Mar 27, 2018

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

My sister Emily introduced me to this recipe recently, and I think it's a great addition to our regular meal rotation. It's a meatless dish that is hearty, healthy (depending on what extra filling ingredients you use), and delicious. I also like that it is a little out of the ordinary. This recipe has been lightly adapted from the one on this blog.

1/2 cup dry rice (I used basmati rice because it's what I had but the original recipe called for brown rice)
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (I omitted the regular paprika and just used about a half teaspoon of smoked paprika)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

6-8 large flour tortillas
1 medium head of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
2-3 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, creamy tomatillo dressing, or chipotle sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the rice according to the package directions and then set it aside. While the rice is cooking, dice the sweet potato and put the chunks on a parchment lined tray. Drizzle 2 tbsp. of olive oil over the top and toss to coat. Sprinkle chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper over the potatoes. Toss to combine. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges start to brown (flip the sweet potatoes over halfway through).

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, saute the diced onion in 1 tbsp. of oil over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Add drained black beans and minced garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the beans are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside until everything is ready. When the sweet potatoes are done roasting, add them to the pan with the beans and onions. Mix to combine.

To serve, warm the tortillas and then put lettuce, rice, a scoop of the black bean and sweet potato mixture, tomatoes, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, and whatever sauce/salsa you desire on each tortilla. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the filling and roll up the burrito.

Feb 1, 2018

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

This is an easy and tasty meal to pull together. It is great for a family, and it looks visually appealing.

1 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks (I used 4 to 5 cups pre-cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken so I could skip over that initial step below)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (I used frozen peas and carrots)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme (I used dried)
3 tablespoons flour
1 large potato, peeled, cubed, and cooked
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides and remove from skillet. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook 2-3 minutes more. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer, cooking 8-10 minutes more, until slightly thickened. Turn off heat and stir in cream, peas, potato, and chicken. Remove biscuits from can and slice in half horizontally. Arrange, overlapping, in a ring on the outer circle of the skillet. Brush with egg wash and bake until golden, 25-30 minutes. Serve.

Jan 27, 2018

Beef Fondue

A few weeks ago, I made cheese fondue for the first time in many years and loved it (see Family Fondue)! But I also have fond memories of eating beef fondue as a child, so I found some recipes and gave it a try. Two thumbs way up! Part of it is just that I like the fondue experience itself--sitting around a table with family or friends and chatting while you cook your food and eat it. But the fondue itself is very tasty. The meal seemed to be a hit with everyone. Two changes I may make the next time I do this. First, I think I may marinate half of the meat and leave the other half unmarinated, so that the flavors of the sauces come out more. Second, I'd like to try cooking the meat in broth rather than vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is the tradition I grew up with, but I presume it is less healthy than broth, and the oil spattered a little every now and then. Anyway, you should give this try. Definitely worth it and fun idea for a family or small group of guests.

3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 5 sirloin steaks instead of the tenderloin because the tenderloin was so expensive)

Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Put the mixture in a large resealable plastic bag, and add the cubed beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain meat and discard marinade. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Using one fondue pot for every six people, heat 2-3 cups oil in each pot to 375°. With fondue forks, cook meat in oil until it reaches desired doneness. Serve with sauces listed below (I also included a small bowl of A-1 steak sauce as a fourth option), though we ended up with way more sauce than we needed. So I'd consider limiting the number of sauces to two or three. Yield: 16 servings.

Horseradish Sauce
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the horseradish sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate sauces until serving.

Garlic Butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine ingredients and chill,

Green Goddess Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

In a microwave-safe container, microwave cream cheese and milk for 2 to 4 minutes, whisking after each minute, until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth. Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives. Refrigerate until cold.