Category Archives: DINNER

Weekend Beef Stew

just in time for the weekend, a recipe for beef stew.

tender meat, potatoes and carrots… warms you from the inside out, the perfect cold-weather meal. and the best part? you just throw the ingredients into a crockpot, watch football for a few hours, and it’s ready to go by the night-game.

this time we did just that – started it in the morning and let it cook all day, but another way to do it is start it the night before and let it cook all. night. long.

so delicious!!

Weekend Beef Stew

recipe adapted from: Rachel’s Boss’ Friend {not exactly sure who gets the credit…}

ingredients

  • 2 lb stew meat, cubed {pork &/or beef, we did just beef}
  • flour {about a .25-.5 cup to dredge the meat}
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1-2 bay leaves {we used 1 large}
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • .5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • .5 tsp paprika
  • a dash of all spice
  • 6 carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 5-6 yukon gold or red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces {we used yukon golds}

directions

Heat the oil in a pan on the stove.

Dredge the meat {coat with flour},add to the heated oil, and brown the meat.  Once browned, pour the meat {and any juices} into the crockpot.  Stir in the boiling water, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, bay leaf{or leaves}, sea salt, brown sugar, black pepper, paprika, and all spice.  Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. {or you may choose to let it cook overnight, just make sure it’s set on low!}

Add the carrots and potatoes about 3 hours prior to serving.  We think that the longer it cooks, the better…best part is when the meat falls apart on its own.

…Enjoy!!

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Cilantro Tomato Soup

one of my favorite meals is grilled cheese & tomato soup.

now, let’s up the ante   ::   tomato soup with a cilantro infusion and grilled cheese with fontina & brie.    yes.   comfort food, at it’s finest.

throw in a salad and you can call it a well-rounded meal.

busy-bees beware: this soup is not the quickest, but if you have the time, it’s worth it.

i’ll recommend that you make it on a blistery fall/winter day and slurp it up while cuddled under a blanket on the couch watching your favorite show {bonus: fireplace popping in the background} – don’t forget the grilled cheese…great for dipping.

Cilantro Tomato Soup

recipe adapted from: Kalyn’s Kitchen

ingredients

  • 2 medium bundles fresh cilantro {washed}
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 small-med garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 28oz can of dice tomatoes {Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes are the best!}
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • black pepper to taste {I did 10 grinds}
  • dash of cayenne {+1 pinch for more of a kick}
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

directions

Prepare Cilantro: Cut 2-3 inches off the top of one cilantro bundle {you want to cut off most of the leaves, leaving just a few behind}.  Pick the leaves off the cilantro stalks and set aside about a .5 cup of leaves {this will be used for garnish}.  Finely chop the remaining leaves {great time for the slap-chop!}.   Using kitchen twine, tie the cut cilantro stalks back together along with the other full bundle of cilantro {or separately}.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a deep, medium-sized pot {I used our 4.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven}.  Add chopped onion and saute for 5-6 minutes.  Stir in garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and paprika until combined.  Next add entire can of tomatoes {juice included}, water, the cilantro bundle, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove pot from hot burner and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, remove cilantro bundle{s} and discard.  Puree soup with a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary.  If the consistency looks good to you, you can stop here.  It’s more of a bisque at this point, and I like it smoother.  If you want a smoother soup too, use a fine mesh strainer to work the soup through, discarding the “pulp”. {I added about a tablespoon of “pulp” into mine before tossing the rest}

Return soup to pot and warm it over medium-heat.  Stir in the cayenne pepper, lime juice and the chopped cilantro.  Once heated throughout it’s ready to serve.  Garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and a few cilantro leaves… Enjoy!!

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Green Chile Enchiladas

a Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen original, this is one of our favorite go-to recipes

firstly because it’s quick

secondly because it only has 5 simple ingredients

& thirdly because it is so tasty

these enchiladas are great to serve for a big dinner party or just for two!  matt & i cook them at the beginning of the week and enjoy ’em as leftovers…

{they are still awesome reheated a day, or 3, later}

M&R’s Green Chile Enchiladas

an original recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen

makes 9-10 enchiladas, depending on filling amount

ingredients

  • 1 lb skinless chicken breasts   {time saver: 1 hot roasted chicken from your grocery store}
  • 2- 16oz jars Green Chile Sauce   {we like 505 Southwestern Green Chile** — we use one Mild & one Medium…adjust to your desired heat level. p.s. “hot” is truly Hot!}
  • .5 cup plain greek yogurt   {we like Fage 2% – or you can substitute Sour Cream}
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese   {we use block cheese & shred it ourselves}
  • 1 package medium flour tortillas   {we use Stacey’s Organic 8″ unbleached white flour}

directions

Heat oven to 375° and prepare baking dish: lightly grease a 9×13″ glass baking dish

If you have a roasted chicken, pick the chicken off the bone into a large mixing bowl and shred using two forks.  Skip to the next step.  If you have skinless chicken breasts, cook them how you prefer.  We like to poach them.  Once cooked, put chicken into a large mixing bowl and once cool enough to handle, shred chicken using two forks to pull meat apart.

