Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chili Dogs

I cannot remember the last time I made chili dogs. I seem to forget about them until I am at a baseball game. But this is "Chili Week" at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast and homemade chili for the dogs seemed like a good dish to share. Fast, easy, and so much better tasting than the stuff that comes out of a can.

My mom has had this recipe for years...handwritten on a recipe card...stained, splattered, yellowed, kinda old school, perfect for today. Oh...and so easy to make a vegetarian version. Why not add chili dogs to the menu for this weekend's Superbowl party? I think your guests will love them too.  Enjoy!

Chili Dogs
(makes 6 dogs)

1 lb ground sirloin (or vegetarian substitute)
1 white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or vegetarian brand)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
sea salt
black pepper

6 hot dogs (or veggie dog)
6 hot dog buns
grated cheddar cheese
chopped onions (if desired)

Saute meat, onion, bell pepper and carrot and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large skillet until meat is browned and vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Drain. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cinnamon and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered,  for 2 hours stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Cook hot dogs as directed on package. I prefer the grilling method. Toast or grill buns. Spread mustard on one side of each bun. Add hot dogs and top with chili, cheese and, if desired, chopped onions. Serve immediately

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Chili. Do you have a favorite chili recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Gluten-Free Chicken Chile Verde
The Cultural Dish: 
Game Day Turkey Chili
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: 
Classic Chicken Chili
The Mom 100: 
Barbacoa Beef Chili
Four Bean Chili
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Three Bean and Veggie Chili
Red or Green: 
Chili Dogs
Swing Eats: 
Slow-Cooker Chili & Jalapeño Corn Muffins (gluten-free)
Taste with the Eyes: 
Gourmet Bison Chili with Heirloom Cranberry Beans, Poached Egg
Creative Culinary: 
Smoky Beef and Bourbon Chili
FN Dish: 
Come Sunday, It's All About Game-Day Chili Bowls


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mac & Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos

Mac & Cheese. The perfect dish for dreary, cold winter nights. This version adds honey glazed ham and spicy jalapeno pepper for taste and a bit of heat. Add a large green salad and some steamed broccoli...dinner is served.

This recipe is very flexible and substitutions are encouraged. Try using bacon and green bell pepper instead of the ham and jalapeno. Or Italian sausage and sweet onion. Or ground beef and cooked butternut squash. Or a million other options. How would you make it?

You can make this a vegan recipe by using the olive oil, almond milk, and vegan substitute suggestions offered.

Mac & Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos
(serves 6)

2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 cups milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 cup honey glazed ham, diced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 cups extra sharp aged cheddar cheese, shredded (or vegan substitute)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
sea salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter (or vegan substitute) a medium sized casserole dish. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water and add pasta. Cook for 7 minutes. Pasta will still be a bit firm but will continue cooking in the oven. Remove from heat, drain into a colander. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, one tablespoon at a time, ensuring well blended. Add 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Heat milk in a microwave for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 of the milk and stir until combined. Repeat with additional thirds. Whisk in mustard and 1 large pinch each salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until sauce is beginning to thicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Add ham, jalapeno and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Let simmer 3-4 minutes or until sauce is as thick as you like. Remove from heat.

Place macaroni and cheese sauce in the large pot and stir to combine.  Pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese sauce is hot and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Mac & Cheese. Do you have a favorite mac & cheese recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Cream Cheesy Risotto
The Mom 100: 
One Skillet Carroty Macaroni and Cheese
Daisy at Home: 
Squasheroni and Cheese
Creative Culinary: 
Smoked Gouda with Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
The Cultural Dish: 
New England (Lobster) Mac n' Cheese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Curried Cauliflower and Greens Mac ’n Cheese
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Cauliflower and Veggie "Mac" & Cheese
Red or Green: 
Mac & Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos
Swing Eats: 
Super Creamy Crab Mac-N-Cheese with Scallions (gluten-free)
Taste with the Eyes: 
Korean "Mac and Cheese" with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar
Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese
FN Dish: 
Food Network Chefs' Takes on the Gooiest Mac and Cheese Ever


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tostada Pizza

I love pizza. I love Mexican food. Why not combine the two?  I am one of those people who loves cold crisp salads piled on hot foods. Like salad on top of my pizza. I often order tostadas in Mexican restaurants. So...viola... Tostada Pizza. Thin crispy crust, fried beans,melted cheese, romaine lettuce tossed with ranch dressing, and traditional taco toppings such as chopped onions, shredded cheese,salsa and olives. The final touch is crushed corn tortilla chips. So very good! I think this is going on my Super Bowl menu next month, Enjoy...

