Brunswick Stew

  • Servings: 12 -14
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Stews, soups and casseroles are all “yucky weather” type dishes because they warm you up from the inside out and allow you to thumb yer nose at the cold, wet and otherwise cruddy stuff going on outside the window.

I like the traditional soups and stews….. butternut squash, potato and leek soups  along with chicken and beef stews….. but I like to try different types of stews as well and so I decided to try this one which if we went traditional would mean using things like rabbit and squirrel and since I can’t use rabbit (I would be shot if I did) and I would never use “tree rat” (that’s squirrel kids) I opted for pork and chicken as the protein.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Pork shoulder – cubed
  • 2 pounds Chicken thighs – cubed
  • 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Butter
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 large White Onion – diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Baby potatoes – quartered
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 1 19 ounce can Diced tomatoes (liquid as well)
  • 3 cups frozen Corn kernels
  • 3 cups cut Green Beans
  • 3 teaspoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups Smokey BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or Stock pot and brown the pork and chicken removing to a large bowl when done.
  2. Melt the butter in the same pot and saute the onions and garlic for about five minutes. Add in the flour and whisk well.
  3. Pour in the Worcestershire, chicken stock, yellow mustard and BBQ sauce and stir well.
  4. Add back the meat and the remaining ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the meat and potatoes are tender, about 50 minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasonings if needed
  7. Ladle into a bowl and serve with some crusty bread for sopping up the juice.

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

Until next time…..

                          Bon Appetit

Souvalaki Pork Stir Fry

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Souvalaki Pork Stir Fry

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Anyone who has ever had Greek food has at one time or another had Souvalaki and those who make it at home know it can be rather labour intensive that is why this time I decided to make it into a stir fry along with some Greek style rice.

The main thing to remember with Souvlaki whether Pork or Chicken is it does not take long to cook and it can easily become dry.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds boneless Pork loin chops – sliced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons  Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano (Greek if you can get it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Tumeric
  • 1 medium White Onion – diced
  • 1 each Yellow, Red and Orange Pepper – sliced
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 English Cucumber – diced
  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • Sour Cream for garnish

Putting it all together.

  1. Mix together the pork, garlic, oregano, 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and put in a seal-able bag in the refrigerator for about 1 hr
  2. When the pork has marinated for about 45 mins preheat your oven to 350°
  3. When the pork has finished  marinating heat half the remaining oil in a dutch oven and add the onion cooking for about three minutes. Mix in the rice and Tumeric making sure to coat the rice well. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Take off the heat and put in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. In a wok or a large fry pan heat the remaining oil on medium high and flash fry the pork. Pull the pork from the wok, add the peppers and garlic and saute for about four minutes. Add back the pork and continue cooking for about another 4 minutes.
  6. Plate the rice and top with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
  7. On the other half of the plate place the pork and peppers and top with sour cream.
  8. Enjoy.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit

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

Spicy black eyed pea and Kale soup

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Spicy black eyed pea and Kale soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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“I feed on good soup, not beautiful language.”

Moliere

I couldn’t agree more. Soup is one of those foods that just seems to transcend the everyday. Feeling sick? Have some soup. Down in the dumps? Have some soup. Snuggling with a good book on a cold day? SOUP!!!!!!!!! (do you get the idea I like soup??)

I happened to find this recipe on the net and like so many other things I could not leave it alone and so I’ve made some changes to the original and a couple of those changes were the addition of Sweet Potato and a Smoked Pork hock. I chose these two additions because the sweet potato adds another level of flavour and I like the bit of smokiness the pork hock adds and since the pork hock has been smoked and essentially cooked it only really needs to be heated through hence the shorter cooking time on this one.

One other point on this soup is that because of the kale and celery (vegetables) and the black eyed peas (protein and fiber) this is a healthy soup.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping List:

  • 2 19 oz tins of Black eyed peas – drained and rinsed
  • 1 1 1/2 pound Smoked Pork hock
  • 1 15 oz can diced Sweet Potato
  • 3 Celery stalks – chopped
  • 1 medium Onion – diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 large bunch of Kale – torn
  • 1 cup Cremini mushrooms – quartered
  • 8 cups Vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Cook the onions for about three minutes.
  3. Shallow slice the skin and fat of the pork hock.
  4. Place the pork hock in the pot with the onions and add the vegetable broth.
  5. Add the celery and garlic and bring the pot to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and add the dry spices.
  7. Simmer until the skin of the pork hock has opened where you sliced it.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients except the Kale and continue simmering.
  9. Remove the skin and fat from the hock.
  10. Remove the meat from the bone and die into bite sized pieces.
  11. Add the pork back to the soup.
  12. Mix in the kale and simmer until the kale has wilted.
  13. Add salt and pepper and adjust the other seasonings if needed.

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

Until next time………..

                               Bon Appetit