Cuban Ropa Vieja Stew

It’s beautiful and fall and chilly and that means its time for soups and stews! Open all the windows and set aside a few hours this weekend to make a rich, hearty Cuban stew.

6 oz bacon, chopped
2 lbs flank steak, cut into small strips
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
16 oz can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup halved, pitted green olives
1/2 cup jarred pimiento peppers, sliced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1) Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
2) Slice flank steak and season with salt and pepper. Brown the steak in the Dutch oven in batches, approximately 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and continue browning remaining steak.
3) Add sliced onions and peppers to Dutch oven and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, thyme, oregano, garlic, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Cook for 3 more minutes.
4) Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven to deglaze. Return the steak and bacon to Dutch oven.
5) Add in stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 2 hours.
6) Stir in olives, pimientos, and vinegar. Cook uncovered another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, serve with fresh cilantro and maybe a dollop of sour cream!

Recipe found from the Wanderlust Kitchen. Check her out!


Pioneer Woman’s Black Bean Soup


As I dragged myself out of bed for a lazy Saturday, I turned on the Food Network channel just in time for a new Pioneer Woman episode. She was cooking up a big batch of black bean soup as a “mothership” recipe, to use for several different meals. Brilliant! Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t had breakfast yet, or because it looked so damn tasty, but I decided I had to make these beans. We had them as a dinner side to green chile chicken and cilantro lime rice. I’m having them for lunch today. And they’ll be a side to slow cooker tacos tomorrow! Mothership recipe, indeed.

1 pound dried black beans
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1  yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin

1) Put beans in a large pot and cover with hot water. Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes, then turn off heat and cover the pot. Let sit for one hour.
2) Drain beans and rinse with cold water, then return to pot.
3) Add chicken broth, water, garlic, onion, and bell peppers to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for an hour and a half.
4) Stir in salt, chili powder and cumin, and cook for another 30 minutes to an hour. Serve with your choice of toppings, like sliced avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo – it’s up to you!

Miami Chili


1 lb ground turkey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 carton sliced white mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cans (14.5 oz each) chopped tomatoes with diced green chilies
1 can (16 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 12-oz bottle Dos Equis
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Garnishes: Sour Cream and Sharp Cheddar

1) In  large 4-quart pot, cook turkey in 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned. Drain turkey and spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate.
2) In same pot, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey, tomatoes with their juices, beans, beer, vinegar, oregano, basil, bay leaves, chili powder, salt, and cumin. Bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

White Chicken Chili



This picture is not so hot… but give this chili a try! I made it on a cold rainy spring day and it hit the spot. I like chili (and just about everything) with a little kick so I gave it some more spice, but feel free to eliminate the cayenne for a milder chili.

6 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used chicken thighs)
2 15-oz cans Great Northern beans, drained
2 cups salsa verde
2 tsps cumin
1 tsp cayenne
kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
chopped cilantro leaves (garnish, optional)
crumbled tortilla chips (garnish, optional – I baked a few corn tortillas in the oven and broke them up)
chopped avocado (garnish, optional)
sour cream (garnish, optional)
cheese (I used crumbled Cotija, but you could also use shredded Mexican or Monterey Jack)

1) Combine chicken broth, shredded chicken, beans, salsa verde, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a large soup pot over medium heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
2) Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
3) Serve with garnishes of choice! I’d recommend using them all.




Adapted from Damn Delicious.

Ground Lamb Irish Stew


The boy isn’t a huge fan of giant meat chunks in stew, so I made an Irish stew using ground lamb instead. It was just as delicious, and much quicker since the ground pieces don’t take as long to cook!

1 lb ground lamb
2 cups carrots, chopped
1.5 cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 lb new potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried marjoram
1/3 cup flour
1 cup Guinness
4 cups beef stock
1 fresh bay leaf (2 or 3 if dried)
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped

1) In a large soup pot, saute ground lamb on medium high heat until brown, about 8 minutes.
2) Using a slotted spoon remove lamb from pot and set aside.
3) Add carrots, onions, and potatoes to lamb drippings in pot and saute for 5 minutes.
4) Stir in tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram, and cook for 2 minutes.
5) Stir in flour, making sure it coats all the veggies, and cook for 3 more minutes.
6) Pour in beer to deglaze the pot.
7) Add stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
8) Lower heat, cover, and cook until veggies are fork-tender. About 30 minutes.
9) Add lamb back to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
10) Serve with fresh parsley as a garnish.



Chicken and Noodles




Here we go – first recipe test for the blog! Chicken and Noodles from the Pioneer Woman. I have a pretty intense obsession with Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman). She’s a self-proclaimed accidental country girl who likes the city just as much but isn’t afraid to live off the land and make more out of it than I ever could. Last Saturday morning I was watching her show while sipping my coffee and staring blankly into space when the recipe she was making started to wake me up. Homemade savory chicken and noodles? One last hurrah to winter before heading full force into spring? I was sold. This was incredibly affordable, too. Just allow yourself a little time. Get that new Johnny Cash album, some good bourbon, a good book, and be prepared to take a few breaks.

I made a few changes to her recipe (reflected below):
• I doubles the veggies because… I love vegetables and wanted more.
• I didn’t use frozen noodles. Dried were just fine.
• I added a bit more salt for my taste.
• I would have strained the homemade broth to better eliminate bones (made this change below)
• I have something against white pepper so… I changed it to black pepper.

Start cookin’!

1 whole, cut up, fryer chicken
4 whole carrots, diced
4 stalks celery
3/4 whole medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
16 oz, weight egg noodles
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1) Cover chicken in up to 4 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2) Remove chicken from pot with a slotted spoon. With two forks, remove as much meat as you can while shredding it. Return the bones to the pot and simmer in broth on low for 45 minutes.
3) Remove bones from broth with slotted spoon. Drain broth into another bowl to catch all small bones but keep all the broth.
4) Add broth back to the pot and then add celery, carrots, and onions, followed by herbs and spices. Simmer for ten minutes.
5) Increase heat and add egg noodles and chicken. Cook 8-10 minutes.
6) Add flour and water. Stir until smooth. Cook another 5 minutes for broth to thicken.

Served with salad – next post!

Italian Sausage Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onions
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
5 cups beef stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes
8-oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen green beans
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1. Saute sausage in heavy Dutch oven over medium heat until cooked through (about 10 minutes), breaking it up as it browns with a wooden spoon.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a large bowl. Pour off all but 1 tbsp drippings from Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic to the 1 tbsp drippings and saute about 5 minutes.
3. Return sausage to pan. Add beef stock, tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, carrots, pepper, green beans, basil, and oregano. Simmer 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
4. Add tortellini and cook 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle hot soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.