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

Hash

 

Breakfast hash

Hash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Was out of town visiting friends for the weekend when the Canadian weather decided it was going to dump a surprise on us….. Freezing Rain. Now for those of you who are not familiar with this phenomenon it simply means that the rain freezes on the ground and turns everything into a skating rink thereby making travel of any kind rather treacherous but it also means that if you have not made it to the grocery store you could be limited to meal ideas and since hash is simply a base of potatoes and onions together with whatever else you want to add it is a quick and easy solution to breakfast or dinner.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • Yukon Gold potatoes – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 small Yellow Pepper – diced
  • 1 small Red Pepper – Diced
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • Fresh ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Canola Oil
  • Parsley for garnish

Putting it all together: 

  1. In a medium pot of water par boil the potatoes until just fork tender, about 10 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a fry pan and add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 mins. Add the potatoes and mix well.
  3. Add in the seasonings and Worcestershire and cook for about 5 mins more turning it over once.
  4. Top with the over easy eggs, garnish with the parsley and enjoy.

Cooks note: There is an old line cooks trick for making over easy eggs. Once the eggs have been cracked in the pan or on the flat top cover them with a pot lid until cooked.

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

Until next time…….

                           Bon Appetit 

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast III

Avocado Toast

  • Servings: 2 - 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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When it comes to snack food most people think of potato chips, popcorn and that kind of thing and I admit that I do the same thing however I wanted something different and healthy this time so in searching the pantry I found some Avocados and decided they would be perfect in a snack and they were.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados – pitted and removed from the skin
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 small Shallots – diced
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes – sliced
  • 2 ounces of Capers
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Small Baguette – sliced on the bias

Putting it all together:

  1. In a medium non reactive bowl mash the Avocado with a fork until just slightly chunky.
  2. Mix in the garlic and shallots and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. Toast the baguette slices and lightly brush them with the Canola oil, spread on the Avocado and top with the tomatoes and capers.
  4. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but 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 

 

Ground Beef Stew With Mashed Potatoes

 

Ground Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes

Ground Beef Stew With Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The idea for this dinner came from a conversation I had with my wife where we were reminiscing about the old days and the types of things we used to have for dinner. Now my wife, being born in Manchester England, had a lot of things that were typical in a British household…. Fish and Chips, Lamb Chops, Shepherds Pie just to name a few but there was one that stuck in my head and is the inspiration for this dish….. Ground Beef Gravy With Mashed Potatoes and it is something my late Mother-In-Law loved to make.

This recipe is my version of this old time favorite and I hope you enjoy it.

Cooks note: This is a budget friendly recipe. It fed 6 for less than $20.00.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3/4 cup Beef stock
  • 4 – 6 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 Yukon Gold Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 4 Garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium White Onion – chopped
  • 1 26 ounce bag of frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cups Milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the potatoes until just fork tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef in a large frying pan.
  3. When browned remove the ground beef, drain the grease and add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add back the beef and mix in the vegetables, tomatoes, Worcestershire, beef stock and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15 mins.
  5. Drain the potatoes and mash with the butter and milk.
  6. Plate the mashed potatoes and top with the stew.
  7. Enjoy.

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

Until next time………

                           Bon Appetit 

Schnitzel on a Bun

 

 

 

Schnitzel on a Bun ii

Schnitzel on a Bun

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a very classic and iconic German dish that goes by many names and is present in many cuisines around the world…. Weiner Schnitzel in Vienna, Jagerschnitzel (hunters schnitzel) in Germany and Chuleta in Colombia. 

Schnitzel is made by pounding meat thin, putting it through a breading station and then frying it until crispy. It is traditionally served with a lemon wedge and either potato salad,  boiled potatoes with parsley and butter or, as is the case in Germany, Spatzle. Here in North America it is not uncommon to find it served on a bun with tomatoes and Sauerkraut alongside french fries but since I can’t stand Sauerkraut I used Coleslaw instead

