Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Refrigerator Chicken Soup

This is a quick cheat for a delicious hearty slow cooked dinner.  The title comes from cleaning out your refrigerator of leftover foods and putting them in a pot of chicken stock and turning it into a soup.

I had onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, green pepper, broccolini, corn, tiny cheese ravioli, tiny pasta shells and a chicken breast.  Sautee the veggies, add spices, add chicken stock and pasta.  Simmer 10 minutes and serve.

But really you can use whatever leftovers you have add chicken stock and turn it into a soup.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

*This is a really easy, cheat of a semi-homemade recipe.

2 Boxes Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Coffee (leftover from the morning is fine)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs (beaten)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp Flour
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

In a large bowl mix brownie mix, water, coffee, vegetable oil, eggs, salt.  Grease a 13x9 baking dish (even if it's non stick) or line bottom and sides w/ parchment paper).  Pour in 1/2 the batter.  In a small bowl add chocolate chips and flour.  Stir to coat the chips in flour and sift.  Sprinkle chips around the 1st layer of batter.  Add the remaining 1/2 of batter.

Heat the peanut butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds.  Spoon peanut butter in vertical lines over the top of the brownie batter.  With a toothpick or skewer, vertically go in circles mixing the peanut butter and the brownie batter to form a circular design.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes.  After 40 minutes keep checking center of brownies w/ a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  Ovens vary so it may be a few more minutes.

Let cool at least 1/2 hour before you cut and serve.  They are pretty rich and fudgy so I usually cut into about 1 inch cubes.  Also good served with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beef & Bean Chili

4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 Med. Onions - ¼” dice
8 oz Crimini Mushrooms – chopped
1 Large Jalapeno – Seeded & Finely Diced
4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 ½ lbs Ground Beef
5 Japones Dried Peppers – (or 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper)
1 tbsp Cumin
¼ cup Chili Powder
5 Cloves Garlic – Smashed & Finely Diced
½ tsp Salt
¼ Cup Dijon Mustard
½ Cup Ketchup
1 Can Black Beans – Drained & Rinsed
2 Cans Pinto Beans – Drained & Rinsed
2 Cans Chili Beans – With Juice
1 Green Pepper – Seeded – ½” Dice
1 Red Pepper – Seeded – ½” Dice
2 Jars Tomato Sauce

In a med/large pot over med/high heat add the EVOO then onions.  Cook onions until caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in mushrooms and jalapeno and cook another 10 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook another 3 minutes.  Remove contents and set aside.

In same bowl add the ground beef in batches and brown then drain and remove to bowl.  Remove all but ½ cup fat.  Add in the japones (or cayenne).  Cook down about 2 minutes.  Remove japones.

Add back in the beef, onions, mushroom mixture.  Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, mustard, ketchup.  Stir to coat and cook about 3 minutes.  Add in the beans and peppers and cook about 5 minutes.  Add in the tomato sauce and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Adjust the seasonings accordingly and serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions and corn bread.