For Poached Chicken: fill a large pot {or Dutch oven} 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil.  Wrap each chicken breast completely and tightly with plastic wrap. Using tongs, add the wrapped chicken breasts to the boiling water.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until cooked through. {food thermometer should register 165°}

Add 1 jar of green chile {we used the medium for this}, yogurt, and half the shredded cheese to the shredded chicken.  Mix well.

Scoop desired amount of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, rolling each one and placing them tightly next to one another in your baking dish.  

Leave a few tablespoons of the mixture to spread over the top of the tortillas once they are all in the dish.  Next, pour your other jar of green chile over top the rolled tortillas.  Lastly, sprinkle on the rest of the shredded cheese.

Bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes or until heated throughout…enjoy!!

**Bonus: 505 is made with ingredients you can pronounce!

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Gazpacho !

why the exclamation mark after gazpacho? because it sounds better when you exclaim it, gazpacho!!   and, there is some exciting news to be shared: we have a food processor now… ! ! ! !

yes folks, my dearest brother, sister-in-law and nephew purchased me {& matt} a food processor for my birthday… best gift  e v e r.  i have been using it non-stop since the day i got it, all those recipes that required one, and we had to use a potato masher, or our hands instead…and now we can use the real thing!

so with our new machine, matt got the great idea to try some gazpacho! {there’s that exclamation mark again…}

i can’t say that i made it, because really matt was the one that slaved away while i was busy working at home–i just occasionally popped over to the kitchen to snap a few photos of his gorgeous {& delicious} work.  and now i’m the one writing about it : )

it’s such a fresh treat, great for a warm day/evening and would make for an awesome appetizer.  we ate it for lunch served with a piece of whole wheat toast…delicious. never made it before? us either, but sure glad we did…give ‘er a try & let us know how it goes!

Gazpacho !

adapted from: palete/palette/plate

ingredients

  • 3-4 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped {we used an orange one, yum!}
  • 1 large english cucumber, peeled & diced {we used a regular cucumber and it worked fine!}
  • 1 clove garlic {2 if small}
  • .5 medium onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt, + more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, for topping

directions

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, bell pepper and cucumber.  Use a measuring cup to scoop out 1 cup of the mix and set in the refrigerator to chill {will be used later}.  Next, add garlic, onion, cubed bread, olive oil, vinegar and sea salt to the large bowl.  Use your hands  {please wash them well first!} to mix the ingredients together, crushing & mushing.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least an hour.

Once chilled, remove gazpacho in the large bowl from refrigerator and transfer to a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. Season with salt and ground black pepper.  Chill in refrigerator again until ready for serving, at least 30 minutes.

Before serving, scoop ~1 tbsp of the chilled tomato/bell pepper/cucumber mix into each serving bowl of gazpacho for garnish and an added crunch.  Slice avocado into small bite size pieces and divvy it up into your bowls…enjoy!

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Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

fritter (noun): a small mass of fried or sautéed batter often containing fruit or meat — from merriam-webster.com

let’s hone in on, “small mass of fried or sautéed batter” – so how can it not be good?!  add a little broccoli and you can feel a little less bad about the “fried” part…

matt and i eat these by themselves and call it lunch, but you can pair them with some grilled chicken or steak to call it a meal.

if you haven’t made a savory fritter before, you should try making these!  Be sure to let me know how yours turn out in the comments section.

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

hardly adapted from: smittenkitchen.com

Yield: 9 – 2 to 2.5 in. fritters {we find that it makes 5-7 fritters}

ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, chopped {include some stems}
  • 1 large egg
  • .5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed**
  • .5 tsp kosher salt
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

directions

Prepare the broccoli – all chopped pieces should be about a .5-inch in length, be sure to add a few stems as well.  Steam your  broccoli until tender, but not mushy: you can use a steamer, or however you’d like – but the quick/easy way that we use {from smittenkitchen} is to bring a .5-inch or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the broccoli, place a lid on it and simmer it for 5-6 minutes.  Drain the broccoli, then set it aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg.  Add the flour, cheese, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Then, add the cooked broccoli and, using a potato masher, mash the broccoli just a bit.  Make sure to keep the bits recognizable, but small enough that you can press a mound of the batter into a fritter in the pan.  Once mashed a bit, stir the ingredients together the rest of the way with a spoon.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat.  Once hot, add both oils. When the oil is hot {flick a droplet of water into it and it should hiss and sputter}, scoop up a serving-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your spatula.  Repeat with additional batter, leaving an inch or two between each.  We were able to get all 7 into the pan.  Once brown underneath, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, approximately 2 minutes on each side.

Transfer to paper towels to absorb some of the oil, then serve them up! …enjoy!!

**Best garlic press: Rösle Garlic Press – sure it’s super expensive, but one press and you’ll know it’s worth it! i was lucky enough to have one gifted to me… thanks Mom!!!

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