Tostada Pizza
(makes one 14 oz pizza)

I/2 pizza dough recipe (homemade or store bought) 
1/2 cup refried beans
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup torn romaine lettuce
1-2 tablespoons ranch dressing
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
chopped red onion
sour cream (if desired)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add dough ball to lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a 14 inch circle. (It does not have to be perfect. A rustic look is more authentic.) Roll the dough up around the rolling pin to make it easier to move. Unroll the dough onto a pizza stone or baking sheet which has been lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with coarse cornmeal. (the cornmeal adds a delicious flavor and helps ensure the pizza dough will not stick to the pan.) Spread beans over pizza dough. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese over beans. Bake in preheated oven 15-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven.

Toss lettuce with ranch dressing. Top with remaining cheese, olives and tortilla chips. Add onion, salsa and sour cream as desired. Cut into wedges and serve.

Other Pizza Recipes you may enjoy:

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Pizza. Do you have a favorite pizza recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

Dishin & Dishes: Crab Rangoon Pizza Flatbread
Daisy at Home: 
Mini Pizza Bites
The Cultural Dish: 
Mini Eggplant Pizzas
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Spicy Pizza with Garlic Confit & Pesto
Red or Green: 
Tostada Pizza
Swing Eats: 
Mini Deep Dish Polenta Pizzas (Gluten-Free)
Quilt Pizza
Taste with the Eyes: 
Pretty Little Cast Iron Skillet Pizzas
The Mom 100: 
Two-Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Naan Pizza
FN Dish: 
6 Newfangled Ways to Get Your Pizza Fix


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables

I make this recipe all winter. Hearty, comforting, delicious. Perfect for cold nights. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off. The dish comes together quickly and can be made in the morning, refrigerated until ready to use, and then baked hot and cheesy when ready to serve. You can vary the vegetables to use what you have..what you like. Sauteed greens? Broccoli or Cauliflower? Maybe roasted chicken or Italian sausage to make it non-vegetarian? Play with the recipe and please share your "custom" version. Happy New Year! 

Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables
(adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine)
1/2 oz package mixed dried wild mushrooms  
3/4 c boiling hot water
3 1/2 oz panko bread crumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1/2 c grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 c minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c diced Roma tomatoes
1/4 c carrot, finely minced
1 lb portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c dry white wine
1/2 lb rotelli pasta
1/2 c parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Butter a 3 quart baking dish and set aside.

Add  dried wild mushrooms to boiling water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Place panko in a rimmed baking sheet and spread out to ensure crumbs are in a thin even layer. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. (stir 2-3 times while cooking). Remove from oven and allow to cool, then add 1/2 c grated cheese, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and two garlic cloves, minced. Set aside.

Drain mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid. Dry mushrooms with a paper towel and chop.

Place butter and remaining olive oil in large skillet and heat until butter melts. Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook over med heat until softened and golden brown, do not let garlic burn. Add tomatoes, carrot and portobello mushrooms and cook until vegetables are softened and released mushroom juice is evaporated, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, remaining salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and white wine. Stir well and cook until wine is reduced by about half. Add wild mushrooms and the reserved soaking liquid. Cook until liquid has reduced by half. 

While mushroom mixture is simmering, cook pasta is a large pot of boiling, well salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and add to wild mushroom mixture, stir well. Add remaining cheese and stir again. Put pasta/mushroom mixture in buttered baking dish. Sprinkle panko/cheese topping evenly over pasta and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow juices to absorb into pasta and then serve.

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Casseroles. Do you have a favorite casserole recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Cultural Dish: Mediterranean Fish Casserole
The Heritage Cook: 
Arroz Con Pollo Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Baked Artichoke Radicchio Risotto with Lemon-Caper Breadcrumbs
Taste with the Eyes: 
Mini Shrimp and Grits Casseroles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Lasagne al Forno with Chard & Mushrooms
Red or Green: 
Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables
Swing Eats: 
Pastitsio: A Delicious Greek Pasta Casserole (gluten-free)
Virtually Homemade: 
Tamale Pie
Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Haute Apple Pie: 
Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Domesticate Me: 
Baked Orzo with Turkey Sausage, Broccolini and Fontina
FN Dish: 
5 Hearty Casseroles Ready to Warm You Up