However you choose to do it this is one awesome dish that is sure to please.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 half Pork Loin (about 4 pounds), trimmed of fat and sliced into 1/2 inch thick cutlets.
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cups Flour
  • 3 Eggs plus 3 tbsp Water
  • 3 Lemons – quartered
  • 10 – 12 Lettuce leaves
  • 2 large Tomatoes
  • 3 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 10 – 12 Crusty rolls
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • German Mustard or a Grainy Mustard (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the cutlets between two pieces of wax paper and, using a meat mallet, pound until 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Using three shallow pans set up your dredging station by placing the flour in one, breadcrumbs in the second and the egg and water in the third.
  3. Season the flour with salt, pepper and garlic.
  4. Mix the egg and water until well blended.
  5. Mix the Breadcrumbs and Parmesan until well incorporated.
  6. Heat about a half inch of oil in a large pan
  7. Taking the pork dredge in the flour, dip in the egg and cover with breadcrumbs shaking off the excess.
  8. Shallow fry the pork until golden brown on both sides and set on paper towels to drain.
  9. Toast the inside of the crusty roll and build the sandwich by placing lettuce on the bottom topped with the schnitzel and tomato.
  10. Spread mustard on the top bun and plate.

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

Until next time……….

                           Bon Appetit

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

Moroccan Chicken Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Looking out the window today and seeing the snow swirling about got me thinking of exotic climates where the only thing swirling around is the ice in my glass. Now, as with most of you, I doubt I will ever make it to some of these places so I will settle for visiting them through their food.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Red Onions quartered and sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 sweet Green Peppers rough chopped
  • 1 28 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped Green Olives
  • 12 ounces cooked Orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cayenne powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish.

Putting it all together:

  1. In a bag toss the flour and chicken until coated
  2. Heat the oil in a non stick skillet and sear the chicken until browned on both sides. About 6 minutes and transfer to a plate.
  3. Cook the onion in the skillet for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne and ginger; cook 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt. Add the chicken; simmer covered, 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in peppers, raisins, olives and chickpeas: simmer, stirring, 15 minutes, until peppers are tender and the chicken is no longer pink near the bone.
  6. Serve over Orzo.

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

Until next time……

                           Bon Appetit 

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Tasty Thursdays around the old homestead have kind of warped into “Pick a country and do one dish from that country”. How we got to the point of Hungarian Goulash is a bit of an inside joke however it works for tonight as I have, and I hate to admit it, never made this classic Hungarian dish before and because I haven’t I Googled it and decided to use this recipe which comes from Taste of Home Magazine with a very slight adaption from yours truly.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Stew Beef – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Beef stock
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 pounds Pappardelle noodles
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1 10 ounce can Aylmers Original Accent tomatoes
  • 1 large White Onion – peeled, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 medium Yellow Pepper – rough diced
  • 1 medium Red Pepper – rough diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 6 tbsp Paprika
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Fresh Parsley – chopped for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees.
  2. Toss the stew beef in the 1/4 cup of flour shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat the Canola oil in a medium sized stock pot and brown the stew beef in batches and set aside.
  4. To the stock pot add the butter, onions, garlic and peppers and saute for about 4 minutes. Remove the onion and pepper mix and deg-laze the pot with some of the Beef stock making sure to scrape up the Sucs (the little brown bits on the bottom of the pot).
  5. Add back the onions, peppers and beef mixing well. Add the remaining beef stock and the Aylmer tomatoes stirring well.
  6. Mix in the remaining flour and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or until the beef is tender.
  7. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions
  8. Add the sour cream to the Goulash and heat through.
  9. Drain the noodles, plate and top with the Goulash.
  10. Garnish with Parsley

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

Tuscan Style Spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

 

Tuscan style spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Tuscan style spaghetti with chicken and bacon

As someone who cooks on a daily basis every once in a while I run into the “cooks” version of Writer’s Block and have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner and as any seasoned cook knows this can be very frustrating so when I ran into this particular issue tonight I turned to the Internet and searched for some inspiration and “what do you know”…. I found some.

I stole this particular recipe from Delish.com and I modified it ever so slightly and to say it was a hit would be an understatement so thank you Delish for the inspiration.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 ounces of Spaghetti
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breast – sliced into strips
  • 6 ounces Pancetta – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced Olives
  • 2 cups Tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve one cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain half the fat.
  4. To the skillet add the garlic, tomatoes, olives and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream, Parmesan and half a cup of pasta water and let simmer. Add the past and mix until well coated.
  5. Add back the chicken and Pancetta, mix well and serve.

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

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit