Sunday, October 24, 2010

Country Breakfast Chowder

While my hubby & I were having a picnic yesterday & we started brainstorming about what to make for dinner. He mentioned making a chowder, which I love!! As we talked more, we realized we need to do more breakfast for dinner stuff & it hit me why not take the same ingredients we eat for breakfast & add them to a soup. I had just made a sawmill gravy that we loved so that became the base & and that's how this was born. Here's the recipe, ya'll!!!

1-2 tablespoons EVOO
1 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic cloves, grated
1 lb ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock
Sawmill Gravy (recipe to follow)
6 small roasted red potatoes, roasted
Salt to taste
Garnish with Sharp Cheddar cheese & Cilantro
Fried egg on top (optional)

Sawmill gravy
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (add slowly)
1 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


1. Preheat oven to 450F

2. Cut potatoes into eights & season with salt, pepper & garlic powder, place in oven & roast for 25 mins.

3. Meanwhile, in a 5 qt dutch oven, over med heat, add 1-2 tablespoons EVOO, onion, garlic, cook til onions are translucent then add pork & sage and continue cooking til brown. Turn down to med low & allow to simmer.

4. Meanwhile in a saucepan, over med high heat add butter til melted, whisk in flour, then add milk slowly, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Add salt, pepper & paprika.

5. Add gravy to meat mixture & then add roasted potatoes. Allow everything to simmer for about 30 mins, it will probably thicken up a bit more.

NOTE: At this point you can decide if you want to add chicken stock (1/2 cup at a time) or not. It's really up to you. I did add 1 cup to ours. Give it a quick taste to determine if if needs more salt, I did add a small palm full. Chances are it will not need more pepper.

Serves about 4 servings

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Veggie Fajitas - Meatless Monday

So we are officially on Week 4 of the Meatless Monday series and this week we decided to do Veggie Fajitas.  I went as far as to make the tortillas from scratch & let me say never again will I make that trip to the store to purchase tortillas out of a package, for me its just not right when they were so easy to make.  Not to mention how amazing they were in taste.  And knowing exactly what we were putting into our body made us feel so good about what we were eating.  I am posting how to make the tortillas first & then the fajitas.  Ready, set, EAT!!!  

Homemade Smoked Paprika Tortillas (the paprika gives them a beautiful golden color)

***Thanks to my special friend, McKenzie for this awesome recipe***

1 3/4 - 2 cups Bread (or all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoom smoked Paprika (omit for regular white tortillas)

1/4 cup Crisco (NOT butter-flavored, it doesn't taste right)
1/2 cup very hot water (used just a tad more than this with the Bread flour)

1. In the bowl of a food processor (using the dough blade) add the flour, paprika & salt. Pulse to blend.
2. Add shortening and pulse to blend. With the food processor running, add hot water and run until a ball almost forms.
3. Dump tortilla dough out on the counter. Knead the dough slightly just to get it smooth. Pat into an even ball and then cut into 8 even triangles. Roll each triangle into a smooth ball and set aside. Let rest for about 5 mins.
4. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat, ungreased. Or if you want to use a open griddle (like I did) preheat to 400. You want it to sizzle when a dop of water "dances" on the surface, but does not sputter. After the dough has rested about 5 mins, roll out each ball into a thin circle (7-8"). Place circle on preheated skillet/GRILL and allow to cook until pillows of dough form, then flip. Cook an additional minute and serve.    

And now for the Veggie Fajitas!!!!
2 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted, only b/c I bake & its what I had on hand)
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 large yellow onion diced
1/2 small package button mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin 
Salt & Pepper to taste

Garish with Kalamata Olives, Diced Avocado, shredded Cheese, Cilantro, Sour Cream

1.  In a 10 in skillet, over med high heat melt butter, add garlic & onions.  Saute til onions are translucent.  
2.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute for additional 5 mins or until they start to brown.  
3.  Add chili powder & cumin, salt & pepper to taste
4.  Remove from heat and assemble 


Burk's - sorry for the bad lighting here, he ran into the other room to starting eating before I had a chance to get a pic & I knew better than take away his plate at feeding time...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Chili

As many know, I don't eat tomatoes.  I used to love them but we had an unfortunate experience & we are still not on speaking terms.  The good thing about this experience is how it has led me to think outside the box when it comes to things, like Chili for instance.  My thought was how do I create something so savory using something sweet, like Pumpkin??  Well, here's the answer!  

1-2 tablespoons EVOO
1 diced large yellow onion
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 large but you could use 3 small)
1 lb ground turkey/pork
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (14 oz) cans pinto beans, juices & all
1 (14 oz) can Kidney beans, juices & all
1 cup canned plain pumpkin puree
Have Chicken broth on hand, just in case its too thick
Salt & Pepper to taste (suggestion is use at least 2 teaspoons salt & 2 teaspoons pepper)

Garnish with sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro & red onions

In a dutch oven or stock pot, over med high heat add EVOO, onions & garlic. Season lightly with salt & pepper.  Cook til onions are translucent & begin to soften.  Add meat, Worcestershire sauce & brown.  Add chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, smoked paprika & ginger.  Add beans and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until it begin to thicken.
Add pumpkin & any additional salt and pepper to taste.  Continue simmering for at least an hour.  The longer it cooks the better it is.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meatless Monday #3

So this weeks featured dish is Pumpkin Ravioli with brown butter sage sauce & I believe this is our favorite by far.  Usually when we try new things my husband will take a bite & say oh this is good but not last night...last night I got a "this is REALLY great, honey." Finally!!!  And I am usually the one who finishes first but I looked down about halfway thru & he had completely devoured his.  Initially, I wanted to call this Pumpkin Pie Ravioli but when we tasted it with the garlic I knew that wouldn't be right.  I just can't imagine leaving out the garlic it really brought the dish together.  So without further a-do, here is the latest culinary adventure for your enjoyment!!

Ingredients for filling:
1/2 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, grated 
1/2 cup Italian cheese blend 
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon dried chives
Salt & Pepper to taste (my suggestion is 1/4 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon white pepper) **we love white pepper but if that's too much feel free to adjust
1 package square wonton wrappers

Ingredients for the sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon of dried sage
pinch of salt

Step 1:  In a med bowl mix together all the ingredients above, set aside.

Step 2:  You will be using 2 wontons per ravioli.  Place wonton wrappers on a floured work surface & spoon approximately 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the middle.  Take a brush that has been dipped in water & coat the edges of the bottom wrapper.  Place 2nd wrapper on top & working from the center out, seal the edges til all the bubbles are gone.   

This is what it should look like when you are done.  I took a biscuit cutter that had ruffled edges & set it on top & it cut thru the wrappers once they were assembled.  You could also use a pizza cutter & then take a fork around the edges for a similar look.  NOTE:  I made 5 per person but we only ate 4.  The entire batch would easily serve 4ppl.

Step 3:  This is the finished product, ready to be dropped into boiling water, that has been salted.  In a dutch oven or similar, over med high heat drop these in.  You will know they are ready when they float to the top.  Remove them from the pot one by one & set aside.  Then drain the water.   

Step 4:  Return pot to the stove over med heat, add 2 tablespoons (unsalted) butter, 1/8 teaspoon dried sage, pinch of salt.  Allow butter to brown & then pour over the ravioli.  Garnish with chives & Parmesan cheese.  Served with an Arugula salad.  Enjoy!!!

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